Tag: "DC"

Monday, August 10, 2020

| August 10, 2020

Monday Memo: Say It Shorter. In this week’s concise column, consultant Holland Cooke barely says ANYTHING, “and that’s the point.” Read it here.

The Presidential Race, Biden VP Choice Speculation, Vote-By-Mail Debate, and Stimulus Exec Orders Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/8-9). The November presidential election, speculation over Joe Biden’s pending VP selection, the failure of Congress to arrive at a new stimulus package with President Trump responding by signing contestable executive orders to move the process along  as well as the controversy over his ongoing allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend according to TALKERS research of the most talked about topics on issues-oriented news/talk radio. Other heavily discussed topics over the weekend included the school closing debate and COVID-19 stats and projections.

Pending Business: Talk to the Winners. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about how radio sales professionals should have faith in the resilience of local, small business based on the premise that many WILL survive the COVID-19 era.  He suggests that radio sellers seek out those whose innovation clearly has them on a winning track and talk directly to them, customizing campaigns that are in sync with their efforts. Read it here.

Update: WAMU-FM Sexual Harassment. As we reported here last week (TALKERS, 8/5), American University-owned public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington, DC is in a state of chaos over sexual harassment allegations. WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a Rachel Kurzius-written story detailing allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU-FM reporter Martin Di Caro. Numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he said he was not prepared to do. That situation changed, however, late last week as the station’s six-year general manager has indeed stepped down. Vice president of people and external affairs/chief of staff Seth Grossman states, “American University thanks JJ for his years of service to WAMU; we wish him well as he pursues his next endeavor. We are announcing a series of critical steps designed to address issues in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, and management, as well as how matters of misconduct are handled at WAMU. These actions are a combination of immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate WAMU’s work to enhance culture and workplace. The changes will provide important support to the WAMU staff, who we thank for continuing to focus on producing award-winning journalism that the Washington, DC region relies on amid this period of change. We believe these actions will offer support for the entire WAMU team and provide a foundation for the station’s next chapter.” An interim general manager will be named in “the next four to six weeks.” In addition, a human resources employee relations consultant with “proven experience in improving organizational culture and creating inclusive workplaces” will be put in-place. Interim chief content officer Monna Kashfi becomes the permanent chief content officer, overseeing WAMU and DCist. WAMU’s former chief content officer, Andi McDaniel, left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and chief executive officer; McDaniel begins those duties next month. As indicated in the The DCist piece, McDaniel was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.

Coronavirus Affects Cumulus’ Q2 Numbers. Second quarter figures for Cumulus Media include a 47.8% year-to-year revenue decrease to $146 million. The company witnessed its net income transition from a gain of $42.9 million to a loss of $6.4 million and adjusted EBITDA dropping from $61.8 million to -$6.4 million. Despite the pandemic’s material impact on revenue, Cumulus Media president/chief executive officer Mary G. Berner explains, “The company generated over $90 million of cash in the quarter through quick and decisive expense actions, strong working capital management, and the completion of sale of land in Bethesda, Maryland. Ending the quarter with nearly $200 million of cash, we have entered into an agreement to monetize our tower portfolio for more than $210 million, proceeds which will further add to our liquidity and contribute to significant incremental debt paydown.” She adds, “Our demonstrated ability to rise to a challenge, strong liquidity position, and resilient balance sheet are critical assets as we operate through this uncertain environment. We believe we remain very well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value through continued aggressive debt reduction and the execution of our growth initiatives.” Broadcast station revenue was down 51.6% to $114.2 million. Spot revenue was off 55.6% and network revenue declined by 42.7%. Meanwhile, digital revenue was up .7% to $20.3 million.

COVID-19 “Impacts” Townsquare Q2 Results. Commenting on selected results for the second quarter that ended June 30th, Townsquare Media chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks that, as expected, the company’s “second quarter financial results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA declined 34.5% and 93.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year. Advertising net revenue throughout the quarter, however, “experienced sequential improvement,” Wilson reports. “Together with our Live Events, net revenue has experienced the brunt of the negative business impact.” To Wilson’s point, one second quarter highlight is that, compared to the second quarter of 2019, Live Events net revenue decreased 99.5%. Wilson observes that by the end of the second quarter, “Advertising net revenue had materially improved, from -42.1% in April to -29.6% in June and continued to show improvement through July and early-August.” Townsquare Interactive added approximately 900 net subscribers, ending the quarter with approximately 20,750 subscribers, with Wilson commenting, “Townsquare Interactive’s growth continued in the second quarter, with net revenue increasing 10.5%, at an Adjusted Operating Income margin in excess of 30%, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of 850 (or more) net subscriber additions. During this pandemic, the Townsquare Interactive team became a tremendous resource for their local clients by strengthening online presence and capabilities and powering their online communication strategy. Our thesis has always been, that Townsquare Interactive is a recession-resistant subscription business and will continue to grow its revenue and subscriber base throughout the year.” Wilson explains that Townsquare Media “enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings during the second quarter, in addition to the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue, which led to total direct operating expenses declining 14.8%, compared to the prior year. In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, which declined 30% in the second quarter compared to the prior year. Our board of directors elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward. Even with all the challenges and unknowns during this pandemic, we have not had to alter our core strategy. Instead, the pandemic placed a spotlight on the need to double-down on executing our existing long term strategy. We believe our ‘Local First’ strategy, together with our talented team and diversified and differentiated product offering, ensures that Townsquare will emerge from this crisis well-positioned for the future. Although a very tough Q2, we believe our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the radio – as well as in the local media – industry.” 

Why Are “You” Voting? That’s the simple question iHeartMedia is putting forth to listeners, cultural influencers, athletes, and musicians. It’s in advance of the November election, of course, when – in addition to the presidential contest – Americans will be voting for 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats. Soundbites start today (Monday, 8/10) and run until Election Day (11/3). President of iHeartMedia entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “With voter turnout expected to hit record numbers, ‘Why I’m Voting’ presents a rare opportunity for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to have their voices heard by millions of their fellow Americans before we cast our votes.” Listeners can record/submit their own 20 second or less audio or video message. Meanwhile, also debuting today (8/10) and running through Election Day is iHeartMedia’s longer-form “Why I’m Voting” podcast, which will feature conversations with a wide-range of celebrities on why/how this year’s election will shape our future. The podcast will showcase personal stories behind why voting means so much for our nation. The “Why Are You Voting” series of soundbites will air on iHeartMedia’s 850+ broadcast radio stations in 160 markets, podcasts, social media platforms, and the iHeartRadio app.

Podcast Ad Spending to Surpass $1 Billion Next Year. That forecast further predicts that more than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. By the end of this year, podcast ad spending in the United States will reach $782 million, up 10.4% from last year, giving it a 21% share of the US digital radio ad market. Spending is expected to jump nearly 45% next year to $1.13 billion. Insider Intelligence eMarketer forecasting director  Shelleen Shum comments, “Growth in podcast advertising spend will be more resilient this year relative to digital radio advertising as a whole, which will see double-digit declines. The continued growth in podcast advertising is no surprise, as investments have made podcasts accessible to a wider audience. The news genre, a focus of many podcast advertisers, has performed well during the pandemic. While some ad campaigns were paused due to the uncertainty from COVID-19 lockdowns, we expect a rebound in Q3 and Q4. One key challenge in podcast advertising is the lack of uniformity in measurement. [The Interactive Advertising Bureau] has released a set of guidelines to establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts, which should bring some standardization to the industry and give advertisers more confidence.” This year, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts, the first time podcast listening will surpass 100 million.

KYW Silences Familiar Sound. Owing to pandemic-related budget cuts, a number of well-known voices on spoken-word and music-intensive formats across the country have been eased off the air. A longtime fixture at Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is gone, but it had nothing to do with the bottom line or COVID-19 – and it isn’t a human. The station has eliminated the teletype sound effect that – for decades – has been played underneath its news broadcasts. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, KYW program director/brand manager Alex Silverman remarks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986 and our supply finally ran out; so, old reliable is out of commission until further notice.” To that, co-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” brand manager Spike Eskin mocks in a tweet, “Just excuses again from Alex Silverman. Are we to believe he couldn’t find a new one on Ebay, or simulate the sound somehow? Does he think we are fools?” On a more serious note, Silverman states, “As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW. The sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we’ve become.”  KYW has recently updated its jingle and logo. Entercom’s other top ten market news and news-talk hybrids include: WCBS-AM and WINS, New York City; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KRLD-AM, Dallas.

Leadership Training Program Accepting 2021 Applications. Designed to prepare senior-level broadcasters to advance into ownership or executive positions, the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program is accepting applications through August 19 for next year’s session. BLT program founder and dean/ ShootingStar Broadcasting founder, president, chief executive officer Diane Sutter states, “As we transition to a hybrid online and in-person model, we look forward to expanding the reach of the Broadcast Leadership Training program. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we cultivate the next class of diverse industry leaders and equip them with the knowledge and training to advance their careers.” As it moves into its 21st year, this executive MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning, and operating radio and television stations to senior-level broadcast professionals. All education sessions planned through the end of 2020 will be held online, with the starting gathering to be held next month (9/24 – 25). Broadcast professionals from all areas of the industry, including general managers, sales managers and department heads, as well as regional and corporate executives, are encouraged to apply. Fellowship opportunities are available for women and people of color. The complete schedule will be made available in early-October.

TALKERS News Notes. Starting one week from today (Monday, 8/17) and lasting through next Thursday (8/20), ABC News Radio is set to cover this year’s Democratic National Convention and plans to do the same  the following week (8/24 – 27) for the Republican National Convention. Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor; Alex Stone, Ryan Burrow, and Jim Ryan are slated to serve as reporters; and Steve Roberts joins for analysis. Multiple one-minute “Status Reports” will air each night, as will the network’s daily Brad Mielke-hosted podcast, “Start Here.” Meanwhile, each day during the conventions, the Karl & Klein-hosted podcast “Powerhouse Politics” will release special editions featuring interviews and analysis …  Former iHeartMedia Jacksonville senior vice president of programming Tommy BoDean joins Cumulus Media as operations manager of its four-station Melbourne (Florida) cluster, which includes sports talk WLZR “1560 The Fan.” Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “I am really excited Tommy is joining the Cumulus Melbourne team. He’s going to make an immediate impact – and at a time [when] programming and operational leadership are critical.” BoDean adds, “The world we live in is changing every minute; radio has not just an opportunity, but an obligation, to get plugged in and help. Now is the perfect time to step into a role that both challenges and excites me every day.” In addition to his OM duties for WLZR and classic rock WROK “95.9 The Rocket,” BoDean will be the day-to-day program director for CHR WAOA “107.1 A1A” and country WHKR “102.7 Nash FM.” He previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and programmed Nashville CHR WNFN “Hot 106.7.” …  Effective today (Monday, 8/10), Bustos Media Tucson’s KVOI “AM 1030 The Voice” adds “The Joe Walsh Show” to its weeknight (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) lineup and shifts “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb,” which had been in that slot, to 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm … Twenty-year Spokane television and radio journalist Teresa Lukens will return to Morgan Murphy Media Spokane’s KXLY-AM “920 News Now” next Monday (8/17) as morning drive co-host. After three years as a reporter on KXLY-TV’s “Good Morning Northwest,” Lukens transitioned to radio as morning host on co-owned KXLY-FM “Classy 99.9 FM” and then as news anchor on KXLY-AM. Lukens left KXLY-TV in 2010 and hosted “Health Matters” on Spokane public television outlet KSPS.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Every Friday this month, iHeartMedia San Antonio joins forces with San Antonio Metro Health for the “Friday Night Virtual Dance Party” (7:00 – 7:30 pm). Participating stations within the iHM cluster include adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9”; CHR KXXM “96.1 Now;” country KAJA “KJ-7″; and Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” According to iHeartMedia San Antonio senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim, “There is nothing like the power of music. [We] are excited to partner with our friends at San Antonio Metro Health for ‘Friday Night Virtual Dance Party’ [and] look forward to raising our community spirit during these challenging times – all while abiding by the state’s safety guidelines to fight the COVID-19 virus.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg notes, “We want to send an encouraging and positive message to San Antonio to keep doing the things that make our city great, but do them in a safe way so we can continue to stop the spread.” …  A country music special hosted by four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is among several, three-hour ABC Audio Labor Day weekend specials. “Luke Bryan: Born Here Live Here Die Here” takes listeners through each song on Bryan’s new album, which has produced three #1 singles. “Labor Day Rock Salute: Frontline Edition – From Speakeasy” honors frontline workers who stepped up during COVID-19. Hosted by ABC Audio’s Matt Wolfe, the special features hits from artists including ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks. Top rock artists will also share what they’ve been up to during lockdown. Meanwhile, the Aaron Katersky-hosted  news special “How America Works Now” explores how people are coping through the pandemic. It questions what the future of American life and labor may look like, and puts a spotlight on those adapting to the new normal  … “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” takes over 12:00 midnight – 5:00 am duties in Santa Rosa, California on Amaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned KFGY “Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country.” Alan comments, “Our show is excited to be a part of the ‘Froggy 92.9’ lineup. We already feel like part of the ‘Froggy’ family. I can’t wait to get to Sonoma for a visit to wine country.” Amaturo Sonoma Media Group vice president of programming and operations Jim Murphy notes, “Cody creates unique, multiplatform content that really resonates with country fans; we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the ‘Froggy’ family. The station’s revised lineup includes: Amber & Tanner (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Jenn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Dano (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Lia (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); and “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am) … Former four-year wakeup duo at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3, Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway (“Bud & Broadway”), sign with Houston-based SuiteRadio for morning show syndication, gearing up for next month’s start (9/7). The show will be represented on a market exclusive basis by Colbert Media Group. Prior to exiting WIL this past May, “Bud & Broadway” worked in Tulsa and Dothan, Alabama.

Friday, May 15, 2020

| May 15, 2020

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.  The new episode titled, “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day!” looks back at this past week of May 11-15, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Channel / FOX News RadioIan Anderson, musician, Jethro Tull, UK; Ken Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  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.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of April 2020 PPM Data Released. Ratings information from the fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and some movement of note among spoken-word stations includes: Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin adds 1.4 shares in April to finish with a 6.4 share good for the #3 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis continues its upward trend with the addition of 1.5 shares to move into the #1 position with a 10.3 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM, Milwaukee takes the #1 rank after adding a whopping 3.5 shares to leap from fourth to first with a 9.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ adds six-tenths to finish at #3 on the strength of a 6.3 share; Cumulus Media’s Providence news/talker WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM shoots up 2.3 shares to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville tacks 1.6 shares on in April to remain at #1 with a 13.4 share. You can check out all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Michael Medved Show and CRN Partner to Expand Distribution. A partnership between CRN Digital Talk Radio and Medved Communications includes the launch of “The Michael Medved Show” on CRN 1 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  As part of the deal, CRN will distribute and provide marketing, ad sales, production, social media, and promotional support for Medved Communications. CRN Digital Talk Radio president and CEO Michael Horn says, “I am thrilled to help expand the Michael Medved show. Michael is one of radio’s best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective, and truly entertains his listeners every single day.” CRN will distribute “The Michael Medved Show” and the “Medved Entertainment Minute” with Genesis Communications Network on their XDS Satellite.

Josh Innes to Join ‘ESPN 97.5’ Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that sports talk personality Josh Innes is joining Gow Media’s KGOW-FM “ESPN 97.5” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective Monday (5/18). He’ll replace ESPN Radio’s Will Cain on the station’s program schedule. Innes has been hosting a podcast since he exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker KBME in March of 2019.

Adams Radio Group Transitioning Back to Offices. In all of the market in which Adams Radio Group operates, staffers are beginning to return to their offices and studios. Company CEO Ron Stone says employees have been working from home for the past nine weeks. He says, “Adams markets have begun the transition of returning to normal operations at our offices and studios. Each market is staging the return of employees in phases, beginning with on-air staff. We will have 100% of our employees back on all sites by July 15, which allows time needed for some employees that have requested additional time to transition. Our employees have done an incredible job keeping our stations live and local during this health scare. Listening to our stations, one would never have known our people were not in our studios. I can never say enough about our news staff and the incredible job they have done keeping our communities up to date with local information. We have amazing teams and I am extremely proud of every person on our staff. What radio has done all over the country over the past nine weeks certainly proves the value of live and local radio and why it is so important to every community.”

Health & Medicine Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 11-15. The medical aspects of COVID-19, including the drive to develop a vaccine, the push for more testing, and the treatment for infected patients combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the statistics on confirmed COVID-19 cases, the death toll, and projections for future cases. Coming in at #3 was the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by the debate over ‘lives vs livelihood’ and concern about the erosion of civil liberties 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 and you can see this week’s complete chart here.

NRG Media Omaha Offices Re-Opening with the Help of Plexiglass and Shower Curtains. Pictured above is Studio 1 at NRG Media Omaha as the company prepares to bring staffers back into the facility. As with many radio stations across the country, on-air personalities have been working remotely or in separate studios. The company says no studio was occupied with more than one on-air personality at any given time in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, NRG Omaha is starting to bring back all on-air personalities and staffers. As you can see in the photo, they are using plexiglass and shower curtains to mitigate movement of airborne particles. General manager Mark Shecterle states, “COVID-19 has challenged every business and made us all stop and think about how we operate. My number one priority during these challenging times has been and will continue to be keeping all of our employees safe. Therefore, we had to get creative and shower curtains are a perfect and safe barrier for our talent, sellers, and employees who share an office. Moreover, during the holidays we can have some fun with it. My promotions department already ordered a Freddy Krueger one for Halloween.” KOZN-AM “1620 The ZONE” personality Damon Benning commens, “I am so ready to get back into the building and work alongside my co-host Mike’l Severe even though there will be a clear shower curtain between us. We have not missed a beat, but nothing beats being in the same studio with your producer and co-host. I’m ready.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Nights with Elaina” program will feature special guest hosts all next week (5/18-22). The ladies are taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” as Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, and Lindsay Ell will each guest host an evening from home and provide their fans an update on what they’ve been doing during quarantine. Host Elaina Smith says, “Spending time away from listeners is always difficult, especially in these times. But I am so thrilled that these strong, powerful, talented women will be keeping everyone company while I’m gone! I know they’re gonna crush it and continue spreading positivity all throughout the country! Lord knows we need it.”

Monday, April 13, 2020

| April 13, 2020

Monday Memo: V, L, W.  Music programmers know that, “by the time WE are sick of a song, it’s just becoming a hit.”  With coronavirus pandemic “number one with a bullet,” consultant Holland Cooke urges radio to heed Dr. Fauci’s plea “not to take our foot off the gas” with mitigation advice.  Read his column here.

Push to Re-Open Economy, U.S. Covid-19 Cases and Projections, November Election/Mail-in Voting, China Restricts Coronavirus Research, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Glut, and Celebs with Covid-19 Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reports that President Trump wants to re-open the economy by May 1; the tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and the experts’ projections for peak infections; the November presidential race and the debate over voting by mail; the call to investigate China’s early handling of the epidemic and the CCP’s restriction on any investigation into the coronavirus origins; the world’s financial markets activity and the global oil glut; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the hospital and other celebs with Covid-19 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Mother’s Day.  Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, says, “Mother’s Day is around the corner.  You think I’m kidding, right?  Raise the Mother’s Day flag, now? In the middle of all this coronavirus pandemic?”  Yes.  Lapa writes in this week’s column, “Mother’s Day will be different this year, for sure.  Maybe there will be no dinner reservations at that favorite restaurant, or (in-person) relatives gathering with Mom.  We know the current restrictions, no matter where you live.  Some may change, maybe not, but what about Mom?  Through thick and thin, near and far, we always honor Mom.”  Read Steve’s column here.

Guardian Angels Founder and WABC Host Curtis Sliwa and Fellow Angels Assist Homeless. Pictured above in a still from a YouTube video filmed yesterday (4/12), is Guardian Angels founder and WABC, New York midday host Curtis Sliwa helping Martha, a homeless woman who lives in Penn Station.  Sliwa says Martha and other emotionally disturbed persons “are everywhere.”  He says Martha is “dramatically disturbed to the point where she can only now speak in gibberish.  I remember her four years ago when you could have a somewhat normal conversation with her. Living in Penn Station has aged her dramatically and caused her to move into the ‘Twilight Zone.’  Her legs were infected and in need or medical attention.  None of it would be provided by the city or state that acts normally as if these fellow citizens of ours don’t even exist.  I helped her clean her own legs with the alcohol solution and then nourished her ravished body.  At the rate that Martha is deteriorating she will soon be in a pine box buried in Potters Field ‘Heart Island.’  She is someone’s daughter, she has a family, but her mind is so damaged that it is impossible to recover that information from her.  On this Easter Sunday we should all look at her and ask ourselves how in the richest country in the world with such enormous resources in a  city that is the economic engine for the whole world that we allow Martha to wallow in her feces and urine and act as if she doesn’t exist.  Shame on all of us.  Where is the humanity?  It was bad before the way we would ignore these fallen people, but now the spread of coronavirus gives us a chance to close our eyes and run away.  We, the Guardian Angels, will not forsake the forgotten.”

Alex Jones Warned by FDA. According to KTXS-TV, Abilene, Texas, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to talk show host Alex Jones to stop claiming that products hawked on his website – including toothpaste and mouthwash – prevent Covid-19.  The story also indicates Jones was sent a cease-and-desist letter from New York Attorney General Letitia James back on March 12 to stop promoting the products.  The FDA says that Jones’ claims about the products promotes illegal and unapproved drugs that can carry financial penalties.  The FDA notice isn’t legally binding, but the agency can sue if Jones doesn’t acquiesce.

Christopher Tarr Joins Magnum Media as Group Director of Engineering. After serving for the past 16-plus years with Entercom in Southeastern Wisconsin, Christopher Tarr takes on the group director of engineering role with Magnum Media.  The company operates 16 radio stations and three LPTV stations in Southern Wisconsin.  Tarr says, “I made lifelong friends at Entercom and am so proud of all we accomplished with the Milwaukee and Madison facilities.  It was very hard to leave, but I couldn’t be happier Dave [Magnum] selected me for this newly created GDE position.  We’ve known each other 15 years.  We’re kindred spirits, sharing a love and passion for radio.  We both started out as deejays in our mid-teens in our hometowns.  His sons, Reid and Ty, literally have radio in their blood.  Reid’s wife, Chelsey, is transitioning from being a 4th grade public school teacher over to the stations.  I smile every time I meet yet another staff member that’s been with Magnum since the 90s.  So, with this family-owned business, radio is a lifestyle.  It’s my lifestyle, too, so this is a perfect match.”

WTOP-FM, Washington Produces Covid-19 Updates for Crosstown Stations. The “2020 Radio Together Campaign” from Hubbard Radio involves all-news WTOP-FM producing a :60 second feature for DC market music stations including United Media-operated Regional Mexican WBHQ-AM “La Mera Mera 1050 AM” as well as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR 96.3, Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” hip hop WPGC, and classic hits WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” The feature is delivered to the stations four times per day.  WTOP news and programming director Julia Ziegler comments, “We are incredibly excited to partner with each of these amazing radio stations in bringing our community together during the coronavirus crisis.  Now more than ever, the importance of working together and continuing to bring news, information, and entertainment to listeners is crucial.”

TALKERS News Notes. All-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago managing editor Julie Mann is presenting a webinar titled, “Radio and Digital Media During a Pandemic,” as part of the 2020 Publicity Club of Chicago Luncheon Series on Wednesday (4/15).  Mann will address issues including: What are journalists looking for in a news cycle that is almost exclusively about coronavirus?  What are the best ways to tell your story when your visuals are limited?  How has radio and digital media responded to the pandemic?…..Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. will hold its Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Tuesday, May 26 at 12:00 noon ET.  Although the company plans to hold the meeting at its headquarters in Naples, Florida, it says the coronavirus pandemic may cause the meeting to be held virtually.  Issues to be voted upon include: The election of nine nominees for directors; and an advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation…..Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network is presenting “You Better You Bet – Countdown to the Draft,” a nightly, two-hour digital and broadcast show dedicated to coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft.  It airs this week, as well as April 20 to 22 and April 27.  The show is co-hosted by Nick Kostos and Ross Tucker and will welcome national RADIO.COM sports insiders and local team guests for team-by-team analysis, nightly discussions, opinions and stories around the league.  Guests will include RADIO.COM sports insiders Jason La Canfora, Brian Baldinger, Michael Lombardi, and Mark Herzlich…..Reality TV star Kate Chastain (Bravo’s “Below Deck”) is joining SiriusXM to host “Unapologetically Kate Chastain” on Andy Cohen’s Radio Andy channel beginning tomorrow (4/14).  She says, “I like to consider myself a recreational sociologist, which is quite liberating because it means I’m not judging people, I’m basically a scientist-ish.  I look forward to voicing my thoughts with Radio Andy listeners nationwide!”…..iHeartRadio unveils a new episode of the podcast “Committed,” titled, “In Spirit and in Cardboard.”  It’s hosted by Jo Piazza and tells three stories of love and commitment in the age of Covid-19: how a Maine doctor moves out of his house to protect his wife, toddler, and unborn child from the virus; how a local cardboard factory steps up to make cardboard cutouts of the120 guests who won’t be at a young couple’s wedding; and how one couple got married on the Nintendo video game Animal Crossing.

INTRIGUING INFORMATION FOR TALK SHOW HOSTS:  The Epoch Times Drops Bold Video Documentary Investigating the Origins of Covid-19 and Its Connection to the Chinese Communist Party.  Covid-19, which originated from China, has rampaged through the world and caused more than 80,000 deaths, infecting at least 1.4 million.  However, the true number of deaths and infections is most likely unknown due to the alleged underreporting of cases from mainland China.  In a startling video documentary presented by The Epoch Times and NTD (New Tang Dynasty TV), investigative reporter Joshua Philipp takes an in-depth look at the progression of the pandemic from January to April and leads viewers on a journey of discovery to bring the truth behind the matter to light.  From the Huanan Seafood Market in Hubei Province to the scandals at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from long-running experiments on viruses to military takeovers, suspicious activities arise from every corner. Through vigorous investigations and the piecing together of hidden information, the documentary attempts to unearth a more complete understanding of the situation surrounding the rise of this pandemic.  Suspicions uncovered from official reports and publicly available information also sprouted more questions, leading to surprising findings and inquiries.  To view the entire video documentary, please click here.  To book Joshua Philipp for interviews call Victoria Jones at the DC Radio Company at 202-227-7067.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A surprise move on Friday (4/10) by iHeartMedia has the “The Kane Show” gone from its home base at WIHT-FM, Washington and the Premiere Networks.  There’s been no official comment from iHeartMedia or Premiere.  Airing in morning drive at WIHT now is “Your Morning Show” with Intern John, Riley Couture, and Radio Rose. Affiliate stations received notice of the change late Friday…..Entravision Communications re-brands two of its English-language radio stations in the Brownsville-McAllen-Harlingen, Texas market.  KFRQ is now “Q94.5 FM All Rock All the Time,” and KVLY is “107.9 RGV-FM More Hits More Variety.”  KFRQ features James Echavarria, a.k.a. “Rock-n-Roll James,” daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Afternoons (3:00 pm to 7:00 pm) is hosted by San Benito, a.k.a. Charlie Corona.  KVLY features “Roxy in the Morning” weekdays from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Entravision VP of audio Nestor Rocha states, “We are seeing that the communities in the greater Rio Grande Valley are diversifying their taste in music genres.  To better suit what our audiences are most interested in listening to, we have enhanced our two radio formats to better connect with our listeners, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers.  We continue to be dedicated to providing top-quality, entertaining programming that resonates with our local communities.”

Friday, February 14, 2020

| February 14, 2020

Brett Winterble Named Afternoon Drive Host at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. Recently let go from San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM – along with the rest of the staff as the station changes hands from Tegna to new owner Local Media San Diego – is talk show host Brett Winterble, who begins his new gig at Entercom’s heritage talker WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte on Monday (2/17).  Entercom SVP and market manager Matthew Hanlon says, “Brett Winterble represents the future of audio.  When John Hancock took this exact seat on WBT 30 years ago, he was a progressive-minded voice in the market, placing an emphasis on issues that affected the community.  Brett takes on a similar role in a new and meaningful way for our loyal audience.  He cares about the listener and demonstrates a genuine interest in the community.  We’re thrilled that Brett is joining our team.”  In addition to his five-year stint at KFMB-AM, Winterble hosted afternoon drive at KFWB-AM, Los Angeles and served as a producer for Rush Limbaugh and Michael Reagan.  Winterble takes over the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show from John Hancock, who announced his retirement in October 2019.

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. The new episode titled, “Off to the Races!” looks back at this past week of February 10-14, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Todd Feinburg, talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, syndicated talk show host, Compass Media NetworksHeidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch Times. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on 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.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Hold Town Hall on Prisoner Re-Entry. Next Thursday (2/20), Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” will present the next in its Town Hall series, addressing the issue of re-entry of New Jersey residents into mainstream society, including the unique and specific challenges faced by these residents and their families.  ‘NJ101.5’ special projects director and morning news anchor Eric Scott will moderate the Town Hall. He says, “Our Town Hall broadcasts help create a better understanding among New Jersey residents while seeking to identify real and practical solutions to some of our state’s most difficult issues.  More than half of those being released from prison in New Jersey today will be rearrested within three years.  Almost a third will be sent back to prison.  This program will explore ways to break the cycle of recidivism and confront the challenges of returning former inmates to society.”  Expert panelists will include: former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, whose work with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation is well-known throughout the state; Haywood Gandy, who was released from prison in 2018 after serving 20 years on armed robbery and other charges and is now the director of re-entry for The H.U.B.B. (Help Us Become Better) Arts & Trauma Center in Newark; Daniel Lombardo, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley; and Jessica O’Neill, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Camden.  Online, under the direction of ‘New Jersey 101.5’ digital managing editor Louis C. Hochman, the Town Hall will be streamed via Facebook Live, with representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Reentry Coalition of New Jersey, and Volunteers of America available to answer questions and provide resources for persons in need.

SBG Announces Creation of All-Female Marketing Team. Syndication and sales firm Sun Broadcast Group announces the formation of an all-female marketing team consisting of 11-year SBG veteran Loren Christofori – who has been promoted to director of marketing, former Envision Networks marketing and affiliate specialist, Jen Weisfeld – now in the role of marketing manager, and SBG alum Amber Kelley joining as marketing assistant.  SBG president and founder Jason Bailey, “I know I speak for the entire SBG family when I say how proud we are to introduce this new all-female marketing team.  Anyone who knows me knows that I take our brand very seriously.  I couldn’t be more excited to place the next chapter of the SBG story in the hands of Loren, Jen, and Amber.  I’m thrilled to see all the great ideas they have come to life.”

BFoA Names 2020 Leadership Awards Recipients. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2020 Leadership Awards that will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on April 22 in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  This year’s honorees are: Marci Burdick, senior advisor to Schurz Communications, retired; Kim Guthrie, president & chief executive officer, Cox Media Group; Kraig Kitchin, partner, Sound Mind LLC; Weezie Kramer, COO, Entercom Communications; Barbara Kreisman, chief, Video Division, FCC; Leo MacCourtney, president, Katz Television Group.  The Broadcasters Foundation will also present the Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award during the Breakfast.  That honoree will be announced shortly.

Galaxy Media Celebrates 30 Anniversary. Earlier this week (2/12), Galaxy Media Partners celebrated 30 years of service to the Central New York Community.  It was on that date in 1990 that Pam and Ed Levine began operation of WKLL-FM, Frankfort in the Utica market with its first studios and offices in the back of a diner.  The company added stations in Syracuse in 1993, with additional acquisitions in 2001 and 2007.  Galaxy created an events division in 2007 that has grown to encompass all of Central New York and New York State.  Also in 2007, Galaxy became the flagship station for Syracuse University athletics and created a sports marketing division.  Company president and CEO Ed Levine says, “We are proud to celebrate 30 years of service to the Central New York Community.  Pam and I intend to continue to serve the Syracuse and Utica markets for many years to come.”

Beasley Personality Marisa Magnatta Hosts ‘Path to Pro… How to Be a Player in Esports.’  Philadelphia morning show personality Marisa Magnatta is hosting Beasley Media Group’s first ever “Path to Pro … How to be a Player in Esports” live event today from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Nerd Street Gamers in Philadelphia.  Esports experts and success stories will take part in panel discussions that will “provide attendees with an ‘insiders’ perspective on esports and the many paths that an individual can take to pursuing a career in professional gaming and what life is like as an elite player in the Overwatch League, as well as explore the different paths one might take to get there.”  WMMR-FM personality Magnatta says, “The feedback I’ve received after hosting the first season of ‘FTW Philly’ on NBC Sports Philadelphia has been all over the map…from expert to novice.  The most common question I hear is, how do you actually start a career in esports?  Our ‘Path to Pro’ event will be the ultimate guidebook for anyone interested in achieving their esports dream!”

The Presidential Race/New Hampshire Primary Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 10-14, 2020. The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and the results of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the aftermath of the impeachment trial of President Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy surrounding Trump’s influencing the sentencing of Roger Stone, and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s 2015 racist stop & frisk comments and race relations 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. Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” enters into a multi-year partnership with Special Olympics Massachusetts.  The collaboration between the Beasley Media Group station and the non-profit “will be instrumental in helping to raise funds, recruit volunteers, and support all major programs, such as the Summer Games, scheduled to take place June 12-14 at the Harvard Athletic Complex in Boston.  WBZ-FM program director Rick Radzik says, “It is an honor and privilege to partner with a tremendous organization that makes a difference in the lives of others like Special Olympics.  As the leading sports radio station in the country, we believe it’s important to align ourselves with an organization that offers support and inclusion for so many athletes, who otherwise might not have the opportunity to participate. It’s the perfect fit!”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 – part of Entercom’s RADIO.COM – is starting production on a new sports documentary podcast franchise that will explore “a wide range of compelling stories and people from the world of sports.”  Season one will focus on the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.  Season one will be hosted and written by Ben Reiter, the author of the New York Times bestseller Astroball: The New Way to Win it All…..iHeartMedia is expanding the iHeartPodcast Network with more Spanish-language and Hispanic-focused offerings with a slate of podcasts hosted and co-produced by radio personality Enrique Santos, who also serves as chairman and chief creative officer of iHeartLatino.  iHeartMedia is launching a multi-year development, co-production, and distribution partnership with multicultural digital audio network, reVOLVER…..Entercom and Univision sign an agreement for all-news WCBS-AM to produce Spanish-language coverage of New York Mets baseball on Univision’s Spanish hits outlet WQBU, New York “Que Buena 92.7.”  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “We’re pleased to partner with Univision New York to bring New York Mets games to Spanish-speaking fans.  As the unrivaled leader in local sports coverage, we’re looking forward to bringing our premier content to an even broader audience through this strategic partnership.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of career radio pro George Woods, who died on February 8.  During his career, Woods was a talk host at such stations as WOW-AM, KKAR-AM, and KFAB-AM in Omaha and KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  During the latter part of his career, he built and operated the multi-format, on-demand internet radio platform Radio George.  Woods also served on the board of the non-profit radio organization The Conclave, volunteered for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and travelled extensively with his wife Nancy Kaywood, who also serves on the Conclave board.  She suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Bob Woodruff Foundation in Woods’ name.

FOX News Radio Positions Open. There are three news posts that FOX News is seeking to fill. The first is Overnight Freelance Anchor for FOX News Radio in Washington, DC, Los Angeles or New York City. FOX says, “As a radio news anchor you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice.” See more about that position and apply here. The second position is staff producer and news editor for FOX News in New York City. In this position you will supervise the staff for FOX’s network radio news operation, Fox News Headlines 24/7. As the producer/news editor you are editorial leader, working with news anchors to craft the content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. See more about that position here. The third position is Freelance Radio Master Control Operator in New York. For this position the company is seeking a technically strong and motivated operator to provide technical oversight over all FOX News Radio platforms, including FOX News Radio’s terrestrial operation, FOX News Talk and FOX News Headlines 24/7. See more and apply for this position here.

Great Radio Management Opportunity. A broadcast owner has an immediate opening in a Northwest radio market for a general manager who is a self-directed individual with managerial skills, strong sales experience, and organizational talents. Candidate must have an established, result-oriented history. Must be a community-minded individual and possess written and verbal communications skills and leadership direction with the ability to convey to others. The successful candidate must maximize growth of the station while developing overall sales department operations; perform operational tasks; create sales and promotional opportunities; and have a willingness to recruit, hire, train, and support station staff. Must have thorough knowledge of radio broadcast industry. Three years proven sales experience required. B.A. Degree in Broadcast Journalism a “plus.” Successful candidate will be compensated equal to qualifications and performance. EOE. Contact: Radio Northwest, 18925 SW 84th Avenue, Tualatin OR 98062 503.223.6769. Email: kbnp@kbnp.com

Digital Content Producer. At Entercom’s Charlotte cluster consisting of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM/W273DA, and hot AC WLNK “The Link” has an immediate opening for a digital content producer. The company says, “The ideal candidate is an exceptional, quick-thinking multi-tasker with a passion for news, sports, music, entertainment and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment to producing top-quality multimedia content for all cluster stations. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Research, write, edit, and publish original content for our websites. Ensure all daily content is optimized for SEO. Monitor social media for story ideas. Effectively post to social media to drive engagement and traffic while following company strategy and policy. Execute web initiatives as directed. Work closely with digital content coordinator and other team members to achieve digital goals. Participate in all applicable Entercom training to fully take advantage of tools and best practices. Other duties as assigned.” See more about this position and apply here. EOE.

Friday, February 7, 2020

| February 7, 2020

LAST DAY! Early Bird Special Ends Today for TALKERS Convention Set for June 5 in New York. This Friday, February 7 is the last day to take advantage of the early bird special price for the TALKERS convention.  The June 5 event will be the 23rd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention.  This year it is titled, Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station, and takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  More detailed information about the agenda is forthcoming, but the event will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age and the fundamental changes in the platforms upon which it is carried and distributed. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 7 pay only $279 – a significant early bird discount. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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. The new episode titled, “Rush to Glory!” looks back at this past week of February 3-7, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Jim Bohannon; talk show host, Westwood OneBlanquita Cullum, talk show host, WCGO, Chicago; Ethan Bearman, attorney/commentator, FOX News ChannelDaliah WachsM.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Mark Jurkowitz, senior writer, Pew Research Center.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on 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.

TALKERS News Notes. At Cumulus Media’s sports talk WHLD-AM, Buffalo “1270 AM The Fan,” the local Jerry Sullivan show is cancelled, leaving the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show to be replaced by syndicated programming from CBS Sports Radio.  Sullivan announced the end of his show via Twitter, saying, “The radio show went off the air today for a lack of financial support.  Thanks to anyone who listened on ‘1270 The Fan’ over the last 18 months.  Buffalo needs an alternative voice more than ever.”…..Marc Kestecher signs a new contract to continue serving as ESPN Radio’s lead NBA play-by-play voice.  ESPN says that in addition to NBA duties, Kestecher will call a “full slate of NFL, college football, college basketball and host studio coverage for marquee events.  Kestecher says, “I’m so grateful to continue my play-by-play and host role with ESPN Radio, working with some of the best people in the industry.  From basketball to football to baseball, this job continues to challenge and reward me in so many ways.”

Presidential Race/Iowa Caucus/Voting Integrity Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 3-7. The related presidential race, Iowa Caucus results and technical problems, and concerns about voting integrity combined to be the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the State of the Union Address.  Coming in at #3 was the acquittal of President Trump at his impeachment trial, followed by the concerns about a global pandemic of the Wuhan coronavirus 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 complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego morning radio couple Rob and Joss Taylor (below) move from Entercom’s adult contemporary KYXY to the company’s sister classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” beginning February 24.  The “Mornings with Rob & Joss” show will air weekdays from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Karyn Cerulli says, “Rob and Joss possess an incredible work ethic and dedication to their show and the San Diego community.  Over the last year, they have built strong connections with their audience and we’re excited to continue to watch them grow.  Their fun, upbeat personalities will shine on ‘Sunny 98.1.’”…..Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5” names Gina Ferraro midday personality.  Ferraro comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Dayton hot AC WMMX-FM.  Cumulus Cincinnati RVP and market manager Dave Crowl says, “We are excited to have Gina join the Cincinnati and WRRM team.  She has sound knowledge of the listening audience base in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and the corridor heading north of Cincy towards Dayton.  We look forward to her contributions.”  Ferraro takes over the midday show after Race Taylor left to join WCBS-FM, New York last July…..In Erie, programming pro Vinnie Marino is named program director for Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WXKC-FM and hip hop WXKC-HD2/W282BR “104.3 The Vibe.”  He was previously on air at Press Communications’ classic rock WWZY-FM, Long Branch, New Jersey “The Boss 107.1.”  Cumulus Erie VP and market manager Chuck Poet says, “We are really excited to have Vinny join the Cumulus Erie team.  Vinny’s numerous media experiences in different forms of radio and other media make him the top choice to bring a fresh perspective to the entire Erie cluster.”…..Dayton air personality Aaron “Woody” Woods moves from Alpha Media’s sports talk WING-AM across town to Cox Media Group’s country WHKO “K99.1” to serve as morning drive co-host alongside morning personality and station PD Nancy Wilson.

Friday, January 10, 2020

| January 10, 2020

Starnes Media Group to Purchase KWAM, Memphis. Conservative talk media personality and author Todd Starnes, via his Starnes Media Group, is acquiring historic radio station KWAM-AM, Memphis and translator W300DE, Memphis (107.9 FM) from Legacy Media for $685,000.  Starnes produces his daily talk radio show – currently heard on some 60 affiliate stations – and commentary feature that is distributed by Hamilton Strategies.  Starnes tells TALKERS magazine KWAM will be the flagship for his radio show.  “Memphis is my hometown.  And I’m glad to be coming back to the Mid-South.  Memphis deserves a locally owned and locally run talk radio station.  Our news, traffic and weather will be produced in Memphis by Memphians.  And I can promise that all-new ‘The Mighty 990’ is going to be a blowtorch for freedom across the Mid-South.”  Starnes parted ways with FOX News in October of 2019 after his contract expired and shortly thereafter launched his new radio programs and podcast.

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. The new episode titled, “Wag the Tongue!” looks back at this past week of January 6-10, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Michael Berry, talk show host, KTRH, Houston; Bill Brady, talk show host, KFNX, Phoenix; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Lee Elci, talk show host, 94.9 News Now WJJF, Southeast Connecticut; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; and Christopher Ruddy, president/CEO, Newsmax Media. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on: WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on 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.

Cumulus EVP/CFO John Abbot to Exit in March. An executive-level change takes place at Cumulus Media as executive vice president and chief financial officer John Abbot announces he’ll leave the company in the beginning of March, after the company reports its full-year 2019 financial results.  Meanwhile, the company is conducting a search for his successor.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “On behalf of the board and the entire company, I would like to thank John for his many contributions to Cumulus and for the strong finance and accounting organization he has helped build.  After nearly four years of commuting to Atlanta from Connecticut, it’s understandable that John has decided to pursue new opportunities at a company based closer to his home.  We appreciate his continued support through the transition and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”  Abbot says, “It has been a privilege and tremendously rewarding to work with Mary and the rest of the Cumulus team and I am truly proud of our many accomplishments over these past several years.  I am confident in the company’s ongoing ability to achieve its objectives and I look forward to following Cumulus’ continued success in the years ahead.”

WABC, New York Renews Clint Arthur’s Sunday Night Talk Show. New York City news/talk WABC announces it has “extended its commitment” with “The Greatest Show of All Time,” the Sunday evening program that stars celebrity entrepreneur Clint Arthur, to continue to air at 9:30 pm through the end of 2020.  Arthur says, “The mission of this show is personal, professional, and spiritual transformation for entrepreneurs, business owners, CEOs and anyone responsible for improving their own life and who wants to be more, do more, and have more.  As a native New Yorker, I am thrilled by this opportunity to give back to the city that made me who I am today.”  Arthur is the author of best-selling books: What They Teach You at The Wharton Business School; Speaking Game: 7-Figure Speaker Secrets; and The Greatest Book of All Time.  WABC is currently owned by Cumulus Media and is in the process of being sold to John CatsimatidisRed Apple Media for $12.5 million.

Management Changes at ESPN. After 15 years with the company, Traug Keller is retiring from his position as SVP of ESPN Audio.  He moved into that role in 2004 after having served as president of ABC Radio Networks.  He’ll officially exit the company next month.  Also retiring from ESPN Audio is vice president of national radio programming and production Marcia Keegan.  Assuming the leadership of the ESPN Audio division will be Dave Roberts, currently vice president of production, and Amanda Gifford, who holds the coordinating producer title.  At the same time, Tim McCarthy, who leads sports talk radio outlet WEPN-FM, New York as SVP and general manager for the company, is taking on the same responsibilities for ESPN’s sports talk KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN 710.”

Kachinske Named OM for Cumulus Media Providence. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske comes to Cumulus Media’s Providence cluster after most recently serving as program director at Hubbard Radio’s high-performing hot AC WTMX, Chicago “The Mix” for the past 18-plus years.  In Providence, she’ll be program director for adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” and serve as operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk outlets WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM and WPRV-AM and two other music brands.  Cumulus Providence vice president and market manager Holly Paras says, “After an exhaustive nationwide search, I am pleased to have Mary Ellen Kachinske joining the Cumulus Providence programming team.  The breadth of Mary Ellen’s experience will no doubt be felt immediately throughout the cluster. We look forward to her leadership and her ability to think strategically, in order to allow these well-established brands to continue to grow into the next decade.”

SummitMedia Ups Brannigan to SVP of Programming; Johnson to Lead Wichita Cluster. Being promoted from president and general manager of SummitMedia’s Wichita operations to senior vice president of programming for the company is Beverlee Brannigan.  As she moves into the corporate role, Todd Johnson is upped from general sales manager to president/GM for the Wichita station group.  Brannigan served as president/GM of Wichita for nearly six years.  Her previous programming experience has earned her a place in Country Radio Hall of Fame and she programmed country KFDI to a CMA Station of the Year Award.  She says, “I am honored to join Bill Tanner and John Olsen on the SummitMedia programming team.  We all share a commitment to radio that strongly connects with our audience.”

Iran Crisis Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10. The killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by U.S. forces and its diplomatic aftermath was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the impeachment articles against President Trump.  Coming in tied at #3 was the presidential race and the political speeches at last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, followed by the Australian bush fires and climate change 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.

Radio Sales Opportunity. Religious broadcaster Pillar of Fire International is seeking a full-time ad salesperson. The company says: “Star 99.1 is looking for our next great radio salesperson! This full-time position includes work in the office and travel throughout the NY metropolitan area to meet with customers and prospects. Over-achievers strongly encouraged to apply! A proven track record in radio or media sales is a pre-requisite and high standards of business integrity are expected. We offer a positive working environment and the satisfaction of doing a job that ‘counts.'” Qualified candidates should send letter and resume to jobs@star991.com or mail to Jobs, Star 99.1, P.O. Box 9058, Zarephath, NJ 08890. No calls please. Star 99.1 is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

PPM Analysis Extra: The ‘All Christmas’ Phenomenon. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a “bonus” PPM analysis based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 survey.  Kinosian says that the shift to all-Christmas music has been a ratings boon for stations that adopt the change.  “In our December 2019 ratings recap ‘extra,’ let’s see if playing wall-to-wall holiday hits is still growing strong or starting to wane.  The following breakouts reflect those stations in the 48 PPM-markets that either increased their 6+ stat by at least one full share or faltered by that margin in the December 2019 sweep (November 7 – December 4).  Hefty positive November 2019 – December 2019 movement is more often than not directly attributable to the all-Christmas music phenomenon.”  See the report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New Haven urban AC WYBC-FM adds the “DeDe in the Morning” show to its program schedule, effective Monday (1/13).  WYBC is operated by Connoisseur Media.  The program is produced by Service Broadcasting’s KKDA, Dallas “K104” and is syndicated by Compass Media NetworksDeDe McGuire says, “It is an absolute honor to be part of the legendary WYBC and we can’t wait to wake up New Haven. Thank you, [director of operations] Juan Castillo and the WYBC team for your support and confidence.  We are going to have some fun together.”  As part of this move, Castillo – who had been morning host – moves to the afternoon drive daypart…..In Nashville, air personality and program director Zigz, a.k.a. Chris Cox, is leaving one of his positions with Cromwell Media’s alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz.”  Zigz will continue to host the midday show but is relocating to Illinois as the result of his wife accepting a new gig.  In the interim, current afternoon drive host and digital/social media coordinator Hayley St. John is handling programming duties.  Station vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon says, “Naturally, a decision like this didn’t come easy for Zigz and we most certainly had to respect his decision to be supportive of his wife’s career and the needs of his family.  There’s no question Zigz will be missed but the good news is he will remain a key part of our team, anchoring the midday show.”…..Pictured below is Ultra Records recording artist Chelsea Cutler (right) appearing in front of a roomful of listeners as air personality Mikey V (left) interviews her on iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108.”

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

| December 24, 2019

Radio-TV Talk Show Host and Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hayworth has had a fascinating career in both broadcasting and politics.  In his early career, even prior to attending and graduating from North Carolina State University he held jobs while still a teenager as a music radio disc jockey and sports reporter which he continued through his school years.  After graduation he moved to Arizona as a TV sports anchor and then transitioned from broadcasting to politics.  Between 1995 and 2007, he served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona’s 5th and 6th Congressional districts.  After that he became a full-time conservative radio talk show host on KFYI in Phoenix.  He left KFYI in 2010 to unsuccessfully mount a primary campaign against John McCain (who had recently been defeated by Barack Obama in the presidential election of 2008) for the Republican nomination for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat held at that time by the popular war hero.  After that, he became a news anchor and host during the developmental days of Newsmax TV – a position he held for four years.  Today he’s heard by news/talk radio listeners on major stations around the country as one of the format’s most popular fill-in hosts.  Harrison and Hayworth take a deep dive into the workings of Congress, look back at changes in radio and its regulations over the years, and discuss the most talked about news topics, stories and issues of 2019.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Round One of December PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 survey period covered November 7 through December 4.  Some positive 6+ ratings movements of note for spoken-word stations include: Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO adds to its recent positive trends with a +0.3 for a 2.3 share; four straight positive or neutral moves by iHeartMedia’s news/talk KTRH (4.1 share) have “News Radio 740” ranked at #8 in the market; and Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remains #1 in the market for the fifth straight month, despite dropping two tenths (9.3 – 9.1).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” on all the markets here.

‘Ratings Takeaways’ to Be Posted Over Holiday Break.  Although the TALKERS magazine offices are closed from December 25 to January 2, managing editor Mike Kinosian will post his “Ratings Takeaways” from Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey as usual.  Nielsen will release the next three rounds of ratings data on December 26, 27, and 30, respectively.  See Kinosian’s “Ratings Takeaways” here.

Ziegler Named Director of News and Programming at WTOP, Washington. News media pro Julia Ziegler is promoted by Hubbard Radio Washington to director of news and programming for all-news WTOP-FM.  She has served with the station for 17 years, most recently as digital news director.  Ziegler assumes the position vacated by Mike McMearty who’d been with WTOP for 27 years.  During her time with WTOP, Ziegler has served as a member of Hubbard’s Inaugural NextGen program, an internal program designed to foster and grow leaders within the organization.  WTOP SVP and general manager Joel Oxley says, “During her time here Julia has truly excelled in every position she has held.  As the pioneer of many incredible projects, she has led our team with commitment, excellence and passion.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds and am incredibly excited to have her in this position.”  Ziegler comments, “I am excited and honored to lead the incredible journalists who work tirelessly in the WTOP newsroom 24/7/365.  This team is made up of some of the most hardworking and dedicated people I have ever met, and they drive me to be my best every day.  WTOP is a special place with special people.  I knew that from the second I stepped foot in the door as an intern in 2002.  I look forward to all of the great things this team will continue to accomplish in the years ahead.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Former California Governor Jerry Brown is launching a limited-run podcast via public media organization KQED in San Francisco.   The program is called “The Political Mind of Jerry Brown” and was produced from more than 40 hours of interviews with Brown by KQED senior editor for politics and government Scott Shafer in cooperation with UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center.  Shafer says, “This is a deep dive into the life and career of someone who has had a profound impact on California over the course of 50 years.  Our conversations reveal a reflective side of Jerry Brown – how he plotted his rise in politics, how he both leveraged his father’s name and distanced himself from Pat Brown’s approach to politics and what he learned from the mistakes he made along the way.”  The show will debut as an over the air broadcast on KQED…..The Sacramento Bee reports that Springer Financial Advisors owner Keith Springer – who hosts the weekend “Smart Money” show on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – has been charged by the Securities Exchange Commission with defrauding clients.  The story indicates the SEC’s allegations include Springer receiving millions of dollars in undisclosed compensation for recommending investments without disclosing a conflict of interest.  The SEC also alleges that Springer deceived prospective clients by saying he’d been chosen to do the KFBK radio show because of his expertise and did not reveal he brokers the time.

High Rollers.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) and media consultant/RT America host Holland Cooke (left) enjoyed their annual Christmas lunch yesterday (12/23), while checking out the lavish new MGM Springfield in Springfield, Mass.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Washington, DC, on-air pro Jackie Paige is named midday personality and music director for Radio One’s hip hop WKYS-FM.  She comes to DC from her most recent role with the company’s hip hop WCDX-FM, Richmond “iPower 92.1/104.1” where she was also midday jock and music director.  Radio VP of programming Kashon Powell says, “We are extremely excited to welcome Jackie Paige to the Radio One DC programming staff.  She possesses a positive attitude and work ethic that simply can’t be taught.  She’s an ideal fit for Radio One DC and we are excited to have her join the team.”

Thursday, December 19, 2019

| December 19, 2019

KNUS, Denver’s Chuck Bonniwell and Julie Hayden Fired for School Shooting Joke. The midday “Chuck & Julie” show has been cancelled from the program lineup at Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver after Chuck Bonniwell’s ill-advised joke about school shootings.  Bonniwell, who co-hosts the show with his wife Julie Hayden, was transitioning from a break back into programming and said – in an effort to express his weariness with the impeachment story – “You wish for a nice school shooting to interrupt.”  Julie Hayden was quick to interject, “Don’t even – don’t even say that. No, don’t even say that.  Don’t call us. Chuck didn’t say that.”  Then Bonniwell added “…which no one would be hurt.”  Station management later issued the following statement: “Given the history of school violence that has plagued our community, 710 KNUS confirms that an inappropriate comment was made on the ‘Chuck & Julie’ show by co-host Chuck Bonniwell.  A programming decision was made to end the program immediately.”  For his part, Bonniwell said via Twitter: “I made an inappropriate comment meant as a joke.  I’m sorry it was not received that way.”

Jim Vicevich Retires from WTIC-AM, Hartford; Will Mariotti to Assume Late Morning Show. Hartford talk radio host Jim Vicevich is leaving his role as late morning talk host on Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM due to his ongoing battle with Lupus.  Today is his last show.  WTIC personality Will Mariotti will become the permanent 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host.  Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Stephanie Perl says, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Jim, who has dedicated over 15 years of his career to the people of Hartford.  He has developed a strong bond with the local community through the show ‘Sound Off Connecticut’ and is a true media icon in the market.  We thank him for all of his contributions to our station and local community and wish him all of the best.”  Vicevich says, “While I’m sad to be leaving due to my Lupus, I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to entertain and interact with our audience for over 15 years.  I’m honored to be a part of this station’s great history.  Very few people have had the chance to get behind the same microphone of other WTIC greats like Bob Steele and Ray Dunaway.  Thank you to everyone who has played a role in making my time here special.”  Will Mariotti adds, “From the time I first filled in for Jim and all the way through working with him weekly in 2017 and 2018, I was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism.  I know I have huge shoes to fill, but my time with Jim has prepared me for the next chapter of our daytime show.  I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with our listeners every day.”

Chris Carlin to Host Nights at ‘ESPN New York.’ After months of speculation about what the New York City sports talk scene will look like in the New Year, another piece of the puzzle fits into place as former WFAN “The Fan” personality Chris Carlin will assume hosting the evening show at ESPN’s WEPN-FM “ESPN New York” on January 2.  “Carlin at Night” will air from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Carlin was one-third of the show hired to replace Mike Francesa in afternoons on Entercom’s WFAN.  But Francesa returned to WFAN a few months after leaving and Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray were moved to the early afternoon daypart.  Then, in August Carlin was let go.  Back at WEPN, Alan Hahn is moving from nights to middays, reportedly to co-host with Bart Scott, who leaves WFAN and partner Maggie Gray this month to join WEPN.  Across town, WFAN has already announced that Gray and Marc Malusis are the new midday show and Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are the new PM drive show.

Ivy Savoy-Smith to Lead Entercom Washington, DC. Vice president and director of sales Ivy Savoy-Smith is promoted to SVP and market manager for Entercom’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” four music brands, and more.  She takes over for Phil Zachary, who exited the position last month. Entercom CRO and regional president Bob Philips says, “During her time here at Entercom, Ivy has embodied leadership, strategic thinking, accountability and hard work.  She is a forward thinker who has produced undeniable results and we are excited to have her lead Entercom Washington D.C. into the new decade.”  Savoy-Smith comments, “I’m grateful to Bob for giving me this opportunity to begin this new chapter of my career.  Working at Entercom has been an unbelievable experience and I look forward to putting my stamp on the D.C. cluster and leveraging the power of radio to continue to give back to the local community.”

Edison: Moms Have ‘Complicated Relationship’ with Social Media. According to a new study from Edison Research titled, “Moms on Social Media 2019,” mothers are big social media users – 92% of U.S. moms use social media compared to 79% to the 12+ U.S. population.  And although Facebook usage has fallen among users in the U.S. according to Edison’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” moms are not dropping Facebook.  Eighty-one percent of U.S. moms use Facebook compared to 61% of the total U.S. population.  Edison says, “Moms have two major motivators for continuing to use social media: the emotional connection it provides and the practical ways it helps them in their busy lives.  The study finds that on the emotional side, moms are using social media to stay up to date with friends, share aspects of their lives, and share their opinions.  On the practical side, moms are using social media to get information on school events, details on extracurricular activities, health and parenting advice, and find product recommendations.”  Other findings from the study include: Pinterest and Instagram have seen significant gains year-over-year.  Among U.S. moms, 63% are using Pinterest in 2019 compared to 47% in 2017, and 53% are using Instagram in 2019 compared to 37% in 2017; 80% of moms on social media say they turn to it for product recommendations, and 58% of moms on social media said Facebook is the platform they turn to first for product recommendations; 53% of moms who use social medial say there is too much negativity on social media; and regarding how they feel about social media, 26% of moms on social media say they feel annoyed, 25% say they feel addicted, and 24% say they feel concerned.  See more from the study here.

PodcastOne Shows Named to CarMoney’s Top Podcasts List. Three of PodcastOne’s car-related podcasts were named to the international list of top car podcasts by the UK-based site CarMoney.  The shows named are: “Carcast” hosted by Adam Carolla and Matt D’Andria; “Everyday Driver,” with hosts Paul and Todd; and “Spike’s Car Radio” with car enthusiast and former “Seinfeld” writer Spike Feresten.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Adam Carolla is the king of podcasts, so I am not surprised to see his car show on the list. ‘Everyday Driver’ has been a great partner, and Spike knows cars and he knows funny.  That’s exactly the reason why his podcast has been a solid hit for the past 2 ½ years here at PodcastOne.  I’d say more, but I’ve gotta call Spike now for some car advice and laughs.”

House Votes to Impeach Trump, 2020 Presidential Race, Obamacare Ruling, FBI Report/FISA, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Financial Markets Activity, and New Obesity Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The vote in the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump on two counts and the president’s response from his rally in Michigan; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020 and the build-up to this evening’s Democratic debate; an appeals court rules the Obamacare mandate unconstitutional; the aftermath of the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s use of the FISA; the Trump administration’s trade talks with China; the record setting performances of the financial markets; and the New England Journal of Medicine report indicating half of all American adults will be obese by 2030 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Tulsa news/talker KRMG-FM and KOKI-TV “FOX23” organized the 12th Annual Tulsa Holiday Blood Drive for the American Red Cross, taking place today (12/19).  In the past 11 drives, the program has collected 2,254 units of life-saving products (blood and platelets).  KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May says, “During the crazy holiday travel season, the American Red Cross sees a big drop in its scheduled donations and that could create a real problem for people seeking medical help during this time.  We are honored to partner with our news partners at ‘FOX23’ to help drive awareness and donations to help ensure that Green Country medical facilities have everything they need to treat our neighbors.”…..The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and iHeartMedia Minneapolis’ KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN 100.3” and news/talk KTLK have agreed to a five-year extension renewing the stations’ broadcast rights for Vikings preseason, regular season and postseason games.  The 2020 season will mark the 20th consecutive year “KFAN” will serve as the flagship station for the Vikings Radio Network.  iHeartMedia market president Jeff Tyler says, “My thanks to the Wilf family and all the great people we work with at the Minnesota Vikings.  They are at the top level of sports franchises and our entire team at iHeartMedia Minneapolis is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our partnership for another five years.  Both organizations are dedicated to innovation and excellence which makes this partnership so unique and valuable.”…..SiriusXM is presenting live play-by-play broadcasts of all 41 Division I FBS and FCS bowl games this college football postseason, including ESPN Radio’s coverage of the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins Friday, December 20 and concludes with the crowning of the national champion on January 13…..Former CBS News reporter and anchor Peter Maer was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club.  During his more than 25 years covering national news for CBS, Maer received numerous awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award, five Merriman Smith Awards, the IAF Cronkite Award, and more.  Maer retired from CBS News in 2015.  He was interviewed on CBS News Radio affiliate KMOX, St. Louis.  He’s pictured here (left) with St. Louis Press Club president Bill Greenblatt (right)…..Pictured below are ESPN Radio’s “Golic and Wingo” hosts Mike Golic (third from right), Trey Wingo (second from right), and Mike Golic Jr. (second from left) after teaming up with Mercedes-Benz Vans to benefit the Salvation Army.  ESPN employees in Bristol, Connecticut donated more than 300 toys and Mercedes-Benz Vans donated a new Sprinter Passenger Van for the Salvation Army to use to transport students to after-school activities. In addition to the Sprinter Passenger Van that was donated, Mercedes-Benz provided a Cargo Van that was utilized to transport the toys from ESPN’s Bristol campus to the Salvation Army.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Chicago triple A WXRT-FM, the longtime morning show with Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon wraps, with Brehmer moving to the midday show and current midday personality Richard Milne moving to mornings.  Dixon, who according to a report in the Chicago Tribune was offered the evening/overnight news anchor position with sister all-news WBBM-AM/WCFO-FM but declined, leaves the station.  Brehmer says, “Like a veteran centerfielder who moves to first base, I look forward to batting second.  The exhilaration of being a morning companion to the families that support 93XRT offset the brutal schedule of someone who likes to go to concerts at night.  I’m not 29 anymore.  May the phrase, ‘Isn’t it past your bedtime?’ be applied to someone else for a while.”  Entercom Chicago OM and program director Greg Solk says, “93XRT has long held the reputation for playing Chicago’s finest rock, but also has enjoyed hosting Chicago’s finest jocks.  Lin Brehmer is a Chicago treasure.  All of us at the station are indebted to Lin for his 28 years of wrestling with his alarm clock.  His morning fans will now get to enjoy their best friend in the whole world sharing their workday as Lin accompanies their middle of the day rituals.  We are also blessed to have someone of Richard’s character, charm, music knowledge and wit to take over for Lin.  It’s Richard’s turn to get in early and Rock Chicago.”…..Classic hits KONO-FM, San Antonio morning drive personality Dave Rios is retiring from the station after 26 years in the position.  Prior to joining KONO-FM, Rios worked in the market as news director for rock outlet KXZL – now Spanish hits KZEP-FM…..Hubbard Radio personality Fitz is named the permanent host of “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.”  He becomes the third host in the 45-year history of the national radio show.  Kingsley died in October after a battle with cancer.  The new “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 with Fitz” airs on more than 300 stations worldwide and features audio from the Kingsley archives.  Skyview Networks is the exclusive network sales rep for the show.  Fitz says, “I listened to Bob Kingsley every weekend when I was a kid.  His loss is still sinking in, but I am honored to be taking the reins from the man who instilled in me a lifelong love of country music and the love of the ‘countdown.’  This moment is surreal, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.  I am excited and honored to carry his torch and hope that I can do for the next generation of country music fans what the legendary Bob Kingsley did for me…..Entercom announces that Zac Brown Band is headlining the 5th annual “The Night Before” concert at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on February 1, 2020 – the night before the Super Bowl.

Monday, December 9, 2019

| December 9, 2019

Monday Memo: Start in the Middle?  If you’re a radio newscaster, consultant Holland Cooke warns that “this week’s column is like a solar eclipse.  Look away!”  But for DJs, hosts, and commercial copy writers, he has a curious suggestion.  Read it here.

More Than $500,000 Raised in WMAL Fisher House Radiothon. Commenting on Cumulus Media Washington DC’s just-concluded two-day radiothon for the Fisher House, WMAL PD/Cumulus Media vice president of news/talk, Bill Hess, remarks, “Wow, listeners once again have come through with their support for the wonderful work of the Fisher House Foundation, donating $523,866 to this year’s radiothon. I say ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of our hearts. The Fisher House is recognized as one of the premiere nonprofits working to support quality-of-life for our military and their families. Ever since its inception (30 years ago next month), it has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation; more than 32,000 families were served in 2018. Over the past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $7 million to the Fisher House Foundation. Pictured left to right are Hess, WMAL on-air talents Larry O’Connor, Chris Plante, and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House president Dave Coker.

Cumulus Media Transfers Howell To Little Rock. Inbound from Oklahoma City where he was an on-air talent at Cumulus Media sports talk WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” and executive producer of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s radio broadcasts, Toby Howell arrives as program director at co-owned Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 102.9,” sports talk KARN-AM “920 The Sports Animal,” and the Arkansas News Network. He will also program religious KAAY. Cumulus Media Little Rock market manager Keith Liesman remarks, “We are very happy to get a guy like Toby with his radio background and look forward to watching him grow [our brands] across the Little Rock community.” Howell notes, “I’m very lucky to be able to work with the Cumulus Media group in Little Rock. To be in the news format at a time like this with 2020 on the horizon is very exciting.” He replaces Peter Thiele who exited roughly nine months ago.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Coming To Northern Arizona University. Along with support from the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is set to launch next summer (July 13 – 22) at Northern Arizona University. Hubbard Radio chief executive officer Ginny Morris comments, “All of us at Hubbard are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and the Arizona Association of Broadcasters on bringing this proven program to Northern Arizona University. The program is a great asset for the industry and a wonderful and expansive experience for the students that participate.” Vallie founded the National Radio Talent System in 2013 so radio stations can recruit young talent from their own region or nationally. Arizona Broadcasters Association President/CEO Chris Kline states, “There’s nothing more important to the future of broadcasting than helping to build the next generation of media leaders. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is exactly what we need in Arizona to ensure that new ideas continue to flood into the radio industry from young broadcasters. We couldn’t be more excited to support this program, to meet the participants, and to build new relationships.” NAU Media Innovation Center director Brian Rackham remarks, “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious opportunity for our students. There are jobs out there waiting for our graduates and the Hubbard Talent Institute is a great pipeline to the industry. We look forward to partnering with a great radio group like Hubbard, and the experts at the National Radio Talent System.” Sessions during the ten-day talent institute include on-air, production, news, sports, social media, podcasting, promotions, videography, sales, engineering, and includes the RAB’s radio marketing professional course. Applications are being accepted from college students/young talent from all universities in the region. Final application deadline is March 6, 2020; only 25 students will be accepted.

TALKERS News Notes. After an 11-year run on WTOP-FM “Washington’s Top News,” Chris Core will retire from the Hubbard Broadcasting DC all-news operation one week from Friday (12/20) following his “Core Values” commentary. He previously spent approximately 25 years at cross-town news/talk WMAL as a newscaster and sports anchor ….. This week, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax anchor JD Hayworth is doing his first live and local Phoenix news/talk show in approximately ten years. Guest-hosting today (Monday, 12/9) through Wednesday (12/11) for Seth Leibsohn in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Salem Media Group-owned KKNT “AM 960 The Patriot,” Hayworth was Mike Huckabee’s “designated guest-host” and has filled in for Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, and Laura Ingraham ….. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 12/10, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm) 12th annual Toy Field presented by Cumulus Media Nashville and Planet Fitness will benefit The Salvation Army’s “Forgotten Angels” program. Toys collected at Nissan Stadium will help fulfill the dreams of many “forgotten children” this holiday season. The Salvation Army will reach nearly 8,500 “angels” – less fortunate children and elderly. According to Salvation Army Nashville area commander Ethan Frizzell, “Thousands of toys have been donated throughout the years and we hope to see the same enthusiasm this year. We would not be able to provide for all these children, without the support of Cumulus Media and our community.” In addition to news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” and sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” Cumulus Media Nashville consists of country outlets WSM-FM “Nash Icon 95.5,” and  WKDF “103.3 Nash FM,” and urban AC WQQK “92-Q.” ….. According to The Des Moines Register, former Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell (KBGG, KXLQ, KXNO) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court. Indicted this past February, Tirrell accepted a plea deal Friday (12/6) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing April 7; nine other counts were dismissed. He was charged of scamming victims out of $1.5 million in a sports ticket reselling scheme …. The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is accepting entries for its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” competition, which recognizes outstanding performance among radio and television stations. All entries must be submitted electronically – the deadline is January 6 (2020). Winners will be showcased during the “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” luncheon March 30 at The Hotel Hershey. Meanwhile, the Colorado Broadcasters Association is inviting radio and television stations in that state to compete in over 50 categories; entry deadline is (Friday) January 10 (2020). The “Awards of Excellence” celebration will take place (Friday) April 17th in downtown Denver at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

iHM Charleston Fundraiser Brings in Over $176,000. The 12th annual iHeartMedia Charleston “Cares for Kids” radiothon raised over $176,000 to benefit Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. According to iHeartMedia Charleston area president Alene Grevey, “We’ve anticipated broadcasting from the brand new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for 12 years. Seeing this labor of love come to fruition thanks to the generosity of iHeartMedia Charleston’s listeners and advertisers is so inspiring.” This year’s two-day, fundraising “Cares for Kids” broadcast was held last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. The event featured iHeartMedia Charleston on-air talents Ric Rush, Brian Cleary, Kelly Golden, and Gary Goldman, as well as WCSC-TV personalities Justin Biegel, and Kaitlin Stansell. The radiothon featured more than 40 stories from MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital patients and their families. In addition to WSCC “94.3 The Lowcountry’s News Station,” iHeartMedia Charleston is comprised of adult contemporary WXLY-FM “Y-102.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” and WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 Station for New Country.”

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The music-intensive format in the spotlight this month is urban contemporary. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian notes that approximately half the stations on his urban contemporary panel improve (49%) October 2019 – November 2019 (6+). Meanwhile, a virtually identical 51% of urban contemporary panelists show November 2018 – November 2019 growth. Five urban contemporary stations ranked second (6+) in November 2019; the typical format finish was #11.41 (6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Media Group Holiday Soiree Features Lady Antebellum. As part of the company’s third annual “Holiday Soiree” client party last Thursday (12/5) in New York City, Beasley Media Group welcomed performances by Lady Antebellum; Joe King and Issac Slade from The Fray; and actor/musician David Duchovny. Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley, president Bruce Beasley, and chief operating officer/executive vice president Brian Beasley thanked guests for their ongoing support. Shown from left to right are Big Machine Label Group senior vice president of promotion Mathew Largis; Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group national country brand manager/country WKLB, Boston program director David Corey; Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group executive vice president of programming Justin Chase; and Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum).

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-six year WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9” midday personality Debbi Calton officially retired from the Beasley Media Group Philadelphia outlet last Friday (12/6). Prior to joining WMGK in 1993, Calton spent 10 years at cross-town rocker WYSP ….. Per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning host Courtney Landrum and evening talent Jill Devine have departed Entercom St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98.” A member of the station’s morning show the past 20 years, Landrum was promoted to top billing (“Courtney & Company”) two years ago when Guy Phillips left the station after a 38-year run. Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff, Lance Hildebrand, and Tim Convy remain at the retitled “Y-98 Morning Show.” Devine joined “Y-98” eight years ago. She previously worked in the market for CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7”; country KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull”; and hot AC WVRV “101.1 The River” ….. In celebration of their 20th year in radio syndication, “Big D & Bubba” were treated to a surprise party last Friday (12/6) at Silverfish Media’s Nashville studios where company president Patrick Thomas recalls that, “On December 6, 1999, The Big D & Bubba Morning Show first aired in Amarillo [Texas]. That marked the beginning of syndication for the show, which was based at WYNK, Baton Rouge. Syndicated mornings in the country format was widely known to be an impossible task.” According to Patrick, it is the country’s longest-running syndicated morning show and has more than 75 affiliates. Helping to note the occasion in person were Compass Media Network chief executive officer Peter Kosann, and fellow syndicated country talents Lorraine Crook & Charlie Chase (“Crook & Chase), Evan Paul, and Amber Atnip ….. Wrapping up last week’s (12/2 through 12/6) “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive to benefit the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” collected 70 school buses worth of new unwrapped toys. Senior vice president of programming David Edgar notes, “[This] is one of our biggest events throughout the year. The overwhelming response from ‘Kiss’ listeners and the Pittsburgh community will help many children have a great holiday this year.” ….. Through the Smiley morning show’s 23rd annual, 36-hour “Make-A-Wish Request-A-Thon,” Cumulus Media Indianapolis CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s Number One Hit Music Station” raised $839,638 for central Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses. Listeners called in last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) to request their favorite songs in exchange for a Make-A-Wish Foundation donation. Throughout the broadcast, WZPL shared inspiring wish stories from local Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Cumulus Media Indianapolis vice president/market manager Chuck Fredrick comments, “What a great way to head into the holiday season helping so many kids’ wishes come true in our community.” Operations manager JR Ammons adds that, “Thanks to the generosity of listeners and sponsors, we were able to surpass last year’s record total of $736,298. As a result, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant 83 wishes for kids here in central Indiana with life-threatening illnesses.” Over the course of the last 23 years, WZPL has helped raise more than $7.5 million for Make-A-Wish ….. Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena was the site of this past Saturday’s (12/7) 20th annual “B-96 Pepsi Jingle Bash” presented by Entercom Chicago CHR WBBM-FM. Katy Perry headlined the event. Entercom Chicago senior vice president and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “The ‘B-96 Jingle Bash’ has been a must-see holiday event in Chicago for two decades and has become a highly anticipated night of pop music and a beloved holiday tradition.” ….. Concluding today (Monday, 12/9) is iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPW’s fourth annual “House of Toys,” a six-day “Power 96.1” fundraising event to help collect toys for the “Toys For Tots” program. Morning drive personality PK notes, “We want to be sure every child has the best holiday they can. We are thrilled to team up with our listeners once again and help underprivileged children receive the joy of a new gift this holiday season.” WWPW’s fundraiser is presented by Delta Community Credit Union ….. Filling the midday spot at Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne, Indiana’s country WBTU “US-93.3” is Erica Gray, who most recently had the same responsibilities in Gainesville (Florida) at Gillen Broadcasting CHR WYKS “Kiss 105.3.” ….. The inaugural “Not So Silent Night” benefit concert featuring local artists will be held this Friday (12/13) at Panama City, Florida’s Salty Hobo. Proceeds from the event – sponsored by iHeartMedia Panama City’s WDIZ “96 Rock” – will benefit the Toys for Tots Program. Program director Paco notes, “We look forward to an evening filled with music and holiday giving.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

| October 4, 2019

Latest Development in Seth Dunlap Case: NOLA Cops Get Warrant for His Cell Phone. According to a report in the Times-Picayune, the police in New Orleans obtained a warrant for information from the cell phone of WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap, with the intent of determining if the gay slur directed at Dunlap from the Entercom station’s Twitter account was actually sent by Dunlap himself, as the station’s internal investigation concluded.  Dunlap’s attorney – Megan Kiefer – is saying that the station turned the matter over to police only after negotiations to settle Dunlap’s complaints about a homophobic workplace atmosphere broke down.  Entercom got the police involved after Dunlap sought a settlement of $1.85 million – something the company is alleging amounts to extortion.  Adding to the intrigue are previous reports that Entercom is aware of Dunlap’s financial troubles because of letters it had received in recent months concerning wage garnishment.  Those reports also alleged Dunlap has unpaid credit card bills and personal loans haunting him.  Prior to the Twitter incident, Dunlap posted a Facebook message in which he described his difficulties working in sports media as a gay man.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, 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.  The new episode titled, “Frenemies at Home and Abroad!”, looks back at this past news-rich week of September 30 – October 4, 2019.  Partially recorded at this week’s “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in New York City, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Christopher Nixon Cox (noted attorney, businessman and grandson of Richard Nixon); Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesTom Sullivan, host, Talk Media NetworkHugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor, WABC, New York; and Judith Regan, publisher, Regan Arts. 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, California; and KBKW, Aberdeen, Washington as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts 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.

Skyview Networks’ Upfront Event Showcases 2020 Audio Platforms. This week, the Skyview Networks’ Experience Momentum 2020 Upfront took place at The Onyx Room in New York City.  Skyview says that with audio as the backdrop, the event “featured some of the biggest names in media sharing how ‘access’ and ‘storytelling’ have deepened their connection and delivery to audiences across 5,700 plus affiliates.”  Skyview EVP and general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo hosted the event and took Madison Avenue executives through new branded audio integrations for news, influencer, long-form, short-form, sports, and music platforms.  Skyview founder and CEO Ken Thiele comments, “I’m extremely proud of Jeanne-Marie, our entire sales organization, and all of our network partners that demonstrated their unique and powerful capabilities today.  The turnout from our longtime buyers and clients speaks volumes to the importance of this event and I am thrilled to showcase our growing momentum in the industry.”  Pictured above at the upfront are (from l-r): ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Deshishku, and GMA’s Ginger Zee.

TALKERS News Notes. Jackson, Mississippi talk radio host James Tulp is entering politics.  He’s announced he’ll challenge U.S. Rep. Michael Guest in the Republican primary in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.  Tulp hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on SSR Communications’ news/talk WYAB-FM, Jackson…..ESPN is providing cross-platform coverage of the 2019 Major League Baseball Postseason.  For the 22nd consecutive season, ESPN Radio will broadcast every game.  Audio from ESPN Radio broadcasts can be heard on the ESPN App, ESPNRadio.com and Sirius XM…..ABC Audio announces “The HeirPod” podcast by ABC News Royal contributor Omid Scobie.  The podcast takes listeners behind palace walls and dives deep into the latest stories from the House of Windsor with insider interviews and special guests.  Scobie is a London-based journalist who regularly appears on “Good Morning America” and is Harper Bazaar’s Royal editor-at-large.

KMOX, St. Louis Reporter Brett Blume Dies at 55. Co-workers at Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis are mourning the death of reporter Brett Blume, who passed away Thursday (10/3) after dealing with significant health challenges since February of this year.  Blume was a St. Louis-area native who worked as a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio outlet KWMU prior to joining KMOX in 2002.  He is survived by his wife, Kathy and 21-year-old son, Devin.

Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 30 – October 4.  The controversy over President Trump’s request Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China and the Hong Kong protests.  Coming in at #3 was the North Korea Missile test, followed by economic jitters and the stock market 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 and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC; Video Posted for On Demand Viewing.  A powerful panel discussion titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations,” took place in New York City yesterday morning (10/1) that was described by one of its media industry attendees as “a 90-minute PhD on the subject.”  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  According to Harrison, “We produced this event to serve as a serious informational workshop for talk media hosts to absorb the basics of a topic that will be of enormous importance in world events over the coming years.”  Harrison adds, “Based on the response we have received to its live streaming and subsequent on-demand rebroadcasts on NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) and Talkers.com, we seem to have succeeded in achieving that goal.  The panelists were magnificent.” See the video of  event here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Phoenix market, programming pro Sara Jean is named assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KESZ “99.9 KEZ” and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  In addition, she’s the new late afternoon host for KESZ.  In her new role, Sara Jean will oversee the day-to-day operations of both stations’ music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions, and digital operations.  KESZ and KYOT program director Paul Kelley states, “I’m excited to mentor Sara Jean as she continues to grow in the industry, but I’m just as excited to learn from her.  Sara has a contagious energy and a unique perspective that will elevate each station.”…..Cumulus Media appoints Chris Matthews program director and morning show host for country KIZN, Boise “Kissin 92.3.”  Matthews will work on air with current morning personality Alana Lynn as the station’s new morning show team.  Matthews was most recently program director and afternoon drive host for iHeartMedia’s KBEB-FM, Sacramento.  Cumulus Boise RVP and market manager Don Morin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Chris lead the KIZN team.  His energy and desire to win is infectious.  I have no doubt that Chris and Alana will dominate mornings in Boise!”…..iHeartMedia Orlando’s urban contemporary “104.5 The BEAT” – W283AN/WTKS-HD2 – announces the date and lineup for its BEAT Music Fest.  The November 23 event takes place at the Lott in Downtown Orlando and will feature performances from: DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Rotimi, and Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.

September 2019 PPM Data – The third round of September 2019 ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 PPM markets, including: Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.   Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from nine PPM markets below.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Six straight negative or neutral sweeps by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) led to a -1.7 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), but “News Talk 760” is a combined +.3 in August/September (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

An overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM (Tigers) applies the brakes with a September increase of four-tenths to 4.3 (6+); “97.1 The Ticket” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10).

Significant ups/downs continue for co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950,” which was #1 in March; a combined -1.4 in June/July (6.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+); a whopping +1.1 in August; but -.5 in September (5.9 – 5.4, second to fifth, 6+).

A half-share increase to 2.1 (#20 to #19, 6+) by Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM ends its (repetitive) April 2019 through August 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 (6+). It had been nearly two years since WUOM last reached the two-share level (November 2017, 2.1, as well, 6+). Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth to August’s +.2 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and remains at #21.

Detroit Music Formats – After being -1.0 owing to four straight survey periods without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is now a combined +.5 in August/September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6, #14 to #13, 6+). Improving by two-tenths (6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 the third month in a row. Its June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+) followed three successive down or flat months that accounted for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC, which was a combined +1.3 in July/August (3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), drops one-tenth to 5.1 (6+). Even so, “105.1 The Bounce” advances from seventh to a three-way tie at sixth. In August, WMGC reached the five-share level the first time since February 2017 (5.2, as well). The 1.6 (6+) August advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” held over Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” widens to two full shares. The reason: WNIC gains three-tenths (5.6 – 5.9, fifth to second), while WDZH drops one-tenth and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). WNIC lost six-tenths in August (6.2 – 5.6, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive negative trends (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “The Breeze” is an overall -.9 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). In eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), WDZH more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share. Off a collective seven-tenths in three straight down or flat reports (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), cluster-mate WYCD “99.5 Detroit Country Music” repeats at #9. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” is +1.3 through seven consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to #16. This (2.9) is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 3.0. Shortly after a 3.4 (6+) March debut, iHeartMedia classic rock WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” is down a collective eight-tenths in three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, #11 to #14, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+) sends co-owned CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” from fourth to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.1) since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2018. Beasley Broadcast Group’s newly-acquired urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 in three consecutive positive or neutral reports (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) erases June’s -.8 (4.0 – 3.2, 6+) and repeats at #6. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” has lost nine-tenths via four drops in succession (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and slips from #15 to #18.

Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM (Arizona Diamondbacks) repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (2.4) and market rank (#15); “98.7 Arizona Sports” was -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

The June 2019 through September 2019 topline for Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#11 to #10, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – On the heels of three straight decreases that resulted in a -.9 (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” has answered with four successive upticks accounting for a +1.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Its format foe, Entercom’s KMLE “Country 107.9,” remains at #13 but is a cumulative -1.0 through three straight downward moves (3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Steady at #12, Hubbard Broadcasting alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ” is up a collective seven-tenths in three bumps in succession (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Following five consecutive increases that yielded an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ drops three-tenths to 6.7 (6+) but is #1 the third time in a row. August’s 7.0 was its strongest 6+-showing since January (7.0, as well). As a result of three consecutive positive or neutral moves, Family Life Communications contemporary Christian KFLR “Family Life Radio” nets seven-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+) and checks in at #23. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” is an overall -1.7 via four straight decreases (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.7, the last time “Kiss” fell below a four-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2017 (3.0). Five increases in a row netted Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL an overall +2.3 (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+) and its best 6+-stat (6.3) in more than two years (July 2017, 6.4, 6+). In September, however, “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” surrenders four-tenths (5.9, 6+) and slips from second to fourth.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Entercom-owned WCCO (Minnesota Twins) is a combined +.7 in August/September (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “News Radio 830” lost one-tenth in July, halting three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +2.1 (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” surrenders one-third of that increase (3.0 – 2.8, -.2, #14 to #15, 6+). One-tenth behind KTLK is Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1,” which recaptures the two-tenths it lost in August (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). July’s +.4 interrupted four straight decreases that led to a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+).

In addition to being a cumulative +2.2 in five straight positive or neutral moves (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) rockets from ninth to fourth. This (6.1) is its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 6.7. Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500,” which lost two-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (.8 – .7 – .7 -.6 – .6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to .7 (#23 to #22, 6+).

While steady at #3, Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips by one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that produced a +2.2 (4.3 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roughly cutting in half August’s loss of nine-tenths with a September improvement of one-half share (5.5 – 6.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” rises from seventh to sixth; KTIS-FM was up a combined three-tenths in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (7.4 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” repeats at #1. KSTP-FM has held (or shared) the top spot in January, March, April, June, August, and September. It has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); -.8 (May); flat (June); -.4 (July); +1.1 (August); and -.2 (September). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” regains one-third of August’s -.9 (4.2 – 4.5, +.3, 6+) and repeats at #11. Shifts this year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); -.2 (May); flat (June); +.6 (July); -.9 (August); and +.3 (September). Deflating by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” and Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO-95.3.” This is the third straight down or flat move for “93-X” for a net loss of nine-tenths (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5, fourth to ninth, 6+). “GO-95.3” has lost approximately half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH-share via six consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Ousted from the top spot in June by KSTP-FM, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” returned the favor in July, but was (again) dislodged by KSTP-FM in August. After racking up a July improvement of nine-tenths, “Kool 108” has faltered by one-half share in both August and September (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Before logging a +1.0 in May, KQQL had approximately 54% (-6.8) of 6+ AQH share vanish through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive or neutral trends that yielded a +1.2 (2.1- 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” surrenders one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #13. August’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (3.3, as well). The market’s two major country FMs record modest August 2019 – September 2019 gains. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102” is up a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3, #11 to #12, 6+), while Entercom’s KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” which forfeited one-half share in July/August (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), recaptures 60% of that deficit in September (3.1, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). KEEY “K-102” was -1.0 in June/July (4.9 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+), with July’s 3.9 its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4. KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but ended the slide with June’s +.4.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” which was +1.0 via three straight increases (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, February through May, 6+); a combined -.5 in June/July (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+); +.5 in August (4.5 – 5.0); and -.7 in September (5.0 – 4.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM was an overall -.6 via three consecutive slips (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but erased that deficit in August with a +.6 to 2.5 (6+). In September though, “AM 760” is down two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #20, 6+). Steady at #22, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up an overall half-share via three consecutive San Diego improvements (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Down two-tenths, following August’s increase of three-tenths, Entercom-owned KWFN (Padres) is forced off the top twenty (2.2 – 2.0, #19 to #21, 6+); “97.3 The Fan” lost one-tenth in back-to-back (June and July) sweeps (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). After recording a .8 (6+) four times in the last five sweeps (.8 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” breaks out a +.4 to 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23.

Even though San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shows a gain of two-tenths (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), it backslides from first to second. Before falling to third in July, KPBS was on top the previous six months.

San Diego Music Formats – Hauling out hefty full-share improvements are Local Media San Diego-programmed XHRM “Magic 92.5” (4.5 – 5.5, eighth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.5 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Magic” since April (5.5, as well); the last time “Amor” reached the three-share level (6+) was last October (3.2). Over and above bouncing back from August’s erosion of seven-tenths with a September uptick of nine-tenths (5.7 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” jumps from fourth to first. “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 in five successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+) and had a July-only stay at #1. Prior to July 2019, the last time KXSN hit #1 was July 2018 (6.2, 6+). A combined +1.0 in August/September (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), UniRadio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #16) and matches the 2.5 (6+) it posted in March. Meanwhile, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” is -1.6 in August/September (6.0 – 5.8 – 4.4, third to sixth, 6+), following four consecutive positive or neutral moves that accounted for a +1.0 (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). Six consecutive positive or neutral sweeps by iHeartMedia CHR KHTS resulted in a +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+).  That streak, however, is halted in September as “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by nine-tenths to 5.0 (second to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior, KHTS was a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). After dropping one-half share in August, Entercom-owned adult contemporary KYXY regresses by another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. KYXY was a combined +1.7 in June/July (3.5 – 4.2 – 5.2, 6+), with July’s 5.2 its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 8.4.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” expunges approximately half that deficit (+.8) in three successive modest bumps (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is up or flat the fourth time in succession and nets one-half share in that stretch (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+).

Down a combined six-tenths in July/August (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays, Buccaneers) answers with a half-share September increase to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+).

Having logged a 1.7 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up one-tenth to 1.8 (6+) and continues at #20.

Tampa Music Formats – This time last month, Tampa Bay’s (6+) adult contemporary share increased by +1.1. The format does even better in September as Cox Media Group cluster-mates WDUV “Lite Favorites” and WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” combine for a +1.5. At #1 the 85th straight time, WDUV is +.7 (9.2 – 9.9, , 6+), while WWRM is +.8 and advances from sixth to third (5.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Lite Favorites” faltered by seven-tenths in June, directly after a May gain of three-tenths suspended four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since its 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “Magic 94.9” plummeted by -1.0 in July to 4.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.9. This (6.0) though is WWRM’s best 6+-showing since April’s 6.2. Up a combined nine-tenths in August/September (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WXGL inches up from fourth to third. In four straight negative or neutral moves, “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” was a cumulative -2.4 (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Supplementing August’s improvement of seven-tenths with a September +.6 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” carries on at #5. Off a combined -1.5 in August/September (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” falls from second to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.2) since February’s 4.9. Co-owned Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima,” which had been trending 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 (6+), sputters by six-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). In addition to slipping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” loses eight-tenths in three successive decreases (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, the last time WFUS dropped below a four-share (6+) was exactly two years ago (September 2017, 3.8, 6+). Despite forfeiting two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” progresses from third to second. Rhythmic CHR sibling WLLD “Wild 94.1,” which was an overall +1.1 via six successive up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), is off three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but stays at #7. Directly following three straight improvements that yielded a +1.4 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” is now -1.5 in three successive decreases (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) but advances from #11 to #10. Flat at #12, iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ” is off a collective one-half share in three consecutive negative or neutral moves including 3.8 the last four sweeps (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). In the same May 2019 through September 2019 timeframe, Cox Media group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is down eight-tenths via four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, #12 to #14, 6+). WFLZ and WPOI were deadlocked at #12 in August.

Denver

Spoken-Word FormatsDuplicating August’s -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA (Rockies, Broncos) drifts from #5 (July) to #11 (August) to #16 (September). By way of perspective, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was second in October 2018. While co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has lost a combined three-tenths in August/September (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+), cluster-mate KDFD “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” logs its third straight increase and is +1.0 since June (.1 – .2 – .8 – 1.1, #24 to #25, 6+).

An overall +1.1 via three gains in succession (2.4 – 2.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” progresses from #15 to #12. Taking an even greater jump though is KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM, which dials up a +1.0 (.4 – 1.4, 6+) and vaults from #29 to #21. “Altitude Sports Radio 92.5” last reached a one-share (6+) exactly one year ago (1.0, September 2018).

Surrendering two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR repeats at #6; KCFR was -1.6 in June and +.8 in July. In six consecutive reports without an increase, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC has lost more than 70% (-1.3) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – .8 – .5 – .5, #28 to #29, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+) takes Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” to its highest 6+-stat since July 2018 (3.4, as well). A one-half share gain by Bonneville-owned country KYGO (5.7 – 6.2, 6+), coupled with a drop of six-tenths by Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (6.2 – 5.6), results in KYGO (third to first) and KQMT (first to third) swapping places. It was an August-only stay at #1 for “The Mountain,” which sees its successive string of positive or neutral moves that produced a +1.5 end at five (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). August 2019’s 6.2 was the highest 6+-stat for KQMT since 6.6 in August 2018. After spending June and July at #1, KYGO was ousted from the top by KQMT. Four straight up or flat trends netted KYGO a +1.4 (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+); it then regressed seven-tenths in May; and posted a +1.0 in June. Flat at #14, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KWBL “106.7 The Bull” is down a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), immediately after notching a +1.7 in three straight improvements (2.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 was KWBL’s highest 6+-stat since it switched to country in mid-December 2017. An overall +1.0 in three successive reports without a loss (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” surrenders that entire bounty and three-tenths more (4.3, -1.3, fourth to eighth, 6+). The three most recent shifts by iHeartMedia-owned KTCL are -.6 (5.4 – 4.8, July, 6+); +.7 (4.8 – 5.5, August, 6+); and -.5 in September (5.5 – 5.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” was frozen on 5.4 (6+) in May and June. Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” is a collective -1.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 2.9, #16 to #17, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party” is an overall -1.1 owing to four successive decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Five consecutive increases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+) but “710 The Voice of New York” is off two-tenths to 4.5 (flat at #4, 6+). Repeating at #26, news/talk WABC is up three tenths in August/September (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+).

In addition to having its consecutive streak of up or flat reports that generated a +1.3 suspend at six (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) segues to #2 after five months in a row at #1. August’s 5.6 was its highest 6+ Long Island share since October 2018 (5.6, as well). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up three-tenths in August/September (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+), immediately after -.4 in June/July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+).

Stuck on 3.0 (6+) in May and June and then off three-tenths in July, Entercom all-news WINS has followed with a +1.1 in August/September (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+) as it cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). When it remains at #12, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+).

Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM yield three-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, #25 to #24, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Replacing WFAN at #1 (see above) is Cox Media Group CHR WBLI, which is an overall +1.1 via three successive sweeps without a loss (4.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, second to first, 6+). In the Connoisseur Media cluster, classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” gains nine-tenths in three spikes in a row (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+), immediately following a collective -1.6 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, 6+). Slipping below a four-share (6+), co-owned hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” posts a down or neutral trend the fourth time in a row for a -1.3 and dips from fifth to ninth (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). After logging three straight positive or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WKJY “98.3 K-JOY Long Island’s Place to Relax” drops one-half share to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. WKJY exits the top ten (#8 to #11) and is leapfrogged by iHeartMedia New York’s similarly-formatted WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which gains a cumulative eight-tenths in four bumps in a row (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). Without a loss in each of the last five sweeps, WLTW’s New York City CHR sibling WHTZ had a net gain of one-half share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+); however, “Z-100” stumbles in September by one-tenth to 4.9 (flat at #3, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat reports by Entercom alternative WNYL accounted for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) but “Alt 92.3” surrenders three-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and falls from #15 to #16.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #12, Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” (Ravens) gains seven-tenths in August/September (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), thus erasing 70% of June/July’s -1.0 (2.8 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s loss of six-tenths with a September increase half that magnitude (1.4 – 1.7, +.3, 6+), similarly-formatted independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” progresses from #17 to #15. Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL-FM repeats August’s 6+ AQH-share (.1) and market rank #30.

Off six-tenths in August/September (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) slips from eighth to ninth.

WJZ-FM’s business news sibling WDCH returns August’s gain of three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4 – 1.1, #17 to #19, 6+).

Adding one-tenth to August’s +.7 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues at #11. In addition to dropping four-tenths in three straight Baltimore reports without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

Baltimore Music Formats – A robust +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2) enables iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” to jump from sixth to third. The last time Baltimore’s “Jack” reached the six-share level (6+) was just over two years ago (July 2017, 6.0, 6+). Despite duplicating August’s +.6 (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” remains in eighth-place. Entering the August sweep, “The Bay” was an overall -2.3 in five straight reports without an increase (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “The Bay” slipped below a four-share (6+) was February 2018 (3.8). Erasing all but two-tenths of July/August’s -.7 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a September improvement of one-half share, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” backslides from fourth to fifth. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in August (9.1 – 8.8 – 9.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is #1 the fourth straight month. A combined +1.8 in June/July (7.3 – 8.1 – 9.1, 6+), “Magic” reached the nine-share level (9.1, 6+, July) for the first time since January’s 9.0. Co-owned urban contemporary WERQ carries on in the runner-up slot although “92 Q Jams” forfeits nine-tenths (8.4 – 7.5, 6+). An overall -1.8 in three down or flat moves in a row (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0 – 8.0, 6+), WERQ curtailed the slide with an August spike of four-tenths. April’s 9.8 marked the first time WERQ reached the nine-share level (6+) since July 2016’s 9.2.  Down one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (6.7 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+) and Radio One Washington, DC urban contemporary WKYS (1.7 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+). WPOC lost one-half share in four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+) but followed with a combined +.9 in July/August (5.8 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). WKYS had gained seven-tenths in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Following an August improvement of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+), Alpha Media-owned news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is flat at 4.7 (6+) but bumps up from seventh to sixth. Its recent shifts include: -1.0 in March/April; +1.1 in May/June (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+); -.7 (July); and +.6 (August). Three successive spikes by iHeartMedia’s KEX yielded nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+) but “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” forfeits six-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). Unchanged at #24, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a .9 five times in 2019 and a 1.0 four times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 (6+).

Following three successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” erases the deficit completely and is back to 1.5 (#22 to #21, 6+). “The Fan” overtakes Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game,” which is trending 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (June – July – August – September, #22, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” surrenders the one-tenth it picked up in August (.3 – .4 – .3, #26 to #28, 6+).

Steady in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB is a combined +.9 in August/September (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.4, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in three downturns in a row (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); -.9 (May); and +.5 (August).

Portland Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” dials up a +1.3 and zooms into the top ten (#11 to #5), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by -1.2 and fades from the top ten (#9 to #17). “The Wolf” is a combined +1.5 in August/September (3.5 – 3.7 – 5.0, 6+), whereas “The Bull” has lost roughly half (-2.8) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive setbacks (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 2.9, 6+). This (5.0) is the strongest 6+- showing for “The Wolf” since August 2017’s 5.2 but the lowest (2.9) for “The Bull” in exactly one year (September 2018, 2.4, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW #1 the third month in succession, “K-103” obliterates July/August’s -.7 (7.8 – 7.4 – 7.1, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 8.2 (6+). July marked the first time “K-103” held the lead position since “Holiday” 2018. Ironically, it returned to the top despite having its consecutive string of increases that yielded eight-tenths snapped at three (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). This (8.2) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2. Even though CHR cluster-mate KKRZ records its fifth successive sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “Z-100 Portland” backslides from eighth to ninth. Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” nearly erases all of July/August’s -.7 (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.7 (ninth to sixth, 6+). There is more back-and-forth with iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station,” which was a combined +.6 in June/July (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+); -.5 in August (3.9 – 3.4, 6+); and +.5 in September (3.4 – 3.9, #14 to #11, 6+). A collective +1.2 via four jumps in succession (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” advances from #18 to #16. On the heels of August’s +.7 (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erodes by -1.1 to 4.0 (fifth to tenth, 6+). When “The Fish” picked up four-tenths in July, it ended three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). After logging three consecutive increases netting eight-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in August/September (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back gains of one-half share (July) and seven-tenths (August), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” falters by -.5 in September (3.2 – 2.7, #15 to #18, 6+). July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat moves that resulted in a -2.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). After posting a 1.8 in June (#20, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted the third month in succession.

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