Tag: "David Field"

Thursday, April 2, 2020

| April 2, 2020

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE: Mike Bendixen of Canada’s Bell Media Checks in with Covid-19 Input for U.S. Radio Broadcasters.  The program director of CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010” and national news/talk format director of Canada’s Bell Media has checked in with TALKERS this morning (4/2) to discuss how his station and broadcasting company has been handling the coronavirus crisis.  Mike Bendixen and Michael Harrison discuss remote broadcasting, upgrading technology, accurate messaging, and politics as well as the short and long term impact this crisis will have on radio listening in general.  Bendixen offers sound advice based on his experience.  Warning: the following dialogue contains some raw language.  To listen to this morning’s conversation between Mike Bendixen and Michael Harrison, please click here.

Entercom Notifies Employees of Pay Reductions, Furloughs, and Eliminated Positions. In a memo to employees this morning (4/2), Entercom CEO David Field announced the company is taking the painful steps of eliminating or furloughing a “significant” number of positions.  Here’s his memo to staffers: “Thank you for your resilience, dedication and fortitude as we manage through the extraordinarily challenging and disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are all doing our best to ensure that our loved ones remain safe and healthy while working tirelessly to serve our listeners, customers, and communities. I am deeply appreciative of everything you are doing to keep us moving forward under these difficult conditions. We are fortunate to work in an industry that plays such an important role in our country at a time of crisis, providing a critically important and trusted local voice for news and information as well as entertainment, companionship and respite during these uncertain times.  Unfortunately, the severity of the situation necessitates us making significant cost reductions in order to cope with the realities at hand. Our nation is facing unprecedented disruption that has shut down countless businesses and entire industries, including many of our customers.  This is having a very large impact on advertising revenues.  We must take hard but necessary actions to ensure that we endure the crisis and emerge as a strong, healthy and competitive company.  I am deeply saddened that we need to make these painful moves at this time, but they are necessary under the circumstances. We are doing everything in our power to minimize the number of layoffs through shared sacrifice across the organization, but we will still need to eliminate or furlough a significant number of positions. In order to make the transition less painful for our colleagues, we will be providing up to an extra month of additional severance for those individuals for whom their normal severance and the recently announced enhanced federal unemployment benefits provide less support. In addition, we will be providing enhanced employee benefits for furloughed team members.  We will also be taking other cost reduction actions at this time, including the temporary suspension of our dividend and our 401(k) Company match, the elimination of Q1 and Q2 bonuses, and temporary salary reductions of between 10% and 20% for anyone earning a salary in excess of $50,000 per year.  I will be taking a 30% salary reduction.  We hope to restore regular salaries, bonus eligibility and our 401(k) plan match at the start of the third quarter.  I very much appreciate the sacrifice that people will be making in these difficult times.  We will get through this crisis and put this all behind us. Better days lie ahead. With the tough but necessary actions we are now taking, we are doing what is required for us to preserve the health of the company and ensure that we are strong when we get to the other side. Our future is further protected by our strong financial position with substantial cash reserves and virtually no debt due before 2024. And when the crisis abates, we look forward to resuming our growth and building on our strong strategic position as a leader in the audio business, including the best lineup of local radio stations in the United States.  I deeply appreciate your dedication and commitment and look forward to better times ahead. We will be following up with additional information shortly. Yours, David.”

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Joins Newsmax TV. Joining Newsmax TV as a contributor is former Virginian Governor Bob McDonnell.  Newsmax says that McDonnell “brings a wealth of experience, having served 14 years in the Virginia General Assembly, as Virginia’s Attorney General, and as the commonwealth’s 71st governor from 2010-2014.”  He’ll serve as a political and legal analyst for the 24/7 cable news network, covering the Trump administration, the 2020 presidential race, and the significant issues of the day.  Newsmax TV chief content officer and EVP of programming Elliott Jacobson says, “Bob has had a long and distinguished career in public service and intimately knows the ins and outs of government and politics.  He’s a very valuable addition to our growing roster of distinguished commentators on Newsmax TV.”

Entercom Files Motion to Dismiss Discrimination Suit by Former WIP-AM, Philadelphia Account Executive. Back in mid-January, former WIP-AM, Philadelphia account executive Maria McBride filed a sex-based discrimination and breach of contract suit against Entercom Communications.  In the suit, she alleges she was touched inappropriately, and stared at by her superior; claims she was overworked tending to promotions because of failure on the promotions department to staff events; she developed health issues as a result of her working conditions and alleges the company did nothing to help.  She also claims she was denied a bonus in violation of her contract and eventually fired.  Yesterday (4/1), Entercom filed a 30-page Motion to Dismiss in New Jersey federal court, arguing McBride didn’t sufficiently demonstrate her claims of a hostile work environment, of retaliation, of breach of contract, nor the other claims.  Entercom also argues that if the Court allows the case to go forward, it be transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

TALKERS News Notes. Self-described financial expert William Neil “Doc” Gallagher (he didn’t have a state investment advisers license in Texas), who brokered time for his “The Money Doctor” show on Dallas market stations KAAM-AM, KSKY-AM, KLTY-FM, and KWRD-FM, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding some 60 investors of more than $20 million.  The Dallas News reports that Gallagher targeted elderly Christians with his rhetoric on the radio and even published a book titled, Jesus Christ, Money Master.  The 79-year-old Gallagher pleaded guilty and must pay more than $10 million in restitution…..Talk host Jon Patch celebrates 30 years on the radio hosting the syndicated “Talkin’ Pets” program.  The three-hour, weekly show is syndicated by GAB Network.  Patch says, “If you live life with a pet or just have a love for animals, then ‘Talkin’ Pets’ is the show for you.  We have many listeners who don’t even have pets since the show is always riveting, passionate, fun, and overall pure entertainment like no other pet show in the country.  This formula has worked for 30 years and we look forward to many more years to come.  Thanks to all of our affiliate stations coast to coast for their dedication to ‘Talkin’ Pets.’”…..NPR announces that Michael Smith joins the organization as chief marketing officer.  Smith was most recently SVP and general manager of digital channels for Scripps Network.  NPR president and CEO John Lansing says, “Michael is a strategic thinker and an extremely creative media executive who has spent his career finding new ways people consume content across an increasingly diverse audience population.  He is joining NPR at a time when we must extend the reach of our content beyond our traditional audiences to fully serve the American public and he is uniquely qualified to help us do so.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs giving blood in her home town of Las Vegas.  She says, “As you are aware, blood banks are in dire need of blood and they are asking whomever can brave it to donate without getting exposed.  Vitalant here ran a great ship today, keeping everyone at a distance as Nevada received today a ‘stay at home order.’”

U.S. Coronavirus Numbers and Death Toll, Financial Markets Activity, Recession Fears, Dr. Fauci Threatened, Churches Defying Anti-Gathering Policies, Russia Sends Supplies to U.S., and the Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1). The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the death toll; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus; economists express fears of a prolonged recession in the wake of the pandemic; director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci gets security because of threats; some churches in the South refusing to honor the non-gathering policy; Russia sends military plane with medical supplies to the U.S.; and Joe Biden calls for the postponement of the Democratic National Convention were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Salem Radio Network Talk Star Mike Gallagher and Former BS&T Lead Singer David Clayton-Thomas Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. In a rare “double feature,” two guests share the bill on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The podcast features conversations with two colorful communicators – each isolating at home during the coronavirus crisis. Each with a different political view of today’s world. First is Salem Radio Network conservative talk show host Mike Gallagher from his condo in Tampa, Florida where he broadcasts his daily show from a remote set up in his kitchen. That’s followed by well-known singer/songwriter, David Clayton-Thomas, former lead vocalist for Blood, Sweat & Tears, from his condo in Toronto, Canada. Clayton-Thomas has just released a powerfully, opinionated solo album of “protest songs” addressing a variety of today’s hottest issues from a liberal perspective. According to Harrison, “Both of these fine men, whom I’ve known over the decades, have a lot to say about the world and having them both appear on this installment of the program while isolating during the crisis creates a marvelous kind of symmetry.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

Talkers Convention Postponed Until Friday, October 16. The 23rd annual presentation of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important annual gathering originally scheduled for Friday June 5 has been officially postponed until Friday, October 16 due to the coronavirus crisis. This year, the event – held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of TALKERS – is titled, Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station, and will still take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. In announcing the change of date, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We are hopeful and optimistic that the circumstances going forward will be conducive for an event of this nature to be feasible slightly more than a half year from now. We will do our best to hold together the agenda that we’ve already established, but are cognizant that, to a certain extent, we will be rebuilding it to conform to the specifics of the times and events that take place between now and then. If circumstances are such that this crisis continues through the second half of 2020, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. All paid registrations and sponsorships already accepted will be honored for the new date. However, we will cease all promotion and recruitment for new and additional speakers, sponsors and registrants until at least the first week of May out of respect for the urgency and priority this crisis presents to our industry’s dedicated, hard-pressed professionals.” For more information please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email info@talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, Alex Roman is promoted to the newly created chief technology officer position for Mediaco’s hip hop WQHT “Hot 97” and urban AC WBLS.  He rises from the director of integrated technology post in which he’s been serving since 2011.  Mediaco president and COO Patrick Walsh says, “Alex’s experience and insights are invaluable as we continue to build multichannel digital platforms for WBLS and ‘Hot 97.’  There simply is not anyone like him in our industry and I’m pleased that with this move to CTO we can count on Alex being an important part of our leadership team in the coming years.”…..Quibi announces that iHeartMedia becomes a partner of the new “Pop5” daily, music news show.  The program, produced by Mission Control Media, is hosted by Tim Kash.  It’s described as “a colorful collage of must-know information about pop music today.”  Launching April 6, “Pop5 by iHeartRadio” will premiere a new episode every weekday, as part of Quibi’s Daily Essentials programming…..iHeartMedia is hosting its first ever virtual book club in partnership with social retail platform talkshoplive as it celebrates the release of Alicia Keys’ book, More Myself: A Journey (2020, Flatiron Books), on April 10 at 5:00 pm ET.  The virtual book club will feature an intimate conversation between Alicia Keys and iHeartRadio on-air personality Angie Martinez.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

| March 5, 2020

Susan Larkin to Succeed Weezie Kramer as Entercom COO. When Entercom acquired the radio assets of CBS RADIO in 2017, chief operating officer Weezie Kramer put off her planned retirement to help lead the company’s operations “through the integration and critical transformation initiatives to elevate and enhance the company’s competitive position.”  Now, Kramer is leaving her COO position effective May 5 when current New York market manager and regional president Susan Larkin will assume the COO role.  Kramer will continue to serve the company as a senior executive adviser to Entercom president and CEO David Field.  Kramer joined the company in 2000.  The company is already in the process of seeking Larkin’s replacement in New York.  David Field says, “Weezie has been an extraordinary, inspiring leader and a fiercely determined, tireless competitor and strategist who has built an outstanding record of success over the many years in which she has led us forward as our chief operating officer.  She set an uncompromising standard of excellence for all, both professionally and personally, driving us to be our very best while maintaining the highest ethical standards.  She earned the sincere admiration, respect and affection of the entire Entercom team, and much of the industry, for her spirited leadership and decency and for being a full-throated, unapologetic champion for radio.  She has been an extraordinarily successful COO and we are all immensely grateful to her. While she will be deeply missed as COO, I am thrilled that she will be joining the Entercom board where we will continue to benefit from her wisdom and guidance for years to come.”  Speaking about her new role with Entercom, Larkin says, “This is an exciting time for Entercom, and for all audio media.  I am thrilled to be part of Entercom’s forward-thinking strategy as we continue to set ourselves apart as the best operator and creator of audio content in the U.S. and realize the value of our engaged impressions with advertisers.  Weezie has been an incredible mentor and the best leader I could ask for.  I am honored to work with such a strong team and excited about the next phase of Entercom’s continued growth, expansion and strategic vision.”

Emmis/Mediaco SVP Charlie Morgan to Leave for New Opportunity. Senior vice president Charlie Morgan is leaving his role with Emmis/Mediaco for a new opportunity.  Morgan, who served with the company for the past 10 years – six in Indianapolis and the past four years in New York, is credited by the company with “leading the turnaround of Emmis operations in Indianapolis and New York (now Mediaco).  His focus on product quality, operational excellence, innovation and, perhaps most important, on culture and talent development as the ultimate path to winning have been central to our success.  Charlie’s emphasis on building great teams through coaching and development has enhanced the careers of countless colleagues over the years at Mediaco, Emmis, Cumulus, IMS Productions and Susquehanna.  We sincerely thank him for all his efforts and wish him the absolute best in his next endeavor.”  The company says it is beginning a search for a permanent leader for Mediaco New York.  In the meantime, Emmis/Mediaco president Patrick Walsh will serve as interim New York market manager.

George Beasley Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Ceremony. New York’s Plaza Hotel was the scene of last night’s Broadcasters Foundation of America 2020 Golden Mike Award Gala.  More than 350 broadcasters and celebrities were there as the BFoA raised more than $400,000 to support broadcasters in need.  At this year’s event, Tegna president and CEO Dave Lougee received the 2020 Golden Mike Award and Beasley Media Group founder and chairman George Beasley received the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Pictured above are (from l-r): BFoA chairman Dan Mason, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (accepting for her father George), BFoA president Jim Thompson and event host and “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville.

New York Festivals to Honor the National Press Club.  At the New York Festivals Storytellers Gala taking place on April 21 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the National Press Club will be honored with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.  NYF says its Lifetime Achievement Award “recognizes prominent industry leaders and driving forces in the broadcast industry whose accomplishment have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry.”  NYF TV & Film Awards/Radio Awards vice president/executive director Rose Anderson says, “For over a century, the National Press Club has upheld responsible journalism, supported freedom of the press worldwide, and provided a forum for the exchange of substantive ideas in our Nation’s Capital.  Their members’ commitment to excellence encompasses all media.  In this year marking the centennial of radio and our inaugural Storyteller’s Gala, we are proud to honor this organization with the New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award.”  National Press Club president Michael Freedman will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

Cumulus Nashville Stations to Hold Radiothon for Tornado Relief. The Nashville cluster of Cumulus Media is holding the Cumulus Cares Tornado Relief Radiothon tomorrow (3/6) at Edley’s Bar-B-Que to raise money for the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.  It started when Will Newman from Edley’s reached out to WGFX-FM “104-5 The Zone” personality Jonathan Hutton about ways to give back to the community in the wake of the devastating tornados.  The radiothon was born and tomorrow WGFX-FM, news/talk WWTN-FM, and Cumulus’ three music stations will broadcast live encouraging cash donations.  In addition, Cumulus is collecting necessities such as diapers, blankets, baby formula, wipes, gloves, toothpaste, Ziploc bags, tide pods, and feminine hygiene products at accessible areas nearby the broadcast site.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Hold Third Annual Liberty USO Radiothon. In Philadelphia tomorrow (3/6), Entercom news/talker WPHT is hosting the 3rd annual “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” to benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  The station will broadcast live from Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.  The broadcast will be anchored by on-air personalities Rich Zeoli and Dom Giordano.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We care deeply about serving those who have served our country and I’m proud of the role WPHT plays in supporting Liberty USO.  This annual radiothon aims to raise awareness and funds on behalf of service members and their families right here in our community through the generosity of our listeners.”

Suburban Philly News/Talker to Go Dark. WNPV-AM/W253CA, Lansdale, Pennsylvania “The Talk of the Suburbs” announces it will cease programming on April 30 and go off the air.  WFMZ-TV reports general manager Phil Hunt saying in a press release, “Our mission has always been to serve the public interest by providing top-quality local news, and we have never been willing to compromise on that promise.  In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to compete for both audience and advertising dollars, and unfortunately it is no longer sustainable to continue to run the business in a way that delivers the service our community expects and deserves.  We are grateful for the support of our loyal listeners, the belief of our advertisers and the commitment from our talented team.  It has been an honor to serve this community.”  The signals are owned and operated by North Penn Valley Broadcasting and serve Bucks and Montgomery counties.

WHO, Des Moines Personality Bonnie Lucas Wraps Radio Career Tomorrow. Des Moines radio personality Bonnie Lucas is retiring from iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines after tomorrow morning’s show.  She’s been co-hosting the station’s AM drive program with co-host (and station PD) Van Harden since 1994.  Lucas’ final show will take place on the road as she and Harden broadcast live from Meals from the Heartland in West Des Moines for the “2020 Van & Bonnie Hunger Fight,” a non-profit, food-packing event where volunteers package meals for delivery to malnourished people in Iowa, across the United States and around the world.  Beginning Monday (3/9), Van Harden will host the morning show with special feature guests including familiar WHO personalities such as Jeff Angelo, Simon Conway, Emery Songer, and Maxwell Schaeffer as well as prominent central Iowa public figures and entertainers.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM midday anchor – and host of the “Noon Business Hour” – Cisco Cotto is launching “WBBM In Depth,” a weekly podcast that further explores local business news stories.  The podcast will also include interviews plus reports from contributors.  focusing on trending news stories and their impact on the business world. It also features longer interviews with contributors and experts…..Entercom’s Philadelphia radio stations moved into the company’s new RADIO.COM World Headquarters at 2400 Market Street in Philly last month.  All-news KYW-AM, news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM, adult contemporary WBEB “B101.1,” CHR WDTY, and classic hits WOGL are all now located in the company’s headquarters.  At the KYW site, videographer Holli Stephens presents a two-minute video of the gleaming new studios and offices.  Check it out here…..The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that former Green Bay Packers fullback and fan favorite John Kuhn is being courted by local and national media organizations for a full-time sports talk role. Kuhn began working in the Packers front office last April as an analyst for digital, broadcast, and game presentations.  He was a sideline reporter for radio flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee’s broadcasts last season.  The MBJ cites sources saying iHeartMedia’s sports talk WRNW-FM “The Game” is talking with him about joining its lineup, though nothing is set in stone yet.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity, SCOTUS Hears Abortion Case/Schumer Comments, Israel Election, Syria-Turkey Violence, and Tennessee Tornado Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4). The status of the coronavirus pandemic and California’s declaring a state of emergency; Joe Biden’s leap to frontrunner in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; the Supreme Court hears arguments in the Louisiana abortion law case and Senator Chuck Schumer is criticized for threatening Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh; the results of Israel’s most recent election in which Benjamin Netanyahu failed to achieve a majority; the military clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces; and the aftermath of the Tennessee tornadoes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Inside Edition’ Anchor Deborah Norville Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The two-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster is celebrating her 25th anniversary as host of the daily news magazine establishing her as the longest-running daily anchor in national television. She is also getting ready to emcee the annual Broadcasters Foundation of America Golden Mike Award Dinner tomorrow evening (3/4) at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The dinner is the BFoA’s signature fundraising event to help broadcasters who’ve fallen on hard times due to medical crises or natural disasters. Norville is an accomplished broadcaster with outstanding television and radio credentials. She joined “Inside Edition” in 1995 from CBS News where she was an anchor and correspondent. She is the former co-host of NBC’s “Today” and anchor of NBC “News at Sunrise.” During her career she has hosted a primetime show on MSNBC, a national radio show on the ABC Talk Radio Network and has served as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. She began her reporting career at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, while still a student at the University of Georgia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude, First Honor Graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is also a prolific best-selling author and active with a number of leading causes and charities. Harrison and Norville discuss the Broadcasters Foundation as well as her career in television, changes in audience attention spans, the state of the media industry, and the #MeToo movement. 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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

| February 25, 2020

Entercom Q4 2019 Net Revenue Up 1%; Full Year 2019 Up 1.9%. Releasing its 2019 fourth quarter and full-year financial data, Entercom Communications reports 2019 Q4 net revenue was $414.1 million, an increase of 1% over the same period in 2018.  For the full year of 2019, Entercom reports net revenue of $1.49 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report that Entercom achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of growth, completing a year in which the company delivered strong financial performance as net revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted net income per share grew 2% (3% ex-political), 10%, and 19%, respectively.  Our significant investments in podcasting, digital, and data and analytics, along with the expansion of our sports, networks and events businesses, are beginning to reshape our company and position us for sustained growth as we enhance our integrated, multi-platform offerings to advertisers increasingly interested in the undervalued and emerging audio space.”

ABC Audio Names Eric Johnson Director and Executive Producer of Podcast Programming.  News and broadcast producer Eric Johnson is named to the director and executive producer of podcast programming for ABC Audio, effective in mid-March.  ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says Johnson – who most recently served as senior broadcast producer at “Good Morning America” – “is an award-winning producer with a knack for storytelling who’s touched nearly every part of ABC News over his 13-year career here.  His strong relationships throughout the news division, coupled with his impressive experience in long-form and news programming, will make him a great asset to our flourishing podcast division.  In his new role Eric will build on the success of our existing podcasts and help design a fresh powerhouse podcast network.  He will strategically gather and organize podcast ideas and harness the talent, resources, and storytelling ability available across ABC News and Walt Disney Television.”  Johnson was honored with a duPont Award as co-producer of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner and has won multiple Emmy Awards for projects including his role as senior producer of ABC News’ Town Hall “The President and the People: Race in America.”

Calendar Boy.  WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning star Dom Giordano (above) is the creator and “host” of a 2020 wall calendar geared specifically to fans of the station, news/talk radio listeners and the local business community.  The idea started several years ago, when Giordano, a former educator, noticed that important events in American history such as the invasion of Pearl Harbor were left off most commercially produced calendars.  He then designed a calendar that not only includes a variety of such events but recognizes talk radio hosts and other items of specific interest to the listening audience.  Giordano appears on a number of pages dressed in period costumes further adding color to the collectable piece. The calendar, monetized by local sponsors who are also featured in its pages, is distributed free to listeners as a highly sought premium at WPHT events.

Newsmax TV Appoints Jason Villar VP of Research and Analysis. Marketing pro Jason Villar joins Newsmax TV as vice president of research and analysis.  In this position, Villar will head up data, market, and ratings analysis, and work closely with the company’s advertising and programming departments.  Villar had been serving as vice president of media and market research for FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, and FOX Digital for the last 10-plus years.  Newsmax CRO and EVP of national advertising Sam Moser says, “Jason was responsible for much of FOX’s forward-thinking research approach and we’re delighted he’s joined Newsmax TV to help make us America’s No. 1 choice for news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Topeka’s KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker” adds the KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated “Armstrong & Getty Show” to its program schedule for the 8:00 am to 11:00 am daypart.  The show says this move “continues the homecoming tour for Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  They were each born in the Midwest and they met when working separately in radio in Salina, Kansas.  They became a team when hired in Wichita and began their conservative talk show when they moved to KSTE-AM.”  KMAJ-AM is a Cumulus Media station…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway will also be heard on iHeartMedia’s WOC, Quad Cities beginning tomorrow (2/26).  Conway’s program is also heard on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Conway says, “What an honor it is for me to now be live on both of President Ronald Reagan’s first radio stations.  I’m excited to hear from the WOC audience in Iowa and Illinois.”…..Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS-FM, St. Louis is bringing St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play personality Dan McLaughlin aboard as lead Cardinals contributor.  In this role he’ll offer daily reports, interviews, and a one-hour weekly show, as well as filling in on other shows year-round.  Station operations manager and brand content director Tommy Mattern says, “I am extremely excited that Dan has joined the staff at ‘101 ESPN.’  It’s so important to increase our coverage of St. Louis Cardinals baseball and having the voice of the team contribute on multi-platforms is invaluable.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Prologue Projects are producing a new podcast titled, “5-4,” presenting “an irreverent take on the U.S. Supreme Court’s past.”  Each episode focuses on a pivotal case in which the justices make one of the most important decisions in recent memory – dissecting it from every angle and tearing it apart.  The first episode tackles Bush v. Gore. Future episodes take on the Supreme Court’s decisions on campaign finance, affirmative action, voting rights, and stop and frisk…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago District Golfer magazine editor Barry Cronin is the new co-host of the Saturday morning golf show “Scorecard” in Entercom’s WSCR “The Score.”  He’ll work alongside WSCR reporter and update anchor David Schuster.  The duo take over for Ed Sherman and Steve Olken, who resigned from the program after a 10-year run…..SB Nation Radio announces that in addition to having reporters at all NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament sites, it is adding Pat Kennedy and Daniel Ewing as analysts.  They will both make appearances on all network programs throughout the tournament.  Also, “SB Nation Tonight” host John Michaels will originate his show from the Final Four in Atlanta.

Presidential Race, Weinstein Verdict, Covid-19 Epidemic, Financial Markets Tumble, Trump in India, Kobe Byrant Memorial/Lawsuit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November; the guilty verdicts in the sexual assault trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; the status of the coronavirus epidemic and concerns about the ability to avert a pandemic; the world’s financial markets dive as China’s productivity is affected by Covid-19; President Trump’s visit to India amidst adulation and protests; and Monday’s memorial for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in Los Angeles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Learning the Sports Talk Radio Biz! Pictured above (from l-r) are: WAXY-AM and WQAM, Miami sports talk host Channing Crowder, Miami Dolphins center/long snapper Taybor Pepper, Dolphins quarterback Jake Rudock, Dolphins linebacker Terrill Hanks, and WAXY-AM and WQAM host Marc Hochman.  Hochman tells TALKERS that while the NFL Combine is going on in Indianapolis, the Miami Dolphins offer their current players the chance to participate in a “Business Combine” where they can learn real estate, investing, and even broadcasting as players prepare for a life after football.  Hence the three Dolphins above were at the Entercom South Florida studios getting an afternoon of broadcast instruction from former Dolphins LB Channing Crowder and Hochman.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Preston is named program director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country stations KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3.”  Preston most recently served as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Baltimore and PD for country WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”  Cumulus Dallas-Houston RVP Dan Bennett says, “These two country brands, each in their own distinctive way, have captured the hearts of DFW country music fans.  We believe Mike Preston is the right person to lead our talented teams into the future.  Mike has had big success in his career as a creative PD who knows how to coach big time talent.  We can’t wait to have him in Dallas to further ignite two of the most-listened-to country stations in America.”…..Programmer Jamillah Muhammad exits Taxi License Corp’s urban AC KJLH, Los Angeles “Radio Free 102.3” where she was operations manager…..Air personality Jenna Owens is leaving her daily role with the YEA Networks-syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to focus on her Fitish skin care business.  Owens will continue her weekly “That’s What I Like” segment that airs each Friday and will become a correspondent for the show, doing press junkets in New York and Los Angeles, reporting live from events like SXSW, Coachella, and more.  In addition to the correspondent role, she’ll team with her “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host, J-Si Chavez, to launch a weekly podcast, also called “Fitish,” that will be produced and distributed by YEA…..Public radio triple A personality Cindy Howes is joining WUNC, Raleigh to host the 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm daypart on the public media company’s triple A streaming station WUNC Music.  Howes was previously with triple A WYEP, Pittsburgh as morning personality and host of the “Folk Alley and the Basic Folk” podcast…..Rachel Hubbard is promoted to executive director at Oklahoma State University’s news/talk/adult alternative KOSU, Oklahoma City.  She most recently served as news director at the station.  Hubbard comments, “I want to fight for public media in Oklahoma.  Oftentimes, people look at news outlets that are outside of Oklahoma and talk about the things they’re doing well, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t own that right here in Oklahoma and have a media resource that is ours – it’s made by us and it’s made for us.”

Monday, January 27, 2020

| January 27, 2020

Monday Memo: Format Solution?  Ever get a song stuck in your head?  Consultant Holland Cooke shares one that stuck in his 40 years ago.  And when you click-to-listen in this week’s column, HC thinks you could hear an opportunity. Check it out here.

Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Coronavirus Concerns, U.S.-Iran Tensions/Rocket Attack on Baghdad Embassy, the Grammy Awards, and Kobe Bryant Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment trial of President Trump and the related manuscript by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton in which he suggests there was a quid pro quo; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; the Wuhan coronavirus and concerns about a global epidemic; the tensions between the U.S. and Iran and the rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards ceremony; and the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Sports Talk Station ‘The Gambler’ Launches in Akron-Cleveland. This new gambling-centric sports talk outlet on WARF-AM, Akron launched by iHeartMedia Cleveland airs a mix of traditional sports talk shows and wagering-focused programs.  iHeartMedia says, “‘FOX Sports 1350 AM, The Gambler’ will focus on sports talk with a concentration on gambling, including top-of-the-hour wagering updates from the VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network) and will feature programming from the BetR Network, including ‘My Guys in the Desert,’ hosted by American sportscaster, Brent Musberger.  The station will also broadcast a mix of programming offering betting guides, handicapping, and betting strategies as well as signature programming from FOX Sports Radio, including ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ and ‘FOX NFL Kickoff Simulcast,’ as well as ‘The Red Zone’ and ‘The Lombardi Line,’ hosted by former Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Lombardi.”

Karyn Cerulli Succeeds Bob Bolinger at Entercom San Diego. The Times of San Diego has the story from the market’s Entercom cluster.  Director of sales Karyn Cerulli is promoted to SVP and market manager for the station group as Bob Bolinger is leaving the role he’s held with the cluster since 2015.  Bolinger tells the paper he’s not retiring.  “The last four and a half years I have spent with Entercom have been among the most rewarding of my career.  I am very proud and grateful for what this amazing Entercom San Diego team has accomplished and wish them and Karyn only the very best.”  Bolinger joined Entercom from CBS RADIO.  He’d been with the San Diego stations since 2009.

iHeartMedia Names News Executives. In Pennsylvania, iHeartMedia announces that Brit Goldstein is named area president for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.   At the same time, Nick Mickley is the new market president of iHeartMedia Harrisburg, Reading, and Lancaster; and Dave Hovel is named area SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania.  In this new position, Goldstein is responsible for creating new business and revenue opportunities, overseeing all programming, business and sales teams for iHeartMedia Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Eastern Shore stations.  He reports to division president Shosh Abromovich.  In his new role, Hovel oversees all on-air content as well as music and digital programming operations for the Salisbury, Wilmington, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Reading, Lancaster, and Williamsport markets.

New Lineup at KIRO-FM, Seattle; ‘Tom & Curley’ Move to PM Drive.  It was a year ago that the “Candy, Mike & Todd” show – co-hosted by Candy Harper, Mike Lewis, and Todd Herman – took over for the “Ron & Don” – featuring Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill – in afternoon drive on Bonneville International’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Now, that show is gone and the late morning “Tom & Curley” program hosted by Tom Tangney and John Curley moves to afternoon drive, effective Wednesday (1/29).  While both Candy Harper and Todd Herman exit the station, Mike Lewis partners with the station’s Aaron Mason to host the new 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program.  The new late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) features award-winning Seattle journalist Ursula Reutin and the station’s Gee Scott, who moves from the evening daypart.  Regarding the afternoon drive change, KIRO-FM program director Bryan Buckalew says, “Tom and John are at the top of their game.  They have a unique ability to tackle the news from both sides of the issue, which consistently connects with listeners.”

Tim Weisberg New Host of Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert.’ Beginning tonight (1/27), radio pro Tim Weisberg takes over the hosting duties on the late-night radio show, “Midnight in the Desert,” the last program created by the late Art Bell.  Weisberg has been filling in on the program since 2018.  He currently serves as digital managing editor for Townsquare Media’s New Bedford, Massachusetts stations.  He’s also hosted the paranormal radio program/podcast “Spooky Southcoast” for 14 years – a project he’ll continue in addition to his new duties.  Weisberg has served as a writer/researcher/producer on paranormal television programs such as “Ghost Stalkers,” “Ghost Asylum,” and “Haunted Towns.”  He has also been featured in front of the camera on programs such as “Ghost Adventures,” “My Ghost Story,” “MonsterQuest,” “Most Haunted Towns,” and will be featured in two upcoming television series in 2020.  He is also the author of two books on the paranormal and is an award-winning sportswriter covering the New England Patriots and previously covering the Boston Celtics.  “Midnight in the Desert” was started by Art Bell in 2015.  The title of the program comes from a song written specifically for Bell by country music superstar Crystal Gayle.  Bell and subsequent hosts have continued to use the song, with Gayle’s blessing, as the program’s closing theme, something Weisberg said will continue.  “Although nobody will ever replace Art Bell, we at MITD think it’s important to honor his memory as the one who started it at all, especially this program.  While the best way we can pay tribute is to just continue to discuss these topics in a long-form, objective style, keeping the name and the theme song is just a small touch to make sure Art is never far from our thoughts.”

Round Three of Holiday PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  Spoken-word radio always faces a challenge during the calendar month of December due to holiday-related lifestyle changes and Christmas music listening.  In this batch of markets, the most positive news comes out of Kansas City where, thanks to the success of the Super Bowl bound Chiefs, sports talk radio enjoyed increased listening.  Union Broadcasting’s WHB got a three-tenths bounce to finish with a weekly 6+ AHQ share of 3.9 – good for the #9 ranking.  Entercom’s KCSP adds a half share to land at 2.7 and the #15 ranking in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

TALKERS News Notes. Journalist Don Steinberg wrote a piece – published Saturday (1/25) – for Philadelphia Magazine that’s a deep-dive into Philly-based Entercom.  Interviewed for the piece are CEO David Field, Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, and others.  The story addresses the company’s struggling stock price, its efforts to establish a leading position in the digital audio entertainment realm, and former employees’ gripes about management style, among others.  Read it here…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is being asked by the U.S. State Department – via its Foreign Press Centers – to host a telephone briefing for foreign journalists to explain the Iowa Caucuses.  The briefing is non-partisan.  Conway says, “It’s a great honor to be asked.  The point is to make sure that journalists around the world understand the process and report it accurately.”…..Sports media personalities Mark Titus and Tate Frazier are joining FOX Sports and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One for the new “Titus and Tate” podcast, available in visual formats on FOXSports.com, the FOX Sports app and social media platforms.  The audio version from Westwood One is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more.  Westwood One is the exclusive audio distribution and ad sales representation partner of the “Titus & Tate” podcast..…Barstool Radio on SiriusXM is broadcasting live from Miami Beach today through Friday, ahead of Super Bowl LIV.  Barstool’s biggest personalities, including Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, Kevin ‘KFC’ Clancy, PFT Commenter, Kayce Smith, Willie Colon and others – will host their shows live from Tequila Chicas in the heart of South Beach…..The Mayo Clinic Radio team unveils the new “Mayo Clinic Q&A” podcast.  It features Mayo Clinic physicians, researchers, and care teams sharing knowledge about topics including cancer, heart health, scientific advances, artificial intelligence, and wellness.  Mayo Clinic Radio co-hosts Thomas Shives, M.D., and Tracy McCray anchor the new podcast.  Mayo Clinic Radio says, “While the weekly, hour-long ‘Mayo Clinic Radio’ program will continue to deliver easy-to-understand answers on more than 250 outlets across the U.S., each episode of the ‘Mayo Clinic Q&A’ podcast will highlight one subject.”  Dr. Shives adds, “With the resources of Mayo Clinic and thousands of physicians and medical experts supporting us, this tool is one more way to educate busy consumers on how to stay healthy and also help them learn more about serious or complex health topics.”…..iHeartMedia Denver announces that Mike Rice is the new play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies baseball on flagship KOA, Denver.  Rice has been with KOA since 2002, serving in a number of sports roles, including studio host for the Denver Broncos, fill-in play-by-play announcer for the Colorado Rockies, and anchoring morning sportscasts.  He also serves as sports director for KOA, a position he will retain.  Rice joins Jack Corrigan, who is entering his 18th season as a play-by-play announcer for the Rockies.  In addition to play-by-play duties, Rice will host “Rockies All Access,” airing every Saturday on KOA…..Entercom sports talk outlet KRLD-FM, Dallas and the MLB’s Texas Rangers extend their broadcast deal to have the station continue to serve as the team’s radio flagship for the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the team’s English language radio play-by-play broadcasts…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” show with host Chris Hill adds new stations KIFG-AM and KIFG-FM in Iowa City and WPVC-LPFM, in Charlottesville, Virginia to its roster of affiliates.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, Premiere Networks announces today that “The Sweat Hotel” – starring Keith Sweat – will move from the overnight daypart to the evening slot on iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.”…..Dallas rock outlet KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” unveils the lineup for BFD 2020, taking place Sunday, May 24 at Dos Equis Pavilion.  Featured acts will be: Disturbed, Chevelle, The Pretty Reckless, Dirty Honey, The HU, Puddle of Mudd, Badflower, and Dinosaur Pile-UpiHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “‘The Eagle’ is delivering yet another stellar lineup to kick off the summer concert season with BFD 2020.  Fans of ‘97.1 The Eagle’ always expect a great lineup and this year’s will not disappoint them.”

Friday, November 8, 2019

| November 8, 2019

KXL-FM, Portland Talk Host Lars Larson Names Whistleblower on FOX News Channel. KXL-FM, Portland talk radio host Lars Larson – who also hosts a nationally syndicated show via Compass Media Networks – was doing a segment on FOX News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” yesterday (11/7) when he revealed who he believes the whistleblower in the Ukraine affair is.  Larson told KGW-TV, Portland, “I believe all of Washington knows, all of the press corps knows, and the only people in the dark are the American people.  If you’re talking about removing the president, chosen by the American people, you have an obligation of telling them who’s accusing [the president].”  FOX News tells the Hollywood Reporter that it has not confirmed nor independently verified the name of the whistleblower.

Entercom Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 2%. Third quarter 2019 financial data from Entercom Communications is released and the company reports net revenue of $386 million, an increase of 2% over the same period in 2018.  Operating income for the quarter was $79.5 million, compared to $78.7 million in the third quarter of 2018.  For the first three quarters of 2019, net revenue was $1.07 billion, an increase of 2.3% over the same period in 2018.  Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic growth in the third quarter with Adjusted EBITDA up 13% and Adjusted Net Income Per Share up 23%.  Revenues increased 2% (just under 3% ex-political) driven by digital, national, and network.  In October, we announced the launch of DVR-like functionality for live radio on our RADIO.COM app, becoming the first company to offer that important product feature.  This new feature and our recent acquisitions of podcasters Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios highlight the multiple ways we are working to enhance our product line and grow our relationships with our listeners and customers.”

NPR and Edison Research to Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report. The data from the new Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research will be made available via a free webinar on Tuesday (11/12) that you can sign up for here.  The study – derived from a national quantitative survey, one-on-one interviews, and five years of previously-unreleased data from Edison Research’s U.S. Share of Ear study – explores consumer behavior in the spoken word audio category.  It details: How the spoken word audio category has changed in the last five years; how the balance between music and spoken-word content consumption is shifting; the role spoken word audio plays in consumers’ lives today – from where people listen to when people listen; and what people are looking for from spoken-word content on different platforms.  The study concludes that the share of time spent listening to spoken-word audio has increased 20% since 2014.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/8).  The new episode titled “Hearings and Smearings!” looks back at this past week of November 4-8, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio NetworkRenee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/medical podcaster; Holland Cooke, media consultant/talk show host RT AmericaDuke Brooks, talk show host, WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Daliah Wachs, M.D., medical doctor, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkJoshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

National Campaign Launched to Protect Press Freedom.   The nonprofit organizations the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists, along with a coalition of 23 media, technology and nonprofit partners, including Barron’s, CBSComcast-NBC UniversalCNNFacebook, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, The New York TimesNPRReutersScrippsSinclairTwitterThe Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and The Washington Post, yesterday (11/7) launched the “Protect Press Freedom” campaign to mobilize the public to stand up for press freedom and actively protect their right to be informed.  Through video, radio, digital, print, and social media assets, the campaign communicates the message: In order to be free, we must be informed.  The creative illustrates the crucial role the free press plays in everyday life by depicting a world in which people are unable to access news about issues that are important to them.  On the campaign website, visitors can learn more about the threats to press freedom, explore key moments for the free press in America’s history, and take a quiz to assess their knowledge.  “Americans across the country rely on diverse news sources to help them make informed choices every day, but many don’t see the threats that are putting that information at risk,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press tells TALKERS. “When one journalist or news source is threatened — whether it’s verbally, physically, or legally — it threatens a fundamental American freedom that’s essential to understanding and participating in our communities.  We’re proud to bring news outlets and organizations together to have a conversation with the public about press freedom and encourage people to stand up for their right to information.”  Attacks on journalists’ safety and the public’s right to know occur with troubling regularity.  According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which the Reporters Committee and CPJ are partners, there were at least 35 physical attacks on journalists last year, most notably the murder of five people working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.  So far in 2019, at least 28 journalists have been denied access to government events that are traditionally open to or attended by the press, leaving members of the public without crucial information about their government’s activities.  Relentless disparagement of the media contributes to an increasingly dangerous climate for journalists. For more information about this please click on the website www.ProtectPressFreedom.org.  To listen to a conversation about the campaign between Bruce Brown and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison click 

      here
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Miltz Named Director of Marketing and Promotions for Bonneville Denver. Marketing pro Melanie Miltz is named director of marketing and promotions for Bonneville’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” sports KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver,” country KYGO-FM, and adult contemporary KOSI-FM.  She most recently held the same position at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis.  Bonneville Denver senior regional vice president and market manager Bob Call states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Mel join Bonneville Denver and take over the leadership of our marketing and promotions department.  Mel is well-recognized and highly respected as a promotions and marketing professional with a high level of branding expertise, attention to detail, and follow-through on both the strategic and tactical elements of marketing.  Mel’s wealth of experience make her the perfect choice for Bonneville Denver.”

TALKERS News Notes. At the end of this year, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze will shut down its cable television channel.  A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that TheBlaze will focus on its subscription video-on-demand service, its website, and the radio program.  The piece notes that because TheBlaze is largely a digital enterprise and its contracts with cable operators prevent much of the video content presented via cable from being shared online, it makes business sense to focus on the VOD space.  Blaze Media CEO Tyler Cardon tells THR, “Given our record growth this year on our direct-to-consumer SVOD business, podcasts, various web properties and other digital distribution channels, it has become a conflict to continue programming a traditional, legacy cable channel.”…..Entercom announces that its RADIO.COM platform with its collection of premiere sports, entertainment, news, and music audio content is being made available to Samsung’s Bixby scalable intelligence platform.  RADIO.COM will be available in Bixby Marketplace, where Samsung smartphone users in the U.S. can add the capsule to enhance their Bixby experience.   Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “This is an exciting integration with Samsung to bring the RADIO.COM listening experience wherever and however our listeners want it.  With Bixby, we are able to bring RADIO.COM to millions of listeners, making it easier than ever to discover and engage with our premium audio content as part of our listeners’ daily audio habit.”…..ESPN Radio says its October PPM numbers for its daytime sports talk radio shows (men 25-54) are up 7%.  For instance, the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show saw a monthly increase across platforms of 13% compared to the September 2019 PPM survey and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 25% over September on terrestrial radio…..Westwood One Podcast Network’s “Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin” hosted Facebook VP global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson to discuss the personal and corporate responsibility of the social media platform.  Responding to a question about why Facebook runs political ads with false claims, Everson stated, “For decades, political advertising has not been monitored.  The FCC has made it very clear by law that broadcasters are not allowed to censor or change political advertising, and we have chosen to follow that, even though we are not required to do so by the FCC – as have all of the other platforms – because we think it’s very dangerous for a tech company, a CEO, or any private or public company to determine what is true and what is false.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa welcomed FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade to town today (11/8) for a listener event and book signing for Kilmeade’s new book, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (2019, Penguin Publishing).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May comments, “KRMG is proud to be able to bring one of our most popular radio and TV hosts to Tulsa for an opportunity to interact with our listeners and give people a chance to see what goes on as part of his live broadcast.”

The Impeachment Process and the Ukraine Affair Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The impeachment process against President Trump and the related Ukraine quid pro quo allegations was the top news/talk story for the week of November 4-8, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Tuesday election results in Virginia and Kentucky and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election.  Coming in at #3 was court ruling that President Trump must turn over eight years of tax returns to a Manhattan Grand Jury, followed by U.S.-China trade negotiations and the U.S. economy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s chart here.

PPM Analysis: Country. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on country. From the September 2019 survey to the October 2019 survey, about 60% of country stations in PPM markets are down (weekly, 6+ AQH share).  The year-over-year comparison is split a bit more evenly, with 47% of stations seeing an increase and 51% seeing a decrease.  Just two country stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October survey – Bonneville’s KYGO, Denver (6.1 share) and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus (10.7 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s CHR KNOU-FM, St. Louis “Now 96.3,” program director and midday personality Scott Ellis leaves the station to return to Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend.  Ellis previously worked on air and as PD for CHR KSPW-FM, Springfield.  Assuming his programming duties at KNOU is cluster operations manager Cat Simon…..A round of job cuts at Entercom Seattle include three from the programming department.  Jean Ashley leaves her morning co-host and APD gigs at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  Midday personality and rhythmic AC KHTP “HOT 103.7” assistant program director Jamie “Tanch” Tanchykh exits, as does alternative KNDD “107-7 The End” evening personality Cody Whistler.

Seen and Heard at the NAB/RAB Radio Show

| September 26, 2019

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent

 

DALLAS — The NAB/RAB Radio Show kicked into a new gear on Wednesday, highlighted by a standing-room-only lunch featuring Entercom CEO David Field, Cumulus CEO Mary Berner, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman.  A packed schedule of info sessions continued what has become a theme for the radio show – podcasting.

Thursday continues that same trend with info sessions that include a strong focus on sales and podcasting, capped off with the Marconi Awards dinner and show, and the Marconi “after party.”

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Seen and Heard at the Radio Show

| September 25, 2019

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent

 

DALLAS — While the setup day for the NAB Radio Show in Dallas Wednesday is when the show gets going with info sessions, exhibit floors opening, and those who didn’t arrive on Tuesday afternoon filing in early Wednesday, it’s the day the meetings begin, people gather for the luncheon featuring Cumulus CEO Mary Berner, Entercom CEO David Field, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, and networking is in full effect.

Sales as usual is always a big part of the event, however podcasting is a big theme of the 2019 Radio Show.  In fact, podcasting here at the Radio Show is being talked about more than ever before.  Several meeting sessions were solely about podcasting, but it seems as many of the sessions will also include podcasting as an element.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

| August 7, 2019

Entercom Acquires Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media. This morning’s (Wednesday, 8/7) press release doesn’t indicate a transaction amount for the two podcasting entities; however, The Wall Street Journal (first to report the story) pegs Cadence13 at roughly $50 million and estimates Pineapple Street Media at $18 million. Two years ago, Entercom shelled out nearly $10 million for a 45% stake in Cadence13 but now owns it entirely. According to Entercom chair/president/chief executive officer David Field, “Today marks another transformational event at Entercom – we are thrilled to welcome the outstanding teams and content partners at both Pineapple Street and Cadence13. Entercom will stand as a unique leader in the audio universe with both the greatest collection of premium, original local audio content along with arguably the best national podcast content. We are well-positioned to participate in the exciting audio renaissance and the powerful opportunities to work with our thousands of customers across the country on their increasingly important audio strategies.” Entercom’s chief digital officer J.D. Crowley remarks, “It is an exciting day for all lovers of audio – creators, listeners and advertisers. The leadership teams at both Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media are the best in the business; their tenacity, creativity and reputations are unmatched.” Pineapple Street Media will be renamed Pineapple Street Studios, a division of RADIO.COM, with Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky continuing as co-heads. It is a production house that creates original podcasts, working with partners such as ESPN, WNYC Studios, Netflix, and The New York Times. Headquartered in New York City and with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cadence13 launched in 2015 and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Entercom. CEO Spencer Brown will join the new organization as head of the division. Chief content officer Chris Corcoran will continue to lead content and Cadence13 president John Murphy will also be part of the leadership team. Pineapple Street Media co-founder Max Linsky says, “This is an incredibly exciting day for us and our team of podcast producers. We started Pineapple three years ago with the simple goal of making great shows that found huge audiences. Joining forces with the amazing teams at Entercom and Cadence13 means we can do that at a scale we never imagined. Co-founder Jenna Weiss-Berman adds, “This is an amazing time for podcasting. This moment is unprecedented – the energy, the growth, the talent coming to the medium. I am thrilled to be working with the incredible leadership teams at Entercom and Cadence13.” In a joint statement, Cadence13 founding partners Spencer Brown, Chris Corcoran, and John Murphy write, “Consolidation with Entercom will greatly accelerate the next phase of our growth. Through its robust portfolio, Entercom offers Cadence access to a national audio platform that will accelerate revenue and development of our audience engagement efforts. This acquisition helps us extend the reach of our partners and build their audiences across the audio landscape.”

Entravision Elevates Melendez to President/Local Media Sales. West region executive vice president Eddie Melendez is boosted to Entravision’s president of local media sales. Markets reporting directly to him include Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Orlando, McAllen, and El Paso. Entravision chief revenue officer Karl A. Meyer explains that, “Entravision has a comprehensive offering of traditional and digital media assets, which provide a powerful omni-channel platform for advertisers to reach the growing U.S. Hispanic market. We now have a single holistic sales structure that fully aligns with our integrated sales strategy approach. This provides consistency for our team and our marketing partners which will improve productivity and enhance the service we provide to our advertising clients. Eddie is a proven and inspirational leader with almost 30 years of experience and we are excited to have him driving our local sales efforts.” A part of the “Entravision family” since 2002, Melendez notes, “It’s an honor to be leading our local sales efforts. We have an exceptional platform and talented associate team that allow us to offer advertisers a comprehensive marketing solution that truly reaches and engages consumers at different stages of the value chain. I believe we are well-positioned to meet the needs of local advertisers today and in the future and build long-term relationships.” Positions Melendez has held since joining Entravision include vice president of business development and vice president/director of national sales. In other Entravision personnel news, Juan Navarro is appointed to the newly-created role of regional vice president/local media sales; Chris Jordan is named Las Vegas’ senior vice president/sales; and Laura Hernandez becomes senior vice president/sales in Midland-Odessa (Texas).

Wilson To Keynote RAIN Summit. The keynote speaker of next month’s (9/24) RAIN Summit in Dallas will be Bill Wilson, the two-year chief executive officer of Townsquare Media and a digital frontrunner in internet media and radio for over 25 years. As president of AOL Media, he managed consumer-facing brands across news, finance, sports, entertainment, and technology destinations. In Dallas, Wilson will describe the priorities and initiatives that have helped define Townsquare Media as “a local media and digital marketing solutions company.” RAIN president Brad Hill notes, “We are delighted and privileged to spotlight Bill Wilson at our Dallas event. In the 12 years that I’ve known Bill, he has been resolutely forward-looking, adroitly meeting the challenges of digital transformation and creating success across media categories. His executive experience and viewpoint illuminate new possibilities for radio and local media.” Wilson won an Emmy in 2006 for the “Live 8” program. He joined Townsquare Media in 2010 as chief content & digital officer and became CEO seven years later. Townsquare has innovated on the digital side through content and marketing initiatives such as Townsquare Ignite, the company’s fastest growing business in 2018, and Townsquare Interactive.

Entercom’s Q2 Results. Year-to-year net revenue rose 2.3% to $380.7 million, with Entercom’s operating income more than doubling from $27.6 million to $64.8 million. As TALKERS is reporting, Entercom this morning (Wednesday, 8/7) announced the purchase of Pineapple Street Media and an agreement in principle to acquire Cadence13. Chair/president/chief operating officer David J. Field explains, “This will make Entercom one of the country’s three largest podcast enterprises.” In another item on our site this morning, we cover the company’s launch of the RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network. Field points out, “It will debut later this month with a compelling lineup of daily radio shows and weekly podcasts. [The Cadence13, Pineapple Street Media, and Sports Digital Network] moves highlight a series of strategic investments that are positioning Entercom to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities in the audio space fueled by rapidly emerging catalysts, including podcasting, smart speakers, audio search, enhanced analytics and attribution.” Regarding the Q2 results, he notes that, “Second quarter revenue and EBITDA were up 2.3% and 7%, respectively, driven by strong growth in national, network and digital, partially offset by declines in political and events.”

TALKERS News Notes. With over 65 hours of daily live programming, Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network debuts in 12 days (Monday, 8/19). Shows will be available in podcast form with four additional weekly podcasts. Entercom sports president Mike Dee comments, “We are thrilled with the extraordinary lineup of talent we have assembled to launch this new venture. The commitment to create and distribute 25 hours of dedicated sports betting audio and video weekly to super serve that growing audience is an example of how the network will adapt quickly to the new trends that are shaping both consumer and advertiser interest. We look forward to the onboarding of more great content to the network in the coming months.” The weekday lineup will include: “Home and Home” with Ross Tucker and Dave Briggs (8:00 am – 11:00 am); “Scal & Pals” with Brian Scalabrine (11:00 am – 1:00 pm, starting 9/23); “Swing & Mrs.” With Cody Decker and his wife Jennifer Sterger Decker (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); and “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm) ….. There are personnel additions and subtractions taking place at NPR. Some newsroom positions are being cut, while other departments are adding jobs. As of September 6, for example, national security correspondent David Welna will depart. Senior vice president of news/editorial director Nancy Barnes addresses the issue in a staff memo by writing that less than ten jobs are being eliminated, however, the reason isn’t “about saving money.” Instead, she indicates it is a realignment of resources. Staff is being added to report on such topics as climate change and opioid addiction. An spokesperson says those facing layoffs will have the chance to apply for new openings within NPR ….. There will be two huge changes for E! News next year. Instead of airing at 7:00 pm, it will become a morning show and relocate from Los Angeles to NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center studios in New York. Approximately 25 E! News Los Angeles staffers will be laid off, although the company hopes to place them in new positions. The cable channel’s 2020 slate of entertainment news programming includes multiple additional hours of original weekday content, including two new series based in NYC. Its weekday schedule will include eight original entertainment news and commentary series.

Aftermath of El Paso and Dayton Shootings, US-China Trade War, and Stock Market Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday and this Morning (8/6-7).  The aftermath of the tragic shooting violence in El Paso and Dayton this weekend dominated all conversation on news/talk radio Monday (8/5), yesterday (8/6), and continuing into early today (8/7) with President Trump’s visit to both cities distantly followed by discussion about China’s devalued currency in a hard ball move per the US-China trade war and its impact on Wall Street according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

JackFM Wants Skyview, LRN for Sales/Syndication Services. The agreement doesn’t go into effect until the first of next year (1/1/2020), but Sparknet Communications, owner of adult hits “JackFM” and the trademarked “Playing What We Want” slogan heard in 62 markets, will have an exclusive partnership with Skyview Networks and Local Radio Networks (LRN) for their “full package of syndication services.” Scottsdale-based Skyview will be the exclusive network sales partner/satellite distribution provider for JackFM, while LRN will lead affiliate relations and provide automation technology. Skyview Networks and LRN entered into a collaborative partnership earlier this year. Sparknet president Garry Wall comments, “This move will upgrade the product quality for our affiliates in every aspect of the JackFM ‘listener experience.’ This also puts us into a partnership aligned around innovation, growth, and customer service.” Skyview Networks chief executive officer Ken Thiele states, “We are proud to offer Sparknet, in partnership with LRN, our full-service solution for syndicating and monetizing its successful and popular JackFM music format. This partnership brings together the synergies of three compelling audio companies experiencing unprecedented growth. I am impressed with the leadership strategy of LRN and believe in the opportunities we bring to the industry as partners for top content creators like Sparknet.” Skyview executive vice president/general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo explains, “In an ever-evolving audio industry, Skyview is constantly seeking opportunities to create value for our clients; JackFM offers programming solutions that are unmatched in the industry. We are proud to call them a partner and look forward to building on their success.” Local Radio Networks chief executive officer Steve Swick remarks, “The combined expertise and services of LRN and Skyview creates the most powerful 24/7 music format syndication solution for radio station owners, personalities, and content creators. JackFM is a proven audience-winner and a perfect addition to LRN’s lineup of quality 24/7 music formats.” LRN executive vice president Pat Crocker notes, “I worked for a decade with Garry and the JackFM format. I know firsthand the quality of the product and incredible creative energy he and his team dedicate to its production. We look forward to working with the Sparknet team to increase the already extensive footprint of the JackFM brand across the US.”

MIW Accepting Applications For Annual Mentoring Program. The program is a collaborative effort of The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) and Nielsen Music that creates greater opportunities for women interested in management positions in music broadcast programming. This year’s application window opens today (Wednesday, 8/7) and closes two weeks from today (Wednesday, 8/21). MIW Group executive committee member/Presslaff Interactive Revenue founder and president Ruth Presslaff states, “The continued support by Nielsen Music of women in programming through this mentorship program is appreciated by all MIWs and is truly appreciated across the industry. Together, we are helping women succeed, while creating stronger talent for radio – everybody benefits.” Nielsen director of radio Haley Jones comments, “Nielsen places great emphasis on driving diversity in the workplace. In our third year as the co-sponsor of the Annual MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program, we remain inspired by the number of young professionals looking to advance their careers. We are confident that this mentor program will continue to have a lifelong impact on the winners.” The one year mentorship program matches a female programming candidate with key mentors from throughout the broadcast industry, including the MIW Radio Group and Nielsen Music. It is designed to sharpen the mentee’s programming and professional skills and further her music programming career. The mentorship is available to one female program director, assistant program director, and/or music director from any music format.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After a 16-year tenure at Entercom Portland, vice president of programming/director of country programming Mike Moore exits as his position has been eliminated. Moore joined the Oregon stations from Nashville’s WSIX to program similarly-formatted KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.” In addition to WSIX (2000 – 2003), Moore previously programmed country stations in Orlando (WWKA) and Hartford (WWYZ). The Entercom Portland cluster consists of sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan”; classic rock KGON and blues KGON-HD2; sports talk KMTT “910 ESPN”; alternative KNRK and KNRK-HD2; hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz”; aforementioned country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf”; and adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie.” ….. Among inductees who will be added to the Philadelphia Music…..Walk of Fame’s Class of 2019 is Beasley Broadcast Group Philadelphia (rock) WMMR mid-day personality Pierre Robert. The Radio Row award recipient came to Philadelphia from San Francisco in 1981 and embraces the best of the new music releases as well as heritage rock. Other honorees include The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Hooters, The O’Jays, Evelyn “Champagne” King, music industry executive Jody Gerson, and philanthropist Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. Honorees will be formally inducted October 22 during afternoon ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts and celebrated that evening with a gala event at The Bellevue Philadelphia.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats. Four successive sweeps without an increase by KSFO have accounted for a loss of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, #21 to #24, 6+), driving the Cumulus Media news/talk station below a two-share (1.7, 6+) for the first time in exactly two years (1.8, July 2017). When cluster-mate KGO gained three-tenths in May, it ended seven successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), but KGO has now dropped one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.7 – 1.6 -1.5, #26 to #25, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (.1 – .2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” jumps from #41 to #35.

At the same time that Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” improves by eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+) vaulting from ninth to third, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (#11 to #21). Up one full-share in April, KNBR is the flagship of the Giants. Powered by May’s +1.4, Golden State Warriors flagship KGMZ nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Off a combined half-share in June/July (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which had a May-only stay at #1, repeats at #2. It spent four straight months in the runner-up slot before picking up three-tenths in May to progress to the top.

Replicating June’s gain of three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. KQED had been on top four sweeps in a row, but faltered by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+), segueing to #2 in May. Down a collective half-share via four straight drops (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” ends the slide with a gain of two-tenths to 1.0 (#30 to #28, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – An overall -1.4 in three straight dips (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” pulls the plug by picking up one-tenth to 3.7 (steady at #6, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of six-tenths, “The Breeze” was +1.2 through three straight gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Not only does co-owned hot AC KIOI pick up three-tenths to curtail five successive down or flat trends that resulted in a one-half share loss (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), “Star 101.3” returns to the top ten (3.2, #12 to #10). In four straight negative or neutral sweeps, Bonneville urban AC KBLX surrendered a collective -1.1 (3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), but “Today’s R&B and Old School” adds one-tenth to 2.3 (6+) and climbs from #18 to #15. After a May increase of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is a combined -1.3 in June/July (4.0 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Before dropping two-tenths in April, “The Bone” was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Although slipping from sixth to seventh, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 13th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. Following five straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” dips one-tenth in June and July (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, flat at #22, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past survey periods for a  +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” forfeits one-third of that increase in July (3.5, -.6, sixth to tenth, 6+). An increase of one-tenth to .6 (6+) pushes Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” from #36 to #34. Three straight down or flat trends by Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM resulted in a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), but “570 News & Information” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+) and moves from #38 to #36.

Tacking on one-half share to June’s increase of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” is back in the top twenty (#22 to #20). Entering the June sweep, the flagship of the Texas Rangers lost roughly 52% (-1.6) of its 6+-share in four straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it levels off at 1.7 (6+) after June’s -1.0, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” slips from #23 to #24. “The Ticket” notched a 2.7 (6+) in March, April, and May. Down one-tenth in both June and July (.9 – .8 – .7, 6+), Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” repeats at #32.        

A streak that lasted approximately 2.5 years comes to an end as KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” logs a 1.8 (#21 to #23, 6+). The Entercom news-talk hybrid had been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0 since “Holiday” 2016. Moreover, KRLD-AM is off a collective seven-tenths in three straight declines (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

Off a collective -1.0 in four straight negative or neutral moves (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA dips from #11 to #14.

Dallas Music Formats – Locked on 4.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping to 4.0 (6+) in June, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY erupts with a +1.1 to 5.1 (6+) as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” zooms from seventh to second. This (5.1) is the loftiest 6+-showing for KLTY since February 2015’s 5.1. One of its format rivals, Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 – Worship Now,” notches its third consecutive gain for an overall +1.2 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+) and jumps from #16 to #13. In addition to logging a July improvement of eight-tenths to 3.8 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). In addition to chalking up a +.6, iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” records a 5.1 the third time in the last six sweeps (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, fifth to second, 6+). After being a cumulative -1.1 in six straight down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 2.8 (#16 to #15, 6+). Even though it has lost nine-tenths as a result of three straight negative or neutral moves (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), its CHR sibling, KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music,” is #1 the seventh month in a row. Its May dip of four-tenths brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 was its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Meanwhile, July’s full-share setback by Cumulus Media-owned country outlet KPLX wipes away its combined May/June +.7. (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf” tumbles from second to seventh. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 Nobody Plays More ‘80s” (4.8 – 4.3, third to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.3 – 2.8, #11 to #15, 6+). After having its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half in June (1.4 – .7, -.7, 6+), KLNO’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KFZO “Zona MX 99.1” drops another three-tenths to .4 (#34 to #36, 6+).

Houston                              

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the third time in a row for a net loss of four tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH falls from #14 to #15. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December 2018 (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Frozen on .4 (6+) in March and April, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” has now been stymied at .3 in May, June, and July (#31 to #28, 6+).

While steady at #22, iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790” is off one-tenth to 1.1 (6+), thus halting four straight positive or neutral trends in which the flagship of the Houston Astros more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). KBME has a one-tenth advantage over Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (1.0) and market rank (#23). It is the same scenario for Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5,” which is unchanged from June in those same two (share and market rank) categories (.7, #25, 6+).

After gaining four-tenths in June (2.1 – 2.5, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF returns one-tenth (2.4, 6+) but carries on at #19.

Houston Music Formats – Within 3.1- 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last nine survey periods (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KHMX not only logs an impressive +1.3 to 4.7 (6+), “Mix 96.5” rockets into the top ten (#15 to #8). “Mix” reaches the four-share level (4.7, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 4.0. Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” picks up one tenth to 5.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight decreases of six-tenths each. It was 6.7 – 6.1 (6+) in April; 6.1 – 5.5 (6+) in May; and 5.5 – 4.9 (6+) in June. Before eroding by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Two streaks continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA. On the positive side, “Sunny 99.1” is #1 the 16th sweep in a row. Conversely, KODA is an overall -5.5 in seven straight declines (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of this spiral, “Sunny” was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Airing a variety of musical genres including jazz and blues, Texas Southern University’s KTSU posted a .8 (6+) in May followed by a .5 (6+) in June; however, “90.9 Your Community Station” disappears in July. The four-tenths lead that Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New Country 93-Q” had in June over Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” is reduced to one-tenth as “93-Q” drops one-tenth (4.8 – 4.6, 6+) while “The Bull” adds two-tenths (4.4 – 4.6, 6+). KKBQ and KILT-FM remain at eighth and tenth, respectively. Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three bumps in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). In five successive negative or neutral reports, Liberman Broadcasting’s KQQK “El Norte 107.9” has lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, #17 to #18, 6+).

Party Man and Diva Honored. At a music and radio award ceremony held this past Sunday at Backstage Atlanta to salute excellence in the industry, Westwood One’s urban AC “Rick and Sasha” (pictured at right) were cited as having the “Best Syndicated Morning Show.” Rick Party formerly worked at Cox Media Group Miami urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” while “Sasha The Diva” most recently was heard on CMG’s similarly-formatted WALR Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” Rick and Sasha debuted nationally in January of this year.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

| May 1, 2019

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.

Friday, February 22, 2019

| February 22, 2019

Entercom Q4 Same-Station Net Revenue Up 4%.  Since Entercom closed the CBS RADIO deal in mid-November of 2017, comparisons of fourth quarter 2018 to fourth quarter of 2017 are only relevant on a same-station basis.  Entercom certainly became a much bigger player in the radio business from a revenue standpoint as a result of the CBS merger. Its net revenue for the full year of 2018 was $1.46 billion – almost three times as much as the full year of 2017 that totaled $593 million.  On a same-station basis, the fourth quarter of 2018 was good – up 4% on same-station net revenue of $411 million.  But for the whole of 2018, same-station net revenue shrank 3.9% – from $1.52 billion in 2017 to $1.46 billion in 2018.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic revenue and EBITDA growth in Q4 as our performance continues to accelerate across the organization and we gain traction on our various scale-driven growth initiatives.  2018 was a year of transformational enhancements on many fronts and we begin 2019 as a much stronger organization than we were a year ago.  We are making excellent progress across our strategic focus areas, including Radio.com which is now the fastest growing digital audio app in the US, Entercom Analytics which has grown to exceed 5,000 connected customers, and the Entercom Audio Network which is gaining significant momentum.  2019 is off to a good start with solid pacing growth in the first and second quarters and we are excited about the year ahead.”

Juliet Huddy Joins Curtis Sliwa for WABC Middays. Beginning Monday, 77 WABC Radio adds former FOX News Channel personality Juliet Huddy to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Curtis Sliwa for the new “Curtis and Juliet” show.  Most recently, WABC had paired Sliwa with Rita Cosby – who had been with the station as political editor, as well – but she exited the station in late December.  Huddy began her career with FOX News Channel in 1998 working out of its Miami and Los Angeles bureaus.  She moved to the NYC headquarters in 2001 and worked on “FOX & Friends,” “DaySide,” and her own nationally syndicated talk show, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.”  She left FNC in September of 2016 to launch the music website, BlondeAndCrossbones.com – dedicated to hard rock and heavy metal.   Sliwa says, “I worked with Juliet Huddy for four years on ‘Good Day Early Call NY.’  We were like a brother and sister arguing and discussing the issues of the day.  They were not just political.  We delved into cultural, social, and personal issues, especially male/female issues that most people are interested in.  WABC is giving us that opportunity to talk about those same issues in this age where Trump talk dominates the airwaves from a male/female perspective.”  Huddy adds, “I’m genuinely so excited to host alongside Curtis.  We’ve become more than colleagues over the years; we’re friends.”

Entercom Brings Cox Media Group and Bonneville Content Aboard RADIO.COM. In content distribution deals with both Cox Media Group and Bonneville, live channels for all of those companies’ stations as well as on-demand audio will be available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We are pleased to welcome Cox Media Group’s radio stations and Bonneville and their great content to the RADIO.COM platform as we continue to expand our premium content offerings to super-serve our large and rapidly growing audience of listeners across hundreds of devices.  Great partnerships like these further strengthen RADIO.COM’s position as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  CMG content on RADIO.COM includes live-stream broadcasts from 55 stations in 11 markets in addition to leading podcasts like “The Von Haessler Doctrine” and “The Mark Kaye Show.”  Bonneville content includes live streams from 22 local radio stations in six markets, as well as leading podcasts such as “Above & Beyond: The Intersection of Faith and Sports,” “Your Last Meal,” “Mindfulness, Wellness & You,” and “Stuff Your Dad Knows.”

Border Wall Emergency Declaration Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 18-22. The political battle over President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund the U.S.-Mexico wall project was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was the slate of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, followed by the Jussie Smollett “attack” case at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio pro Bob Stei joins Media Staffing Network as account manager and recruiter.  The media staffing and consulting firm says that Stei is charged with guiding a variety of functions.  Founder and CEO Laurie Kahn says, “Over the past two years, MSN has significantly increased its number of hiring solutions, ranging from placing a wider array of positions across media to developing hands-on and online tools that help media companies hire more effectively, strategically, and proactively.  Bob brings a passion and knowledge about broadcasting and recruiting that will help MSN expand into new areas.”   During his career, Stei has served at such stations as WNEW-FM, New York; WMGK, Philadelphia; WBAB, Long Island; and WCHR, Toms River, New Jersey…..Singer and actor Joey Fantone launches a new podcast with manager and longtime friend Joe Mulvihill via PodcastOne called “Two Cups of Joe.”  The former NSYNC singer was recently “unmasked” on the hit TV show “The Masked Singer” and in the premiere episode he talks with Donnie Wahlberg, who was rumored to be under the rabbit mask as the show’s suspense built…..Tenderfoot TV and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new true crime podcast called, “To Live and Die in LA,” hosted by award-winning journalist and Rolling Stone contributing editor Neil Strauss.  The series takes a deep dive into the mysterious disappearance of 25-year-old aspiring actress Adea Shabani, who disappeared from her apartment complex near Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame in February of last year…..Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio announce a rare hockey hat trick happening this weekend as broadcasters Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti will call three NHL games during a 24-hour period for MSG Networks, Westwood One, and NBC Sports Radio.  On Saturday at 1:00 pm ET, the New York Rangers host the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Micheletti will be joined in the broadcast booth by play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen.  Albert, now in his 23rd season as the radio voice of the Rangers, will simultaneously call the play-by-play action on WEPN “ESPN 98.7,” the radio home of the Rangers, alongside analyst Dave Maloney.  Following the game, Albert and Micheletti will go straight to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and team up to broadcast Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s national radio coverage of the NHL Stadium Series matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at 8:00 pm ET.  Albert and Micheletti will be joined onsite by rinkside reporter Kelly Chase and host Steve Mears.  After the game, the duo will then travel down south to Washington, DC for MSG Networks’ television and radio broadcast of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals game on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Capital One Arena.  Albert and Micheletti serve as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead NHL broadcast crew and will be on the call together for select playoff games this year, including their fourth straight season calling the Stanley Cup Final.

TALKERS Publisher Visits Hubbard Cluster in West Palm Beach.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison paid a visit to longtime colleagues at the Hubbard Radio cluster headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday (2/21).  While there, he guested for an hour of on-air conversation about the hot issues with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami/West Palm Beach midday host (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Joyce Kaufman (above, left). He also visited with the cluster’s creative director (and production wizard) Mick McCabe (below, right) who worked with Harrison as producer/board op for the legendary “Harrison’s Mic” talk show on KMET, Los Angeles back in the early 1980s.

BFoA Announces New Time for Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament. The Broadcasters Foundation of America reports that this year’s Philip J. Lombardo Charity Golf Tournament will begin at 8:00 am for registration and breakfast, followed by a shot-gun start at 9:00 am on Sunday, April 7, at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas.  The annual fundraiser is held during the NAB Show in honor of the Broadcasters Foundation chairman emeritus Philip J. Lombardo and raises money to help broadcasters in acute need.  The BFoA says, “Every year, top-level broadcast industry leaders and celebrities turn out in support of the Foundation’s mission and to enjoy a morning of golf with their colleagues before the NAB kicks into high gear.”  For more information on purchasing a spot or a foursome, please click here.

Cumulus Rising Talk Radio Star Larry O’Connor Is This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. WMAL, Washington, DC/KABC, Los Angeles radio talk show host Larry O’Connor is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  For the past several years, O’Connor, based in the nation’s capital, has been successfully hosting the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm afternoon drive show on Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC powerhouse WMAL-AM/FM. Six weeks ago, he added a separate mid-morning 10:00 am -12:00 noon show on Cumulus’s KABC, Los Angeles, via remote, to his weekday schedule.  Harrison and O’Connor discuss his new two-station, bi-coastal schedule and the differences he perceives between talk audiences in these markets.  The discussion also explores Donald Trump’s impact on the media as well as society in general and delves back to the days of O’Connor’s pre-radio career in the legitimate theater where he spent a number of years as the general manager of the Schubert Theater in Los Angeles before joining the early incarnation of Breitbart News as an online writer and radio commentator.  O’Connor reflects on his relationship with the late Andrew Breitbart. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS daily email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B96” names Kenzie K midday personality, taking over for Nikki Imbrascio, who exited the Entercom station last week after 10 years.  Kenzie K comes to Chicago from Tampa where she was midday host at Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “WiLD 94.1.”  She says, “I cannot wait to join the amazing Entercom team in the city I’ve always dreamt of.  Thank you to [market manager] Jimmy de Castro, [VP of programming] Todd Cavanah and [music director] Erik Bradley for this incredible opportunity.  I’m looking forward to getting to know listeners in the Windy City.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints Philly radio pro Nicole Siberry digital program director for classic rock WMGK-FM and country WXTU-FM in Philadelphia.  Siberry was most recently promotions and programming coordinator for Entercom’s CHR WTDY and classic hits WOGL.  There she was responsible for creating content and video for the stations’ social media platforms…..Max Media Denver names Jowcol “Boogie D” Dolby operations and program director for hip hop KFCO “Flo 107.1” and rhythmic oldies KJHM-FM “Jammin 101.5,” effective March 11.  Previously, Boogie D served with Radio One in markets including: Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Washington, and Charlotte.  Max Media president and GM Jeff Norman says, “We are thrilled to have Boogie D on board, he’ll bring a fresh prospective and approach to our programming department.  Boogie D has demonstrated an ability to win in competitive environments and our radio stations are poised to grow to the next level under his leadership.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – An improvement of four-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.1 (6+) and remains at #19. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” jumps from #26 to #23.

An overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” concludes that slump with a +.2 to 1.1 (#23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” picks up one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and continues at #23. For the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship logs a .7 (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, #26 to #27, 6+).

Blowing up “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January 2019 +1.2, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB advances from second to first (9.3 – 8.1 – 9.3, 6+). Continuing the “1.2” theme, prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, KOPB was a collective +1.2 in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.2 (January 2019.

Portland Music Formats – It took iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH exactly one report to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, 6+) as “106.7 The Eagle” soars to a January 2019 +1.7 (7.1, fifth to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 5.4 marked the first time “The Eagle” was below a six-share (6+) since March 2018’s 5.5. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” has followed with a +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a +1.2 (4.3 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). The September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 topline for Salem Media Group regional KRYP was 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 (6+), but “El Rey 93.1” erupts with a +1.3 to 3.3 (#18 to #15, 6+). Not only is All Classical Public Media’s KQAC a collective +1.8 through three straight positive spikes (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), “All Classical Portland” enters the top ten (#11 to #7). In addition, it reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time in nearly two years ago (4.2, February 2017). Seven straight down or flat trends by Entercom’s KWJJ resulted in a -1.9 (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), but “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” suspends that streak with a +1.1 to 3.8 (#15 to #11, 6+). Its alternative and hot AC cluster-mates KNRK “94/7 Portland Alternative” (3.5 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+) and KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (3.1 – 3.6, unchanged at #13, 6+) are up seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. Even though co-owned KGON is +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth. Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Following back-to-back stays at #1 and a combined +8.0 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is -9.2 (7.0, first to third, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). On the heels of a massive “Holiday” 2018 +2.4 (3.2 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” surrenders seven-tenths to 4.9 (third to sixth, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A January gain of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0, 6+) enables Entercom news/talk WBT to progress from #12 to #11. The Carolina Panthers flagship was a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), after being +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+).

Nearly tripling (+1.1) its 6+ share via seven straight positive or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned sports talk (and Charlotte Hornets key station) WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” climbs from #19 to #18.

Regaining in full “Holiday” 2018’s nine-tenths’ loss, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” moves from #17 to #16 (1.8 – 2.7, +.9, 6+). Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fourth straight time and is down four-tenths in that stretch (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – It is a strong sweep for the market’s two country FMs as iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” is +1.2 (4.4 – 5.6, eighth to fifth, 6+), while Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” posts a gain of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), but was then a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Four-tenths ahead of “Country’s Hottest Hits” is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO, which all but erases “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (6.6 – 7.7, 6+) to march from second to first. Immediately in advance of that -1.2, “102.9 The Lake” posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Notching a January 2019 +1.1 as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” whose five most recent fluctuations are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (2.4 – 3.0, 6+, December); -.6 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 in January 2019 (2.4 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive setbacks, iHeartMedia’s WRFX was a collective -1.7 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), but “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends that streak with a +1.0 to 5.7 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Having faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” roars back with a gain of nine-tenths (3.9 – 4.8, tenth to seventh, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 3.9 was its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Radio One’s WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, “105.3 RnB” adds six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 half-share increase (5.3, 6+), but backslides from a three-way tie at #5 to #6. In addition to having its consecutive string of positive or flat moves which produced an overall +7.8 halted at four (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” slumps from first to eighth (12.9 – 4.6, -8.3, 6+). Its 12.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. Co-owned mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” is -1.2 via four consecutive negative or flat trends (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #14, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 gain of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” cruises from ninth to sixth. WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three a consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “January 2019 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#24, 6+).

While it stays at #29, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+), thus curtailing five straight down or flat reports that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+).

A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a +.8 (3.5, #16 to #12, 6+).   

San Antonio Music Formats – Virtually each of the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has produced its share of substantial “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 increases, although we hadn’t seen a single station register an increase of three full-shares … until now. Accomplishing that truly noteworthy accomplishment is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA. Major shifts aren’t new for “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which was +.5 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +3.0 in January 2019 (6.0 – 9.0, 6+). Moreover, KAJA leaps from fourth to first. Continuing in third-place is similarly-formatted, Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader.” Six of its recent fluctuations include: +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +1.8 (5.1 – 6.9, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). These two country combatants were tied in June and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Applying the brakes to four straight setbacks that accounted for an overall -2.8 (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” displays a +1.9 to 7.9 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth straight time. Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Meanwhile, its internet stream improves by one-half share (.2 – .7, #27, 6+). A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” answers with a January 2019 +1.3 to 4.8 (tenth to fourth, 6+). A +1.2 enables Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG to vault into the top five (#11 to #5). “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” had been down six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adding six-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (2.6 – 3.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV advances from #18 to #16. When the December 2018 sweep concluded, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was -1.3 in three consecutive negative or flat trends (3.8 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Somewhat mirroring KZLV, iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #11 to #10, 6+). Owing to three positive spikes in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KQXT was +10.6 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+) and #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. In January 2019 though, “Q-101.9” plunges by -10.7 to 4.2 (6+), drifting from first to seventh. KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. In four consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -1.9 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Off six-tenths as well in January 2019 is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KSAH “Norteno,” which is -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, #15 to #19, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a +1.5 to 7.6 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK completely eliminate its cumulative -.9 in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” jumps from third to a first-place tie. KFBK was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). Up two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Following four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, 6+), Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” gains three-tenths to 1.2 (#23 to #22, 6+). Slipping from #23 to #25, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is a collective -.7 in three successive down or flat reports (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9, 6+).

On the heels of forfeiting one full-share, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ sputters by another eight-tenths (5.9 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Prior to “Holiday” 2018’s -1.0, KXJZ notched five successive sweeps without a loss, netting a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 (November – December – “Holiday” 2018, 6+), Entercom’s KKDO erupts with a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) sending “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock,” which was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 4.3, 6+) answers with a +1.1 to 5.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In early-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary as “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. Now, however, “The Breeze” is a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.7, 6+), advancing from #13 to #12. Making January 2019 leaps of six-tenths in addition to KBEB are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (3.7 – 4.3, flat at #9, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” (.8 – 1.4, #18, 6+). The wild ride continues for Bonneville’s KNCI. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “New Country 105.1” was an overall +1.5 in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September – October – November – December, 6+); -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.5 in January 2019 (4.2 – 4.7, steady at #7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River,” which is +1.1 in three upticks in succession (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #5, 6+). A boost of two-tenths (7.4 – 7.6, 6+) is enough to lift Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” from second to a first-place tie. On top for ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). After notching a combined December and “Holiday” 2018 +7.6 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and occupying the #1 slot in both of those sweeps, adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” returns in its entirety that increase (6.2, -7.6, first to third, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 13.8 is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Lotus Communications regional Mexican KVMX “La Ranchera,” which had been trending 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+), drops one-half share to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from “Holiday” 2018’s -.7 with a +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” progresses from eighth to seventh.

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which was off nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), is now a combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (5.5 – 5.8 – 7.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). The September 2018 through January 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is: .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#19 to #17, 6+).

Continuing at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bounces back from a one-half share “Holiday” 2018 loss with a +1.1 (3.1 – 4.2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – A collective -1.6 via four straight decreases (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.6 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Off a combined seven tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” wipes away that shortfall with a +1.0 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). After being without a loss the past three reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW erodes by -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), but “94.5 – 3WS” is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Via five straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH was an overall +4.6, but “Wish 99.7” falters by -4.1 to 5.8 (second to sixth, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though Bonneville’s KSL substitutes “Holiday” 2018’s -.6 with a January 2019 +.6 (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” backslides from fourth to sixth. KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. Likewise, iHeartMedia’s KNRS completely eradicates “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January 2019 +1.4 (4.7 – 3.3 – 4.7, 6+). In this case though, “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from #12 to #7. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL sputtered by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” vanishes from print in January 2019.

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER recaptures all of it in January 2019 – and one-tenth more – with a +.6 to 2.9 (#14 to #12, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Albeit the height of understatement – but nonetheless – iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is on an incredible rollercoaster ride. It was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.0 in January 2019 (4.4 – 6.4, sixth to second, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Registering robust increases of +1.3 (each) are Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.8, unchanged at #5, 6+). “Now” gained two-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, while KZHT was a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Five consecutive decreases by Cumulus Media country KUBL accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+) but “K-Bull 93” is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3, ninth to eighth, 6+). Gaining eight-tenths each are its adult contemporary and rock siblings, KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.2, steady at #9, 6+) and KUER “Utah’s Rock Station (2.7, #18 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), KBEE had a December decrease that interrupted three straight gains netting +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). “Utah’s Rock Station” was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Up six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KAAZ “Rock 106.7” (2.3, #20 to #16, 6+) and Capital Broadcasting’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.3, #18, 6+). “Rock 106.7” was -.9 in three straight decreases (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), while “The Wave” was -.5 via four successive setbacks (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .7, 6+). Progressing from #16 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+). The good news first for Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI is that it is #1 for the third straight report. After three straight increases that netted a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+), however, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” craters by an eyepopping -13.9 to 7.9 (6+). KSFI was the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its “Holiday” 2018 loss of three-tenths into a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude (1.6 – 2.2, +.6, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Off a collective four-tenths in three slips in succession (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” gains two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #23, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.8 – .7 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” advances from #28 to #25.

A combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR posts a +.7 to 3.7 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10).

Las Vegas Music Formats – An improvement of one full-share by KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (6.1 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+) takes the Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet to its highest 6+-share (7.1) since August 2018’s 7.5. An overall +1.1 through three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” leaps into the top ten (#11 to #6). By adding seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5 ” pops back into the top twenty at #16. Notching gains of six-tenths (each) are Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” (2.7 – 3.3, unchanged at #13, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” (1.4 – 2.0, #20, 6+). “Hot,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), rebounds from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though Lotus Communications’ KXPT is without a loss for the eighth straight survey period for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A one-half share increase by cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” to 2.6 (#17 to #15, 6+) ends a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). A combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE surrenders a -5.3 to 7.5 (6+) but “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 for the sixth time in a row. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. With a November – December – “Holiday” 2018 topline of 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS regresses by eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and drifts from the top ten (#6 to #11). “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” is under a four-share (6+) for the first time since “Holiday 2017’s 3.8.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – All but wiping away its combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+) with a January 2019 +1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth. At the conclusion of the November 2018 sweep, “News 96.5” was an overall +1.9 due to five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, a six-tenths’ boost to 3.7 (#12 to #11, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” suspends five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+). Its August +1.0 curtailed three straight decreases that generated a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Anchored at #15, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is up four-tenths to 2.2 (6+), halting three successive setbacks that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+). Just before that, in four consecutive reports without a loss, WFLF nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+).

An increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+) propels Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” into the top twenty (#23 to #20). While it advances from #23 to #22, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” has lost more than half (-.8) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Regaining just over half of its “Holiday” 2018 loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 3.2, +.5, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” carries on at #13.

Orlando Music Formats – A cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” wipes away nearly all that shortfall with a whopping +2.0 (6.9, seventh to fourth, 6+). After spending 11 consecutive ratings periods at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM was in the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, with a combined -1.1 in those two reports (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “Rumba 100” breaks out a +1.5 in January 2019 (7.8 – 9.3, 6+) and returns to the lead position. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on seven-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1, 6+) and climbs from third to second. Notwithstanding that it nearly replicates “Holiday” 2018’s increase of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +.6 (5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” backslides from fifth to sixth. A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Slightly similar to “Mix,” Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB adds one-half share to “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.2, 6+) but “Star 94.5” is able to jump from fourth to third. In addition to being a combined +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF was #1 in those two sweeps. In January, however, “Magic 107.7” erodes by -7.4 to 6.9 (6+) and drops to fourth. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. The internet stream of Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits,” which appeared with a .7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, vanishes from print in January 2019.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia news/talk WLW manage to obliterate “Holiday” 2018’s -2.1 in one fell swoop with a +2.4 (7.5 – 9.9, 6+), the flagship of the Reds and Bengals zooms from fourth to first. WLW spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. Its recent shifts include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +2.4 (January 2019). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati,” which was down three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), adds one-half share to 3.5 (6+), yet departs the top ten (#10 to #11).

Even though sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” picks up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, 6+) it backslides from #17 to #18.

Down nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU ends that skid with a +.4 to 3.0, but remains at #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Following a December-only stay at #1, Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR shifted to third in “Holiday” 2018, as a result of a -1.8 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+). Roaring back with a January 2019 +1.5 (to 9.6, 6+), “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” climbs to second. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. In three successive sweeps without an increase, its classic rock sibling – WOFX – had a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), but “92.5 The Fox” dials up a +1.4 to 5.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective -2.6 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” answers with a +1.2 to 6.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Even though co-owned WUBE adds a +1.0 to “Holiday” 2018’s +.3 (8.1 – 8.4 – 9.4, 6+),“B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” shifts from second to third. The four most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) another -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now +.9 in January 2019 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is a combined +.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+). A collective +9.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” spirals by -.8.2 to 6.4 (first to fifth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6 is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 +.7, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” regresses by one-half share (5.0 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2018, but it resurfaces with a 1.2 (#18, 6+). At the same time, Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “88.7 The Station For Something For Everyone,” which had an October through “Holiday” 2018 topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .2 – .0 (6+), reemerges with a 1.3 (#17, 6+). In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the sixth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a +.9 to 5.1 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Flat at 5.4 (6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from seventh to eighth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1 (2.1 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN progresses from #14 to #13.

Cleveland Music Formats – A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” bounces back with a +1.7 to 6.1 (tenth to fourth, 6+). Similarly, after three consecutive decreases that resulted in a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” erupts with a +1.6 to 4.8 (6+) and lands in the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). Off four-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” posts a positive spike twice that magnitude (6.9, +.8, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying gains of seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #12, 6+) and co-owned urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 (.7 – 1.4, #17 to #15, 6+). “Kiss” was down one-half share in “Holiday” 2018. WAKS-HD2 surfaced in July with a .1 (6+); failed to appear in the next five reports; but reemerged in “Holiday” 2018. While it repeats at #1, co-owned classic hits-oldies WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” follows “Holiday” 2018’s massive +2.8 with a -1.7 (10.7 – 9.0, 6+). A combined +4.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surrenders a -4.3 to 6.0 (6+) and segues from second to sixth. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Dropping from fourth to seventh, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” is a collective -1.0 in four successive setbacks (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” vanishes in January 2019.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Two big bounce-backs in the Entercom cluster find news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather,” a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) logging a +1.2 to 4.6 (#14 to #7, 6+), while KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) notches a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #18, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Steady at #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+).

A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” breaks out a +1.3 to 5.0 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#12 to #6). WHB more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, Entercom’s KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but “610 Sports Radio” adds three-tenths in January 2019 to 2.9 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, KCUR responds with a +.3 to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). The University of Missouri news/talk outlet was a collective +.8 in November and December.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” roars back with a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, fifth to third, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s half-share increase (9.0 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the ninth straight time and has its strongest 6+-stat (10.1) since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Over the course of the last three ratings periods, Entercom-owned KQRC spiraled by an overall -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, 6+) but “98.9 The Rock” picks up four-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Its November one-half share loss suspended three straight increases that yielded a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). A combined +2.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC relinquishes a -3.8 to (3.2, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” freefalls from #2 to #15. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. Immediately after posting a +1.6, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM falters by -1.3 (6.7 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” pulled the plug on eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. As a result of five consecutive positive or flat sweeps, CHR sibling KCHZ was +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), but “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Urban AC cluster-mate KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B,” which was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), forfeits 25% of that bounty (4.2, -.5, sixth to tenth, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” dials up a +1.3 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+).

Among the fluctuations for RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM since it reappeared in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+). “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted in January 2019. Climbing from #18 to #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+).

By posting a +1.1 to 4.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU ends a mini-slide that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.1 to its “Holiday” 2018 improvement of four-tenths (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus Hit Music” jumps from fourth to second with its highest 6+-share (8.3) since September 2018’s 9.4. Slightly more than three full-shares ahead of it is co-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (11.4, +.8, 6+), which is #1 for the 14th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January 2019 uptick applies the brakes to six straight downturns that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and +.8 (January 2019). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC, which was a combined +3.7 in back-to-back (December and “Holiday” 2018) improvements (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), surrenders a -4.1 to 4.6 (6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” skids from third to sixth. Its December increase halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular sequence immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). As a result of three positive spikes in a row (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY was a cumulative +3.8, but “Sunny 95” relinquishes exactly half that increase with a -1.9 to 7.8 (second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.7 is WSNY’s best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

| November 6, 2018

Entercom Q3 Report: Revenue ‘Improved Significantly.’ It was almost a year ago that Entercom closed on its acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations and the addition of that group of stations pushes Entercom’s net revenue from $122.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $378.5 million in the third quarter of this year.  But, on a same-station basis, net revenue was down from $395.2 million – a decrease of 4.3%.  Pro forma adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $86.7 million, compared to $89.7 million in the third quarter of 2017.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our transformational merger with CBS RADIO, we are very pleased with our progress and excited about the momentum we are building across multiple growth initiatives.  Revenues have improved significantly since the first half of the year and the fourth quarter is on track for significant growth, currently pacing up 4%.  Expenses are down significantly, driven by synergies, and we anticipate solid double-digit EBITDA growth in the fourth quarter.  In addition, we have now completed all of our previously announced divestitures and land sales, generating roughly $200 million in cash proceeds.”

Townsquare Media Reports ‘Another Strong Quarter.’ The company reports its 2018 third quarter financial results, stating net revenue was $114.1 million – up 1.9% from the same period in 2017 – but was basically flat, excluding political revenue.  Excluding live events net revenue, which was budgeted to decline in 2018, net revenue increased $8.7 million, or 9.5%, to $101.1 million, as compared to $92.3 million in the same period last year.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Dhruv Prasad says, “We are pleased to announce another strong quarter at Townsquare, our fourth since Bill Wilson and I started our partnership as co-chief executive officers one year ago.  We implemented a strategic plan focused on the stability and profitable growth of Townsquare’s local branded media, marketing solutions, and live events businesses, and that plan has helped yield three consecutive quarters of revenue and EBITDA growth so far in 2018.”

Mike Thomas Promoted to National Format Brand Manager for Spoken Word Formats. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” program director Mike Thomas is elevated to the position of national format brand manager for spoken word formats, including sports talk, talk, podcasting, and Esports content for Beasley Media Group.  He will continue to serve as PD for WBZ-FM.  At the same time, the company makes a similar move upping David Corey – PD of WKLB, Boston – to national format brand manager for country.  Beasley Media Group EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “Mike Thomas and David Corey will join our existing national format brand managers, John Candelaria (urban) from Detroit, Cadillac Jack (AC/CHR) from Boston and Bill Weston (rock) from Philly to round out a first-class programming team to further support and elevate our stations.”

Prosecution Rests in Carton Fraud Trial. According to coverage in Newsday, the feds have rested their case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton.  Carton’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb told U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon that they are having “serious conversations” about Carton taking the stand in his defense but have not reached a decision.  Carton is being charged with fraud, accused of using money from investors in his ticket re-sale business to pay off personal expenses – including alleged gambling debts – as well as to pay off earlier investors.  Carton denies he set out to defraud anyone and argues he was a victim of former partner Joseph Meli, who is serving 6 ½ years after pleading guilty to a previous event tickets Ponzi scheme.

KABC, Los Angeles’ Jillian Barberie Reveals Cancer Diagnosis.  As reported by LARadio.com, KABC, Los Angeles afternoon drive personality Jillian Barberie has announced via social media that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is beginning aggressive treatment. She writes, “Results back.  It’s cancer in my right breast but also it has spread to my lymph node.  Appointment at Bedford Breast to assess everything.  I’m going to be super aggressive and do double mastectomy and they said I need chemo for the lymph.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me!”  Barberie hosts the KABC show with John Phillips.  In her absence, Steve Edwards is filling in.

News Pro Mike Parker Dies at 75. Former KFI, Los Angeles news director Mike Parker passed away on Sunday (11/4) at the age of 75.  He spent the last 35-plus years of his career at WBBM-TV, Chicago, but worked in radio in Los Angeles prior to that.  LARadio.com notes that Parker graduated from Los Angeles City College and began working at KBBQ-AM as a newscaster.  He moved to KFI in 1969 and served as news director from 1973-77.

Former SiriusXM Chairman and CEO Joe Clayton Passes at 69.  Media executive Joe Clayton died on Saturday (11/3), three years after retiring from his last position as CEO of Dish Network.  He was the first CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, serving from 2001 through 2004, and became chairman from 2004 through 2008, exiting after the merger of Sirius and XMSabo Media chairman Walter Sabo tells TALKERS magazine, “Sirius exists because of what Joe did.  Joe got the radios out of the factories and into cars.  He made those consumer electronics deals. He worked that board to get Howard Stern the deal he has and he never relented. He knew Howard was the ticket. Over and over he pulled that company out of the fire and gave it the foundation of success.”  Read the Variety obit here.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Post-Election Administration Changes, New Iran Sanctions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Today’s midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the caravan of Honduran migrants headed for the U.S. border; chatter about changes in some key Trump Administration posts after the election; the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact; 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.

Doing His Civic Duty. TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein is pictured above at his polling place at St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey where he’s volunteering helping voters, putting up signs and making sure the process is going smoothly for voters.  Bernstein says activity was brisk there this morning, calling it a “heavy turnout, a packed house from opening at 6:00 am until 10:00 am.”

Meg Strikes Again!  Dynamic personality Meg McDonald, host of the increasingly popular short-form TalkersRadio series “MEG!” made yet another splash within the Southern California civics community this past Sunday (11/4).  The Studio City Beautification Association hosted a booth at the Studio City Farmers Market giving away free succulents as a thank you to the community.  McDonald (pictured left) is an active board member of both organizations and held down the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm shift telling TALKERS, “We gave away 150 succulents and everyone was so appreciative.  It was a warm sunny 81-degree day so, of course, I wore my favorite Broadcasters General Store cap.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tulsa, Griffin Communications names Amber Glaze afternoon drive personality and music director for country KVOO-FM. Glaze was most recently with Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” as host of the “Hot Mess in the Morning” program.  KVOO program director Brian Jennings says, “Amber brings ideas and energy, along with her passion for country music.  We waited for the right candidate to come along and we’re so excited she’s finally here.  Her bright demeanor, silly sense of humor, and trademark boisterous laugh make for an invaluable addition to the KVOO team.”  Griffin recently acquired KVOO and four other Tulsa stations from Scripps Media…..Alpha Media re-brands CHR WDLD-FM Hagerstown, Maryland “Live 96.7.”  The station drops the “Wild 96.7” moniker.  Alpha Media Hagerstown VP and market manager Ed Dorsey says, “We are thrilled to be evolving the station into the ‘Live and Local’ brand that Alpha Media Hagerstown-Chambersburg stands for, to better serve the Hagerstown community.  We are excited about this new image, a ‘fresh coat of paint’ on the WDLD 96.7 brand that the community has learned to know and love over the past 16 years.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is presenting the “Radio 104.5 Miller Lite Mystery Show presented by Xfinity Live!”  The mystery show will take place on Monday, November 19 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia featuring a surprise performance from a top performing artist.  Attendees won’t know who the act is until the show begins.  Tickets can only be had by listening to “Radio 104.5” or via the next free ticket download that will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 12:00 noon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

| September 17, 2018

Newsmax TV to Be Carried on Comcast’s X1 Platform.  In a major move for the Newsmax TV channel, Newsmax and Comcast have signed an agreement for the latter to carry the 24/7 cable news channel on the Xfinity TV X1 platform.  Newsmax TV will initially launch to subscribers of Xfinity’s Digital Starter package that have an X1 device.   Newsmax Broadcasting CEO Michael Clemente says, “Comcast is the largest cable operator in the nation and we appreciate their decision to recognize Newsmax TV as a valuable, independent programmer for their viewers.”  Newsmax TV says it “consistently offers important viewpoints not covered elsewhere and continues to add talent to an impressive lineup that includes: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, and Jesse Lee Peterson, as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.”  It adds that it is currently available in 50 million U.S. cable/satellite homes and expects to reach as many as 80 million such homes by the end of 2019.  Clemente adds that the network plans to ramp up programming in the coming months as it prepares for 2020 presidential election coverage that will begin in earnest next year.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Sports talk listening heated up during the August survey as 74% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise compared to the July 2018 survey. Looking at changes from August 2017 to August 2018, 67% of stations were up from a year ago.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York – on the back of a three-tenths increase – ranked #1 (6+) in the Long Island market in August.  The company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh ranked #4, and WFAN, New York and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

RJ Bell and Chris Broussard & Rob Parker Host New FOX Sports Radio Programs. On the heels of last week’s end of the JT The Brick program and the “Steve Gorman Sports!” show, Premiere Networks today announces the launch of the shows that are rounding out the FOX Sports Radio network program schedule.  Beginning today (9/17), “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” debuts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET as what Premiere calls “the first-ever national daily radio show focused on sports betting.”  Las Vegas personality and founder/CEO of Pregame.com RJ Bell hosts the program that also features FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox, plus famed betting experts Brad Powers and Steve Fezzik.  Premiere says the weekday launch of the program comes after a successful year-long run as part of FSR’s weekend lineup on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also moving up from its weekend status is “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard (left) & Rob Parker (right),” launching tonight from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  As part of the changes, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” adds an hour, airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Premiere Networks SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say in a joint statement, “This historic new lineup further solidifies FOX Sports Radio’s standing as the preeminent sports network in the nation.  It’s now crystal clear that when you’re looking for the best, live sports-talk, this is the place to tune in.  Listeners who want to be entertained, informed, and emotionally invested with the most compelling personalities and storytellers in the industry will be rewarded with every listening occasion.”

Zak Burns Gone from ‘KIRO Nights.’ Talk show host Zak Burns is no longer co-hosting “KIRO Nights” with Gee Scott at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Burns joined the station two years ago to co-host the evening show with Jason Rantz, who left the program last fall to assume the morning drive show hosting duties at sister conservative news/talk KTTH.  KIRO contributor Drew Barth has been sitting in with Scott since Burns’ departure.

Entercom to Relocate Offices to Philadelphia.  In an interview with David Field in Philly.com, the Entercom president and CEO declined to comment on the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia – that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Bala Cynwyd to a building on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia that it will share with Aramark (according to a recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal).  However, in the piece written by Bob Fernandez, Field acknowledges the intense work that the CBS RADIO merger has brought Entercom but says he’s happy with what the new-look company has accomplished so far.  Regarding the move, it’s being reported that the new facility will not only be home to the corporate HQ but will also house the various radio station offices currently in numerous sites throughout the Philadelphia area.  Read the piece here.

Rumor Confirmed: Mets Games to Air on WCBS-AM, New York in 2019 Season. The recent reports out of the Big Apple that Entercom has been wooing the New York Mets to bring their play-by-play to all-news WCBS-AM turn out to be true as the company announces it has struck a six-year deal with the MLB club.  Mets games have aired on iHeartMedia’s WOR since the 2014 season.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “We’re pleased to be the new radio home of the Mets. We remain committed to bringing our listeners and partners the most exciting sports content from their hometown teams, especially in the New York metropolitan area, where we will be the radio home for both Major League Baseball clubs beginning in 2019.”  As part of the deal, Entercom’s other New York radio stations – alternative WNYL ALT 92.3,” hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7 FM,” classic hits WCBS-FM and fellow all-news WINS-AM – will provide promotional support.

Crossover Media Group Sales to Handle Ad Sales Support for Sports Byline USA and BlueWirePods. Cross-platform content production and advertising sales rep firm Crossover Media Group Sales announces it is handling ad sales support for Sports Byline USA network. Sports Byline is led by founder and host Ron Barr and president Darren Peck and serves some 200 U.S. radio affiliates and some 500 additional stations globally as well as satellite radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes, CRN Digital, airlines’ in-flight channels and the American Forces Network.  The company is also working with newly launched podcast network Blue Wire that is aggregating content from sports talk personalities.  Bay Area-based Blue Wire was founded by former KNBR-AM, San Francisco host Kevin Jones.  CMGS managing member Scott Calka says, “CMGS is rapidly becoming one-stop-shopping for marketers to reach a variety of fans across the panoply of sports talk.”

23 Stations Off the Air as a Result of Hurricane Florence.  According to the FCC, as of yesterday (9/16), some 20 FM stations are off the air and three AM stations are off due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.  Also, four television stations report being out of service and 7.2% of the region’s cell towers were reported off-line, with Brunswick, Cumberland, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina reporting the largest loss of cell service.

Kavanaugh Accusation, Florence Drenches the Carolinas, Border Patrol Serial Killer Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Hurricane Florence’s arrival and the resulting historic flooding in the Carolinas; the case of the U.S. border patrol agent charged in connection with four deaths; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related plea deal of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin (Miss New York) during Franklin’s visit to the station today (9/17). Franklin discussed the year ahead for her as Miss America, saying she will continue her work with the performing arts and several children’s charities that’s she supports.  Hurley presented the Miss America Foundation with a surprise $500 grant that will be designated to two charities of Franklin’s choice.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas, Cumulus Media brings Nathan Fast aboard to co-host the morning show on KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” with current morning personality Lisa Taylor.  He was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown CHR KVIL “AMP 103.7” as morning host.   KPLX program director Mac Daniels says, “Nathan is an amazing, creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of four people.  With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and ‘The Wake Up With The Wolf Show’ on one of America’s leading country music brands.  We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”…..iHeartMedia moves Vladimir “DJ Loui Vee” Scott from its Columbia, South Carolina station group to its Indianapolis offices to serve as program director for hip hop WZRL “REAL 98.3” and hip hop WTFX, Louisville “REAL 93.1.”   iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew comments, “Vladimir possesses the creativity, passion, and leadership we look for in programmers.  His direction and attention to detail will take WZRL and WTFX to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Raleigh names Joe Johnson program director and afternoon drive personality for classic rock WRDU, Raleigh, effective September 24.  Johnson held the same positions at the company’s WROV, Roanoke-Lynchburg…..Classic hits KGOR, Omaha debuts the “Mornings with Montez & Shari” featuring Montez and Shari Stone.  Stone was most recently digital project coordinator and midday host at Salem Media Group’s crosstown Christian contemporary KGBI-FM. Montez was most recently afternoon host and music director at the iHeartMedia Omaha cluster’s CHR KISO “96.1 Kiss FM.”  The duo say, “Being from Omaha, we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve our community in a fun way because we love this town.  We can’t wait to entertain every morning and grow our big, radio family.”…..Envision Networks announces that the “Full Metal Jackie” program – hosted by Jackie Kajzer – is now airing on the American Forces Network, broadcasting to United States military servicemembers and their families at home and abroad. AFN Radio director Scott Stover says, “American Forces Network Radio is proud to bring Full Metal Jackie to our US military serving overseas as they listen to our alternative music channel ‘Freedom Radio.’ We thank ‘Full Metal Jackie’ and Envision Networks for partnering with AFN Radio to ‘serve those that serve.’”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

David Field’s Internal Memo Regarding USTN Lawsuit

| August 7, 2018

“Under the terms of our former agreements with USTN at the time of our November 17, 2017 merger with CBS Radio, USTN was obligated to pay Entercom about $47 million per year in exchange for a large portion of our highly valuable traffic and other short duration inventory. In the 8 1/2 months that have elapsed since our merger with CBS Radio, USTN has paid us a grand total of just $3 million out of the $33 million we were originally entitled to under our former agreements. As a result of this, and factoring in unpaid accounts receivable due to Entercom as of closing the CBS Radio merger, we have taken a financial hit of greater than $35 million over that time period, significantly impacting our earnings and our cash flow.

“We were told by management at USTN and GTN (USTN’s parent company at the time of our merger with CBS Radio) that USTN had significant financial challenges that precluded them from paying us. Nonetheless, we spent months working tirelessly, constructively, patiently and in good faith with GTN and USTN to help solve USTN’s significant challenges. We made enormous financial concessions, bending over backwards to be supportive of USTN’s efforts to fix their problems. Initially, we worked with GTN on finding a solution until they sold the company to USTN’s American management for a ‘nominal’ sum. We then worked collaboratively with USTN management and in April 2018, we agreed to make a number of enormous concessions to give USTN some relief and time to right the ship. At the time of this restructuring, we were owed $23 million. In this restructuring, we agreed to dramatically reduce the amount that USTN paid us each month. We converted a portion of what they owed us into a minority equity position in USTN, and we converted the remainder into a Senior Secured Debt obligation of USTN which provided USTN with additional time to pay what they owed.

“When it appeared to us that despite our financial concessions, USTN was not making sufficient progress to solve their fundamental problems, we reached an agreement on June 30 to acquire the remainder of the company in exchange for what they owed us plus approximately $1 million, all subject to our due diligence.  What we found during our diligence review was unsatisfactory. We were disappointed to find that their financial condition and projected performance fell significantly short of what we had been led to believe. In addition, USTN management had fallen short on a number of other objectives in their turnaround plans and we first learned about a number of contingent liabilities. Based on our diligence, we informed USTN management that we were exercising our contractual rights and would not be completing the merger. USTN then filed a lawsuit against Entercom which is baseless, frivolous and insulting and attempts to blame Entercom for USTN’s financial problems and make us look like the bad guys. On July 24, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $1.3 million which was then due under our revised agreement for the June broadcast month. On July 31, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $5 million which was then due under our senior secured note.

“The facts are clear: Entercom has received only $3 million out of the original $33 million due under the agreements in place at the closing of the CBS Radio merger. Entercom did not create this problem; USTN did.  Entercom has bent over backwards to work constructively and patiently with USTN to help them fix their problems. We have made enormous financial concessions to help them. And yet USTN still has not demonstrated that they are able to make ends meet, failing to make their required payments to Entercom for June and failing to make a $5 million required payment on their restructured debt to Entercom. USTN management can conjure up a ridiculous lawsuit and engage in name-calling, but it can’t change the facts or the truth of what has occurred here. USTN has failed to meet its obligations over many months. Entercom has acted with great restraint for many months, but we cannot continue to invest our time, resources and capital in a business that has been unable to fix its own problems. We have moved on and are glad to be in control of our own destiny with our valuable traffic inventory, but given the ridiculous allegations by USTN, I wanted to make sure you were fully familiar with the facts and understood that we have acted ethically and responsibly throughout this painful situation.”

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.