Tag: "Dan Mason"

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

| April 7, 2020

FCC Shoots Down Request for Investigation into Broadcasters Airing Presidential Press Conferences. Last week, the activist organization Free Press filed an emergency petition with the FCC calling on it to “investigate the spread of false Covid-19 information via broadcast outlets across the United States.”  Free Press co-CEO Jessica J. González and senior policy counsel Gaurav Laroia state, “The FCC possesses both the authority and the responsibility to ensure the public airwaves are utilized in the public interest.  This duty is heightened in times of crisis.  Specifically, broadcasters are prohibited from knowingly airing false information about a catastrophe that causes ‘substantial public harm.’”  Yesterday (4/6), the Commission’s Office of General Counsel and Media Bureau wholly rejected the petition saying it “seeks remedies that would dangerously curtail the freedom of the press embodied in the First Amendment and misconstrues the Commission’s rules.  The decision also makes clear that the FCC will neither act as a roving arbiter of broadcasters’ editorial judgments nor discourage them from airing breaking news events involving government officials in the midst of the current global pandemic.”  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is quoted saying, “Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press.  And so long as I am chairman of this agency, we always will.  The federal government will not—and never should—investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments simply because a special interest group is angry at the views being expressed on the air as well as those expressing them.  In short, we will not censor the news.  Instead, consistent with the First Amendment, we leave it to broadcasters to determine for themselves how to cover this national emergency, including live events involving our nation’s leaders.”

SportsGrid Shows to Air Across SB Nation Radio Network. Two of SportsGrid’s national talk shows – “Ferrall Coast to Coast” with Scott Ferrall and “Game Time Decisions” with Gabe Morency – will air on the SB Nation Radio schedule beginning April 14.  “Ferrall Coast to Coast” will air weekdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and “Game Time Decisions” will air from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  Ferrall comments, “This new opportunity allows me to reconnect with my long-time loyal listeners all over the country across the SB Nation network of radio stations. I’m looking forward to changing sportscasting by including the sports betting perspective and commentary to the millions of engaged fans.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Announces Emergency Grants. The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s executive committee of the board of directors held an emergency meeting recently to respond to broadcasters in financial need due to the coronavirus pandemic. The criteria for emergency grant qualifications has been revised to provide aid to broadcasters who meet the requirements and have been infected.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Never in our history as broadcasters have we experienced an event that has caused this much hardship.  Thus, we have revised provisions to our emergency grant eligibility guidelines.”  For more information, broadcasters in need can email grants@thebfoa.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org/coronavirus.

Austin American-Statesman Launches New Streaming Talk Station. Former KLBJ-AM, Austin personality Jeff Ward is one of the Austin market radio pros to join the newest streaming venture from the Austin American-Statesman.  The new station – called the Statesman News Network – joins the news organization’s streaming music station Austin360 Radio as the paper’s next audio venture.  Ward will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  He says, “There will be plenty of common-sense rants.  But the goal of the show is always the same: I want you to find it compelling, and I want you to feel forced to think.”  The paper says that other shows lined up for the stream include: “From the Newsroom” featuring interviews from the staff of the newspaper; “512 Tech and Business Report,” a daily update on local business and technology news from Amy Edwards; “Longhorn Confidential,” breaking news, interviews and updates on the Texas Longhorns; “Austin Found,” in which Statesman reporter and Austin history buff Michael Barnes and radio personality JB Hager share the stories behind the making of the Texas capital; plus more.

PPM Analysis: February 2020 Extra. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents and “extra” look at Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey.  In this report, he presents a rank of the PPM markets based on weekly, 6+ AQH share for all spoken-word stations; a rank of the highest market-wide gains in spoken-word listening; a rank of the markets that lost the most 6+ share; and more.  See it all here.

Radio Pros, ‘Sterling On Sunday’ Keeps You on the Air.  The national radio show “Sterling On Sunday” invites laid off radio performers to participate in their on-air comedy routines and dramas.  “We have had a stunning array of top talent in our sketches such as Charlie Van Dyke, JJ Wilson, but mostly people who wish to remain anonymous due to their alimony situation.  If you can cut an mp3, we can write a part for you.”  “Sterling On Sunday” is aired (10:00 pm to 1:00 am) on major stations live such as KMBZ-FM, Kansas City; KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; WPHT, Philadelphia; KFBK, Sacramento; plus about 100 more.  “Broadcasting from home is nothing new to us.  It’s the right way.  We will give you credit, script approval, and generally talk you up. Hear past shows at www.waltermsterling.com so you know what you’re getting into. No broadcaster should be off the air, it’s unnatural.  C’mon let’s make a show.  We also have a plan to pay you for helping our team clear the show…cash!”  Contact waltermsterling@gmail.com.

U.S. Coronavirus Cases and Death Toll, the Hydroxychloroquine Debate, Trump Fires Whistleblower, Financial Markets Activity, Boris Johnson in ICU, Wisconsin Primary, 5G-Coronavirus Conspiracy, USS Theodore Roosevelt Controversy, Chinese Journalist at WH Presser, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7). The number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll; the medical and political debate over the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus; the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson; the world’s financial markets react to coronavirus news; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to the ICU for Covid-19 treatment; the battle between Wisconsin’s governor and the state Supreme Court over the primary elections; the conspiracy theory that 5G is exacerbating coronavirus symptoms; the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt is removed for pleading for help for his coronavirus-infected crew; a Chinese journalist is admitted to the White House press briefing; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City Morning Host Sues Entercom for Discrimination.  Former KRBZ-FM, Kansas City “96.5 The Buzz” morning host Afentra Bandokoudis has filed suit against Entercom Kansas City for “discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Equal Pay Act.”  She’s seeking back pay, benefits, bonuses, and more.  Bandokoudis’ complaint alleges that she was paid less than her male counterparts despite outperforming their shows.  She was paid a base salary of $100,000 and her PD/afternoon host Scott Geiger, a.k.a. Lazlo, made $185,000.  (Bandokoudis and Geiger were married from 2005 through July of 2018, a month before Bandokoudis was fired from the station.)  She alleges Johnny Dare, morning host on sister rock station KQRC, made more than $185,000 despite her show outperforming his.  Bandokoudis goes on to claim that after she complained about the par disparity, she was subject to retaliatory actions before ultimately being let go in 2018.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At iHeartMedia’s Chicago hip hop WGCI, Zach Boog is named the new evening host, taking over for DJ MoonDawg, who exited during the company’s January restructuring.  He’d been filling in on the daypart along with other WGCI staffers.  Station PD Johnnie D. Glover says, “It is an honor to promote Zach to nights on 107.5 WGCI.  He is extremely entertaining, works hard to produce compelling content, and has a very organic way of connecting with Chicago listeners.  Zach has a bright future and I look forward to working with him to create many exciting memories with 107.5 WGCI’s audience.”…..Griffin Communications CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-Hits” brings Kacy Termini aboard as co-host of the new “Chubbs & Kacy Show” to debut on Monday (4/13).  She comments, “I’ve been so impressed with what ‘K-Hits’ and the Griffin brands have been able to do in our community.  Every time something happens, they step up to help their neighbors and keep them safe and informed.  Especially at such a trying time for many.  I’m excited to work with Chubbs and do our part to make Green Country even more special.  We still need to laugh – in both the hard times and the good ones!”…..Condolences to the family and friends of programming pro John Roberts, who passed away recently after a esophageal cancer.  He’d been serving as regional operations manager for Townsquare Media in Tyler, Texas.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “John was a true pro, one of the best our business has ever seen.  But more importantly he was a great friend to everyone, and he made a huge impact on his family, his staff, his community, and basically with everyone he met.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

| May 1, 2019

iHeartMedia Announces Completion of Restructuring. Almost 14 months after entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, iHeartMedia announces it has “successfully completed its restructuring process.  As a result of the comprehensive balance sheet restructuring, iHeartMedia’s debt has been significantly reduced – from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion.”  With the balance sheet reorganization comes the separation of iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings into two independent, publicly traded companies.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that iHeartMedia now has a capital structure that matches our exciting operating business.  The focused dedication of our employees and the unwavering support of our new owners and advertising partners enabled iHeartMedia to seamlessly complete the restructuring process and reach this final milestone.  iHeartMedia enters this next phase of growth as a multi-platform audio company with a vastly improved financial profile. We are well-positioned to continue to innovate and offer cutting-edge technologies, products, and services to our audiences and advertisers.”  Pittman continues to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the new iHeartMedia, Inc.  Rich Bressler continues to serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.  A new board of directors has been appointed, including Bob Pittman, Rich Bressler, and the following members: Jay Rasulo, Gary Barber, Brad Gerstner, Sean Mahoney, and Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan.

David Field on Spoken-Word Radio and Sports Gambling.  During the first quarter earnings call with analysts yesterday (4/30), Entercom president and CEO David Field talked about the value of his spoken-word formatted radio stations, saying the group – all-news, news/talk, and sports talk – account for “roughly about 40% of our revenue mix across our stations.”  The company operates 235 stations and, by TALKERS‘ count, approximately 30% of its stations are spoken-word.  Separately and responding to a question about the gambling category and the trend towards legal sports gambling across the country, Field expressed hopes for the future of the sports gambling advertising category, saying the company’s large group of sports talk stations should be able to capitalize on that.  He stated, “We have seen estimates that the sports gambling advertising market could be in the neighborhood of $2 billion.  If you think about radio getting a chunk of that, a reasonable chunk of it and Entercom’s prowess in the sports market, we think this could become a $1 million or $2 million category for Entercom over time.  That is certainly a reasonable aspirational goal.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Subscribers can see the rest of the transcript here.

‘The O’Reilly Update’ Show Launches. This is the week “The O’Reilly Update” – the new, 15-minute daily radio program featuring Bill O’Reilly – debuts on more than 100 stations.  Key Networks is syndicating the program and reports that inaugural affiliates include: WBAL, Baltimore; WDTK, Detroit; WHK, Cleveland; KUFO, Portland; and KTSA, San Antonio.  Key Networks says the program is airing in four of the top 10 DMAs, nine of the top 20 DMAs and 18 of the top 50 DMAs.  It is also being rolled out on 21 non-news/talk stations, including on country and classic hits outlets.  The show – with all network spots included within the show and two minutes of local avails – is delivered daily at 11:30 am ET.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian says, “Bill O’Reilly has a track record of insightful and unfiltered commentary on vital topics and issues.  His familiar voice and dynamic point of view augments our lineup of outspoken hosts and commentators.”  Alpha Media news/talk/sports content director Bruce Collins says, “Bill is a true natural storyteller.  I’m extremely excited to have him on-air in Portland on ‘Freedom 970.’” Meet Bill O’ Reilly at the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Storywhere he will be delivering a special keynote address.  The convention is rapidly nearing a sellout.  For registration information, please click here.

 

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Overcoming the Public’s Distrust of the Media Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.   The highly polarized nature of today’s political climate has created a widespread public distrust of the media in general.  Dealing with this complex issue has become one of the fundamental challenges facing news/talk hosts of all political stripes.  It also creates new opportunities.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring a panel discussion addressing this concern and all matters of credibility titled “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.”  Panelists include (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, “The Joe Pags Show;” Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, “The Rick Ungar Program”/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com.  Don’t miss this session!  The discussion will be moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Midwest Closes on Alpha Media Acquisitions. The $21.6 million deal between Alpha Media and Midwest Communications that gives Midwest six Peoria market radio stations closes.  The station group includes news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY and five music-formatted signals.  The Duke Wright-led Midwest Communications owns 75 other radio stations in states including: Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  This is its first Illinois acquisition.  At the time the sale was announced, Wright stated, “The first time my wife and I visited Peoria was to visit son Michael enrolled at Bradley University.  We were most impressed with the city and its radio stations.  My thought was that here was a market that would probably nicely fit into the Midwest Communications radio group.”  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Indiana’s Legendary WHBU-AM Relaunches as Talk-Music Hybrid.  The Anderson, Indiana-licensed station is owned by Woof Boom Radio and the company is re-launching the “oldest commercial station” in the state to more intensely serve the Muncie-Marion market.  The station will feature talk shows to focus on Anderson and Madison counties plus classic hits from the 60s and 70s.  New morning host (and Hoosier native) Mitch Henck handles the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show.  He says, “I am really excited to help launch a new morning news/talk show on WHBU. We really put Anderson and Madison county first. We want to capture stories about the special people who live here as they pursue their hopes and dreams every day.”

Dan Mason Named Chairman of VSiN.  Longtime radio executive Dan Mason is named chairman of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) the media network dedicated to sports betting information.  In this role, Mason will “work closely with VSiN’s management team to capitalize on the emerging growth and partnership opportunities in the sports betting and media space.”  VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger says, “There are few media executives with both the experience and reputation that Dan brings to the table.  He’s already brought invaluable guidance to our team as a senior adviser and investor, and we look forward to having even greater access to his unmatched depth of knowledge and relationships in this industry.  We’re thrilled to work even more closely with this consummate leader and better leverage his C-level expertise to build on and accelerate the recent growth we are experiencing at VSiN.”  Mason adds, “Brian and his team have caught lightning in a bottle here. Besides establishing itself on the satellite platform, recently extending its agreement with SiriusXM, VSiN has made tremendous inroads into the OTT space with Sling TV and fuboTV, as well as growing its own subscription offerings.  We will now look to further expand our reach across video and audio channels, including terrestrial radio where sports have thrived for decades.”

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters is announcing it is accepting nominations for the 2019 NAB Marconi Radio Awards through May 31.  The NAB’s Marconi Radio Awards recognize overall excellence and performance in radio. Finalists will be announced in July and winners will be honored at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the Radio Show in Dallas on September 26.  Stations and on-air personalities may nominate themselves in the categories of “Station of the Year by Market Size,” “Station of the Year by Format,” “Personality of the Year by Market Size,” “Legendary Station,” and “Best College Radio Station of the Year,” which has been renamed from “Noncommercial Station of the Year.”  Nominations will also be accepted for new awards categories of “Legendary Manager of the Year” and “Best Radio Station Podcast.”  Syndicators and affiliates may also submit nominations for the category of “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year.”  Nominations must be submitted online here…..Radio America‘s nationally syndicated  “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch announces new affiliate stations WJJF-FM, Nassau (Long Island); WSIC-AM/FM Charlotte; WFTW-AM Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; and KPNW-AM/FM Eugene, Oregon all add the program to their daily lineups…..Bustos Media’s news/talk KVOI, Tucson announces that two of its programs – “Eye on the Ball” with Steve Rivera and “Around the Table” with Dawn and Jennifer English – are swapping dayparts.  Rivera moves to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot and the English’s move to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, the station adds the independently syndicated Dave Ramsey show to the program schedule, airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..This month is being declared the Second Annual Maryland Podcast Month.  Brian Griffiths founded Maryland Podcast Month last May in order to “bring together podcasts of all stripes and cross-collaborate and cross-promote in order to create more opportunities for podcasts to get new listeners.”  It’s non-partisan and non-ideological and consists of all sorts of locally produced content, including podcasts about news, politics, sports, life, culture, food, wrestling, and other shows.  Being featured in Maryland Podcast Month are a couple of shows from WBAL, Baltimore personalities…..Team Broadcasting‘s sports talk KQTM, Albuquerque “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” is partnering with local soccer club New Mexico United to bring 15 of the team’s matches to the station’s airwaves.  New Mexico United is in its inaugural season in the USL Championship, a professional soccer league that has a partnership with Major League Soccer…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” recently hosted The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy in professional sports, on the “Felger & Massarotti” show.  Pictured below in the “Sports Hub” studio in Boston are (From l-r): host Mike Felger985thesportshub.com hockey writer Ty Anderson, WBZ-FM personality Big Jim Murray, and host Tony Massarotti.

Mueller Report Release/Barr Testimony Request, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Tax Returns/Business Earnings Issues, Venezuela Unrest, Deadly UNCC Shooting, Southern Border Crisis, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30). The release of the Mueller report, Robert Mueller’s disagreement with Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report and Barr’s requested testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; the Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the request by New York State for Trump’s tax returns and the investigation into Trump business deals with foreign governments; the political unrest in Venezuela; the shooting at University of North Carolina Charlotte that took the lives of two and injured others; the migrant influx status at the U.S.-Mexico border; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Phoenix, midday personality and music director Tom Peake is leaving his on-air role with Entercom’s classic hits KOOL-FM.  He’ll continue to serve as music director.  Peake tells the Arizona Republic that it was not his idea to give up his air shift, but he understands the reasons and has no ill feelings.  Peake started at the station as a part-time jock in 1979.  He became the full-time evening personality in 1981…..Beasley Media Group’s hot AC WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware “The New Mix 99.5” names John Baublis, a.k.a.Johnny B, program director.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Johnny’s a programming veteran with years of proven success and past experience in the Wilmington market.  Plus, he shares our values of great local radio with an emphasis on serving the community.  We’re proud to have someone like Johnny on our team at JBR.”…..Two programming announcements from Midwest Communications.  First, Ryan Fantozzi is named brand manager for rock WOZZ, Wausau, Wisconsin “Rock 94.7,” effective May 13.  Fantozzi comes to Midwest from NRG Media where he was PD at rock WBWB, Bloomington, Illinois.  Fantozzi replaces Terry Stevens, who is promoted to operations manager for the company’s Lansing, Michigan cluster.  Stevens will oversee the operations of rock WJXQ, CHR WLMI, country WWDK and adult hits WQTX.

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, September 20, 2018

| September 20, 2018

JVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ Debuts Sports Betting Programming. The latest broadcaster to announce new programming centered on sports betting is JVC Broadcasting.  The company announces it is partnering with Sports Garten Network to bring that firm’s flagship talk program “Wanna Bet?” – hosted by Tom Barton with Gary Pollakusky – to news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, Long Island “103.9 FM LI News Radio.”  The one-hour program airs at 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and at 10:00 pm on Sunday.  SGN is also providing the station with sports updates throughout the day.  JVC Media executive vice president and general manager Bruce Shepard says, “Having sports professionals like Tom and Gary with their sports talent and skill set is a complete win for us.  We are in the sports capital of the world and we are the radio home to the NY Islanders and Stony Brook Football.  This is fun live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.  This is the first show like this on the radio here and we are excited to have them on the team.”  SGN founder Pollakusky adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC Broadcasting. The sports betting landscape in America shifted forever on a Monday morning in May when the U.S. Supreme Court released a game-changing ruling that put the nation on a path toward widespread legal sports betting.  We are the first show on the air in this market talking about this exciting, nationwide decision.  Sports betting has made national news – for something other than a controversy – and we are talking about it.”

Buck Sexton Gets Facetime with the President. Pictured above is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality Buck Sexton (far right, blue tie) in the Oval Office interviewing President Trump.  During the 45-minute interview, Trump talked about immigration policy, the Mueller probe and its negative affect on his presidency, his disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his regret for not immediately firing FBI Director James Comey, and more.

Westwood One to Collaborate with AP for Ad Representation. This deal for Westwood One to provide ad sales representation for The Associated Press’ short-form news network is being termed a collaboration.  WWO will rep the AP’s bartered breaking news wire service, photos, video, web content, sports scores, datasets, audio bites, and more.  AP president of local media Michael Fabiano says, “AP is very pleased to have our diverse content set and affiliate list represented by Westwood One in the advertising marketplace.  Westwood One has a rich history of providing consumers relevant news/talk, entertainment, and sports programming.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “Westwood One has had a long relationship with the AP and with our entry into the short-duration ad market they were a natural partner.”

Radio News and Sports Pro Dave Barrett Dies at 63. The industry is mourning the death of award-winning radio pro Dave Barrett, who died unexpectedly yesterday (9/19) at age 63.  Barrett was serving with CBS News Radio at the time of his death.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “Dave Barrett was a special kind of broadcaster – one who could transport you to the scene of the story in just a few words.  He will be dearly missed – both in this newsroom and across the country.”  The obit from CBS notes that Barrett “was a lover of his medium who was especially interested in utilizing natural sound as well as words to tell stories better.  He was CBS News Radio’s go-to reporter for outdoor events such as music and sports and reported from 10 Olympic Games.  Barrett received one of the highest honors in electronic journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award, in 2011 for his insightful report that brought to life for listeners how kids occupy their time, illustrated by the sounds of their activities.”  Barrett also won a Murrow for a report on the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner in 2015.  He won his first Murrow for a 1998 profile of Tiger Woods.  Barrett joined CBS News Radio in February 2001 from the Fox News Radio Network, where he was news director beginning in 1998. He spent 15 years at ABC Radio News, covering everything from political conventions and hurricanes to the Olympics.

BFoA Tops $250,000 Raised at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that it raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need during its Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York.  The BFoA says this annual event is one of its biggest fundraisers – with 100% of the proceeds going to broadcasters in need.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “For the second year in a row, we have seen an unprecedented increase in applications for emergency aid due to the devastation from natural disasters.  Additionally, more broadcasters are reaching out for monthly grants as people live longer but do not always have the means to pay for life-sustaining medications and medical care.  The Broadcasters Foundation is often the last refuge for these broadcasters whose lives have been severely affected by unforeseen circumstances.  It is incumbent on us to help every broadcaster who qualifies and we need the support of everyone in our industry to make that happen.  We are grateful to the broadcasters, celebrities, and sponsors who came to the golf tournament and supported our mission.”  Celebrity golfers included: WCBS-TV’s Maurice Dubois, Otis Livingston, and Chris Wragge; WCBS-FM’s Scott Shannon; actress and philanthropist Rachel Grant; NBA All-Star Ray Allen and NBA Star Donny Marshall; 1980s Miracle on Ice Star Mike Eruzione; ESPN’s John Anderson and Anita Marks; NY Jets’ Greg Buttle; Voice of the NY Jets Bob Wischusen; and more.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Cleveland.com, Cleveland Browns sideline reporter Nathan Zegura has been barred from the next eight games for yelling at an NFL official during last weekend’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.  Zegura also works for Good Karma’s sports talk WKNR, Cleveland co-hosting the “Cleveland Browns Daily” program from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The piece states that Zegura has been suspended from that gig for two weeks.  Zegura will be replaced on the game day broadcasts by WKRK-FM, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” personality Dustin Fox…..Sports talk WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids “96.1 ESPN” air personality and APD Jim Costa is promoted to program director of the iHeartMedia station…..The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Buzzfeed is eliminating its audio podcast division in order to focus on video.  It will still produce some podcasts but is eliminating the production team that worked on its stable of in-house programs…..FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is the first commissioner to launch a podcast.  She’s debuting “Broadband Conversations,” focusing on women in technology.  A press release says each episode will feature Rosenworcel talking to women who are “breaking new ground and forging new paths in technology, media, and innovation about what they’re working on, what’s on their minds, what they think is next for the future.”  Rosenworcel adds, “Women are almost half the labor force in this country yet only hold barely a quarter of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.  I’m reminded of this fact when I go into boardrooms, classrooms, or meeting rooms — there are not enough women at the table. Because there are just too few, it’s time to amplify women’s voices from across the technology and innovation sectors.”…..Jo Anne Wallace is retiring from her position as vice president and general manager of public radio news/talk KQED, San Francisco, effective in late November.  The press release says Wallace “shepherded KQED Public Radio’s massively successful transition of format from music to news and public affairs and she led the development of KQED’s long-running and popular programs “Forum” and “The California Report.”  Previously, while working at NPR, she helped bring “Car Talk” and “Fresh Air” to the network for national distribution.  They would become two of the network’s most iconic and listened-to programs.  Wallace began her radio career in 1969 as a volunteer at WYSO, Yellow Springs, Ohio where she rose to station manager in 1973.  She served with KPFA, Berkeley, California and was station program manager for WGBH, Boston from 1978 to 1980.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation, U.S.-China Trade War, Trump vs Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, Florence Aftermath, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; speculation about the impact of the tariffs being placed on U.S. and Chinese goods; President Trump’s continuing public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle for control of congress in the coming midterm elections; the effects of the flooding in the Carolinas from Hurricane Florence; the recent meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s nukes reduction promises; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House book; the week’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dave Taft is promoted to SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s West Michigan operations in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon markets.  Taft is program director for country WBCT, Grand Rapids “B93.7.”  Regional SVP of programming Tony Travatto comments, “Dave is an incredible programmer.  He’s got the perfect blend of expertise to grow our listeners and clients and we know he will continue to dominate the media market in West Michigan with our team.”…..At Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins, Colorado, afternoon jock Matt Sparx adds music director duties, taking over for morning host Brian Gary who relinquishes them to focus on his on-air responsibilities…..The radio biz is remembering a legend from 1970s hit radio as news comes that Brother Bill Gable has died in Windsor, Ontario after a battle with COPD at age 69. A legend in the radio business has died. Gable is remembered for his work at Detroit-Windsor CHR powerhouse CKLW “The Big 8.”  Gable enjoyed a 46-year radio career. He retired in 2014.

Monday, June 4, 2018

| June 4, 2018

Former Buckley Broadcasting President and CEO Joseph Bilotta Dead at 69.  Former Buckley Broadcasting president and CEO Joseph Bilotta died on Friday (6/1) at Connecticut Hospice.  Bilotta served as chief of Buckley Broadcasting when it operated venerable New York talk station WOR and the WOR Radio Network.  TALKERS magazine learned of Bilotta’s passing via New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella, who issued the following statement to his organization: “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that Joe Bilotta passed away this afternoon.  As you know, Joe was a great friend and supporter of our association and he, along with Bob McCallan, Andy Santoro, and Elizabeth Christopherson comprised the search committee that ultimately offered me the privilege of representing this wonderful association. Joe was a constant source of support, advice, and guidance.  His wise counsel and friendship meant a lot to all of us on the Board, but most especially me. He was always available to help.”

Premiere Networks to Distribute Nancy Grace Daily Feature. Legal media figure and former HLN personality Nancy Grace and iHeartMedia’s Premiere
Networks 
are partnering to syndicate a new, daily feature focusing on current crime news.  The 60-second program launches July 23.  This show is called “Crime Alert with Nancy Grace.”  She says, “I’m thrilled to join iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks where I will continue my lifelong mission to fight crime and speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves.  This new platform expands my ability to shine a light on heinous crimes, help find missing people — particularly children — arm listeners with need-to-know information and catch the bad guys.”

Mike Morgan Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Raleigh.  At its Raleigh station group, iHeartMedia names Mike Morgan senior vice president of sales.  The Raleigh cluster includes news/talk WTKK-FM “106.1 FM Talk,” plus four music-formatted stations.  Raleigh market president Alan Kirshbom says, “Mike is the total package.  He brings extensive radio experience, subject matter expertise in digital, and a stellar track record of serving and developing business in key categories.  With Mike joining the Raleigh team, we are stronger than ever.”  Morgan joins iHeartMedia Raleigh after previously serving as director of new business development and account manager at Sokal Media Group.  He also previously served as general manager for Capital Broadcasting in Raleigh.

Dan Mason Joins VSiN as Strategic Advisor and Investor. Most industry pros are aware of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network), founded by Brian and Todd Musberger and home to brother Brent Musberger’s daily program “The Brent Musberger Action Update.”  Now, former CBS RADIO chief Dan Mason is joining the media network dedicated to sports gambling information.  The company is announcing a partnership with Mason in which he’ll join the company as strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations.  Brian Musberger says, “With decades of experience in the media industry, Dan brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. We are excited to leverage his expertise to drive continued growth at VSiN, capitalizing on the incredible opportunity presented by the burgeoning sports gambling industry.  His overall enthusiasm for our product brings an energy level to the room that is contagious.”  Mason is currently chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America and serves as a senior advisor to iHeartMedia.  The press release from VSiN says it “broadcasts as many as 13 hours of live programming a day from a showcase studio in the middle of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.”

Beasley Radio Talent Institute Begins Today at Emerson College in Boston. Getting underway today at Emerson College in Boston and running through June 13 is the Beasley Radio Talent Institute. Conducting the opening session are Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley and EVP/COO Brian Beasley.  They follow opening comments from the president of Emerson College, Dr. Lee Pelton.  Sessions taking place over the next 10 days will be taught by working radio pros from Beasley and other radio groups, including EntercomiHeartMedia, Hall Communications, and more, as well as play-by- play announcers for the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox.   National Radio Talent System president and founder Dan Vallie comments, “From the beginning, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley grasped the vision and immediately stepped up.  They are a company that does the right thing in our industry.  We are proud to be working together to continue growing the farm system, discovering, coaching and incubating young talent with a passion for radio.  It’s a privilege to be able to do this with Emerson College and to be working with forward thinking companies like Xperi, Marketron, Benztown, and Vcreative to help make it happen.”  Jack Casey, general manager of WERS-FM and adjunct professor at Emerson College, says, “The Beasley Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity for future broadcasters.”

Witness List for Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge Case Released. The $1 million suit brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen for ratings tampering is expected to go to trial on Monday, June 18. On Friday, the court released the final witness lists from both parties.  Of course, Bubba himself is on both lists, as are a number of broadcasters, including Beasley’s Justin Chase and Brian Beasley.  On Bubba’s list is former Clear Channel and Tribune chief Randy Michaels.  Also, on both lists is PPM panelist Nicholas Tabachuck – with whom Bubba is alleged to have colluded to tamper with the ratings.

TALKERS News Notes.  Atlantic City talk radio personality Harry Hurley announces he’ll be filling in on the FOX News Radio Network, guest hosting the Todd Starnes show on June 12 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  WPGG Talk Radio’s Hurley says, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Todd Starnes, who is literally one of the classiest and most generous broadcasters in our business.”……….San Francisco sports talker KNBR announces that as part of its new multi-year agreement with Major League Baseball’s Giants, the team is the first to offer free, in-market live streaming of its radio broadcasts.  The live stream is being delivered by TuneInCumulus Media San Francisco EVP of operations Dave Milner comments, “KNBR and Cumulus Media are proud to continue our 40-year partnership with the San Francisco Giants.  At the same time, we’re extremely excited to announce that KNBR, in partnership with TuneIn, will be the first radio station in Major League Baseball to offer Giants fans the ability to stream the games, live and free of charge in Northern California. Now every Giants game broadcast over the air on KNBR 680, will also be heard online at knbr.com, or the KNBR channel on TuneIn’s mobile app.”…..Sports radio pro Dan Graca is expanding his role WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” as he joins the New York Jets game day radio team.  Graca will work this season alongside former Jets linebacker Greg Buttle during the pre-game, halftime, and post-game radio shows.  He’ll continue as regular contributor on ESPN Radio and SNY-TV, including “Loudmouths,” “Daily News Live,” and “Baseball Night in New York.”  Graca says, “You could say this is a job I’ve spent my whole life preparing for.  Growing up a New York Jets season ticket holder for 23 years, going from Section 302, Row 26 to now becoming a part of the game-day broadcast is nothing short of surreal.  It is impossible to fully express the gratitude and excitement that comes along with this opportunity.”…..At last weekend’s Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards, WTOP-FM, Washington was presented with 12 honors, including for Outstanding News Operation and for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “These awards are a testament to what an incredibly talented team we have here at WTOP.  Across a wide range of specialties from digital to sports, documentaries to feature stories our people are what set us apart.  We feel honored to be able to share in their success.”…..WDEL-FM/AM, Wilmington received seven awards from the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association on Saturday (6/2) in Ocean City, Maryland.  The awards in the Div. II classification (markets 51+) included the top award of News Operation of the Year, as well as Best Newscast, Best Website and Best Talk Show for Rick Jensen.  Pictured below at the ceremony are (from l-r): WDEL breaking news reporter Mike Phillips, director of news and programming Chris Carl, assistant news director Amy Cherry, talk show host Rick Jensen, and contributing correspondent Rob Petree.

Geoffrey Starks Nominated for FCC Seat.  We have a nomination for the Federal Communications Commission seat begin vacated by Mignon Clyburn.  Current FCC Enforcement Bureau assistant chief Geoffrey Starks gets the nod.  Democrat Starks had been supported for the seat by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  Starks’ confirmation will take place in the next few months and will coincide with the vote on the reconfirmation of Republican commissioner Brendan Carr.

Trump Self Pardon/Russia Investigation, North Korea Summit, Iran Nuclear Deal, Portland Antifa Violence, Parkland H.S. Graduation, Facebook Data Deals, Italian Populist Government, NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump could pardon himself; the status of the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the repercussions of the U.S.’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal; the violence in Portland as Antifa forces clash with those at a Patriot Prayer rally; the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduation and Jimmy Fallon’s surprise appearance there; story reveals Facebook shared user data with many partners; unease in Europe as Italy swears in new, populist government; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cumulus Media’s country WKKO-FM, Toledo “K100,” 33-year program director Gary Shores hands the PD baton to Jerry Mac.  Shores, who has been with the station for total of 43 years, will continue his role as morning show host.  Mac comes to Toledo from Community Broadcasters’ operations in Elmira, New York where he was operations manager.  Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart says, “We celebrate and honor Gary Shore’s unprecedented and highly successful run as ‘K100’ program director.  Gary has been an essential part of the station’s continued growth and popularity and we are deeply grateful for his dedication and contributions over the past 43 years and counting.  We are thrilled Gary will stay on as host of ‘K100 Mornings!’”…..CMT and iHeartMedia are collaborating so that iHeartCountry will once again serve as the official radio partner of the 2018 CMT Music Awards and will simulcast the live show from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (6/8) at 8:00 pm ET/PT.  The live radio broadcast will air across more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations. In addition, Premiere Networks will engage those stations and Premiere-syndicated affiliates at the exclusive radio remote broadcast in Nashville today and tomorrow to help kick off the “hottest night in country music.”  “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” and “The Crook & Chase Countdown” are on-location to provide listeners with interviews with award nominees, performers and celebrity guests…..Pictured below is country artist Kane Brown with Beasley Media Group staffers at WKLB, Boston’s “Street Party” where more than 8,000 listeners showed up to party on Lansdowne Street adjacent to Fenway Park.  Performers included Brown, Cam, Lanco, Brown & GrayStephanie Quayle, and local performer Timmy Brown.  From left to right are: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Ilana Goldstein, Kane Brown, Brian Beasley, Beasley Media Group VP/market manager Mary Menna, and Joel Banos Carranza.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

| May 31, 2018

Joe D’Ambrosio Joins WTIC, Hartford Morning Show. Connecticut sports media pro Joe D’Ambrosio begins his new role with Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM as part of the “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, effective today (5/31).  D’Ambrosio is an award-winning sportscaster who has been with WTIC for 27 years.  He has been recognized with the Sports Media Association’s “Connecticut Sportscaster of the Year Award” a record nine times and is the recipient of the 2018 “Dean of Sports Award.”  Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Joe’s deep connection with and expertise of Connecticut’s sports landscape make him among the most respected voices in the field.  We are pleased to announce this next phase of our relationship with him.  Southern New England has known and respected Joe’s work for nearly three decades and we are looking forward to his full-time presence in WTIC’s masthead morning program.”

Video Game Manufacturer Looking to Partner with Talk Media Stations and Shows.  Video game manufacturer, Fowl Play Entertainment, Inc. announces the release of PIGEON HIT SQUAD, an intriguing news/talk media-friendly mobile game designed for Apple and Android devices.  It is a game in which players use pigeons to “fire” on a parade of annoying cartoon characters that passes underneath the birds.  Proprietary software allows players to paste onto the cartoon targets their own real-life photos of anyone from “frenemies” to politicians or celebrities.  The game is free to download and play.  Photos cost 99 cents to upload.  Broadcasters who wish to use the game as a promotion will receive an exclusive license for promotions within their market or coverage area at no charge. This license includes use of the game name, character likenesses, sfx, and original music tracks, all at no charge.  For more information contact ttanno@fowlplayentertainment.com.

NRHoF Public Voting Begins Monday. The general public will have two weeks to vote for their favorite radio personalities for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  Beginning Monday (6/4) and running through June 18, consumers can vote in the Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word Format On-Air Personality categories. Spoken Word nominees this year are: Mark Levin, Joe Madison, George Noory, and Jim Rome.  Music Format nominees are: Ellen K, Kid Kelly, Angie Martinez, and John Tesh.  NRHoF chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “Since reinstituting the nationwide public vote in 2015, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in listener participation which is a testament to the remarkable relationship each nominee has with his or her audience.”  Winners of the two categories will be announced June 25.

TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, changes take place at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that newscaster David Roe is retiring from the station where he was evening anchor after a 25-year career there.  The station announces that part-time anchor/reporter Mariam Sobh will take over anchoring that daypart.  At the same time, the station makes anchor/reporter Rob Hart a full-time staffer. Hart joined WBBM Newsradio two years ago after having served with Tribune’s crosstown WGN-AM…..Dan Mason tells SportsBroadcastJournal.com that he expects to make an announcement about a new sports-related venture “within the next few weeks.”  Since retiring from CBS RADIO in 2015, Mason has been dabbling in his passion for sports, calling games (this past year for Coppin State University) as well as serving with the Broadcasters Foundation of America. He tells the site that the new venture is “sports business related.”  Read the interview here.…..San Diego Padres radio play-by-play voice Ted Leitner is taking time off the team’s broadcasts after having been diagnosed with cancer.  ESPN is reporting that Leitner is having a kidney removed and that doctors say the cancer has not spread.  Tony Gwynn Jr. is filling in on game broadcasts…..AdLarge operated digital audio division cabana is declaring this “the summer of female voices,” and as such, has chosen its favorite female-hosted or female-focused podcasts from cabana’s 200 podcast catalogue and posted them in today’s medium post. cabana says the team of women to run the digital audio division based their choices on “lots of cool stats and emerging trends in audio.”…..Westwood One is reporting that the newly added podcast “83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff” – launched last month – has “rocketed to the top of the Apple Podcasts charts every week”  The show features wrestling legend Eric Bischoff and popular wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson taking a deep dive into the highs and lows of Eric’s unparalleled success in the wrestling business.  Westwood One SVP of digital Tim Sabean says, “My goal is to build and acquire the Mount Rushmore of content here at the Westwood One Podcast Network.  ‘83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff’ fits that role as we strive to create the best in class of podcasting!”…..High 5 Media, parent company of Dallas-based YEA Networks, announces that it has acquired a majority interest in Spoke Media, a growing podcast company based in Dallas that specializes in branded content.  High 5 Media notes that Spoke Media was founded by Keith Reynolds, an award-winning audiobook director who has created audiobooks for Audible, Hachette, Harper CollinsPenguin Random House, and others.  Spoke Media says its mission is to “tell great stories and provide a microphone to those who often go unheard.”

‘Roseanne’ Cancellation Controversy, North Korea Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Murdered’ Russian Journalist Case, Illegal Immigration/MS-13, Kardashian Visits Trump, MLB Action, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/30). The controversy surrounding ABC-TV’s cancellation of the “Roseanne” re-boot; the status of the possible talks between North Korea and the United States; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the case of the Russian journalist whose death was faked by Ukrainian authorities in order to capture those planning his death; U.S. illegal immigration policy and the threat posed by the MS-13 gang; Kim Kardashian West visits the White House to talk prison reform; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Luck Be a Lady Tonight! Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Gallagher is pictured above in final rehearsals for the Lyric Stage’s production of “Guys & Dolls” at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas.  The Salem Radio Network personality is cast in the role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Boise radio personality Mike Kasper has exited Townsquare Media’s hot AC KCIX “MIX 106” where he’d been hosting the morning show for almost 16 years. Prior to that, he’d worked at crosstown hot AC KZMG “Magic 93.1.”…..Sad news from the Steve Harvey program orbit as Bryan Cooke – an assistant to program cast member Kier “Junior” Spates – passed away last Sunday in Atlanta.  He was reportedly found in his hotel room after Spates requested hotel staff check in on him…..SiriusXM is presenting broadcast performances and backstage interviews from this weekend’s Governors Ball Music Festival in New York.  The exclusive radio broadcast will include backstage interviews and live performances from not only Post Malone and Jack White, but also CHVRCHES, Manchester Orchestra, Margo Price, Vic Mensa, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more…..Pictured below is nationally syndicated morning host Rickey Smiley (right) with Birmingham, Alabama student Corey Patrick (left) standing in front of the graduating high school senior’s new car.  Patrick – who routinely got up at 4:00 am to catch a 5:00 am crosstown bus to his high school – became an Internet sensation after a bus driver taking Patrick to his graduation ceremony posted a story about the young man’s determination.  The Rickey Smiley Show heard about it and, with the help of R&B artist Tyrese and Summit Media’s WBHJ, Birmingham “95.7 JAMZ,” helped get him a new car from University Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Anniston.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

| March 7, 2018

Steele Named OM for Dick Broadcasting’s Myrtle Beach Cluster. The Myrtle Beach cluster of Dick Broadcasting announces Charlie Steele is named operations manager, effective March 21.  Dick’s Myrtle Beach group includes news/talk WRNN-FM “Hot Talk 99.5,” classic rock WYAV, CHR WYMB, and alt rock WKZQ.  Steele says of his new gig, “I am very excited to join market manager John Sheftic and his team at DBC/Myrtle Beach and look forward to being a part of these great brands.  Thanks to COO Dick Harlow and EVP/programming Jason Goodman for this opportunity.”

Talk Host, Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth Ready to Return to Radio.  After what he calls “four great years back on TV at NewsmaxTV,” former KFYI, Phoenix talk show host J.D. Hayworth says he’s “rarin’ to return to radio!”  Hayworth – a former U.S. Representative from Arizona – has been serving with NewsmaxTV as an anchor for the past four years (see his television reel here) but he’s ready to re-ignite his radio career either on a fill-in or permanent basis.  Hayworth just completed a fill-in assignment at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte, sitting in for the station’s Vince Coakley.  Reach Hayworth at 602-615-6956.

Edison Research: ESPN Audio Grabs ‘Nearly Half of Sports Radio Listenership.’  Citing data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study, ESPN Audio is promoting the result stating ESPN Audio’s content – that includes the ESPN Radio Network’s national talk shows and live events, affiliated local broadcast radio stations, and podcasting – accounts for nearly half (46%) of all sports radio listenership in the U.S.  According to the study, ESPN Audio listening breaks down this way: 71% listened on terrestrial AM/FM radio, 46% listened via streaming audio, 26% heard ESPN content on SiriusXM, and 25% listened to podcasts.  (Numbers add up to more than 100% as users could cite multiple choices.)

‘The Union Edge’ Radio Show Ceasing Operations.  The labor issues-focused talk radio program “The Union Edge” – hosted by Charles Showalter – is ending production after 10 years due to cash flow problems.  In a message to supporters, Showalter says, “In recent months, we have not been able to raise the necessary funds needed to continue operations of our daily radio program.  With that said, ‘The Union Edge’ has financial obligations to our union Brothers and Sisters and vendors such as back pay, severance pay, benefits, and bills that need to be settled.  These individuals are the same Brothers and Sisters that stood with us and continued to work, without pay, during financially difficult times.  They truly believe in labor’s message and cause and for the last decade have carried water for labor, fighting the good fight.”  Showalter is seeking donations from the program’s supporters to pay the overdue wages and past due bills.  He can be reached here.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at 2018 Golden Mike Award Event.  Pictured above at Monday evening’s 2018 Golden Mike Award ceremony in New York City are (from l-r): Nick Verbitsky, chairman and CEO, United Stations Radio Networks; Jim Thompson, president, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Pat McLaughlin, widow of Edward F. McLaughlin; and Dan Mason, chairman, BFoA.  As part of the evening’s program, Pat McLaughlin accepted the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband Ed, who launched the syndication career of Rush Limbaugh via his EFM Media Management company.  As part of the event, the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to assist broadcasters in need.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross.

Westwood One: Study Shows 12 to 1 ROI for Personal Care Brand.  That 12-to-1 return on investment for a radio campaign comes from the results of the first Nielsen Catalina Solutions sales effect study conducted for an AM/FM radio campaign in the personal care brand category.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Westwood One has been very vocal that AM/FM radio delivers an impressive return on investment for brand marketers.  Today, we back that statement up with an NCS study for a major personal care brand, which shows a $12 return on advertising spend for every dollar of AM/FM radio advertising.  NCS is the gold standard for CPG sales measurement, and these findings show that a personal care brand can use radio to realize impressive sales lift and a powerful return on ad spend.”  The press release explains, “NCS calibrates the largest shopper dataset of over 90 million unique households, from Catalina, with Nielsen’s retail sales and consumer panel data, to represent nearly 100% of total US all-outlet CPG spend.  Using an advanced methodology, NCS can connect Nielsen’s gold-standard radio ratings data with shopper data to understand what advertising households were exposed to and how it impacted their purchasing.”  See more from Westwood One here.

FOX News Radio Presents Five-Part College Debt Series.  This series – titled “Forever in Debt” – runs next week (3/12-3/16) and is available to FOX News Radio affiliates. FOX News Radio’s Eben Brown explores the fact that $1.34 billion in student loan debt is owed by Americans.  The network says, “Some estimates suggest more than half of those student loans are in default. Borrowers face garnishment of paychecks and even their parents’ social security benefits, and what’s worse, nobody can resolve these loans in Bankruptcy.”  The five-part series will be fed in two versions approximately :60 seconds in length, and approximately :40 seconds.  Each segment will post to the Newsfeed section of the affiliate website by 3:00 am ET.  Eben Brown will also be available for two-ways with affiliate stations.

WJFK-FM, Washington and MLB’s Nationals Renew. Baseball’s Washington Nationals and Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” ink a renewal to keep the club on the station for the next five seasons.  Play-by-play announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler continue their roles.  Post-game duties are being shared by Phil Wood and The Fan’s Nationals beat reporter, Craig Heist, with select post-game shows hosted by “106.7 The Fan” midday show hosts Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Economic Adviser Gary Cohn Exits, Trump Administration Sues California, Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Stormy Daniels Sues Trump, Sickened Russia Spy, North Korea-South Korea Talks, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Trump Administration economic adviser Gary Cohn announces his exit over differences on tariffs issue; the Trump Administration sues California over its sanctuary status hindering ICE deportation efforts; the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; porn star Stormy Daniels sues President Trump over “hush agreement”; the case of the Russian double agent and his daughter sickened in the U.K. in suspected poisoning; the diplomatic talks between North Korea and South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Sacramento, Jenna Rae moves from middays to afternoon drive at Entercom’s country KNCI, filling the daypart opened by the recent departure of Dan Cheatham.   Taking over the midday show is Pacey, who steps into a full-time position after serving with the station in a part-time capacity…..Milwaukee Radio Alliance re-brands oldies WZTI-AM/W262CJ/W297BY, Milwaukee from Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies” to “Fonz FM” – referencing Henry Winkler’s character in the Milwaukee-set 1970s sitcom…..PR and marketing pro Jennifer Quiroz announces she’s opening her own firm, Jennifer Quiroz Marketing Consulting.  She calls it a “boutique, full-service agency offering a wide range of traditional and digital marketing services to clients nationwide.”  Quiroz previously served with iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks handling marketing for talent including: Ryan Seacrest, Mario Lopez, Delilah, Nikki Sixx and Bobby Bones…..Alpha Media’s KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” announces that the Eli Young Band will headline its CountryFest 2018 on June 3 at the Portland Rose Festival.  Also performing at the festival will be: Parmalee, Russell Dickerson, Carly Pearce and Mitchell Tenpenny.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

| January 17, 2018

Jennifer Seelig Promoted to Director of News and Programming for KCBS All News in San Francisco.  Seventeen-year KCBS-AM, San Francisco broadcast journalist Jennifer Seelig is named director of news and programming for KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco.  The UC-Davis grad has been serving the Entercom all-news station as acting news director (and prior to that, assistant news director).  Entercom regional president and San Francisco market manager Susan Larkin states, “I’m incredibly excited that Jennifer will be leading KCBS’s strong team and very important brand.  KCBS has a legacy of success serving our community and I’m certain that with Jennifer’s talent and direction, we will take it to the next level.”  Seeling comments, “I am honored to lead the KCBS team of award-winning journalists.  KCBS is justly celebrated for its incisive news stories and coverage.  The station has always provided timely news to the public and we will continue and enhance that tradition.  We are committed to providing the best news product to both our on-air listeners and digital audience.”

‘LI News Radio’ Adds KC Armstrong for Evening Show.  Long Island-based JVC Media announces that former Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is joining its Long Island news/talk station – WRCN, Riverhead, New York “Long Island News Radio 103.9 FM” – to host a one-hour, evening program airing at 7:00 pm.   LI News Radio operations director Frank Brinka states, “KC will really round out this news/talk staff.  Part of what he learned from Howard Stern is total, non-negotiable honesty at all times and it shows in his interview style and on-air presentation.”  Armstrong will host his show from the station’s window studio at Long Island MacArthur Airport.  He comes to this gig after battling through serious health problems.  He says, “I had a really bad drinking problem.  I had pancreatitis. I had been in and out of the hospital over 30 times.  I had bled out one time and almost died.”  But he says he’s excited for this opportunity.  “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live-and-local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio.’  I am looking forward to bringing out the best in other people on the air.  I feel that that’s what my role here is.  I know I make a lot of people feel really good. And selfishly, it makes me feel good, too.”

WW1’s Harlan Named ‘Sportscaster of the Year.’ Sports play-by-play pro Kevin Harlan is being named “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Hall of Fame.  Harlan is Westwood One Sports’ “Monday Night Football” announcer – he’ll be behind the mic for Westwood One’s coverage of the NFC Championship game and for Super Bowl LII.   He also currently calls play-by-play for CBS Sports’ coverage of both the NFL and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  This was his 33rd consecutive season broadcasting the NFL and with his additional role as play-by-play announcer for the NBA on TNT, this also marks his 30th season broadcasting the NBA.

Tom Birch Joins Media Services Group as Director.  Radio ratings company founder and station owner Tom Birch is joining Media Services Group as a director, effective February 1. Birch is currently owner of the nine-station Lakes Media company.  He’s well known in the radio business as the founder and CEO of Birch/Scarborough Research.  Media Services Group managing director Eddie Esserman says, “Tom Birch brings a wealth of industry, financial and market research experience to Media Services Group.  He has raised millions of dollars in investment capital, authored numerous business and financial plans, was involved in successful radio acquisitions and turnarounds and built a major, industry-changing business.  He will be an enormous asset. All of us at Media Services Group are thrilled to have Tom’s experience, perspective and involvement in the industry on our team.”  The press release notes that “at its peak in the 1980s, Birch/Scarborough employed more than 1,200 people nationwide and maintained sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.  The company interviewed over 100,000 persons per month in 260 markets and its client base included major radio broadcast groups such as Clear Channel, CBS and ABC, national advertisers such as McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and Delta Airlines and major national advertising agencies such as BBDO, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.”

Edward F. McLaughlin to Be Honored with BFoA Lifetime Achievement Award.  Legendary radio syndication executive Edward F. McLaughlin is being named the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  McLaughlin will be honored at the BFoA’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  During his 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1987, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  Shortly thereafter, he put KFBK, Sacramento talk host Rush Limbaugh into national syndication, providing the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  McLaughlin currently is chairman emeritus of the BFoA.  He says, “Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the charitable organization that I have believed in and supported for many years means a great deal to me.  I am grateful for the generosity of the broadcasters who make it possible for the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Ed is a visionary who took chances that led broadcasting into uncharted territory and tremendous success.  His dedication and leadership of the Broadcasters Foundation helped advance our mission. It is with great pride that we honor his innovation and recognize his years of service.”

‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Creator Hugh Wilson Dies at 74.  Television writer and producer Hugh Wilson – the man who created the classic radio station sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” – died on Tuesday (1/16) at the age of 74.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo tells TALKERS magazine, “What most people don’t know is that Wilson never checked to see if there was a WKRP in the Queen City – and there wasn’t – but there is iHeartMedia’s WKRC.  It was widely reported that mail that was addressed simply to: WKRP in Cincinnati went to WKRC!  Oddly enough there was a station with the WKRP call letters at the time – in Dallas, Georgia.”

Trump DACA Policy-‘Shithole’ Controversy, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Bannon Subpoenas, Trump-Acosta Incident, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Captive Kids Case, Dow Hits 26,000, Cryptocurrency Value, Intense Flu Season, NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The Trump Administration’s Reversal of the Obama DACA policy and the related controversy over President Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole” during a cabinet meeting; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the subpoenas issued to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon; President Trump kicks CNN’s Jim Acosta out of presser after Acosta’s aggressive questioning; the North Korean nuclear threat; the case of 13 California children held in prison-like conditions by their parents; the Dow Jones industrial average tops 26,000; the fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies; the intense strain of influenza sweeping the U.S.; the NFL playoffs, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘The Infinite Dial’ Expands to Canada. The annual radio study from Triton Digital and Edison Research titled “The Infinite Dial” is expanding into Canada.  The firms say that the study is currently being fielded using a telephone survey representative of all Canadians that “will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Canadian consumers, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, social media, video, mobile, and more.”  The study was launched to track Americans’ use of audio back in 1998.  Edison Research and Triton Digital expanded the study outside of the U.S. for the first time last year with the unveiling of ‘Infinite Dial Australia’ in June.  Edison SVP Tom Webster comments, “The ‘Infinite Dial’ studies explore the penetration of online audio and other digital media in a way that no other study does.  A wide audience across the world, including broadcasters, ad agencies, and the financial community at large, have come to rely on the insights that the ‘Infinite Dial’ provides year after year.  With data derived using the highest-quality research standards, we are proud to be expanding our insights to Canada in 2018, in addition to our parallel work in the U.S. and Australia.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Nationally syndicated, ‘Z100’ New York-based morning radio star Elvis Duran is being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  The induction will take place at the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on April 9 as part of the NAB Show…..Entercom’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound” announces that Seattle radio pro John Fisher is its new morning show host.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We couldn’t be more excited to announce John Fisher as the inaugural host of mornings on ‘94.1 The Sound.’  With his 20-plus year relationship with the Seattle community, John is morning radio royalty to the Puget Sound.”  Fisher first joined Entercom in 1992 as morning host for “103.7 The Mountain” (KMTT), a role he held for over 20 years.  Fisher served with Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” for three years.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

| July 13, 2017

Emmis Fiscal Q1 Net Revenue Down 6.7%. The silver lining in this fiscal first quarter report from Emmis Communications is that its Austin and St. Louis operations outperformed the markets.  However, the radio net revenue – excluding KPWR, Los Angeles (in the process of being sold) and the Terre Haute, Indiana stations that were sold last year – is down 6.7%.  As industry watchers are aware, Emmis is selling KPWR to an affiliate of the Meruelo Group for $82.75 million.  An LMA of the station went into effect on July 1.  When the deal closes, Emmis’ senior credit facility debt will be reduced by approximately 50%.  Emmis CEO and chairman of the board Jeff Smulyan comments, “Emmis made difficult but necessary decisions in our first fiscal quarter – decisions that give us additional flexibility to address market challenges and opportunities.  Our second fiscal quarter started strong with June up 5%, as record-setting ticket sales for our largest concert, ‘Summer Jam’ in New York, provided a nice boost.  While early, both July and August are showing that our performance is improving.”

WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Mike Valenti Doing Three-Day WFAN Tryout.  It’s safe to say that anyone filling in for WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa is doing a tryout for the gig Francesa will give up at the end of his contract in December.  Valenti is in for Francesa Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week and the Detroit News speculates about the possibility of losing New York native Mike Valenti to the Big Apple in a piece by Tony Paul.  Valenti and former partner Terry Foster (who retired from the show after health issues brought about by a stroke) have been dominant ratings-getters for the station.  Since both stations are owned by CBS RADIO, any transition would be smooth from a contractual standpoint.  As regular TALKERS readers know, CBS RADIO (soon to be merged with Entercom) operates a lot of high-performing sports talk stations, so it’s likely there will be more tryouts for the WFAN role by company talent.  The 36-year-old Valenti originally came to Michigan to attend Michigan State.  Read the Detroit News story here.

Tom Sullivan Show Syndicated by Talk Media Network. There’s been no official press release but on the Talk Media Network website the company announces that it is taking over the national syndication effort of the KFBK, Sacramento-based Tom Sullivan show.  Fox News Radio recently ceased syndicating the program it had been handling since Sullivan joined the company to also host a program on the Fox Business cable channel 10 years ago.  Of this new syndication project, Sullivan says, “Reports of my retirement from radio syndication are greatly exaggerated… only from television.  I am a radio guy first and foremost and I look forward to many years ahead with my current audience and building the Tom Sullivan show to bring in new stations and listeners across the country.  I can now devote 100% of my time to delivering the best program on radio.”

John Gibson Radio Show Now Distributed by GCN.  Former, longtime Fox News personality John Gibson is now a part of the Genesis Communications Network lineup.  His daily radio program airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  With the recent changes at Fox News Radio, Gibson moved his program to the GCN platform.  Gibson first joined Fox News Channel back in 2000, hosting “The Big Story With John Gibson.”  Later, he added hosting a daily radio show to his Fox duties.  During his career, Gibson also hosted the “Newschat” and “Internight” programs at MSNBC, and he served for years as a West Coast correspondent for NBC News, supplying NBC affiliates with live reports on various breaking news events.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Wednesday (7/19), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) convenes the nomination hearing for FCC Commissioner nominees Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr…..Westwood One unveils a new partnership with the comic and actor DL Hughley.  WW1 is producing and distributing his new “The Hughley Truth” podcast.  The company says the program “features real, raw and funny conversation with comedian DL Hughley.  Each week, DL and his wingman, ‘News Guy’ Guy Lambert, discuss politics, social behavior, entertainment, and more with engaging and clever guests from all walks of life.  When you put all that together it’s not just the truth, it’s ‘The Hughley Truth.’”

Bob LaGrega Dies at 59.  Retired affiliate sales pro Bob LaGrega died recently while on vacation with his family.  The details are sketchy but friends say LaGrega had been dealing with health issues over the past year — in fact, he’d retired because of health issues – and the cause of death appears to have been heart failure.  During his career, LaGrega served with United Stations Radio Networks as executive director of affiliate relations/sales and spent almost three decades with ABC Radio Networks.

Trump Jr.-Russia Meeting, GOP Health Care Bill, President Trump in France, China-North Korea Trade Up, Military Plane Crash, Antarctic Iceberg, Scarborough Leaves GOP, and Mayweather-McGregor Press Conference Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13). The ongoing controversy over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya during the 2016 campaign; the GOP health care plan and whether or not congress will put to a vote before the August break; President Trump heads to France to meet with new President Emanuel Macron; the report that China’s trade with North Korea has increased 10% since the beginning of the year and the related North Korean nuclear program and questions about China’s role in it; the military plane crash that took the lives of a number of Special Forces soldiers; a portion of the Antarctic ice shelf the size of Delaware breaks off; MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough leaves the Republican Party; and the over-the-top drama at the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor press conference were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/13) with Dan Mason, Harry Hurley and Graham Mack.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.  Yesterday (7/12) TALKERS posted a “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).  Today (7/13), a “Fireside Chat” is posted featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack). Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Cool On-Air Opportunity.  In the Charlotte market, Entercom is seeking an on-air personality for its three Charlotte stations: news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC-AM, and hot AC WLNK “The Link.”  The company says, “If you live to connect with your audience on air, online and in person – you’ll love it here!  We are looking for experienced on-air talent.  Are you a passionate storyteller who’s authentic, entertaining and a team player?  Do you have a strong hand in social media?  The ideal candidate should possess strong work ethic, solid show prep and the ability to deliver creative and compelling content.   Experience is preferred.”  To be considered for this position, please apply here.  No phone calls.  Entercom Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Kyle Due is named program director for iHeartMedia’s country KAJA “KJ97” and classic country KRPT/K227BH “92.5/93.3 The Bull” in San Antonio.  In addition to programming Due will host the afternoon show on “KJ97.”  iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio SVP of programming Brian Gann states, “We could not be more excited to have Kyle joining the San Antonio team.”  Previously, Due served with the company programming CHR WAEB and rock WZZO in Allentown, Pennsylvania.…..Contemporary hit radio outlet WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM” announces that Kaelin Roberts is named executive producer for the “Fred+Angi Morning Show,” effective July 17.  Roberts will be responsible for managing all aspects of the “Fred+Angi Morning Show” brand.  The station says her responsibilities will include show content preparation, multi-platform quality control and behind-the-scenes show operations.  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano comments, “I am so excited to have Kaelin taking over executive producer duties for the ‘Fred+Angi Morning Show.’  Her talent, experience and exuberance will be a wonderful addition to our 103.5 KISS FM team.”  Roberts is a Detroit native who began her career as an intern at iHeartMedia’s “Channel  955.”  She then spent two years as an associate producer for the “Mojo in the Morning” show…..Cumulus Media reports that its NASH Next franchise is enjoying “substantial year-over-year growth…including more than double the amount of registered artists.”  NASH Next is the company’s national and grassroots search for America’s newest country star.  For this year’s competition it has recruited artists in 62 markets across the country – including in markets such as Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville.  The competition is now moving into the next phase – the fan rating  period, where listeners are encouraged to rate the registered artists with the chance to win the right to attend the NASH Next 2017 finale in Nashville.  Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming Mike McVay says, “Our listeners know what music they like and who they want to hear on the radio and so the fan rating portion of this competition is extremely important to the program, giving our valuable listeners a voice in choosing the next country star.”

 

 

Round One of June PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s June 2017 PPM survey period covered May 25 – June 21.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Progressing from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is without a decrease for the fifth successive sweep (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+) and is up six-tenths in that stretch. In addition to advancing from #16 to #15, news/talk cluster-mate WOR logs its third straight increase (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and is up a collective eight-tenths since March. Moreover, June 2017’s 2.5 is the highest 6+-stat for the New York Mets flagship in nearly seven years when it reached 2.6 (#19) in November 2010. By dialing up a gain of nine-tenths to 3.0 (6+), public news/talk WYNC-FM puts an end to four straight downward trends that produced a six-tenths deficit (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+) and it rockets from #20 to #12. Trending 5.0 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 5.0 (6+) since February, iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +.5 to 5.5, the most potent 6+-share in its PPM-history, and advances from fifth to third. Last month’s tie at #1 is broken as adult contemporary sibling WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” picks up four-tenths (6.1 – 6.5, 6+) to take sole possession of the top spot, while CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” up – albeit by one-tenth – slides to second (6.1 – 6.2, 6+). A one-tenth increase by “Lite” in May halted four straight declines that produced a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to April 2017 and May 2017, “New York’s Greatest Hits” last reached #1 in July 2016, when it scored a 6.2 (6+). It had been at 6.1 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps, while iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (-.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) had registered a 4.1 (6+) in four of the previous five survey periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Following three consecutive improvements for a cumulative +.4 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source for R&B” is off by three-tenths and slips from third to fourth. Unchanged at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC notches its third straight 1.3 (6+), after three successive 1.4 (6+) showings (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

2) Los Angeles – Flat at #19, CBS Radio alternative KROQ is up or flat for the sixth consecutive monthly for a +.6 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” which had been down by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), is flat at 2.9 and remains at #11. Steady at #14, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” has its fifth successive ratings period without erosion for a +.6 (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is flat at 5.8 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC “My-FM” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. When “My-FM” dropped one-tenth in April, it ended three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which netted a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for it to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1. This marks the fourth straight sweep that CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV (+.1, 6+) occupies the runner-up position and “The Wave” steps across the five-share threshold for the fifth time in the last six sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+).  Eleven stations in the market are bunched together with 6+-shares between 3.0 and 2.3. After back-to-back survey periods in which no Los Angeles outlet appearing in print gained or lost more than one-half share, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” regresses by -.5 (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) to plummet from #9 to #17. Meanwhile, Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “107.5 K-Love” is down or flat for the fourth straight time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), but carries on at #6. Having picked up a collective full-share in five straight progressive or flat sweeps (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” drops two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), tumbling from a three-way logjam at #11 to #16. The January 2017 through June 2017 6+-trending for iHeartMedia news/talk KFI (seventh to eighth) is 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, whereas Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KABC (unchanged at #36) registers a .6 after five straight showings of .7 (6+). Similarly, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family,” is .5 (#37 to #38), following a .6 performance five times in a row and in nine of the previous ten sweeps. Owing to five straight decreases (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Taxi Productions urban AC KJLH (#25) is a collective -.8.

3) Chicago – Locked on 2.6 (6+) in March and April before advancing to 2.9 (6+) in May, CBS Radio-owned WUSN logs a +.5 to 3.4 (6+). Not only does “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” escape a massive six-way logjam at #12 to enter the top ten (#9), this is its best 6+-showing since the 3.5 it recorded in December 2014. Meanwhile, dating back to the first of the year, its format rival – HeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” (#22) – is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.1 (6+). Improving by three-tenths (5.8 – 6.1, 6+), urban AC sibling WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is #1 for the fifth successive month. At the same time, while this represents the fifth straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM for a collective -1.6 (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), the CBS Radio all-news operation remains in the runner-up slot. Although steady at #3, Hubbard hot AC WTMX “Mix” hasn’t had an increase in the last five sweeps (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+) and is down seven-tenths in that stretch. Ironically, similarly-formatted WLIT “93.9 My-FM The Best Variety” has lost nine-tenths in three successive declines (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), freefalling from #10 to #15. In the contemporary hit arena, CBS Radio-owned WBBM-FM “B-96” drops one-tenth (4.0 – 3.9, flat at #4), while iHeartMedia’s WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), yet actually backslides from fifth to sixth. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Before it fell by three-tenths in April, “Kiss” was a combined +.7, which it gained in three consecutive increases (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+), following three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a +.5 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Tribune Media Company news/talk WGN drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). A combined +.8 since last November via seven straight up or flat trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX drops two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), spiraling from #12 to #17. Faltering by one-half share (1.1 – .6, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI finishes at #29.

4) San Francisco – Pulling the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ recaptures the one-half share it squandered in May (4.3, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” jumps from seventh to fourth. Seven-tenths ahead of “The Breeze” is fellow AC, Entercom’s KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which is trending 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+) and carries on in third-place. With a 2.5 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods, urban AC sibling KBLX adds two-tenths to 2.7 as “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” remains at #12. Climbing from eighth to seventh is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which has its third increase in a row for a collective +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+). Even though it is without an increase for the fourth successive time for a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. In the runner-up slot for the sixth successive time is CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, 6+). Dropping six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5, 6+), the key station of the San Francisco GiantsCumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” – stumbles from fifth to eighth. At the same time, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” – the flagship of the Oakland A’s – adds one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+), as it inches up from #19 – #18. May’s +.3 by “The Game” put an end to its 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+) trending. Stymied at 3.8 (6+) in February and March and then on 3.2 (6+) in April and May, CBS Radio CHR KMVQ “99.7 – New Hit Music Now” slips to 3.0 (ninth to tenth, 6+). The October 2016 through June 2017 6+-line for iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B in the Bay Area” (#10 to #11) is a remarkably consistent 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9. By adding two-tenths to 3.2 (6+), co-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to ninth) ends three straight negative trends that accounted for the loss of one-half share (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Ending its mini-repetitive 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 (6+) sequence, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO drops two-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #15, 6+), while co-owned/similarly-formatted KSFO is without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a full-share loss (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #21). This is the third straight month that Entercom-owned KUFX is unlisted; “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Not only does Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY boast the largest (6+) May 2017 – June 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Wednesday (3.2 – 4.3, +1.1, 6+), “94.9 – Your Life … Inspired” propels from #11 to #5 and has its strongest 6+-stat since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Tied for the top spot in March, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM,” regains all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it lost in May (5.9 – 5.2 – 5.8, +.6, 6+) and inches up from third to second. It will be especially interesting to see how “Kiss” does in the July sweep, since Elena Davies – on hiatus from the KHKS-originated, syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Show” – is one of the Season 19 houseguests on CBS-TV’s “Big Brother,” which premiered June 28. As noted above, the final day of the June sweep was June 21. Finishing first for the sixth successive time is Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf,” whose last six 6+-trends are 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.1. Off one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104” (eighth to ninth) has its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a full-share gain snapped at seven (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in January, February, March, and April, Cumulus Media’s KTCK gained four-tenths in May to 3.3 (6+), but “The Ticket” surrenders three-tenths in June to 3.0 (6+), moving from #10 to a four-way tie at #11. April’s +.8 by “The Ticket” halted a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). After four straight increases that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” dips by one-tenth to 5.4 (6+), segueing from second to third. Registering a 3.8 for the third time in the last four sweeps (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” slips from eighth to ninth. In addition to falling out of the top twenty (#19 to #22), Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP notches a decrease for the fifth time in a row and is a collective -1.6 since January (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). Likewise, Northwest Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA is without an increase for the fourth consecutive time for a -.5 (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), yet actually improves from a tie at #20 to a three-way deadlock at #19.

6) Houston – In its third straight up or flat trend (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” matches the 4.6 it recorded last August and marches into the top ten (#11 to #6). Following four straight gains that yielded a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KHMX slumped by four-tenths in May, but “Houston’s Mix 96-5” regains all of it – plus two-tenths more – (3.2 – 3.8, +.6, 6+), advancing from #15 to #12. On top for the fifth consecutive sweep, Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns nearly half of May’s +1.4 (6.9 – 8.3 – 7.7, -.6, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for “Majic,” which was up a combined +1.0 in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+) only to return all of it in April (6.9, 6+) and then notch May’s +1.4. It is a somewhat similar story for noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ. After progressing by seven-tenths in April, “God Listens” returned all but one-tenth in May (-.6, 6+) and duplicates that -.6 in June 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). KSBJ improved by +1.0 in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); was -.5 in both February and March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+); +.7 in April; -.6 in May; and now -.6 in June. This is the station’s lowest 6+-share since its 4.2 last September. Then, there is the case of Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN, which moves from third to fifth. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN was -.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4; was +.7 in April; -.2 in May; and now -1.1 in June (6.1 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive up or flat trends netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) for Liberman’s similarly-formatted KQQK but “El Norte 107.9” drops two-tenths to 2.5 (6+) and slides from #17 back to #18; May’s 2.7 was the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well).

7) Atlanta – A collective +1.6 via six consecutive upticks (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” has its strongest 6+-performance since last July (4.6) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Without a loss for the sixth time in a row as well, Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” (steady at #15) is a combined +1.5 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely though, Cox Media Group-owned WSRV concludes at five its streak of consecutive gains that netted a +2.3 in that stretch (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+) as “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” is off by one-tenth to 6.6 (6+), but remains at #2. With its third consecutive positive trend that has produced a gain of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Best Mix” climbs from #14 to #13. Down or flat the past four sweeps for a combined loss of more than two full-shares (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM bumps up by two-tenths to 8.8 (6+) and is #1 for the 18th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5,” however, is without an increase for the fourth successive sweep for a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). After regressing by one-half share in May (5.0 – 4.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” falters by another six-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and exits the top ten as well (#6 to #11, where it is tied with WSB-FM).

8) Philadelphia – An improvement of six-tenths to 6.9 (6+) lifts Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” from fourth to second, thus curtailing at five a successive string of down or flat trends that led to a loss of well over 11 full-shares from “Holiday” 2016 (17.9 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). Three-tenths ahead of WBEB is CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.2, +.4, 6+), which returns to #1 after transitioning from first to third in May. It was thus a May-only stay at #1 for iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+), which moves from first to third – one-tenth behind “Today’s 101 More FM.” A collective +1.6 via three straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio sports  outlet/Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP (sixth to seventh) forfeits exactly one-half of that gain (4.7, -.8, 6+). When WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Its format rival – Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – surrenders four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+) to dip from #19 to #21. Duplicating May’s -.5, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” drops out of the top ten (#10 to #12); it was +.6 in April with 4.7 its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 4.9. After putting together three successive positive trends netting one full share in that stretch (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” falters by three-tenths to 6.6 (6+), slipping from second to fourth. Even though ever-consistent WUSL “Power 99” (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) is up one-tenth, the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet backslides from eighth to ninth.

9) Long Island – Over and above being only one of three stations from this particular group of 12 PPM-markets to improve by at least one-share (6+) between May 2017 and June 2017 WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (5.3 – 6.3, +1.0, 6+), zooms from third to first. A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in “Real Variety 97.5” tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC gained nine-tenths in April to rocket from seventh to first. Two stations are displaced at the top, including Cox Media Group-owned CHR WBLI which shifts to #2. Despite the downward move, “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up four-tenths) extends to six its consecutive string of up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+) and is +1.8 since the “Holiday” 2016 report. Conversely, May’s other co-leader, iHeartMedia New York City’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” regresses by four-tenths (5.4 – 5.0, 6+) and falls to fourth. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. Posting spikes of one-half share each are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.1, fifth to third, 6+), ending three straight dips resulting in a -.7 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), and public WNYC-FM (1.3 – 1.8, #22, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” is a combined -.9 and falls off the top twenty (#20 to #23). Flat at 2.3, yet improving from #18 to #15, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st straight sweep.

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share since February (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR jumps from #13 to #11. Each of the top three stations drops by two-tenths, including Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY, which is #1 for the 20th consecutive ratings period, although “Jose” registers its fifth consecutive decrease for a -1.5 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9, 6+). After five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the sixth successive ratings period, KOLA was a combined +1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+), but the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet dips to 6.0 (6+). The loss of four-tenths in March ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Having posted five straight up or flat trends netting one full-share (3.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” forfeits 70% of that increase (4.0, -.7, 6+), as it shifts from third to fifth. The four most recent trends for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI (fourth to third) are 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 (6+), while Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN (89.7 Family Friendly” (tenth to ninth) is trending 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+). Following three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +.7 (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” sputters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+), but remains in fourth-place.

11) San Jose – Rolling out an increase of one full-share (5.2 – 6.2, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” proceeds from third-place to the runner-up slot. In 4.0 – 4.3 range (6+) the past four sweeps, Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country” notches a +.9 (4.2 – 5.1, 6+) to climb from seventh to fifth. It is the strongest 6+-performance for KRTY since last September’s 5.3. While unchanged at #4, a +.8 propels Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” to 5.6 (6+). Not only does Cumulus Media triple A KFOG register an increase of seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), “Music Matters” cracks the top twenty at #14. The stream of CBS Radio hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” gains one-half share (.4 – .9, #30, 6+). Adding one-tenth to May’s three-tenths, co-owned all-news operation KCBS-AM repeats at #1. The +.3 in May ended a string of three consecutive KCBS-AM down or flat trends that produced a -.6 (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1 (6+). Trending 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.5 (6+) since January, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” stumbles by nine-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and slips from fifth to ninth. Locked on 4.2 (6+) in April and May, following a March – April +1.1, Cumulus Media’s KNBR drifts by eight-tenths to 3.4, as “The Sports Leader” exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Off by one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” spirals from #19 to #23. Unchanged at #18, Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KVVF “San Jose’s Hottest Music” regresses by four-tenths to 2.5, halting three straight gains that netted a +1.0 since February (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+). Faltering for the fourth straight sweep for a cumulative -1.5 (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED slides from second to third. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April.

12) Middlesex – Without a decrease for the sixth straight sweep for a net gain of +2.2 (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” inches up from sixth to fifth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#16 – #17) – drops two-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a +.8 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). In its third increase in a row (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.2, 6+), WPLJ is a collective +1.1 and the Cumulus Media hot AC catapults into the top twenty at #14. Down or flat the past nine sweeps and -1.6 since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” bounces back with a +.6 to 3.5 (6+) to zoom from #17 to #11. Off in each of the last three Middlesex-Somerset-Union sweeps for a cumulative -2.2 since March (5.4 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” answers with a +.5 to 3.7, returning to the top ten (#14 to #9, 6+). Following a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats May’s +.3 (6.5 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+) and is #1 for the sixth consecutive ratings period. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), WKXW spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Owing to three successive gains (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), WPAT netted nine-tenths, but the Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary outlet has the dubious distinction of registering the highest (6+) May 2017 – June 2017 decline of any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday (4.0 – 2.5, -1.5, 6+). Moreover, “Amor 93.1” sinks from #8 to #20. A combined +.8 since March (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR returns all but one-tenth of that increase in June (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, 6+) as “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” freefalls from #10 to #16.

Monday, June 26, 2017

| June 26, 2017

Newsmax TV Adds Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root Shows. Two new shows are added to the lineup at Newsmax TV.  “The Schnitt Show” and “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” will air for one hour at 3:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET, respectively.  Todd Schnitt’s radio talk show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Root’s radio show is a joint venture with USA Radio Network and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.   Newsman CEO Chris Ruddy states, “At Newsmax TV, we hear from our audience that they are hungry for thoughtful, passionate voices for viewpoints that other media outlets ignore.  Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root are proven broadcasting leaders and we’re sure our viewers will engage with them.”

Wading Across the Widening Mainstream.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating.  It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.”  In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests.  Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society.  We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’  I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’  Who are they?”   Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television.  Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.”  Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why.   To read the entire piece, please click here.

NRHOF Class of 2017 Includes Hannity, Handel and Quivers. For the past three years, voting for entrance into the National Radio Hall of Fame has been split into two segments – one voted on by the public and one the result of votes from industry people.  This year, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  Those 2017 inductees will be Premiere NetworksBobby Bones and KFI, Los Angeles/Premiere Networks personality Bill Handel, respectively.   The industry panel chose the following inductees in four categories: Active Local/Regional, 10+ years – Tom Barnard of KQRS, Minneapolis; Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years – John Records Landecker; Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years – Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity; and Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years – Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show.  The National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee also voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry.  They are: Joseph M. Field, chairman/founder Entercom Communications Corp. and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry and the voting public grows by leaps and bounds.  We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.”  The induction ceremony takes place on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.

TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC sports media figure Andy Pollin is entering the world of podcasting, launching a new weekly show beginning July 3.  The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg writes about the former, longtime WTEM personality’s new project, noting that Pollin will use the Chatter studio facility in DC built by fellow former WTEM personality Tony Kornheiser and his business partners.  Pollin co-hosts a weekly Saturday morning sports talk show with Thom Loverro on WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”…..Cumulus Media enters into a multi-year partnership with IMG College to broadcast Air Force Academy athletic events.  As part of the deal KVOR, Colorado Springs will continue to serve as flagship for Air Force football and men’s basketball games.  Jim Arthur continues as the radio “Voice of the Falcons.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group buys Seattle news/talk KOMO-FM from Greg Smith’s South Sound Broadcasting for $6.75 million.  Sinclair has been operating the FM signal under an LMA since acquiring KOMO-AM from Fisher…..Salem Radio Network morning drive personality Hugh Hewitt will host his nationally syndicated program from Bold Gold Media-owned affiliate station WTRW, Scranton “94.3 The Talker” tomorrow and Wednesday (6/27-28).  Hewitt is speaking at the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s event and dinner tomorrow evening.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Begin Posting Tomorrow (6/27).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning tomorrow (6/27), its sessions will be posted to Talkers.com.  Tomorrow, the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor will be posted.  On Wednesday (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke will be posted. On Thursday (6/29) the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted.  Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted.  Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.

BFoA Names Three to Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, and DuJuan McCoy, president/CEO and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting have joined its board of directors, and that Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott joins as an officer and vice president.  The new members and Talbott were voted in during the Board meeting that took place in New York City last week.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The addition of these highly respected industry leaders to our board and executive ranks will further enhance awareness of our mission to provide assistance to broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping our colleagues who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will reverberate across our industry so that we can help more broadcasters in need.”

Republican Health Care Plan, Russian Election Hacking Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Johnny Depp ‘Assassination’ Comments, State of the Democratic Party, ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced, Sinking Oil Prices, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; the testimony from former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election; the special counsel investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; reaction to actor Johnny Depp’s “assassination” of President Trump joke; speculation about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of its loss in the Georgia House special election; Edgar Maddison Welch is sentenced to four years for firing an assault rifle in DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor while attempting to investigate the fake news story about a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring; the recent dramatic fall in oil prices; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis radio personality Paul Cook announces that he’ll be missing some time on the radio as he begins treatment for cancer.  Cook hosts afternoon drive on CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98.”  He posted via Facebook, “In case you’re wondering where I have gone for big chunks of the next six months.  The reason is that I will be getting treated for stage four colorectal cancer.  Big surprise to me as well.  I have the best doctors, so much love around me and there is no better place to work than right here during something like this.”…..Alpha Media flips classic hits KOOI, Tyler Texas from its “Sunny 106.5” brand to “106.5 Jack FM.”  Alpha VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “Jack FM is such a fun, exciting brand and we are excited to add another Jack to the Alpha stable.  We believe we will bring a refreshing new sound to East Texas and some of the genuine fun the Jack brand is famous for around the world.”…..iHeartMedia’s country WSIX “The BIG 98” is presenting the 7th annual “ACCU-CHEK Guide Guitar-B-Que,” a live concert and guitar auction to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 23 at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville.  WSIX personalities Tige & Daniel, Amy Paige, McKiddy and more will host the event that will feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, Devin Dawson and DJ Sinister…..Pictured at left are WLNK, Charlotte and nationally syndicated morning hosts Bob & Sheri (background) behind Martha, the Neapolitan Mastiff just crowned 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog, and her owner.  Bob & Sheri again emceed the international event that draws media coverage from around the world, including coverage on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show and in People magazine.   Held in Petaluma, California, The World’s Ugliest Dog contest benefits animal rescue and has been an annual event since 1962.

PPM Analysis: CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final format analysis based on data from the May PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing station performances to 6+ data from the April PPM survey, Kinosian concludes, “Virtually as many mainstream CHR panelists are up April 2017 – May 2017 (45%) as are down (47%), with the remaining 8% flat.”  Comparing year-over-year results, he notes, “Over half the CHR stations in this sample are down May 2016 – May 2017 (57%); roughly one of three improve (36%); and 7% remain steady.”  In May, seven CHR stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets.  They were: KQMV, Seattle; KDWB, Minneapolis; WBLI, Long Island; WHTZ, Long Island; WNCI, Columbus; WZPL, Indianapolis; and WRVW, Nashville.  See the entire report here.

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