Tag: "Cumulus Media"

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| March 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York City

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

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

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

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

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

Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago

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

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

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

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

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

San Francisco

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

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

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

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

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

Dallas

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

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

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

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

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

Houston

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

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

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

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

Atlanta

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

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

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

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

Philadelphia

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

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

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

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

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

Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

Riverside

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

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

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

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

San Jose

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

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

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

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

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

Middlesex

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

| March 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 7, 2019

| March 7, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

| March 6, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

| February 26, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

| February 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 1, 2019

| February 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

| January 31, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former WARH, St. Louis “The Arch” morning personality Spencer Graves is joining Atlanta’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” to co-host mornings with current morning personality Kristen Gates.  Graves takes over for Jason Pullman, who recently exited “The Bull.”…..Programmer and music industry pro Willobee Carlan joins Colorado Public Radio’s triple A OpenAir format as program director. The format is currently heard on stations and translators in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and more than a dozen other signals across the state.  Carlan was most recently with Nevada Public Radio’s KVNV, Sun Valley, Nevada “NV89.”  CPR president and CEO Stewart Vanderwilt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Willobee as OpenAir’s next leader and begin a new chapter in the station’s ongoing development.  Music discovery is an essential part of the Colorado experience and likewise CPR’s service.  We’re confident Willobee’s experience and leadership will help elevate OpenAir and the distinct mix of new, independent and local music important to Colorado.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting launches a new classic rock station in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan market on WQLQ-HD2 and translator W239CJ branded as “95.7 The Lake.”  Director of programming and content Bill Gamble is quoted in a story by sister news/talk station WSJM-FM saying, “One of the things when we decided to put this radio station together is we didn’t want to make it like every other radio station across the country.  There’s 50 years-plus of great rock music and a lot of it doesn’t get played on the radio.”…..Starlite Broadcasting agrees to buy hot AC KLTG-FM, Corpus Christi and country KHLB-FM, Mason, Texas from Tejas Broadcasting for $600,000.  Media Services Group represented the seller.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

| January 24, 2019

‘Hannity On Air’ to Launch on FOX Nation Streaming Service. The new on-demand, subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation is making Sean Hannity’s daily radio monologues from his Premiere Networks syndicated show available to fans via livestream.  Hannity says, “I am passionate about my monologues and can’t wait to give the people more.  Thank you to my loyal followers for making me the most-watched show in all of cable and one of the top talk radio programs in the country.”  FOX News SVP of development and production John Finley states, “We could not be more thrilled to have Sean host his own program on FOX Nation.  He has undoubtedly made a permanent mark in the media landscape as a prominent host in both television and talk radio and we are looking forward to our subscribers receiving exclusive content from him.”

Cumulus Media’s ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Celebrates 25 Years as a Sports Talker. Dallas sports talk duo KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” is celebrating its 25th year on the air today (1/24). It will mark the event with a live broadcast from “Texas Motor Speedway Ticketstock 25” tomorrow and Saturday (1/25-26) that will include appearances from Dallas Cowboys legends Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek.  Cumulus Dallas/Houston RVP Dan Bennett states, “‘The Ticket’ has blazed a trail for the format across the country with its unique blend of sports talk, lifestyle talk, commentary, and comedy delivered by the most outstanding lineup in sports radio. Both ‘The Musers’ in morning drive and the ‘Hardline’ in afternoon drive have aired on the station since day one and the ‘newcomers’ to the station, ‘BaD Radio,’ and ‘Norm Hitzges & Donovan Lewis,’ joined ‘The Ticket’ 20 years ago.”  Station program director Jeff Catlin adds, “When ‘The Ticket’ went on the air, the so-called ‘experts’ said we wouldn’t last six months. Here we are 25 years later, thanks to the huge ongoing support of our audience and community partners and the dedication, work ethic, and talent of our on-air staff and programming and promotions teams.”

Podcast Record-Holder Adam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne. Podcasting pioneer and Guinness Most Downloaded Podcast record-holder Adam Carolla renews his deal with PodcastOne for another five years – through 2023.  The new deal continues the joint production, distribution, marketing, and sales for his entire collection of podcasts – totaling more than 15 hours of weekly, original programming – including “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Reasonable Doubt,” “Adam & Drew,” “Carcast,” “Ace on the House,” and more.  Carolla’s own podcast celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “I met Adam over 25 years ago when I signed him to ‘Loveline’ at Westwood One.  He’s charted the way for the many who have come after him in podcasting and it’s great to continue our partnership.  He is the all-time revenue leader and the all-time most downloaded podcaster.  Plus, he’s the hardest working guy in podcasting.  The next five years are sure to bring more growth, success and surprises.”

David Mayurnik Appointed PD of CBS Sports Radio. Sports radio pro David Mayurnik is named program director for Entercom’s CBS Sports Radio.  Mayurnik, who joined CBS Sports Radio at its inception in 2013 as executive producer, will report to CBS Sports Radio Network and WFAN senior vice president Mark Chernoff.  Mayurnik says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with the best team in radio.  It truly is a dream job to lead this network and the amazing line up of talent.  I look forward to being a part of the continued growth of CBS Sports Radio.”  Prior to his role as executive producer, Mayurnik was a producer for the Yankees Radio Network as well as newsroom operations manager for all-news WCBS-AM from 2005 to 2012.  He began his radio career at WFAN, New York in 2000.

WMVP, Chicago Announces Title Sponsor for State Street Studio. Windy City sports talk station WMVP “ESPN 1000” announces a new title sponsor for its street-level, State Street Studio.  Illinois-based First Midwest Bank begins a multi-year agreement with the ESPN O&O to serve as title sponsor, effective today (1/24). In addition to the naming rights, First Midwest will have its brand integrated throughout the station’s daily programming.  WMVP vice president and general manager Jim Pastor comments, “It’s an honor to have the First Midwest Bank name on ESPN 1000’s State Street studio.  Two great brands, leaders in their industries, joining forces to serve Chicago sports fans every day.  As our partnership unfolds, we look forward to playing a vital role in enhancing First Midwest Bank’s presence across the community.”

Los Angeles Talk and News Stations Take Home Golden Mike Awards.  Both iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI and Entercom’s all-news KNX won Golden Mike Awards at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 69th Golden Mike Ceremonies last weekend.  KFI picked up honors for Best News Broadcast and Best Serious Feature Reporting.  It also won Best Continuing Coverage, Best Sports Reporting, Best Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Use of Sound and Best Internet News Reporting.  KNX won Golden Mikes in the following categories: Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes, Best Traffic Report, Best “Live” Coverage of a News Story, and Best News Public Affairs Program.

Report: Nielsen Could Fetch $10 Billion in Sale.  According to a report in the New York Post, ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings is exploring a sale of the company and private equity firm Blackstone Group is interested. According to Josh Kosman’s story, the company is valued at around $10 billion.  Blackstone Group and Hellman & Friedman are reportedly working together on a buyout bid.  It was back in September that the company released an official statement that its board of directors was exploring “a broad range of options” for the company’s future, including going private, separating the Watch and Buy segments, or selling the company altogether.

Elvis Duran Group Partners with SportsGrid. The deal between the Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid, Inc. will have the former handling programming, marketing, sales, and distribution of SportsGrid’s Fantasy Sports Radio Network.  FNTSY Radio is a free sports-centric digital broadcasting platform available on the FNTSY Radio app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn with more than 75 hours of programming per week.  EDG founder Elvis Duran says, “I’ve seen the growth and fanaticism of fantasy sports and gaming through my own audience and my fellow cast mates.  [SportsGrid president] Lou [Maione] and his team have built fantastic assets that are poised to thrive in the rapidly changing landscape.  I’m excited to help make FNTSY Radio the premier audio destination in the marketplace.”

Hubbard Closes on Alpha Media West Palm Beach Stations. Yesterday, Hubbard Radio closed on its $88 million purchase of six radio stations from Alpha Media in the West Palm Beach, Florida market.  The group includes: news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM, hot AC WRMF-FM, country WIRK-FM, classic hits WEAT-FM, and urban contemporary WMBX-FM.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

PodcastOne Promotes Jim Ballas. Five-year PodcastOne executive Jim Ballas is promoted to chief technology officer and vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In this expanded role, Ballas will continue to oversee network digital initiatives and sales operations, in addition to developing new technology to serve platform consumers and advertisers.  PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz states, “Jim is a young guy, but he’s been here from the beginning.  He’s smart, savvy, and has grown over the last five years at an amazing rate.  He answers questions before they’re asked and he plots directions for the company’s growth.  It’s a joy to reward Jim Ballas for his service to our company and to the podcasting business.”

Season Two of Suze Orman’s ‘Women & Money’ Debuts. The second season of Suze Orman’s “Women & Money” original podcast debuts via Westwood One.  The program series features two weekly episodes tied into each other.  WWO says that Orman’s interactive approach begins with a weekly lesson each Sunday about a pressing personal finance topic. She invites listeners to call or write the show to ask further questions that will be answered on Thursday’s episode, where she will dive into individual challenges that have relevance to so many.

Westwood One Has Game Day Coverage of Super Bowl LIII. This year will be Westwood One’s 32nd consecutive year broadcasting the play-by-play coverage of the Super Bowl.  In the booth, Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play duties with Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner making his debut as the color analyst.  Super Bowl XXXI winning coach Mike Holmgren will contribute throughout the game broadcast – his fourth year as a member of the broadcast crew.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for a third straight year as sideline reporter and will be joined on the field for the second consecutive year by Hall of Fame reporter Ed WerderJim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage, with appearances by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.  Leading up to February 2, Westwood One will produce “Seven Days to Sunday – The Road to Super Bowl LIII” – an hour-long preview show that airs each night during the week leading up to Super Sunday.  It is hosted by Scott Graham, the voice of NFL Films, and features interviews with players from both participating teams as well as coaches and other special guests. Each night’s show will be co-hosted by a different Westwood One NFL analyst and will also feature a flashback to a previous Super Bowl.

Government Shutdown/State of the Union, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Testimony Postponed, 2020 Presidential Candidates, China Surpasses U.S. in Retail Sales, Venezuelan Unrest, Deadly Florida Bank Shooting, Bryan Singer Sex Allegations, NFL Ref Woes and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23). The federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address; the political battle over President Trump’s plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related Michael Cohen congressional testimony issue; the growing slate of Democratic candidates for president in 2020; the report indicating China will surpass U.S. in retail sales; the U.S. officially sides with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido over embattled President Nicolas Maduro; Wednesday’s bank shooting in Florida that left five dead; allegations of predatory behavior on the part of “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer; and the NFL’s referee troubles and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Rob Roberts signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles as vice president of hot AC and program director for WRQX, Washington “MIX 103.7.”  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and lucky to have Rob Roberts continue to lead WRQX in our nation’s capital.  Rob has done an incredible job bringing ‘MIX’ back into its position as one of DC’s most-listened-to and highest-rated stations.  Rob is a great coach and programmer and has the right vision for continued growth in the years to come.”…..Programmer Jimmy Steal is named vice president of brand and content for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.”  Steal was most recently with Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles stations hip hop KPWR “Power 106” and rhythmic CHR KDAY and vice president of programming.  He’d been PD of KPWR for the past 18 years when Emmis Communications owned the station…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis promotes Danny Montana to brand content director for country WIL “New Country 92.9.”  He’s been APD and music director and he’ll continue in the MD role.  Montana says, “I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to continue to grow and work with the absolute best team and station in the business.  It is truly an honor to work at Hubbard Radio.”…..The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show adds seven new affiliate stations to its roster, including: KURT-FM, Bend, Oregon; WEGE-FM, Lima, Ohio; and WYFM-FM, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #6, WMAL has lost a combined eight-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). The Cumulus Media news/talk station was without a loss from June through November for an overall +1.6 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). November 2018’s 5.1 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Following four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #14. December 2018’s 3.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (2.4). The Washington Nationals’ flagship completely erased July’s -.5 with an August +.5 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). Locked on .9 (6+) in November and December, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” drops one-tenth to .8 (6+) and is unchanged at #21.

Within 9.3 – 9.9 range the past nine sweeps (9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP plunges by one full-share to 8.4 (flat at #2). At #1 for 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

An overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” has the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 erosion of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far (9.5 – 7.3, -2.2, 6+). Moreover, it tumbles from first to fourth. While December 2018’s 9.5 is the best 6+-stat for WAMU since November 2017 (9.6), its 7.3 in “Holiday” 2018 is its softest 6+-stat in exactly three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2015). “The Mind Is Our Medium” finished at #2 ten (10) times in calendar year 2018.

This is the fifth straight time that Entercom business news outlet WDCH is down or flat for a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .3, flat at #24, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – By tacking on a +3.1 to December’s +2.5 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” progresses from third to first with its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (10.4, as well). Prior to being -1.0 in November, WASH was +2.1 in September and October (3.7 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). We’ve obviously seen the huge spikes by stations such as WASH that transitioned to all-Christmas music during the December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018 survey periods. In the Nation’s Capital, urban AC did extremely well in this sweep, boosting its (6+) share by +1.5. Specifically, Howard University’s WHUR racks up a +.9 to 6.2 (steady at #5, 6+), ending three successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.5 (6.8 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), while Radio One-owned WMMJ “Majic” improves by +.6 (fourth to third) and is a combined +1.0 in three straight gains (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4, 6+). Without an increase in four sweeps in succession for an overall -1.4 (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January 2018’s 7.1. Six straight up or flat reports by “Majic” netted a +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), but it faltered by nine-tenths in August. July 2018’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history. When Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA dropped three-tenths in December, it curtailed at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Not only does “Classical 90.9” bounce back in “Holiday” 2018 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#12 to #7). Prior to September 2018, WETA had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 22 ratings periods. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a gain of six-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “BIG 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Radio Station” erases that increase with a -1.0 to 3.6 (sixth to tenth, 6+). Co-owned alternative WWDC “DC-101” is a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.5 – 2.0, flat at #17, 6+). Entering the December report, WWDC was within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In addition to being a collective -1.4 via three straight decreases (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” exits the top ten (#10 to #12).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of its December loss of six-tenths, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” regresses by another half-share (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). It posted three positive spikes in a row immediately prior to December 2018 for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+).

At the same time that Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” hangs out an increase of one-half share (5.1 – 5.6, fifth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM falters by seven-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.0, #9 to #11, 6+). WBZ-FM, which spiraled one full-share in December, is the key station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, WEEI-FM cratered two full-shares in December. A December -1.0 by “The Sports Hub” suspended four straight increases that accounted for a +2.3 (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+); WEEI-FM was a collective +1.1 in October and November (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).

As the result of four straight decreases (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is a collective -1.1, yet it actually advances from seventh to sixth.

In five consecutive down or flat ratings periods, Boston University news/talker WBUR is an overall -1.5 (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, fifth to seventh, 6+).

Erasing December’s two-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss twice that margin (2.8 – 2.4, -.4, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH slips from #13 to #14. WGBH was off eight-tenths in November.

Boston Music Formats – A lofty +9.2 in three straight increases (5.3 – 5.6 – 8.9 – 14.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (14.5) in three years (14.8, “Holiday” 2015). Entering Boston’s top twenty (#22 to #20) is iHeartMedia Worcester’s similarly-formatted WSRS “96-1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station,” which has more than doubled (+.9) its 6+-share since surfacing in August 2018 (.6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Nearly wiping away December’s +.8 in its entirety, co-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). WZLX was stuck on 5.2 (6+) in October and November before hitting December 2018’s 6.0, its strongest 6+-performance in more than four years (6.4, September 2014). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders four-tenths to 2.9 (flat at #12), thus ending five successive increases that netted a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Right behind it is co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5,” which is within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 19th straight sweep (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, unchanged at #13, 6+). Even though Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), “Country 102.5” manages to climb from ninth to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – has a September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 (flat at #18, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is anchored at #18. Its loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that yielded six-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+).

May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 6+ stats for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” are an incredibly consistent .9 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#26 to #25, 6+). Co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is unchanged from December in both 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#30). Its three-tenths’ increase in September pulled the plug on seven straight (mostly) flat or down trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .7 – .6, 6+).

After regaining the one-tenth it dropped in November (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN forfeits six-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.6, #20 to #21, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Adult contemporary boasts this market’s top two finishers: Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (second to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.5 – 7.1, -.4, #1 the past seven sweeps to #2, 6+). “Lite FM” is an overall +1.9 through three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. WLYF wiped away half of October’s -.6 with a November improvement of three-tenths, while “Easy” bounced back from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a December increase of three-tenths. Prior to November, WFEZ was +1.0 through three straight gains (6.9 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+). Improving by six-tenths each in “Holiday” 2018 are its urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105 – Today’s R&B and Old School” (5.9 – 6.5, fourth to third, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.5 – Miami Pop Music” (3.4, #15 to #11, 6+), which had been down by one-tenth in both November and December (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (3.9 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) iHeartMedia’s Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM Donde Viven Tus Hits” continues at #6. Trending 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.6 (October-November-December, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System’s WCMQ (fifth to fourth) gains one-half share to 6.1 (6+), which is where “Zeta 92.3” was in September. Meanwhile, co-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). This (3.9) is its lowest 6+ showing since May 2018’s 3.7. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are steady from December 2018: Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3,” without an increase for the third time in a row for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0, unchanged at #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” likewise down or flat for the third straight sweep for a collective -.5 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, #14 to #15, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three straight negative trends, Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM is an overall -1.7 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, third to fifth, 6+). Its -.6 in November curtailed three straight upticks which netted a +1.5 (5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+). A cumulative -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 slices in half the 6+-share of co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, #21 to #22, 6+). Just before December’s decrease, KTTH put together three increases in a row for a collective +.9 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). Through six straight May through November reports without a loss, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI was up three-tenths (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), but “Talk Radio 570” is now a collective -.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, flat at #25, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” loses three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), after a collective +.7 in October and November. Immediately prior to October, the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners was off eight-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In four consecutive up or flat sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), but “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falters by a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO repeats its 2.4 from December and manages to progress from #18 to #17. Off by three-tenths in December, KOMO was -.2 in June (2.6 – 2.4, 6+); +.2 in both August and September (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); -.2 in October (2.7 – 2.5, 6+); and +.2 in November (2.5 – 2.7, 6+).

Continuing in the runner-up slot, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW – which was #1 in September 2018 – returns half of December’s two-tenths’ increase (6.0 – 5.9, -.1, 6+). It lost one-half share in November after posting four consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). October’s 6.3 was its highest 6+-share since April’s 6.5.

Seattle Music Formats – More than tripling (+7.8) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing (11.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (11.8). Its November improvement of seven-tenths suspended four successive decreases that produced an overall -1.6 (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Its format rival – Entercom’s KSWD (which was country KMPS 14 months ago) – is an overall -1.3 in November and December (5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) as “The Sound” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm 106.9” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” erupts with a +1.3 to 5.1 (6+), rocketing into the top five (#11 to #4) and recording its highest 6+-stat (5.1) in exactly one year (5.7, “Holiday” 2017). As the result of its third straight up or flat trend, CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” is a collective +.8 (2.9  – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and leaps from #15 to #11. In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK was a collective -1.6 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” picks up two-tenths to 3.9 and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9, 6+). December’s 3.7 is the lowest 6+-showing for KZOK since its 3.6 in December 2017. Down four-tenths in December, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For New Country” falters by another six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+), fading from #9 to #15. Immediately after adding sixth-tenths in December (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” relinquishes one-half share to 2.4 (#16 to #17, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, KISW “99.9 Seattle Rock Music” is without an improvement for the eighth straight time for a collective -2.2 (6.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), while hot AC sibling KHTP “Hot 103.7” is a collective -1.4 in eight consecutive down or flat reports (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0, #19 to #20, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following its December loss of six-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” erodes by another -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Through four straight gains, WJR was a combined +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+).

Having logged three upticks in a row for a +1.8  (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” returns all of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+). Despite its “Holiday” 2018 -1.3, the flagship of the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers actually advances from sixth to fifth.   

A two-tenths’ uptick in December by co-owned WWJ (6.6 – 6.8, 6+) turns into a seven-tenths’ “Holiday” 2018 decline (6.1, steady at #2, 6+). “News Radio 950” was off one-half share in November, halting three consecutive gains that yielded an overall +1.6 (5.5 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+).

Down one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM slips from #19 to #20. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM applied the brakes to eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Four straight gains by WDET resulted in an overall +.9 (.6 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+), but the Wayne State University news/talk facility has since dropped a collective three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, flat at #22, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – In four straight increases, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” has more than tripled (an eye-popping +12.2) its 6+-share since September (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this (17.9) is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. In addition to recording its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback Hip-Hip and R&B” leaps into the top ten (#12      to #7) with its best 6+-stat (4.4) since February 2017’s 5.2. Conversely, while flat at #3, co-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” spirals by a collective -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). Its +.5 in November halted three straight declines that led to a cumulative -1.0 (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.4 – 7.3, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. Independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” improves by one-half share (2.4 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). Even though Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC erodes by a combined -2.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” continues at #5. In three successive declines (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” is a cumulative -1.9 and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). The last time WYCD fell below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2017 (3.8). Despite being off by a collective nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” carries on at #4. Without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” nonetheless advances from #11 to #10.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective +1.2 via four increases in a row (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), KTAR-FM is now an overall -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+) and falls out of the top ten (#8 to #12). In November, the Bonneville news/talk outlet reached the four-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 4.0. Notwithstanding that it is off three-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI remains at #18. After dropping four-tenths in September, “News Talk 550” duplicated October’s gain of two-tenths in November (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+).

Immediately following its one-half share September increase to 3.1 (6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is now a combined -1.2 in four straight dips (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, flat at #21, 6+).  September 2018 marked the first time the key station of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks reached the three-share level (6+) since October 2017’s 3.0.

Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ slips from #14 to #15. October’s 3.1 was its best 6+-showing since April’s 3.6.

Phoenix Music Formats – Four positive spikes in a row by KESZ result in a collective +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+) as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet is #1 for the fourth straight time. This (15.0) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. It entered the October sweep with four consecutive declines (including September’s -1.2) that accounted for an overall -2.9 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 6.1, 6+). After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Entercom’s KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” roars back from December’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (4.5 – 3.3 – 4.4, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). A -1.2 to 5.1 (third to fourth, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” ends three straight up or flat trends that yielded four-tenths (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Having doubled November’s gain of four-tenths with a December increase of eight-tenths (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” returns one full-share of that +1.2 (4.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). Steady at #9, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” picks up one-tenth to 3.5 (6+), halting four straight decreases that led to a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). In seven straight sweeps without a loss, The Yucaipa Companies’ classic hits-oldies KOAI was a collective +1.2 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), but “The Oasis” returns one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #19, 6+). It is tied with hot AC sibling KMVA “Hot,” which is without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for a collective -1.3 since July (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, unchanged at #19, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard-owned KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (3.4 – 2.9, #9 to #11, 6+) and Farmworker Education Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.8, #11 to #12), which was +1.3 in three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.0 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of six straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO is an overall -1.2, dropping from #12 to #13. “News Radio 830” has been +.8 (April 2018); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); +.5 (July); and now -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). The Timberwolves and Twins flagship is two-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK, which is -1.1 in three successive ratings periods without an increase (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+); “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” gained seven-tenths in October. A collective +.4 in October and November (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY is off a cumulative -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, #17 to #18, 6+). An August improvement of three-tenths by “My Talk 107.1” interrupted three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+).

Following four consecutive increases that yielded a cumulative +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild stays at #6. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” has a February 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7 – 1.0 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

After three straight increases that produced a +1.0 (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW is -.7 in three straight drops (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, #10 to #9, 6+). Immediately prior, KNOW was a collective -2.2 in four negative moves in a row (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – A collective -1.4 in October and November (8.0 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” answers with a combined +6.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+), and repeats at #1. This (12.6) is the strongest 6+-stat for any Minneapolis station since “Kool” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. In three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM was off a collective eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+) but it erases that deficit with a +.9 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.0) its 6+-share in four successive up or flat trends (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” pops on at #19. Owing to five (modest) increases in a row (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN is a collective +1.1 and shifts from #15 to #14. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by nearly two full-shares (-1.9), virtually equally divided between Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which erodes -1.0 in consecutive sweeps (7.3 – 6.3 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, #10 to #12, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Before being a combined +.4 in September and October (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), “KS-95” – which held the lead position seven straight sweeps prior to being ousted in August – logged four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.5 (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Even though it fully erases December’s gain of six-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to December’s +.6, KDWB was a collective -1.7 in three decreases in succession (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+). After logging consecutive bumps of two-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). An overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+), Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” relinquishes one-half share to 5.9 (6+) yet actually advances from third to a second-place tie with KDWB.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, flat at #9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” is off a collective eight-tenths. KOGO was +.8 (January 2018); -.7 (February); +.8 (March); +.6 (May); -.6 (August); and -.7 (December). October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPMhistory. Returning the one-tenth it picked up in December (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” moves from #22 to #21, while iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down a combined half-share in three straight down or flat moves (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, steady at #23, 6+).

Flat at #25, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is off three-tenths through three consecutive down or flat reports (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+). November’s 1.2 was its highest 6+-stat since April (1.2, as well). Finishing at #27 and #28, respectively, are Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (flat at .8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station,” which is down or flat for the third successive time for a -.4 (.9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

An overall -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which was #1 the past three ratings periods, segues to the runner-up slot. Before reaching the top spot in October, KPBS shifted from first to second (April); returned to #1 (May); dropped from first to third (June); slipped from third to fourth (July); returned to first (August); and back-shifted from first to second (September).

San Diego Music Formats – Exceeding its December +2.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +2.6 (3.3 – 5.8 – 8.4, 6+),  Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first. This (8.4) is its highest 6+-stat in exactly one year (9.5, “Holiday” 2017). A one-half share improvement (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) by alternative sibling KBZT propels “Alt 94.9” into the top twenty (#17). Cratering by a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” fades from the runner-up slot to sixth-place. In seven consecutive sweeps without a loss, KHTS (#1 in September) was a collective +2.8 (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but it lost two-tenths in October. The 6+ AQH share of classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is sliced in half (2.4 – 1.2, 6+) as “105.7 Max FM” falls off the top twenty (#17 to #23). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KXSN “Sunny 98.1 San Diego’s Greatest Hits” regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth report in a row for a collective -1.3 (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Local Media of San Diego-operated XHRM “Magic 92.5 The Beat of San Diego” actually improves from seventh to sixth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ is a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1). Having registered a .9 (6+) in November and December, MVS International Spanish adult hits XOCL disappears from print.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” slips from #13 to #14. The flagship of the NHL’s Tampa Lightning was a combined -.9 in September and October (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), following August’s +.6.  Through three straight down or flat sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is -1.0. “The Bone” erased September’s -.2 with an October gain of three-tenths. Prior to September, WHPT was without a loss the previous four sweeps for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+).

Up one-tenth (2.1 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” inches up from #20 to #19. WDAE was a combined +.6 in September and October (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but that disappeared in November and December (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

A December loss of one-tenth by University of South Florida news/talk WUSF snapped at three its string of consecutive increases that netted nine-tenths (1.4 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WUSF surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – In addition to ranking #1 for the 77th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is +4.8 in three straight upticks (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). This (13.7) is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Not only does Beasley Media Group’s WPBB double (+2.3) its 6+-stat via four straight up or flat monthlies (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), it catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). During the December 2018 sweep, WPBB used the “B-98.7” handle, but the day after Christmas (12/26), it changed format and imaging to “98.7 The Shark – The Next Generation Of Classic Rock.” The market’s (6+) country share shrinks by -1.2, equally divided between WPBB sibling WQYK “99.5 QYK” (-.6, third to fourth) and iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” (4.6, -.6, fifth to sixth). This is the third slip in a row for WQYK for a collective -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “US-103.5” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). Co-owned hot AC WTMX “Mix 100.7” is a collective +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” is -1.2 in three successive dips (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) but ranks #2 for the sixth sweep in succession.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an overall -1.9 and drops from sixth to seventh. The flagship of the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies was +1.1 (October); -1.1 (November); and  -.6 in December. Co-owned news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+).

After posting four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). November’s 4.4 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.5). In early-September, KSE Radio Ventures transitioned country KWOF “The Wolf” to KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5.” The flagship of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.4 – .3 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).

On top in September, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December, Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR falters by one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A one-tenth November decline ended three consecutive gains that netted +1.5 (5.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+). KCFR was #1 in January 2018, March, and May, as well. Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC forfeits the two-tenths it gained in December (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #21, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – Adding a +5.2 to December’s +2.7 (7.6 – 12.8, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” repeats at #1. Immediately prior to December, KOSI was a collective -1.1 in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after it adds a +1.0, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” surrenders it in its entirety (5.0 – 4.0, -1.0, third to tenth, 6+). “The Fox” was stuck on 4.2 (6+) in August and September and then locked on 4.0 (6+) in October and November; December’s 5.0 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018’s 5.2. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which sees it December gain of nine-tenths (following a -.5 in November) transition to a “Holiday” 2018 loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, #14 to #17, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 in five consecutive decreases (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s country KYGO shifts from sixth to seventh.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #11 to #12, 6+), while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off a collective six-tenths in three slips in a row (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.0, #13 to #14, 6+). WCBM was -.5 in September and +1.0 in October. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. When WBAL gained one-tenth in September to 2.5 (6+), it halted five straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective -.9 (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Since resurfacing in the Baltimore report in May, Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL has a topline of  .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .3 – .3 (flat at #29, 6+).

Tacking on three-tenths to December’s +.5 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” – which was -1.0 in November – advances from seventh to fourth. An overall +1.1 as a result of four consecutive up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); a combined -1.0 in May and June; -1.0 in November; and +.5 (December).

Off an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” skids from #11 to #13. November’s +.3 vanished with a December -.3; WYPR was a collective -.5 in August and September (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths (1.4 – 1.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falters by -.4 to 1.3 (6+) and remains at #17. Before slipping to 1.0 (6+) in August, WAMU notched a 1.1 (6+) five consecutive times in the Baltimore report.

Climbing from #27 to #23, Entercom business news WDCH has a March 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of: .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .7 ( 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – Not only has Entercom adult contemporary WLIF more than tripled (+10.2) its 6+-stat via five straight positive spikes (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 10.1 – 15.2, 6+), “Today’s 101.9” repeats at #1. This (15.2) is the highest 6+-share by any outlet in the market since WLIF posted a 16.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Owing to six up or flat Baltimore reports in succession, iHeartMedia Washington, DC’s similarly programmed WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” nearly quadruples (+2.6) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 2.1 – 3.6, #15 to #11, 6+). Up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), adult hits sibling WQSR “102.7 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” relinquishes one full-share to 4.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Entering the November ratings period, “Jack” was without an increase three months in a row, resulting in a loss of nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). In December, Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” shifted to second, following 11 straight survey periods at #1. “Magic” is down seven-tenths (8.6 – 7.9, 6+), but continues in the runner-up slot. Dropping one-half share (each) are Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” (flat at #4) and iHeartMedia Washington, DC alternative WWDC “DC-101” (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). “The Bay” is -1.2 in three straight drops (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). This is the fifth time in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight decreases by Entercom news/talk KMOX result in an overall -3.0 (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+), as “The Voice of St. Louis” slips from third to sixth. The St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship, which was on top in September and October, entered the November sweep a collective +1.0 via three increases in succession (7.4 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in August and September and then stuck on 2.8 (6+) in October and November, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a collective -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, #17 to #18, 6+). When KFTK gained two-tenths in October, it curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+) sends Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” back to the top ten (#12 to #10). Four straight up or flat moves netted WXOS a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+) with October’s 4.0 its strongest 6+-showing since January 2018 (4.0, as well).

While flat at 3.2 (6+), KWMU nonetheless progresses from #15 to #13. Before faltering by three-tenths in December, the University of Missouri news/talk outlet had been without a loss for six consecutive ratings periods for a net gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KEZK pile on the second-largest 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase by any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed so far (9.8 – 15.6, +5.8, 6+), “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” repeats at #1. Moreover, 15.6 is the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. (For the record, the most robust 6+ December 2018 – December 2018 increase so far is the +6.2 by Philadelphia AC WBEB.) Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, Hubbard’s KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” spirals by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+) but remains in seventh-place. After registering a July 2018 through November 2018 repetitive sequence of 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), co-owned KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” improved by one-half share in December – only to surrender seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.1, flat at #4, 6+). Having posted back-to-back improvements in October and November that produced an overall +1.4 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD is now a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Slumping by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is co-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9 – St. Louis’ New Alternative” (2.3 – 1.7, #19 to #18, 6+). As a result of five consecutive survey periods without an increase, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.2 (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, #14 to #15, 6+). Prior to December, the last time KSLZ was below a four-share (6+) was in January 2018 (3.9).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

| January 23, 2019

iHeartMedia’s Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court.  The United States Bankruptcy Court in Houston has confirmed the Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia.  The company says the restructuring process will be completed within the first half of 2019.  Under the terms of the Plan, iHeartMedia will complete a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that will reduce its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion and will separate Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. from iHeartMedia, creating two independent public companies. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are delighted to reach this significant milestone in our restructuring process, which will give us a new capital structure that matches the strong operating performance of our business. iHeartMedia’s unique place in the advertising world perfectly positions us to take advantage of the renaissance underway in audio.”

Bruce Gilbert Re-Ups with Cumulus-Westwood One Sports. Sports radio programmer Bruce Gilbert signs a new, multi-year deal with Cumulus Media and Westwood One to continue serving as SVP of sports.  Gilbert’s position entails leading “the curation, development, and execution of all sports content initiatives” and his overseeing the strategic direction of the company’s O&O sports talk outlets.  Gilbert says, “I am so fortunate to be a part of the incredible Westwood One sports portfolio and to get to interact with the many outstanding Cumulus sports brands.  Our partners, talent, producers, podcasters, anchors, and analysts are all dedicated to capturing, celebrating, debating, and discussing sports across our great radio stations and our Westwood One affiliate stations.  I want to thank Mike McVay, Suzanne Grimes, and Charles Steinhauer for supporting our efforts to serve sports fans and giving us the platform to elevate the brands of our many valuable advertising partners.”

WPOP, Hartford Adds FM Signal. New translator W265EB at 100.9 FM is carrying the programming of iHeartMedia Hartford news/talk WPOP-AM.  The translator is licensed to Hartford, is directional to the south-southwest and has an ERP of 220 watts.   WPOP airs the local “Vinnie Penn Project” morning show, the Boston-based “Financial Exchange” program, content from Bloomberg Radio and the regionally syndicated Howie Carr show during daylight hours.

Cory Smith Joins Westwood One in New Digital Role. Former ESPN director of sports marketing Cory Smith joins Westwood One in the newly created role of vice president, digital sales marketing & operations.  In this post, Smith “is responsible for digital sales planning, ad sales marketing, audience development, and ad operations, focusing on the rapidly growing podcast space.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One is dominating the podcast landscape with top shows, massive promotional power, and national and local sales teams, making it the fastest growing podcast network today.  Cory joins the team at a perfect time as our podcast business is exploding. He brings extensive digital audio experience, marketing expertise, and proven ability to build best-in-class operations.”

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root: ‘I’m an Ad Exec and Pitch Man First and Foremost.’  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s been beseeched by fellow talkers to share the revenue secrets for his USA Radio program and its Newsmax TV simulcast.  Calling his philosophy/strategy “the future of conservative talk radio,” Root says he’s an “advertising executive and a pitch man first and foremost who also happens to have a three-hour, daily show.”  Root says previous experiences from the other side of the fence – as a big-spending radio advertiser – left him disappointed because the hosts on whose shows he advertised treated him poorly and did “nothing nice or special for me.”  He vowed to treat his advertisers differently when he became a host.  He says he calls the CEO of every company that advertises with him once a month to ask how he’s doing and if he can do more.  He gives “personal testimony for every product sold on my show, to make their products ‘the greatest’ and to make the CEO of each advertiser into a celebrity.”  Most important, Root says he does this without the ratings that agencies demand because his platforms don’t pay for ratings services.  “It’s not about ratings, it’s about personal service.” Root says the “age of Trump” makes finding new advertisers very difficult so it’s important to take care of loyal clients.  He concludes, “Talk radio will not survive this ‘sea change’ unless the hosts learn to sell, sell, sell.”

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Covington Catholic Incident, Trump-Russia Investigation, Military Transgender Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Ocasio-Cortez’s Climate Change Prediction, and NFL Ref Woes/Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22). The battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the ongoing federal government shutdown; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s military transgender ban; the Democrats considering a run for president in 2020; the flap over Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that climate change will destroy the world in 12 years; and the NFL’s referee problems and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Catches Up with Russian Sensation, ‘Leonid & Friends.’  A group of 11 superb, multi-generational musicians from Russia, Ukraine, and several other former Soviet bloc countries has become an international sensation over the past three years as a “tribute” band to the legendary American ensemble, Chicago.  They are reportedly so good that even members of the original Chicago have joined their growing legion of fans.  Fueled largely by their outstanding video performances on YouTube, Leonid & Friends have gathered enough of a fan base in the US to be able to put together a tremendously successful three-week, sold-out tour of mid-sized venues across the nation, culminating with a performance last evening (1/22) at the historic Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater, Florida.  TALKERS publisher and devoted rocker from the golden era of album radio, Michael Harrison, attended the concert and landed an exclusive interview with the leader and founder of the band, multi-instrumentalist Leonid Vorobyev for a forthcoming podcast.  Harrison (left) is pictured with Vorobyev (right) backstage at the Capitol during the band’s sound check.  Harrison raves, “I have been a longtime fan of Chicago – most notably their early, rockin’ days when Terry Kath was still alive.  This amazing new band captures the spirit and energy of the original Chicago and then takes it to a level that I’ve never seen or heard before.  Last night’s concert was the absolute best live rock performance I’ve seen since being privileged to attend the two historic private shows of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band back at the Roxy in LA during the 1970s.  Harrison continues, “The fact that a cover band can muster up so much excitement among seasoned music fans is a sign of the times and the new era in which we are living… rock ‘n’ roll is now a mature, historic genre like classical music or the Great American Songbook in which it is about the songs and arrangements themselves – not just the original performers – and they can be brought to life by new, energized, major league musicians.  It’s sort of like watching a revival of ‘My Fair Lady’ at Lincoln Center or listening to the New York Philharmonic perform a symphony by Mozart.”  Harrison concludes, “It’s tragic how music radio is so far behind the curve on this type of thing as well as other developments in the culture and dissemination of popular music.”  To learn more about Leonid & Friends click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Kelly Ford is back in the New York groove at Cumulus Media’s country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” hosting the new “Kelly Ford in the Morning” show, effective February 4.  Ford was the original midday host on WNSH when it launched as a country outlet.  She moved to Nashville to be part of the Westwood One-syndicated “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” show (now “The Ty Bentli Show”).  Ford says, “When [Cumulus New York VP and market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] John Foxx first proposed the idea of ‘Kelly Ford in the Morning,’ of course my reaction was ‘What the Ford?!’ And my second was, ‘Truck yeah!’ I can’t thank Chad and John enough for bringing me back and [EVP content and programming] Mike McVay for making it happen.  It’s like a full circle moment for me as I was the first live voice heard on ‘NASH FM 94.7.’  To be able to work again with the New York NASH team, especially Katie Neal and Jesse Addy, it’s like having the (country) band back together again.”

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR has lost a collective nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.4, unchanged at #21, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). It is tied at #21 with Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which drops two-tenths to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+), thus ending eight straight monthly reports without a loss that netted one-half share (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). After being up or flat the past five sweeps for an overall increase of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC drops one-tenth to 1.1 and is flat at #24 (6+).

This is the third loss in succession for Entercom sports talk WFAN, which is -1.2 in that stretch (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October. Part of a three-way tie at #21 (with WOR and WKXW), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off a cumulative four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.8 – 1.5- 1.4, #23 to #21, 6+), directly following an overall gain of four-tenths via four straight up or flat monthlies by the flagship of the New York Jets and New York Knicks (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+).

The market’s (6+) all-news share shrinks by nine-tenths as Entercom’s WINS forfeits one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is off four-tenths (3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). WINS was frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September; stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November; then off one-tenth in December. The setback by WCBS-AM halts four consecutive upticks that produced a net gain of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); +.6 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2, #9 to #10, 6+). For the fourth time in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (6+), but slips from #28 to #29. Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three straight times.

New York City Music Formats – Tacking on a +3.4 to December’s +2.4 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 18th successive sweep. A combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+), “Lite FM” posted a 13.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Advancing from #19 to #15, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” nets nine-tenths in four straight up or flat reports (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Significant ups/down continue for Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was a collective +.5 in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+); -.6 in December; and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.0, seventh to fourth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), is a collective -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Flat at #8, Emmis rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97”  is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is off a collective three-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the eighth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to ninth. Co-owned news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” is unchanged from December in (6+) share (.8) and (6+) market rank (#31). By dropping two-tenths (.8 – .6, 6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” drifts from #31 to #38. In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC gained two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, 6+), but “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .7 in “Holiday” 2018 (#35 to #33, 6+).

After practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three straight gains (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” surrenders two-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) as the AM flagship of the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams dips from #26 to #27. Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” spiraled by -1.4 in December. It stabilizes at .7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 yet climbs from #35 to #33. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

Up three-tenths in December (2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” regresses by one-half share to 2.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #13).

The eleven (11) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#14 to #16) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST on top for the third straight time, “Coast 103.5” is up for the fifth ratings period in succession for an overall +8.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 6+-stat (13.0) exceeds the combined total of the #2 (Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH 4.4, 6+); #3 (iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG, 4.0, 6+); and #4 (Entercom smooth AC KTWV, 3.6, 6+) finishers. KOST logged an 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Its all-Christmas music challenger this year – Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO – picks up three-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and progresses from #16 to #12. In four of the last five reports, “Go Country 105 FM” notched a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) boosts Entercom alternative KROQ from #20 to #14 and curtails four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). As a result of five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned KRTH (third to second) has lost a collective seven-tenths. “K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). When KBIG gained two-tenths in December, it snapped at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, however, “104.3 My-FM” sputters by nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.0, second to third, 6+). KBIG spent five successive months at #1before being dislodged (by KRTH) in October. Within 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 19 survey periods, co-owned mainstream CHR KIIS falters by one-half share to 3.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); “102.7 Kiss FM” was off four-tenths in December. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory for the 19th time in a row (flat at 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). As the result of four consecutive gains (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC was a collective +.7, but the University of Southern California classical outlet slips by two-tenths (2.1, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth time in a row (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23 to #24, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is an overall -1.2 in that period. Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fifth straight sweep for an overall loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+) but continues at #20. The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the fourth sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). Immediately prior to the December sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox logged three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+). Dipping from #23 to #26, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 (6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) proceeds from a three-way tie at #12 to a three-way scrum at #9. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP was up one half-share, but “ESPN Chicago 1000” surrenders three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.2, #22 to #24, 6+).

In four consecutive months without a loss, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM was a collective +1.1 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), but the flagship of the NFL’s Chicago Bears falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot. It shifted from first to second in December.

By losing three-tenths to 2.6 (#12 to #14), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ends four straight up or flat trends that generated a gain of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), with December’s 2.9 its best 6+-showing since April 2018’s 3.0.

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of December’s +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” piles on a +4.9 to 13.3 (6+) and repeats at #1. WLIT was 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017. One of WLIT’s AC rivals – Venture Technologies Group’s WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” – is down or flat for the fifth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN dropped three-tenths in December. Now, “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” falters by twice that margin (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), tumbling out of the top ten (#9 to #13). WUSN had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the past 17 ratings periods. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country,” which was without a gain the past four sweeps for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), picks up one-tenth (1.5, #23 to #22, 6+). Entercom urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams,” a collective +.5 in November and December (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+) forfeits that entire increase (3.0, -.5, eighth to ninth, 6+). While it is unchanged at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Repeating at #7, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.8 in four straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is off for the third time in succession for a -1.0 (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO advances from #16 to #15. KSFO was up seven-tenths in October, after being a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO has a September 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 (#19 to #20, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

In a down-up pattern (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” moves from #14 to #12. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of four-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (2.2 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” dips from #17 to #18. KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM adds one-tenth to December’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+) and repeats at #3. KCBS-AM had been at #2 ten (10) straight sweeps before shifting to #3 in December.

Following 11 straight months at #1, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (7.6 – 7.5, -.1, 6+) segues to #2. December 2018’s 7.6 is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended 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+). More than doubling its 6+-share (+.5) in seventh straight up or flat trends (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” moves from #30 to #29.

San Francisco Music Formats – Having leaped from sixth to second in December, Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM (6.4 – 10.7, +4.3, 6+) marches to #1. In “Holiday” 2017, KOIT-FM recorded a 9.2 (6+). Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined nine-tenths in three drops in a row (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #4, 6+). In addition to picking up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+), which halts at five a consecutive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1” moves into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Erasing December’s -.5 with a “Holiday” 2018 +.5 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” zooms from tenth to fifth. December’s 3.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 2.6. A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.6 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7,” which was up eight-tenths in November, drifts from the top ten (#10 to #14). After posting one-half share increases in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), University of Southern California-owned classical outlet KDFC drops one-tenth to 3.0 (6+) but remains at #9. In five straight reports without an increase (2.1      – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, #23, 6+), Entercom alternative KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” is an overall -.7. At #25, co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has lost nine-tenths in five consecutive negative or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), while Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” hasn’t had an increase in five straight reports and has surrendered 50% (.9) of its 6+share in that stretch (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #27, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss five months in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 2.7 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+). Just prior to the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.4 in four straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, flat at #36, 6+).

With its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” progresses from #18 to #14. It overtakes Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time,” which is off a collective eight-tenths in three dips in a row (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 24, 6+) and slumps from #14 to #18. Meanwhile, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0, #31 to #33, 6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight time for an overall decline of three-tenths (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is unchanged from December in 6+-share (3.1) and 6+-market rank (#13). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In eight successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE has almost tripled (+4.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1 – 7.1, 6+), as “Star 102.1” marches from third to first. In “Holiday” 2017, “Star” logged a 6.4 (6+). On top the past 12 reports, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+) shifts to #3. After a combined -1.4 in June and July, “Kiss” was +1.1 in August and down one-half share in November. Having posted a 4.3 (6+) in three of the last six sweeps (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV erupts with a +1.8 to 6.1 (6+) and leaps from fifth to second with its best 6+-showing (6.1) since 7.2 in Holiday 2017. A combined +1.4 in four successive improvements (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” carries on at #4. At the same time. WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” has been +.7 (September); -.8 (October); +.6 (November); and a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.2, #30, 6+). Showing December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (3.8, #11 to #6, 6+) and City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” (1.6 – 2.2, #21, 6+). “The Eagle” had been off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Through five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB was a combined -1.0 (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), but “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up four-tenths to 2.5 (#19 to #16, 6+). Within 5.0 – 5.5 territory (6+) in each of the last 12 survey periods, iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 (second to fifth, 6+). Although it remains at #6, Cumulus Media’s KSCS “New Country 96.3” is -1.4 in six straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8, 6+). July 2018’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Replicating its December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH fades from #11 to #16. “News Radio 740” posted a November gain of six-tenths to 4.3, its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

In six straight up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” is a collective +.5 as the AM flagship of the Houston Texans repeats at #22. Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 (6+) for the fourth straight month and continues at #25, while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, 6+) and is flat at #28.

Not only is KUHF without an increase for the sixth successive time for a collective -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), the University of Houston news/talk station exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Houston Music Formats – An adult contemporary station holds the #1 position in each of the top six PPM-markets. In this Texas metro, iHeartMedia’s KODA “Sunny 99.1” tacks on a +2.4 to December’s +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+) and sets the pace for the ninth straight time. In “Holiday” 2017, “Sunny” recorded a 12.5, the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. Advancing from seventh to sixth, KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” is an overall +1.5 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). Similarly, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” is a collective +1.6 as the result of five upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Another positive streak, however, draws to a close as Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+), erodes by -1.5 to 6.5 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. An improvement of one-tenth to .9 (#26 to #23, 6+) by Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” curtails seven ratings periods in succession without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, 6+). This marks the seventh straight sweep without an increase for iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” which is an overall -1.8 since June 2018 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.2, #9 to #14, 6+). In four straight reports without an increase, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #8, 6+). A cumulative -2.0 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – There’s truly major news here as Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 sweeps – erodes by a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is off two-tenths (1.4 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Recording its seventh sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of six-tenths (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6 – .7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK jumps from #28 to #25.

Co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” drops one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+) yet improves from ninth to eighth. Prior to November 2018, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four consecutive positive moves (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Flat at #19, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is off two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+). After three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), the Atlanta Braves flagship picked up one-tenth in December.

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, WABE was a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, 6+), but the City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk outlet surrenders half that increase (3.7, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is unchanged from December in both 6+-share (.7) and 6+-market rank (#25).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH follow up December’s +1.0 with a +3.2 (4.4 – 5.4 – 8.6, 6+), “The Fish” swims from fourth to first. In advance of the December sweep, WFSH posted three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “The Fish” notched an 8.5 (6+). Registering increases of one-half share each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (6.3, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (5.6, steady at #5, 6+). “V-103” was a combined -1.4 in November and December (7.2 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “B-98.5” snaps at three a consecutive string of (slight) decreases that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Radio One urban AC and gospel siblings WAMJ “Majic” (5.1 – 4.4, fifth to seventh, 6+) and WPZE “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” (3.7 – 3.0, #13 to #15, 6+). For the last ten (10) sweeps, “Majic” had been within 5.1 – 5.6 range (6+). In an up/down pattern (3.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” departs the top ten (#10 to #14). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull,” is a collective +1.0 via three straight increases (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+). November’s gain of six-tenths followed three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Having more than doubled (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight positive spikes (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 drops three-tenths and departs the top twenty (1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” catches Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #10 to #12, 6+). “Power” was -1.2 in December, while “Q-100” was -.6. Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Power” had been without a loss the previous seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #18, Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” is an overall -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), immediately following seven straight ratings periods without a decrease that generated a +1.4 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22.

The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies – Entercom’s WIP – was -.8 (February 2018); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); -1.0 (November); and now +.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 7.1, fourth to second, 6+). “Sports Radio 94.1” was #1 in October. Without a loss for the fourth time in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” zooms from #15 to #12. Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in August, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” spirals by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.3, flat at #7, 6+).

Public news/talk WHYY is a collective -1.1 via three declines in a row (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #14, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive negative trends for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Registering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB (10.4 – 16.6, +6.2, 6+) repeats at #1. “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. It dialed up a 17.0 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It has a new format challenger: In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” WISX was off eight-tenths in its first report as an AC (December 2018), but rebounds with a gain of one-half share (2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #11, 6+). On the heels of December’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” further erodes by -1.4 (6.4 – 5.0, third to fifth, 6+). November’s increase of six-tenths applied the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. It’s not exactly the same scenario, but Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” follows December’s -.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 -1.0 (6.5 – 5.9 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+). Erasing December’s eight-tenths’ gain with a “Holiday” 2018 loss of nine-tenths (7.4 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM  shifts from second to third. “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” was locked on 6.6 (6+) in October and November. Off seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (6.2 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+); Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.3 – 3.6, eighth to ninth, 6+); and iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.8, #10 to #12, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), WMGK dropped seven-tenths in December. “Philadelphia’s Country Station” was -1.1 in December and +.6 in November. After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. The September 2018 through December 2018 topline for “Q-102” was 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.5 via three decreases in succession (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+). Down (slightly) or flat for the fourth straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC nonetheless inches up from #26 to #25. Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Despite recording its third drop in a row for a collective -1.4 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN advances from fifth to fourth. In November, the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees was in a three-way tie at #1. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. The key station of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.5 through three decreases in a row (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, #19 to #20, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is off three-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, ninth to tenth, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS loses four-tenths (3.2 – 2.8, #9 to #11, 6+). The two cluster-mates were tied in December and separated by one-tenth of a share in November. Prior to December, WCBS-AM was up nine-tenths in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), while WINS was up six-tenths in October;

From February 2018 – September 2018, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM trended 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September. It was unlisted in October and November; resurfaced in December (2.0, 6+); and is off three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” adds a +4.0 to December’s +2.1 (4.4 – 6.5 – 10.5, 6+). “Real Variety” was off one-half share in November. This (10.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (12.6). More than tripling (+6.4) its 6+-stat in seven Long Island sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” carries on at #2. “Lite FM” recorded an 8.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” more than doubles (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five consecutive upticks (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the third straight decrease for Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Making identical 3.1 – 2.4, -.7, #11 to #14 (6+) moves are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” and Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which was off eight-tenths in December WBLS is an overall -1.5 in five straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+). Erasing December’s gain of three-tenths with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” falls from #11 to #12. Albeit that it is an overall -1.9 in six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Not only is Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” down or flat for the seventh consecutive time for an overall decline of -1.3 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), “Hot 97” drops out of the top twenty (#19 to #24). Prior to December, WQHT had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive Long Island ratings periods. In six straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 – Nash FM” has lost 50% (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH share (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.2, flat at #26, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight down or flat trend for iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2, 6+), which departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). KKDD debuted in July with a .2 (6+); gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; and up one-tenth in October.

Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; dropped one-tenth in November; was flat at .2 in December; and is off one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018 to .1 (#20 to #24, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 12th month in a row.

A -.4 in December by KVCR wiped away a +.4 via three straight modest increases (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). Now in “Holiday” 2018, the San Bernardino Community College news/talk station forfeits another two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is a collective -.4 in three straight losses (.6 – .4 – .3 – .2, #18 to #21, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +1.6 in four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” advances from sixth to fourth. December’s 3.2 marked the first time KSGN reached the three-share level since January 2018’s 3.1. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now,” which was up a collective seven-tenths in November and December (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2, 6+), surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the eighth time in a row, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA erases December’s loss of four-tenths with a gain of one-half share (6.7 – 7.2, 6+). KOLA hit #1 in May 2018 with a 6.5 (6+). While Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the eighth successive sweep, it has the dubious distinction of suffering the largest (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (10.5 – 8.5, -2.0, 6+) and is the only #1 station in these 12 markets to show a dip from December 2018. “Jose” was +1.1 in December and +2.5 in September. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a collective -1.7 via four straight negative trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, eighth to ninth, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, steady at #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 17th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.2 (6+) in November and December, after November’s loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO is off one-tenth to 2.1 (#16 to #18, 6+). Prior to November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, which was frozen on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, is a collective -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.2 – 1.0 – .9,  #28 to #27, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the disappearance of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.6 in five straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8, #14 to #13, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” which was a collective +.9 in November and December, is off one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+) and up two-tenths in December, is flat at 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+).

Unlisted in October and November, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED returned in December with a 6.7 (6+); it adds four-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and continues at #2. In December, San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuted with a .5 (6+) and adds two-tenths to .7 (unchanged at #30, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in September, October, and November, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM is a combined +6.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0 – 10.1, 6+), leaping from fourth to first. KOIT-FM was 7.6 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and is also #1 in San Francisco. In three straight San Jose slips, iHeartMedia’s similarly formatted KISQ is an overall -1.9 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.0 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+); after three straight months at #1, it falls to third. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” is now an overall +1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.8 – 4.4 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” erodes by -1.5 (5.0, third to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KIOI “Star 101.3” plummets by eight-tenths (4.6 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+ ). “Mix” had been +2.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 5.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, “Star” relinquished one-half share in December. A December gain of four-tenths by Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a collective -2.4 (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), but “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 3.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to the aforementioned negative streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. A collective +1.3 in November and December (2.4 – 2.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by seven-tenths to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+). Three increases in a row netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7 (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) but it is now -3.1 in four straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Even so, “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to seventh. Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. Flat at #26, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.1 as a result of five straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – After holding down the top spot the past six sweeps, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) shifts to the runner-up slot. When it lost three-tenths in December, “New Jersey 101.5” had its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). November 2018’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January 2018 (8.3, as well). An overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 2.8, 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR drops from #16 to #17. Entering the December sweep, WOR was without a loss the previous five ratings periods and precisely doubled (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). Down or flat for the seventh straight time for an overall loss of roughly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 – .8, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC remains at #26.

While even at #13, Entercom sports talk WFAN, which was up seven-tenths in October, is now -1.0 via three consecutive slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets relinquishes half that increase (-.6) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

The seven-tenths advantage Entercom all-news WCBS-AM held in December over co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS is down to two-tenths as WCBS-AM falters by four-tenths (2.3 – 1.9, #20 to #22, 6+), while WINS picks up one-tenth (1.6 to 1.7, #24 to #23, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in December, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS, which was up two-tenths in December, recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappeared in December (2.6, #18, 6+) but is down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.0, #21, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – In addition to being +3.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.9 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +4.9 in Middlesex and storms from second to first. Moreover, in five straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union improvements (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5 – 11.4, 6+), WLTW is an overall +6.5. It is #1 in New York City, as well; “Lite” notched an 11.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The (6+) adult contemporary share in Middlesex swells by an additional +1.7 as Beasley Media Group’s WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” boosts from 4.1 to 5.8 (seventh to third, 6+). This (5.8) is the highest 6+-share for “Magic” since February 2018’s 5.9. As a result of four successive down or flat moves (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is off by a collective -1.1. Trending a very consistent 3.7 – 3.9 (6+) from June 2018 through December 2018 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” falters by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; +.9 in December; and now -.4 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.4 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex showing since 3.3 in September 2016.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

| January 16, 2019

Cumulus Names Divello Market Manager for Abilene Cluster. Management and sales pro Paula Divello rises from director of sales for Cumulus Media’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group to vice president and market manager for its Abilene, Texas cluster that includes KTLT-FM “SportsRadio 98.1 FM The Ticket” and three music outlets. Divello says, “Thank you to Mary Berner and the Cumulus leadership team for this opportunity.  I am enthusiastically looking forward to leading from the front in Abilene.  It’s a strong cluster with an invested team, in a great market with tons of potential.  I’ve learned and grown so much with Cumulus, experienced FORCE values and culture – and how consistently they drive success. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to drive revenue, ratings, and community involvement for Cumulus as the new vice president/market manager in Abilene.”

Urban One Founder Cathy Hughes to Be Inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. The founder and chairperson of Urban One, Cathy Hughes, will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the 2019 NAB Show during the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on Monday, April 8 at the Encore in Las Vegas.  Hughes built what was formerly Radio One after buying her first radio station – WOL-AM, Washington – in 1980.  She became the first black woman to own a station in a major market.  At WOL-AM, she created the “24-Hour Talk from a Black Perspective” format.  Today’s Urban One is a publicly traded company operated by Hughes’ son Alfred Liggins III.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Cathy Hughes is a truly remarkable broadcaster and entrepreneur whose contributions continue to greatly influence and drive our industry.  We look forward to honoring Cathy with this well-deserved award at this year’s NAB Show.”

Facebook Announces Local News Initiative. Via a blog post by vice president of global news partnerships (former NBC and CNN news personality) Campbell Brown, social media behemoth Facebook announces “an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead.”  Brown writes that the goal of the initiative is two-fold: to support “local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs in the immediate future; and helping local news organizations build sustainable business models, through both our product and partnership work.  Over time, we think this work can have the added benefit of fostering civic engagement, which research suggests is directly correlated with people’s reading of local news.”  She says Facebook will invest $300 million over the next three years.  You can read about the breakdown of where that money is being spent here.  Brown also says Facebook will hold a two-day “Accelerate: Local News” summit early this year that will be “devoted to local news, in partnership with Knight Foundation and the Online News Association.  Our goal is to bring together top local US news organization leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and funders to discuss, design and drive towards solutions that address today’s most pressing local news challenges.”

iHeartMedia and Fremont Street Experiences Announce Downtown Las Vegas Revitalization Plan. The Las Vegas operations of iHeartMedia announces a partnership with Fremont Street Experience in which it will move its regional office to downtown Las Vegas as part of an effort to revitalize and assist in the growth of downtown Las Vegas.   The new Fremont Street location is scheduled to open in August 2019 includes a 15-year lease. The company says in a press release that it has designed a new “state-of-the-art facility to house their iconic brands and franchises – both broadcast and digital – including ‘Sunny 106.5,’ ‘93.1 The Mountain,’ ‘95.5 The Bull’ and ‘Real 103.9.’ The studios will feature cutting-edge design elements as well as 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 Las Vegas community.” iHeartMedia Las Vegas’ partnership with Fremont Street Experience will also include co-promotions of current downtown concerts and events, with additional opportunities to co-produce and create new events and concerts to drive awareness and visitation to the area. iHeartRadio in-studio guests and musical acts can also perform on one of Fremont Street Experience’s three stages in downtown Las Vegas.

TALKERS News Notes. This Friday night (1/18), sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who hosts mornings on Entercom’s sports talk KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” – will star on the evening show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston.  The former University of Miami defensive tackle, who played his high school ball in Connecticut, will host “WEEI at Night” from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm two days before the hometown New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game…..Twin Cities sports media personality Mike Max is named the new sports director at CBS’ WCCO-TV.  He is currently host of “Sports to the Max with Mike Max” on Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM.  There’s no official statement from Entercom about his status with the station but it appears he’ll leave his radio show to focus on the new gig…..Detroit sports talk host Matt Shepard – host of the “Shep, Shower ‘n’ Shave” morning program based at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WDFN-AM – is named the new play-by-play personality for Detroit Tigers television broadcasts, according to numerous Motor City media reports.  Shepard’s radio program is syndicated regionally to a number of affiliate stations via the Michigan Media Network…..A number of new FM signals are added to the main 970 AM signal of iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA, Tampa.  The company drops the classic hip hop format on a trio of translators – W233AV, Gulfport at 94.5; W256CT, Bayonet Point at 99.1; and W290BJ, West Tampa at 105.9 – and assigns them to WFLA-AM.

Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Russian Sanctions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Gillette Ad Controversy, Barr Confirmation Hearing, Rep. Steve King Troubles, Brexit Deal Fails, ‘El Chapo’ Case, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; Republicans join the Dem-led effort to rescind Trump’s easing of sanctions on Russian firms; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; the senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr; the status of Rep. Steve King’s committee assignments in the aftermath of his ‘white supremacist’ comments; the failure of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan; the trial of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime WTIC-FM, Hartford morning personality Gary Craig is retiring from the station after a 39-year career in morning drive radio.  He tells his listeners he’s leaving the “Craig and Company” program in June.  The 68-year-old Craig first worked for WTIC-FM in 1981.  He left in 1992 to go across town to competitor WKSS, where he would stay for four years.  He returned to WTIC-FM in 1996 and teamed up with John Elliott and has been there ever since…..iHeartMedia Barry Allen program director for adult contemporary KBFP “Sunny 105.3, Bakersfield’s Feel-Good Station,” effective January 22.  He was most recently program director at the company’s CHR duo KCEZ-FM, Chico and KEWB-FM, Redding.  iHeartMedia area SVP of programming Steve Weed says, “We’re excited to have Barry joining our iHeartMedia Bakersfield family.  When we launched ‘SUNNY 105.3’ last year, we filled a major void for Bakersfield listeners and we’re confident that Barry will continue to build out the ‘SUNNY 105.3’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media makes a time shift for hot AC WPLJ’s “Todd & Jayde in the Morning.”  It now airs from 5:30 to 8:30 to allow for the new “95 Minutes & More,” commercial-free music block from 8:30 am to 10:15 am.

WDRV, Chicago Seeks Associate Producer for ‘Sherman & Tingle’ Show. There’s a prime producer gig open in Chicago as Hubbard Radio is seeking an “incomparable call screener, celebrity guest-booker, street reporter, and content architect to join ‘The Sherman & Tingle Show’ as associate producer.  Applicants should have at least five years of on-air experience in an ensemble setting; exemplary audio production skills are required in this position, specifically time sensitive, on-the-fly editing aptitudes; robust social media savvy essential, including real time integration and a clear understanding of the ever-evolving nature of the medium; proven record of accomplishment in locating/booking/delivering premiere celebrities from major league sports, television, movies, and other arenas of pop culture preferred.”  To see the entire job posting, click here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

| January 8, 2019

iHeartMedia Reorganization Plan Awaits Confirmation. The Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization for iHeartMedia is awaiting confirmation by United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur.  Yesterday’s filing of the confirmed plan will allow iHeartMedia to erase $10.3 billion in debt off its books, leaving it with $5.75 billion in debt once Judge Isgur has signed the order.  Last month, the court approved iHeartMedia’s separation from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings as part of the reorganization plan.  Yesterday’s filing will permit iHeartMedia to begin to implement the plan without seeking authorization from the court.  As is usual in bankruptcy cases, once the plan is confirmed by the court, most other claims against the debtor are discharged.  In this case, the judge rules that certain liabilities the company is required to honor after the effective date – called a Cure Claim – and that includes the BMI license agreements, an almost $600,000 payment to SoundExchange LLC, and its Framework Digital Distribution Agreement with Sony Music Entertainment.   Additionally, the new iHeartMedia must honor all SAG-AFTRA contracts and must assume all contractual agreements with the Denver Broncos.  Once signed, iHeartMedia will be in a period between Confirmation and the Effective Date.  There are several hearing dates scheduled and they are: January 10 to consider all confirmation issues other than those scheduled to be heard on January 17, and January 22; January 17 to consider all issues concerning the CCOH separation settlement, other than those issues scheduled to be heard on January 22, and any issues continued from the January 10, hearing; January 22 to consider all remaining issues concerning consideration of the class action settlement related to the CCOH Separation Settlement and the GAMCO Motion; and January 23 to consider all remaining confirmation issues.

‘Our American Stories’ Surpasses 160-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program adds a number of new affiliate stations and now has 163 total affiliates. The program is hosted by Lee Habeeb who is also president of program producer American Private Radio.  He says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly they love the topics we share every night and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  The program is described as “a two-hour, daily radio magazine program that showcases Americans from various industries, including sports heroes, musicians, film performers, political or cultural icons, business leaders, military heroes and more.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is extremely fond of this program stating, “I fully expect ‘Our American Stories’ to be the surprise breakout program of 2019. It is the classiest, best-researched, meticulously produced, dependable piece of quality content to come down the pike in years.  It is conservative news/talk’s knock out answer to public radio and will become an institutional part of the genre for years to come.”

Wayne Allyn Root: I ‘Got the Ball Rolling’ on Trump’s Wall Option.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated talk show host Wayne Allyn Root says he first talked about the idea that President Trump can declare a national security emergency and use $25 billion from the Pentagon budget to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  Root points to his November 17 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that details, among other things, that the president can declare a “national security emergency” and use military money for the project.  Root says, “I shared this column and my idea with my audience on both my Newsmax TV show and USA Radio show in the days before publication.  Then I flew to Wyoming as keynote speaker for the Wyoming GOP annual dinner on Friday 11/16/18.  I shared my idea with that audience.  Result. Two standing ovations.  That column was handed directly to President Trump by my great friend Lee Lipton at Mar a Lago on 11/18/18.  President Trump has talked about this exact option all week in the media.  It’s the hottest topic in the country.  My idea started this all… I’m sure it will come up in Tuesday night’s national presidential address.”

Mike Gallagher Films LifeLock Ad on NYC Streets. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Mike Gallagher is pictured above on the streets of New York filming commercials for identity theft prevention firm LifeLock.  Gallagher has been voicing spots for LifeLock – as have many talk radio hosts since LifeLock is a big advertiser on talk radio – but not long ago he needed the company’s services.  The Salem Radio Network talk host was the victim of a personal security breach when someone accessed his personal information, changed his cellphone number, and tried withdrawing $25,000 from Gallagher’s checking account.  He credits LifeLock with alerting him to the compromises and acting to protect his personal assets.  He says, “I’ve proudly done their commercials for years.  But after seeing for myself how they swing into action, I believe anyone is stupid not to have LifeLock protection.”

Eric Zane Launches Daily Podcast.  After being let go by Cumulus Media last week due to the format flip of WBBL, Grand Rapids from sports talk to country music, morning personality Eric Zane tells Mlive.com he’s doing a daily podcast designed to pick up where his radio show left off.  He’s offering the show to listeners for free and for a fee with various options, including video.  Zane tells MLive he hopes to reach a sizable audience via his 18,000 Twitter followers.  He says, “Most people get some content via podcast or streaming content and they’re a different audience.  They’re zeroed in because of the programming. They seek it out as opposed to background noise.  I won’t ever say radio has no place because it’s still great to get in your car and push a button and there it is.  This medium (podcasts), which was laughed at five, 10 years ago, isn’t laughed at anymore because it’s very viable.”

Steve Triplett to Lead Beasley’s Tampa Stations. Sales and management pro Steve Triplett is named vice president and market manager for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster that includes financial talk outlet WHFS-AM and six music radio stations.  Triplett has been serving as interim market manager and director of sales for the Tampa operations.  He says, “Over the past four years, Beasley Media Group has created something truly special in Tampa.  We have a team of the finest media professionals in the industry and it’s an honor to continuing serving them in this new capacity.”

PodcastOne Partners with LadyGang for Podcast Network.  “The LadyGang” podcast recently celebrated its 200th episode and 40 millionth download.  Now, PodcastOne is entering into a deal with the brand for a podcast development, production, and marketing deal to launch The LadyGang Network on PodcastOne.  The network will feature a female-driven, all-star lineup of pop culture, reality television, and motherhood trend-setters.  PodcastOne says the deal combines its vast resources and reach with The LadyGang’s brand power and curated talent lineup.  The inaugural program under this new network will be “Mama Said with Jamie and Jenna,” hosted by Jamie Lynn Sigler and Jenna Parris. Additional programs will be announced soon.

Hogenson Communications to Rep Americans for Tax Reform Campaign. Talk media is the target for Americans for Tax Reform and it has hired Hogenson Communications to represent the organization to talk media for its 12-month campaign.  Scott Hogenson states, “We’re proud to have been selected by Americans for Tax Reform as their talk media partner.  As America’s preeminent tax policy organization, ATR brings a lot to talk media audiences by breaking down complicated policy issues in a way that everyone can understand.”

KNUS, Denver Hosts Boyles and Tubbs to Broadcast from Vancouver, BC During Fact-Finding Mission.  Talk show hosts Peter Boyles and Steffan Tubbs – air personalities on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – will broadcast live from Vancouver, British Columbia during their fact-finding mission to the city’s safe injection sites.  The Denver City Council passed an ordinance that will create safe or supervised injection sites for users to inject heroin, opioids and cocaine in locations that will employ trained medical personnel.  The KNUS remote broadcasts will take place on Friday (1/11).

iHeartMedia Unveils New iHeartRadio Features at CES. The company announces a number of new consumer technology integrations for its digital platform, iHeartRadio.  At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, iHeartMedia unveiled new integrations including the Honda Dream Drive Platform, the new Bixby from Samsung, Roku devices, and Google’s Android TV and Android Auto.  It also launched the fully redesigned iHeartRadio Family app on Amazon Fire Tablet with iOS and Android coming soon.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, U.S.-Syria Policy, Tlaib Israel Statement, Kim Jong Un-Xi Jinping Meeting, NCAA Football Championship, and NFL Playoffs Action Among Top News-Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). The battle over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the related government shutdown; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria; the controversy over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comments that GOP senators are more loyal to Israel than the U.S.; North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping; Monday night’s NCAA football championship game; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated Ty Bentli show is off Cumulus Media’s New York City country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.”  What was originally called “America’s Morning Show” back when Blair Garner was lead host and has twice morphed since then has been the only morning show on the stations since its inception.  Now, afternoon drive host Jesse Addy is sitting in hosting mornings as the station teases a new program…..In Los Angeles, “volunteer” air personality Greg Beharrell is named evening host on Cumulus Media’s classic rock 95.5 KLOS…..Afternoon drive host, APD and music director Mark Razz is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia.  With this new role, Razz will move from afternoon drive to middays.  Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell comments, “Nobody deserves this opportunity more than Razz.  He has been an integral part of 92.5 XTU’s success for years and has demonstrated the leadership, commitment and creativity that you look for in a PD.  Plus, he’s an amazing talent, is loved by listeners and respected within the industry.”…..Midday personality Corey O’Brien is named assistant program director and music director at Broadway Media’s alternative KXRK, Salt Lake City “X96.”…..Buffalo market radio pro Joe Chille is named morning drive host at Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WMSX, Buffalo “96.1 The Breeze.”  Chille was a longtime personality at WJYE prior to its becoming WMSX.  Most recently, he’d been handling part-time duties at Radio One Buffalo’s oldies WECK-AM…..Beasley Media Group names Sean Varicalli host of the “KICKS Wake up Crew” morning show on country WKXC-FM, Augusta, Georgia.  Varicalli was most recently midday jock and APD at Curtis Media Group’s country WQDR, Raleigh…..Alpha Media’s WKXI, Jackson, Mississippi “107.5 Kixie” replaces the Tom Joyner show with the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”

Monday, January 7, 2019

| January 7, 2019

Jeff Poor Show Launches on WVNN, Huntsville.  Conservative media figure Jeff Poor begins hosting a daily talk radio program on Cumulus Media’s WVNN, Huntsville “NewsTalk 770AM/92.5FM” today (1/7).  Poor serves as the editor of Breitbart News’ media vertical, is a regular contributor to Yellowhammer News, and a political columnist for Lagniappe, Mobile, Alabama’s alternative weekly newspaper.  Poor previously reported in Washington, D.C. for The Daily Caller and the Media Research Center.  WVNN program director Dale Jackson states, “Jeff Poor is an experienced media personality with a real ability to decipher local and national issues.  His experience in media in Washington, D.C. and his Alabama upbringing make him the perfect fit for WVNN.  I am thrilled to add Jeff to our already amazing lineup of local and national talkers.” The Jeff Poor show airs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Sports Talk Moves in Grand Rapids as Cumulus Media’s WBBL-FM Drops Sports. According to MLive.comCumulus Media is flipping sports talk WBBL-FM, Grand Rapids to country in a simulcast with sister WTNR-FM. That means a number of staffers have been let go and the statewide Bill Simonson-hosted program “The Huge Show” is no longer on the 107.3 FM frequency.  Fired from WBBL are morning personalities Eric Zane and Ben Glaze as well as program director Marcus Bradman.  The MLive piece indicates that “The Huge Show” – currently heard on 12 stations across Michigan – will continue as part of an agreement between Cumulus and Michigan Media Network and will be heard in Grand Rapids on Cumulus’ news/talk WJRW at 3:00 pm, effective today (1/7).

iHeartMedia Study: Radio Is Most-Trusted Medium. According to a study commissioned by iHeartMedia, radio is America’s most-trusted medium and iHeartMedia personalities are more trustworthy and relatable than top TV personalities.  iHM states, “The survey found iHeartMedia’s focus on live and local programming and the deep, connection on-air personalities have with listeners has led to iHeartRadio being considered the most trusted name in radio and its on-air personalities being more trusted than leading talk personalities in other media.”  The study further found that “84% of respondents (people) said radio understands what is important to them, a number that is over 20% greater than network and cable television and social media. In addition, 8 out of 10 people feel that radio aligns with their core values, which is number one across all media.” iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman says, “In a time when trust matters most to consumers, trust has become a critical criterium for media investment decisions and these findings are extremely compelling because they spotlight our unique and personal role in people’s lives each and every day.  Furthermore, it spotlights why iHeartMedia is a leader in audio and reaches over a quarter billion listeners each month. Our personalities are more than just a voice on the radio, they are a trusted friend who shares common values 24/7 across 850 stations nationwide…and only iHeartMedia can deliver that scale, with the intimacy and authenticity consumers want.”

Monday Memo: Podcast Ads Work. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo that, according to a Nielsen study, ads on podcasts delivered better and longer audience recall. Additionally, listeners who heard ads delivered by show hosts were 118% more likely to buy the product than those who didn’t hear the ad.  Stitcher commissioner the study and the company’s chief revenue officer Korri Kolesa notes the power of podcasts “to speak to a generation of consumers who tend to be hard to reach through other digital media platforms.”  See the entire Memo here.

Beasley Appoints Lori Burgess Chief Digital Content Officer. Consultant Lori Burgess has been working with Beasley Media Group on integrated marketing strategy since May of 2017.  Now the company names her to the newly created position of chief digital content officer.  In this new role, she will be responsible for designing and overseeing the digital content strategy for the company.  She says, “We are embarking upon an exciting business transformation, one focused on content excellence and proficiency across all media platforms.  This expansion will allow our on-air talent to enhance their local market presence, fostering deeper and more engaged relationships with audiences and advertisers alike.”  During her career, she has worked with such brands as: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

TALKERS News Notes. The CRN Digital Talk Radio-produced “Sports Lounge with Fred Dryer” program is now airing on Dan Patrick Radio heard on SiriusXM Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET.  Dryer – a 13-year NFL pro with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams and film & television actor – partners with CRN chief Mike Horn to talk about sports news and the politics of the game…..Los Angeles-based personality Sheena Metal – who has hosted the “Sheena Metal Experience” show on LA Talk Radio for the past 10 years, is hosting a live, audience-interactive radio broadcast from the Hollywood Improv on January 27.  Metal says the show will celebrate her 10th LA Talk Radio anniversary as well as her five years as live event host at the legendary comedy club and will feature “lots of great celebrity guests on stage, a fun red carpet/meet-and-greet after the show and a chance to meet so many of the fantastic people who have made my daily show the media success that it is!”…..A new iHeartRadio original podcast premieres called, “Pratt Cast,” hosted by “The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt.  She is one of the infamous “The Hills” stars coming back for the sequel.  The podcast gives listeners an all access pass to everything happening on and off of the camera this season…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio reach a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that adds more than 25 new employees – including reporters for the news site Gothamist – to the union’s longstanding collective bargaining unit.  It covers some 175 workers at NYPR.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, Rashida Tlaib Flap, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, U.S.-Syria Policy, Golden Globe Awards, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the federal government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the flap over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comment referring to President Trump as a “motherf*cker”; freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “60 Minutes” interview; the  Trump administration’s Syria policy; Sunday evening’s Golden Globe awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Charlotte CHR WHQC re-brands, leaving behind the “Channel 96.1” brand and taking up the new “HITS 96.1” name.  The air staff at the iHeartMedia outlet remains the same.  Station program director A.J. comments, “Charlotte is a very competitive market and these updates align the brand in a way that capitalizes on its current strengths.  We’re excited to provide a fresh new experience for our listeners.  This is an excellent opportunity for ‘The New HITS 96.1’ to be the home of the biggest hits and stars while allowing our audience to gain access to the greatest music and entertainment events in Charlotte.”…..Westwood One launches a new urban AC morning show into national syndication that stars Rick Party (left)and Sasha the Diva (right). The “Rick and Sasha” show is debuting on 15 stations, including: KMJK-FM,Kansas City; KMEZ-FM, New Orleans; WDLT-FM, Mobile; and more. Rick Party previously served with WHQT, Miami “HOT 105” and Sasha was a personality on WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1.”…..Entercom’s classic rock WCMF, Rochester is celebrating 50 years as a rock station by kicking off its year-long “Rockin’ for 50 Years” celebration.  The station will observe this milestone with special programming and promotions throughout the year, including “50th Anniversary Album Side Saturdays” that will highlight the 50-year music history of WCMF.  Listeners will also be able to tune-in to “Riffer Madness” to hear iconic guitar riffs in classic rock as their cue to call for the chance to win prizes, including a WCMF 50th Anniversary electric guitar signed by current WCMF air staff.  The year-long commemoration will also include anniversary themed merchandise and a new station logo highlighting the history and music of the past 50 years…..Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula announces that Glenn Topolski is named director of on air for oldies WECK-AM/W275BB in Buffalo.  In addition to programming duties, Topolski also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Topolski has served in the market at signals including: WTSS-FM, WBEN-AM, WGR-AM, and WWKB-AM.  Shula says, “Glenn has helped WECK’s rank into the Nielson top 10 since joining 17 months ago.  He has been with us from day one and is a person who lives and breathes radio.  Glenn is a leader for the next generation on our industry.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Bobby Bones is profiled in the January issue of Texas Monthly. The piece delves into his radio journey from Austin to Nashville and his rise to becoming “…the most influential voice in country music today, with the power to turn new artists into breakout stars.”

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. December 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A December decrease of eight-tenths by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is twice the size of its November gain of four-tenths (4.5 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). KLBJ-AM was a combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

In a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX climbs from #16 to #15. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone – Austin’s Sports Talk” has more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+) and is stable at #24.

Following three straight months at #1, KUT segues to #2 (8.5 – 8.2, -.3, 6+); the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet was a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ has been -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 November); and now +1.2 in December (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” carries on at #3. Its current 7.4 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Urban AC KKMJ-HD3, which hadn’t had a decrease since February and was up a collective three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off one-tenth and exits the top twenty (1.4, #20 to #21, 6+). A December gain of seven-tenths to 5.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+) by Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” erases its collective -.7 in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). Just as it did in November, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX posts a gain of six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #11, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Three consecutive down or flat trends by Emmis’ KLBJ-FM accounted for a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” gains three-tenths in December to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to being a cumulative +1.0 in four straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), adult hits sibling KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot it held the past three months to #1. It is the first time since August that “Bob” has held the top spot. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are its alternative cluster-mate KROX “101-X” (3.5 – 2.7, #10 to #14, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (3.1 – 2.3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is the first time “101-X” has been below a three-share (2.7, 6+) since January 2018 (2.9), and KLQB’s lowest 6+-share (2.3) since June’s 2.2. Despite dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in eighth-place. Logging decreases of one-half share each are KHFI’s rhythmic CHR sibling KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” (3.4 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+) and Emmis triple A KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” (2.3 – 1.8, flat at #18, 6+). In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” has lost a collective eight-tenths but remains at #7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” has lost a combined seven-tenths in November and December (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). It was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF regains half of November’s -.2 (1.6 – 1.7, +.1, 6+) and remains at #18. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders half that gain in November and December (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, -.3, #16 to #17, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fourth decline in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.6 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Registering increases of one full-share each are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.1 – 5.1, #11 to #10, 6+) and – from Greensboro – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” (.4 – 1.4, #20, 6+). WKIX reaches the five-share level for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. An improvement of seven-tenths to 5.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” halts a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). An overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) and remains at #14. A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Continuing at #5 is its format rival, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country,” which is a collective -1.9 in November and December (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.1) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (6.0). With a +1.0 in September, WQDR curtailed three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC erodes by -1.5 but “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” stays on top for the fourth straight month. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. It has a 1.2-share (6+) advantage over urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK, which regresses by eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but repeats in the runner-up position; “K-97.5” was up an overall six-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Emmis news/talk WIBC has posted a -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); and now a -.9 in December (7.2 – 6.3, third to  fourth, 6+).

Its sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” records its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8, #16 to #14, 6+) and enjoys its best 6+-stat (2.8) in exactly one year (3.1, December 2017). On the other hand, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” regresses by four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #17, 6+), curtailing five straight sweeps without a loss that netted eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Adding three-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI inches up from ninth to eighth. WFYI was off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Following a collective seven-tenths decline in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” bounces back with an increase more than three times the size of that loss (9.0, +2.2, fourth to second, 6+). Prior to October, “B-105.7” was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). In December 2017, WYXB posted a 7.8 (6+). An improvement of nine-tenths to 7.7 (fourth to third, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” halts three (modest) downward moves in succession that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June – in which time it is even – (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR carries on at #12; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December.  Notwithstanding that it is off by seven-tenths (9.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the sixth month in a row. Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Having finished at #2 in October and November, co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” plummets -1.8 in December (8.0 – 6.2, 6+), segueing to #5 with its lowest 6+-stat since March (6.2, as well). On top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and now -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” has been -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); -.7 (November); and now -.4 in December (5.0 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Down an overall four-tenths in an alternating June 2018 through December 2018 up/down sequence (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), University of Indianapolis jazz/classical WICR “88.7 The Diamond” (down six-tenths in December) falls from #19 to #18. A collective -1.4 via six straight downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+) send Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” from #15 to #16.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There have been some wild fluctuations this calendar year for Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” including -.8 (January); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); and now -2.6 in December (9.4 – 6.8, first to fifth, 6+). This (6.8) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March (6.0). A combined +1.3 in October and November, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” forfeits approximately half that gain in December (6.9 – 6.3, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” advances from #17 to #16. Its loss of four-tenths in November curtailed four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Roughly three-quarters of the way through the November sweep, Good Karma Brands shifted WKTI from country to sports talk. In its first full monthly report in its new format, “94.5 ESPN” erodes by -1.5 to .8 (#15 to #18, 6+). WKTI is now an overall -3.6 in seven straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8, 6+). Co-owned/Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee,” which debuted in November with a .5 (#20, 6+), disappears from print in December. Meanwhile, after quintupling (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” surrenders three-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+).

Owing to three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.5 and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – December 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 (#19 to #18, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Not only does WLDB post a whopping +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7, seventh to second, 6+), “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” is just one-tenth from the lead; the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary outlet posted a 5.6 in December 2017. A December increase of +1.1 (4.8 – 5.9 eighth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” completely obliterates its -1.1 in October and November (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Having been an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in a row (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” erases just over half that deficit with a +.7 to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #13. Progressing from #16 to #15, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” posts its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to November’s +.2 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WKLH “Hometown Rock 96.5” jumps from fourth to first. A station familiar with the top spot is WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies facility spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 but spirals by -1.0 in December (8.7 – 7.7) and is tied for second; WRIT was dislodged from the top spot in October. Off -1.1 in four successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” slips from sixth to eighth. After trending 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 (6+), its urban AC cluster-mate, WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” surrenders one-half share to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). As a result of dropping two-tenths to 7.3 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” interrupts three gains in succession that netted +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Ironically, the decrease comes immediately after WMIL lost its country competitor, WKTI, which is now sports talk (see above).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – In 12 of the last 13 sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, #11 to #14, 6+) has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range 6+; the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0.

Flat at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubles (+.6) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths with a December gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” advances from seventh to sixth. The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. By dropping one-tenth to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” suspends three consecutive improvements that yielded a collective +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

After three down moves in a row in which it was a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is up four-tenths to 3.8 (#14 to #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is +.7 since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+) and reaches #20 in December.

Nashville Music Formats – Adding a +1.9 to November’s +.9 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the 11th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations in calendar year 2018 are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); and now +1.9 (December). In addition to zooming from fifth to second, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.8) in over a year (7.2, October 2017). Wiping away November’s loss of one-half share with a December improvement twice that margin (2.6 – 3.6, +1.0, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU jumps from #16 to #13. Prior to November, “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was an overall +.8 through five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). The +.9 that iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” gained in October and November (6.0 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+) all but disappears in December with a loss of eight-tenths to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+). Owing to four straight decreases, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ is a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), yet “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” climbs from fourth to third. August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+) since January (7.8, as well). The market’s three country FMs finish at eighth, ninth, and tenth as they log a collective loss of -2.1 from November. More specifically, on the heels of November’s improvement of eight-tenths and a -1.0 in September, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” plummets by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, third to eighth, 6+). Stable at #9, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which was +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), is now an overall -.9 in November and December (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but stays at #10.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from seventh to sixth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Conversely, a four-tenths’ loss by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (1.7 – 1.3, #12 to #14, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with Boston hybrid news-talk sibling WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030,” which is up nine-tenths in six straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3, #17 to #14, 6+). Continuing at #21, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has its 6+-share sliced in half since October (.6 – .5 – .3, 6+).

Following four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI returns 80% of that increase (3.8, -1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

By regaining the three-tenths it lost in November (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH progresses from tenth to ninth; WGBH was up one-half share in October. Leveling off at 2.0 (6+) after November’s loss of six-tenths, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH repeats at #10. WELH gained four-tenths in September and in October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public radio news/talk outlets (WELH and WGBH) finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the fifth month in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dials up a +2.7 to 12.1, its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Over the last three ratings periods, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB has fluctuated by one-half share: “B-101” was +.5 (October); -.5 (November); and now +.5 in December (6.4 – 6.9, fifth to third, 6+). Representative WWBB moves earlier in calendar year 2018 include -.5 (January); +.9 (March); +.6 (April); +.9 (July); -.8 (August); and -.9 (September). After returning October’s one-half share increase in November, Hall Communications’ WCTK further erodes by -1.3 in December (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) and is tied for third with “B-101.” This (6.9) is the lowest 6+performance for “Cat Country 98.1” in approximately two years (6.6, “Holiday” 2016). A loss of eight-tenths (7.4 – 6.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) takes Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” below a seven-share (6.6, 6+) for the first time in more than three years (6.9, August 2015).

 Norfolk – Good news continues for iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV, which has ballooned its 6+ stat more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) in five positive spikes in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), zooming from eighth to fourth. At this time last year (December 2017), “Movin’ 107.7” logged a 4.4 (6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, however, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths via four consecutive modest decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” roars back with a +1.5 to 7.2 (fifth to second, 6+). This (7.2) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.5. Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a -2.6 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9, 6+), its urban AC cluster-mate – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is nonetheless #1 for the 25th straight survey period and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 33rd time in the last 34 sweeps. December 2018’s 12.9, however, is its lowest 6+-reading since April’s 12.3. On the other hand, its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A decline of -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to sixth, 6+) sends Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” to its weakest 6+-stat (5.5) since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. In four consecutive down or flat reports, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.2 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last six survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and now -.8 in December (11.2 – 10.4, first to second). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth to .7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Carrying on at #13, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), thus ending three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – By posting a December +2.8 to 10.7 (6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ completely vaporizes its collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” marches from third to first with its strongest 6+-mark (10.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. Finishing on top in June, July, August, and September, WEJZ was 9.0 in December 2017. As a result of four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI was an overall +1.9; however, in December, “Easy 102.9” regresses by four-tenths to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). That particular positive streak immediately followed three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Urban AC sibling WOKV-HD2 improves by one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). Having registered a 3.6 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK sputters by eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) as “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight positive spikes that netted a +1.6 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share to 6.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Recording a gain of four-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” carries on at #9. November’s +.4 pulled the plug on six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in three successive dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which had been in the runner-up slot the past three months, segues to third.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding three-tenths to November’s increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). A loss of four-tenths in October halted at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” has lost a collective three-tenths in November and December (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, flat at #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which recorded a 1.8 (6+) the past three reports, slips three-tenths to 1.5 (#14 to #15); WZZR gained one-half share in August. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD picks up one-tenth (.9 – 1.0, 6+) and returns to West Palm Beach’s top twenty (#22 to #18, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), WLRN jumps from eighth to sixth. Immediately prior to the November sweep, the Dade County School Board news/talk station logged three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – On the heels of November’s four-tenths’ improvement, Alpha Media’s WEAT dials up a +1.9 (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9, 6+) as “Sunny 107.9” zooms from fourth to second. Off six-tenths in October, “Sunny” has its best 6+-showing (6.9) since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. After plummeting by -1.8 in November, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” makes up more than half that loss with a +1.0 (8.9 – 9.9, 6+) and is #1 for the 12th sweep in succession. WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). Following back-to-back gains that netted one-half share (.8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami adult contemporary WMIA “93.9 Variety From the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #22, 6+). Down one-half share each are its classic rock sibling WKGR “Gater 98.7,” which is a collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, flat at #6, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida Country” (3.6 – 3.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Via five straight upticks, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX was a combined +1.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), but “Mia 92.1” is off two-tenths and departs the top ten (2.6, #10 to #11, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Although it repeats at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” forfeits one-half share of October and November’s collective +.7 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

A gain of two-tenths (.3 – .5, steady at #16, 6+) takes Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” to its best 6+-showing since May (.5, as well).

This is the seventh consecutive time that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 (1.9 – 2.1, +.2, 6+). After four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Stable at #15, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has a May 2018 through December 2018 (6+) topline of: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 – .6.

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG up or flat for the fourth straight month for a whopping (collective) +7.1 more than doubling its 6+-share since August (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9, 6+), “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” leaps from third to first. This (13.9) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017 and easily beats its (6+) December 2017 reading of 11.8. Dislodged from the top spot after 11 straight sweeps there is WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (11.4 – 10.8, -.6, first to second, 6+), which nonetheless is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th straight time. The Entercom urban AC was +1.0 in November. Its gain of two-tenths in October applied the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). A combined -.8 in October and September, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR gained three-tenths in November, but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” craters by -1.6 in December (6.7 – 5.1, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” was up one-half share in October; faltered by four-tenths in November; and is down three-tenths in December (5.5 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+) – but – overtakes WTQR. Spiraling by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” has its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (2.9, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #4, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” is an overall -2.1 in six straight sweeps without an increase, (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot the past 11 sweeps, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” sputters by seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to third. When it picked up two-tenths in November, “Simon” suspended three straight declines that accounted for a combined loss of nine-tenths (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Over the course of the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is +.5 (September, 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 (October, 3.4 – 2.8, 6+); +.9 (November, 2.8 – 3.7, 6+); and now -.5 (December, 3.7 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – In a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it has lost six-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drifts from the top ten (#10 to #13).

In addition to logging five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, “ESPN Sports Radio” was off six-tenths in July.

Memphis Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS up one full-share (10.5 – 11.5, 6+), “V-101” progresses from third to first and is in double-digits (6+) for the eighth successive sweep. This (11.5) is the best 6+-stat for “V-101” since June 2016’s 11.6. In a rare case of an adult contemporary outlet exiting the #1 slot in December 2018, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” freefalls by -1.6 (10.9 – 9.3, first to second, 6+). “The River” was off one-tenth in November, following October’s +2.4 to 11.0, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. At the same time, its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” – is an overall +2.1 in six consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WKIM sibling WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; and is now +.7 in December (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Up six-tenths each are iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (unchanged at #5, 6+) and co-owned CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” (1.1 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+). WHAL is an overall +1.6 in four straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately after Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” posted a November +1.9, it surrenders all of it and another one-tenth more in December (10.7 – 8.7, -2.0, second to third, 6+). Nevertheless, November’s 10.7 is the highest 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of nine-tenths (6.8 – 5.9, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM  from fifth to sixth; “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Going into the October sweep, WTIC-AM notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#14 to #15) has an ultra-consistent (6+) topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0.

Ever since reappearing in print in July 2018, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#12 to #13, 6+).

Although it is a combined +1.4 in four upticks in succession (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” backslides from eighth to ninth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which had a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (steady at #14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Down eight-tenths in November (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH roars back with a +1.8 to 12.4 (6+) and is on top for the 29th consecutive ratings period. In addition, “Lite 100.5” is in double-digits (6+) for the 26th time in the last 28 sweeps with its best 6+-performance since June (12.4, as well). In December 2017, WRCH posted a 13.0 (6+). When co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7” gained four-tenths in November, it ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). The rhythmic CHR adds another seven-tenths in December (6.8 – 7.5, sixth to third, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” nets a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, repeating at #2, 6+); 7.8 in November and December is its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). An overall -1.3 owing to three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” answers with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). While unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Following a November increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 surrenders one-half share (2.6, flat at #11, 6+).

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

| January 1, 2019

Townsquare Media Co-Founder Dhruv Prasad to Exit the Company. Company co-founder and current co-CEO Dhruv Prasad announces he will leave Townsquare Media, Inc at the end of this month.  Current co-CEO Bill Wilson will become the sole chief executive officer.  The company adds that, in addition to Wilson, co-founder and CFO Stuart Rosenstein and EVP Claire Yenicay will assume Prasad’s management responsibilities.  Prasad comments, “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since founding Townsquare in 2010.  From scratch, we created not only the nation’s third-largest radio broadcaster, but also built new, profitable businesses in live events and digital.  With the company on strong footing and in the hands of an outstanding senior management team, it’s time for me to move on to my next challenge.” Wilson states, “I want to thank Dhruv for his contributions to Townsquare over his longstanding tenure, and in particular, his partnership over the past year as co-CEO.  Together, we were able to reorient Townsquare to focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy and successfully rationalize our non-local businesses.  I look forward to continuing this strategy, which has driven strong local growth in 2018, particularly within our digital businesses, and solidified our position as the premier local advertising and marketing solutions company in the heartland of America.”

Mancow Begins New Year Hosting Mornings on WLS-AM, Chicago. As had been teased prior to the holidays, Erich Mancow Muller is the new morning drive personality on Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS-AM.  He’ll launch the new morning show tomorrow (1/3). Last month, the station announced that the morning team of Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens was exiting the morning daypart, but Howell stays with the station hosting the new 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  This is a return to WLS-AM for Muller.  He co-hosted the midday show with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010.  Mancow had been hosting the morning program at classic rock WLUP-FM until last March when owner Merlin Media sold the signal to religious operator Educational Media Foundation.  Since then, Muller has been off the air.  He’ll once again be working for Marv Nyren, Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager for Chicago.  Interestingly, Nyren fired Muller from alternative WKQX in 2006 and when he became Cumulus’ market manager (Cumulus was operating WLUP under an LMA) in 2017, Muller sued him for harassment and emotional distress.  However, the suit was dropped and the two have obviously overcome their differences.  John Dempsey is still the morning news anchor and Midge “Luv Cheez” Ripoli will serve as the show’s executive producer.

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Afternoon Host Scott Stiegler to Exit. Actually, Scott Stiegler is remaining with the Cumulus Media station and will move to the sales department. The station says it will have an announcement about the programming change on January 7, but New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan reports that former longtime morning rock jock T.J. Trout will take over the afternoon drive show.  Trout served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown KZRR “94 Rock” for 25 years until he exited the station in 2011. According to Monahan, Trout is returning to the market after retiring to his hometown of Cleveland in 2011.

Salem Debuts Sebastian Gorka on 340 Affiliates and 24/7 in Washington.  New Year’s Day marked the national syndication debut of “America First with Dr. Sebastian Gorka” from Salem Radio Network.  In addition to launching on some 340 affiliate stations across the country, the program is being heard in the Washington, DC market on four signals – including round the clock on Salem-owned WSPZ-AM.  The show can also be heard in DC on Salem’s news/talk WWRC “AM 570 The Answer,” WAVA-AM, and WAVA-HD2.

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio.  Consultant Holland Cooke launches a new, weekly column in TALKERS magazine called the “Monday Memo” in which he outlines “techniques proven to produce results and how these timeless basics advantage us on the changing media landscape.”  Coming on Monday (1/7) at Talkers.com, Cooke will address “how smart stations score smartphone clicks and earn digital dollars podcasting.”  Meanwhile, read today’s introductory piece explaining some of the good news/bad news scenarios facing the radio business here.

Davis Media to Launch ‘All News 102’ in Virginia Beach. The current triple A format on Davis Media’s WXTG-FM, Virginia Beach; WXTG-AM, Hampton; and W270DA, Hampton is flipping to all-news on Monday (1/7).  Davis Media says, “Listeners can expect ‘All-News 102’ to feature a wide variety of national and local news. Our content partners include ABC Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Accuweather, Reliant Traffic, Associated Press, Virginia News Network, and content from our sister publications, wydaily.com and southsidedaily.com.  While the focus for the station is news and not talk – community conversation will have its place. Throughout each newsday, ‘All-News 102’ will host discussions with local newsmakers regarding compelling, focused topics to inform communities and promote more thoughtful daily considerations and learnings for audiences.”  The triple A format continues on the company’s WTYD-FM, Deltaville, Virginia.

SB Nation Announces New Programming. The national radio syndication lineup of SB Nation Radio has a few changes in the New Year.  The KDUS-AM, Phoenix-based “Calling All Sports” show featuring RocManuch, and Crespin airs on the network in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  The show has been airing on KDUS-AM for the past 14 years.  Other changes include Jake Asman hosting “The Power Hour” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and Dave Smith joining the network for weekend show hosting duties.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Vinny D joins Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” as afternoon drive personality.  He was most recently with Urban Radio’s hip hop WMSR-FM “Power 94.9” and urban contemporary WMXV “V101.5” in Tuscumbia, Alabama.   WMGC program director John Candelaria comments, “We are thrilled to find a diamond in the rough.  He is authentic and funny.  Detroit is a blue-collar city and Vinny D is eager to roll up his sleeves and serve our community!”…..Entercom adds Greg “Grego” Onofrio to the air staff of adult hits KKHH, Houston “95.7 The Spot.”  Onofrio was previously an anchor and on-camera commentator at KIAH-TV, Houston “CW 39” where he hosted “NewsFix,” an alternative presentation to traditional local news.  Before working in television, he hosted “Outlaw Radio” on then-rock KLOL-FM, Houston. nighttime show at Rock 101 KLOL in Houston…..Cumulus Media flips country WIWF, Charleston, South Carolina to classic hits as “The All-New 96.9 The Wolf.”  Cumulus Charleston vice president and market manager Sherry Dollar says, “Our New Year’s resolution is to be the station that only plays the best of Charleston’s classic hits.  We think listeners will love hearing the songs that have stood the test of time and are now classics!  Their all-time favorites all have a home at 96.9 FM.”…..In the Akron-Canton market, iHeartMedia debuts new adult contemporary outlet WHOF-FM “SUNNY 101.7, Variety from the 80s, 90s and Today.”  The station is airing 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row and says it will have details about its new air personality lineup in the coming weeks…..Beasley Media Group launches new classic rock outlet WPBB-FM, Tampa “98.7FM The Shark” that is focused on rock songs from the 80s and 90s.  The station begins airing the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” in mornings on Monday (1/7).  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “It’s been many years since Tampa Bay had a true classic rock station on a full signal and we’re excited to offer the next generation of classic rock to such a great rock market.”…..Cumulus Media names Summer James midday personality for adult contemporary WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B106.7.”  James has worked for Cumulus in Los Angeles.   She says, “I’m so excited to be joining this great team on the air in the Capital City.  They have a winning philosophy, I love South Carolina, and we have the signal to rock the state in 2019!”

December 2018 PPM Data – Round One. REVISED information for the December 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. 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.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being off three-tenths in consecutive months (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7, October-November-December, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” completely forfeits its cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). In addition to posting its eighth straight monthly report without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22. Up or flat the fifth straight month for a net gain of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC checks in at #24.

Following November’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WFAN is down another two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October; 4.7 in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 5.2. Without a loss the past four months for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” forfeits three-tenths to 1.5 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). The New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS was then stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November before dropping one-tenth in December to 4.3 but advances from sixth to fifth. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.8 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) yet backslides from a three-way tie at #11 to #12.

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); and now +.6 in December (3.0 – 3.6, #15 to #9, 6+). For the third month in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (steady at #28, 6+). Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – After being down by four-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” roars back with a +2.4 in December to 9.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 17th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW (which was 8.8, 6+, in December 2017) was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). With a consistent July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM sputters by nine-tenths in December to 5.4, but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Four successive up or flat trends by Emmis urban AC WBLS accounted for a net +1.2 (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+); however, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” returns two-thirds of that increase (5.7, -.8, flat at #2, 6+). In five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, WBLS recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. Flat at #8, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97” 6+), is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Up a collective half-share in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” surrenders six-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat the past four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” manages to climb from seventh to sixth. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” are tied at #31 with identical profiles (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+). In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” gains two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, #40 to #35, 6+).

Practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” forfeits two-tenths to 1.3 (#25 to #26, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” erodes by two-thirds (-1.4) to .7 (6+), plummeting from #22 to #35. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

A gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) propels Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” back into the top ten (#11 to #9).

The ten (10) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#unchanged at #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over and above repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST racks up a +3.9 and is up for the fourth month in succession for an overall +4.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0, 6+). In December 2017, “Coast 103.5” was 8.7 (6+). While unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH is a collective -.7 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+).“K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which gains two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it halted a streak of five successive months at #1. As the result of four consecutive upticks (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC is a collective +.7 as the University of Southern California classical outlet enters the top twenty (#19). Finishing at #23, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a -.3 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+) but stays at #20. In the market’s alternative contest, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7” returns the three-tenths it gained in November (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KROQ is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -.7 (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), dipping from #17 to #20. Unchanged at #5, smooth AC sibling – KTWV “94.7 The Wave” – is nonetheless off one-half share in December (4.3 – 3.8, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the third sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN returns six-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and spirals from #11 to #18. Entering the August sweep, the key station of the Chicago White Sox notched three consecutive gains for a combined +1.0 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Dropping from #22 to #23, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through December topline of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

An increase of one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) by Entercom sports talk WSCR (flagship for both the Cubs and Bulls) is enough to boost “670 The Score” from #18 to a three-way tie at #12. WSCR was up eight-tenths in September and then -1.5 in October and November (4.3 – 4.2 – 2.8, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” (#23 to #22) is up one half-share.

Notwithstanding it is a collective +1.1 in four consecutive months without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM shifts from first to second. Immediately in advance of this streak, the Chicago Bears flagship logged six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+).

Up or flat for the fourth month in a row for a +.7 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ has its best 6+-showing (2.9) since April’s 3.0 and leaps from #16 to that aforementioned three-way scrum at #12.

Chicago Music Formats – In what has become a tradition when it transitions to all-Christmas music, iHeartMedia adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” registers a lofty +5.2 (3.2 – 8.4, 6+) and catapults from #11 all the way to #1. WLIT, which displaces Entercom all-news WBBM-AM at the top spot, was 8.5 in December 2017. Coming in at #15 and #16, respectively, are WLIT’s AC rivals – Hubbard’s WSHE (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #13 to #15, 6+) and Venture Technologies Group AC WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” (#9 to #16, 6+). Until surrendering its entire half-share increase in October to 2.6 (6+), WSHE had been without a loss five consecutive months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). In November, however, WSHE regained that half-share decline in its entirety (3.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). WRME-LP is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Sliding from fourth to seventh, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) takes alternative WKQX to its lowest 6+-showing (2.3) in exactly one year (December 2017‘s 2.2). Four consecutive increases by Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO netted +1.4 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) but “Que Buena 105.1” sputters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (6+) and slips from second to fourth. Following three straight showings of 3.7 (6+), Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” drops three-tenths to 3.4 (seventh to ninth, 6+) and is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 17th consecutive ratings period. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is without a gain for the fourth straight month for a collective -.4 (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #23. Steady at #3, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103” is a collective -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Wiping away October’s seven-tenths’ increase with a collective -.8 in November and December (3.1 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO drops from #14 to #16. KSFO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+). Cluster-mate KGO is unchanged from November (2.1, 6+) but slips from #18 to #19. August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+).

Returning all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (2.9 – 2.6, -.3, 6+), co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses from #13 to #14. Prior to November, KNBR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -1.2 (3.7 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). By recapturing the two-tenths it lost in November and one-tenth more (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). KGMZ was a combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), before faltering by two-tenths in November.

Despite logging a gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.7, 6+), all-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM segues from second – where it had been the past ten (10) sweeps – to third. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July.

In addition to tacking on two-tenths to November’s +.7 (6.7 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED is #1 for the 11th straight month. This (7.6) is its best 6+-performance since May’s 8.1. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended 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+). Inching up from #31 to #30, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” has its sixth straight up or flat trend for a collective +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Rebounding from a November dip of two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KOIT-FM counters with a +2.7 to 6.4 (6+), leaping from sixth to second. Meanwhile, its AC rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – is off a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) and falls from third to fourth. Not only does KDFC post a one-half share increase for the second straight sweep (2.1 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), the University of Southern California-owned classical outlet zooms into the top ten (#14 to #9). After being an overall +1.1 in six straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” falters by six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Directly on the heels of November’s +.8, (2.8 – 3.6, 6+) KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” surrenders six-tenths to 3.0 (seventh to tenth, 6+). As a result of a one-half share decline (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.0) since November 2017’s 2.6 and is tied with KOSF at #10.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past five months for a collective +1.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP forfeits nearly half that increase (2.7, -.5, #13 to #16, 6+). Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Flat at #35, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is an overall -.3 in three straight down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .7 – .6, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is without an increase for the third time in a row (.5 – .4 – .4 – .4, flat at #36, 6+).

Even though it is off a collective three-tenths in November and December (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” advances from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” has its fifth straight sweep without a loss for a +.5 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6, steady at #18, 6+). On the other hand, ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which was a collective +.3 in four straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), is off one-tenth to 1.1 (#29 to #31, 6+).

Down or flat for the fourth straight time (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” actually progresses from #21 to a tie at #20. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0.

After posting three increases in a row for an overall gain of seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA returns two-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #13, 6+). Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – In seven successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” has nearly doubled (+2.4) its 6+-stat (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 5.1, 6+), vaulting from ninth to third. “Star” (5.1, 6+) is up one-tenth from where it was a year ago (5.0, December 2017, 6+). A combined +1.2 in three successive upticks (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” progresses from seventh to fourth. Down one-half share in November (6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” bounces back with a +.2 to 6.3 (6+) and is on top for the 12th straight time. “Kiss” was +1.1 in August, after a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+). Flat at #19, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is a combined -1.0 via five consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+). Albeit that Cumulus Media’s KSCS is -1.1 in five straight down or flat reports (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to sixth, 6+), “New Country 96.3” overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.1 – 3.6, -.5, fourth to tenth, 6+). An October gain by “The Wolf” halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths; its May through November topline was 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 (6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and the first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Despite being off a cumulative one-half share in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” advances from #13 to #11.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH erases its November gain of six-tenths and sends “News Radio 740” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). November’s 4.3 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2017’s 4.4. KTRH was a combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+) and up one-half share in October.

The AM flagship of the Houston Texans Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” – is a collective +.4 in five straight up or flat trends (.9 .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, #22, 6+). Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” notches a .8 for the third straight month (#25 to #27, 6+), while KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790,” which was trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 (6+), falters by one-half share to .6 (#22 to #28, 6+).

In five successive down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off one full-share (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on at #20.

Houston Music Formats – On top for the eighth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” dials up a +2.2 (7.5 – 9.7, 6+). “Sunny” recorded an 8.9 (6+) in December 2017. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston facility reached double-digits (6+) since that particular ratings period. KODA has a 1.7-share (6+) advantage over Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which is a collective +3.3 via five successive positive spikes (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. In three successive declines, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” is a collective -1.5 (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its format foe, Entercom’s KILT-FM “New Country 100.3 The Bull,” returns November’s +.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) yet climbs from #14 to #13. Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is down by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). Three straight upticks by KOVE accounted for an overall +1.7 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), but “Amor 106.5” lost four-tenths in November. A 4.5 (6+) in October 2018 enabled it to reach the four-share level for the first time since October 2016. Faltering by one-half share as well, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” is a collective -2.0 in four successive downward moves (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to tenth, 6+). It is one-tenth behind iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz,” an overall -1.2 via six straight sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). For the seventh ratings period in succession, Radio One CHR KROI “92.1 Radio Now” is without an increase for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .8, #26, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM forfeits seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but is #1 for the 37th consecutive time. Even though Cumulus Media’s WYAY gains one-tenth (1.3 – 1.4, 6+), “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); WYAY was -1.0 in August (2.3 – 1.3, 6+). Logging its sixth sweep in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one-half share (.1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .4 – .5 – .6 -.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk WAOK nonetheless backslides from #27 to #28.

Off three-tenths in November, co-owned sports talk/Atlanta Falcons flagship WZGC “92.9 The Game” answers with a +.6 (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and zooms into the top ten (#13 to #9). Prior to November, WZGC was an overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+). Following three straight down or flat trends for a collective -.5 in that stretch (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (flat at #19, 6+). When the Atlanta Braves flagship lost two-tenths in July, it halted 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+).

As a result of five straight up or flat trends, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3, tenth to seventh, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Georgia State University news/talk WRAS returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.4 (.6 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Following three negative trends in succession that accounted for an overall -1.5 (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” erases two-thirds of the deficit with a +1.0 to 5.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fish” since its 6.0 in January. At this time last month, two-tenths of a share separated Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” and its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull.” The two country outlets though are now part of a three-way tie at #10 as “Kicks” is up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, +.2, flat at #10, 6+), while “The Bull” gains three-tenths (3.5 – 3.8, #14 to #10, 6+). A combined +.7 in September and October (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), “Kicks” returned three-tenths in November. After three consecutive decreases that led to a -1.1 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “The Bull” responded with a November gain of six-tenths. Three straight downward moves by Radio One-owned WHTA resulted in a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but “Hot 107.9” is up three-tenths to 3.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Its May through August topline was 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 (6+). Cumulus Media-owned rhythmic CHR WWWQ-HD3 more than doubles (+1.0) its 6+-stat in three straight upticks (.8 – 1.2 -1.3 – 1.8, flat at #20, 6+), while Davis Broadcasting regional Mexican WLKQ “LA Raza” debuts with a .7 (#25, 6+). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share shrinks by -1.8 as iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.2 (3.3, #6 to #15, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is -.6 (4.4 – 3.8, #7 to #10, 6+). “Power” had been without a loss the past seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). When “Q-100” lost one-tenth in October, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.6 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last seven survey periods (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is off six-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #16), its lowest 6+-showing since April’s 2.5.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight ratings periods without a decrease netted Entercom’s WPHT a +1.4, nearly doubling its 6+ AQH share (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). That streak, however, ends in December as “Talk Radio 1210” falters by eight-tenths to 2.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, September-October-November, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returns to 1.3 in December (-.2, #20 to #23, 6+).

Stable at 6.3 (6+), Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1,” which was #1 in October, proceeds from sixth to fourth. The flagship of the Eagles and Phillies was -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); +1.4 (October); and -1.0 (November). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is without a loss for the third time in a row for an overall +.9 (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Prior to October, the key station of the 76ers and Flyers was without an improvement the previous five months for an overall -1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+).

Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is down one-tenth (5.2 – 5.1, 6+), yet climbs from eighth to seventh; KYW was up seven-tenths in August.

A loss of four-tenths to 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+) by public news/talk WHYY ends a down/up pattern that began in June (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – On top from March through June before being dislodged in July, Entercom adult contemporary WBEB returns to #1 (6.5 – 10.4, +3.9, fourth to first, 6+); “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was 12.8 (6+) in December 2017. Immediately prior to October, WBEB was a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). It displaces co-owned classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which erases November’s +.6 with a December -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+) and falls to third. That November increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a combined -1.4 (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). WOGL finished first in August and segued to second in September. July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” breaks out a +.8 to 7.4 (third to second, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of six-tenths, Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (5.4 – 4.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). After a September gain of four-tenths, WXTU surrendered more than twice that increase with a loss of nine-tenths. This is its lowest 6+-showing since February (4.3, as well). In mid-November, iHeartMedia transitioned rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze – Philly’s Relaxing Favorites.” In its first report as an AC, “The Breeze” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #17, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 (August through November, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” shrinks by seven-tenths to 6.2 (second to fifth, 6+), its lowest 6+-share since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Off six-tenths each are co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philly’s Alternative Rock” (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+). WMMR had been an overall +1.1 via four straight up or flat trends (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After doubling its 6+ share (+1.8) in September and October (1.8 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” is a combined -1.4 in November and December (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is down or flat for the third straight sweep (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #25 to #26, 6+). Its August increase of one-tenth stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

Not only is Entercom sports talk WFAN off by four-tenths (4.8 – 4.4, 6+), the flagship of the Giants, Brooklyn Nets, and Yankees slumps from a three-way tie at #1 to #5. WFAN had been on top the past four months. It wiped away October’s +.6 with a November loss of eight-tenths. October’s 5.6 was the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. The flagship of the New York Jets – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is a collective -.3 in November and December (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+). As was the case with WFAN, similarly-programmed WEPN gained six-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.2, 6+). “ESPN New York” had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Separated by one-tenth of a share in November, Entercom all-news WINS (3.4 – 3.2, -.2, #11 to #9, 6+) and co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (3.2, -.1, #12 to #9, 6+) are now tied. WINS was up six-tenths in October; WCBS-AM had been +.9 in six straight up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Unlisted the past two months, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM resurfaces at #17 (1.9 – 2.0, +.1, 6+). From February 2018 – September 2018,  WNYC-FM had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (6+) and ranked #19 in September.

Long Island Music Formats – Roaring back from a one-half share November dip with an improvement more than four times that margin (4.4 – 6.5, +2.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “97.5 – Real Variety” jumps from fourth to first. This (6.5) is its strongest 6+-performance since March (7.0). In addition, “Real Variety” breaks up November’s three-way logjam at #1, which included WFAN (see above); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.3, +.5, first to third, 6+); and iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.8 – 4.6, -.2, first to fourth, 6+). Following six straight months without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), “Z-100” picked up one-tenth in November. In three increases in succession, WCBS-FM was +1.2 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, it was a collective -1.2 via five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Two-tenths behind WALK-FM is iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which rockets from eighth to second and has more than doubled (+3.5) its 6+-stat in six sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 6.3, 6+). “Lite FM” recorded a 4.5 (6+) in December 2017. Debuting or reappearing in print after a lengthy absence are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8, #29, 6+); Newark Public Radio’s WBGO “88.3 The Jazz Source” (.7, #30, 6+); Fordham University triple A WFUV “90.7 Music Discovery Starts Here” (.5, #33, 6+); and WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” (.5, #33, 6+). Dropping from #9 to #11, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” is an overall -1.9 in five straight slips (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Off eight-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (3.0), Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” drifts from #7 to #11. Also departing the top ten and part of the four-way logjam at #11 is Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” which is an overall -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.1, #9 to #11, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is down or flat for the sixth consecutive time for an overall decline of nine-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, #16 to #19, 6+); “Hot 97” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) the previous 49 consecutive ratings periods. In five straight sweeps without an increase, Cumulus Media country WNSH is a collective -.9 (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5, 6+) as “94.7 – Nash FM” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #26).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD gained one-tenth in August; was flat in September; up one-tenth in October; down two-tenths in November; and now “1290 News Talk IE” is flat at .2, remaining at #20 (6+).

It’s the same (November 2018 – December 2018) story for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM,” which is unchanged at .2/#20 (6+). The former KUBE disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August; added one-tenth in both September and October; and dropped one-tenth in November. Similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the 11th month in a row.

Following three straight modest increases that accounted for a +.4 (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR erases that gain with a -.4 to 1.3 (#11 to #12, 6+). The October 6+-share for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is sliced in half in November and December (.6 – .4 – .3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – A collective +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 – Family Friendly” bumps up from eighth to sixth, reaching the three-share level (3.2, 6+) for the first time since January 2018’s 3.1. Over and above being #1 for the seventh successive sweep, Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” dials up a +1.1 to 10.5, the largest 6+-stat for any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted in this particular overview; “Jose” was +2.5 in September. This (10.5) marks the first time any Riverside station has reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. A loss of four-tenths in October ended five straight increases that netted an astonishing +5.3, more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 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+). An increase of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) elevates Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” to its best 6+-performance (2.9) since March (3.0). Despite being off four-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is secured in the runner-up slot for the seventh month in a row. KOLA held the lead position in May with a 6.5 (6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks,” which lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share as the result of six straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (#12 to #11, 6+). Flat at 1.3 (#13 to #12, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is in one-share range (6+) for the 16th successive ratings period.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a November loss of eight-tenths, Cumulus Media’s KGO levels off at 2.2 and advances from #17 to #16. In advance of November’s -.8, KGO posted four upticks in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Locked on 1.2 (6+) in October and November, co-owned news/talk KSFO forfeits two-tenths to 1.0 (#24 to #28, 6+). Its +.1 in October ended three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the vanishing of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is a combined -1.5 in four straight down or flat moves (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9, #11 to #14, 6+), while Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (.6 – 1.1 – 1.5, #26 to #23, 6+).

All-news sibling KCBS-AM, which was off by one-half share in November (6.2 – 5.7, 6+), is up two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), yet backslides from third to fifth.

Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED rebounded from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), jumping from sixth to fourth. Unlisted in October and November, KQED returns in December at #2 (6.7, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District news/talk KALW debuts at #30 (.5, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – Having recorded a gain of one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM erupts with a +2.7 (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 6.0, 6+), vaulting from tenth to fourth. On the heels of posting a one-half share improvement in November, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+). An overall -2.4 as the result of three declines in succession (6.2 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” erases one-quarter of that decrease with a +.6 to 4.4 (sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective -2.4 in three consecutive negative trends (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” rebounds with a +.4 to 4.1 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Prior to that streak, “Hot Country” was an overall +2.1 via five successive gains (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+). November’s 3.7 marked the first time KRTY was below a four-share (6+) since January’s 3.8. In one fell swoop, KOSF “iHeart 80s @ 103.7” has virtually half of its 6+-stat slashed (2.9 – 1.5, -1.4, 6+) as it fades from the top twenty (#12 to #23). An overall +1.7 in October and November (6.3 – 6.9 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” erases all but six-tenths of that increase with a -1.1 to 6.9 (6+), but is #1 for the third month in a row. In November, “Bay FM” reached the eight-share level (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2016 (8.0, as well). Prior to October, the last time KBAY held the lead spot was “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. After regressing by seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ surrenders another eight-tenths in December (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #13); “98.1 The Breeze” was a combined +1.0 in September and October (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Having posted a +1.2 in October and a +.7 in November, hot AC sibling KIOI “Star 101.3” relinquishes one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). As a result of four straight down or flat trends, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is an overall -1.0 (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#20 to #26). Three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) netted Bonneville-owned KUFX a collective +1.7, but “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is now -2.6 in three straight declines (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.3, fifth to eighth, 6+). Before shifting to #3 in October, KUFX had been #1 for three straight months. An overall +.3 via three successive up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “106.1 #1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a loss of three-tenths to 8.0 (6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW has its consecutive string of increases that netted +2.3 halted at six (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3, 6+). Even so, “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. November’s 8.3 was its best 6+-share since January (8.3, as well). Without a loss the past five sweeps and precisely doubling (+1.7) its 6+-share (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR sputters by six-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth straight sweep for an overall loss of one-half share (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #23 to #26.

The +.7 that Entercom sports talk WFAN logged in October is erased by a combined -.8 in November and December (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Moreover, WFAN spirals from the top ten (#7 to #13). Its October increase ended four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession that accounted for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). Through five consecutive up or flat trends, similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” was +1.2 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but the flagship of the New York Jets loses four-tenths in December to 2.5 (#17 to #19, 6+).

As Entercom all-news WCBS-AM loses two-tenths (2.5 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS adds two-tenths (1.4 – 1.6, flat at #24, 6+). Through three increases in a row, WCBS-AM was up eight-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to November, WINS recorded a 1.7 (6+) in each of the previous six Middlesex-Somerset-Union monthlies.

Missing from print in October and November, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM reappears at #18 (2.6, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – On a rollercoaster ride, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” was +.4 through three straight up or (mostly) flat July through October trends (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); -.6 in November; and now +.9 in November (3.5 – 4.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). November’s 3.5 was its lowest 6+ Middlesex-Somerset-Union showing since 3.3 in September 2016. In addition to being +2.4 (6+) in its home (New York City) market and +2.5 (6+) in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is +.7 in Middlesex. Carrying on in second-place, WLTW is an overall +1.6 in four straight Middlesex upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Replicating November’s half-share improvement (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” progresses from tenth to eighth.WNYC Broadcasting Foundation classical WQXR debuts with a .5 (#28, 6+). Returning in full the one-half share increase it registered in November (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B” continues in third-place. Faltering by one-half share as well and departing the top twenty is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” (2.5 – 2.0, #19 to #23, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” which was down or flat the past five months for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) gains one-tenth to 3.1 (#16 to #14, 6+).

Monday, December 10, 2018

| December 10, 2018

Report: Cumulus Interested in WGN-AM, Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media – owner of news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM and alternative WKQX – is interested in buying legendary news/talk WGN-AM.  Television station company Nexstar has bid to acquire Tribune Media – 42 TV stations, numerous digital properties and cable channel WGN America – for $4.1 billion.  A report in Crain’s Business Chicago indicates that although Nexstar is “in no hurry” to sell WGN-AM, it is not planning to build out a  radio division and will likely sell the station.  None of the major radio operators are up against the AM ownership cap in Chicago so Cumulus, Entercom, Hubbard or iHeartMedia could be contenders to acquire the station.  Feder says that Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner told staffers Cumulus would be interested in the station.

John Hanson Named Program Director for WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Taking over after the departure last month of station OM and PD Andy Bloom as program director for news/talk WCCO-AM is John Hanson.  He joins the station from the company’s Kansas City sports talk duo KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and KWOD “1660 The Score.”  Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “John brings extensive knowledge of the Minneapolis community to his new role with 830 WCCO. I trust our listeners will enjoy the innovative and exciting programing that he will add to the station.”  Prior to joining Entercom in 2013, Hanson co-hosted “Twin Cities Live” on KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.

Jeff Styles Returns to the Air in Chattanooga. Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality Jeff Styles is back on the air in the market today on Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ “NoogaRadio 92.7 FM” for a daily show in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Styles was let go from WGOW by Cumulus Media after being arrested during a road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm by the other motorist.  The case was bound over to a grand jury but the charges against him were dropped.  WGOW subsequently named midday host Brian Joyce host of “The Morning Press” with co-hosts Jim Reynolds and Kevin West.  Styles’ new program is called “Fred the Show” – Fred stands for Free Radio Every Day – and Styles says, “I’m excited to have a platform to listen, and talk to, listeners again…I’m chomping at the bit, excited to stir things up!”

Doug McIntyre to Exit KABC, Los Angeles. Longtime KABC-AM, Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media news/talk station after his contract expires at the end of this month.  McIntyre is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.  In a Tweet, McIntyre says, “Time for me to say goodbye.  After 22 years, I will do my last show at KABC this Friday, December 14th.  What a great run and wonderful experience it has been.  This was a tough call, but I appreciate KABC management for for respecting my decision.”

Nielsen Audio: News/Talk Top Format in PPM Markets.  According to data from Nielsen Audio, overall (Persons 6+), news/talk is the most-listened-to radio format of 2018 to this point with 10% of the AQH audience. Looking at the 25-54 demographic, CHR was again the dominant format with 8% of the AQH audience.  Although news/talk’s audience skews older, it still was the third most-listened-to format (tied with adult contemporary) with 7% of the AQH audience.  Keep in mind that Nielsen lumps public radio news/talk in with its commercial brethren and that certainly adds some youth to that figure, as it likely does with the 18-34 demo, in which news/talk scores 4.3% of the AQH share.

The Bob & Tom Show Renews with iHeartMedia for 13 Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show announces it has struck a renewal deal with iHeartMedia to continue being carried by 13 of the company’s radio stations, including home base WFBQ, Indianapolis; WQMF, Louisville; WTUE, Dayton and more.  The program is distributed by Westwood One.  Show host Tom Griswold says, “Thanks to [EVP/GM iHeartMedia national programming group] Brad Hardin and all the folks at iHeart for keeping our long relationship moving forward.  Many of these stations have been with us for years, so they are jewels in the ‘Bob & Tom’ crown.  Actually, we started our syndication at WFBQ and we’re happy to continue our close and unique tie with that special group in Indianapolis.”

Kim Komando Show to Air on Bloomberg TV in January. Beginning on Saturday, January 5, the new, television version of the weekly Kim Komando program will air on the Bloomberg Television Network at 4:00 pm ET.  Komando’s show is produced by her WestStar Multimedia Entertainment firm and the TV show will be produced at WestStar’s $8 million broadcast center in Phoenix.  Komando says, “We’re thrilled to take our content to an international audience.  We’re taking what we’ve perfected on the airwaves over the last 20 years, reaching millions of Americans each week and sharing it worldwide.  How cool is that?”  The press release says that the program “will be expertly produced to speak to Bloomberg’s loyal audience of business executives, industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.”  Komando adds, “We’re all about tech wellness and helping consumers use technology to enrich their lives and improve their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. In a report by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, it’s revealed that NPR employs “an army of temps” that for them creates a “workplace of anxiety and insecurity.”  Farhi writes, “Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR.  Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them.  Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.”  Temp workers are covered under NPR’s union contract and they make a base salary as per that contract.  According to the piece, about 20%-22% of NPR’s 483 union staffers are temps…..iHeartMedia and Learfield announce that new Milwaukee sports talk outlet WRNW “97.3 The Game” will serve as the new radio home of the Wisconsin Badger Sports Network in Milwaukee.   iHeartMedia division president Jeff Tyler comments, “We have enjoyed great success with many of our new sports/talk and entertainment brands and are excited about the launch of ‘97.3 The Game’ for Milwaukee and Southwestern Wisconsin.  We are also pleased to continue and expand our longtime partnership with Learfield’s Badgers Sports Properties and the University of Wisconsin with ‘The Game,’ ‘The Big 920’ and all the other Milwaukee stations and of course our iHeartRadio brand.”…..National radio rep firm Gen Media Partners announces its acquisition of  Regional Reps and The Tacher Company.  In a press release, GMP says, “While the newly acquired companies will continue to operate on behalf of the radio stations they represent, Gen Media Partners’ combined roster of 4,000 radio station partners will create more opportunities for national advertisers, particularly when they are looking for scale in radio.”  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “With the increased scale and reach, we can develop more national opportunities and generate more agency business for our independent radio partners, while we continue to provide the exceptional service and support that are our hallmark.”  Regional Reps chairman Stuart Sharpe exits while Greg Tacher and Joe Costello of The Tacher Company and Jeff Slivka of Regional Reps remain with their respective companies and take on expanded roles within the Gen Media Partners organization.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Cabinet, Financial Markets Activity, Charlottesville Murder Conviction, Southeast Winter Storm, Paris Riots, Huawei CFO Arrest, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; changes in the Trump cabinet as William Barr to be nominated for attorney general, Heather Nauert to be UN ambassador; and questions arise about a new chief of staff; the huge stock selloff and the activity on the world’s financial markets; James Alex Fields Jr. is convicted of murder in the death of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville protests; a winter storm dumps heavy snow in the Southeast; France continues to deal with violent protests over economic matters; the tense U.S.-China relations after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today looking at urban contemporary.  Three PPM market urban contemporary stations had improved more than a share over the November 2017 survey: Urban One’s WQOK, Raleigh “K97.5” (up 1.5); iHeartMedia’s WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3” (up 1.4); and Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” (up 1.1). There are no urban contemporary outlets that rank #1 in their markets (6+), but WQOK, WERQ, and iHeartMedia’s WUBT, Nashville all ranked #2 in their respective markets in the November 2018 survey. See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Toledo Blade reports a major shuffle of morning show talent at the Cumulus Media cluster in Toledo.   Beginning next Monday (12/17), classic hits WRQN morning hosts Cliff and Lyn will join Gary Shores on country WKKO-FM, 99.9 “K-100.”  Denny Schaffer’s morning team moves from hot AC WQQO-FM to WRQN.   Meanwhile Eric Chase, who handles evenings on WQQO, assumes mornings on the station.  The following Monday (12/21), Jeremy “Pyke” Peterson takes over mornings on classic rock WXKR-FM as Mark Benson retires after a 22-year stint with the station…..In Seattle, Michael Kraig exits Hubbard Broadcasting’s country KNUC where he’d been handling the evening show.