Tag: "David Field"

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

Friday, May 25, 2018

| May 25, 2018

Gregg Henson Named WRVA and WRNL, Richmond Program Director.  Talk radio pro Gregg Henson is named program director for Richmond stations news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910.” Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team.  Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.”  Henson has worked in sports talk in Detroit as well as in news/talk in markets including Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Townsquare Media Sells North American Midway Entertainment Back to Previous Owner.  Three years ago, Townsquare Media, Inc paid $75.5 million for North American Midway Entertainment and it was the lynchpin of the company’s Entertainment division.  Now, Townsquare is selling the mobile amusement company back to previous owner Danny Huston for $23.5 million. Townsquare has made no secret of the fact that the investment hasn’t panned out, so the sale is not surprising.  In addition to the cash sale price, Townsquare also stands to benefit if Huston sells the company within the next 10 years. It would get a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale.  Townsquare says it will hang on to the net proceeds from this sale, “pending future investment.”  For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue of $92.2 million and a net loss of $33.7 million.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Families.  The anger in Newtown, Connecticut – and beyond – over talk show host and InfoWars chief Alex Jones’ assertions that the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has boiled over into a new lawsuit against the broadcaster filed by four families of the slain children, two families of killed educators, and one FBI agent.  The suit also names Wolfgang Halbig and Cory Slanka – who assisted in video production and website management – as well as Jones radio syndicator Genesis Communications Network.  The suit – filed in state court in Connecticut – alleges that Jones does not believe that the massacre was a hoax but continued to promote the narrative on his program and on his website. “Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims and promote their harassment and abuse…the Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money.  Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.”  The five counts in the suit are: invasion of privacy by false light; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unfair trade practices.  Jones addressed the suit on his radio program this week saying the allegations in the suit are “out of context.”  Jones is also being sued in Texas state court by two other families of Sandy Hook victims.

Entercom Promotes Nine in Senior Management. President and CEO David Field says, “We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities.  These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.” The promotions include the following: Fred Bennett, senior vice president, Traffic Weather Information Network; JD Crowley, chief digital officer; Mike Dash, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; Liana Huth, senior vice president, programming innovation; Jen Morelli, senior vice president, events and experiences; Jenny Nelson, senior vice president, ad sales marketing; John Pacino, senior vice president, product and engineering; Sam Rogers, senior vice president, national sales; and Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president, radio and Radio.com programming.  Chief operating officer Weezie Kramer adds, “This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term.  We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed.  With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”

Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia Investigation.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. June 30 is the last publication day for most Cox Media Group’s sports verticals, including SECCountry.com, Landof10.com, and Diehards.com.  CMG has not explained the reason behind the move. Usually, lack of revenue is the reason for shutting down a business, but SEC Country’s Christopher Smith tweeted, “The Cox Media Group sports verticals grew traffic 36.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.  We were rocking it.  Even our Facebook traffic was up.”…..This morning (5/25), WFAN, New York morning team Boomer Esiason and Greg Gionnatti broadcast their show live from Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey for their “Boomer and Gio’s Kickoff to Summer” show. The program featured the live music of Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot. It also included a “Hairiest Back Contest” during the broadcast…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live play-by-play of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are booth announcers for the series and former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter with Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosting the pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports.

Brian Kilmeade Scores Exclusive POTUS Interview.  When President Trump spoke at a forum in the Long Island community of Bethpage Wednesday (5/23) discussing the problem of violent MS-13 gang-related activity in that town and across the country, FOX radio and TV talk personality Brian Kilmeade was on hand to cover it.  In the process, Kilmeade scored an exclusive stand-up interview with the president that covered a variety of issues pertaining to gang violence and the broader topic of border security and immigration reform.  The president defended his recent comment describing gang criminals as “animals” by describing MS-13 members as being “stone cold killers…vicious killers.”  The extensive interview ran yesterday on the FOX News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” co-hosted by Kilmeade along with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.

Radio Historian and Videographer Art Vuolo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio historian and videographer Art Vuolo is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Vuolo has been chronicling radio conferences for nearly 30 years and archiving the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. He has recorded video of some of the greatest on-air legends in studio doing their shows. In many cases, these are the only recorded documents of these figures in existence. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit soon to be unveiled at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Harrison describes Vuolo as “the biggest devotee of American radio that I have ever met.” He was aptly dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary DJ (and current WCBS-FM, New York morning host) Scott Shannon in the early 1980’s… a moniker that has stuck over the years. On June 8, Vuolo will be the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement award at the annual TALKERS convention in New York City, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Harrison and Vuolo take a deep-dive conversation into the golden era of radio’s top 40/personality stations and then some. This interview is a radio freak’s delight. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS Magazine Posts the 2018 Heavy Hundred. The 2018 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” has been posted. This annual list – compiled by the editors of TALKERS and known informally as the Heavy Hundred – ranks American radio talk show hosts in importance from one to 100. Today, TALKERS presents the 24thedition of this prestigious list in which the editors use a number of hard and soft factors in creating the ranking, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. Congratulations to all of the radio talk show hosts who made this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.

PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic hits-oldies.  Kinosian reports that 59% of qualifying classic hits-oldies stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers go up from April 2017 to April 2018.  There were nine stations that ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets and 21 that ranked in the top three.  iHeartMedia’s WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” wears the April crown for the highest 6+ market share at 11.2%.  See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The campaign to get a Detroit street named after Bob Seger continues as Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM promises to play 24 hours of Seger’s music on June 2 to drum up support for the effort.  The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” challenged WCSX-FM program director Jerry Tarrants, saying they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page.  Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed.  As a result, listeners will be able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station…..In Rochester, Entercom’s classic rock WCMF is hosting the annual Roc City Rib Fest – a BBQ and music festival featuring nationwide and local food favorites. The four-day, family-friendly festival will feature live music from Sean Patrick McGraw, Branded, and Kid Kurry, among others…..iHeartRadio is presenting holiday weekend-themed content.  Today it launched a suite of playlists “perfect for kicking back and enjoying this weekend.  From playlists to enjoy the unofficial start of summer to patriotic anthems to reflect and honor those who give everything for our freedom, iHeartRadio has what you are looking for.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

| May 8, 2018

Entercom Reports 2018 Q1 Financial Data; Same-Station Net Revenue Down 7.7%. This is the first full quarter that Entercom is reporting since closing on the CBS RADIO merger back on November 17 of last year.  As a result, the company’s net revenue jumped from $99 million in Q1 of 2017 to $300.6 million in Q1 of this year.  However, on a same-station basis, net revenue for the quarter dipped 7.7%, from $324.9 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $300.6 in the first quarter of this year. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Since closing on our merger in November, we have moved quickly to implement rapid change and have made good progress on our various integration, synergy and transformation goals.  We have built a terrific leadership team and are driving strong ratings growth and launching a number of revenue-driving initiatives to capitalize on our scale and compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of ad spending.  Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Entercom Audio Network, which will enable us to use our scale to participate directly in the $1 billion network radio market.  Our first quarter financial results were adversely affected by soft general local advertising conditions and a number of temporary factors, most notably the exclusion of $12 million in revenue due to financial issues at USTN.  As these temporary factors abate and our growth initiatives take hold, we look forward to driving meaningful sustainable growth as we capitalize on the compelling brands, assets and capabilities of this exciting, emerging company.”

Entercom Audio Network to Launch in July. As mentioned by Entercom president and CEO David Field in the story above, the company is introducing its new ad sales network dubbed, Entercom Audio Network, on July 1.  The company says, “The national network will allow advertisers to leverage Entercom’s scale with targeted offerings across its portfolio of 235 top-rated radio stations reaching over 112 million listeners monthly.” Company chief revenue officer Bob Phillips states, “Entercom now offers brands the national scale they need, including seamless activation and superior ROI. We are the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio and #1 or #2 in virtually all music formats. Our connection to consumers is coveted by many national brands.”  Field adds, “As one of the two largest radio broadcasters in the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to offer national brands a very compelling and effective unwired network with our premier collection of leading radio brands across the country.”

Townsquare Media’s Q1 2018 Net Revenue Up 5.9%.  That figure represents the net revenue for Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions division – the broadcast and digital operations – and not the live events-oriented Entertainment division.  Combining both divisions, the company’s net revenue was up 6.6% over the same period in 2017.  Townsquare co-CEO Bill Wilson comments, “Once again, our Local Marketing Solutions segment drove the Company’s growth, with net revenue growth of 5.9%, or 5.6% excluding political revenue.  First quarter growth in this segment was driven by continued strength across our local broadcast and digital product offerings, which culminated in our 17th consecutive quarter of positive, organic revenue growth.”  Net revenue in the Local Marketing Solutions in the first quarter was $80.6 million.  The company also reports that it paid off $9.5 million in long-term debt.

Saga Communications Q1 Net Revenue Rises 7.1%.  Michigan-based Saga Communications reports 2018 first quarter net revenue was $28 million – an increase of 7.1% over the same period a year ago.  Operating income from continuing operations increased 17.5% to $2.3 million and station operating expense increased 9.6% to $23.4 million for the quarter.  The company notes that its quarterly results were affected by the sale of its Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina TV stations last September.  On a same-station basis, net revenue increased 0.3% to $26.2 million and operating income from continuing operations increased 26.3% to $2.5 million.  Saga reports having $47.8 million in cash on hand as of March 31 and $49.8 million as of May 1.  The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of March 31.

Scripps Radio Division to Be Sold in Pieces.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, there was just a brief mention of E.W. Scripps’ plans to sell its radio division.  Local Media division president Brian Lawlor responded to a question about the status of the radio stations, saying, “Yes. The radio sale, the process continues. We’ve made a decision in order to maximize the value of the assets to sell the division in several pieces instead of one big bang. I think that’s where we see the greatest value for the company and for shareholders. And so, it’s just a little bit more complicated, I would say, than if it were just a singular transaction.”  That’s not surprising since the company owns two signals in Milwaukee – news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI – and stations in much smaller markets including: Omaha, Boise, Tucson, Knoxville, Wichita, and Tulsa.  As we reported yesterday, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that Entercom is talking with Scripps about the Milwaukee stations.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Greg Neft Named Program Director at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno. Talk radio pro Greg Neft joins iHeartMedia as program director for news/talk KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7.”  Neft previously worked in the market as a news anchor and reporter.  He has served as morning news anchor at Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville and as an NFL reporter for SiriusXM.  Most recently, he was corporate director of news and content programming for Cherry Creek Media.  iHM Fresno SVP of programming Steve Weed comments, “Greg joins us at a very opportune time, heading into a crucial election season for our region and our state.  I look forward to his skills and experience elevating our breaking news coverage.”

Former Seahawk Cliff Avril to Co-Host KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talk Show. Seattle sports talk outlet KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” announces that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril is partnering with the station’s Jason Puckett for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show, effective July 9. Puckett is a 15-year veteran of the iHeartMedia station and Avril retired from the NFL after being released by the Seahawks after a five-year stint.  Avril says, “I’m excited to join the KJR team!  Seattle is home and I can’t wait to cover the best sports city in the world.”

TALKERS News Notes. WNBC-TV, New York is reporting the former Port Authority police superintendent may have violated policy by providing a “lights-and-sirens” escort from the Newark airport into Manhattan for Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh.  The station says Michael Fedorko announced his retirement suddenly, about a week after it became known WNBC-TV reporters were investigating the allegation.  The report says the escort was to get Limbaugh to a charity dinner at which he was a “last-minute” speaker.  It also says Limbaugh talked about it on his radio show, saying, “So they sent the superintendent of the Port Authority to Newark to meet me for lights and sirens into Manhattan to make sure I got there in time.  And we did.”…..Radio sales pro Tim Robisch is named director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster that includes news/talk KDWN.  He most recently served with Great Plains Media in suburban Kansas City.  He’s also held positions with Cox Media GroupEntercom Communications, Susquehanna Radio Corporation, and Katz Radio (at which he was served as regional vice president)…..New affiliate stations sign up for the John Kruse-hosted outdoors radio programs “America Outdoors Radio” and “Northwestern Outdoors Radio.”  Both shows focus on fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation.  KDZR, Portland and KBOI, Boise recently added both shows to their program schedules…..Patrick Communications managing partner Larry Patrick is delivering the 2018 Commencement Speech for the College of Communications and Information at the University of Tennessee this Saturday (5/12).  Patrick is a 1973 graduate of UT.

Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Schneiderman Allegations, John McCain Illness/Book, W.VA Senate Race, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/8).  The looming decision by President Trump whether the U.S. will remain in the Iran nuclear deal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Stormy Daniels payoff, Rudy Giuliani’s role representing President Trump, and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch lampooning the issue; New York attorney general – and Donald Trump critic – Eric Schneiderman resigns amid allegations of abusing four women; terminally ill Senator John McCain’s HBO documentary and new book; the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in West Virginia and President Trump’s urging voters to reject controversial GOP candidate Don Blankenship; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” announces that on-air pro Zann is the iHeartMedia station’s new afternoon drive personality.  She was most recently with Cumulus Media’s KLIF-FM, Dallas as midday personality. She was also heard on Westwood One’s Hot AC and Hits Now 24/7 formats. At the same time, Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt is the new midday personality who will also serve as APD and music director.  He moves to Seattle from the company’s Central Texas Region where he was director of CHR…..Programming pro Matt Johnson is appointed program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7.”  iHM SVP of programming Jules Riley comments, “Matt is a solid addition to the KSLZ and iHeart St. Louis team.  We look forward to watching him grow this heritage CHR brand.  We spoke with a number of talented programmers, but Matt’s drive, creativity, and talent development made him our ideal candidate.”…..Cumulus Media announces that radio and television marketing pro Marty Wall is joining the Detroit cluster as director of marketing for country duo WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1” and WDRQ-HD2 “NASH Icon” and hot AC WDVD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Marty’s work at ‘Z100’ in New York is legendary.  That, paired with his experience across the media landscape during his years in L.A., gives him the unique ability to connect audiences to station brands and brands to clients.  He’s a relentless competitor whom I believe will be a game changer for our Detroit cluster.  I’m looking forward to his working with me, promotion manager Rochelle Burk, and promo director/street team captain Adam Ficorelli.”…..There are two appointments in the sales department at iHeartMedia Chicago.  First, Khatija Mohiuddin is named general sales manager for hip hop WGCI and CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.”  Also, Brian McGhee is the new general sales manager for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103” and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano states, “We put a priority on recognizing our high performers with advancement opportunities and these two staff promotions are true testaments to Khatija’s and Brian’s leadership skills and ability to form strong client relationships.”  Mohiuddin most recently served as local sales manager for WGCI and WGRB-AM.  McGhee most recently served as sales manager for the company’s St. Louis cluster.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

| May 3, 2018

Jamie Allman Sues Entercom and Emmis Over Firing.  Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning talk show host Jamie Allman has filed suit against both Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from the station in the aftermath of his social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  If you recall, Allman’s Tweet about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student – whose anti-gun stance Allman was attacking – included the phrase “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” Allman’s television show on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV was canceled immediately and he was let go from KFTK-FM several days later.  In his suit, Allman contends that immediately after the incident, he was assured by management that it was not serious enough that the company PR department couldn’t handle it.  However, six days later he was summoned to a meeting and let go.  Allman is suing both companies because Emmis owned the station at the time but Entercom was operating it under an LMA in anticipation of owning it (that sale recently closed).  His breach of contract suit centers on the contention that the Tweet does not rise to the level of an offense for which he could be fired “for cause.”  He is seeking either reinstatement of his job or payment of his salary through 2020 (the term of his contract), waiver of the non-compete clause if he’s not reinstated, plus damages of $25,000.

USTN Announces Partnership with Entercom. Today’s announcement isn’t long on details but reports that United States Traffic Network – recently sold to Fair and Equal LLC by Global Traffic Network — has entered into an agreement with Entercom Communications that includes an “equity position” for Entercom in USTN.  Fair and Equal LLC is led by USTN president Ivan Shulman.  He says, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Entercom and look forward to their new role as an equity-holder as we continue to build out the new face of U.S. Traffic Network.  Involving media groups at an equity level is an unprecedented move in the industry and we couldn’t be more excited about our prospects for the future.  As one of the largest radio companies in the United States, Entercom is and will remain an invaluable part of our company and this partnership is just the first step in revolutionizing the broadcast traffic industry.”  USTN says Entercom is the “first of many media groups with respect to which USTN intends to partner.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with USTN. Their new management team has moved quickly to fix their issues and establish a solid business model following the company’s separation from its former corporate parent.  We look forward to participating in their future growth as they capitalize on the significant opportunities in this attractive market segment.”

Wisconsin Broadcaster Settles Debt Issues, Seeks Bankruptcy Exit.  According to the La Crosse Tribune, Mississippi Valley Broadcasters is filing a petition with the bankruptcy court to allow subsidiary La Crosse Media Group – operator of news/talk WLFN, adult contemporary WXLR-FM, classic hits KQEG-FM, classic rock WKBH-FM, and country WQCC-FM – to exit bankruptcy as it has come to agreements with creditors.  The station group was put up for sale but, according to the piece, none of the offers contained enough cash to pay off the debts.  The company reports that the cluster is profitable. The primary creditors agree that bankruptcy would not provide any substantive benefit to unsecured creditors. See the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. A series of moves at Capitol Broadcasting’s stations in the Raleigh-Durham market changes the frequencies of two of its sports talk stations and adds a new music-formatted station to the market.  Capitol had been – in addition to sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” – airing sports talk on WDNC-AM and its two translators as “Buzz Sports Radio” as well as on WCLY-AM, its translator and WCMC-HD3 as “95.7 The Ticket.”  Now, “Buzz Sports Radio” is available via WCMC-HD2, W243DK, and W257CS while “95.7 The Ticket” moves to WDNC-AM and WCMC-HD3 as “620 The Ticket.”  The new music format that appears to be a hybrid of Americana, country, R&B, folk, and rock airs on WCLY-AM and W239CK as “That Station 95.7.”  Capitol is currently running a contest and will award $1,000 to the listener who comes up with the best name for the station to give to the charity of his or her choice…..Saga Communications drops the sports talk on Asheville, North Carolina signals WOXL-HD3 and W247BV. They are now simulcasting oldies as “Pure Oldies 97.3.”  Saga still operates sports talk WISE-AM/WYSE-AM/W275CP as “WISE Sports Radio” on 102.9 FM and 1310 AM in the Asheville market…..Katz Media Group recently raised more than $34,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America during its 9thannual two-week, company-wide membership drive.  The Katz Membership Drive was initiated in 2010 by Stu Olds, the former CEO of Katz Media Group. The drive has continued annually, raising more than $300,000 since its inception.  All money raised during the drive goes to the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, which was established following the beloved industry leader’s passing in 2011.   BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Katz Media Group has been a longtime champion of the Broadcasters Foundation.  We are extremely grateful to the Katz family for their belief in ‘giving back’ and continuing this charitable tradition.  Their annual donation makes a huge impact for our colleagues in need.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kanye West Comments, North-South Korea Talks, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump Doctor Story, Iowa Abortion Law, Southwest Plane Window Incident, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents whether President Trump will be subpoenaed; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 hush payment; Kanye West’s controversial comments about slavery and his support of President Trump; the peace talks between North and South Korea; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of the caravan of asylum seekers; former Trump doctor Harold Bornstein’s statement that the president’s bodyguard and lawyer raided his office and that the president dictated his own health status report; Iowa passes restrictive abortion law; a second Southwest Airlines plane suffers a window break while in flight; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Rock radio pro “Uncle Joe” Benson is assuming the hosting duties at Townsquare Media’s syndicated evening program “Ultimate Classic Rock.”  The former KSWD, Los Angeles midday host and former star of Westwood One’s “Off the Record” program takes over for Zach Martin, who’s been hosting the show since it debuted in 2015.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “Joe’s name is synonymous with great rock radio. We’re excited to have him crack the mic nightly on the 50+ national affiliates of ‘Ultimate Classic Rock,’ and to share commentary, stories, interviews and videos with our audience on UltimateClassicRock.com.”…..On-air pro Jenn Marino is joining Entercom to be part of the company’s new alternative outlet KVIL, Dallas “ALT 103.7.”  In a statement, the company says Marino will “lead morning drive as well as all three prime dayparts.  She is the first on-air host to join KVIL since its commercial-free launch as an alternative station.”  Entercom Dallas SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We have an opportunity to build a powerful brand with ‘ALT 103.7’ and it begins with identifying incredibly talented people.  Jenn is passionate about radio and driven to win and we’re looking forward to having her energy and drive on-air.”  Marino was most recently co-host of Premiere Networks’ “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.”…..Connoisseur Media promotes air personality Kara Reifert to co-host of the WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K-98.3” morning program, the “K-98.3 Morning Crew with Steve Harper.”  Jon Daniels programs the Long Island adult contemporary station and he says, “Kara has been a member of the ‘K-98.3’ family for many years and, in addition to being a familiar, friendly voice, is someone who we feel Long Islanders can really relate to.”…..Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York presents the “95.5 PLJ Pepsi Summer Kick Off” on Friday, May 25 at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. During the “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” show, listeners will be treated to live performances from Jason Mraz, Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff…..Hubbard Radio Seattle’s new country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” partners with Super Late Model division race car driver Molly Helmuth of Molly Helmuth Racing (pictured below).  KNUC program director Lisa Adams says, “The ‘New 98.9 The Bull’ is fast-paced by nature and partnering with Molly Helmuth Racing only solidifies that.  She is one of the few up-and-coming female superstars in the sport and we can’t wait to see our name and image flying down the track with her.  What goes better together than NASCAR and country music?  Nothing!”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

| March 20, 2018

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Launches Live Midday Show Hosted by Pat Frisch.  Longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director and air personality Pat Frisch is debuting a new, live midday talk show to air in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Frisch’s eponymous program is being produced by Jim FreeseCumulus Media Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “Some of the largest feedback we’ve received from our listeners is that they love our local programming and they love when Pat fills in on KKOB.  This gives us the opportunity to enhance our live, local approach to radio and gives our listeners the chance to call in, be heard and hear the latest news and topics nationally and locally.”  Frisch hosted the station’s morning drive program in 2005-06.  The station now airs 11 hours of local talk in addition to the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin programs.  Frisch states, “I’m so excited to grab the reigns from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  KKOB is as New Mexican as red or green and Lobos or Aggies.  This move gives us even more opportunity to focus on serving New Mexico.”

KJR-AM, Seattle Makes Programming Changes.  Seattle sports talker KJR-AM announces a new morning drive program called “Chuck and Buck in the Morning” hosted by Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen.  The move of Powell to mornings changes the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Chuck & Puck” show to “The Jason Puckett Show.”  Also, current morning drive personality Dick Fain is moving to the new afternoon drive show with Dave “Softy” Mahler.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Seattle Rich Moore says, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR.  We just got bigger and stronger today.  We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

Broadcasting Live from Qatar.  One of the fastest-growing, independently syndicated news/talk hosts in America – and a long-time Donald Trump insider – John Fredericks is broadcasting his show live this week from Qatar where he is on a Middle East fact-finding mission.  He is pictured yesterday (3/19) with Dr. Ali bin Smaikh al Marri, chairman of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee.  Fredericks tells TALKERS, “We discussed the adverse impact the Saudi-UAE-Baharain-Egypt embargo is having on the basic human rights of Gulf citizens, students, families and migrant workers in Qatar.”  Earlier today (3/20), Fredericks is pictured with Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of @QatarFoundation.  He engaged her in a wide-ranging interview that included Qatar’s unique empowerment of women in the Gulf and the six U.S. universities in Education City.  Fredericks reports, “Her Excellency is focused on education and finding new and innovative ways to learn.  She told me, ‘Our history has not yet been written.’”  Fredericks’ show airs live each day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am ET.  For more information, please click here.

Entercom’s David Field Shares Thoughts on iHeartMedia and Cumulus Bankruptcies in Companywide Memo.  Addressing the bankruptcy proceedings of both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Entercom president and CEO David Field tells his employees that the reason the two companies are in the situation they are is because of “ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies.  Period, full stop.  The bankruptcies have nothing to do with radio.  In fact, any company in any industry that takes on too much debt will suffer a similar fate.”  He goes on to say the radio business is a healthy one that generates earnings and cash flow and he bemoans the “erroneous and misleading narrative” that challenges in the radio business are the reason for the bankruptcies.  “If radio has an issue, it isn’t the size of our audiences or the value of our product or the health of our business model.  No, our issue is that we are highly undervalued and receive far less than our fair share of total ad spending.  With Entercom’s newly enhanced scale, advocacy efforts, marketing capabilities and customer outreach, we intend to change that.  And with iHeart and Cumulus emerging from bankruptcy, the industry will be even healthier going forward and that’s good news for all of us…Let’s make sure we get the word out so that our advertisers, partners, and other key influencers understand the facts and don’t come away with any false perceptions.”

Bill Handel Health Scare.  As chronicled by LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel returned to the air yesterday (3/19) after more than a month off the station.  LARadio.com writes, “His time away from the radio went from a case of the flu to major pain to visits to the ER four times in six days.”  After his case of the flu, Handel began to experience extreme pain and made four visits to the emergency room in six days.  He was treated for a cyst on his spine and sepsis.  Read about it here.

McMahon: Four Steps to Creating Magic on the Radio.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the importance of creating “meaningful emotional experiences” for one’s listeners in order to build and hold a loyal audience.  McMahon says those experiences “make their lives more interesting, rewarding and fun” and they “challenge them to think, feel, and grow.”  Check out his column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Suburban Chicago hot AC WXLC, Waukegan adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” program for the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Haynes Johns is operations manager and program director at the Alpha Media station and he says, “We’re excited about the helpful advice she’ll be sharing with our audience every weeknight, plus the local connection with Chicagoland’s own Dr. Laura Berman!”…..In a piece published in Newsday, former WFAN, New York afternoon drive star Mike Francesa says he misses being on the radio more than he thought he would.  The Big Apple sports talk legend also says he expects to announce his plans to return to the media between April 1 and May 1.  Francesa tells Newsday’s Neil Best that he won’t be doing the 27 and ½ hours per week that he was doing on WFAN, though he expects to be doing “some traditional presentation and some new presentation.”…..Boston University‘s public news/talk station WBUR, Boston is taking ideas for a new radio program as it launches its “Next Great Show Contest.”  Submissions are being accepted now through April 20.  WBUR says it’s seeking “a creative, funny, and engaging person or group of people.  Participants are encouraged to submit an idea that no one has heard before, especially on public radio.  The only requirement is the show needs to be funny.”  Finalists will get to pitch their program to a panel of judges including WBUR producers and award-winning comedian Alonzo Bodden.  The grand prize winner will have a pilot episode produced by WBUR…..ESPN will begin presenting video simulcasts of its ESPN Radio programs “Golic and Wingo” and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPNews, beginning Monday, April 2.  Those two shows join the afternoon “Will Cain Show” on the channel.  “Golic and Wingo” has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6:00 am to 10 am ET.   “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Sports Announcers Report Card publisher David Halberstam is presenting a four-part series commemorating late sports media legend Howard Cosell on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Check it out here.

Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe, McCabe Firing/FBI Investigation Movement, Texas Package Bombings, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; President Trump’s announcement he’ll slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the first week of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago classic hits outlet WLS-FM has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Wade Linder to the position, taking over for Brian Thomas as he moves to Atlanta to program WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Linder moves there from defunct heritage rocker WLUP-FM where he was PD from June 2014 through the station’s recent LMA to Educational Media Foundation.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren states, “Having the luxury of replacing a premier program director like Brian Thomas with Wade Linder doesn’t happen often.  We are most fortunate to be able to move Wade from WLUP-FM to the program director’s role at WLS-FM.  This allows us the opportunity to continue growing upon the heritage and recent success of 94.7 and to keep one of the country’s most talented PD’s in our cluster.”…..Westwood One brings media pro Paul Joseph aboard to assume the newly created role of VP, program operations and content for its music and entertainment division.  The company says Joseph will “leverage his vast industry experience to coach, consult, and train Westwood One/Cumulus hosts and producers to better engage listenership, build their brands, and drive revenue within the company’s pop music programming arena.”  Joseph joins Westwood One from Cumulus Media, Los Angeles.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the amazing Westwood One team.  Our goal is to strengthen programming and content across the platforms by using all the tremendous assets of Westwood One and Cumulus Media, including Zach Sang, the brightest young star in radio.  Many thanks to Suzanne Grimes, Charles Steinhauer, Kirk Stirland, Susan Stephens, and, of course, Mike McVay for their confidence and support. Let’s rock!”…..Cumulus Media names “Lexi and Banks” (pictured at right) the new morning show on country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City RVP and market manager Patrick Reedy states, “With over five years of entertaining SLC under their belt we’re confident that ‘Lexi and Banks’ will hit the ground running with a fun, fast-paced, entertaining show that is sure to put a smile on listeners faces.”…..On-air pro Summer Stevens joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country KOMG, Springfield, Missouri “105.1 The Bull” to co-host morning drive with incumbent personality John Kimmons on the newly renamed “Biscuits & Gravy in the Morning” program.  She’d previously been with Scripps’ crosstown country KTTS.

Round One of February PPM Data Released. Information from the first of four rounds of Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TAKEAWAYS

1) New York City Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of five sweeps in a row without an increase, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” has lost nearly one-half (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #12 to #14. The last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). On the other hand, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (#22, 6+), halting three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS gains one-tenth and remains at #2. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM carries on at #13, registering a 2.8 (6+) for the third straight sweep. Despite the fact it is without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). Down or flat the past four ratings periods for a -.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regains half that loss with a +.2 (1.2, #23, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#24), whose last ten New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off two-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #11, 6+). It entered the January 2017 sweep within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the previous seven survey periods and notched a +1.0 to 3.4, reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 3.0. Co-owned WNYC-AM is -.1 (.7, #26, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A positive spike of one full-share by Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.0 – 6.0, fourth to second, 6+) takes “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” to its best 6+-showing since 6.1 in August. After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but “106.7 Lite FM” remains on top for the seventh straight sweep. Off by one-half share in February as well is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which drops out of the top twenty (2.1 – 1.6, #19 to #21, 6+).

2) Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – The largest plus or minus (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 move in the City of Angels is by iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640,” which returns the six-tenths it grabbed in January (3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Three other news/talkers in the country’s second-largest market combine for an overall 2.4 (6+), including KFI cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” locked on 1.0 for the sixth sweep in succession (#28, 6+); Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #31, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” (flat at .5, #37, 6+). Even though KNX “1070 News Radio” is +.1 to 3.3 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well) – the Entercom all-news outlet segues from a ninth-place tie to tenth. Right behind KNX and unchanged at #11 is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” ties KEIB at #28, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” is flat at .4 (#40, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). “K-Earth” crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Down two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” nonetheless repeats at #1. Prior to its +.6 in January, “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While Cumulus Media’s KLOS is without a loss for the fourth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” backslides from #11 to #13. Onetime all-news outlet (and later sports talk) KFWB is now a Lotus Communications-owned Spanish oldies facility “980 La Mera Mera” and is trending .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 (#35, 6+).

3) Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM elevates from fourth to second (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with its finest 6+-stat (5.3) since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well), Tribune Media news/talk WGN is -.2 to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. This marks the sixth straight up or flat ratings period for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (#23) which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR gained six-tenths in January, but is down two-tenths in February and exits the top twenty (2.7 – 2.5, #17 to #21, 6+); “670 The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Cross-town ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#25, 6+). At #22, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is down or flat for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Not only does Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP double the margin of its January +.6 (2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, 6+), “Me TV FM – Me Music” vaults from #21 all the way to #6. Making a huge leap as well is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (2.6 – 3.3, +.7, 6+), which rockets from #19 to a three-way tie at #8 and matches its September 3.3 (6+). Following a topline (6+) of 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” advances by one-half share to 3.2 (#17 to #11, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WVAZ (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, 6+) repeats at #1; “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had been on top from February through September. Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” is -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. Until about four and a half months ago (11/9/2017), Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston. Off by one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” shifts from second to third. An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” touched the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4).

4) San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to its +.5 in January (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. When Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM surrenders one-half share in February (6.2 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Off one-tenth, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO falls from #19 to #20 (2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, January 2018, and February 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Despite being flat at 2.2 (6+), KSFO climbs from #18 to a three-way logjam at #15. At the same time that KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, eighth to tenth, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths and enters the top twenty (1.7 – 2.1, #18, 6+) with its best 6+-stat (2.1) since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” ends a topline sequence of 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2 (6+) as the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet jumps from ninth to fourth. November 2017 through February 2018 (6+) trending for rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay Area’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6. In three straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” (seventh to sixth) has picked up six-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As a result of an eight-tenths loss (2.8 – 2.0, #12 to #19, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC records its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well).

5) Dallas Spoken-Word Formats –  Without a decrease for the seventh time in a row, Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (steady at #16) is a collective +.7 in that timeframe (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Even though posting its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” backslides from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Also in the news/talk format, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is flat at 1.2 (#30, 6+); Cumulus Media Group’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at .7 (#35, 6+); and North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA is up by one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, #20, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK registered a one-half share uptick in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” coughs up 60% of that increase in February (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, #11 to #12, 6+). The market’s two other sports talk outlets are down as well: Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” off one full-share in four straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, #22, 6+), and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” a collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #33, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (6+). While “Kiss” repeats at #1, it is tied for the lead with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (5.2 – 5.4, +.2, second to first, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (5.4, as well). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Consistent in registering a 3.4 six of the last seven ratings periods (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” hangs out a +.5 to 3.9 and enters the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #7). After improving by one full-share in January (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” forfeits one-half that increase (3.6, -.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11); January’s 4.1 was its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June 2017.

6) Houston Spoken-Word Formats – Back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.8 – 3.6, -.2, down from #13 in January, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1 – 3.5, +.4, up from #17 in January, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). There is no positive movement on any of the market’s three sports talk signals: Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – .8, -.1, #24, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” (flat at .7, #25, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .6, #27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Duplicating its +.5 in January (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” progresses from #15 to a three-way tie-up at #11. Before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017, “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.2 to 7.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the fourth time in a row; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Unchanged at #3, co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7 in four straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). On the heels of a +1.0 in January, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to ninth, 6+); January’s 5.1 is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Dropping by one-half share is Liberman’s KEYH “La Ranchera” (.7 – .2, #31, 6+).

7) Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 27th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM surrenders exactly one-half of January’s +1.6 (10.2 – 9.4, -.8, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Flat at 1.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” moves from a tie at #19 to a four-way logjam at #18. Three other Atlanta commercial news/talkers all check in at .1 (6+): Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer”; iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640”; and Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community.” With a December 2017 – February 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE carries on at #7, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, #25, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” sputters by -1.1 in February to 2.6 (#13 to #17, 6+). Via four successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up three-tenths and trails “The Game” by just over one-share.

Atlanta Music Formats – Within 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” busts out a +.7 to 4.2 (#14 to #12, 6+). Somewhat similarly, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV has recorded a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (5.5 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “97.1 The River” improves by six-tenths to 6.1, advancing from fourth to second. A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.0 in January and February (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot to fourth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Returning all of January’s half-share gain – and an extra one-tenth (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+) – Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” slips from #12 to #14. The market’s two mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2 #11 in January, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, 6+) are tied for tenth-place. By picking up one-tenth in January, “Q-100” ended four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); “Power” was +.5 in January.

8) Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for WIP. The flagship of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, but is -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom sports talk property repeats at #1. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Both Entercom all-news KYW as well as public news/talk WHYY improved by one full-share in January. Now, KYW is -.1 (5.2 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+), while WHYY regresses by three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+); WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Finishing at #18 and #19, respectively, after being tied at #18 (1.8, 6+) in January are Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (1.9, +.1, 6+) and – from outside the market – Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.8, flat, 6+). WPHT had been -.9 in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share, Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). This is the first time since September’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reaches the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. With its best 6+-stat since September’s 6.6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” has a positive spike of one full-share (5.3 – 6.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Owing to a +.9 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Immediately following an increase of six-tenths, urban AC cluster-mate WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” falters by -1.1 (6.6 – 5.5, 6+), sliding from third to sixth. Three-tenths behind aforementioned WIP is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-tenth to 8.4 (6+), after a January 2018 decrease of -8.7. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” had been a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

9) Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – Mirroring Atlanta’s WZGC, and Philadelphia’s WDAS-FM for largest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (see above), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” is -1.1 in the Long Island report (4.0 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #11). Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” checks in at #24. Tied with WFAN at #11 is its all-news cluster-mate WINS (down from #10 in January), which is without an increase in Long Island for the sixth time in succession for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM drops four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6, 6+), drifting from #11 to #16. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Improving for the third time in a row for an overall +.8 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #16 to #14. Following three consecutive modest losses for a -.5 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC picked up one-tenth in January and repeats its 1.2 in February (#25, 6+). At #23, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM records a 1.8 for the third straight ratings period (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share swells by +1.9, mainly fueled by a +1.4 from Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (4.0 – 5.4, 6+), which rises from a three-way tie at #6 to #2. Its +.6 in January ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). The other half-share of that +1.9 comes from iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” (5.2, flat at #3, 6+), which had been down the past four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WBZO is off three-tenths to 3.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Having slipped by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, “103.1 Max FM” answered with a +1.2 in January to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. In five straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” is +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” leaps from #20 to #14. Its January increase halted at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). There is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, which was up six-tenths in January as well, and tacks on one-half share in February (3.0 – 3.5, #11 to #9, 6+). Flat at 7.4 (6+), bouncing back from January’s -5.4, WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. The Connoisseur Media hot AC was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.7 in January and February (8.5 – 4.4 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 40th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by two-tenths, after adding four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and drops from #14 to #16 (2.6, 6+).

10) Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR returns that collective four-tenths in its entirety (.9, #13 to #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – February 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” inches up from #18 to #17.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of dialing up a January +1.8 (5.5 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA piles on a +1.1 to 8.4 and repeats at #1. January’s huge gain pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot just over two years ago with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Dusting itself off from a January -.5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” displays a +.7 (3.6 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. A no-show from July 2017 through November 2017, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 (#15 to #13, 6+) since then. Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KXSB, which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+), disappears from print. Nearly doubling its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” sputters by one-half share to 2.5 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0.

11) San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 8.5 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – repeats at #1. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. It has a 2.7-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which squanders eight-tenths in February (6.6 – 5.8, flat at #2, 6+). Up by a combined seven-tenths in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO progresses from #14 to #12. In a five-way scrum at #20 is co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Ping-ponging from 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” slips from #11 to #13. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January loses three-tenths (.6, #30 to #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains two-tenths to 1.2 (#29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – As the result of five increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9, fifth to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7. Owing to a gain of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” proceeds from eighth to sixth. After doubling its 6+-share in three successive up or flat trends from October through “Holiday” 2017 (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ relinquished one-half share in January but regains it all and another one-tenth (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+) as “93.3 La Raza” is part of that five-way tie at #20 (up from #27 in January). Returning in full the seven-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” segues from fifth to eighth (4.0, 6+).

12) Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – Although down three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Back-to-back are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.7, +.2, #22, 6+) and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #23, 6+). WOR was -.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is a cumulative +1.2 and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.9 in four successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). At #21, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+). This is the third consecutive downward move for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM for a -.6 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Conversely, all-news sibling WINS (#25) is up for the third straight time for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Although unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” posts a +1.1 5.9 (6+). A January loss of two-tenths halted three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Progressing by one-half share each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” (5.8 – 6.3, steady at #3, 6+); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (unchanged at #5, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (seventh to sixth, 6+); and co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#14 to #9, 6+). WBLS regains in its entirety the half-share it lost in January. “New York’s Greatest Hits” extends its successive string of up or flat moves to four for an overall +1.2 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), while in its fourth straight up or flat trend, “Z-100” is a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+). As the result of three positive or flat trends in succession, “Power 105.1” is a collective +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). An improvement of one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (#13 to #12) draws to a close four downward trends in a row for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2,  6+). In addition to slumping by seven-tenths (3.3 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom mainstream CHR-turned-alternative WBMP “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” exits the top ten (#10 to #15). Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” spirals by nine-tenths from 3.1 to 2.2 (#14 to #18, 6+). Declining by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary and classic rock siblings WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” (6.9, flat at #2, 6+) and WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.4 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Lite-FM” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but shifted to second in January. Its -4.1 in January ended six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

| March 8, 2018

iHeartMedia and Lenders Buy a Little More Time.  The deadline for the Forbearance Agreement signed on Sunday was last night at midnight.  Prior to that deadline however, iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders agreed to extend the term of that Forbearance Agreement to next Monday (3/12) at midnight CT.   iHeartMedia – seeking to find a long-term solution to its $20 billion debt problem – is past the grace period and, without the Forbearance Agreement, would be in default on a missed $106 million payment on 14% Senior Notes.  That default would likely trigger bankruptcy for iHM, but clearly the group of senior creditors are trying to find a way to avoid putting the fate of the company in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  This extension leads some analysts to conclude that some progress is being made toward that end.

Entercom Releases Q4 2017 Financial News.  This is the first quarterly report for Entercom Communications Corp. that includes results of the CBS RADIO stations.  The merger closed on November 17, 2017.  Remember that Entercom issued 101,407,494 Class A shares to former shareholders of CBS Corporation who participated in the exchange.  Net revenue for Q4 2017 was $246.6 million, compared to $124.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.  “Operating income for the quarter was a loss of $2.3 million, which was negatively impacted by $36 million of merger, restructuring, impairment and financing costs.  This compared to operating income of $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2016…adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $45 million, compared to $35.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.”  The company reports that as of December 31, 2017, it had outstanding $1.4 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes and $34.2 million in cash on hand.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are making excellent progress toward our goals of capitalizing on our transformational merger and building a truly outstanding media and entertainment company. As the country’s #1 creator of live, original, local audio content and with a premier collection of outstanding local radio stations, digital platforms and live events, we have the scale and capabilities to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of ad dollars.  We are off to a great start executing our game plan with important achievements in a number of areas including building a best-in-class leadership team and culture, growing our brands and ratings, executing our synergies, launching new sales tools and advocacy, and much more. We are very pleased with our progress and more excited than ever about the needle-moving opportunities ahead.”

Unsecured Creditors Challenge Cumulus Media’s Executive Bonus Structure.  A group of Unsecured Creditors – the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Cumulus Media – is formally objecting to Cumulus Media’s executive bonus program in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   In the filing, the Committee says, “the Debtors seek authorization to pay millions of dollars in supplemental ‘incentive’ compensation to highly compensated senior executives during an expedited chapter 11 process that, if the Debtors prevail at confirmation, will result in the unsecured creditors of these estates receiving pennies on the dollar.  These executives have already received millions in prepetition ‘incentive’ compensation payments (indeed, the Debtors’ CEO has already received over two million dollars in supplemental 2017 incentive payments and is scheduled to receive at least an additional [amount redacted] if the Motion is approved) and stand to benefit from a very robust Management Incentive Plan (the “MIP”) to be implemented upon the Debtors’ emergence from bankruptcy.  Moreover, the Debtors seek authorization to implement not one, but two allegedly incentivizing and wholly overlapping programs that both contemplate quarterly cash payments payable upon achievement of the exact same targets and metrics in order to “properly incentivize” those members of management who already stand to gain a substantial economic benefit from obtaining confirmation of the plan and thus implementation of the MIP.”  The Committee says the incentive program cannot be allowed and cites three aspects of the U.S. Bankruptcy code that it believes backs its case.

Morning Drive Talk Host Angie Austin Announces Distributor and Rep for New Show.  Talk show host Angie Austin – who previously hosted the “Daybreak USA” program on USA Radio Network – has re-branded her program “The Angie Austin Show” and it’s set to be delivered to affiliate stations via Genesis Communications Network with The Show Must Go On! repping the program.  Mike Opelka co-hosts the show that is delivered live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  A presser says the show will debut in seven markets.

Judge Cites Lack of Evidence in Complaint Against WGAC, Augusta Talk Host Austin Rhodes.  After a complaint from local businessman Joe Mullins suggesting that WGAC, Augusta, Georgia talk host Austin Rhodes’ words on his radio show caused him to become concerned for the safety of himself and his family, a judge has ruled that there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime may have been committed.  According to a report by WJBF-TV, Mullins complained to authorities that Rhodes compared him to a snake on his February 27 broadcast and said, “Snakes have to be dispatched or killed.”  The story notes that local police listened to a recording of the entire segment provided by Mullins but concluded that there was no direct threat to Mullins.

TALKERS News Notes. Rapid City, South Dakota has a new news/talk station as HomeSlice Media Group flips KKLS-AM/K248BT – both licensed to Rapid City – from classic hits to using syndicated programming.  Shows on the station’s program schedule include: Dave Ramsey, Joe Pags, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, Jim Bohannon and Chris Plante, plus others.  The schedule does not indicate a morning drive show, leaving open the possibility of a local program…..Entercom and PNC Bank partner to spotlight star high school lacrosse students in the Maryland community.   Entercom sports talker WJZ-FM, Baltimore “105.7 The Fan” and its sister stations are taking part in the PNC Achievers program that identifies and recognizes outstanding female and male student lacrosse athletes from public and private schools across the state of Maryland for their success and leadership on and off the field.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “At Entercom, giving back to our local communities is an important part of what we do and PNC Bank shares these values.  We’re excited about this partnership that allows us to shine a light on high school athletes who display exemplary study habits, achieve excellent grades, are active volunteers in the community and mentor other students to help meet their respective goals.”…..University of Alabama Athletics and multi-media rights holder Learfield announce a five-year agreement with SummitMedia for the broadcaster to serve as the official radio home of the Crimson Tide Sports Network in Birmingham…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock K248CU, Austin “ALT 97.5” signs a deal with MLB’s Houston Astros to serve as the ballclub’s official Austin affiliate.  The station will carry all regular and post-season games.

Trump Tariffs Plan, Stormy Daniels Suit, Feds vs California, Trump Russia Investigation, Gun Control, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Russian Double Agent Poisoning, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum and the related exit of economic adviser Gary Cohn; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit for relief from confidentiality agreement with President Trump; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suit against California in the sanctuary matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the debate over gun control and Florida’s bill to limit gun ownership to those 21 and over; the talks between North Korea and South Korea over the former’s nuclear program; the apparent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the U.K.; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Radio management pro Harvey Wells is looking for a multi-talented operations manager for the Mid-West Family Broadcasting cluster in Springfield, Illinois.  He says, “If you know a great talk/mainstream rock/talent coach/radio person, I’m looking for an operations manager to partner with me in the fine state capital of Springfield, Illinois.  This is not a ‘rookie’ position. Must be able to do an airshift as well.” Contact Harvey at: hwells@mwfbmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago’s famed classic rocker “The Loop” isn’t going away completely.  With Educational Media Foundation’s LMA of WLUP-FM (soon to have new calls WCKL-FM) to begin Saturday in advance of its purchase of the signal from Merlin Media, Cumulus Media is taking the “Loop” format (sans jocks) and moving it to the HD2 channel of alternative rock WKQX-FM.  Of course, that station is also up for sale and it’s likely a buyer will swoop in on this Windy City signal sooner rather than later…..Beasley Media Group announces it is naming Jeff Kurkjian the new morning drive co-host for its country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote.”  Kurkjian, who was most recently morning host at Entercom’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland “Q104,” is partnering with Aimee Montgomery, who slides over to “The Coyote” from Beasley’s adult contemporary “Lite 101.5 FM.”  Kurkjian says, “I am so excited to be part of the team at ‘102.7 The Coyote’ in Las Vegas.  I can’t imagine doing anything but local radio. I’m looking forward to connecting every morning with the casino workers getting off third shift, the moms taking their kids to school and everyone in between.  I am eager to get out and about in Las Vegas, especially coming from the frozen tundra of the Northeast!”…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of Eminem featuring Kehlani, plus N.E.R.D and G-Eazy to the program of previously announced performers for this Sunday evening’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards…..Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland enters into a multi-year agreement with The Waterfront Blues Festival.  Some of the highlights of the new partnership include the return of the festival to its original radio broadcast partner and the switch of KGON-HD2 to Waterfront Blues Radio – playing blues music all day.  The festival takes place July 4 through 7 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park and this summer’s event marks the 31st anniversary of the festival…..Pictured below are staffers of Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and volunteers celebrating the final tally of the WMAS Radiothon benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network and Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Vice president and market manager Craig Swimm says, “Extremely proud of the team as we wrap up this year’s 94.7 WMAS Radiothon — $245,367 raised over 2 days.  We beat last year’s number and have raised more than $4.5 million for the Children’s Miracle Network since 2002.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

| November 22, 2017

Cumulus Stock Moves from Nasdaq to OTC.  That stands for “over-the-counter” and means that the stock is traded, instead of via a centralized exchange such as Nasdaq, by a dealer network.  Cumulus Media was notified by Nasdaq of its de-listing due to the stock’s inability to remain above $1 for 30 consecutive trading days – something the company fully expected.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, Cumulus states, “The Company has been approved to have its Class A common stock quoted on the OTC Markets’ OTCQX market tier, an electronic quotation service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. for eligible securities traded over-the-counter, and expects that trading of the Company’s Class A common stock will commence on the OTCQX at the open of business on November 22, 2017 under its current trading symbol CMLS.  The transition to the quotation of the Company’s Class A common stock on the OTCQX will have no effect on the Company’s business or operations. The Company will continue to file periodic and other required reports with the SEC under applicable federal securities laws that will be available on the SEC’s website, www.SEC.gov.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Cleveland sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is getting a beer named after him.  Cleveland.com reports that the WARF “FOX Sports 1350” personality –also heard on WNIO, Youngstown and WNCO, Ashland-Mansfield – has been pining for a local brewery to make a craft cream ale and now the Goldhorn Brewery is stepping up to the plate.  Cleveland.com writer Mark Bona – who appears on Bishop’s program every Friday for a segment called “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” – writes that the beer is almost ready and soon the brewery will have a name for the cream ale…..Entercom president and CEO David Field made the announcement on the company’s newly acquired sports talker WIP, Philadelphia yesterday morning that the station and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have renewed their broadcast rights deal for another seven years.  The renewed deal means Merrill Reese and Mike Quick will call the games for the foreseeable future…..The nationally syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show hosted by Walter Sterling announces new affiliates, including: KXNT, Las Vegas; WWLZ-AM, Elmira, New York; WQHL-AM/WJZS-FM, Live Oak, Florida; KBAR-AM, Burley, Idaho; and KZNU-AM/KAZZ-AM, St. George, Utah.  Sterling says, “We are adding new affiliates every week and new advertisers.  It is a successful roll out. December 10th marks a special show featuring radio legends telling their stories.  Plus, December 10th will present a major announcement.”

Trump Defends Moore, Sexual Impropriety Allegations/Rose Fired, GOP Tax Plan/Individual Mandate Issues, North Korea Named to Terror List, Net Neutrality Rollback, AT&T-Time Warner Merger Challenged, Mladic Convicted of Genocide, David Cassidy Dies, Trump-Ball Feud, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21). Embattled Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore receives support from President Trump; the plethora of sexual impropriety allegations against public figures and the related firing of Charlie Rose by CBS; the Republican tax reform plan and the proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate; President Trump puts North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism; the FCC’s proposal to roll back the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations; the DOJ challenges the merger of AT&T and Time Warner; former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is sentenced to life after genocide conviction; 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy dies at 67; the war of words between President Trump and hoops patriarch LaVar Ball over UCLA players shoplifting case; and the week’s NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Returning to Boston to serve as program director for iHeartMedia’s newly acquired classic rock WZLX is Chris Tyler.  He was most recently programming the company’s rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “KISS FM” in Cleveland.  He’s previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “KISS 108” and hip hop WJMN “JAM’N.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “I am excited to bring Chris back to Boston to program WZLX.  His knowledge and experience in the format, exceptional leadership and vision and, maybe most importantly, his knowledge of Boston and its legendary radio brands, uniquely qualify him to lead this heritage station and its iconic personalities.”…..In Baltimore, Francesca Presti joins the “Laurie DeYoung Morning Show” as a co-host on iHeartMedia’s country WPOC.  She’ll work alongside Laurie DeYoung and Jeff St. Pierre.  DeYoung says, “Francesca Presti is a force.  Fierce Francesca is what comes to mind when I think of her enthusiasm and unique take on life.  Baltimore will never be the same.” Presti was most recently with hot AC WBMX, Boston on the “Karson & Kennedy Morning Show” as a traffic reporter and associate producer…..Radio pro Ty Bailey is named assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington.  She returns to Washington from the company’s rock WXTB, Tampa where she was program director and morning show host…..Cox Media Group announces new executive position appointments in seven markets, but only three of those markets have radio stations: Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville. In Orlando, Jason Meder is promoted to general manager of CMG Orlando, where he’ll report to market VP Paul Curran.  Meder comes to Orlando from CMG Tampa where he was most recently director of sales for the radio group.  In Miami, RVP Rob Babin promotes Ralph Renzi to general manager of CMG Miami Radio.  He was most recently director of sales for the Miami radio stations.  And in Jacksonville, market VP Dan Lawrie promotes Bob Longo to general manager of the operations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio pro Brooke Hunter has signed up with Hubbard Radio to host weekend programs on adult contemporary WSHE.  Hunter was most recently on the air in Chicago on iHeartMedia’s AC WLIT…..Alpha Media’s Portland triple A outlet KINK is announcing that it is now “carbon neutral.”  The station says that through a series of eco initiatives and completing an audit from sustainable consulting firm YR&G, it has become the first radio station in the United States to be named “carbon neutral.”  Program director Sean Demery states, “Individuals doing small actions can pay large eco dividends when realized as a large group.  KINK is the loudspeaker, but it’s our community that has the power to make a difference.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

| November 16, 2017

Entercom Shareholder Vote Approves CBS RADIO Merger.  This was a simple matter of “housekeeping” since Entercom company founder Joseph Field is a majority shareholder and was, of course, going to approve the deal.  The vote took place at the Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia yesterday (11/15) and Entercom president and CEO David Field still expects the deal to close tomorrow (11/17).  When it does close, the new Entercom will be the second largest operator in the radio business with 235 stations in 48 of the top 50 radio markets.

David Field Touts Company Benefit Plan.  In a filing with the SEC and as a memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field delivers an upbeat message to all staff that expresses his satisfaction with the new management team ready to lead the new company.  He also extolls Entercom’s benefits plan.  “I am pleased to share some additional good news with you regarding our benefits program.  As a company that aims to attract the best and most talented people and provide a great place to work, we made it a priority to build out a highly competitive and generous benefits plan.  We worked hard to take much of the best of both the Entercom and the CBS Radio programs.  In addition to continuing many of our current, unique benefits, we are adding several new benefits to our program and enhancing some others.  In particular, I am pleased to announce that we will be doubling the company match to 50% of your eligible contributions up to 5% of your salary.  And we will continue to offer our employee stock purchase program with a 15% discount on our stock, plus our student loan payment assistance program and our personal volunteer time benefit.”

‘Our American Stories’ Offers Thanksgiving Special for Talk Stations. This one-hour special program is being offered contract free to stations to air around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Lee Habeeb, host and executive producer of the syndicated “Our American Stories” program, is presenting “The Real Story of Thanksgiving: Yesterday and Today.”  He calls it “an entertaining look at the origins of Thanksgiving and how the holiday has changed in America over the last century.”  Interested stations can inquire by emailing affiliates@oanetwork.org or visiting OurAmericanNetwork.org.  “Our American Stories” is heard on more than 80 affiliate stations across the country.

Cool Morning Host Opportunity. Quad Cities news/talk WOC-AM, Davenport is searching for their next morning show star.  A background in full-service radio is a plus, the gift of topicality an absolute must.  Politically, the station leans right but they need someone who can be local — and interesting beyond politics.  Successful candidate will be comfortable with endorsement ads, as well as communicating with their audience via digital media.  Does this sound like you? Please send your resume, audio samples and any other relevant materials to: program director Dan Kennedy at: dankennedy@iheartmedia.com.

Barstool Sports Gets SiriusXM Channel. The Barstool Sports relationship with ESPN may not have worked out, but the controversial sports and comedy digital media platform is getting its own channel on SiriusXM, beginning in January.  SiriusXM says the new 24/7 channel “will showcase the site’s funny, irreverent and unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, popular culture and more.”  A year ago, Barstool teamed with SiriusXM to create a show hosted by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, Kevin “KFC” Clancy, and additional Barstool personalities.  The new daily lineup on the Barstool Radio on SiriusXM channel will feature Barstool Radio, a rotation of existing Barstool podcasts and new, original shows. Additional details on that programming will be announced at a later date.  Portnoy states, “We’re excited to build on our relationship with SiriusXM.  They’ve been big believers in our brand and our voice.  The results already speak for themselves this past year and the sky is the limit with this channel.”

Roy Moore Allegations, Trumps Asia Tour, GOP Tax Reform/ObamaCare Mandate, North Korea Nuclear Program, Uranium One Deal, NFL-Jerry Jones Tension, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15).  The allegations of sexual impropriety against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; President Trump’s recent tour of Asia and meetings with Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping, and Rodrigo Duterte; the Republican tax reform plan and the inclusion of rescinding the ObamaCare individual mandate; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Uranium One deal and suggestions then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the deal; tensions between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the NFL; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio NetworkDom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Science Guru and Rising YouTube Star, Isaac Arthur, Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. He is a high school drop-out from Ohio with a trademark speech impediment and a true geek’s love of science fact and fiction who, after earning his GED diploma, went on to graduate with a B.S. in Physics from Kent State University at the age of 20. He attended graduate school but preferred self-teaching and dropped out to serve in the army in Germany and Iraq. Upon returning home, he became involved in local politics and was appointed a member of the Ashtabula County, Ohio Board of Elections. (He tells Michael Harrison, “We take our elections very seriously here in Ohio.”) But there is a whole other talk media side to Isaac Arthur that caught the attention of Harrison and makes him an ideal guest for the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far out with Michael Harrison,” as well as being a person of significant interest to the commercial media industry. It began as a hobby and has now grown into something remarkable. He is the producer and host of a rapidly growing YouTube channel titled, “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur.” He writes, produces and narrates stunning video podcasts that run between ½ hour and an hour that curate, explore and explain the provocative leading edge of popular science. In three years, his channel has attracted more than 161,000 devoted subscribers and more than 12 million visits. Harrison, a passionate layman enthusiast of science and astrophysics says, “Isaac Arthur is a quintessential example of the pioneers who are out there laboring on the outskirts of the mainstream commercial radio/TV industries on the exciting frontier of talk media – where audio intersects with video, graphics, education and entertainment. Everyone in the radio business with an eye on podcasting and cross-platform brand expansion can learn from him. Having a personal love for the subject matter he covers, I am his fan!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas hip hop outlet KBFB “97.9 The Beat” drops the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley show and goes local with Veda Loca, a.k.a. Veda Emery.  Also, part of the new “Veda Loca in the Morning” program is co-host J-Kruz, a.k.a. John Koutsakis; and producer, mixer and on-air personality DJ Kayotic.  Loca has been serving as the Radio One station’s afternoon drive personality and J-Kruz has been the evening personality…..At the Hearst radio operations in Baltimore, Chris Chmielewski is named assistant program director for rock WIYY “98 Rock.”  Chmielewski joined Hearst in 2015 as a promotions assistant.  He has taken on more responsibilities with WIYY and sister news/talk WBAL since then.  WIYY program director Rick Strauss comments, “Chris has become a key contributor at Hearst Radio in his various promotions, production and programming roles for ‘98 Rock,’ WBAL and our Ravens broadcasts and network.  He has our full confidence as he assumes even greater responsibilities and an expanded leadership role at ‘98 Rock.’”…..Rich Broadcasting appoints programming pro Josh Tielor to program director for its Idaho Falls stations hot AC KGTM “Star 98” and classic rock simulcast KPKY/KZKY “The Rock 94.9 and 104.5.”  Tielor also is hosting the afternoon drive show at “Star 98.”…..Alpha Media’s urban contemporary WMBX, West Palm Beach “X102.3” names MoShay LaRen midday personality and music director.  LaRen was most recently midday host and APD at Radio One’s urban contemporary WRNB, Philadelphia…..Envision Networks enters into a representation deal with Skid Trax to distribute “The Ashley & Brad Show” for cash or barter.  The Los Angeles-base show targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists remain intact while programmers insert the Ashley & Brad voice tracks.  Co-host Brad Arbell states, “I am so excited to work with Envision Networks who can bring their storied pedigree with our fun-for-all-ages show to new markets.”…..Syracuse radio personality “Big Mike” Fiss is retiring from Galaxy Communications’ classic hits WZUN “Sunny 102” after 16 years with the station and 40 years in the radio business.

Cumulus/Westwood One Partner with American Music Awards. Festivities surrounding this Sunday’s “2017 American Music Awards” are being provided for radio stations by Westwood One and Cumulus Media who are official promotional partners of this year’s awards.  Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs will feature three days of branded programming, artist interviews, and exclusive backstage live performances at radio row.  Westwood One’s Zach Sang show and the Adam Bomb show will broadcast remotely and curate audio, video, and social media content to share with listeners nationwide.  In addition to the backstage festivities, Westwood One, through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, is offering its stations a special, five-hour red carpet broadcast companion show airing Sunday, November 19.  The evening also includes a one-hour “Red Carpet Special” hosted by Jayde Donovan, a three-hour broadcast companion, and a one-hour “Awards Wrap-Up.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

| November 10, 2017

Entercom Announces November 17 Likely Day for Merger Closing.  After yesterday’s ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, Entercom issues a statement that it “continues to expect the merger to close as early as November 17.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are energized and excited by today’s announcement from the FCC.  The Commission’s approval marks a significant milestone on our path toward completing the transformational combination of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  This brings Entercom an important step closer to our goal of delivering greater value for our listeners, customers and shareholders as a leading media and entertainment company with national scale and the No. 1 creator of live, original and local audio content.”  As previously announced, CBS Corporation launched an exchange offer for the separation of its radio business as part of the agreement to combine CBS RADIO and Entercom, which is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on November 16, 2017, unless the exchange offer is extended or terminated.  On February 2, 2017, Entercom announced an agreement to combine with CBS RADIO in an all-stock transaction which is expected to be tax-free to CBS and its shareholders.  The new Entercom will operate 235 radio stations.

iHeartMedia Recognizes WBZ-AM Union Representation; Will Employ Current Staffers.  According to a report in the Boston Herald, iHeartMedia has altered its course with respect to the acquisition of all-news WBZ-AM, Boston in a swap with Entercom.  Initially stating that the company would not take on the SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts of the station’s union staffers and that all employees would have to re-apply for their jobs, the company is changing its strategy.  As part of an iHM and SAG-AFTRA interim agreement reached Wednesday night, the former “agrees to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time announcers, producers, editors, writers and production assistants employed by WBZ-AM.”  iHeartMedia will also “offer employment to all current union represented employees of WBZ-AM…at their current salary or hourly rate of pay.”  iHeartMedia could begin its LMA of WBZ-AM as early as next Friday (11/17).

FCC’s Pai Makes Case for Eliminating Cross Ownership Ban in NYTimes Op-Ed. Not that regular readers of TALKERS magazine need any convincing, but Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s op-ed in The New York Times makes an elegant case for eliminating the 42-year-old rule preventing cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast operations.  Democrat FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has publicly stated that she fears for the diversity of news sources and a reduction in news content overall if the ban is lifted.  But Pai points out that in the few markets where newspaper-broadcast operations exemptions have been grandfathered for years, there’s no evidence of that diversity being affected.  He writes, “Multiple studies have found that, on average, a cross-owned TV station produces more local news than comparable non-cross-owned stations.  And a cross-owned radio station is four to five times more likely to have a news format. This makes sense, because a company that owns both a newspaper and broadcast outlet is able to gather the news and distribute it more cost-effectively across its multiple platforms.”  Read his piece here.

Cox Names Four Execs for Atlanta Operations.  These changes at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta operations are designed to allow these “highly talented and proven leaders” to “work together to fully integrate CMG’s portfolio of traditional and digital media platforms in the Atlanta area beginning in 2018.”  First, Moya Neville is named the new VP of sales.  She moves over from sister company Cox CommunicationsDonna Hall is CMG Atlanta’s new VP of marketing.  She’s been VP and market manager for CMG Atlanta and Athens radio stations since 2014.  Mark Medici is the new VP of audience and newspaper operations.  And the new VP of content and broadcast operations (TV and radio) is Paul Briggs.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting on the recent rumors that job cuts are coming to ESPN.  In the piece published yesterday, Deitsch reports that sources say some 100 staffers will be let go after Thanksgiving.  The cuts will “hit positions across ESPN including front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers. The ‘SportsCenter’ franchise is expected to be hit hard—including on-air people—given the frequency of the show has lessened considerably on main network ESPN.”  It was in April of this year that ESPN eliminated the positions of about 100 air personalities and journalists…..Former NFL and college football coach Charlie Weis is joining SiriusXM’s roster of NFL analysts for its SiriusXM NFL Radio channel. Weis will be heard every Friday on “Airing it Out” with co-host Bruce Murray…..Radio traffic pro Jim Battagliese joins iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network to serve as regional director of operations for the New York market.  He moves up the East Coast from Washington where he’s been director of traffic and weather operations at Hubbard’s all-news WTOP since 2010…..ABC Radio says the ‘No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis’ podcast – a show that focuses on the most-impressive women in the world letting down their guard and sharing honest stories about what it really takes to build an empire – is launching a new monthly bonus segment titled, “RJ Answers.”  Host Rebecca Jarvis – who serves as chief business, technology & economics correspondent for ABC News – will answer questions directly from callers during the segment.

President Trump’s China Visit Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 6-10.  The presidential trip to China and Donald Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un over North Korea’s nuclear program.  Coming in at #3 was former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign detailed in her new book, followed by the GOP tax reform plan 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Las Vegas CHR KLUC, the morning drive  program re-brands from the previous “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” to “The Chet Buchanan Show,” effective immediately.  The program features Chet Buchanan, Spence, and Kayla, with producer Davey the “Showkiller.”  CBS RADIO Las Vegas operations manager JB King comments, “Chet’s work on air and in the Las Vegas community is second to none; coupled with Spence’s creativity and passion for radio, I am thrilled that they will continue to be an integral part of the KLUC lineup.”…..In Detroit, the Detroit News is reporting that classic rock WCSX afternoon personality Doug Podell has exited the Beasley Media Group cluster.  He’d worked in the market for the past 23 years with WCSX and rock WRIF…..Hubbard Radio country outlet WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” names “Stacey and Jonah” the new afternoon drive program, taking over for Bo MatthewsStacey K. Boyer and Jonah Griss-Bush had been with Amaturo Media Group’s CHR KHTH “Hot 101.7” hosting the morning program for the past six years.  Boyer also served as program director of the station.   WIL program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is the platinum standard for live and local talent.  While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding diversity and experience to our stable of show hosts.  Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Hwy 40 during the drive home!”…..The “Greg & The Morning Buzz” show at iHeartMedia’s rock WGIR-FM, Manchester, New Hampshire “Rock 101” is holding a “Lend A Helping Can” radiothon on November 16 and 17 to benefit 11 New Hampshire charities working to combat local hunger and homelessness.  “Greg & The Morning Buzz” is syndicated across the state on: WHEB-FM, Portsmouth; WLKZ-FM, Wolfeboro; WHDQ-FM, Claremont; and WRFK-FM, Barre, Vermont…..Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa-St. Petersburg “b98.7” announces that new morning personalities Chadd and Kristi Thomas will host their 17th Annual Toys for Tots Marathon Toy Drive on Friday, December 1 to benefit needy families.  They’ll broadcast live and collect new, unwrapped toys at a Walmart Super Center…..During the month of October, Alpha Media markets across the U.S. raised funds for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” campaign.  The company held an internal competition to see which market could donate the most to the cause.  The total donated was $13,546 with Portland in the lead with $9,391.  Mitch Elliot from 101.9 KINK FM joined the Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. “I was so frustrated that so many loved ones had been diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted badly to do something, I just didn’t know what.  When I heard about Real Men Wear Pink, I knew I could use my giant ‘megaphone’ at KINK to raise awareness and money.  My initial goal was $2500, but our listeners came through in droves and we were able to raise over $9K!  I am so thankful that folks responded in such a big way.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative rock WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting “Winter Jawn ‘18”  at XFINITY Live on January 18 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.   It’s a free, outdoor show featuring live performances by: Dashboard Confessional, The Struts, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and AJR.  The event includes a New Music Discovery Stage featuring: SYML, The Glorious Sons, and Welshly Arms.

PPM Analysis: Alternative Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of alternative stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  Looking at 6+ ratings from last month’s survey and October’s, “nearly as many stations on our alternative sample are up from September 2017 (41%) as are down (44%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  A year-over-year comparison shows “slightly more than half the stations on this alternative panel are down year-to-year (52%), while 45% improve; the remaining 3% are unchanged.”  Not being known as a high-cume format, it’s not surprising that no alt rocker ranks in the top 5 (6+) in its market.  However, iHeartMedia’s KTBZ, Houston “94.5 The Buzz” and KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” ranked #6 in their respective markets in October.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

| November 2, 2017

Cumulus Elects to Miss $23.6 Million Interest Payment; Restructuring Talks to Intensify.  The decision by the restructuring committee of Cumulus Media’s board of directors to forgo the scheduled interest payment of $23.6 million due yesterday (11/1) is designed to emphasize the importance of negotiations with creditors for restructuring the company’s debt.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, the company acknowledges its private discussions with lenders and noteholders and says, “This decision was made in support of the Company’s efforts to develop and implement a restructuring that will allow the Company to continue its operational and financial momentum, as evidenced by the results announced in its selected preliminary operating results for third quarter 2017 on October 26, 2017.  The decision to withhold payment during the grace period will not impact the Company’s operating constituents, including its employees, advertisers, network affiliates, vendors and content partners.”  This move will mature into an “Event of Default” if the payment is not made by December 1.  Obviously, Cumulus hopes that progress on restructuring can be made this month.

Entercom Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Entercom’s net revenue was $122.3 million, an increase of 1% over 2016’s $121.6 million.  Operating income was $13.5 million, after $8.8 million in merger and acquisition costs, compared to $25.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.  Same station net revenue decreased by 1%, excluding political.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom as we count down the days before closing our game-changing merger with CBS RADIO.  Entercom will be one of the radio industry’s two largest companies with an extraordinary lineup of highly rated, award winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events and a robust set of meaningful scale-driven, value-creation opportunities.  We are looking forward to deploying our extensive plans to drive growth in the business through a significant series of enhancements and investments across the organization.”

Marv Nyren Named Chicago Market Manager for Cumulus.  Chicago native Marv Nyren returns to the commercial radio biz as the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Windy City stations news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM, alternative WKQX, and classic rock WLUP-FM.  He was most recently vice president of corporate sponsorships at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  He’d previously been a market manager for Emmis Communications serving in Chicago, Phoenix, and Indianapolis and for iHeartMedia managing its Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia stations.  Cumulus EVP Dave Milner states, “Marv brings a wealth of experience and drive to Cumulus Chicago.  He is a smart, competitive operator focused on building strong cultures that support and empower the team to succeed.”

WHO, Des Moines Talk Host Simon Conway Recovering from Heart Attacks.  According to an account in the Des Moines Register, WHO afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway has been off his radio program this week after suffering two heart attacks over the past six days.  The paper says Conway confirmed the news via Facebook posts from his hospital bed in which he told his fans that he’s feeling fine and that he hopes to be back on the air by Monday.  iHeartMedia Des Moines market manager Joel McCrea tells the Register that he understands the heart attacks were mild and that Conway is resting at home.  See the Register story here.

WHPT, Tampa’s Drew Garabo Endorsed Investment SEC Calls a Fraud. Afternoon drive personality Drew Garabo – heard on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” – voiced ads for an investment that the Securities Exchange Commission is calling a Ponzi scheme.  According to a report by WFLA-TV, Tampa, the ads appeared on WHPT for Optimal Economics Capital Partners fund, or O. E. Capital, being sold by C 4 Benefits Group, with the endorsement ad voiced by Garabo.  The SEC says the fund raised more than $13 million, some of that coming from WHPT listeners.  But the SEC says that the only way investors got paid was from future investors’ cash and that’s the definition of a Ponzi scheme.  The ad for the fund guaranteed a minimum 12% return per year.  Garabo did not comment for the WFLA-TV story.  At least one investor says she’s suing O.E. Capital, C4, and Cox.  Read the story here.

Radha Subramanyam Exits iHM Research Post; Company Names Michele Madansky Her Successor.  Just a day after the news that Dr. Radha Subramanyam is leaving her president of research, insights and data analytics position with iHeartMedia to take on a similar role with CBS Corporation, iHM announces that it is brining Dr. Michele Madansky aboard to as its new research, insights and data analytics EVP.  iHeartMedia EVP of revenue and sales operation Peter Ban comments, “Michele has an expansive track record providing cutting edge analytics for a wide variety of today’s biggest media companies.  We’re thrilled she’ll be shaping our research efforts and ensuring our advertising partners are best utilizing iHeartMedia’s unparalleled reach and multiplatform assets.

NYC Terror Attack, Mueller Investigation, Uranium One Deal, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Virginia Governor Race, Denver Walmart Shootings, Positive Economic News, Astros Win World Series, NFL Ratings, Protests and Deadline Trades Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The terror attack on pedestrians and cyclists in New York that left eight dead and 11 injured; special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of three Trump campaign operatives and speculation about where the Trump-Russia investigation is heading; questions about the Uranium One deal and the FBI’s and Hillary Clinton’s roles in the matter; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the GOP tax reform bill process; the hotly contested Virginia gubernatorial race; the shooting that left three dead at a Walmart in the Denver area on Wednesday evening; positive jobs and economic news; the Houston Astros defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win their first World Series; the NFL’s ratings troubles, ongoing anthem protests, and trade deadline moves were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Alpha Media Stations Available on iHeartRadio Platform.  This deal between iHeartMedia and Portland-based Alpha Media will make more than 200 of Alpha’s radio stations available to listeners via the iHeartRadio platform.  The press release says the rollout begins today and all of the company’s stations will be available within weeks.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re excited to join forces with iHeartRadio and expand our digital footprint. This partnership allows us to super serve our fans by reaching them whenever and wherever they choose to listen to us.  Alpha Media is live, local and on the go.”

 

 

NASH Next Winner Is Radio Romance.  The Hermitage, Tennessee-based country act Radio Romance is the winner of the NASH Next 2017 Challenge.  The final competition event took place last night (11/1) at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville with live performances from the top 10 national finalists.  Radio Romance wins a Big Machine Label Group recording contract and airplay on Cumulus Media country stations.  Pictured above, members of the band pose for a picture with: NASH program director John Shomby (top row, left), Cumulus SVP content & programming Mike McVay (center, top row), Cumulus VP label relations John Kilgo (top row, right) and Big Machine Label Group president/CEO Scott Borchetta (front row, kneeling).

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning personality Loo Katz exits iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH-FM, Washington, DC.  His info has been scrubbed from the station’s website and his posted on Facebook, “To you, my FACEBOOK friends and family, I need to share something that’s unfortunately not ‘Fake News’. Today, after 17 years, I was fired from my longtime job at 97.1 WASH-FM. The reason given to me was ‘Poor ratings’ and ‘It was time for a change’. I had just completed my 14th year of hosting Morning Drive along with the almost 3 years of doing afternoons.  I had a great run at WASH-FM, a station I grew up listening to and had always dreamt about working there. I’m very proud of my work at 97.1, and feel lucky to have not been fired from a gig since 1989, when I was working for 105.1 WAVA-FM. Not many in this business can claim to have worked on the air, in their hometown since high school, or if you’re counting, the last 46 years. It’s a record that no company can take away from me.”…..Premiere Networks announces an exclusive Thanksgiving special for country radio stations hosted by CMT’s personality Cody Alan.  It’s a four-hour, barter-free “CMT After MidNite Friendsgiving Special with Cody Alan” highlighted by conversations with country stars and celebrities including: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Jon Pardi, Paula Deen and Darius Rucker.  It’s available for air anytime between November 22 and 26.

 

 

Round Three of October PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Entering the September ratings period, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times, but on the strength of a +1.4 it finally reached #1 and had a 1.4-share advantage over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103.” It proves to be a short stay in the penthouse though for the public news/talk outlet as it plummets by -1.1 (9.1 – 8.0, 6+) and returns to its familiar spot at #2. Seven recent trends for KOPB are +.9 in March; -.8 in May; +.6 in June; -.9 in July; +.6 in August; +1.4 in September; and now -1.1 in October. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” roars back by recapturing all of that loss and one-tenth for good measure to 9.2 (+1.5, 6+), the highest 6+-share for KKCW since the 15.3 it posted in “Holiday” 2016. When the dust settles, KKCW now has a 1.2-share lead over KOPB. The top spot is nothing new for “K-103,” which was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods before segueing to #2 in September. Picking up one-half share each are Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+); sports talk sibling KFXX “1080 The Fan” (2.0 – 2.5, #20 to #17, 6+); and All Classical Public Media’s KQAC (3.0 – 3.5, steady at #15, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “Charlie” since 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and the best 6+-stat for “The Fan” in nearly four years (2.6, November 2013, 6+). On the flipside, co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective loss of -1.9 (5.6 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 3.7, 6+), freefalling out of the top ten (#5 to #13) with its softest 6+-performance since January’s 3.2. The format loses an additional half-share from iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew Portland’s Rock Station” (5.2 – 4.7, fourth to fifth, 6+), which was coming off its strongest 6+-share since September 2015’s 5.5. Six recent fluctuations for “The Brew” include: +1.0 in April; -.6 in May; +1.1 in June; -.6 in August; +1.1 in September; and now -.5 in October. Within 2.1 – 2.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” falters by seven-tenths to 1.6 (#16 to #20, 6+). For the second straight month, both Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” (sixth to tenth, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (ninth to a three-way tie at seventh, 6+) are down. This is the third straight negative move for “The Wolf” for a combined -1.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), while “The Bull” is off a collective eight-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends in the same July-August-September-October timeframe (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was a combined -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), while “The Bull” was down in consecutive sweeps for a -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, April – May – June, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June.

2) Charlotte – Not only does iHeartMedia-owned WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” crack the top ten (#13 to #10), it records its third straight uptick for a collective +1.1 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, as the result of three straight increases (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker WRFX is a collective +1.0 and repeats at #1. In four straight decreases between March and July, however, “99.7 The Fox” lost two full-shares (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.2 – 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). It had been #1 in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Off by one-tenth in both August and September (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WPZS enters the top ten (#14 to a four-way tie at #10) by rolling out a one-half share gain to 4.2 as it reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since February 2015’s 4.0. In that same vein, Entercom news/talk WBT registers its third consecutive improvement for a collective +1.4 (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, #16 to #14, 6+) and hits the four-share mark (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, October 2016). Contrasted to WBT’s gain of six-tenths, University Radio Foundation’s similarly-formatted WFAE “90.7 Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off by that margin (4.3 – 3.7, 6+), drifting from #10 to #15. Over the last nine sweeps, WFAE was no higher than 4.3 (6+) and no lower than 4.0 (6+); this is its weakest 6+-showing since 2.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Without an increase the past four months for an overall loss of -1.1 (6.6 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC picks up three-tenths to 5.8 as “Country’s Hottest Hits” climbs from sixth to fourth, while iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is off two-tenths (5.6 – 5.4, 6+), slipping from third to sixth. WSOC succeeded WKKT at #1 in July; WKKT supplanted WSOC at #1 in August. While this represents the third straight negative trend for Radio One urban contemporary WQNC for a -1.5 (3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), “92.7 The Block” (which posted a +1.2 in July) actually improves from #18 to #17. Flat at #7, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPEG “Power 98” is a combined -1.2 in three straight dips (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), while its CHR sibling WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” (ninth to tenth) is -1.2 as well – but in four consecutive declines (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). After posting three successive gains for a collective +1.0 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, Better Variety” surrenders half of that increase (4.3, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+). Down by one-half share as well is Davidson College’s WDAV “Classical Public Radio” (1.8, #17 to #18, 6+). When WDAV picked up four-tenths in September, it pulled the plug on seven straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.7 since January (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+).

3) San Antonio – On the heels of surrendering one-half share in September, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” notches an increase nearly double that margin (5.1 – 6.0, +.9, 6+) and marches from fourth to second. “Y-100” had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the past 11 months and, while September’s 5.1 was its lowest 6+-share in almost five years (5.0, “Holiday” 2012), October 2017’s 6.0 is its strongest 6+-showing since last November’s 7.1. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – is locked on 5.0 (6+) but advances from sixth to fifth. Prior to August, “KJ-97” registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. Setting the pace in this Texas market for the ninth successive time is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits,” which is up seven-tenths to 7.0 (6+). As a result, it regains all but one-tenth of the collective -.8 in August and September (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” include October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; and October’s +.7. Seven-tenths proves to be lucky as well for co-owned hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music,” which reaches the five-share level for the first time since August 2016’s 5.0 (4.4 – 5.1, +.7, eighth to fourth, 6+) and Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (3.7, +.7, #15 to #11, 6+), which – in September – eroded by eight-tenths to 3.0, its lowest 6+-share since April’s 2.5. Having regressed by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, May – June – July, 6+), KSTX recouped that loss in its entirety with a +1.0 in August. It had been two years since KSTX last reached the three-share level (August 2015, 3.0, 6+); owing to three straight increases, including May’s +1.3, it nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 3.8, 6+). An overall -1.2 via four consecutive losses (3.8 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1” halts that streak with a gain of four-tenths to 3.0 (#18 to #16, 6+). Following three upticks in succession that netted eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits one full-share to 3.2 and spirals from #10 to #15. In four successive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost a collective nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5, #11 to #13, 6+). The co-owned Spanish adult hits HD3 channel of KQXT sputters by six-tenths (2.1 – 1.5, #19 to #21, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Unless already at #1 (and unable to go higher), it’s rare to see a station dial up a robust +1.6 and not advance. Such is nonetheless the case with iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which remains in second-place for the fourth consecutive sweep despite a +1.6 to 10.2, the first time it has reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). The other piece of good news for WDVE “102.5 Rocks, ” which was tied for #1 in June, is the +1.6 emphatically ends three straight declines that generated a -1.0 (9.6 – 9.2 – 8.7 – 8.6, 6+); September’s 8.6 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.4. Another outlet in the “Steel City” progresses by at least one full-share (6+) from September, as co-owned CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” tacks on a +1.0 to September’s two-tenths’ gain and inches up from fourth to third. The +.2 this time last month concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+); August’s 7.0 was the lowest 6+-share for “Kiss” since 6.7 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. Despite a one-tenth drop to 10.6 (following September’s +1.1, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the seventh straight month. After posting three consecutive increases netting a +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. Immediately before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Remaining at #7, CBS Radio-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” continues an up/down pattern that started in June (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). Its direct competitor, iHeartMedia-owned WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country,” gains four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #13 to #11. “Big 104.7” was a combined +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Trending 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.7 (6+) since July, CBS Radio sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” surrenders seven-tenths to 5.0 (6+, fifth to sixth). Without a loss in the last three sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” relinquishes all of it plus another one-tenth (5.2, -.5, 6+) but carries on in fifth-place. Off by one-half share as well are Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (7.9 – 7.4, third to fourth, 6+) and hot AC sibling WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” (3.3 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+). When “Q-92.9” dropped one-tenth in September, it halted at four a consecutive streak of up or flat moves for a cumulative gain of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Powered by a gain of six-tenths to 4.8, its best 6+-showing since last November (4.8, as well), California State University – Sacramento news/talk KXJZ “Capital Public Radio” progresses from seventh to fourth. For the third consecutive sweep, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB registers a move of one-half share. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” was -.5 in August; +.5 in September; and replicates September’s +.5 in October (1.9 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), remaining at #15. This is the station’s highest 6+-share since 2.5 in March. In the driver’s seat for the fourth time in a row, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is nonetheless a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to August 2017 when it was +1.4 to 9.7 – its strongest 6+-showing since 9.9 in August 2016 – “The Eagle” posted an 8.3 (6+) three times in the previous four ratings periods (8.3 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+), CBS Radio’s KHTK “Sports 1140” backslides from #15 to #16. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk hybrid KFBK regresses by three-tenths to 7.5 (6+), segueing from second to third; 7.8 in September is its strongest 6+-stat since February’s 8.2. October 2017 doesn’t prove to be a good ratings period for country outlets in “the Big Tomato.” Specifically, as the result of three consecutive declines (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is a collective -1.9 and slips from fourth to eighth. It hadn’t been below a five-share (6+) since August 2016 (4.7). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 – The Wolf” returns 60% of September’s one-half share gain and is steady at #14 (3.0 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). The +.5 in September suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of a one-tenth loss in May, “The Wolf” had its streak of successive increases which generated a +1.5 end at five (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+). The market’s other country player – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” – has lost more than 40% of its 6+-share (-1.3) in three straight decreases (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) and slips from #15 to #18. Down four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), Entercom-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one full-share end at seven (2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.8, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #13); September’s 3.8 is its best 6+performance since March 2016 (3.8, as well).

6) Salt Lake City – In six consecutive improvements (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” (fifth to fourth) is an overall +1.9 and has its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Not only does KSL register its third successive uptick netting a cumulative +3.1 (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.9 – 8.3, 6+), the Bonneville news/talk outlet advances from second to first with its strongest 6+-share since January’s 8.9. An even dozen of KSL’s recent fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February); +.6 (April); -1.1 (May); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.1 (September); and now +1.4 (October). Dislodged from the top spot after four consecutive months there is co-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day,” which sputters by one-half share and takes over at #2 (7.8 – 7.3, 6+). Off by one-half share as well are iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (6.0, flat at #3, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (5.7 – 5.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+), with September 2017’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since 6.6 in September 2016. Down six-tenths in July, KBZN was up one-half share in August. Owing to four straight downward moves (5.7 – 5.2 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” – has eroded by three full-shares and drops from #15 to #16. “Mix” was a combined +1.5 in March and April; -.9 in May; and +1.6 in June to 5.7, the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range for the 17th consecutive sweep, rhythmic CHR sibling KUUU “U-92” is flat at 2.0 (6+), but dips from #18 to #19. A loss of four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) by Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE curtails at three its successive string of gains that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+); “B-98.7 – Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” exits the top ten (#10 to #14). After three downward trends in a row for a collective -1.5 (6.1 – 6.0 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” picks up two-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and climbs from eighth to seventh. In the process, it overtakes its country rival – Cumulus Media’s KUBL “K-Bull” – which sputters by four-tenths (4.7 – 4.3, 6+) and drops from seventh to eighth. When “Z-104” slipped by one-tenth in July, it stopped at four its streak of consecutive improvements that netted a +2.1 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+). June’s 6.1 represents the strongest ever 6+ PPM share for “Z-104,” which was -1.1 in August.

7) Las Vegas – Exactly one month has elapsed (October 1) since a gunman opened fire on a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest (country) music festival; 58 people died (including the shooter) and 546 were injured. September 2017 ratings information was released one day after that horrific Las Vegas mass murder. Given that the October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11, it includes radio’s reaction to that tragedy. Somewhat surprising, there is no September 2017 – October 2017 spike whatsoever among the market’s three rated and published news/talk outlets. Tied at #19 are Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KXNT which is up (modestly) for the third straight time (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+); Beasley Media Group’s KDWN finishes at #25 (.9 – .7, -.2, 6+). In a check of the market’s country outlets, July-August-September (6+) trending for iHeartMedia’s KWNR was 4.9 – 5.0 – 4.9, but “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas’ New Country Leader” registers a gain of eight-tenths to 5.7, advancing from fourth to third. Having logged three straight gains for a collective +1.8 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+) before faltering by an overall two full-shares in June, July, and August (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned KCYE rebounded with a +.7 in September to 3.6. In October though, “The Coyote – We Are Country” drops one-tenth to 3.5 but remains at #10 (6+). Over and above being the fourth straight month at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies property KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” hangs out a full-share increase (6.9 – 7.9, 6+). Up one full-share via four straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” advances from #16 to #13 with its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.2. Repeating at #2, CBS Radio hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” posts its fourth successive improvement for a net gain of +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+) and reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. An overall -1.9 in three straight decreases (6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KOAS “Old School 105.7” pulls the plug by increasing two-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KSNE “Sunny 106.5” spirals by -2.7 (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, third to fourth, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 in March; -1.1 in April; -1.2 in May; +1.4 in June; -.8 in July; -.7 in September; and now -.8 in October. Following an August +1.3 to 5.3, its best 6+-stat since March (5.5), CBS Radio-owned KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.6 in September and October (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). Its rhythmic hot AC sibling, KXQQ “Q-100.5,” falters by seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

8) Cincinnati – Flashing increases of seven-tenths each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” (9.0, steady at #2, 6+) and Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” (5.3 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was a combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). Locked on 3.6 (6+) in August and September following its 3.3 (6+) in July, iHeartMedia news/talk WKRC “55 KRC – The Talk Station” erupts with a +.6 to 4.2 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Rebounding from September’s -1.1 with a gain of one-half share (4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” jumps from eighth to fifth; 4.4 was it lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.8. Trending 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0 (July – August – September, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRRM “Warm 98.5” has a positive spike of one-half share as well (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+). Down two-tenths in September and October (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW is nonetheless #1 for the third consecutive ratings period. It had been one year (August 2016) since WLW was last in sole possession of the top spot – it was tied for the lead in May 2017. “The Big One” returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back stays in the runner-up slot. First appearing in print in April 2014, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO was a combined +1.2 in August and September (.9 – 1.6 – 2.1, 6+), with September’s 2.1 the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In October though, “The Station with Something for Everyone” surrenders eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). Relinquishing all but one-tenth of its collective August – September +.6 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+) with a -.5 to 3.2 (6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU slides from #11 to #13.

9) Orlando – Several Central Florida news/talk outlets were rewarded in September for their hurricane coverage. Fast-forwarding to October, Community Communications news/talk WMFE – which had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range for 34 consecutive ratings periods before hitting 3.0 in August – improves by eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, #13 to #11, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM returns exactly half of its staggering +2.0 from September (6.1 – 5.1, 6+) but remains in sixth-place. That +2.0 was the largest 6+ August 2017 – September 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets; WDBO-FM was up nine-tenths in August. Prior to that though, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Having eroded by -2.1 as the result of six consecutive decreases (3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is a collective +1.4 in September and October (1.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, #15 to #14, 6+). Steady at #3, CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7” picks up four-tenths to 7.9 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+). That particular streak followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). April’s 9.9 was its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. A September loss of eight-tenths (7.9 – 7.1, 6+) took Cox Media Group-owned WMMO to its lowest 6+-share since April’s 7.0, but “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” recaptures 75% of that decrease (7.7, +.6, 6+) and carries on at #4. Three consecutive declines by urban AC sibling WCFB resulted in an overall -1.3 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+), but “Star 94.5” is up two-tenths in October to 5.0 (6+) and carries on at #7. In June, “Star” bounced back from May’s -.9 with an increase of six-tenths. Registering its highest 6+-share since February 2016’s 1.6, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” improves by one-half share (1.0 – 1.5, 6+) and is unchanged at #18. After plummeting by two full-shares in July, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” was flat in August and up nine-tenths in September. On top for the tenth consecutive month, “Rumba 100” slips by one-tenth (11.6 – 11.5, 6+); April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. Despite being off by one-half share (6.4 – 5.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” continues at #5.

10) Cleveland – By more than quintupling its 6+-share since August (.3 – .6 – 1.6, 6+), Radio One gospel WJMO “Praise 1300” elevates from #17 to #14. Off by seven-tenths in July and August (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM is a combined +1.9 in September and October (6.6 – 7.9 – 8.5) as the Cleveland Indians flagship has its highest 6+-stat since November’s 9.1. Moreover, WTAM marches from third to first, sending co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” from a first-place tie to third and Radio One urban AC WZAK (8.0, -.4, 6+) from a first-place tie to second. This is the third straight decline for WMJI for a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). It progressed from second to first in July with a +1.1 to 9.1, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016. “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April and was in the runner-up slot in May and June. As a result of October’s -.4, WZAK suspends three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Through four straight gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+), CBS Radio sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan” – the key FM station of the Cleveland Browns – is up a collective +1.5 and carries on in its familiar #12 slot. Advancing by one-half share as well is Ideastream news/talk WCPN (2.4 – 2.9, steady at #13, 6+). With a +.3 in September, WCPN ended four negative trends in succession that produced a collective -1.3 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In addition to being an overall -1.7 via three straight negative trends (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (unchanged at #8) has its lowest 6+-share since 5.1 in August 2016. After six consecutive sweeps without a decrease that netted a combined +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” surrenders one-third of that margin (6.3, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Nearly doubling its 6+-stat in four progressive sweeps in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB “Sports Radio 810” advances from #18 to #16 with its strongest 6+-showing since its 3.6 in March. It is six-tenths behind Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” (#12 to #15, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends in which it nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), the Kansas City Royals flagship has returned one full-share of that +3.2 in September and October (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. Co-owned news/talk KMBZ-AM is up or flat for the third time in a row for a gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), advancing from #20 to #17. Similar to WHB, KMBZ-AM has its strongest 6+-stat since March (2.5). Notwithstanding that it is without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -1.8 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX is #1 for the tenth consecutive month. A -1.6 in August by “The Fox” halted five straight increases that accounted for a cumulative +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). By reaching 10.3 in July, it marked only the fifth time a Kansas City station has registered double-digits (6+) in the PPM era. “The Fox” bounced back from a -.8 in March with a full-share gain in April. Before that, it recorded three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). For the sixth month in a row, Steel City Media’s KFKF is in third-place, but “Country 94.1” is off three-tenths to 6.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 #1 for New Country” is up a combined six-tenths in September and October (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). September’s +.4 curtailed four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -1.3 (4.7 – 4.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+). The format rival of KFKF and KBEQ, Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” is steady from September in both 6+-share (4.4) and market rank (#7). The 4.8 recorded in August by “The Wolf” is its highest 6+-share since 4.9 in April 2015. When Cumulus Media-owned KCJK dropped one-tenth in September, it halted seven straight up or flat trends for an overall gain of one full-share (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+). In October, “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” falters by another six-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, 6+) and drifts from #16 to #19.

12) Columbus – Significant winning ways continue for Radiohio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan,” which nearly triples its 6+-share (+3.4) in three straight huge gains (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+) and inches up from seventh to sixth. “The Fan” ended its (6+) February through May sequence of 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 4.1 by slumping -1.5 in June to 2.6 (6+) and was off seven-tenths in July. This though is its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After slumping by six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” answers in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+) and zooms from fifth to third. As is the case with “The Fan,” this is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since “Holiday” 2016 (11.1). Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, country cluster-mate WCOL regains roughly half of that loss with a +.7 (11.2 – 11.9) and is #1 for the fourth straight time. In June and July, WCOL produced a +3.5 (9.2 – 10.6 – 12.7, 6+). July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; and now +.7 in October. Over in the Saga Communications cluster, WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” is up one-half share to 6.3 (6+, unchanged at #4), halting a mini-slide that resulted in a -1.7 in August and September (7.5 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). Dropping from eighth to tenth, Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” declines for the third straight month and is -1.1 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+) with its softest 6+-share since 3.1 in “Holiday” 2015.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

| October 24, 2017

FCC Votes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule on Party Line.  The Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission are not happy about it but broadcasters are cheering the Commission’s 3-2 vote today (10/24) that eliminated the broadcast main studio rule.  The Order retains the requirement that stations maintain a local or toll-free telephone number to ensure consumers have ready access to their local stations.  The 80-year-old rule was designed to “facilitate input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities.”  But, Republicans argued that the rule was outdated and an unnecessary burden.  They argue that the repeal of the rule should “produce substantial cost-saving benefits for broadcasters that can be directed toward such things as programming, equipment upgrades, newsgathering, and other services that benefit consumers.  It will also make it easier for broadcasters to prevent stations in small towns from going dark and to launch new stations in rural areas.”

MacGunnigle Named APD at WPRO-AM, Providence.  At the Providence Cumulus Media cluster, staffer Doug MacGunnigle is promoted to assistant program director for “NewsTalk 99.7 FM and AM 630” (WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM) and sister business talk station WPRV.  Previously, MacGunnigle had been serving as producer and digital content director.  MacGunnigle has produced talk shows at WPRO for Steve Kass, Ron St. Pierre, Arlene Violet, and Dan Yorke.  MacGunnigle started his career at WPRO in 2002.  After stints at other media outlets in the area, he returned to WPRO in May 2015 and has served as producer of the Matt Allen show.  WPRO and WPRV program director Neil Larrimore says, “Doug has been an integral part of WPRO-AM and WPRV-AM for many years and has served as a backbone through a particularly tough period of change over the last 24 months.  It’s the perfect time to start him on the next step of his career.  I’m proud to name him as assistant program director.”

Industry Luminaries to Induct National Radio Hall of Famers.  When this year’s inductees are enshrined in the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, they’ll be presented by leaders in the industry.  The 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago (it will also be broadcast commercial free via TuneIn).  This year, Entercom president and CEO David Field will induct his father, Entercom founder Joseph Field; on-air legend Scott Shannon will induct Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity; iHeartCountry chief Rod Phillips will induct Premiere’s country morning star Bobby Bones; Cumulus Media VP of classic rock Scott Jameson will induct KQRS, Minneapolis morning icon Tom Barnard; Chicago media star Bob Sirott will induct pioneering disc jockey John Records Landecker; iHeartMedia West president Greg Ashlock will induct KFI, Los Angeles morning personality Bill Handel; and St. Louis talk host Ryan Wrecker will accept induction for the late Bob Sievers.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re pleased to have such talented and accomplished presenters joining us on this special night and happy that those who can’t attend won’t miss a beat thanks to TuneIn.”

TALKERS News Notes. The new ESPN2 television show “Barstool Van Talk” – from Barstool Sports – has been canceled after its first airing, but not because of the show itself.  The TV program was based on the podcast “Pardon My Take” starring Barstool Sports’ Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter.  But the connection to Barstool Sports – known for misogynistic humor – was too much for ESPN president John Skipper, who stated in a press release, “Effective immediately, I am cancelling ‘Barstool Van Talk.’  While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content.”…..Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (center) on the set of the film, God’s Not Dead 3 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He’s standing with actor and producer David A.R. White (left) and John Corbett (right) best known as co-star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…..A live radio broadcast of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” – a tale of murder and supernatural revenge – is being produced for Husson University’s WHSN-FM, Bangor, Maine.  It will be performed live from the Gracie Theatre on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 pm.  The program is billed as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and features a cast of Husson University students and local residents and it’s free and open to the public…..At left is famed director Rob Reiner (left) sitting with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl (right) and ABC News political director Rick Klein (center) recording their “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.  The program was video-streamed live as Reiner joined the program to talk about his latest film, the historically themed LBJ…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of “The Fatherly Podcast” to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  The program is hosted by veteran journalist, children’s book author, and father of two, Joshua David Stein and is a weekly show about raising children and the lives of men who take on that responsibility.  Each episode is built around a wide-ranging interview with a notable father.  Guests include Emmy Award-winner Sterling K. Brown, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Trump Tax Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Sessions Announces MS-13 Efforts, Niger Ambush Investigation, Uranium One Probe, Sexual Harassment/O’Reilly-Weinstein Cases, California Wildfires, Xi Jinping Cements Power, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Protests, and Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tax reform; North Korea’s stockpiling of weapons and talk of nuclear war; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the DOJ is using more legal weapons to prosecute MS-13 gang members; the investigation into what when wrong at the Niger ambush of U.S. forces; allegations that the Obama Administration’s deal with Russian firm Uranium One benefitted the Clinton Foundation; sexual harassment in the workplace and the high-profile Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly cases; the destruction from Northern California’s wildfires and the struggle to contain them; “Xi Jinping Thought” is enshrined into China’s communist constitution, ensuring he’ll rule as long as he’s healthy; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and National Football League ratings, anthem protests and action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Bobby Novosad is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  Novosad continues his duties as brand manager and morning host at sister CHR KSMB.  Cumulus Media Lafayette vice president and market manager Scott Chiasson says, “I am very excited to promote Bobby to program director of KXKC ‘NASH FM 99.1.’  Bobby has been a generational staple in the Lafayette metro area and is a fantastic radio guy.  His deep experience and understanding of the way a winning station should sound is already having an impact.  This is great for Bobby, Cumulus, our loyal listeners and the community we serve.”…..Thirty-one year radio pro Darrel Eason is appointed to the program director position at Salem Media Group’s urban Gospel KXFN/K236CS, St. Louis “Praise 95.1.”  Eason is also hosting “The Morning Praise” from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Eason was previously the programmer at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Former WGNA, Albany personality Marissa Lanchak announces via Facebook that she’s the new night jock at Beasley Media’s country WKLB, Boston.  She wrote, “It’s taken a lot of bumps in the last couple of years to get to this spot.  But I’m proud to say that I’ve accepted the night show position at Country 102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country!”…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia announces Twister Sister lead singer Dee Snider will be the guest host of “95.7 BEN FM’s Halloween Hair Ball” on Saturday, October 28.  Snider will play the top 50 greatest hair band hits of the 80s as chosen by the 95.7 BEN FM listeners – all commercial free!  Station program director Chuck Damico comments, “We came up with the idea of letting listeners choose their favorite scary, hairy hits of the 80s and running them back countdown style for people’s Halloween parties.  There’s only one perfect host that makes sense for that – Dee Snider!  He’s an 80s rocker, a radio pro and Philly loves him!  We’re thrilled to have Dee party with ‘95.7 BEN FM’ for the Halloween weekend.”

Luke Bryan Chats with Shawn and Elaina. It was a big day for country stars in person at Cumulus Media’s NASH Campus in Nashville as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and Chris Lane all stopped by to chat on the “NASH Nights Live” program.  Pictured above is Bryan (left) with show co-stars Elaina Smith (center) and Shawn Parr (right).

CBS’ ‘We Can Survive’ Concert Rocks Hollywood Bowl.  Pictured above is pop star Kesha performing onstage at the Hollywood Bowl at CBS RADIO’s We Can Survive 2017 benefit concert on Saturday (10/21).  Other performers included: Alessia Cara, Harry Styles, Khalid, Lorde, Macklemore, P!nk, Sam Hunt, and Sam Smith, plus a surprise performance by Niall Horan. The show was hosted in support of breast cancer awareness and benefits the Young Survival Coalition, the premier organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS RADIO.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

| October 11, 2017

16 More Station Divestitures Named in Entercom SEC Filing – Boston’s News/Talk WRKO, All-News WBZ-AM, and Sports Talk WBZ-FM Being Sold.  Which stations will not be part of the new Entercom after its merger with CBS RADIO has been one of the most eagerly awaited radio news stories since the deal was first announced.  And now, with Entercom’s SEC filing, we know of 16 more stations – in addition to the three being sold to the Educational Media Foundation – that will go to new owners.  When all the deals are consummated, Entercom will realize $264.8 million in proceeds from the divestitures that CEO David Field says will be used to pay down debt and, maybe, buy more stations.  No one thought Entercom would be allowed to keep two FM sports talk giants in Boston, so it’s not surprising that WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is being divested (Entercom will keep its longtime sports talkers WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM “ESPN Radio 850”) along with heritage all-news WBZ-AM and classic rock WZLX.  Those are the CBS stations.  Entercom will also divest its own news/talk WRKO and urban contemporary WKAF.  In the Pacific Northwest, CBS Seattle signals adult hits KJAQ, classic rock KZOK, and sports talk KFNQ-AM are headed for divestiture.  Down the coast in San Francisco, Entercom will shuck its own adult contemporary KOIT, urban contemporary KBLX, and classic rock KUFX (San Jose) as well as CBS’ CHR KMVQ.  In the Sacramento market, CBS stations country KNCI, adult contemporary KYMX, hot AC KZZO, and sports talk KHTK will go to new owners.  The filing does not indicate who the prospective new owners are.  What David Field does say is that he still expects the deal to close before the end of the year.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from the September 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s report looks at all-news-formatted stations.  As Kinosian notes in the story, all but three of the all-news stations in this report are CBS RADIO-owned properties.  The last PPM survey was good to all-news with “three of four stations on this particular news panel up August 2017 – September 2017 (75%); roughly one in five are down (19%) and the remaining 6% remain flat (6+).”  Comparing year-over-year ratings, “two of three stations on our eligible all-news sample improve September 2016 – September 2017 (67%, 6+), while one in three shows a decrease (33%).”  All-news outlets generally do well in the 6+ ratings and September was no different with seven stations finishing in the top five in their respective markets.  One, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington, finishing #1.  Read the whole report here.

Salem’s KRLA/KTIE Keeps Whitman for Mornings.  Morning personality Brian Whitman inks a new contract with Salem Media Group to continue anchoring the morning drive show on news/talk stations KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino.  The Southern California radio pro has worked at such stations as KABC and the old KLSX-FM.  He started with Salem in April of 2012.  Currently, Whitman and Jennifer Horn co-host “The Morning Answer” that’s simulcast on the conservative news/talk stations.  KRLA program director Chuck Tyler comments, “Brian is a one-of-a-kind talent.  I’m thrilled to know that he will be anchoring the ‘Morning Answer’ for years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Virginia-based John Fredericks show begins airing on Salem Media Group’s WWRC, Washington “AM 1260 The Answer” in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot, effective Monday (10/16).  Fredericks’ program airs live from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and is also heard on WHTK, Hampton Roads; WNTW, Richmond; and WBRG, Lynchburg…..At William Pollack-owned, suburban Chicago talk station WCGO, Evanston, “The Citizen Kelly Show” moves from middays to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Show host William J. Kelly made news locally after recently announcing he plans to challenge Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary race…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that the nationally syndicated travel radio show “Rudy Maxa’s World with the Careys” has added 60 new radio affiliates through the first three quarters of 2017.  Robert and Mary Carey say, “We’re truly delighted and thankful for the strong support our program enjoys from network affiliates, leading sponsors and a loyal audience across our various platforms.  Our radio program is unlike anything found or heard out there – and it’s rewarding to realize so many people enjoy and respect what we do.”…..Pictured at right is a scene from last Friday’s fundraising event for the Puppy Jake Foundation – a charity founded by WHO, Des Moines afternoon talk host Simon Conway that acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Friday’s fourth annual, free sandwich giveaway raised more than $28,500 for the charity.

Trump-Corker Feud, Weinstein Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, N. Korea Hacks U.S. War Plans, GOP Tax Plan, California Wildfires, MLB Playoffs, NFL Action/Anthem Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The war of words between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the accusations of sexual predation and rape against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the allegations that Iran’s nuclear weapons program has not been halted and President Trump’s indication he will not certify Iran’s compliance; reports that North Korean agents hacked joint U.S.-South Korea military plans involving the North; the GOP’s formulation of its tax reform plan; the deadly California wildfires that have killed at least 17; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and NFL action and the ongoing controversy over national anthem protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Scott Jameson signs a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue as vice president of classic rock and operations manager for its Minneapolis stations and program director for classic rock KQRS.  The company’s other music stations in the Twin Cities are active rock KXXR “93X” and classic hip hop trimulcast, WGVX/WRXP/WWWM “105 The Vibe.”  Jameson says, “I have a great job in a city I love, a wonderful family and a dream team staff at KQRS who impress and inspire me daily.  I’m a very lucky guy.  Thanks to all who have helped me along the way.  Special thanks to Mike McVay for his motivational leadership.”…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative WNNX, Atlanta “99X,” the original three hosts of “The Morning X” program that aired on the station from 1993 through 2003 are coming back for a special broadcast on October 26 – the station’s alternative format 25th anniversary.  Steve Barnes, Leslie Fram and Jimmy Baron will return to the Atlanta airwaves for the first time in more than a decade as part of the station’s celebration.  WNNX says listeners can expect a healthy dose of laughter and gags, celebrity interviews and nostalgic banter from the trio, who “ruled Atlanta’s morning airwaves from 1993 to 2003.”…..E.W. Scripps’ country WKTI “94.5 KTI COUNTRY” launches a nationwide search for a superstar country morning show host to fill the slot left vacant by the departure of Jake Kelly.  The station notes that most recently, it added Milwaukee icon and Country Radio Hall of Fame host Karen Dalessandro for afternoons.  WKTI program director Ryan Wild says, “We’re looking a fun, entertaining morning show that loves country music.  To help us complete the job of winning in Milwaukee, the right show will run for office with our listeners every day, and embrace living in Wisconsin.  Very few people understand how to be a great local host, we are looking for someone that does!” To apply, visit www.scripps.com/careers.  Local radio pro Carol Vonn is handling the morning show until a permanent host is named.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

| September 27, 2017

EMF Acquires Entercom Stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Wilkes-Barre. After much speculation about which Los Angeles property Entercom would spin in order to close its pending merger with CBS RADIO, we have learned the answer: It is Entercom’s own classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” which will be acquired by Educational Media Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles’ “Sound,” Rocklin (California)-based contemporary Christian broadcaster EMF is also obtaining Entercom stations in San Diego (KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country”) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy”). This three-station deal marks the first required divestitures in the company’s mega union with CBS Radio. According to Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field, “We have made great progress toward the completion of our merger with CBS Radio and this agreement with EMF brings us one step closer to the finish line. We remain on-track to close the CBS Radio transaction later this year and confident in the value-creating opportunities presented by this transformational combination.” Educational Media Foundation chief executive officer Mike Novak remarks, “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, ‘Positive & Encouraging K-Love at 100.3 FM.’ The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.” Eight months ago, Entercom agreed to combine with CBS Radio in an all-stock transaction. After the deal, Entercom will own 240 stations; non-profit EMF currently owns/operates Christian music networks “K-Love” and “Air1,” as well as approximately 770 FM stations and translators. For the third time in the last six Nielsen Audio ratings sweeps, KSWD “The Sound” registers a 2.4 (PPM, August 2017, 6+) and finishes at #18; its 2.9 (6+) in May 2017 placed it at #11. Stations that will be under Entercom’s Los Angeles banner include smooth AC KTWV “The Wave”; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; and alternative KROQ. All six are presently owned by CBS Radio. Its San Diego cluster will include KSON-FM; adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1”; and KBZT “94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative”; as well as current CBS Radio-owned hot AC KYXY and CHR KEGY “Energy 103.7.” In addition to WGGY, Entercom’s remaining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations are spring 2017 market leader (CHR) WKRZ “98.5 Today’s Best Music” (10.0, 6+); news/talkers WILK-AM, WILK-FM, WBZU, and WKZN; classic rock WMQX “Max 102”; and WKRF (which simulcasts WKRZ).

Sandy Buttweiler Exits WDAY-AM, Fargo.  Fargo market talk radio pro Sandy Buttweiler has retired from Forum Communications’ news/talk WDAY-AM and is moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis to be closer to family.  Buttweiler worked in the Fargo market in numerous iterations: at KFGO from 1982 to 1987, 1992 to 2004, and 2006 through 2014.  She hosted programs on WDAY in 2005, and most recently from 2014 through her retirement yesterday (9/26).  During her career she co-hosted several times with well-known Fargo talk pro Jack Sunday and worked on air with WDAY program director Mike Kapel during this last gig.  InForum.com reports Buttweiler saying, “I’ve been here 35 years and it’s time for me to live five minutes from my sister and my aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Talent Shift at WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that “News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB” program director Pete Spriggs is flipping the show times of Eric Von Haessler’s “Von Haessler Doctrine” and the Herman Cain show.  Beginning October 2, Cain assumes the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour and Von Haessler moves to the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  In January of this year, Von Haessler was promoted from his weekend show to the daily, one-hour program.  See Ho’s column here.

KNSS, Wichita’s Steve and Ted Do 5,000th Broadcast.  This morning (9/27), KNSS, Wichita morning duo Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward performed their 5,000th morning show together.  News/talk KNSS program director Tony Duesing states, “One of the reasons I’m always excited to go to work each day is that Steve and Ted are on KNSS mornings.  They have an exciting show that matters to listeners.”  During their time together on the Entercom station, Steve and Ted have won multiple awards from the Associated Press, Kansas Association of Broadcasters, RTNDA, and a Marconi from the National Association of BroadcastersJad Chambers serves as producer for the program.

Hollywood Reporter: Hannity Trumps Maddow in Head-to-Head Debut.  According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity bested MSNBC rival Rachel Maddow on Monday night (9/25), the first night the two personalities aired head-to-head at 9:00 pm ET.  Hannity moved to the timeslot as part of changes that include the imminent debut of Laura Ingraham’s new 10:00 pm ET show.  Maddow has been the cable news/talk ratings leader for much of this year.  The story notes that although FNC continues to be the Total Day and Prime Time winner of Nielsen’s cable news/talk ratings – topping CNN and MSNBC – Maddow has been the most-watched show in both Total Viewers and 25-54 during the past quarter.  But on Monday, Hannity beat Maddow by 610,000 Total Viewers and 75,000 25-54 viewers.  Read the story here.

Trump vs the NFL, Alabama Senate Primary Race, North Korea Threats/Sanctions, ObamaCare Repeal, Tax Reform, Puerto Rico Devastation, Trump-Russia Probe, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The controversy over President Trump’s calling for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Republicans Luther Strange and Roy Moore; North Korea’s military threats against the U.S. and the most recent sanctions levied on the hermit kingdom; the GOP’s attempt to get enough Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Graham-Cassidy plan; the GOP’s plans to craft a tax reform bill; the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria; the investigation into former Paul Manafort’s and Michael Flynn’s Russia connections; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Gary Fries Memorial Fund. In honor of recently deceased Radio Advertising Bureau executive Gary Fries, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is establishing the Gary Fries Memorial Fund.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Gary was very passionate about radio and the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues in need.  He loved the radio profession, supported it, talked about it, and had many dear friends in our business.”  Fries, who died in Scottsdale, Arizona last Friday, was a longtime director of the Broadcasters Foundation.  Those wishing to donate in Fries’ honor may visit the Broadcasters Foundation’s website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

 

 

JohnJay Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation Featured in People.  Pictured backstage at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas at last weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival are pop star Miley Cyrus (left) and JohnJay Van Es (right) of Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Johnjay & Rich” show.  They are surrounded by rescue puppies from Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation that he was promoting at the festival.  People magazine did a piece on the #LovePup Foundation.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Cool local props for CHR WNTQ, Syracuse “93Q” and morning personalities Ted Long and Amy Robbins – both winners in the Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” reader’s poll.  Cumulus Media’s “93Q” was named Top Radio Station, and Ted and Amy were honored with the Favorite Radio Personalities crown.  The ever-popular on-air duo has won in the category more than 20 times in the last 25 years…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s WDSY “Y108” is presenting the fifth annual “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert, this year starring RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery.  It takes place on October 5 at Rivers Casino.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Y108’s ‘Girls With Guitars’ has become one of the ‘gotta-have-it’ tickets in a very busy country concert marketplace.  We are excited to present RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery to our listeners while also introducing the newest member of ‘Y108’ all in support of Glimmer of Hope and the great work they do.  Set against the backdrop of the Rivers Casino, this free show is a great night out for Pittsburgh residents.”  Glimmer of Hope funds breast cancer research and programs.  Glimmer of Hope will be onsite during the event conducting various fundraising activities, including a silent auction…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee is presenting the inaugural, “Let’s Brunch MKE,” a community food sampling event.  It takes place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 28.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Kerry Wolfe says, “Brunch is huge in Milwaukee.  We’re excited to bring our listeners and the community together with both some of their local favorites and restaurants they may be experiencing for the first time.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

| September 26, 2017

NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig.  As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him.  Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station.  But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Read the Post piece here.

Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show.  Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more.  The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage.  Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’  He is no stranger to Philly sports.  His reputation is incredible.  Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!”  At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station.  WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.

Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew.  Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football.  CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise.  We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.”  Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak.  “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.

Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start.  One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin.  He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares.  Check out the site here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27).  Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there.  The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill.  See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27.  It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity.  “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.

Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65.  Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.  Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.

 

 

Sitting Down with Dolly.  “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You.  During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves Country radio pro Matt McAllister is named the new morning personality at Entercom’s KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf,” replacing the Ellen Tailor-hosted AM program.  McAllister comes to Seattle from his most recent position hosting mornings at iHeartMedia’s KNIX, Phoenix.  He’s won Personality of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.  KKWF program director Drew Bland says, “Matt is creative, innovative, competitive, and laser-focused on bringing audiences compelling content for their morning commute.  We are excited to welcome him to our team in Seattle, leading the next chapter of mornings for ‘100.7 The Wolf.’”  The station says both a new show name and additional cast will be announced at a later date…..Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave.  A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA…..Country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri is presenting the “4th Annual KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on October 25.  It will feature a concert from Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music Award winner Maren Morris, plus special guest Russell Dickerson.  The station says this is Springfield awards show with winners decided by local votes on a ballot at the station’s website.   Local and national artist and song category winners will be announced during the awards ceremony portion of the evening.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI

| August 8, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling  to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.

Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.

A Team Effort Built From Within

“We’ve always had an understanding that our site can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s obviously a reflection of the on-air product, but we have also shown the ability to drive the on-air content perhaps more than most sports stations digital platforms,” says Rob Bradford, site editor and Red Sox beat writer for WEEI.com.

Bradford, who also hosts his own podcast for WEEI titled “The Bradfo Sho,” says it’s not just about the content, as their success really comes from the people behind the content, and as you can tell from Bradford, his staffers clearly each wear more than one hat.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our growth has been to employ smart, talented people who will do anything at any time. This has been a seven-day-a-week, non-stop venture, and everyone on our staff being at the ready to populate the site, or contribute to the on-air product, has always been part of the deal.”

A great example is Kirk Minihane, who started at WEEI.com as a part-time fantasy sports writer and fill-in copy editor.  He soon amassed a following online, becoming an on-air presence and, given the chance, rose through the ranks to now become the popular and brash WEEI radio morning show host.

On the digital side, Alex Reimer writes columns and blogs as well as hosting a podcast.  Ryan Hannable interned at WEEI.com in 2012 and now covers the Red Sox and Patriots as well as writing sports news, and they’re just two parts of the digital team.

Social Media Becomes a Listener Hub

“All of our social media platforms have played a role but I’d say Facebook has been the most important,” says the 30-year old WEEI PD Joe Zarbano, and with good reason.

With over 225,000 followers, WEEI has over four times the Facebook followers of New York City’s legendary sports/talk WFAN.  Zarbano says the key to their Facebook success is using social media as a way to both promote their on-air effort and tie in their digital products.

“We consistently and strategically post throughout the day. Facebook is another platform that allows us to reach a large audience to help promote what is happening on air and online.”

However, it’s not just Facebook.

WEEI’s Twitter followers rival that of WFAN and Los Angeles’ “ESPN LA” combined, and when it comes to Instagram, more than 16,800 followers can see pics and behind-the-scenes action, some they can’t find anywhere else.

It’s also about using the content to be advantageous both on-air and on-site.

“The unique thing that we’ve been able to do is to have more options, unique material and interviews.  We can leverage that one interview and break it down to on-air, blogs, podcasts and site news to drive the conversation,” says Bradford, who added it keeps the listener and reader engaged on multiple levels.

“Deflate-Gate” Culminates a Digital Drive

A story like the one in which the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs might have been a problem for the football team, but it pushed page views on WEEI into the stratosphere, with over 12.4 million page views in January, 2015.  However, it was not that one story that has defined their digital domain.

Bradford tells TALKERS, “Storylines are always going to put page views over the top, with our on-air product doing a better job than anybody at capitalizing on anything that might be a talker.   What we do a really good job of – not only online, but also on the air – is realizing what are the best stories, and then presenting them in the right way.  We have learned a lot when it comes to understanding how to maneuver around a news cycle in terms of timing, tone and where the energy should be devoted to.”

Fast-forward two years, and In March, WEEI.com had 10.3 million page views, and averages 10 million pages views each month.  WEEI.com also averages 1.6 million unique page views each month, and spiked just over 2.6 million unique views in April.

“We cover the teams more relentlessly than other sites – breaking as many stories as any media outlet while also traveling to a good chunk of events – but then have the luxury of being able to surface the most powerful voices (on the air and online) when notable moments arise. I guess it once again comes back to the ability to offer more of everything — columns, show audio, news of the day, podcasts, video to our listeners and users,” says Zarbano.

Podcasting Brings In New Listeners

To say WEEI has made an investment in podcasting may be an understatement.  From “Enough About Me,” hosted by WEEI morning show host Kirk Minihane, to “Two Outs,” a podcast featuring two openly gay sports enthusiasts in Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley and Reimer, this gives the station added programming and targets listeners in almost every possible demographic, especially younger demos.

According to Zarbano, despite having a strong number of podcasts, there’s still more work to be done.

“We have two different types of podcasts, podcasting that is not on the radio and podcasting that are the segments on the radio that we upload to the website.  As an example, our exclusive Tom Brady podcasts are uploaded to the website and get thousands of clicks and listens,” says Zarbano, who oversees podcasts including fantasy football and movies along with national and local sports.

Now that Entercom has bought a stake in DGital Media, this will allow Entercom to become one of the largest providers of original sports audio content in the country, enhancing an already strong digital and podcasting presence for WEEI.

“Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us,” says Entercom president & CEO David Field, adding they will rely heavily on Entercom’s “deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”

Branding Leads To Sales

One thing Entercom has done in Boston is intertwine WEEI’s on-air product with WEEI.com in a way that both sales and station content complement one another.

“Many of our sales packages include digital. It’s a great advantage to have when enticing a prospective client. We can offer more than just our on air product when closing a deal,” says Zarbano.  “Our dot.com staff are ‘brand personalities.’  Bradford, John Tomase, and Reimer and others all contribute original content to our site on a daily basis and also have a regular presence on the air as well.”

WEEI’s exclusive content gives advertisers unique access to Boston’s celebrity athletes and teams on multiple levels that can improve their own digital presence.

“It allows us to put together packages and tell clients you can sponsor Tom Brady’s interviews on WEEI, but also have a presence on the website, and that’s a great incentive for advertisers who don’t have the digital access and number of page views we have.  It gives our clients an opportunities they can’t get anywhere else that can compliment and improve their own digital presence,” says Zarbano.

After Nine Years of Digital – What’s Next?

“Our audience just wants more WEEI – they want to consume more content,” says Zarbano, but Bradford makes clear, “There’s not a template on how to do this.”

For WEEI, their drive into digital began in 2008, just as the recession was crashing all around them.  Despite an extremely uncertain economy, Entercom gave the go-ahead and since then, it has only grown.

Credit for WEEI’s success, according to Zarbano, starts at the top and cites the company’s faith in the product and digital vision.

“David Field and Entercom management believe in WEEI and had a vision before most that a website generating an enormous amount of new content on a daily basis could be extremely beneficial to the WEEI brand. We’ve been able to grow because of the unwavering faith the company has in us,” says Zarbano.  “When we started it was the worst possible time to start anything, the economy tanked right away.  Entercom stood by us and despite losing a lot of great people we’ve gained a lot of great people and thanks to our reputation, and a powerhouse radio station, we’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve.”

When it comes to what is ahead, the goal for WEEI is to continue to build the brand.

“You want to keep building your numbers.  We can put up an audio file and now that we have so much traffic it helps the on-air product, or they’ll listen live to an interview and then go to the site for more of the story.  It’s not just a radio station or website – it’s the entire brand,” says Bradford.

“Finding young talent that can be opinionated, entertaining and informed both on-air and on-line will be key for us as well,” says Zarbano, who adds, “One day hopefully we’ll have an even larger staff on WEEI.com, more assets, more podcasts, I think that’s part of the future.  We need to create more content that’s not just traditional radio content, especially as cars become more connected.”

Jeff McKay, a veteran New York-based operations manager, newsman and traffic reporter, is a special features correspondent for TALKERS.  He can be emailed at  McKayway@aol.com.

 

Friday, August 4, 2017

| August 4, 2017

Entercom Acquires 45% Stake in DGital Media. What we don’t know from the press release from Entercom about this deal is how much the 45% stake in DGital Media cost the company.  Nonetheless, this is a big deal for several reasons.  The specifics of the investment aside, the deal will give DGital Media “in addition to the investment, significant annual marketing and promotional support” across Entercom’s AM/FM radio stations.  It also includes a “multi-year services agreement under which DGital Media will dedicate significant resources to create world-class, original on-demand audio content leveraging Entercom’s deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”  Additionally, DGital Media will serve as Entercom’s exclusive, third-party ad sales representative for all of its podcasts and other on-demand audio.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are delighted to enter into this important relationship with DGital Media that enables us to partner with the premier on-demand audio content company in the U.S. and will scale our capabilities in this rapidly growing space.  Upon close of our CBS RADIO merger, Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us, whether through live over-the-air broadcasts, streaming audio, on-demand audio or in-person events and experiences.  DGital Media has an impressive track record of developing and producing podcasts and growing audiences for their content partners. This partnership will strategically enhance our ability to deliver compelling audio to the public, wherever and whenever they please.”

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Up 1.9%. The second quarter 2017 financial report from iHeartMedia notes that consolidated revenue was up “1.7% after adjusting for a $15.5 million impact from movements in foreign exchange rates and the $36.1 million impact of the outdoor businesses sold.”  Looking at the iHeartMedia segment (separate from the outdoor business), revenue there increased $16.5 million, or 1.9%.  Revenue increased $17.8 million, or 2.1%, excluding political revenue.  Included in the report were a number non-financial announcements including the launch of Smart A/V Audiences, an expansion of the SmartAudio suite of advertising products “that combines data from both iHeartMedia and Fox Networks Group enabling advertising partners to leverage audio and visual as one integrated platform to create custom audiences.”  iHM says this brings “the precision and immediacy of digital advertising to the scale of broadcast radio and television.”  The company also reports that “podcast listening on iHeartRadio increased by 20% year-over-year in the quarter, with more than 7,500 podcast publishers now distributing their content over the platform.”  This is illustrated by podcasts like “Label Defiers with Zico Coconut Water” – produced through a marketing partnership between iHeartMedia and Coca-Cola – featuring well-known iHeartMedia personality Elvis Duran of WHTZ, New York “Z100” and his syndicated stations doing one-on-one interviews with artists.  iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “To date, the iHeartMedia segment has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. We remain committed to balancing financial discipline with investments to grow our businesses while continuing to work on our capital structure.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jim Reynolds Charged in Domestic Incident. According to a report by ABC9 in Chattanooga, WGOW-FM morning personality Jim “J.R.” Reynolds was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday (8/2) after an incident involving Reynolds’ wife and two daughters.  The police report indicates Reynolds was arguing with his eldest daughter about her cell phone usage and a fight the girl had been having with her younger sister when Reynolds – according to a statement from his wife – pushed the girl onto a couch.  Reynolds disputes the details but admitted to police he physically touched his daughter and police told him that’s all that is required to constitute domestic violence.  Reynolds co-hosts “The Morning Press” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM alongside Jeff Styles and Bill Lockhart.  Read the ABC9 account here.

Trump Phone Transcripts Leak Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The leak of transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with world leaders was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 31 – August 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the sanctions against Russia and the relations between the U.S. and Russia.  Coming in at #3 was the fate of ObamaCare and the GOP’s efforts to craft a new health care plan, followed by the recent West Wing staff changes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Comrex to Display at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. When the IBC 2017 media, entertainment and technology show gets underway in Amsterdam on September 15, Comrex will be there displaying some of its featured products, including the latest audio IP codec in its ACCESS line – ACCESS NX (pictured here).  Other products being displayed at the show will include Opal, a new IP audio gateway, and LiveShot, a video-over-IP and bonded cellular solution.  Comrex says that ACCESS NX is “the result of a decade of IP audio transmission advancements and is refined for the ultimate remote experience.  Perfect for a wide range of applications – including ENG, sports announcing, talk show hosting, community outreach, and more…ACCESS NX runs on CrossLock, Comrex’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.”  See more about the ACCESS NX here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Last night’s Westwood One radio broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals was the opener of the 31st consecutive season that the syndicator has been the exclusive, national network radio partner with the NFL.  WW1 EVP corporate marketing for Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes comments, “Everyone’s listening to the NFL on Westwood One because we unequivocally offer some of the best play-by-play and commentary in all of sports programming.  No one touches Westwood One Sports’ commitment to quality programming and organic advertiser integrations.  We are thrilled to extend our longstanding partnership with the NFL and can’t wait to kick off another season of unparalleled sports action.”  Pictured at right are Pro Football Hall of Famers James Lofton (left) and Jason Taylor (right) in the broadcast booth for last night’s game.  Taylor is replacing Lofton as Westwood One’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst, as Lofton slides over to duties at CBS-TV.  Taylor with be enshrined in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow night (8/5), alongside fellow WW1 analyst Kurt Warner…..The FCC has five commissioners once again.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to their posts yesterday (8/3).  They join Republican chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’Reily, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn.  Rosenworcel returns after previously serving on the Commission and exiting at the end of 2016 as her term expired.  Clyburn’s term expired in June but she’s allowed, by rule, to stay on through 2018 if she chooses.  However, it’s reported that she may be considering a run for the U.S. House seat in South Carolina currently held by her retiring father, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.

Mary Quass Named MIW’s ‘Trailblazer.’ The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group names NRG Media chairman and chief executive officer Mary Quass recipient of the 9th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award.  Quass will receive the honor on September 6 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.

 

 

Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment.  Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment.  The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC.  This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.”   For application information and to see more about this position, click here.  The second opening is for a radio engineer.  That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.”  The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.”  For application information and to see more about this position, click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Paul Cannell comes home to New Orleans to join Cumulus Media as program director for alternative rock WZRH “Alt 92.3” and country WRKN “NASH FM 106.1,” effective August 14.  Cumulus Media New Orleans VP/market manager Pat Galloway says, “Paul will be a great addition to an incredible team and will lead us on to incredible success for both ‘Alt 92.3’ and ‘NASH 106.1.’  I am fortunate to have already worked with Paul in the past and love his collaborative management style.  Paul knows New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Gulf South and loves the area!  ‘Alt 92.3’ is simply on fire in the ratings and I’m confident Paul will only enhance its performance.”…..San Francisco radio personality Shan Berries re-ups with CBS RADIO CHR KMVQ “997 NOW” in a new, multi-year deal, according to CBS RADIO SVP Michael Martin…..In Phoenix, air personality Charlie Huero inks a deal with CBS RADIO to continue hosting the afternoon show on classic hits KOOL-FM.  Huero has been with KOOL since 2011 when he joined the station as assistant program director and midday jock.  CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP of programming Tim Richards says, “Charlie is an incredible talent with unmatched passion and experience.  We are excited to renew his agreement.”…..Air personality Lady La joins iHeartMedia Phoenix to host shows on hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” and CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM.”  She’ll be the evening personality on KMXP and will handle weekends/fill-ins on KZZP.  iHeartMedia EVP programming, West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “Lady La will flourish in iHeartMedia’s creative and collaborative environment.  Not only is she highly regarded on the air, but her social media following is among the best.  The goal of adding the country’s top talent to our team continues.”  Lady La was previously heard in the market on CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KALV and on Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR.….Cumulus Media appoints Jim Day executive producer for the “Bob and Marianne in the Morning” show at adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5.”  Morning radio pro Day’s career has taken him to such stations as WIL-FM, St. Louis; KWEN, Tulsa “K955”; WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 The Wolf”; and WHKO, Dayton “K99.1.”  WRRM PD Brian Demay says, “[outgoing producer] Zach Stone set a high bar producing for Bob and Marianne, so finding someone with Jim Day’s experience is like an answer to prayer.”…..As a result of the departure of programmer Johnny Maze from the Adams Radio Group operations in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland, new PD roles are assigned.  Adams Radio president Ron Stone announces that Stacy Gantt, a.k.a. Carolina, is named PD for rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach,” Rob Johnson takes on the PD role at rhythmic CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” and Laura Lee is named PD for classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Finally, country WHKI PD Larry “Big Red” Stephens is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster.  Stone says, “I could not be more excited about these changes.  These folks bring heart and soul to the game and have proved it for us, in some cases now in more than one market for Adams.  I love their energy and desire to win…and most importantly, their team spirit.”…..The iHeartRadio app is being made standard on dashboard infotainment systems in select 2018 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, including the just released Chevy Traverse.  iHeartMedia says that this provides driver-friendly access to its digital music and streaming radio service…..SiriusXM is broadcasting this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival from Chicago, beginning today (8/4) at 2:00 pm ET and running through Sunday.  Coverage will include live performances and backstage interviews with artists including: Arcade Fire, blink-182MuseThe Killers, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, and more.

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

| July 6, 2017

Kagan: WGN-AM, Chicago Valued at $58.4 Million. Media analysis firm Kagan, now an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, issues a report on the volume of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. broadcasting market during the second quarter of this year and concludes that Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is worth $58.4 million.  Tribune Media – the television stations and sole radio property – is being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group and WGN-AM will become one of just four stations owned by the TV giant.  The others are Seattle properties hot AC KPLZ, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI.  The Kagan report focuses largely on television deals but also reports on Emmis’ sale of KPWR, Los Angeles and notes Saga Communications’ exiting the TV business with its sale of television assets to Morgan Murphy Media.  See the report here.

Newsmax Granted White House Briefing Room Seat. The Boca Raton, Florida-based conservative news organization was one of three to be granted a designated, permanent seat in the White House briefing room by the White House Correspondents’ AssociationNewsmax joins Westwood One and Britain’s The Daily Mail in gaining the coveted full seat that puts the organizations on equal footing with outlets such as the Washington Post, Fox News and MSNBC.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “This is truly an honor to be selected by our journalistic peers for this privilege.  It testifies to Newsmax’s strong news brand and our enormous reach.”  Reuters staffer Jeff Mason serves as WHCA president and he says, “The board considered multiple criteria during this decision-making process, including regular briefing attendance and commitment to the White House beat.  We did not want scarce real estate going unused.  We also looked at news outlets’ audiences, both in terms of reach and in terms of preserving (or in some cases adding) diversity in the briefing room. We took stock of the changing landscape of our industry.”

Gilbert to Host Night Show on ‘Real Talk KGX’ in Palm Springs.  Coachella Valley radio personality Marshall Gilbert is joining Desert Broadcasters’ news/talk KKGX, Palm Springs “Real Talk KGX” to host the nightly 7:00 – 9:00 program, beginning Monday (7/10).  Gilbert has been a presence on the radio in the market for the past 23 years.  Station GM Garry Wing comments, “He’s been an integral voice in talk radio in the desert for more than two decades and we’re delighted that he’s chosen to join KGX as we continue to build on the notion that talk radio can be entertaining, compelling and interesting, without the anger, yelling and fake outrage that has permeated the airwaves for years.”  The station notes that Gilbert learned a lot about local politics from his mentor Sonny Bono, serving as his campaign manager, and later as a member of the Palm Springs Airport Commission.

TALKERS News Notes. Well-known talk radio consultant Walter Sabo has  for some time been dabbling first hand in the on-air aspect of the business, hosting a Sunday evening talk program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia as Walter Sterling.  Now, Mr. Sterling will be testing the waters of nationally syndicated radio as he fills in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon next Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11)…..Sports media pro Rock Riley is now the afternoon drive host on Genesis Communications’ Florida spots talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – collectively branded SportsTalkFlorida.  Riley is a former Bright House sports television personality who was with the network for 18 years…..With its new relationship with Fishnet Syndication full steam ahead, Dave Graveline begins offering a daily, consumer tech tips feature to radio stations.  It’s called, “Into Tomorrow Daily with Dave Graveline,” and the program launches on Monday (7/10).  Graveline says, “We give an entertaining and informative glimpse about consumer tech in a short, 60-second vignette every weekday.  It’s kind of a condensed version of our weekly, three-hour weekend show that’s been on the air for 22 years!”…..In the wake of the controversy surrounding CNN’s decision to seek out the creator of the Trump vs CNN wrestling video and allegations the news organization is blackmailing that person, the Melanie Morgan/Brian Maloney-operated Media Equality Project is demanding CNN terminate reporter Andrew Kaczynski.  His “KFile” project is responsible for tracking down the creator of the video that President Trump tweeted.  The Media Equality Project is encouraging supporters to contact CNN advertisers to let them know they won’t support their products until Kaczynski is gone.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/6) with Norm Pattiz Podcasting Presentation.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo) and the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).  Posted today (7/6) is the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

NAB to Honor David Field with National Radio Award. At the Radio Luncheon at this year’s 2017 Radio Show in Austin on September 6, Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field will be presented with the National Radio Award.  NAB executive vice president John David says, “David’s passion for radio and his business savvy have led Entercom to new heights.  We look forward to recognizing him for his continuous dedication and significant contributions to the business.”

North Korea ICBM Test-Trump Warning, CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Blowback, NPR-Declaration of Independence Flap, Trump Antietam Donation, NYC Cop Slain, Trump Visits Poland, Violent Chicago Fourth Weekend, Wimbledon Matches, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5).  North Korea’s successful test of an ICBM and President Donald Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom; CNN faces blowback from critics accusing the news organization of blackmailing the Reddit user who originated the Trump-CNN wrestling video; the flap over NPR’s 4th of July tweeting of the Declaration of Independence and numerous critics’ failure to recognize the document and calling it an incitement to violence against the president; President Trump donates his paycheck to restoration projects at Antietam battlefield; the high-profile slaying of a New York City policewoman; Trump’s visit to Poland prior to this week’s G20 Summit; the aftermath of Chicago’s violent 4th of July weekend in which more than 100 were shot with 15 dead; the matches at the Wimbledon tournament; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Doug Gottlieb Coaches USA Team in 20th World Maccabiah Games. Pictured above is FOX Sport Radio syndicated sports talk personality Doug Gottlieb (left) with the USA Open Men’s Basketball team competing at the 20th World Maccabiah Games from July 4-18 in Israel.  Gottlieb is leading a team of twelve Jewish athletes, ages 18-35, at the games, which is the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 total participants representing 75 countries.  While there, Gottlieb is broadcasting his program live from Israel.   He is a three-time alumnus of Maccabi USA, having represented the United States as a member of the Open Men’s Basketball Team at the 15th World Maccabiah Games in 1997, the Pan-American Maccabi Games in Mexico City in 1999, and the 16th World Maccabiah Games in 2001, winning bronze, gold and gold medals, respectively.

Former CNN Anchor Frank Sesno Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Former CNN anchor, White House correspondent and Washington, DC bureau chief Frank Sesno joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Sesno is currently the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.  He’s written a new book, Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change (Amacom, 2017) in which he dissects the art and importance of asking the right questions as a journalist and in everyday life.  Harrison and Sesno discuss the techniques of good interviewing plus the current relationship between the White House press corps and the Donald Trump administration, as well as the profound effects that social media and digital technology are having on society.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new urban format officially launches on low-power FM KTGP, St. Louis as “Mix 99.5.”  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the station is being run by SVP and operations manager Lou Thimes, Jr and features a number of well-known St. Louis radio personalities, including: Jim Gates, Niecy Davis, Tossin’ Ted, Nappy DJ Needles, Calvin King, Edie B, DJ VuDu, and Darrel “EZ” Eason.  Music runs the gamut from mostly classic R&B to specialty shows including gospel music, blues, jazz, old-school hip-hop and talk…..Air personality “Hot Rod” Thompson joins Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” to host the afternoon program.  Thompson was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country KCTR, Billings, Montana “Cat Country 102.9.”

Monday, May 8, 2017

| May 8, 2017

Entercom Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.4%.  Net revenue was $97.5 million – an increase of 1.4% over the same period in 2016 – for Entercom Communications for the first quarter of 2017.  The company reports that station expenses increased 5% to $75.4 million, and station operating income decreased 10% to $22.0 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says in a press release, “I am very pleased with our progress on all fronts as we continue to plan and prepare for our transformational merger with CBS Radio.  This will truly be a game-changing event for Entercom as we will achieve a number of scale-related benefits, including the ability to compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of advertising spending.  First quarter revenues increased 1.4%, down about 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. We experienced a highly unusual degree of large one-time only expenses during the quarter (including the return of a station license in Sacramento, CBS transaction costs and our CFO transition), that drove expenses significantly higher. Looking ahead to the completion of the merger with CBS, we expect synergies that will drive margin expansion.”

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Flat; Broadcast Revenue Dips 1.9%.  Both the broadcast revenue ($47.8 million, down 1.9%) and digital revenue ($10.7 million, down 2.9%) were in negative territory for Salem Media Group during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2016.  It was the publishing division – up 34.6% on revenue of $6.5 million – that prevented a companywide dip in total revenue for the quarter.  As it stands, total revenue for Salem’s 2017 Q1 was $65 million, an increase of 0.6%.  The company reports that total operating expenses increased 2.9% to $60.2 million from $58.5 million and net income increased to $1.1 million, or $0.04 net income per diluted share from $0.4 million, or $0.01 net income per diluted share.

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Buy Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion.  This deal is mostly about television stations, but it will include Tribune Media’s lone radio property as Sinclair Broadcast Group will acquire WGN-AM, Chicago in the deal.  Several years ago, Tribune split its newspaper and television divisions, with the former taking on the Tronc moniker and the broadcast division remaining under the Tribune Media banner.  Sinclair owns only four other radio stations.  They are all-news KOMO-AM/FM, talk KVI-AM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”

WKNR, Cleveland’s Premium Subscription Effort Creates Controversy.  As illustrated in the Crain’s Business Cleveland piece written by Kevin Kleps, sports fans in Cleveland seem to be split over station owner Good Karma’s decision to offer commercial-free podcasts of its regular programming to those willing to pay $8.50 per month (or $85 for a year) for the content.  WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” VP and general manager Keith Williams says, “We know the way fans are consuming media in an on-demand world.  They don’t have the time or resources they once had. We’re providing them what they asked for.”  Quoted throughout the piece is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Read the story here.

French Presidential Election, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, Russia-U.S. Election Investigation/Yates Testimony, Sanctuary Cities Issue, New Orleans Confederate Monuments Removal, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential election in France that saw Emmanuel Macron defeat Marine Le Pen; the GOP plan to replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act with its own health care system; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its threats against the U.S.; the investigation into allegations Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election and former Attorney General Sally Yates’ testimony on the matter; debate over the Trump Administration’s actions against sanctuary cities and the larger issue of immigration policy; the controversy over New Orleans’ removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ (and sister country outlet WKTI) were honored with 2017 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards over the weekend.  WTMJ was named Large Market Radio News & Talk Station of the Year and recognized as Best News Operation of the Year in the Large Market Radio News & Talk category.   Between the two stations, they took home 17 awards, including: Best News/Talk Morning Show: Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller; Best Spot News Reporting: Milwaukee Riots; and Best Newscast.  Scripps Milwaukee Radio Operations vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “We’re humbled to be honored by our peers in the industry.”…..According to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CBS RADIO has cut four staffers from news/talk KRLD-AM, Dallas.  Those ousted include: “Texas Overnight” host Charley Jones, air personality J.D. Ryan, sports anchor-reporter Roger Emrich, and reporter and assistant news director Matt Thomas…..At the Times-Shamrock Communications operations in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Tom Ferguson exits the brand manager role there where he was responsible for sports talk WEJL and alternative WFUZ “ALT 92.1.”…..San Diego State University and FOX Sports College Properties announce a multi-year agreement with iHeartMedia San Diego to broadcast SDSU football and men’s basketball games beginning with the 2017 football season.  Games will be broadcasts locally on classic rock KGB-FM, KLSD “XTRA 1360 AM” in San Diego and on KTDD, Riverside “Fox Sports 1350.”

Radio Talent Institute at University of Georgia Begins Today.  Today begins the fourth annual Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia.  Cumulus Media VP of programming John Dimick begins the 10-day institute with the opening session and, over the course of the Institute, some 40 broadcasters from companies including Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, CBS RADIO, Beasley Broadcast Group, Radio One, Entercom, Alpha Media, and others will conduct sessions.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton says, “I knew we needed this, but even then didn’t realize how special it is until going through the experience of the Institute.  Broadcasters from all over the state come and give their time and expertise.  These students will be the leaders in our business 10, 20, 30 years from now.  We have a great deal of pride in what we are accomplishing.”

WMAL, DC Afternoon Drive Host Larry O’ Connor Guests on Harrison Podcast. On the afternoon of Thursday, April 24 at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news sites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC. During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record. The next morning (4/25) Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president. The result was a fascinating conversation about the relationship between talk radio and politics that provides the basis for this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Harrison stated, “Larry O’ Connor is one of the most significant rising stars in talk radio today. He is intelligent, articulate, independent, funny and fair. I am delighted to have him as this week’s guest on the podcast.” O’ Connor will be delivering the welcoming remarks at the forthcoming TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York City. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Todd Starnes at Liberty University Convocation. Pictured above is Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes addressing more than 14,000 students at convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Starnes – who produces a daily, short-form feature distributed by Fox News Radio – discussed current events during his speech.  He also led a seminar for students majoring in journalism.

 

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Oklahoma City market, iHeartMedia and evening radio personality Brad Boyington part ways. Boyington had been the night DJ at CHR KJYO “KJ 103” for the past three years…..KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” announces the lineup for its annual Summer Camp concert event.  The show – taking place at The Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on August 19, will feature: Foster The People, The Head and The Heart, HAIM, Bleachers, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Magic Giant, Youngr and Beth Ditto.

iHeartCountry Festival Rocks Austin’s Frank Erwin Center. On Saturday (5/6), the fourth annual iHeartCountry Festival took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas –hosted by syndicated personality Bobby Bones – and featuring performances from: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kip Moore.  Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bobby Bones Show” personality Lunchbox, singer Karen Fairchild, “Bobby Bones Show” personality Amy; and Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town. Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

| April 13, 2017

Entercom CEO David Field Issues Companywide Memo Regarding Merger.  In a memo that was also filed with the SEC under rule 425, Entercom president and CEO David Field encourages staffers to stay focused on their programming and sales goals as the company and CBS RADIO move toward the merger, scheduled to close in the second half of this year.  Field writes, in part, “We are creating a truly preeminent radio company with an extraordinary platform of the industry’s best local brands, personalities, content and marketing solutions covering virtually all of the nation’s top 50 markets.  The new Entercom will be a leading local media and entertainment company with strong positions in radio, digital, events, news, sports, music and entertainment.  With close to $2 billion in annual sales, a value of over $4 billion, and a very strong financial position, we will have the scale and resources to compete aggressively with other media for a significantly larger share of advertising dollars…Until the transaction closes, Entercom and CBS RADIO will continue to operate as separate and independent companies and it is business as usual.  We ask that you stay focused on delivering great content to our listeners and providing the best media and marketing solutions to our advertisers.  With every passing day, I become even more excited about this combination and the opportunities it will create for our listeners, customers, shareholders, the radio industry, and most importantly, our outstanding team. As this process continues, we will do our best to keep you informed, providing you with periodic updates when we are able to do so. As always, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication and leadership.”

iHeartMedia Names Pickett EVP Marketing, Digital Products. Marketing pro Donna Pickett comes to iHeartMedia’s New York offices from her most recent role as VP of performance based media at Cannella Response Television.  She also worked at Time Life for more than 20 years, including as senior vice president.  At iHeartMedia, she’ll be EVP of marketing, digital products and report to Darren Davis.  The company says Pickett will work closely with iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams to “align all marketing and product/programming efforts.”

Only Three Slots Remaining for FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row in Washington.  Broadcasters wishing to take part in the annual Washington, DC radio row event “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” – produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform – should contact event manager Cassie Williams at cawilliams@fairus.org today!  FAIR executive director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “FAIR’s 11th annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ radio row is one for the record books.  Over 60 hosts are confirmed to attend this year’s special ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ broadcast which will evaluate the progress the new administration is making toward securing the border and enforcing immigration laws.  Radio row is staged at the Phoenix Park hotel on Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday June 28 and 29.  Morning drive is now full, but one midday and two afternoon booths are still available.  FAIR covers most expenses, hotel accommodations, all equipment and coordinates guests from Capitol Hill and across the country.”

Crawford to Buy WCHB-AM, Detroit for $2 million.  Motor City news/talk and jazz hybrid WCHB-AM will be sold by Radio One to Crawford Broadcasting for $2 million.  According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show will remain with Radio One, airing on translator W260CB at 99.9 FM.  Current WCHB-AM personality Mildred Gaddis will move to Radio One’s Gospel WPZR.  At this time, it’s unclear if Crawford intends to continue airing talk programming on WCHB.

TALKERS News Notes.  Philadelphia’s Crossing Broad is reporting that sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” morning sports update anchor and sidekick to Anthony Gargano, Maureen Williams, a.k.a. MCW, has left the station – possibly in a cost-saving move.  It also appears that Gargano is not pleased with management’s actions…..Operations manager John Blake leaves the Cumulus Media Albany, Georgia six-station cluster for a position outside the radio business.  Blake’s position included handling operations at news/talk WALG-AM in addition to its five music-formatted sister stations…..The Kevin Jackson show joins the Genesis Communications Network for national syndication, effective Monday (4/17).   The program – which originally launched as “The Black Sphere Radio Show” on BlogTalk Radio in 2009 – will air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” was honored with three awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association in the large market radio division.  The sports talk station won for: Best On-Air Broadcast Personality/Team – “Hahn, Humpty & Canty”; Best Station Sponsored Event – for the Michael Kay show’s “The Great Sports Debate” live at Fordham University; and Outstanding Commercial for a campaign for client New York Sports Clubs.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Trump-Bannon Relationship, Sean Spicer Apology, United Airlines Passenger Removal Scandal, Daily Mail-Melania Trump Settlement, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Tensions between Russia and the U.S. over the two nations’ Syria policies, and the aftermath of Syria’s alleged use of sarin gas on its citizens; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and reports of an imminent bomb test; speculation about the future of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s apology for his remarks about Hitler’s use of gas on Jews; the backlash against United Airlines over its rough removal of a passenger; First Lady Melania Trump’s libel settlement with the Daily Mail; the NBA playoff teams are set; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Alan Taylor on ‘LIVE with Kelly!’  Nationally syndicated auto talk host Alan Taylor (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Ripa (left) – host of “LIVE with Kelly!” – after appearing on the program this week during Auto Show Week.  Taylor is appearing all week to show off the top automobiles in all categories.  Earlier this week he showcased new vehicles with Ripa and celebrity guest hosts Morris Chestnut, Vin Diesel, and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Dan Mason to Speak at TALKERS 2017: A New Era. One of the most respected broadcasters in the radio business, Dan Mason, has joined the stellar roster of speakers at the forthcoming 20th annual installment of the longest-running and most important annual convention in the talk media industry – TALKERS 2017: A New Era. The convention takes place on Friday, June 2 in New York City. Mason, who retired from his long standing position as CEO of CBS RADIO in 2015, currently serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America as well as senior adviser of broadcast relations for iHeartMedia. In addition, Mason has been pursuing his passion for sportscasting as a commentator on women’s college basketball for the CBS Sports Network and a horse racing analyst for NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mason will participate in one of the exciting series of “fireside chats” that will mark the updated format of this year’s conference. He will be interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City’s popular morning host Harry Hurley – the recipient of last year’s TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award. Hurley will also present Mason with a check in the amount of $1,000 for the BFoA from his Hurley in the Morning Charity. For more information about TALKERS 2017: A New Era please click here.

TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda. The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – continues to grow and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.

The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.

Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”

New Brisk Format

The speaking sessions will feature a newly developed format consisting largely of keynote fireside chats, solo addresses and intimate one-one-one conversations.

There will be specially curated exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order): Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.

The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.

Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return

Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike Francesa. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention. Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important players in the game.”

Jeff Smulyan to Keynote

Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.

Pattiz on Podcasting

Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.

A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr

Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.

Heavyweights and Star Power

In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, DGital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Chris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore. More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.

The complete agenda will be posted in the coming days and weeks. As is customary, TALKERS 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For hotel information please click here.

Tommy Hilfiger Visits WABC, New York.  Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger appears on this weekend’s edition of the WABC, New York show “Always in Fashion” with host Mark Weber.  The program was recorded live during Hilfiger’s appearance at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz, Mark Weber, Tommy Hilfiger, and 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Albany Broadcasting’s CHR WFLY, Albany “FLY 92.3,” the new morning team of Jake Allen and Ashley Marie will begin hosting mornings on Monday (4/17).  Allen moves to WFLY from the company’s sister country station WKLI “100.9 The Cat,” and Marie heads north from her most recent gig at Delmarva’s hot AC WAFL, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Magic Broadcasting announces that David “No Sleep” Sebastian is the new afternoon drive host at its CHR WILN, Panama City, Florida “Island 106.”  Sebastian’s previous stops include on-air gigs at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz,” MacDonald Broadcasting’s hip hop WQHH, Lansing “POWER 96.5,” and CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.”…..Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” announces the addition of “promotions guru” and radio personality Matt Cruz to the staff as promotion & marketing director and assistant program director under Mike Kennedy, effective April 24…..Radio One debuts a new Saturday program on WOSF, Charlotte “Old School 105.3” hosted by former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon called, “At The Table With Cannon.”  Cannon just wrapped a year of house arrest after serving almost two years in federal prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents while service as mayor…..Adult hits WHCN, Hartford “105.9 The River” morning personality Joseph Aguiar is facing charges of third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace after being identified as the man on a March 9 security video tape seen attacking another man from behind at a gas station, knocking the victim unconscious.  Aguiar is free on $75,000 bond and has a court appearance set for April 25.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

| March 23, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Files Countersuit Against Nielsen.  This is not the first counterclaim filed by Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, against Nielsen Audio – several others were rejected by Judge James D. Whittemore.  Nielsen is suing Clem claiming his attempts at distorting the PPM ratings in the Tampa market caused it damages.  In this counterclaim, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Bubba Clem alleges that Nielsen conspired with Cox Media (owner of WHPT, Tampa and his former employer) to get him off Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa station WBRN, a competitor of WHPT.  Clem alleges that “Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was three-fold: (i) to appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley to get Clem fired by suppressing WBRN’s ratings and thus artificially increasing WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market; (ii) to encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen; and (iii) to conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply its own quality control procedures.”  Clem further alleges that Nielsen conducted a “sting” operation, by installing a PPM panelist who would appear friendly to Clem to entice Clem into asking said panelist to engage in heavy listening to his show, thereby violating Nielsen’s rules.  Clem is seeking damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

Denver Talk Host Steve Curtis Charged with Voter Fraud, Forgery.  According to a report in the Denver Post, talk show host Steve Curtis has been charged with voter fraud and forgery after he allegedly used his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote during the 2016 general election.  Kelly Curtis contacted the Weld County clerk and recorder to determine what steps she needed to take to vote and, to her surprise, was told she’d already voted.  That started the investigation that led to the charges against Steve Curtis, who hosts two shows on KLZ, Denver – the 6:00 am to 7:00 am hour and the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour.  Curtis’ information is still on the KLZ website and it’s unclear if he’s still with the station or whether the programs he hosts are brokered.  The irony in this whole story is that Curtis – a one-time chair of the Colorado Republican Party – has, echoing President Trump’s comments about voter fraud, stated on his program that almost every case of voter fraud he can remember was perpetrated by Democrats.  KDVR-TV, Denver broke the story.

Steve Corbett Exits WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre.  According to a report in the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, afternoon drive talk show host Steve Corbett has exited the Entercom news/talk station.  The paper says no reason has been given for Corbett’s departure but prints the contents of a staff email from general manager Ryan Flynn that states: “Effective immediately, Steve Corbett will not be returning to WILK.  Steve will be shifting his focus to work on some other projects outside our company.  We appreciate the work Steve has done on WILK and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”  Sixty-year-old Corbett worked for years in the Northeastern PA region as a journalist, accruing numerous awards.  He’d been hosting a show on WILK for the past 10 years.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Greenville, South Carolina.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to Greenville’s Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (3/22).  Ramsey and fellow best-selling author Chris Hogan shared with attendees information about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey combined forces with Entercom’s local affiliate WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate general sales manager Devon van der Merwe says, “At ‘106.3 WORD,’ we pride ourselves on being the leader in Upstate talk and part of that magic is our local personalities and content backed by some big, national names like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has become a household staple with our listeners every week with his real stories and life lessons on how to be financially responsible.  The last visit Dave made was in 2013, so this stop in his Smart Money tour is highly anticipated by listeners and clients alike.”  Ramsey (fifth from the left) and Hogan (fourth from the right) are pictured above with some of the WYRD-FM staff.

Schmaeling to Assume EVP/CFO Role at Entercom.  Effective April 18, Richard J. Schmaeling takes over as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Entercom Communications.  He succeeds 18-year Entercom executive Steve Fisher, who is stepping down on April 30 but will remain with the company to assist in the integration of the CBS RADIO merger.  Schmaeling was most recently CFO at Travel Leaders Group, but his experience in media includes time spent with Lin Media – operator of TV and digital media properties in 23 markets.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO.  His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS RADIO and position ourselves for a dynamic future.  I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”

Westwood One Ups Wildman to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.  After five months with the company, Westwood One is promoting Mark Wildman to EVP, strategic partnerships.  The company says that in this newly expanded role, “Wildman will lead the company’s rapidly evolving new business development initiatives for both the network and spot sales.  Wildman will be working with brand partners on strategic marketing solutions that leverage Westwood One’s robust portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.”  Wildman is based in New York City and reports directly to WW1 president of sales Steve Shaw, who comments, “In just a few short months, Mark has proven his commitment and his value as a motivating sales leader and creative problem solver.  He brings a unique vision, skill set, and a tremendous depth of experience to our senior agency and client partners.  I’m excited to have him spearhead our strategic alliances.”

Lew Dickey Exits Cumulus Board; Designates John Dickey as Replacement.  Founder and former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company and used his allotted replacement designation to fill the seat with his brother John Dickey.  The reason given by Lew Dickey for leaving the board was to pursue other professional interests.

Cumulus Surrenders License for WGPC, Albany.  The sports talk outlet’s transmitter tower was demolished during a January storm and it appears that Cumulus Media decided spending cash to fix it was not cost effective, so the company has given the license back to the FCC.  Albany news outlet WALB-TV reports that WGPC was the first commercial radio station to serve the market, signing on in 1933.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new morning show is being launched by Talk Stream Live with affiliate relations assistance from Genesis Communications Network.  News/talk personality Matt Ray is hosting “America’s 1st News,” which debuted on Monday (3/20), airing live weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET…..ABC NewsAmna Nawaz is hosting new podcast titled, “Uncomfortable.”  ABC says the show “goes one-on-one with influential voices in America to tackle issues dividing the nation – race, gender, economics, religion.”  Nawaz says, “We hear a lot about how our country is divided, about how far apart we are on some of the big issues that define us, as Americans.  But our divisions don’t go away if we ignore them.  On ‘Uncomfortable,’ it’s about taking a cold, hard look at where we are, as a country, and figuring out how we move forward.”…..Chicago Public Media announces that vice president of content and programming Ben Calhoun is leaving his position, effective next month.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Calhoun is expected to return to the staff of “This American Life.”  He was there for five years as a producer and reporter prior to moving up and eventually leading CPM’s programming for the public radio magazine show…..Westwood One and the NCAA are broadcasting the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Spanish.  This is a collaboration between Westwood One and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Calling games will be Rafael Hernández Brito (play-by-play), Greivis Vásquez (analyst), and Clemson Smith Muñiz (pregame/halftime host)…..KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota farm director Dustin Hoffman is being honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with The Doan award.  The Doan award recognizes excellence in reporting skill, thoroughness, and attention to audience interest.  Hoffmann has been with Alpha Media’s KLGR since February of 2010…..The Association of Health Care Journalists awards KQED, San Francisco health reporter April Dembosky its top reporter prize as part of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.  Dembosky received the first place prize in the Beat Reporting category for her “2016 body of work.”

Cool Radio News Gig.  WTMJ Radio is seeking a news anchor/reporter to join its award-winning news team.  The news anchor/reporter would play a large role on “Wisconsin’s Morning News.”  The position also includes interaction with show hosts, live interviews, outside appearances, traffic reporting, online story creation and a visible role representing the station. Responsible for producing several newscasts during morning drive time and into the midday, writing multiple scripts for on-air and online, pulling interview bytes for use in newscasts and identifying/assigning stories.  Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position.  Must be comfortable in front of a camera (for digital platforms) and be able to perform multiple tasks while bringing a credible voice to Wisconsin’s Radio Station, WTMJ.  Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent on-air presentation and reportorial skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin.  Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred.  Minimum 2 to 4 years of prior broadcast experience required. EOE. Apply here.

 

 

KXQQ, Las Vegas Names Hernandez Midday Host.  Urban contemporary KXQQ, Las Vegas “Q100.5” names Natalia Hernandez its new midday personality.  Hernandez slides over to “Q100.5” from her on-air role at sister CHR KLUC.  Speaking about her new gig, Hernandez says, “Fourteen years ago I got my first radio gig at CBS RADIO in West Palm Beach and I’m so happy to be back with the company it all started with.  My career has come full circle and I have to thank our OM/PD JB King for believing in me for the midday opportunity at ‘Q100.5.’” I’ve already learned so much and am excited to keep growing with him.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At next weekend’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Cumulus Media and Westwood One will present an all-star lineup at “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards,” a two-day, exclusive showcase of brand activations and backstage audio and video coverage.  “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards” will feature exclusive private backstage performances from Curb Records superstars Lee Brice, Mo Pitney, and Jerrod Niemann plus Valory Music’s Delta Rae and Broken Bow recording artist Walker McGuire.  Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Seldom do you have this many superstars assembled in one location.  We are honored to have country music’s most popular artists perform exclusively for us.  It makes our backstage live experience even more special for our affiliates, brand partners and guests.”…..The nationally syndicated rock radio show “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” is celebrating 1,500 consecutive weeks of broadcast radio syndication.  It all started in June of 1988 when Dallas radio personality and music journalist Redbeard, in conjunction with Bullet Productions, launched the show to mainstream and classic rock radio.  For this week’s 1,500th episode, Redbeard is airing an encore presentation of his 1990 interview with Paul McCartney about his 1989 comeback album Flowers In The Dirt which is being reissued this month in multiple deluxe forms with additional music and extras…..Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB-FM, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” was recently honored with five Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.  They include: Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcements/Contest, Outstanding Radio Public Service Announcement/Campaign, Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series, Outstanding Radio Commercial, and Outstanding Radio: Judges’ Merit Award…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta, “KISS 104.1” announces the lineup for the 22nd Annual Flashback Festival that takes place August 12 at Lakewood Amphitheatre.  Acts will include: The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kid ‘n Play and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  Vice president of programming Tony Kidd says, “This year’s Flashback Festival looks to bring together lovers of old school R&B and hip hop for another great time.  I look forward to seeing all the ‘KISS 104.1’ family and enjoying the tailgate prior to the show.”

 

 

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey period covered February 2 – March 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Over and above dialing up a +.8 to 4.0 (6+) – enabling it to jump from #14 to #11 – Entercom classic rock KGON closes out eighth straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). At this time last month, the market’s top two finishers accounted for a combined 16.5 (6+). While they keep their #1 and #2 rankings, respectively, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is off by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB erodes by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), thus lowering that (6+) total to 14.6. Despite a roughly 50% drop-off since “Holiday” 2016 (15.3 – 8.6 – 7.7, combined -7.6, 6+), “K-103” is #1 for the 33rd time in the last 35 ratings periods. KOPB completely surrenders January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” recaptured all but three-tenths of that loss in January (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+) and tacks on an additional +1.1 in February (6.4, fourth to third, 6+). This represents the strongest 6+-showing for “The Eagle” in just over one year (7.0, 6+, January 2016). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), KLTH was +.5 in December. Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 after reaching 6.1 in December 2016, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” busts out a full-share increase to 6.3 (6+) – yet – must settle for a move to #5 from a tie at #4. In addition to the aforementioned “Eagle,” also one-tenth ahead of “The Buzz” is sibling KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest,” which registers its fourth straight gain for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “The Wolf” ranked third in January as well. While flat at 4.2 (6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” manages to inch up from tenth to ninth. A +.9 in January ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – In the period between October 2016 and January 2017, Radio One gospel WPZS’ 6+ trending was 3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8 – 2.9. A February gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), however, lifts “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” from #16 to #12. This is the best 6+-stat for “Praise” since July 2015’s 3.9. Following four straight negative trends for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – We Play Anything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” adds one-tenth (7.2 – 7.3, 6+) to repeat at #1. January’s +.8 (6+) halted a string of three straight downward moves by “The Fox” that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.1 to 2.2 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-LOVE” (unchanged at #17) has its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.6 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+); Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK “K-LOVE” (1.2 – .5, #19 to #20, 6+). Prior to January’s +.8, “The Link” had trended 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” added six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but surrenders the one-half share it gained in January (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #15 to #16. Down by one-half share as well – after sputtering by seven-tenths in January – is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), which drops from second to third. Leapfrogging WSOC is its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, third to second, 6+) – which was +1.7 in January and -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. It is quite a comeback indeed for “The Kat,” given that, in “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). For the second successive month, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.2, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

3) Pittsburgh – After improving by six-tenths in January, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on a full-share (6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. It is the first time that “Kiss” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). A one-half share increase by WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” ended three straight dips that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Now, the CBS Radio hot AC dials up a +.9 to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since February 2016’s 5.3, to jump from ninth to seventh. As co-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to inch up from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from eighth to tenth. Up three-tenths (10.0 – 10.3, 6+), WPGB’s rock sibling WDVE (+1.6 in January) repeats at #1. On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to #1 in January. Right on the heels of January’s +1.2, CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns all of it plus one-tenth (4.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, -1.3, 6+) to drop from sixth to ninth. By gaining four-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). After surrendering a -5.1 in January, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” forfeits another eight-tenths (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues from fourth to fifth. “Wish” was a combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. For the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, 6+) is at #11. In 2.1 – 2.9 range the past 18 sweeps, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) gains one-tenth to reach the three-share level (2.9 – 3.0, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Several unusual occurrences take place in California’s capital city, most notably CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” overcoming January’s -4.8 with a full-share increase to retake the lead (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Those market outlets displaying gains of seven-tenths each are hot AC cluster-mate KZZO (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to fifth, 6+) as well as co-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (3.0, #16 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (2.5 – 3.2, #13 to #11, 6+). Before February’s +.7, KSFM was a combined -.8 as a result of four consecutive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). By notching a +.4 in January, “Jack” ended six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.9 territory (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (#12 to #11) registers a six-tenths spike to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in just over one year (3.5, January 2016). Improving by six-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-LOVE,” which zooms into the top twenty (#21 to #15) with its fourth successive up-trend (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+) that has more than doubled its 6+-share for a +1.3. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK (8.7 – 8.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (fifth to seventh, 6+). Having finished six straight times in the runner-up slot, KFBK reached #1 in January. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); +.8 (January 2017); and -.5 (February 2017). This marks the fourth consecutive decline for “98 Rock” for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). One development with considerably more far-reaching implications than monthly ups and downs happened just after the February 2017 ratings period began. Entercom returned the license of KDND “The End” and transported the CHR format on 107.9 to the frequency of what was hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Thus, KUDL – as hot AC “Star” – goes out with a 2.4 (January 2017, #15, 6+), while the former KDND (4.5, January 2017, #6) now on its new frequency as CHR KUDL is eighth in February 2017 (3.8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Off by seven-tenths in January, Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG not only recaptures all of it plus one-tenth for good measure (3.8 – 4.6, +.8, 6+), “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Its 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends were 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Even though the net loss was only four-tenths, co-owned KISS had nonetheless been without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+) until February when “99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio” breaks out a +.6 to 6.0 (6+), advancing from fifth to third. It is the first time that KISS has reached the 6-share level since December 2015 (6.2). When Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” dropped four-tenths in January, it snapped at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). “The Beat” though dials up a one-half share increase (4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. The market’s CHR battle tightens as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops two-tenths (#10 to #12, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” adds two-tenths (steady at #13, 6+). “Mix” is down or flat for the sixth straight time for a -.5 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), while “Energy” notches its fourth consecutive gain for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +1.2, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” (6.2 – 7.4 – 6.4, -1.0, first to second, 6+), swaps places with Cox Media Group-owned KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” (6.9 – 7.0, +.1, second to first). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. Prior to February, KONO-FM’s most recent (6+) fluctuations are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KAJA, which has been -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and now -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+), with “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drifting from fourth to eighth. Despite a +.1 (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips from third to fourth. Even so, the one-tenth (6+) advantage that “Y-100” had over “KJ-97” in January widens to 1.4. Having skidded from first in “Holiday” 2016 to sixth in January as a result of a -6.6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” erodes by another full-share (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) and tumbles to tenth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat since last March (also 4.2) for “Q-101.9,” whose HD3 channel drops one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #19 to #22, 6+), as does Univision Radio’s urban-rhythmic oldies KMYO “Yo! 95.1” (3.1 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE answered in January with a +1.5 and “B-105” adds another eight-tenths in February (6.8 – 7.6, 6+) to carry on at #3. Down by a cumulative -1.2 via three straight decreases (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU bounces back with a +.7 to 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Radio One’s WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” posts a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). A combined -1.7 since December 2016 (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS notches a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+), enabling “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first. It repeats there in February, gaining two-tenths to 9.2 (6+). Forfeiting the one-half share that it picked up in January (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” shifts from eighth to tenth. Not only is iHeartMedia’s WEBN a collective -2.2 as a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #12). One of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease (ten in a row!) comes to an end as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#17 to #18) falters by three tenths to 1.4 (6+), halting a streak that started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+).

7) Cleveland – The market’s largest January 2017 – February 2017 (6+) jump belongs to Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland,” which improves by +1.4 (.9 – 2.3, #14, 6+). The religious outlet had not reached a one-share (6+) since October 2014 (1.0, 6+). Owing to a one-half share increase (5.9 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays the Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth. Albeit down two-tenths after January’s -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI repeats at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Consistently posting a 6+-share between 5.0 – 5.9 the past six sweeps, CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.6, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Right behind it – and making it a solid year that it’s been at #12 – is CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+). Although it remains unchanged at #13, Ideastream’s WCPN drops two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing eight consecutive up or flat trends that netted a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

8) Salt Lake City – Separated by two-tenths in January, the margin between country rivals KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.1 – 4.0, -.1, flat at #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3 – 4.4, +.1, steady at #8, 6+) increases to four-tenths. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Absolutely wild fluctuations continue for KSL, whose “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 – February 2017 stats are 6.8 – 8.9 – 6.8 (6+). The station’s six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and now -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Transitioning to the runner-up slot, the Bonneville talker yields first-place to adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+). Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY rebounded with a +.6 in January but “My 99.5” returns all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+), spiraling from #14 to #18. Locked on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Brigham Young University classical KBYU recorded a full-share gain to 3.1 (6+) in January only to forfeit half of it (2.6, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Unlisted in January 2017, University of Utah’s KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” (3.3, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns in February with a 3.7 (#10, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Having eroded by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” makes a serious dent in that collective -2.9 with a +1.2 to 3.7 (6+) and rockets from #17 to #10. After gaining six-tenths in January, CBS Radioowned KLUC tacks on nine-tenths (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. The last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” continues at #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. Notwithstanding it is unchanged at #13, adult hits sibling KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” shows an improvement for the sixth consecutive time more than doubling its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).  Without an increase in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF displayed a +1.2 in January but relinquishes all of it plus four-tenths (5.0 – 3.4, -1.6, 6+), freefalling from the top ten (#6 to #11). In second-place the last three sweeps, KKLZ drops nine-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and shifts to fourth. The Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 in January (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Before advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). In back-to-back survey periods, Lotus Communications’ Spanish adult hits KWID falters by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). Surrendering all but two-tenths of the +.7 it dialed up in January (4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, -.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull – New Country for Las Vegas” stumbles from fourth to seventh.

10) Kansas City –When Steel City Media-owned KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). “Country 94.1,” however, was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+), before posting a +.5 in January and a +1.2 in February (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), rocketing from ninth to third. This is the best 6+-stat for KFKF since April 2015 (5.3 as well). In fact, it’s a clean sweep for the country format here as co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” (4.1 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.6 – 3.9, #14 to #12, 6+) are each up by three-tenths. A gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) propels cluster-mate KQRC “98.9 The Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #10). Unchanged at #4, talk sibling KMBZ-FM is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Even though it drops a combined seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” repeats at #1. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). In addition to shifting from third to sixth as a result of a -1.1 (6. 0 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” drops below a five-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (4.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2014). Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 7.3, flat at #2, 6+); Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 – Today’s Best Variety” (4.4 – 3.9, #7 to #12, 6+); and Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (3.4 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. In January, “KC-102.1” spiraled by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+), while WHB gained seven-tenths.

11) Orlando – As it progresses from third to second, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is a combined +1.8 in back-to-back survey periods, (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), thus erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. In the Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” improves by six-tenths to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+), while WCFB’s HD2 channel wipes out January’s six-tenths’ loss with a gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.0 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the last three “Power” trends were 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 (6+). Off by nine-tenths each are those stations’ siblings – WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #4, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (5.1 – 4.2, #10, 6+). In January, WMMO dialed up a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but was +.7 in January. Although it repeats at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM sputters by eight-tenths to 11.7 from January’s 12.5, the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October, November and December. WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Slipping from second to third (7.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” has posted wild fluctuations in the past 18 months or so, including +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); -7.6 (January 2017) and -1.5 (February). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December; #1 in “Holiday” 2016; #2 in January 2017; and now back to #3. Public WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 29th straight time (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, flat at #14, 6+). This is the second consecutive month that JVC Media’s country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” (1.4, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

12) Columbus – With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” marches from second to first. Before the January ratings period, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. It dislodges (and trades places with) country sibling WCOL, which surrenders approximately half of January’s robust +2.2 (10.5 – 9.3, -1.2, first to second, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” fell to 3.5 in January but – like WNCI – gains seven-tenths (to 4.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). On the other hand, Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths and is a combined -3.8 in three straight downtrends (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), sinking from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to these declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Up in three consecutive ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ regressed by half that margin (-1.1) in “Holiday” 2016. “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” bounced back in January with a +1.5; falters by one-half share in February (6.4 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+); but carries on in third-place. As was the case in January, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) does not appear in Columbus’ February ratings report.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 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.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6), CBS Radio’s KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” is up two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) as it climbs from sixth to fifth. After improving by one-half share in January, KALW “Local Public Radio” surrenders seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+), as it plummets from #19 to #27. Down two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), Entercom urban AC KBLX “The Bay’s R&B” (#14 to #17) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a combined +.9 snapped at four (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Sports sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” loses one tenth to (1.7, #22, 6+), curtailing six straight monthlies without a decline that yielded a +.7 (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). On the other hand – and still in that Entercom cluster – KRBQ picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), as “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. Although the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nonetheless is without a gain for the fourth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18.

5) Dallas – Down by a collective -1.1 in three straight downtrends since November (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – Music Variety” dials up a +.8 to 4.1, as it elevates from tenth to seventh. It is a strong sweep for the market’s two Cumulus Media-owned country outlets: KPLX “The Wolf,” +1.2 in January to progress from fourth to first, repeats at #1 (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+), while cluster-mate KSCS “New Country 96.3” improves by seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+), advancing from eighth to fifth. “New Country” had been within 3.1 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods. In addition to KSCS, CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK notches a gain of seven-tenths as well (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) with “La Grande 107.5” cracking the top 20 (#22 to #16). Prior to picking up three-tenths in January, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB went five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+). “Smooth R&B 105.7” now adds another one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Five consecutive down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -2.3 for CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), which spirals from #19 out of the top 20 to #28. An extremely interesting contemporary Christian situation is developing in the market with Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Safe for the Whole Family” (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) freefalling from #11 to #19, while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” – which debuted in print at #20 in January – remains there in February (2.3 – 2.1, -.1, 6+). As recently as September 2016, KLTY was seventh with a 3.6 (6+).

6) Houston – It has been nearly three months (12/30/2016) since CBS Radio transitioned KKHH from CHR to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Over and above being up or flat for the fifth straight time for a net gain of two shares (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6, 6+), “The Spot” breaks into the top ten (#14 to #6). Its former CHR rival – Cumulus Media’s KRBE – loses three-tenths, ending at three its successive streak of increases for a collective +1.0 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) as “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Effective with the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One flipped KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI – ostensibly taking the CHR spot vacated by KKHH – dropped one-half share in January to .9, but gains three-tenths in February to 1.2 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It’s a very quick stay in the penthouse though for KLTN, which surrenders -1.3 (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and falls to third. Taking over at #1 – progressing from the runner-up slot – is Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ (7.2, +.3, 6+). Since November, “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). The HD3 channel of iHeartMedia’s KODA picks up one-half share (.2 – .7, #27). Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeits half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), but carries on at #4. Declining by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE, down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.4 – .8, #26, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – Replicating its January 2017 +.6, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) cracks the top ten (#12 to #7) and matches August 2016’s 4.3 (6+). Co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, #11 to #7, 6+) registers a gain of one-half share, as does CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). In four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but dialed up a +1.1 in January; meanwhile, WOGL was +1.3 in January. Flat at 7.9 (6+), Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” is nevertheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time, six-tenths ahead of WOGL. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” In its first adult contemporary sweep (January 2017) against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registered a 2.6 and picks up one-tenth in February (2.7 – #18 to #15, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; roared back with a gain four times that amount, +2.0; but now regresses by half that (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, 6+). The net result after the dust settles is a -.5 and “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” moves from second to fourth. In December, WMGK was -.6, curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Sports sibling WPEN-FM added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), but “97.5 The Fanatic” forfeits six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, 6+) and dips from #19 to #20. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia hot AC WISX “Mix 106.1” trended 2.4 – 2.8 (“Holiday” 2016 – January 2017, 6+) and now falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #18, 6+). Temple University’s WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) was unlisted in January 2017, but reappears in February with a 1.2 (#23, 6+).

8) Atlanta – Even though Cox Media Group urban AC WALR remains anchored in third-place, on the strength of a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kiss 104.1” records its strongest 6+-stat since June 2016’s 7.1. Improving by one-half each are co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #4, 6+); classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WSRV “97.1 The River” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+); and CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). Consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the past 12 ratings periods, “B-98.5” has its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in December 2016 and “Holiday” 2016 (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), “V-103” forfeited seven-tenths in January. Relishing its eighth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.8 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from eighth to seventh. Despite dropping eight-tenths (10.7 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM is #1 for the fourteenth straight ratings period. Its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January 2017); and now -.8 (February 2017). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” gives all of it back and one-tenth more (3.1, -1.3, 6+) as the Atlanta Falcons’ flagship spirals out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Unlisted in January 2017, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is back at #15 (3.0, February 2017, 6+).

9) Long Island – Progressing from #15 to #13, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” gains three-tenths to 2.9 (6+0, thus halting at three a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a -1.0 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). For the fourth straight time, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (third to second) posts a Long Island increase (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+); “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is+1.5 since November. A pickup of six-tenths (.5 – 1.1, 6+) by WQXR more than doubles its 6+-share and lands “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” at #26. The six-tenths of a share lead that CBS Radio all-news WINS had over co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to one-tenth as WINS is 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, seventh to eighth (6+), while WCBS-AM is flat at 3.8 and unchanged at #9 (6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January 2017. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeats at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9 (6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), co-owned New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, before sputtering by -4.6 in January 2017 and another eight-tenths in February (3.2 – 2.4, 6+), plummeting from #12 to #19. In addition to WINS, iHeartMedia talker WOR is also off by one-half share as it returns January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #10. This marks the 27th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #15) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.2 – 2.6, +.4, 6+).

10) Riverside – Off by one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptures all of it and one-tenth for good measure (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8, +.6, 6+) but remains at #8. After being up or flat in each of the last five sweeps for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” dips by two-tenths to 9.2 (6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June 2016, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. Apparently, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA can only increase or decrease by one-half share, as this represents the fifth consecutive fluctuation by that margin (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA finishes at #2, just as it did in January. Prior to November 2016, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well is regional Mexican KXSB (1.2 – .7, #11 to #14, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-share for “Radio Lazer” since September 2016 (also .7, 6+). Following 12 successive sweeps with a .1 (6+), CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#21, January 2017, 6+) disappears.

11) San Jose – On the heels of January’s +.9, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” does it one better by improving by one full-share in February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+) to zoom from seventh to fourth. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). On Christmas Day (12/25/2016) at 5:00 pm, Alpha Media’s KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), KBAY regressed by -3.6 in January and drops another three-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Seemingly taking advantage of KBAY’s format change, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” notches a +.8 (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), rocketing from #19 to #14. It is a different story, however, for Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which sputters by eight-tenths after January’s -3.3 (8.4 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in robust fashion in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1; the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeats in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+). Enjoying gains of one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (3.6 – 4.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza,” up for the third straight time (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+); KRZZ enters the top 20 (#23 to #17). Stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” was up one-half share in January but regresses by seven-tenths in February (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) to tumble from #16 to #20. Down by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders from #23 to #27. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the nineteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) is flat at #15.

12) Middlesex-Somerset-Union – One of the most intriguing February 2017 nuggets is found here and it involves iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM.” As noted above, “Lite FM” was off by one-tenth in its home market and down eight-tenths in Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk). Neither of those moves is especially surprising, given that all-Christmas music programming is gone from the station and it suffered the typical (substantial) January falloff. The curious thing in Middlesex though is that the largest (6+) January 2017 – February 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday was … WLTW (3.8 – 5.9, +2.1, 6+). The huge spike enables “Lite” – which logged a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+) – to cruise from seventh back up to second. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). In addition to catapulting from #16 into the top ten (#8), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (2.7 – 3.6, +.9, 6+) posts its best 6+-stat since November 2015 (3.6 as well). Having registered three successive upward trends producing a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” dipped by seven-tenths in January only to rebound in February by six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), soaring from #21 to #13. Just as it did in January, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” registers a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+), as does CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.5 – 3.0, 6+), which zooms from #20 to #13. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. The Townsquare Media talker adds one-tenth to 7.9 (6+) and continues at #1. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Sputtering by one share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” slips from third to sixth. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; but erodes by six-tenths in February (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+), dropping from #10 to a five-way logjam at #13. A loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 2.5, 6+) sinks CBS Radio all-sports WFAN-FM “The Fan” from #13 to #19. Trending 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.2 (6+) since November, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regresses by one-half share to 3.7 (6+) and skids from sixth to seventh.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

| March 1, 2017

Nielsen: News/Talk Grabs Highest Millennial Ratings in Five Years.  Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio presents some data from the January 2017 PPM survey that indicate the news/talk format (more on that to follow) registered its best numbers in the 18-39 demographic since November of 2012.  Nielsen reports that AQH share in the demo was 4.9% in the January survey.  That beats January 2016’s 4.1%, and as you can see in the accompanying graphic, it’s easily the best in the last seven January surveys.  Nielsen writes, “Much has been said about resetting norms in the political sphere, but Nielsen’s unique insight into total audience behavior across a variety of platforms allows for more macro trends to emerge.  When it comes to media consumption, and in this particular case, radio listening, 2017 could turn out to be a year where traditional patterns and results don’t repeat in the ways we’ve seen in the past.”  One caveat to consider here is that, for Nielsen, the news/talk format in the PPM markets also includes some 50 public radio NPR affiliates, a factor that likely heightens the number of Millennial listeners who may identify themselves as progressive or liberal.  Read the whole report here.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from the January 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  As Kinosian notes, the end of the holiday season (and the accompanying all-Christmas music bonanza for some music formats) and the anticipation of a new presidential administration – and a highly controversial one at that – made for positive ratings results for most of America’s all-news radio stations.  According to Nielsen’s data, three stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) – WBBM-AM, Chicago; WWJ, Detroit; and KFBK, Sacramento.  Additionally, four stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See which stations they were, plus all the rest of the comparative data here.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine says, in a piece written for TALKERS magazine, that talk radio can learn some valuable lessons from President Donald Trump.  No, it’s not a lesson in politics, but a lesson in entertainment value.  Valentine writes, “I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s.  Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious.  After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment.  And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business.  That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.”  Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Drew Olson to Host Midday Show on WOKY, Milwaukee.  Brew City sports media figure Drew Olson is taking over the midday show at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOKY “The Big 920,” effective today (3/1).  Olson – a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports reporter and former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America – has been with WOKY since August of last year, serving as co-host of the afternoon drive Mike Heller show.  Olson takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show from Mitch Nelles (who transitions to a sales role for the iHM cluster) and will continue to co-host with Heller.  The station says Olson’s show will feature regular guest appearances from OnMilwaukee.com writers and Olson’s longtime friends, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and Fox Sports Wisconsin commentator Bill Schroeder.  Prior to joining WOKY, Olson spent 12 years with Good Karma’s crosstown sports talker WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee.”

Beasley Media Group Names Kalinowski EVP of Digital.  Named to this new, corporate position for Beasley Media Group is Brian Kalinowski.  The company says that he’ll be based at its Charlotte offices.  Prior to joining Beasley as executive vice president of digital, Kalinowski was leading the digital strategy firm XMark Consulting that he founded in 2015.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Brian’s track record for growing and developing profitable businesses within the digital landscape make him the ideal person for this new role.  As we expand Beasley’s national reach, a progressive digital strategy will be imperative for our company.  We are confident Brian will lead that charge.”

Fisher to Remain with Entercom – At Least for a While.  Last fall, Entercom announced that company chief financial officer Steve Fisher would be leaving the company when his contract expired on February 28, 2017.  Now, given the amount of work that’s popped up due to the merger with CBS RADIO, Fisher will remain with the company for a while, maybe as long as the end of this year.  The company announces that Fisher will remain CFO through April at a salary of $55,344 per month.  After that he’ll assist CEO David Field with transitional services and be paid $36,111 per month.  He’ll also be eligible for a bonus of up to $650,000 for services rendered this year.

New Cannabis Show Airing on Biz Talk Radio.  Radio pro and health and consumer advocate Frankie Boyer is now hosting “Cannabis Talk A to Z” Fridays at 11:00 am ET on Biz Talk Radio.  Boyer says the program “pioneers the science-driven landscape of the emerging cannabis industry featuring medical, legal and educational professionals, along with practical and published expert research on the health benefits of dietary phytocannabinoids.  In addition, the show includes CEOs, cannabis investors, growers, and more.”  Boyer is also host of her eponymous talk show on Biz Talk Radio Network and host of the “Frankie Boyer Health Show” on WCRN, Worcester, Massachusetts.  She says, “I created this show to address the dramatic growth in the cannabis industry since some form of legalization has taken place in over 40 US states.  As awareness grows, the old stigmas associated with cannabis are fading.  My objective is to completely lift the veil and to inform, entertain and educate.  I see myself as a responsible advocate for both the industry and its new consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Joining CBS Radio News is Bill Rehkopf, who’ll serve as a correspondent based in Washington, DC.  His duties will include anchoring CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as reporting on Washington newsmakers.  Rehkopf was most recently with The Hill.  Prior to that he was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in Baltimore/DC and an anchor and talk host at KDKA, Pittsburgh…..Former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sopel is joining Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as a hockey analyst and show host.  The station says he’ll appear on the weekend sports show “The Beat,” with hosts Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton.  He’ll also contribute to the station’s weekday shows.  WGN VP of programming and content Todd Manley says, “With Brent Sopel joining our sports conversation, we can ramp up for more expanded Blackhawks coverage.  As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present, and future of this great game.”…..It appears that Cumulus Media may have taken sports talk KFNZ-AM, Salt Lake City dark.  The station ceased broadcasting yesterday (2/28) and as yet there has been no filing for Special Temporary Authority with the FCC, however the company has 10 days to file such a request.

Trump Congress Address, Future of the Affordable Care Act, Trump Blames Obama for Leaks, Rise in Colorectal Cancers in Young Americans, Uber PR Troubles, Kellyanne Conway WH Photo Flap, Obamas Ink Book Deal, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28).  The anticipation of and coverage of Tuesday evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act; Trump blames former President Barack Obama for leaks from government agencies to the press; the report of the stunning rise in colorectal cancers among Americans in their 20s and 30s; Uber’s public relations troubles stemming from allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the company and video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with one of his drivers; the flap over an Oval Office photo of Kellyanne Conway sitting with her feet on the couch; the Obama’s sign book deals with Penguin Random House; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.