Tag: "Danno Wolkoff"

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

| September 8, 2020

Monday Memo: Noise Fatigue = News Renaissance?  With one new nightly network newscast launched, and another debuting this month, consultant Holland Cooke – himself a cable host – welcomes new play-it-straight players to the TV news menu. Read Cooke’s post-holiday Tuesday edition of the Monday Memo here.

Presidential Race/Polls/Vote-By-Mail Debate, School Openings/College Outbreaks, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Vaccine, Portland Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election, the most recent polls, and the debate over voting by mail; the opening of schools across the country and the outbreaks of COVID-19 cases at numerous college campuses across the country; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, projections for future cases, and the progress on a vaccine; the ongoing violent clashes between protesters and police in Portland; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: 19 Years Ago This Friday. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about his memory of the terror attacks on the U.S. 19 years ago this Friday. Read it here.

WGN, Chicago Makes Surprise Programming Changes. The departure of Roe Conn from the afternoon drive slot on Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago was not entirely unexpected – it has been rumored that the station was considering moving on when Conn’s contract ends in December – but the timing of Friday’s announcement was a bit surprising. Conn is gone from his show, effective immediately, as is longtime WGN overnight personality Nick Digilio. Effective September 28, Steve Bertrand will host the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Chicago’s Afternoon News” program and Chicago radio legend John Records Landecker joins to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program. Anna Davlantes’ early afternoon program expands to 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. In a press release, Bertrand says of the new show, “I am thrilled to get a chance to help create a show that will be equal parts informative and entertaining. With any luck, we’ll end the day a little smarter and have a good time getting there.” WGN Radio general manager Mary Boyle adds, “The importance of local news and information being shared by someone who is trusted by our audience is paramount during these challenging times. Steve Bertrand has always been committed to reporting the news in a fair and thoughtful way. This afternoon news-oriented program led by Steve is a welcome addition to our WGN Radio weekday lineup.”

Report: Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes Off SiriusXM and SportsMap Radio Network. According to a story in Crossing Broad, the “Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes” has been taken off of SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick channel as well as the Houston-based SportsMap Radio Network in the aftermath of Bruno’s recent comments about NBA players boycotting games and about LeBron James in particular. Deadspin wrote a very critical story about Bruno’s segment on the NBA and paraphrased Bruno in its headline that read, “NBA Players Can’t Read.” Bruno was critical of Deadspin’s twisting of his words in a piece published by Barrett Sports Media. Bruno can be heard saying, “Most of these guys can’t even read, for God’s sake.” BSM writes, “In context, it is clear that Bruno was being flippant and not as malicious as Deadspin portrays.” The Bruno and Mayes program has been removed from the website program schedules at both SiriusXM and SportsMap Radio Network.

Wendy Bell Off Air at Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. According to a piece at Patch.com, afternoon drive talk host Wendy Bell is off the air of Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. The move came after Bell said on the air that park rangers should shoot people who are vandalizing monuments to historical figures. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP Michael Spacciapolli said in a statement: “Entercom is the home to thousands of voices representing Americans of all races, ethnicities, gender identity, sexual orientation, beliefs and ability. We take very seriously our responsibility to provide a platform for our communities to engage in diverse and meaningful dialogue, debate and the right to freedom of speech, we do not condone the incitement of violence on any of our platforms. Members of our community have recently brought to our attention comments made by Wendy Bell that do not align with Entercom’s values. Wendy has been taken off air until further notice. Entercom Pittsburgh remains steadfast in our commitment to inclusive conversations that engage everyone in Pittsburgh while excluding any form of violence.”

Sterling: My Cousin Brucie Problem. Talk show host Walter M. Sterling (pictured at left) writes today about his Cousin Brucie “problem.” Sterling hosts the hour immediately following radio legend Cousin Bruce Morrow’s new Saturday evening program on WABC, New York. His “problem” is figuring out how to keep as much of Cousin Brucie’s audience as he can. Read more here.

Premiere Networks Puts Black Information Network into Syndication. The newly launched BIN: Black Information Network, billed by iHeartMedia as “the first and only 24/7 national all news audio service dedicated exclusively to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of news coverage with a Black voice and perspective,” is being made available to stations nationwide via Premiere Networks. “Black Information Network News” features :60 newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour, as well as breaking news, from experienced and award-winning Black journalists, including Vanessa Tyler, Mike Stevens, Madelyne Woods, Morgyn Wood, Mike “Devin” Dunston, Tanita Myers, and Julius White. “Black Information Network News” launched on September 7 on nearly 20 stations across the country, including WVON-AM, Chicago; KMAZ-FM, Houston; KMOJ-FM, Minneapolis; and more. Midway Broadcasting chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper says, “WVON is pleased to add the Black Information Network as our national news source. WVON’s 24-hour Black talk format is an important and impactful voice in the Chicago market and BIN is the perfect complement to keep our vibrant local community aware of what’s happening across the country. What happens in Black America matters. Telling our story matters. BIN’s timing is perfect!”

KNX, Los Angeles Celebrating 100 Years of Service. Beginning today (9/8), Entercom begins celebrating 100 years of KNX 1070 News Radio “Southern California’s only 24-hour news and traffic station” with the airing of “KNX: a Century of Covering Southern California,” a “history-rich, eight-part on-air series to commemorate its centennial anniversary and pay tribute to former employees who helped grow KNX 1070 News Radio into one of the nation’s premiere all-news brands.” On Thursday (9/10 – the station’s official anniversary) KNX will reimage itself for the day using memorable jingles, sounders and sound bites from the previous 100 years. The radio station launched on September 10, 1920 when Fred Christian started 6ADZ for the customers of his Electric Supply Company to listen to. Twenty months later in May 1922, the electric supply company was issued the call sign, KNX. Current KNX brand manager Ken Charles says, “KNX is a historic brand and I’m in awe of being a part of its illustrious history. This station is a local pillar, here before the Hollywood Sign, the Santa Monica Pier and the Rose Bowl. Just as iconic as any of our local treasures, KNX is a consistent part of the fabric of Southern California, serving as a breaking news resource for our communities, first responders and the nation.”

Jason Bailey Exits Sun Broadcast Group. Media exec Jason Bailey is leaving his role as president of Gen Media PartnersSun Broadcast Group to “move on from the network he founded in order to focus his attention on his company Reatro Ventures, the developer of affiliate research software, ARC.”  Reatro is co-owned by former Sun COO Julio Aponte who will also be taking a more active role in the start-up venture. Warren Friedland, the managing partner of Gen Media Partners, will be filling the role of president for Sun. Bailey says, “Today is bittersweet for me. I’m excited to join Julio and our team at Reatro to focus on the amazing software and app development projects we have on our plate. I’m also incredibly sad to leave my baby (Sun) for the very last time. It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with the great men and women at Sun these last 12 years. They are my family and will always be in my heart. I am certain that under the leadership of Warren along with new COO, Danno Wolkoff, Sun will continue to shine bright for years to come.”

iHeartMedia Re-Brands WNIO, Youngstown as ‘The Gambler.’ Youngstown, Ohio sports talk outlet WNIO re-brands from “The Sports Animal” to “1390 The Gambler,” effective immediately. iHeartMedia says, “‘The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from VSiN and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including “My Guys in the Desert,” hosted by sportscaster Brent Musberger. The station will also broadcast programming from FOX Sports Radio, including “The Clay Travis Show,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and “The Lombardi Line,” hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager, Mike Lombardi. iHM Youngstown market president Keith Kennedy says, “‘The Gambler’ is the future of sports radio. We are thrilled to bring this hot new format to The Valley and assist the Youngstown community with navigating the ever-growing world of sports wagering.”

WGAU, Athens’ Tim Bryant Honored with Enshrinement in Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. Radio news and on-air pro Tim Bryant – currently morning show host and news director for Cox Media Group’s WGAU, Athens – has been honored as a Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Career Achievement Inductee for his more than 30-year career in radio. Bryant is one of seven radio icons to have receive this top honor, which recognizes and celebrates individuals who have had a lasting impact on Georgia radio. The virtual ceremony was held on Friday (9/4). Cox Athens station director Kelsey Gresham says, “The name Tim Bryant is synonymous with WGAU and Athens, as his has been a steady and trusted voice on Athens’ radio station of record for a quarter of its more than 80-year history. Tim’s work goes well beyond the airwaves, as he is an integral part of the fabric of the Classic City. He is extremely involved in the community, often hosting forums and debates between political candidates, covering major local events and giving back as a volunteer to various community efforts as often as he can. We are so proud and honored to have him as part of the CMG team.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards were handed out via an on-air and social media special over the Labor Day weekend on iHeartRadio stations nationwide, and the iHeartRadio App, the all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and live-streaming radio service. Some of the winners included: Lizzo for “Song of the Year”; Billie Eilish for “Female Artist of the Year”; Jonas Brothers for “Best Duo/Group of the Year”; and Taylor Swift for “Album of the Year.”…..Beasley Media Group brings Delaware Valley radio personality Jessie Jordan to hot AC WJBR-FM, Wilmington “MIX 99.5” as co-host of “The Mix Morning Show with Johnny B and Jessie Jordan.” Jordan has worked on air at WIOQ-FM and WBEB-FM in Philadelphia prior to joining WJBR-FM this past summer. Station program director Eric Johnson says, “We are thrilled to have Jessie join Johnny B weekday mornings. She certainly added sparkle and feel good fun to this summer’s weekend programming. Now we get to start our day with her sunshine each morning!”…..Nick Cannon announces he’s returning to the helm of his Skyview Networks-syndicated radio program after taking time away for a period of reflection, dialogue, and study with some of America’s most notable Jewish community leaders and representatives. Skyview says, “During his hiatus, Nick worked to deepen his understanding of the issues long troubling the Black and Jewish communities and pledged from this point forward to be a leading voice and advocate for positive change, greater understanding. and unity.” Skyview president and COO Steve Jones says, “We are so appreciative of Nick Cannon’s affiliates for their commitment to Nick during his period of reflection. We recognize that he is an incredible entertainer with a powerful voice that will continue to command the interest and attention of radio listeners during this volatile time in America.”…..Connoisseur Media welcomes Janine Johns back into the company fold as general sales manager for its five-station cluster on Long Island that includes: hot AC WALK-FM, adult contemporary WKJY “K-JOY 98.3,” classic hits WBZO “103.1 MAX FM,” rock WWSK “94.3 THE SHARK,” and oldies WHLI-AM.  She’s been serving as senior account manager for Altice since 2015.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

| September 1, 2020

Salem Radio Network to Syndicate Charlie Kirk Show. Beginning October 5, Salem Radio Network is syndicating a new, three-hour talk show hosted by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. He’s been hosting an eponymous podcast that SRN says has “quickly become one of the top ten podcasts according to the Apple News charts.” The radio program will air live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart. Kirk founded Turning Point USA in his parents’ garage in the suburbs of Chicago when he was 18 years old. SRN says that today, that organization has a presence on over 2,000 campuses, directly engages over 250,000 students every year, and boasts a staff of over 450 full-time and part-time employees scattered across the country, all “playing offense with a sense of urgency to win America’s culture war.” Kirk is also the author of the bestseller The MAGA Doctrine: The Only Ideas that Will Win the Future (Broadside Books, 2020). Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce says, “Rarely do we find somebody as knowledgeable and talented as Charlie Kirk as a potential talk radio host. He wants to change the world and I think he’s the type of talent who can actually do that. It will be a great opportunity to watch him succeed.”

Sports Talker Nate Lucas Off Air After Using ‘Sexist Slur.’ According to a report in the Springfield News-Leader, KTXR-FM, Springfield, Missouri “ESPN Jock 98.7” host Nate Lucas is off of his 9:00 am to 11:00 am show after using a “sexist slur” to describe vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris. The News-Leader’s Harrison Keegan says that Lucas was also “hypercritical” of members of the Missouri State University football program after they announced a campus march to raise awareness of racial injustice. That caused fellow station host Art Hains (who is also play-by-play broadcaster for Missouri State athletics) to take leave of his program because of Lucas’ comments. Hains said he “did not want to be associated with the ‘regrettable’ comments Lucas made about Missouri State student-athletes and staff.” Tom Ladd, operations manager for the Zimmer Midwest Communications station, asked listeners to give management “time to deal with the situation.”

Round One of August PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 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 Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these markets. With the return of live sports, Entercom’s WFAN, New York adds six-tenths to climb to a 2.3 share and the #17 rank. The company’s all-news WINS tacks on a half share to finish the survey with a 4.3 share and remains ranked #7. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI dips eight-tenths for a 3.9 share and slides to the #5 rank. Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago halts its recent slide with a three-tenths increase to finish the August survey with a 3.6 share and the #9 rank. Across town, Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM remains ranked #1 on the strength of a three-tenths increase to wrap the survey with a 7.3 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

Ramsey Network Launches Dr. John Delony Podcast. A new podcast from Ramsey Solutions is joining the Ramsey Network. “The Dr. John Delony Show” is a caller-driven show that provides real talk about life, relationships, and mental health challenges from host and Ramsey Personality Dr. John Delony, a leading voice on relationships and emotional wellness. Ramsey Solutions says, “Through humor, grace and grit, Delony gives people the tools they need to cut through the chaos of anxiety, depression, and disconnection.” The show will be published three times a week and will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, the Ramsey Network app, YouTube and on smart speakers.

Entercom and GM Partner for RADIO.COM Native App in Seven Million Vehicles. This deal between Entercom and General Motors will put RADIO.COM as a native, in-dash application into nearly seven million compatible Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, and Cadillac vehicles. The app allows drivers with compatible vehicles to seamlessly access RADIO.COM through embedded technology beginning on September 15. Entercom VP of corporate business development David Rosenbloom says, “We’re pleased to launch this app with GM to expand the reach of RADIO.COM’s connected car offering into millions of vehicles across the country and enhance the consumer in-vehicle experience. Drivers now have another way to connect with their favorite station and talent, regardless of the market they live in, and enjoy our robust portfolio of leading local news and sports radio content, as well as our suite of leading music stations, podcasts, and on-demand audio content whenever they want, wherever they are going.”

Entercom to Implement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. In a memo to all employees, Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field announces that the company’s Diversity, Equit and Inclusion Task Force has produced a four-prong action plan for the company that seeks to “build a more diverse organization, strengthen our culture of inclusion and respect and foster a more just, equitable and inclusive nation.” The plan calls for a partnership with the National Urban League to “deepen our understanding of economic and social justice issues within our communities and provide support for NUL programs through public service messages”; a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities Morehouse, Clark, and Spelman “through various actions to provide career opportunities and counseling, while creating a pipeline of diverse talent for key hiring needs within our organization”; a fellowship program “to create up to 10 fellowship roles for recent college graduates emphasizing diverse candidates to fill key openings across the organization”; and unconscious bias training “for our leadership team and online training for our entire team as part of our ongoing investments in skill building and training.”

Danno Wolkoff Named COO at Sun Broadcast Group. Media executive Danno Wolkoff is named chief operating officer at Gen Media Partners’ general market network division Sun Broadcast Group. Wolkoff takes over for Julio Aponte, who recently exited the company. Wolkoff joined SBG after it acquired Wolkoff’s Envision Networks in January of this year. Also, SBG announces it has created two additional New York-based ad sales positions with the hiring of Jackie Cardillo and Angela Codella, both of whom will report directly to Wolkoff.

Presidential Race, Protest Violence/BLM Movement, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, New Stimulus Deal, and NFL Investigating Washington Football Team Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31). The November presidential election; the violent protests in Portland and Los Angeles and President Trump’s planned trip to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the COVID-19 outbreaks at numerous college campuses; a new stimulus deal being worked on in Congress; and the NFL takes over the investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the Washington Football Team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. In Los Angeles, Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC-AM is adding network newscasts from Total Traffic and Weather Network. TTWN has provided local news and traffic reports to the station since 2018. Under the expanded partnership, TTWN will provide KABC-AM with unbranded network newscasts delivered by TTWN’s 24/7 News division. KABC-AM had been using the Westwood One News service that ceased operations on August 30. KABC VP and market manager Drew Hayes says, “We are excited and happy to continue and expand our relationship with TTWN. They have proven to be not only a top-shelf national news and traffic services provider, but also a responsive and creative partner.”…..Hubbard Radio unveils a new podcast app built specifically for Minnesotans called, PodMN. The mobile app was soft launched in December and showcases podcasts that feature voices, topics and stories that are rooted in Minnesota. It is also aimed at making locally produced audio more discoverable and more profitable for its creators. Users will find hundreds of podcasts from independent local content creators like PodMN’s own senior editor Beth K. Gibbs who also produces and co-hosts the podcast, “Totes Recall.”…..Cox Media Group Tulsa is partnering with the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance to provide four weeks of hands-on, curiosity-driven activities during the month of STEMtember “to help grow a love of science, technology, engineering and math in Green Country students and families.” Each week will offer free virtual experiences for students and teachers, and some weeks will include a physical component. CMG Tulsa vice president Cathy Gunther says, “We are proud to partner with the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance to help offer hands-on resources for students to use, especially now when so many are engaged in distance learning.”…..Rush Street Interactive and VSiN announce a multi-year agreement that includes the launch of “Rush Hour.” VSiN will broadcast “Rush Hour” live from the in-casino sportsbook in Rivers Casino Des Plaines in Illinois weekdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET…..Actor Zack Robidas (“Succession,” “Friends from College,” “30 Rock”) hosts “The Pod Spotter,” a podcast that celebrates under-the-radar and next-big-thing podcasts. Created and produced by Price Brothers, “The Pod Spotter” will be published every Monday. Robidas says, “With over a million podcasts in existence today, and more being developed every day, it’s sort of the Wild West out there when it comes to pod fans finding appropriate content. When I was approached to host the show, I was shocked to find that no such resource exists. And so, we wanted to do a show that not only entertained but had great utility as well.”…..C13Originals expands its partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham, and HISTORY with a new podcast documentary series, “It Was Said,” that focuses on some of the most important, impactful and relevant speeches in history. Drawing on a selection of speeches from powerful figures in history like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ronald Reagan, JFK, RFK, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Lewis, Edward R. Murrow, and Barbara Jordan, Meacham offers expert insight and analysis into their origins, the orator, the context of the times they were given, why they are still relevant today, and the importance of never forgetting them. “It Was Said” launches tomorrow (9/2).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio legend Scott Shannon and Entercom agree to a contract extension to continue his hosting the “Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele” program on classic hits WCBS-FM, New York as well as his nationally syndicated weekend countdown show “America’s Greatest Hits.” Entercom SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “When New Yorkers think of morning radio, they hear Scott Shannon in their minds. Generations of listeners have woken up with Scott as the first voice they hear each day. As relevant and compelling as ever, it is fitting that he holds court on WCBS-FM 101.1, right in the middle of that radio dial that he has influenced like no other talent in history.”…..iHeartMedia announces that Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Bon Jovi has been added to the lineup for the 10th anniversary of its iHeartRadio Music Festival that will feature live performances recorded on stages in Los Angeles and Nashville in front of a virtual audience that will include a Capital One Fan Wall of iHeartRadio station winners. Taking place on September 18 and 19, the concert event is being hosted by Ryan Seacrest and this year’s virtual two-day mega-concert will feature already announced performances from: BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown with special guest Khalid, Keith Urban, Migos, Miley Cyrus, Thomas Rhett, Usher and more. The CW Network will broadcast the two-night televised iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 27 and 28.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

| February 4, 2020

Joyce Kaufman Reduces Show to One Hour in New WFTL, West Palm Beach Schedule. Longtime South Florida talk show host Joyce Kaufman is moving to a new start time and will host a one-hour show as Hubbard Radio reveals “News/Talk 850” WFTL’s new program schedule.  Kaufman says, “I am definitely not being pushed out.  In fact, I wanted to retire, and the station management said you can’t leave completely.  So, I am very grateful that they have been so gracious and accommodating.”  The new lineup is as follows: “The South Florida Morning Show with Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams” from 5:30 to 10:00 am; FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Joyce Kaufman from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Radio America’s “The Dana Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Westwood One’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.   Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Joyce Kaufman has been an important piece to 850 WFTL for nearly 30 years.  We are happy she remains part of our very exciting new lineup.”

Former KRLD-FM, Dallas Duo ‘Ben & Skin’ Land at Classic Rock ‘97.1 The Eagle.’ Sports talk duo “Ben & Skin” left Entercom’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “The Fan” in October saying they had a new gig lined up.  Now, we learn that the duo is the new afternoon show at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle,” effective Monday (2/10).  Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade will be on the air from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Kevin “KT” Turner will handle news duties and Krystina Ray will serve as producer.  Rogers says, “We’re beyond excited to reconnect with listeners.  They’ve always been the fuel for our rocket ship, and we think they’re absolutely going to love this no-holds-barred version of our show.  We’ll have complete freedom to combine everything we’re passionate about into three hours of unfiltered comedy, pop culture and sports talk. We plan to explore it all in the funniest and most entertaining ways possible.”  Wade adds, “When we were offered the opportunity to be on a station that we grew up listening to, it got our creative juices flowing in a way that we hadn’t felt in a long time.  This is huge for us.”

FOX Nation’s Abby Hornacek Debuts ‘Getting Schooled’ Podcast. A new podcast from FOX News Radio launches, hosted by FOX Nation travel, lifestyle and sports personality Abby Hornacek, titled “Getting Schooled.”  FNR says, “With a new episode released every Monday, Hornacek will be joined by guests and experts in the field to uncover the origins behind popular buzz words and phrases.  Episode one features FOX News Channel’s politics editor Chris Stirewalt as he dives into the definition of ‘caucus’ and why Iowa is the first in the nation to cast their vote and more.”  Hornacek is the host of three series on FOX Nation: “PARK’D,” in which  Hornacek takes viewers behind-the-scenes of United States national parks; “Ride to Work,” in which she conducts light-hearted interviews with various FOX Nation hosts and FNC personalities as she drives them to work; and “American Arenas,” in which she embraces her passion for sports and travels to the country’s most beloved fields and sporting venues.

Julie Landry Named VP of Consumer Engagement for ‘New Jersey 101.5.’ Marketing and sales pro Julie Landry is named vice president for consumer engagement for Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  In this role, Landry will lead Townsquare Accelerate, that works with key local and regional clients to develop creative approaches that will address their business needs.  ‘NJ 101.5’ president and chief revenue officer Ron deCastro says, “Julie has a long track record of working across diverse client industries at several NYC advertising agencies and is a leading voice in the influencer marketing and branded content field.  She will be leading the process to develop breakthrough, cross-channel programs that deliver results for our key clients.”  Prior to joining Townsquare, she co-founded Wellness Amplified, an influencer marketing agency in New York, and was VP group account director at the Integer Group and VP account director at Wunderman in New York.  Landry will work with Kristin Roderick, recently named vice president of partnership sales, “in order to help local and regional clients unlock great results, using the full range of Townsquare’s multiplatform marketing offerings.”  She says, “I’m looking forward to partnering with Ron, Kristin, and the Townsquare ‘New Jersey 101.5’ sales team to bring Townsquare’s innovative broadcast and digital capabilities to life, to engage consumers and deliver superior business results for our local customers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Broadcast executive and podcast pioneer Gary Leland joins BizTalkRadio as executive vice president, a move the company says “recognizes the need to increase the digital footprint and marketing of the brand.  Company COO Scott Miller says, “BizTalkRadio has been a strong option for business and lifestyle content.  We continue to grow our radio footprint, but to support our affiliates we felt we needed a stronger digital and social media focus.  Gary is well known in the radio podcasting space and is a marketer by nature.”…..Former WOR, New York; WRKO, Boston; and WTKK-FM, Boston talk host Jay Severin comes out of retirement to host a weekly, Sunday evening show throughout the 2020 election cycle on Westport Communications’ WBOQ-FM, Gloucester, Massachusetts.  The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program will be available as a podcast after broadcast via North of Boston Podcast Services…..The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that University of Kentucky football and men’s basketball radio play-by-play announcer Tom Leach is brokering the three-hour Sunday morning block on iHeartMedia’s WLAP-AM, Lexington in order to continue the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show that was cancelled as part of iHeartMedia’s recent workforce reduction.  Leach brought back two of the three hosts – Larry Vaught and Anthony White – as Mark Buerger elected not to return.  Instead, show producer Curtis Burch is joining Vaught and White.  Leach already brokers his daily, one-hour “The Leach Report” show on WLAP-AM and WKJK, Louisville…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WSCR, Chicago morning drive personality Brian Hanley has joined Good Karma Brands-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” to serve as a weekend and fill-in host.  He’ll also co-host the weekly “ESPN 1000 Hockey Show.”  Hanley co-hosted AMs on “The Score” before exiting 18 months ago…..MLB’s Minnesota Twins sign a multi-year partnership with Skyview Networks to use the company’s Skyview Networks’ AdView inventory management and live read capture software.  This allows the process of scheduling ads and reporting them for billing to be fully controlled by the franchise’s broadcast team and front office.  Twins senior broadcast manager Andrew Halverson says, “After thoroughly researching the market, it is clear that Skyview Networks’ industry-leading AdView software is best suited to enhance our day-to-day broadcast operations, while also driving greatly-improved efficiencies in our reporting processes.  We are eager to partner with Skyview’s team to maximize their resources for the betterment of our broadcasts and our advertisers alike.”

Sun Broadcast Group Acquires Envision Networks. Cleveland-based Envision Networks is being acquired by Sun Broadcast Group, a Gen Media Partners company.  SBG says that this acquisition increases its national footprint with an additional 1,300 affiliates in both general market and Hispanic.  It also adds to SBG’s portfolio of programming and services “Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock,” BOB FM, MeTV FM, “The Rooster,” and more.  As part of the transaction, Envision co-founders Danno Wolkoff and Laura Orkin become stockholders in the expanded SBG.  They also join the executive team with Wolkoff serving as SBG’s chief development officer and Orkin accepting the position of vice president of business operations.

Iowa Caucus Problems/Presidential Race, Impeachment Trial, Coronavirus Concerns/Financial Markets Reactions, State of the Union Address, Rush Limbaugh Cancer Revelation, and Super Bowl LIV Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3). The issues affecting the results of the Iowa Caucuses; the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a possible coronavirus pandemic and the financial markets’ reactions to it; tonight’s State of the Union address to Congress; the talk radio and political world’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s announcement of his lung cancer diagnosis; and reaction to the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Needless to say, the Holiday book is generally huge for AC stations that flip to Christmas music.  Which AC station made the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share jump from the December 2019 survey?  Check out the report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Cumulus Media’s WFYR, Peoria announces it has re-branded as “97.3 River Country” from its previous “97.3 NASH FM.”  The station’s new weekday lineup is: “The Ty Bentli Show” in mornings, Wes from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Cathy Taylor from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Doc Watson from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Biscuit from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Brian from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

| November 7, 2019

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Revenue Rises 3%. Revenue for iHeartMedia, Inc. – whose shares became listed on the NASDAQ on July 18 of this year – was $948.3 million, an increase of 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  Digital revenue increased 33.4%.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, revenue was $2.66 billion – an increase of 2.8% over the same period in 2018.  The company says, “Our traditional radio business, which is comprised of our Broadcast and Networks revenue streams, is stable and growing.  Broadcast revenue declined by 0.6% on a reported basis and increased 0.4% excluding the impact of political revenue, while Networks grew 9.2% year-over-year driven primarily by growth in our Total Traffic & Weather network.  Networks also grew sequentially by almost 300 basis points over the second quarter. Our growth was also driven by our Digital revenue stream, which grew 33.4%.  Digital revenue growth was primarily driven by growth in podcasting, as well as other digital revenue.  Audio & Media Services declined 14.3% on a reported basis and increased by 0.2% excluding the impact of political revenue.  Political revenue primarily impacts our Broadcast and Audio & Media Services revenue, and therefore these revenue streams tend to show greater variance in non-political years.  Sponsorships increased by 4.4% year-over-year. Importantly, all of our revenue streams grew year-over-year excluding the impact of political revenue, demonstrating the continued momentum in our business.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Income Up 1.5%. Net income for Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2019 third quarter was $66.1 million, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2018 and the company says that “reflects increased revenue in the Company’s Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Wilmington market clusters. Net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was comparable to net revenue for the same period in 2018 at the Company’s other market clusters.”  For the first nine months of 2019, net income was $189.5 million, an increase of 4.1% over the same nine-month period in 2018.  Station Operating Income increased 12.7% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2019.  The company says the year-over-year increase is primarily attributable to higher revenue in the 2019 third quarter and lower station operating expenses related to $1.7 million of non-recurring bad debt expense that was recorded in the comparable 2018 period, partially offset by higher expenses at recently acquired stations.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout the third quarter, we continued to advance our revenue diversification initiatives and actively manage our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms, while implementing our operating disciplines at recently acquired stations to drive SOI growth and margin expansion.  Record third quarter net revenue of $66.1 million was driven by the strength of our station clusters in four of our top five largest revenue markets, as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and more than offset the approximate $0.9 million of combined political, spectrum and United States Traffic Network traffic revenue recorded in the 2018 third quarter, which did not recur in the 2019 third quarter…Third quarter results also began to reflect financial contributions related to our new and expanding digital development and diversification initiatives. Beasley generated a year-over-year increase in digital revenue of approximately 37%, with digital now accounting for 7.4% of total revenue, compared to 5.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Going forward, we remain committed to increasing digital share of total revenue as we continue to aggressively roll out our digital transformation strategy across the organization.”

Urban One Third Quarter Net Revenue Basically Flat at $111.1 Million.  While third quarter net revenue was up just 0.3%, Urban One’s broadcast and digital operating income was up 3.2% on $44.8 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  Operating income was approximately $32.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to approximately $32.1 million for the same period in 2018.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred Liggins III says, “During the third quarter we completed the sale of WDMK to Beasley Broadcasting, as a result of which our cash position improved, and net leverage was reduced. On a same station basis, our third quarter radio revenues were up 4.2%, and I was pleased that we were able to grow the Radio Broadcasting segment Adjusted EBITDA by 6.6%.  Same station core radio revenues, excluding political, are currently pacing down low single digits for the fourth quarter.  Cable Television advertising was robust in the quarter, up 7.8%. While digital revenues decreased by 6.4%, we were able to post significant Adjusted EBITDA growth in that segment as a result of improved cost control.  Overall, we were able to grow Adjusted EBITDA by 5.8% for the quarter, and I believe we are well positioned to achieve our strategic goals for the year, with Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $138-$140 million.”

Nielsen Announces Plans to Split into Two Companies.  Along with its third quarter financial results, Nielsen Holdings Plc is announcing that it will “separate the Global Media and Global Connect businesses through a spin-off of the Global Connect business.”  Global Media is the audience measurement division and Global Connect is the consumer data division.  CEO David Kenny says, “We are pleased with our third quarter results.  Both Media and Connect revenues were ahead of our expectations, reflecting strong execution as well as our focus on driving faster, bolder decisions to enhance value for Nielsen and for our clients.  We also announced today the conclusion of our strategic review and our decision to separate Global Media and Global Connect.  As we look forward, we remain focused on executing on our growth strategies and positioning both businesses to create value for our shareholders.”  The strategic review was led by chairman of the board of directors James Attwood, who says, “Nielsen has two strong and global franchises — Global Media and Global Connect.  Following an extensive review process, which included an in-depth analysis of our businesses, strategies and market opportunities, the Board concluded that separating into two independent, publicly traded companies is the best path to position each business for long term success and maximize value creation.  As independent companies, both Nielsen — the Global Media business — and the new company consisting of Global Connect will enjoy added flexibility and further strengthen their paths toward a new phase of growth, productivity and industry leadership.”

Q3 2019 Flat for Saga Communications. Third quarter net revenue for Saga Communications, Inc. was $31.3 million, basically flat compared to 2018’s Q3 figure of $31.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $171 thousand to $23.6 million and operating income decreased $520 thousand to $4.8 million compared to $5.3 million for the same period in 2018.  Net Income decreased $361 thousand to $3.3 million for the quarter.  On a same-station basis, third quarter net revenue decreased $1.4 million to $30.3 million.  Looking at the first three quarters of 2019, net income was flat with the same period in 2018 at $9.4 million.  Net revenue decreased $610 thousand to $91.3 million.  On a same-station basis for the nine-month period, net revenue decreased $3.8 million to $88.1 million.  Saga reports having $42.3 million in cash on hand as of November 4, 2019.  The company’s total bank debt was $10 million as of the end of the quarter.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on the public radio news/talk format.  More than 60% of public radio news/talk stations were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) compared to the September 2019 survey.  Year-over-year, the results were split about 50/50, with half the stations up and half down. Four high-performing public outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in October.  They were: WAMU-FM, Washington; KPBS-FM, San Diego; KOPB-FM, Portland; and KUT-FM, Austin.  Perennially top-ranked public outlet KQED, San Francisco ceded the #1 spot to Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco in October.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Sun Broadcast Group to Rep All of Envision Networks’ Products in 2020. This agreement between Sun Broadcast Group and Envision Networks is an expanded sales representation agreement that now includes all Envision Networks shows and services.  Envision Networks CEO and president Danno Wolkoff says, “We started with Sun Broadcast Group selling all of our Spanish inventory and began adding more general market advertising to their networks as we grew.  SBG’s ability to maximize our lineups and create networks with such high advertiser demand fueled the development of many new shows and services.  It’s only fitting that Jay [Bailey], Julio [Aponte] and the Sun team now represent all of Envision Networks’ advertising sales in 2020 … we’re thrilled to be working together.”

TALKERS News Notes. Greenville, South Carolina news/talk WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” adds a translator to its broadcast.  Now carrying the station’s signal is W270AM, Anderson, South Carolina at 101.5 FM. Anderson is about 25 miles southwest of Greenville.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We’re happy to meet the demand from listeners and advertisers to expand 106.3 WORD’s over-the-air signal to Anderson County using 101.5 FM.  Anderson is a fast-growing market that we are looking forward to serving with 106.3 WORD’s programming on all of our platforms.”…..Kentucky sports talk host Matt Jones will be off his WLAP-AM, Lexington-based program after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.  Jones has announced he’s exploring the possibility of running as a Democrat for McConnell’s senate seat.  The iHeartMedia station asked Jones to step away from the program after the complaint was issued.  Jones was relieved of his duties at WLEX-TV, Lexington in July after he made his political ambitions known…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting a news special titled, “30 Years After the Fall: The Legacy of the Berlin Wall,” that explores the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Correspondent Chas Henry hosts the program as he reports from the site where the Berlin Wall once stood.  He talks to scholars about why the wall was constructed and with residents who watched it come down.  The half-hour program airs Thanksgiving weekend.  Stations interested can contact Jim Jones at jimjones@westwoodone.com or 202-840-7933 for more information.

Impeachment Process, Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Mormon Family Massacre, China-Hong Kong Tensions, New HIV Strain, and OK Boomer Meme Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6). The impeachment process against President Trump; the testimony about President Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Democratic victories in Virginia and Kentucky in Tuesday’s elections; the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family by drug cartel members in Mexico; the ongoing tensions between Hong Kong and China; the discovery of a new strain of HIV; and the controversy over the “Ok Boomer” meme were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, iHeartMedia names Angel “Visa” Jarquin program director for hip hop KBOS “B95.”  He comes to “B95” from his most recent position with the company’s CHR KDON, Monterey where he was afternoon drive personality and assistant program director.   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Central California and Nevada Tony Matteo says, “Angel’s incredible track record of success and his experience in the format make him an ideal fit to spearhead this market’s leading brand in Fresno.  We’re excited to bring his energy to the ‘B95’ team.”…..JVC Media announces the addition of Long Island radio personality Bill “The Wiseman” Wise as morning host at WPTY-HD2/W251BY, Patchogue, New York “Oldies 98.1”  JVC New York general manager Bruce Shepard says, “The Wiseman is a great addition to our staff.  He will not only be on the airwaves of ‘Oldies 98.1,’ he will also work with the team to develop new and exciting live events and concerts for ‘Oldies 98.1.’  I am thrilled to have him on board.”…..Country outlet WYCD, Detroit  hosted last night’s “Stars and Strings Presented by RAM Trucks Built to Serve” event that raised more than $25,000 for Folds of Honor, the organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Entercom has now raised more than $275,000 to support the cause.  The RADIO.COM event featured performances by Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, and Ryan Hurd…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Cocoa Beach, Florida announces the all-star lineup for its “Earthday Birthday Number 27” music festival taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Orlando Amphitheater.  Performing will be: Shinedown, Halestorm, Theory Of A Deadman, Beartooth, Fozzy, Dirty Honey, New Years Day, Crobot, and Dinosaur Pile-Up, with more to be announced…..Cox Media Group classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 The River” will celebrate its 14th birthday with “The River’s Rockin’ Birthday Bash Presents: Journey with Pretenders” on Thursday, August 13 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta.  Station director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “We can’t wait to celebrate The River’s 14th birthday with our awesome fans.  Journey and Pretenders will definitely put on an unbelievable show to help us party on August 13!”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

| August 21, 2019

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.  The summer months can be a down time for all-news stations and that appears to have been the case during the July survey as 62% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share dip.  In fact, only Entercom’s KNX, Los Angeles was the only station to go up, albeit only by a tenth of a share.  The rest of the stations on our panel remained flat.  Comparing July of 2018 to this year, half the stations on our panel were up – led by Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco (+0.6) and WDCH, Baltimore “Bloomberg Radio 99.1” (+0.6) – and the other half were down, with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington down 1.4 shares.  In July there were no all-news stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets.  However, KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WTOP, Washington both ranked #2.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

WSB, Atlanta Rebrands Simultaneous with Transmitter Move. Atlanta news/talker WSB-AM/WSBB-FM announces the move of its 95.5 FM transmitter and antenna from Flowery Branch to East Atlanta and the change of its official name and positioning statement to “95.5 WSB Atlanta’s News & Talk.” Cox Media Group says, “The move brings a stronger signal and better sound quality to residents in counties on the south, west and northwest side of metro Atlanta, including Henry, Paulding, Cobb, Bartow, Coweta, Cherokee and Douglas.”  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs says, “With the new tower location, at least one million more people in Atlanta will now be able to listen to 95.5 WSB without static, loud and clear, both at home and at work.  Office buildings in downtown and midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Cumberland, and Perimeter will now be able to listen to 95.5 on an FM radio and hear our news and talk with a strong signal.”  The station will still be heard on the 750AM frequency as well.

Envision and GAB Partner to Distribute ‘Smart Talk Radio’ Format. The WCGO-AM, Chicago-based Smart Talk Radio format promises “no political talk.” Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network are partnering to distribute the new 24/7 talk format to stations nationwide.  The “information and entertainment” format launched its weekend programming lineup last weekend (8/17-18) with a bevy of shows focusing on food, home improvement, pet, and travel shows.  It plans to announce its weekday lineup soon.  Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Time to get back to programming that we all can enjoy listening to on the radio.  The debut of our weekend lineup really gets the network rolling and we’re excited to debut three new weekday daypart programs that will cover sports talk and betting, financial advice and planning, and lifestyle talk.”

Entercom’s News/Talk WYRD-FM and ‘ESPN Upstate’ Win SCBA Awards. The Entercom Greenville, South Carolina cluster took home a number of STAR Awards and Awards of Merit from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” morning drive talk show host Tara Servatius won best Radio Morning Show Personality and Best News/Talk Show.  WYRD-FM’s Vince Coakley program won an Award of Merit for Radio Show of the Year. Sports talk WYRD-AM’s “Straight Up with Sturg” show was honored with an Award of Merit for Best Sports Show.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago sports media personality Mike North is now a media consultant and spokesperson for VegasScoresAndOdds.com. In this capacity, North will host a sports-betting show on the platform on Mondays and Wednesdays.  North says in a statement, “I’ve immersed myself into the sports handicapping business, like I did the radio talk show industry when I made the transition from hot dog stand owner to nationally recognized media figure.”  Aldo Gandia – who is North’s partner on the Bears Barroom Radio Network – will also co-host and produce the betting shows…..ESPN Audio announces that its “30 for 30 Podcasts,” with The Undefeated, debuts all five episodes from its new season of audio documentaries.  “The Sterling Affairs” examines the life of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  It chronicles his rags to riches rise, his ultimate downfall, and how it all impacted the NBA. The series is hosted by ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne…..Paragon Media Strategies brings audio imaging producer Zach Gilltrap aboard to provide his services to Paragon clients. The company says, “Gilltrap has provided sound design creative services to radio stations, networks, studios and including Paragon clients for 20-plus years.  He will provide audio imaging production to select Paragon clients while continuing full time as the in-house producer at Colorado Public Radio, operator of Denver’s news/talk KCFR-FM, classical KVOD-FM, music discovery indie 102.3 and a statewide network of owned-and-affiliated stations.”…..WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” adds ESPN Radio’s “Stephen A. Smith Show” to its lineup in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot, effective September 9.  Station CEO Kevin Adell says, “We continue to evolve and provide exciting opportunities to our listening audience in the market.”

Trump Greenland Flap, 2020 Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/Economic Concerns, Epstein Suicide Aftermath, U.S.-China Trade War/Hong Kong Protests, Israel vs Tlaib/Omar, Iran Tanker Case, and Gun Legislation Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20). The controversy over President Trump’s question about buying Greenland; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the world’s financial markets activity and concerns about a U.S. recession; the aftermath of the suicide of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the related protests in Hong Kong; Israel’s decision to ban U.S. Reps Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel; the status of an Iranian oil tanker the U.S. wants to prevent from reaching Syria; and the state of possible gun legislation in the wake of recent mass shootings 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.  KDGS-FM, Wichita “Power 93.5” program director and morning drive personality Greg “The Hitman” Williams is inducted into The Kansas African American Museum Hall of Fame.  He’ll be honored with the Broadcast Journalism Trailblazer Award by TKAAM at the organization’s annual Trailblazers Gala on October 5 in Wichita.  Entercom Wichita SVP and market manager Jackie Wise says, “We are thrilled to see Greg recognized for his significant contributions to radio and to the community.  We’re very proud to have him as part of the Entercom Wichita team.”…..iHeartMedia’s Dallas classic rock KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” announces that the lineup for its “Freakers’ Ball” live event on October 25 at Dos Equis Pavilion will include: Marilyn Manson, Bush, Bad Wolves, Filter, 10 Years, and Blacktop Mojo.  Station PD Don Davis says, “Who better to headline this huge annual event than Marilyn Manson.  Our ‘Eagle’ rockaholics have come to expect the best when it comes to our annual ‘Freakers’ Ball’ lineup and we always strive to deliver.”…..Entercom’s 4th annual “Riptide Music Festival powered by Ford” is taking place November 23 and 24 on Fort Lauderdale Beach at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.  The two-day festival will feature more than 20 musical performers including: The Killers, The 1975, The Revivalists, Silversun Pickups, and Judah & The Lion, among others.  The event is being hosted by the company’s alternative WSFS-FM, Fort Lauderdale “104.3 The Shark.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio announces that Victor “Tito” Caballero is named program director for KZEP-FM, San Antonio “104.5 Latino Hits.” Caballero has been the station’s creative director and afternoon drive host since December 2018.   He says, “I couldn’t be more excited to program a station in my hometown that plays a music format that I love.  To have the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most talented programmers in the world is humbling to say the least.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

| July 10, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with a Special Address by Bill O’ Reilly.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/10) post presents the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly.  Posted yesterday: A one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, served as facilitator.  Already posted: A panel discussion titled “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  The page also presents a video of the convention’s keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Salem Radio News to Feature ‘Religious Freedom’ Series. A weeklong series titled, “America’s Fight to Preserve Religious Freedom” is being presented by Salem Radio Network’s SRN News to its 2,200-plus affiliate stations, beginning on July 15.  Salem says, “The multi-part broadcast focuses on threats by secular activists and politicians to drive Christianity and other religions out of the public square in America.” It features exclusive interviews with Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia (pictured at right with SRN V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup); Michael Farris, president & CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom; Texas attorney general Ken Paxton; Daily Wire talk host Michael Knowles; and David French, senior writer at National Review.  Tradup says, “From gender-bending activists to outright hostility by states and local governments, religious freedom in America is under more attack in 2019 than at any other time in our history.  Our series will shine the white-hot light of public scrutiny on the very real dangers facing one of our most fundamental rights as American citizens.  And we hope it will fuel a national dialogue on how men and women of faith can mobilize to reverse recent trends which have created hostility toward faith-based businesses and organizations here is the United States…which nevertheless remains the beacon of religious freedom around the globe.”

Five Podcast Publishers Sign Up for Nielsen’s ‘Podcast Listener Buying Power Service.’  A new tool for podcasters is launched called the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service from Nielsen Scarborough and podcast publishers iHeartMediaCadence13, Midroll-Stitcher’s advertising arm, Westwood One and cabana are its charter clients.  Nielsen says, “For the first time, clients will be able to profile shows using program titles collected from our subscribers in order to connect specific types of listeners with particular advertisers and specific program-level insights…Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service has an effective sample of close to 30,000 respondents, with the ability to capture results for specific programs.  It also uses targeted questions on podcast listening with more than 12 podcast genres, over 2,000 retail/plan-to-buy categories and hundreds of advertisers with specific brand names such as insurance companies, automotive, quick service restaurants, home improvement retailers and more. These easy-to-use reports are generated from web-based software and have a two time per year data release.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York City sports media figure Michael Kay is off the air for the next month after having surgery on his vocal cords.  The WEPN-FM “ESPN NY 98.7” afternoon drive host and Yes Network Yankees broadcaster tweeted that he’d seen a doctor in Boston and surgery was recommended…..The KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated “Armstrong & Getty” program is now airing in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot at Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM, Kansas City.  This latest affiliate signing comes after last December’s announcement by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty that affiliate relations pro Craig Whetstine is working with Armstrong & Getty Media to take the program beyond its Western U.S. affiliation base…..CBS News is offering affiliate stations a one-hour Apollo 11 special titled, “One Giant Leap Revisited,” staring July 11, ahead of the July 16 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  CBS correspondent Peter King takes listeners from the Apollo 11 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida to the Johnson Space Center in Houston where he talks with the brave men and women who made the mission possible…..A new iHeartRadio Original podcast is launched titled, “Noble Blood,” presenting “the salacious, secret, and tragic stories of monarchs like you’ve never heard them before.”  Dana Schwartz, entertainment writer for publications including Entertainment Weekly and Marie Claire hosts the program…..Envision Networks announces that registration is open for the next “Coffee with Envision” webinar, this edition titled, “Demographics for a New Age of Radio,” on July 16 at 1:00 pm ET.  Brand consultant/No Borders Radio “Brandfather,” Brian Burns, and Radio Consulting Services president Jon Holiday, will present and promise to “separate facts from the radio listening myths of Millennials and Baby Boomers.”  Envision president Danno Wolkoff says, “There’s so much misinformation out there about Millennials and Baby Boomers and their listening habits that we want to dispel.  Brian and Jon will cover the top myths and then provide the facts that programmers can reference when working to attract these valuable audiences to their stations.”…..Talk radio pro Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his usual afternoon drive program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, Des Moines and fills in Wednesday through Friday in morning drive on the company’s WFLF-AM/W226BT, Orlando.  Conway used to work in the market and is looking forward to reconnecting with his old listeners.

Census Citizenship Question, Immigration/Detention Facilities, 2020 Presidential Race, Jeffrey Epstein Case, Ross Perot Dies, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).The Trump Administration’s battle to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census; U.S. immigration policy and the controversy over conditions at border detention camps; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the sexual trafficking charges facing billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein; the death of business tycoon and former independent presidential candidate H. Ross Perot at 89; and the pay discrepancy issue brought up by the U.S. Women’s National Team 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 New York City, a big change takes place at classic hits WCBS-FM.  Longtime midday personality Dan Taylor exits after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office broadens its investigation into workplace misconduct dating back to CBS’ ownership of the station. Read the New York Post’s coverage here.  Meanwhile, WCBS-FM owner Entercom brings former WPLJ personality Race Taylor aboard to handle the midday show, effective July22.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We are extremely excited to welcome Race to WCBS-FM and to reunite him with some of our most legendary on-air personalities.   We are thrilled to offer former WPLJ fans a new place to call home at our station and to offer Race’s loyal listeners more of the absolute best on-air listening experience for which we are known.”  Race Taylor spent more of the last 20 years with former hot AC WPLJ, prior to its sale to Educational Media Foundation…..Cumulus Media moves rock radio pro Axel Lowe from his position as PD and afternoon drive personality at WFTK-FM, Cincinnati “96 Rock” back to his hometown of Atlanta to program the company’s rock WNNX-FM.  Cumulus Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon says, “Axel may well be the longest, continuously employed, full-time talent in Atlanta as he started in 1992 and has never been off the air since, even when he relocated to Cincinnati for the company nearly five years ago.  That said, we are thrilled to welcome him home to Atlanta as program director for ‘Rock 100.5,’ a station and a format he knows inside and out.  It will be terrific to have his leadership and passion for ‘Rock 100.5’ back at work here in our Atlanta studios.”…..J.D. Justice joins Midwest Communications’ country KTCO, Duluth “Kat Country” as brand manager.  He was most recently with Trending Media Inc’s country KXIA, Marshalltown, Iowa as PD and morning show host.  He takes over for Justin Henrickson, who exited to relocate to the state of Washington.  He’ll also co-host the morning show with “Brookie the Rookie.”…..Classic rock WBPT-FM, Birmingham, Alabama announces the passing of award-winning morning show personality Lisa Mason, after suffering health complications.  She served with WBPT for the past 17 years.  The station says, “While we mourn the loss of a very special woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young and old alike.  For those who may ask what they can do to honor Lisa, you may donate funds in her name to the ASPCA at the following link: https://secure.aspca.org/donate/memorial.”

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

| April 2, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/Talk Part Two. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part two of a look at the performances of news/talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey.  This report looks at the format on a more localized basis, ranking the PPM markets in order of weekly 6+ AQH share for commercial news/talk stations.  Cincinnati was the top market in February, with a 13.1 share for news/talk led by perennial ratings-getter WLW.  See the rest of the markets ranking as well as which markets saw news/talk listening increase and which saw decreases from the January survey to the February survey here.

Hannity Hosts Limbaugh on FNC Show. Nationally syndicated talk legend Rush Limbaugh – the man who pioneered the modern-day radio talk show – appeared on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” last week to discuss the situation in Washington in the aftermath of the completion of the Mueller investigation.  Sean Hannity and Limbaugh – both syndicated in radio via Premiere Networks – have done a couple of these TV segments in the past few months.  Limbaugh chooses his television appearances carefully and his conversations with Hannity put two of the most important news/talk personalities in America in the homes of conservative fans simultaneously.

Fans Upset, Affiliates Perplexed by New York Mets Network Decision. A decision by Entercom not to pony up for satellite time for the New York Mets Radio Network this year has some upstate stations miffed.  As it stands now, the only place New York Mets baseball can be heard on the radio is WCBS-AM, New York.  Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is quoted at Syracuse.com calling it a “middle finger to Syracuse and all of Upstate New York.” Levine blames the Mets, saying the team would request the broadcast plan for its games from its broadcast partner.  “This is why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Mets are the Mets.  It’s not like we told the Mets we didn’t want them. They reneged on the deal. They are too cheap to do what every other major league franchise does.”

‘National Defense Radio Show’ Distributed by Envision. The national distribution of “The National Defense Radio Show” is being handled by Envision Networks.  The weekly two-hour program is hosted by Randy Miller and Jerry Newberry.  The program focuses exclusively on topics concerning today’s active-duty military, veterans, and those who support them.  Recent notable guests on the show include: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Jay LenoDolly Parton, Colin Powell, and former President George W. Bush.  Randy Miller says, “We are so excited to get started with Danno [Wolkoff] and the great folks at Envision.  They have become one of the most successful content providers in America and we know that this will give ‘The National Defense’ a greater platform to celebrate our nation’s heroes.”

TALKERS News Notes. WBEN-AM, Buffalo contributor and national Republican strategist Michael Caputo is hosting a weekly podcast that’s being made available on Entercom’s RADIO.com platform.  “Still Standing with Michael Caputo” features his “unique perspective on national political and cultural events, gained from 30 years in the international political arena.”  Caputo states, “I’m truly honored to be featured on RADIO.com.  This is a great way for me to celebrate five years working for Entercom.  Each week, I try to bring a ‘flyover country’ perspective to global events, not just the conflict between President Donald Trump and the Washington elite.  A unique populist movement elected him, something I know well and hope to help listeners understand along the way.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc. announces that the popular national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” is now being heard on more than 400 weekly affiliates, reaching more than 1 million leisure and business travelers.  The program airs live on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.

Radio Hofstra University Celebrates 60th Anniversary.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday night (3/30) at the Long Island Marriott attended by more than 450 staffers, alumni, and VIPs.  The two-time Marconi Award-winning station also inducted six alumni into the WRHU Hall of Fame.  Pictured above (from l-r) are the inductees: Marc Ernay, sports director/morning sports anchor, WINS, New York; John Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyJohn Caracciolo founder, JVC Broadcasting, and Andrew Schmertz, co-founder/CEO of Hopscotch Air. Not pictured is Shirleen Allicot, co-anchor Eyewitness News, WABC-TV 7, New York.  Since WRHU produces and distributes the New York Islanders Radio Network, it was fitting that the team clinched an NHL playoff spot on the same evening and the broadcast team was able to stop by and join the festivities.  Pictured at right are Islanders play-by-play team Chris King (r) and Chris Buckley (l) posing for a pic with John Mullen (c).  Saturday’s dinner was preceded by several panel discussions on Friday (3/29) about the state of radio and media and industry leaders including Mike McVay, EVP content and programming, Cumulus and Mark Chernoff, senior VP programming WFAN/Entercom NY and captain/sports format CBS Sports Radio participated as speakers.

Border Closure Threat, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, WH Security Clearance Issue, Disaster Relief Stalled, Rep. Omar Campaign Funds Investigation, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1). The threat by President Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from entering the U.S.; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; allegations of improper issuance of White House security clearances by the Trump administration; Democrats’ Puerto Rico strategy stalls Midwest disaster relief funds; campaign fund spending violation allegations against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB 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 the Fresno market, programmer Jon Ballard exits Lotus Communications’ rock KKBZ-FM “105.1 The Blaze.”  Ballard joined the station in March of 2013…..Entercom announces the “Y108 8 Man Jam” will take place on May 23 at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater.  The event, emceed by country WDSY-FM “Y108” morning personality Stoney Richards will include acoustic performances by: Jimmie Allen, Devin DawsonRiley Green, Brandon Lay, Justin MooreDavid Lee Murphy, and Morgan Wallen.

Friday, March 22, 2019

| March 22, 2019

Michael Savage Celebrates 25 Years in Talk Radio on Sunday. This Sunday (3/24) Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage celebrates his 25th anniversary in talk radio.  Savage hosts “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast.  He’s a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and is also a best-selling author.  Westwood One is recognizing Savage’s silver anniversary with a special program airing on Monday, March 25 that will feature clips of highlights from over the years, special call-ins, and other surprises.  In January, Savage repurposed his daily three-hour radio show into a new hybrid radio show and podcast that’s been named to Apple’s New and Noteworthy podcasts.  Commenting on his achievement, Savage says, “This has been my 5th career.  Social worker, teacher, medicinal plant explorer, author, talk show host.  Where have all the years gone?  I only hope I have made the world a better place.”  In June, HarperCollins will release Savage’s latest book, A Savage Life, featuring favorite stories and all-new, never published material.

Wheeler Morris to Lead Hubbard’s Corporate Podcast Strategy. This is a move from a focus on the Twin Cities market to a corporate focus for Wheeler Morris, who takes on the title, manager of corporate podcasting for Hubbard Radio.  Morris has been serving with the Minneapolis cluster developing and executing successful podcasts.  In this new position, Morris will lead the company’s expansion into the podcast space, overseeing content creation, distribution and sales, and marketing.  Hubbard Radio currently produces more than 150 unique podcasts that reach more than 500,000 listeners every month.  Hubbard Radio SVP programming Greg Strassell comments, “Wheeler has been very involved in original podcast launches over the past few years in the Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul studios, and recruitment of new outside opportunities for Hubbard Radio.  It is time to recognize his leadership to focus on the growing on-demand focus at a corporate level.”  Morris says, “Since Hubbard’s 2015 investment in PodcastOne the personnel within Hubbard’s markets have put a lot of great work into growing within this space.  I am very excited to help this initiative continue to grow from both an audience and monetization standpoint, working with all of our markets, PodcastOne, and podcasters outside of Hubbard.”  Morris will also work closely with Hubbard Radio VP/corporate digital strategy Jeremy Sinon in exploring and developing emerging technology to maximize distribution and discovery of Hubbard Radio podcast content.

Lineup Shift Takes Place at ‘SportsTalk 790’ in Houston; Adam Clanton Returns. With the recent departure of sports talk personality Josh Innes from the morning drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790,” the station announces a lineup shuffle that takes effect on Monday (3/25).  The station moves Sean Salisbury from afternoons to the morning drive daypart.  The new morning show features Michael Connor, Rachel Van Oranje, and Adam SagerMatt Thomas and “In the Trenches” hosts Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu remain in middays and the station brings Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton back to the station to host the afternoon drive program “The A-Team.” iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says that the station will announce Clanton’s co-host in the days to come.

FSR’s Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated late-night sports talk program “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” hits the 400-affiliate mark.  Syndicator FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks), announces the achievement adding that some of the newest affiliates include: WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte; WRNW-FM, Milwaukee; WHBQ-AM, Memphis; and WLVL-AM, Buffalo.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We are extremely pleased to welcome 400 affiliates to the club!  ‘The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon’ has proven time and time again to be the place to go for instant reaction to all of the big games in sports. When major moments happen on the field or court, Jason and Mike have every angle covered.”  Smith (left) joined FOX Sports Radio in 2014.  Prior to that, he hosted “NFL Fantasy Live” on the NFL Network.  Harmon (right) has been partnered with Smith since 2014 and he also hosts Sunday mornings on FOX Sports Radio.

WFAN Denies Adam Schein for Mike Francesa Scenario. Whenever WFAN’s Mike Francesa is the focal point of a story in the New York media, it’s a big deal – at least among sports fans and sports talk radio watchers.  Thursday (3/21) was no different when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Entercom had been in talks with SiriusXM and CBS Sports personality Adam Schein to join WFAN and take over for afternoon host Mike Francesa.  Marchand includes a statement in the piece from WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff that reads: “We are 100% committed to Mike Francesa, who is the #1 Sports Radio talk show host in afternoon drive.  There is absolutely no truth to any reports about Adam Schein joining WFAN.”  But Marchand explains that he never said Schein was joining WFAN, but that discussions were held about bringing Schein aboard to replace Francesa should he leave the station again. Read the Post piece here.

Envision Networks Appoints Peter Welpton Director of New Business Development. Longtime broadcaster Peter Welpton joins Envision Networks as director – new business development. The company says he’ll manage its newest office in Dallas.  Envision says that Welpton has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business and moved into the digital product ownership, development, and sales field in 2010.  He’s worked with major media brands such as Oprah, the Dallas Cowboys, NBC, Scripps, the NFL, and the Game Show Network.  Welpton says, “I can’t tell you how elated I am to be working with [CEO] Danno [Wolkoff] again.  I’ve admired his and [COO] Laura [Orkin]’s success as business owners and the growth they’ve achieved with Envision.  I look forward to bringing my background in digital products, sales, and experiences to their company and opening new lines of business.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new member of the Salem Media Group board of directors as Causeway Strategies founding partner Heather Grizzle is appointed to the unexpired term of Roland Hinz, whom she replaces.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “I am delighted that Heather Grizzle has agreed to serve on Salem’s board of directors.  Any shareholder who will take the time to review Ms. Grizzle’s background further, much of which is readily available online, will quickly come to appreciate what a tremendous resource she will be to Salem Media Group as a member of its board of directors.”…..Pollack Broadcasting will fire up FM translator W240EH, Evanston, Illinois and begin simulcasting news/talk WCGO-AM, Evanston on the 95.9 FM signal.  William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly” program that airs nightly from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, reveals the news to TALKERS magazine.  He tells us the station’s engineer says the primary coverage area will be similar to WCGO’s nighttime pattern – “about 15 miles west, southwest, south in a teardrop shape, along with North Shore up to about the Lake Bluff area.”

Robert Mueller’s Trump Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 18-22. The status and scope of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New Zealand gun ban and the aftermath of the mosques shootings. Coming in at #3 was the growing number of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, followed by the electoral college and reparations debates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia. Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018. The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media. Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications. “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world. Now, I have an opportunity to give back.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com. Don’t miss this!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston hip hop outlet WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” announces the launch of the “Ashlee & The New JAM’N Morning Show” on Monday (3/25). The cast is pictured here (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Santi DeoleoAshlee Feldman, and DJ4eign.  Feldman was most recently the station’s afternoon drive host.  Back in 2013, she was a co-host on the iHeartMedia station’s morning program.  She was also a cast member of the 24th season of MTV’s “The Real World.”  She’s served with radio stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.  Feldman says, “‘JAM’N’ has always been my family.  I remember playing basketball at Northeastern and worrying about how I could get my hands on some cash because I just had to buy a ticket to Summer Jam.  I’ve had many different roles at ‘JAM’N 94.5’ but I always knew where my home was and that is back in the mornings.”.….Entercom adds an FM translator to the hip hop station “96.3 The Block” – currently emanating from WFBC-HD2 – that allows listeners to hear it on W299BO at 107.7 FM.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “‘96.3 The Block’ has become the top choice for hip hop and R&B fans in Greenville and Spartanburg over the past four years.  We’re excited to answer the call-for-service in Anderson County by adding 107.7 FM.”…..Midwest Communications agrees to acquire WNFZ-FM, Knoxville from owner John Pirkle and is flipping it from alternative to adult hits as “94.3 JACK FM.” The station had been operated under a local marketing agreement by Oak Ridge FM.  Midwest assumed the LMA yesterday afternoon (3/21).  Station brand manager Randy Chambers says, “We’re excited to introduce a totally different radio station to East Tennessee.  The radio market and advertiser needs continue to evolve and we’re evolving with those needs.  ‘JACK-FM’ is a music-driven, innovative, and energetic format that is designed for an adult audience and built around the promises of variety, low repetition, fewer commercials. and less clutter.”  This acquisition adds to Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster that includes classic rock WIMZ, adult contemporary WJXB, and country WDKW.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. brokered the transaction.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) following December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from #11 to #12.

In four straight decreases, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is off a collective nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth consecutive time as well, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) and continues at #24.

On the heels of posting a January +1.6 (7.8 – 9.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT falters by six-tenths to 8.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.4 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK dials up a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Furthermore, “Spirit 105.9” reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.0. Piling on a +1.1 to January’s gain of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” cruises from ninth to sixth. “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The seven most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (4.6 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Even though hot AC cluster-mate KAMX logs a +.6 to interrupt three straight downturns that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), “Mix 94.7” slips from a sixth-place tie to seventh. After improving by +1.2 in January (3.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” surrenders half that increase (4.3, -.6, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. In “Holiday” 2018, KASE spiraled by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country contest, co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original,” which also posted a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), drops three-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but remains at #3. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). By picking up four-tenths (2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM  progresses from #16 to #13. When “Austin’s Country Alternative” dropped one-tenth in January, it suspended three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.5 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+), WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” pushes from sixth to fifth. Immediately prior to January, the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet had been -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). While it remains at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by three-tenths (1.6 – 1.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Returning half of January’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC continues at #17. Entering the January sweep, “99.9 The Fan” was an overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+).

After having notched a +1.0 in January (7.1 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” forfeits 60% of the increase (7.5, -.6, #2 to #4, 6+). January’s boost curtailed five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); and second to fourth (February, -.6).

Raleigh Music Formats – Having surrendered a -2.6 in January, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL roars back with a +1.6 (7.0 – 8.6, fourth to second, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix 101.5” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. With an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). In addition to snapping at five its successive streak of down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (3.9, +.2, 6+) returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). The five most recent fluctuations for urban AC cluster-mate WFXC are +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February (11.0 – 9.9, on top for the seventh time in succession, 6+). January’s 11.0 is the highest 6+-stat for “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” in the PPM-era. While it more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” repeats at #20. Without a loss in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps in which it more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is now -1.1 in January/February (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #16, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Rather amazingly, Emmis news/talk WIBC posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths for the fourth sweep in succession: -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (6.3 – 7.2, fifth to third, 6+). Previously, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (#14 to #16, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which drops one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) but advances from #18 to #17.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include +.8 (November/December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.5 in February (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom CHR WZPL  is +1.7 in January/February (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Furthermore, “99.5 ZPL” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6. In January, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” enjoyed a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” That lead, however, shrinks to just three-tenths in February as “Hank” gains seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, eighth to seventh, 6+), while WFMS erodes by -1.0 (7.2 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.0 (February 2019). Without an increase seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” rebounds with a January/February +.9 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+). As highlighted above, both of Indy’s country stations are accustomed to wild sweep-to-sweep fluctuations. The same applies to Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which slumps by -.7 (9.8 – 9.1, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its January +2.9 (to 9.8) virtually eliminated December and “Holiday” 2018’s -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Sputtering by six-tenths are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (7.6 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), “B-105.7” eroded by -8.8 in January. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since WYXB notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. “Alt 103.3” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 (6+).

An overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two major (commercial) news/talkers are separated by just one-tenth as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” dips one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” falters by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fourth to sixth). By picking up one-tenth in January, WTMJ halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+) for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Bucks, and Brewers. Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+). January 2019 marked the first time since May 2018 that WISN prevailed over WTMJ (6+). In that sweep, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 1.4 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” picks up one-tenth to .8 yet slides from #17 to #20. Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” doubled “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) but loses two-tenths in February (.4, #21 to #22, 6+); WRNW was formerly CHR “97.7 Now.” Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is unchanged from January in market share and market rank (.2, #24, 6+).

Even though University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM adds three-tenths to January’s +.9 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), it backslides from ninth to tenth. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD nearly doubles January’s .7 (1.3 +.6, #19 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) elevates Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to the five-share level (5.4) for the first time since September 2018’s 5.1. Down four-tenths in a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 mini-slide (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.4, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH “96.5 Hometown Rock” answers with a +.7 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). The four latest fluctuations for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); and +.6 in February (9.6- 10.2, 6+) as “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third straight time. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to #2 in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Gaining six-tenths as well in February is Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB (5.8 – 6.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), “B-93.3” sputtered in January by -4.5. In “Holiday” 2018, WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Co-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” nearly erases January’s -.6 with a half-share gain (2.5 – 3.0, steady at #13, 6+); January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ (PPM) stat. An overall +2.0 via three successive upticks (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” forfeits 55% of that increase with a -1.1 to 5.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without a direct country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018; +1.3 (January); and -.9 in February (7.5 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Slipping by one-half share are Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (4.2 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.8 – 1.3, #14 to #15, 6+). WJMR gained seven-tenths in January, completely erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). When “Energy” lost three-tenths in January, it halted five straight reports without a loss that netted +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” gains four-tenths to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s one-half share increase (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” carries on at #19.

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk/Tennessee Titans’ flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); and -.7 in February (5.1 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” notches a +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #18 to #17, 6+). A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

While it remains in sixth-place, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Without an increase five straight reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). Posting gains of seven-tenths are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (6.0 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (4.9 – 5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Jack” followed “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, which applied the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), with a January -1.3. “The River” had been -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). On the heels of a January +1.2 (4.2 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” tacks on another half-share to 5.9 (6+) as the country outlet repeats at #5. Prior to January, “Nash FM” last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0). Finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.0, -.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which is flat at 4.7 (6+), following a January gain of +1.2. Prior to that increase, “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+). In January, “Nash Icon” returned the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+). It was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Notwithstanding a January/February -4.8 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 14th successive ratings period. January’s  -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that netted a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); and -1.3 (February).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -1.0 via three successive down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds one-tenth (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Having erased December and “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) with a January gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is up two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” is now off four-tenths in January/February (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #18, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, steady at #21, 6+).

Unchanged in sixth-place, WVEI follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a dip of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+). The Entercom sports talker was a combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+).

Tied at #12 are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #11 to #12, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #14 to #12, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WHJY logs a 9.8 – matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018. Prior to taking over at #1 in January, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018; WHJY was +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Steady in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in January/February (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4, 6+), immediately following a collective -3.1 as a result of three straight declines (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has that streak halted with a one-half share decrease to 3.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI shakes off January’s -7.1 with a gain of two-tenths (9.1 – 9.3, 6+) and repeats at #2. “Lite Rock 105” posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finished at #1 six sweeps in a row before segueing to second in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Remaining in eighth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” is in a (6+) September 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8. Likewise, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February, (6.9 – 6.5, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Norfolk – In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” posts a +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). It has been quite a rollercoaster ride lately for iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV. Through seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+); and +.8 in February (1.6 – 2.4, steady at #8, 6+). When WPTE “94.9 The Point” recorded a January increase of two-tenths, it suspended four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Entercom hot AC tacks on seven-tenths in February to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #7. Up two-tenths (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL repeats at #1. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 36th time in the last 37 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After a “Holiday” 2018-only stay at #1, adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, flat at #4). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. On the heels of recording a +.8 to 6.7 (6+), which curtailed three straight downturns that accounted for a -1.0 (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” falters by one-half share (6.2, 6+) and carries on in fifth-place. After racking up consecutive gains of one-half share (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (unchanged at #2, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down seven-tenths (10.4 – 9.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that timeframe (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, flat at #20, 6+).

Although it remains at #12, public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.3 in four straight increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats

An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” bounces back with a January/February +1.3 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6, third to second, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” erodes by -1.8 in five successive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” is off one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). On the heels of January’s +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” surrenders nearly half that gain (5.6, -.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), recaptures that deficit in January/February with a +1.4 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and remains at #10. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” has lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is +1.1 in the same two sweeps (4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1, steady at #8). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. WEZI’s January +.7 halted a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being down three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. It is four-tenths ahead of co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, flat at #12, 6+). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In three consecutive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4, #13 to #15, 6+). Unchanged at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD gains two-tenths to .7, immediately after having its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The six most recent (up/down) fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); +.7 (January 2019); and -.3 in February (3.7 – 3.4, flat at #6).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to three upticks in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and is steady at #3. Off eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” erases three-quarters of that deficit with a +.6 to 5.5 (unchanged at #4, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” notches a one-half share increase to 2.8 (#11 to #9, 6+), which wipes away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). Repeating January’s 9.2 (6+), Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” sets the pace – just as it did this time last month. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A combined +1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WRMF sputtered by -1.0 in January. Immediately after posting a January increase of eight-tenths, erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), cluster-mate WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective +.8 owing to four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths (1.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Through four consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.3 (3.0 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” adds one-tenth (4.4, steady at #9, 6+). WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

While up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” falls from #16 to #17.

Locked at #13 for the tenth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up one-half share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat four straight times for roughly a 50% loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (6+) but backslides from #15 to #16.

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” progresses from #12 to #11. Its recent fluctuations include +.5 (August 2018); +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); a combined -.9 (December/“Holiday” 2018); and +.6 (February 2019). Also notching a February improvement of six-tenths is Winston-Salem State University-owned WSNC “90.5 Jazz In All Its Colors” which is trending .1 – .5 – 1.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January – February, #16 to #14, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” is an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Despite being -1.8 as the result of four straight setbacks (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. A +1.0 in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. For the third sweep in succession, country cluster-mate WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” has a shift of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019): and +.5 in February (5.2 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+ ). Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” substitutes January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+) as the two country rivals swap places. “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December. After each station posted January gains of nine-tenths, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.9, flat at #2, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) now register declines of six-tenths. “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to January’s increase to 6.3, its highest 6+-stat since resurfacing in print in February 2018, WKZL was off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only has iHeartMedia news/talk WREC improved in back-to-back sweeps by a combined +1.8 (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8).

In doing so, it leapfrogs Entercom sports talk WMFS (flat at 4.0, #10 to #11, 6+); “ESPN Sports Radio” was up six-tenths in January. Flat at #18, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase for the eighth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Replicating January’s increase of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). The six most recent moves for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); and +.7 in February (8.2 – 8.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Regaining 20% of January’s -1.5 (11.3 – 11.6, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is #1 for the fourth time in a row and in double-digits (11.6, 6+) for the 11th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +2.3 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). After being an overall +1.1 through four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7” plummets by -1.3 (4.3, sixth to tenth, 6+). Falling seven-tenths are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (5.6 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (5.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. “Kix 106” most recently has been -.5 (October 2018); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.7 (February).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a cumulative -1.8 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “News Talk 1080” is +.7 in January/February (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is unchanged from January in share and market rank (1.3, #14, 6+); January’s +.4 curtailed three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

The November 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 (#12 to #13, 6+).

After seven straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+). It was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 in February (6.1 – 5.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is up three-tenths in January/February (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Over and above answering January’s -6.9 with a February +1.0 (11.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 32nd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (12.1, 6+) for the 29th time in the last 31 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. A February gain of nine-tenths to 5.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+) by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM erases its “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -.8 (5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and gives “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” its best 6+-stat (5.3) since September 2018’s 5.4. Trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” improves by one-half share (5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). After being -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and +1.0 in January 2019, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is -.7 in February (7.7 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+). There is a similar significant shift pattern for Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM”: -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.4 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (7.7 – 7.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. Back-to-back at #10 and #11, respectively, are Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” (4.5, -.1, ninth to tenth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight improvements immediately prior to the February report, “Radio 104.1” was an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+).

Seen & Heard at NAB: Day 2

| September 27, 2018

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
TALKERS magazine

 

ORLANDO — Thursdays are always a busy day at the NAB Radio Show that begins with the Advertiser Breakfast and culminates in the Marconi Radio Awards Dinner in the evening.  The talk of the NAB for many has turned from radio to Capitol Hill thanks to the extraordinary events surrounding the Senate Judiciary hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, but radio chatter today at the Marketplace and in the Hilton halls centers on monetizing podcasting, the state of radio, where news/talk is heading, and how the connected car could change radio.

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Seen and Heard at 2018 Radio Show – Day 1

| September 26, 2018

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
TALKERS magazine

 

ORLANDO — The NAB here in Orlando has begun with a focus in the seminar rooms on topics including the state of radio today, what the future brings, advertising, and a marketplace of companies highlighting the latest products and technology.  However, in the halls of the Hilton — home to the show this year — a big topic is digital and how to properly market and capitalize on new technologies…and of course the news of the proposed SiriusXM–Pandora merger!

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