Tag: "defamation"

Monday, December 16, 2019

| December 16, 2019

Former Mega-Church Pastor Sues Mancow Muller for Defamation. In a complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois, WLS-AM, Chicago morning drive personality Erich “Mancow” Muller is being sued by James MacDonald, the former pastor of the Harvest Bible Chapel church.  MacDonald is seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages and punitive damages to be determined at trial.  The back story is that Mancow and MacDonald were once close, with Mancow a fan who publicly lauded MacDonald’s Chicagoland megachurch.  Over time, Mancow became disenchanted with MacDonald and ultimately recorded conversations in which MacDonald allegedly spoke of planting child porn on the computers of his enemies.  That got MacDonald fired from his position with the church.  MacDonald argues that Mancow used his radio show to destroy him and his surreptitious recordings were illegal.  The complaint also targets Cumulus Media for allowing Mancow to broadcast his speech about MacDonald and for “negligent hiring” – implying the history of defamation allegations against Mancow should have been enough to prevent him from being hired.

Monday Memo: Don’t list To-Do. “Assume that your listener is busier than you are,” cautions consultant Holland Cooke.  In this week’s column, he notes how some radio talkers seem to be over-estimating listeners’ attention.  Read it here.

Impeachment, 2020 Presidential Race, IG’s FBI Report, Chinese Diplomats Expelled, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Dem Congressman Flips, India’s Citizenship Rule, UK Election Aftermath, and Richard Jewell Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the criticism of the FBI in the wake of the inspector general’s scathing report; two Chinese diplomats are expelled from the U.S. after suspicion of espionage; the trade talks between the U.S. and China; plans by New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew to leave the Democratic Party for the Republican Party; the controversy over India’s citizen rule that doesn’t apply to Muslims; the aftermath of Boris Johnson’s UK prime minister victory; and the poor weekend box office for the Richard Jewell film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FOX News Talk Superstar Brian Kilmeade Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. Cross-platform, multi-media personality Brian Kilmeade is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” He is co-host with Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy of the very popular daily ‘FOX & Friends” show on FOX News Channel from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET. Then he runs down the hall to host his daily 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET nationally syndicated “Heavy Hundred” talk show on FOX News Radio. Both of his shows are famously among the favorites of the President of the United States and, of course, politically controversial. Kilmeade is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. As a best-selling author, he is proving himself to be an extremely contemporary and communicative storyteller of great events in American history. With co-author Don Yaeger, he penned George Washington’s Secret Six, followed by Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates and then Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans – all published by Sentinel. These three history books have already gone well past the million mark in sales. Now he has another book about American history, and it is extremely exciting and informative. It’s titled, Sam Houston & the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory that Changed American History (Sentinel, 2019). Harrison and Kilmeade engage in a lively dialogue about the nature of leadership, past and present as well as the rigors of hosting a live, three-hour radio show while major news – such as the impeachment hearings – is breaking in real time. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box that appears in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Joey Hudson’s ‘Breakfast Broadcasts’ on WGTK, Greenville Benefit the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.  Morning drive talk radio personality Joey Hudson (pictured above at the mic) is making the rounds in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina broadcasting his show from breakfast restaurants while ringing the bell and asking listeners to donate to the Salvation Army.  To date, Hudson’s listeners have raised more than $30,000.  Hudson’s show is based at Salem Media Group’s WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “94.5FM The Answer.”  He says, “I have this wonderful platform to ask people to give generously and why not spend some time out in the communities we serve to raise funds and awareness of the wonderful work being done by the Salvation Army.”

Taylor Leads Townsquare’s Rochester, Minnesota Cluster. Management and sales pro Ben Taylor is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Rochester/Preston, Minnesota station group that includes news/talk KROC-AM and sports talk KLOM-AM “1520 The Ticket” and seven music brands.  Taylor was most recently VP of sales for iHeartMedia in Minneapolis.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Ben’s vast experience in radio and digital, both on-air and in sales, combined with his leadership experience as a coach and volunteer firefighter, make him an ideal fit to lead our team in Rochester/Preston.  We’re poised for a strong 2020, building on the growth we had in 2019, with incredible on-air ratings and digital content, and by continuing our ‘Local First’ focus.”

Townsquare Media Execs Receive New Contracts. In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Townsquare Media reveals it has entered into letter agreements that amend the employment deals with CEO Bill Wilson, CFO Stuart Rosenstein, COO Local Media Chief Erik Hellum and executive chairman Steven Price.  The agreements extend the terms of their deals through October 16, 2023 for Wilson and Rosenstein and through October 25, 2023 for Hellum. The letter agreements also provide that in the event of the executive’s termination by the Company without cause or by the executive for good reason, all outstanding, vested stock option awards will remain exercisable for 24 months following the executive’s termination date or, if earlier, until the original expiration date of the stock option award, and that all outstanding equity awards will fully accelerate and vest upon a change in control of the Company.

TALKERS News Notes. The best interviews from this year’s Howard Stern programs on SiriusXM are being packaged in a 19-episode podcast series on Pandora.  Titled, “Howard Stern: 19 from 2019” includes interviews with: Jennifer Aniston, Russell Crowe, Robert Downey Jr., and Kristen Stewart; musicians including The Black Crowes, Def Leppard, Billie Eilish, and Adam Levine; comedians including Jimmy Kimmel, Tracy Morgan, Seth Rogen, and Adam Sandler; and newsmakers such as Hillary Clinton…..There’s a webinar on Wednesday (12/18) from Edison Research that focuses on moms and social media.  Edison says, “The Infinite Dial study estimates that there are 15 million fewer Facebook users in the U.S. today than there were in 2017.  However, among Moms in the U.S., Facebook remains strong year over year.”   The webinar will “debut data from this study that explores moms’ usage, perceptions, and sentiments of all social media.  This is a new survey conducted in the second half of 2019 among a sample of moms in the U.S.  It includes why they use social media, what they use it for, and how they feel about using it – and how their feelings and actions don’t always align.”…..WTKN-FM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina “Talk 94.5” is airing “The Jared Dillian Show,” hosted by self-made millionaire Jared Dillian.  He says, “I’m proud to be a part of the WTKN family and I couldn’t be more impressed by everyone’s professionalism in producing this show.”  The Jared Dillian Show is part of the 24/7 Smart Talk Radio Network, based in Chicago and distributed by Envision Networks…..Pictured at left is Salem Radio Network East Coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh in a still shot from Netflix’s The Irishman in which he plays a mob supporter of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.  He tells TALKERS, “As someone who grew up in Brooklyn and Staten Island, I literally jump at any chance to be in a Martin Scorsese movie… it’s an offer you can’t refuse. LOL.”…..Entercom sports talker WSSP, Milwaukee “105.7 FM The Fan” helped raise more than $200,000 in cash and the value of toys to benefit Children’s Wisconsin and Robyn’s Nest during its 13th annual “WSSP Toy Drive.”  This marks a record-breaking year for the fundraiser, topping the $160,000 that the station raised in 2018…..Pictured below is Westwood One talk host Jim Bohannon reprising his role as Santa Claus for the Collins Children’s Home of Seneca, South Carolina.

Internationally Noted Artist Inspired by TALKERS Panels.  A world-renowned artist living and working in South America who is a fan of American talk media and reads TALKERS regularly has created a painting titled “Talking Heads” that she says was inspired by the convention and workshop panel discussions that she sees in this trade journal.  Clearly, this is an abstract work subject to interpretation.  Bobbie Winston (a.k.a. La Femme Bobbíe) is a multi-award-winning American artist living and painting in Rio de Janeiro since 1988.  She has a world-wide following that enjoys her highly identifiable style.  She paints wildly abstract portraits, full human figures, and imaginative, surrealistic scenarios marked by dramatic features and bold, striking colors.  Her perspective on the human condition is cosmic, inclusive, and evolved. Bobbie Winston’s Facebook page can be accessed here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programing pro Kelly Gueno is promoted from programming assistant to assistant program director for iHeartMedia Chicago’s urban programming.  In this role, Gueno will assist with brand support for all urban programming and digital operations for “V103,” WGCI and “Inspiration 1390.”  She reports to VP of urban programming Derrick Brown.  He says, “I couldn’t be more thrilled with Kelly’s expanded role.  She literally grew up at our stations and it has been absolutely gratifying to see Kelly’s progress from our promotions department, to being a programming assistant, and now, assistant program director for our iconic urban brands.  Kelly’s passion, skill and insight will be invaluable as we navigate our ever-changing media landscape.”…..Pictured below are the staff of Beasley Media Group’s country WKLB-FM, Boston at the Secret Superstar Holiday Jam last Thursday (12/12) at the House of Blues.  The station officially announced the show about six weeks ago and sold the venue out without divulging the names of the talent (Dan + Shay and Lauren Alain) that would be performing until the day before the show!  Pictured below are (clockwise from l-r): Summer Harlow, director, Northeast promotion, Mercury Nashville; Lauren Alaina; Dan Smyers; Shay Mooney; Dawn Santolucito, music and marketing director, WKLB; Kristen Williams, SVP radio & streaming, Warner Music Nashville; Heather Propper, regional manager, radio & streaming, WAR; and WKLB PD David Corey.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

| February 14, 2019

Cumulus Sells Six – Including WPLJ, New York and WRQX, Washington – to EMF for $103.5 Million; Swaps Three stations with Entercom.  Seller Cumulus Media Inc. calls these deals “strategic portfolio optimization transactions.”  The sale of six stations to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation will bring Cumulus $103.5 million in cash for hot AC WPLJ, New York; news/talk WYAY, Atlanta; triple A KFFG, San Francisco; hot AC WRQX, Washington; hot AC WZAT, Savannah; and classic rock WXTL, Syracuse.  When EMF takes control, the stations will all flip to its K-Love Christian music format.  The second deal is with Entercom and involves the swap of Cumulus’ country WNSH, New York “NASH FM”; hot AC WMAS-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and sports talk WHLL-AM, Springfield in exchange for Entercom’s Indianapolis cluster of adult contemporary WNTR “107.9 The Mix,” CHR WZPL, and sports talk WXNT-AM.  This means Entercom exits the Indy market and those three stations join Cumulus’ existing three stations there: classic hits WJJK, country WFMS, and CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are consistent with our portfolio optimization strategy and both deals are accretive.  The Entercom swap significantly bolsters our competitive position in Indianapolis and the EMF transaction generates substantial cash for debt repayment and investment in other business opportunities.”  The company notes that EMF will acquire all transmission equipment and assume all tower leases associated with the stations which collectively contribute approximately $5 million to $7 million of EBITDA to Cumulus annually.  Regarding the Entercom swap, both companies will begin operating the other’s stations under LMAs on March 1.

Format Flip Likely as the Result of Cumulus-Entercom Deal.  The acquisition of Entercom’s CHR WZPL – the clear ratings leader in top 40 radio in the market – means a format change is imminent for Cumulus’ WYRG which has been bubbling under a 2 share (6+) while WZPL has been scoring more than a 5 share in recent PPM surveys from Nielsen Audio.  In New York, there’s no reason to think Entercom will flip WNSH from country.  While it’s been hovering around a 2.2 share (6+), it’s the only country signal in New York and it’s hard to imagine Entercom giving up on it.  Stay tuned.

What Will Cumulus Do with WABC and New York Stations?  Maybe nothing, but yesterday’s surprise sale of six of its signals to EMF and the swap with Entercom indicates Cumulus is willing to deal if it has strategic significance.  Now that the company’s New York cluster is destined to consist of news/talk WABC-AM, urban AC WNBM – a class A FM licensed to Bronxville – and suburban sports talk WFAS-AM, Westchester, some industry watchers are wondering if the three-station cluster brings in enough revenue to continue operating in the Big Apple.  WFAS-AM isn’t listed in the Nielsen New York PPMs and WNBM has been garnering 6+ ratings of less than a full share in recent PPM surveys.  WABC-AM is a venerable signal with obvious history in the market but appears to be underperforming with 6+ numbers in the 1.0-1.5 share range.  One wonders if Mary Berner and company are weighing finding buyers for the three signals.

Judge: Alex Jones Can Be Deposed in Sandy Hook Case. According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones must take part in a sworn deposition in the defamation case filed against him by the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. The judge ruled that after Jones’ counsel filed a Motion to Dismiss, the families are entitled to conduct discovery “likely to lead to admissible evidence for opposing the motions.”  Three other Infowars staffers will have to sit for depositions that, combined with Jones’ deposition, will total 19 hours of testimony. Jones and Infowars are being sued separately by two different Newtown, Connecticut families in Texas.  The families’ lawsuits allege that Jones engaged in a lengthy campaign “abusive and outrageous false statements” that the Sandy Hook shootings were staged by paid actors.  The suit alleges Jones knew what he was perpetrating was false but he continued because it drew an audience and made money for his company.  Jones argues his First Amendment rights are enough to toss the suits.  He is also being ordered deposed in Texas, but those depositions have not taken place yet.

WPHT, Philadelphia to Produce Liberty USO Radiothon. Tomorrow’s daylong radiothon will take place at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2 in Philadelphia from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. It’s called the “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Liberty USO Radiothon” and it will benefit Active, Guard and Reserve military and their families through programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO).  It will be anchored by WPHT personalities Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I am proud of the role our station plays in supporting our military through the efforts of Liberty USO.  Last year’s radiothon raised over $120,000 and is a testament to the power local radio plays in bringing our community together for a great cause.  We are looking forward to partnering with Liberty USO once again.”

Actor Wendell Pierce Part of Group Seeking to Buy WBOK, New Orleans. According to a report by WGNO-TV, New Orleans, native son and actor Wendell Pierce is part of a group of investors bidding on the license for urban news/talk outlet WBOK, New Orleans.  The station is owned by Los Angeles-based Bakewell Media which has the station on the market. Pierce, known for his work on “The Wire” and Amazon Prime’s “Jack Ryan” series, says in a statement, “Through all the substantial change New Orleans has faced in recent history, WBOK has served as a steadfast and indispensable platform for our community.  The people trust them, they depend on them, and they believe in them.  WBOK Radio is the glue that brings and holds our city together.”  The story says the other investors are listed as: Cleveland Spears III, Troy Henry, and Jeff Thomas.

Salem Media Group Promotes Three. At Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group, three executive promotions take place. First, 16-year Salem exec Chris Gould rises from his VP, national programming, to senior vice president, national programming.  Second, Mark Durkin is promoted from general manager of the company’s Sacramento cluster to a regional vice president position that adds oversight of Seattle, San Francisco and Oxnard, California to his Sacramento duties.  Finally, Franc Boza is named general manager for the Salem Miami cluster. He was most recently with Deadcenter Marketing as VP of sales and marketing.

Skyview Networks Announces Staff Promotions. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Skyview Networks announces a series of promotions among staffers.  In the production department, Joe Felz is upped to vice president of production.  Elsewhere, Denise Krause rises from client service director to senior director of client services and co-chair promotions, based in New York City.  Ethan Aragon takes on the new title of senior director of client services.  Jordan Thorlin is named creative director.  In the same department, Alexandria Landry is appointed multimedia designer.  In the sales department, Alex Warrick takes on the new role of director of agency services.  Finally, radio industry pro Mary Stoddard moves into the client service director and co-chair promotions position.

TALKERS News Notes. Minnesota sports talk station KFXN-FM, Minneapolis gets some love from City Pages as the alt-weekly does a big feature on the station in honor of “KFAN” capturing “the highest market share percentage of any top-50 sports talk station in the country, according to Nielsen” last fall…..Boston Red Sox aficionados have been waiting to find out who will be in the broadcast booth this year for games broadcast on Entercom’s Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston and now it’s confirmed that play-by-play legend Joe Castiglione has signed for his 37th season with the team.  As for the color analysts?  Those duties will be split among three principal broadcasters: Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, and Mario Impemba, with several more also in the rotation.  They include: ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, WEEI personalities Lou Merloni and Dale ArnoldNESN studio host Tom Caron, and NESN Red Sox television broadcaster Dave O’Brien…..KCAA, Loma Linda, California owner Fred Lundgren tells TALKERS magazine that after many years of producing and distributing radio programs and podcasts for hundreds of broadcasters, his family has decided to produce its own podcast series, hosted by his wife, Linda Carol Lundgren, titled, “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask.” Lundgren says the show will address many of life’s difficult subjects such as money, sex, drugs, bullying, long term relationships, the changing culture, and the problems facing the next generation of young adults as they leave home and enter the workplace.  The first show visits the tragic origins of Valentine’s Day and how the importance of that day has evolved over the centuries. Check it out here…..WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut afternoon talk show host Lisa Wexler was recently honored by cable channel News 12 Connecticut as one of its “Hometown Heroes.”  Wexler serves as a local probate judge and donates each $50 wedding fee she receives to the local Westport Animal Shelter Advocates organization. Check it out here…..Motor Racing Network is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first coverage of the Daytona 500 this Sunday (2/17).  In honor of that event, MRN will broadcast its 50th Daytona 500 and the 61st running of “The Great American Race” on over 400 radio stations nationwide.  Sunday’s race also marks the culmination of more than 30 hours of programming produced by MRN during Daytona Speedweeks, NASCAR’s annual kickoff at Daytona International Speedway.  The broadcast is the first event in a two-year celebration of the founding of the network by Bill France, Sr. and Ken Squier in 1970.

TalkersRadio Personality Meg McDonald Installed as President of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Legendary Southern California PR executive Meg McDonald, who hosts the short-form feature MEG! on TalkersRadio, was recently installed as the new president of the Studio City Beautification Association.  Studio City is a section of Los Angeles with a colorful show business history located between Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.  Standing with Meg in front of the Mack Sennett Conference Room on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City where the monthly SCBA board meetings are held are (l-r): Studio City Beautification Association officers secretary Connie Elliot (wearing hat), McDonald, vice president Beth Dymond and treasurer Charles Blakeslee.  Meg McDonald is the daughter of golden era Hollywood movie stars Elisabeth Fraser and Ray McDonald.  To listen to MEG!, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Ruling, Border Wall Deal, Parkland Shooting Anniversary/Gun Control, Green New Deal, California Bullet Train Controversy, Iran-Israel Tensions, Brexit Complications, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related ruling by a judge that Paul Manafort lied to investigators; the ongoing controversy over the tentative U.S.-Mexico border wall deal; the anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings and the status of gun control measures; the GOP’s criticism of the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored Green New Deal; President Trump’s demand for the return of $3.7 billion in federal money from California after Governor Gavin Newsome spiked the remainder of the bullet train project; the heightened rhetoric between Iran and Israel; the complications of Britain’s exit from the EU and possible economic consequences; the political unrest in Venezuela; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Explores the Impact of Changing Communications Technology on the Human Nervous System. One of the common themes of the present era is the challenge people face in keeping pace and coping with the exponential changes in communications technology. On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne production, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the TALKERS founder interviews theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, and licensed psychotherapist Dr. Bryan Robinson about the rapid changes taking place in our noisy world. Join them for a deep dive into the realm of neuro-plasticity, the sounds of silence, and escaping from the maddening, non-stop workplace. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” adds the nationally syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio Show” for the afternoon drive daypart.  The program emanates from its home base at Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market)…..Meruelo Media promotes Aimee Bittourna to vice president of its experiential marketing company Actify. In this new position, Bittourna will oversee the development, strategies, and execution of all Actify campaigns.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “Aimee is a difference maker and a unique brand experience creator. Her energy and creativity are marketing multipliers for our partners seeking original ways to connect their brands to consumers.  She’s a leader in a boundless space and our clients love her.”…..Pictured below is Premiere Networks nationally syndicated adult contemporary personality Delilah on the set of the “TODAY” show (third from left) with show co-hosts Kathie Lee (second from left), Hoda Kotb (left) and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb (right) discussing ways to overcome fears of being alone on Valentine’s Day.

Friday, May 25, 2018

| May 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia Investigation.  Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

| April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity Revealed in Court as Michael Cohen Client; Hannity Explains Relationship with Embattled Attorney.  The first thing FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality Sean Hannity addressed on his programs on Monday was the New York court revelation that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen – under investigation by the FBI for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations – describes Hannity as one of his three clients.  Hannity said on his radio show, “Michael never represented me in any matter.  I never retained him in the traditional sense…I never received an invoice from Michael.  I never paid legal fees to Michael but, I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.  And I assume that those questions were attorney-client confidential…not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever, ever involved a matter between me and any third party.”  Cohen’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to keep the name of Cohen’s third client under seal because he might be “embarrassed” by the connection.  Judge Wood agreed with a lawyer representing several media outlets who said “embarrassment” was not enough to keep that information sealed.  At the end of the session Judge Wood ruled the prosecutor’s office will – without reading the documents seized from Cohen – put them all on a searchable database and share them with lawyers for Cohen and Trump.

WTVN, Columbus Names Woody Johnson Afternoon Host. In Columbus, iHeartMedia names Woody Johnson afternoon drive host at news/talk WTVN.  Johnson is the host of the “Woody and Company” in morning drive at the cluster’s country WCOL.  Now, he’ll add the afternoon show on WTVN, taking over for the late John Corby, who died unexpectedly at age 61 back in January.

WYAY, Atlanta ‘Talk 106.7’ Re-Vamps Daily Lineup. Atlanta news/talk WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” makes lineup changes, most notably announcing new morning host Shelley Wynter and moving midday Atlanta talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson into the afternoon drive daypart. Wynter is a former, longtime WAOK, Atlanta personality.  Shannon Burke remains in the late morning daypart. Mike Brooks is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host, followed by The Kimmer. The Cumulus Media station is also airing Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro “podcast” in the 5:00 am to 6:00 am slot.  Brian Joyce had been hosting both afternoons at WYAY-FM and middays at the company’s WGOW-FM, Chattanooga. He continues his WGOW show.

WOR, New York Morning Show Celebrates 2018 Mets Season. Pictured above in the radio booth at Citi Field is WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program celebrating the beginning of the 2018 New York Mets season.  WOR is the flagship station for Mets radio play-by-play.  From left to right are: Mets studio engineer Mark Weiner, Berman and Riedel show executive producer Natalie Vacca, Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo, Michael Riedel and Len Berman.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Parents.  Radio talk host and digital publisher Alex Jones is being sued by three parents of children who died in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.  The New York Times reports that Houston attorney Mark Bankston is handling the case for the three parents.  Jones is being sued for defamation for pushing the theory that the parents are actors in a scheme to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.  The suits have been filed by Leonard Pozner, his former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and Neil Heslin.  The parents claim that since Jones began presenting his narrative, they’ve been attacked and threatened by Jones’ supporters.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new Internet talk program from Think Realty is launching on Wall Street Radio featuring Think Realty coach and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar.  The program airs from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily and features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals, covering topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending.….Global Radio, LLC is selling ethnic WNWR-AM, Philadelphia to Aztec Capital Partners, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.  Aztec Capital Partners, Inc., is a Philadelphia-based corporation owned by Ken Trujillo and managed by Art Camiolo. Aztec also owns WHAT-AM and FM translator W260CZ in Philadelphia.

Rich Shertenlieb’s Wife Mary Runs Boston Marathon Five Years After Leukemia Diagnosis.  Five years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Shertenlieb  (pictured here with husband Rich), the wife of WBZ-FM, Boston morning personality Rich Shertenlieb, ran the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise more than $33,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  But it wasn’t easy.  After 15.5 miles, Mary began to shiver uncontrollably due to her compromised immune system and she followed her doctors’ orders to stop.  But, she didn’t quit – she paused.  With husband Rich by her side, Mary continued and finished the 26.2 mile run just after midnight.  See the pics and complete story here.

2018 Radio Gracie Award Winners Announced.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation says that in “an already incredible and historic year for women, the AWMF continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for, and about women in radio, television, and interactive media by announcing winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where national radio will be recognized, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York, New York with local and student winners being acknowledged.  Some of the winners being recognized this year include: Shirley Strawberry of “The Steve Harvey Show” syndicated by Premiere Networks; Jayde Donovan of “Todd and Jayde in the Morning” on WPLJ, New York; Nina Hajian of “Shoboy In The Morning” on WBMP, New York, Cooper Lawrence of “The Cooper Lawrence Show” on WBLI, New York; Whitney Allen of “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” on Westwood One/Oh I Gotta; April Ryan of “On the Record” on American Urban Radio Networks; and Hoda Kotb of “The Hoda Show” on SiriusXM.  Outstanding programming from groups including Beasley Media Group, Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, Hubbard RadioEntercom, Westwood One, NPR and students including Fordham University and Hofstra University will also be honored.  AWMF chair (and Katz Radio Group president) Christine Travaglini says, “In an historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of and behind the microphone, the Gracie Awards arrive at an important time to celebrate the storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  And as we enter our 43rd year, we at AWM, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to help usher in a new era by honoring and celebrating outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”  Local and student award winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.  The work of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is significant in supporting educational programs, charitable activities and scholarships that benefit women in media and the public.

Beasley Fort Myers Assists Habitat for Humanity.  In the photo above, 30 staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers offices pose for a photo as the site of a Habitat for Humanity home site in Collier County.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “I am so very proud of our outstanding Fort Myers and corporate employees for doing their Beasley Best to help Habitat for Humanity.  This is what radio is all about…serving as a lifeline to help our local community.”

Trump-Cohen Legal Battles, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Issue, Comey Book, Philly Starbucks Arrests Case, U.S. Syria Policy, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). The legal battle between Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the courts, including the revelation that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is a client; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump walks back threats of new Russia sanctions promised by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; former FBI director James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC-TV; the blowback from the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks; U.S. military policy in Syria; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Tony Lorino and Entercom go their separate ways after two-and-a-half years of Lorino as program director of hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.” Lorino came to Atlanta from Entercom’s KZPT, Kansas City…..WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head morning show “Tim Leary and The Morning Showgram” are heading to Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle to assume morning duties there.  WUBB is hosting a good-bye party on April 27 for Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen “Red” Daiss and will introduce the new “Hunter and Leslie in the Morning” program…..Non-commercial alternative outlet KEXP, Seattle is celebrating a windfall from an anonymous donor to the tune of almost $10 million. The Friends of KEXP-owned station knows only that the donor’s first name was Suzanne.  She was an anonymous donor during her lifetime and now that she’s passed, the bequest is also being kept anonymous. The station says that the money is going into an endowment that will be directed by the station’s board.

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

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.8 (6+) the last three sweeps, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM busts out a half-share increase to 3.3 (6+) to advance from #13 to #11. Moreover, this is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Despite being up two-tenths to 6.2 (6+), co-owned/similarly formatted WINS drops from a second-place tie to third and ends an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a +.1 to 1.9 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” pulls the plug on five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Without an increase four straight ratings periods for a -.4 as well (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regained half that loss in February with a +.2. In March, it’s flat at 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23, where it’s tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” whose last 11 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is flat at 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is unchanged at .7 (#26 to #27, 6+). Following five sweeps in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” picks up four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #13, 6+). Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” remains at #22. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” rebounds in March with a +.4 to 8.4 (6+). It remains on top for the eighth time in a row. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in three successive increases (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for WCBS-FM since July 2017’s 6.6. Off three-tenths to 4.8 (flat at #5 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” ends three consecutive up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.2 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining half the six-tenths it lost in February (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” progresses from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) the past six sweeps, slips one-tenth to .9 (#28 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #31 to #29, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .5 (6+) as it remains at #37. Steady at #10, Entercom all-news outlet KNX “1070 News Radio” returns the one-tenth it grabbed this time last month (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” drops three-tenths to 2.7 (6+), segueing from #11 to #14. With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline 6+-trending of 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, KSPN “710 ESPN” falls from #28 to #30, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” adds one-tenth to .5, advancing from #40 to #37.

Los Angeles Music Formats – After having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST not only bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+), “Coast 103.5” marches from second to first. It succeeds hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” off four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), which is where it was in “Holiday” 2017. Before gaining six-tenths in January, “My-FM” was an overall -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While it remains in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (5.0, -.2, 6+) has it successive string of up or flat trends – which yielded a +.8 – snapped at four (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). In February, “K-Earth” crossed the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” climbs from #13 to #12. This marks the 29th time in succession that Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), but it sputters by one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). In addition, “Go Country 105” drops out of the top twenty (#15 to #22).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom all-news WBBM-AM drops two-tenths to 5.1 (6+) but remains at #2; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+) – its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well) – Tribune Media news/talk WGN is a collective -1.1 in February and March and departs the top twenty (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2, #13 to #21, 6+). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. It is now just two-tenths ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which registers its seventh straight up or flat ratings period and is +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, #23 to #22, 6+). Even though it’s down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” manages to move from #21 to #20. “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Format rival – ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” – is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 (#25 to #23, 6+). In addition to ending six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ (2.5, +.3, 6+) returns to the top twenty (#22 to #18).

Chicago Music Formats – In its third straight up or flat trend (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 eighth to fifth, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7 and has its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (4.2, as well). Right behind “The Drive” at #7 – rocketing from #15 in February – and improving by nine-tenths as well is Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99, Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.0 – 3.9, 6+). Steady at #4, sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” gains one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), as does Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1,” which is +.9 in three increases in a row (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 steady at #5, 6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “104.3 Jams” was -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Although on top for the third month in succession, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” regresses by one-half share (6.6 – 6.1, 6+); WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September. Ultra-familiar “Windy City” call letters and branding that endured for approximately 40 years were scrubbed about one-third into the March ratings period as classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love.” Until the sale is finalized, Educational Media Foundation is operating the Merlin Media-owned station which nosedives by -1.9 (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is KQED a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+), the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk station is #1 for the third time in succession. It had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM has relinquished all of that in February and March (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Flat at #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO regains the one-tenth it dropped in February (2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight decreases, news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.3 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). This streak follows four straight gains that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is trending 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 (6+) and falls from the top ten (#10 to #11), while Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row, more than doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, #18 to #17, 6+); this is its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – In four straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” has picked up seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, sixth to fifth, 6+). Recapturing 75% of February’s -.8 with a +.6 (2.8 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC jumps from #19 to #14; February’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well). On the heels of February’s loss of four-tenths, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” falters by another half-share, slipping from fourth to eighth (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it loses two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus snapping at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM inches up from #16 #15. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. After posting three straight up or flat trends for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” sputters by four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), exiting the top twenty (#20 to #21). Also in the news/talk format, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA, which was up by one-tenth in January and February, (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is flat at 2.4 (6+), yet climbs from #20 to #17; Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” loses three-tenths (1.2 – .9, #30 to #33, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is off two-tenths  (.7 – .5, flat at #35, 6+). Sputtering by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), sports talk sibling KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” slips from #12 to #14. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Down as well in March is Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” which is -1.2 in five straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, unchanged at #22, 6+). A collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS faltered by three-tenths in February; however, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” posts a March gain twice the size of February’s -.3 (5.4 – 6.0, +.6, 6+) and is #1 for the third straight month. Moreover, 6.0 is its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (6.0, March 2017). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. It was tied for the lead in February with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which forfeits the two-tenths it gained in February and shifts to #2 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+); February’s 5.4 was the best 6+-stat for “Lone Star 92.5” since July 2017 (5.4, as well). Down an overall seven-tenths in January and February (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” records a one-half share increase in March (3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.0 – 4.4, +.4, sixth to fourth, 6+) overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom siblings KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” (2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+) and regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) are each off by one-half share.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from February’s -.2 with a +.4 (3.6 – 4.0, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF jumps from #15 to a four-way tie at #10. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is off one-tenth (3.5 – 3.4, #16 to #17, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). It is a complete mixed bag for the market’s three sports talk signals, as Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.9 – .8 – .9, #24 to #23, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” is flat, recording a .7 for the fourth time in a row (#25 to #26, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #27 to #28, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Boasting a March +1.1 (4.9 – 6.0, 6+), following a full-share gain in January, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” progresses from sixth to third. It’s a rollercoaster ride for Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.0 in January; -.9 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). January’s 5.1 was the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Tied with “The Spot” at #5 (up from #8 in February) is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which gains six-tenths to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.8. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7. Even though it’s down two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” progresses from second to first. It displaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which had been #1 the past four sweeps but shifts to second (7.3 – 6.2, -.9, 6+). “Sunny” – which finished second in October and November – was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” erodes by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 28th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM has now surrendered all of January’s +1.6 plus two tenths more (-1.8) in February and March (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, but this (8.4) is its lowest 6+-share since 7.9 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY records a 1.8 (6+) as “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” drops from a four-way logjam at #18 to #19. Repeating at .1 (#32, 6+) are Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” while Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community” loses the one-tenth it registered in February (.1 – .0, 6+). With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE dips from seventh to eighth, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS, which had been +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is off by three-tenths to .7 (#25 to #26, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” spiraled by -1.1 in February to 2.6 and it repeats that 6+-share and #17 market rank. As the result of five successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up one-half share and trails “The Game” by nine-tenths.

Atlanta Music Formats – Simultaneous with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM notching an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+) – the first time “B-98.5” reaches the five-share level since February 2017’s 5.3 – its internet “stream,” which logged a .5 (6+) in February, disappears from print. In three straight gains, Radio One urban AC WAMJ is an overall +1.2 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.4, steady at #5, 6+); “Majic” had been within 4.1 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 17 sweeps. Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in January and February following a 6.5 in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” dials up a one-half gain to 6.3 (6+), shifting from second to third. A collective +.7 in January and February, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that gain in its entirety (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.2 in January, February, and March (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – After improving by one full-share in January and then dropping one-tenth in February, Entercom all-news KYW answers with a +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015). Having bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, sports talk cluster-mate WIP suffers a -2.9, the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. The massive drop (8.7 – 5.8, 6+) sends WIP – which was -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+) – from first to fifth. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off six-tenths in February and March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). Steady at #9, public news/talk WHYY reclaims the three-tenths it squandered in February (4.2 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). WHYY improved by one full-share in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. The four most recent (6+) trends for Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (#18 to #19) are 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9. Since appearing in print in October 2017, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Flat at 8.4 (6+) is good enough for WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” to progress from second to first. The Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary property was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Basically flat the past three sweeps (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18), its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in August 2017. On the heels of February’s full-share increase (5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” tacks on another six-tenths to 6.9 (6+), advancing from fourth to second; this is its best 6+-stat since September’s 7.4. Ups/downs continue for Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK,” which was -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+); and is now -.6 in March (6.7, flat at #3, 6+). February marked the first time since September 2017’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reached the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After being up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” registers a one-half share gain to 1.8 (6+) and remains at #24. Even though it’s flat at 2.9 (6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” – which was 1.1 in February – slumps from #11 to #14. Without an increase in Long Island the past six survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), all-news cluster-mate WINS is +.4 to 3.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM recaptures the four-tenths it dropped in February (3.0 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+) as it advances from #16 to #12. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). An overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #16, 6+). Despite being without a loss for the third straight Long Island report for a +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC backslides from #25 to #26. Up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM inches up from #23 to #22.

Long Island Music Formats – There is a tie for the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase by any station in these 12 PPM-markets and both stations are in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island). Specifically, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.0, seventh to second, 6+) and Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” (tenth to fifth) each log gains of +1.2. The 5.0 is the highest 6+-share for WBAB since November 2017’s 5.5, while “K-98.3” is +2.0 via three consecutive increases (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 4.3, 6+). Disappearing from print is WBAB’s internet “stream,” which notched a 1.0 (6+) in February. An overall -5.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+), WKJY’s hot AC sibling – WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” – is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive time. “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. Immediately after the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share increased by +1.9 in February, it shrinks by -2.2 in March. Surrendering February’s entire +1.4 (and three-tenths more), Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (5.4 – 3.7, -1.7, 6+) tumbles from second to eighth, while iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” returns in full February’s half-share increase (4.7 – 5.2 – 4.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). January’s +.6 by WBLI ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to February’s +.5, “Z-100” was down the previous four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Forfeiting February’s +.7 (2.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drifts from #14 to #19. Its January +.6 halted at four a consecutive string of negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are co-owned hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.5 – 1.9, #19 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” (4.6 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptured nine-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.9, 6+) but relinquishes one-half share in March to 4.4 (6+). Even so, it manages to climb from fourth to third. In five straight sweeps without a loss, Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK was +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips by three-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #17, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 41st consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is flat at 2.6 (6+), bumping up from #16 to #15.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row that netted four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is now off by a cumulative six-tenths in February and March (1.3 – .9 – .7, flat at #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – March 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” carries on at #17.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of an uptick of nine-tenths (2.1 – 3.0, ninth to seventh, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” has its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. Similarly-formatted/Lazer Broadcasting-owned KXSB “Radio Lazer,” which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+) before disappearing from print in February resurfaces with a .6 (#16, 6+). A one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) enables Entercom’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” to leap from fourth to second. After racking up a cumulative +2.9 in January and February (5.5 – 7.3 – 8.4, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA coughs up a -1.3 in March to 7.1 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in succession. January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths each are Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (second to third); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.3 – 3.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); and Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” (1.1 – .3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is KLYY’s fourth sweep in succession without an increase for an overall -2.6 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). KGGI was up seven-tenths in February following a -.5 in January; February’s 4.3 was its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. Unlisted from July 2017 through November 2017, KAEH was .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 from December 2017 to February 2018. Dipping by one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” segues from third to fourth.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Gaining three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – is #1 for the third straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April. It has a three-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is flat at 5.8 (6+), after floundering by -.8 in February (6.6 – 5.8, 6+). A combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO returns two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), is flat at 1.9 and slips from a five-way logjam at #20 to #23. Trending 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” climbs from #13 to #12. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January, loses four-tenths in February and March (.9 – .6 – .5, flat at #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gained two-tenths in February but drops one-tenth in March (1.2 – 1.1, unchanged at #29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – A combined +2.6 in six successive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” proceeds from fourth to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, #19 to #17, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” elevates to its strongest 6+-share in San Jose since May 2017 (2.6, as well). Off six-tenths (5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay-FM, The Bay’s Greatest Hits” slides from third to fourth. Declining by one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” (4.5 – 4.0, sixth to seventh, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #18, 6+). “Hot Country” was up seven-tenths in February.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM answers with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #18 to #14. All-news sibling WINS, which had logged three straight gains for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), is off by two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.0 – 8.1, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Without a loss for the third straight time for a net gain of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR progresses from #22 to #20. The three latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#23 to #24); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM was a cumulative +1.2 but the public news/talker gives back two-thirds of that bounty (2.6, -.8, 6+) to freefall from #10 to #17. Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility picks up one-tenth in March to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was an overall +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Its format competitor – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Entering the February survey period, WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” was within three-share range (6+) in 14 consecutive sweeps but “94.7 Nash FM” spiraled by nine-tenths to 2.2. In March, the Cumulus Media country outlet recoups two-thirds of that loss (2.6, +.6, 6+) and shifts from #18 to #16. As a result of recapturing the one-half share it lost in February (4.4 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to sixth. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). Extending its successive string of up or flat moves in Middlesex-Somerset-Union to five for an overall +1.5 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” continues in fifth-place. After logging a one-half share increase in February (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” falters by seven-tenths to 5.6 but is steady at #3. WBLS lost one-half share in January. In four straight up or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ was a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), but “Z-100” surrenders half that increase (4.2, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). In addition to WBLS and WHTZ, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” drops seven-tenths as well (#15 to #20, 6+) and is an overall -1.2 in five straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). While unchanged at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), thus curtailing three positive or flat trends in succession that netted seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+).

Monday, March 6, 2017

| March 6, 2017

Art Bell and Michael Savage/Westwood One Agree to Settle Defamation Suit.  Back in December, Art Bell and his wife Aryn Ruiz Bell, filed suit against talk host Michael Savage and Westwood One for defamation after Savage said the following on his nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio.  I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show.  Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years.  You can’t do UFOs.  That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who even understand the business.  There are other topics you can’t do…”  Now comes word from Bell’s attorneys that the two sides have agreed to a settlement, saying they are “currently in the process of memorializing the terms of the agreement and should be in a position to dismiss this matter with prejudice within thirty (30) days.  This settlement will resolve this matter in its entirety.”  We’ll never know the terms of the settlement, but if all goes as planned in the next 30 days, the matter should be resolved.

Variety Piece Spurs Industry Chatter about iHeartMedia’s Future. The recent Variety story by Gene Maddaus has renewed media industry speculation about the health of debt-laden iHeartMedia – or more accurately – speculation about not if but when the company enters bankruptcy reorganization.  As Maddaus points in his story, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman has been working to transform the company into a digital-era media force as the same time he’s been trying to refinance some of its $20.5 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia has $8.3 billion in debt coming due in 2019 and, as Maddaus writes, “no realistic way to pay it off.”  Industry icon Irving Azoff sits on the iHeartMedia board and – though he’s not officially speaking for the company – says something has to give in the near future, telling Maddaus, “There will be a deal of some kind, at some point, that is the best that can be achieved under the circumstances.  You’re correct that a day of reckoning appears to be coming. That’s no secret.”  Read the Variety story here.

Legendary Detroit Sports Figure Eli Zaret to Host Feature for WJR, Detroit. Sports broadcaster and author Eli Zaret begins hosting a daily sports feature airing on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit during the Guy Gordon show weekdays at 4:36 pm.  The new program is called “After Further Review.”  Zaret comments, “I’m excited about the opportunity to play a role at one of America’s legendary radio stations that features a cast of hall-of-fame broadcasters.  Before starting in television at WDIV in 1980, I loved writing radio sports commentaries.  Now, over 40 years later, to be able to do them at WJR alongside my longtime friend and colleague Guy Gordon is a very cool thing.  I feel like I’m going back to my roots in radio.”  Zaret is known for his coverage of the Detroit Pistons as a sideline reporter.  He started in 1974 at WABX-FM. Detroit.  He became the lead sports anchor for NBC affiliate WDIV-TV in the 1980s and served a similar role at WABC-TV in New York.  He’s also served as sports director for rock outlets WCSX-FM and WRIF-FM, as well as WJBK-TV.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Trump Rally Clashes, Trump-Russia Allegations, Immigration/Deportation Policies, Concerns Over North Korea’s Missile Program, ‘Logan’ Film Opens, SNAP IPO, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Trump Administration’s allegation that the Obama Administration ordered a wiretapping of its campaign and the call for an investigation; clashes between pro-Trump forces and protesters in Berkeley, St. Paul, and Nashville; the allegations of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; questions about the Trump Administration’s immigration and deportation policies; North Korea launches more test rockets as concerns over its nuclear missile program deepen; the opening of the latest X-Men film “Logan”; the initial public offering for SNAP, the company that developed Snapchat; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cooke: Are We Really THAT Angry?  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the media tempest that is the Trump Administration.  He says that he sends memos to the talent he coaches saying, “Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to talk radio.  There are spontaneous statements at Executive Order photo ops, Alternative Facts, SNL, botched calls with friendly foreign leaders, Ivanka Inc., the Russia flap.  Twitter!  Wiretapping?  Expect a-story-a-day, and assume NO topic burnout at this time.  As ‘the Trump channel,’ we can enjoy tune-in from giddy supporters AND appalled or scoffing resisters.”  Read more about Cooke’s take on the impact of the new administration here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock.  Today, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes look at the performances of classic rock-formatted stations based on data (6+) from Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 PPM survey.  Two classic rock outlets – iHeartMedia’s WRFX, Charlotte and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City – ranked #1 in their respective markets in the January PPM survey, but classic rock ranks well with 14 other signals landing in the top five in their markets.  For a complete analysis comparing performances from Holiday to January, from January 2016 to January 2017, and much more, click here.

iHeartRadio Music Awards Televised from the Forum in Los Angeles Last Night. The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards were televised via TBS, TNT and truTV last night (3/5).  Ryan Seacrest hosted the “fan-fueled” music awards show that saw Drake win seven awards, including Hip Hop Artist of the Year, R&B Song of the Year, Hip Hop Album of the Year, Hip Hop Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Most Thumbed Up Artist of the Year and Most Thumbed Up Song of the Year.  The Chainsmokers followed Drake’s lead in wins with five awards including Best New Artist, Best New Pop Artist, Dance Album of the Year, Dance Artist of the Year and Dance Song of the Year.  Pictured above backstage at the awards are (from l-r): actor Ansel Elgort, model Karrueche Tran, Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, singer Halsey, and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Oxnard, California-based Lazer Broadcasting announces that Joshua Mednick is named the company’s chief operating officer.  Lazer president and CEO Alfredo Plascencia states, “With Joshua’s immeasurable expertise with 30 years in radio broadcasting and an extensive knowledge of the Hispanic market for 16 years, we are confident that he is the right fit to lead our operations.  We are very excited to have Joshua at Lazer Broadcasting and looking forward to his innovative ideas.”  Prior to joining Lazer Broadcasting, Mednick served as EVP for Casa Media Partners and has held senior leadership positions for radio broadcasting companies across the United States…..In the Appleton/Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Chuck Lakefield the host of the morning show on classic hits WVBO.  Lakefield moves from middays to mornings after current WVBO morning ghost Dan “Skip” Willis announced his impending retirement from the business after a 45-year career.  Lakefield takes over on March 20…..Press Communications’  WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey re-brands as “107.1 the Boss” with a gold-based mélange of “classic rock of the ‘70s, ’80s and more,” named with a tip of the hat to native son Bruce Springsteen.

The Band Perry Launches Pop Career in Atlanta.  Grammy-winning country trio The Band Perry is pictured here with Cumulus Media’s SVP of content & programming Mike McVay at Terminal West in Atlanta where it kicked off its series of nine pop-up shows to officially launch the band’s pop career.  The group recently released “Stay in the Dark,” the first single off of its forthcoming pop album, My Bad Imagination, to be released later this year.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sharon Kilgo, Cumulus Media VP/Music & Label Relations John Kilgo, Reid Perry, McVay, Kimberly Perry and Neil Perry.

Thursday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2017

WSCR, Chicago Unveils New Lineup; Windy City Native Parkins Comes Back from KCSP, Kansas City.  The recent retirement of original “Score” personality Terry Boers led industry watchers to expect at least an addition to the staff and that’s what program director Mitch Rosen is announcing.  Chicago native and recent six-parkinsdannyyear KCSP, Kansas City sports talk host Danny Parkins is heading home to partner with Matt Spiegel to co-host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm “Spiegel and Parkins” show.  Current midday personality goffjasonJason Goff moves to the afternoon drive slot (1:00 pm to 6:00 pm) to partner with Dan Bernstein for the “Bernstein and Goff” show.  The changes take effect next Tuesday (1/17).  Rosen states, “The retirement of beloved ‘Score original’ Terry Boers after 25 years, coupled with the exciting achievements of the station over the last year, led us straight to Jason as the perfect match with Dan in afternoons.  As a hometown native, Danny brings passion to middays, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear what he and Matt create together for our loyal listeners.”  Goff first started with “The Score” in 2000 as a producer.  He’s worked on air at CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta, as well as SiriusXM.

Suit Against Glenn Beck and Others By ‘Clock Boy’ Family Dismissed.  The family of Ahmed Mohamed sued Glenn Beck, his company The Blaze, Center for Security Policy’s Jim Hanson, talk host Ben Shapiro and others for defamation in the aftermath of the then-13-year-old’s 2015 arrest.  The boy had made a homemadebeckglenn electronic device in a small briefcase using parts from a clock and batteries that he brought to school to show his teacher.  The teacher mistook it for a bomb and called authorities.  He was initially charged with making a hoax bomb but charges were soon dropped.  But the media attention to the case made it a viral story.  Beck and other defendants opined and speculated about the case, including whether the incident was planned by Mohamed’s father in order to draw sympathy.  Some defendants questioned that he’d built a clock at all and suggested what he made was something that looked like a small suitcase bomb.  Regardless, under a Texas anti-SLAPP suit measure, a Texas judge dismissed the complaints against all except Shapiro, whose motion-to-dismiss hearing will take place on January 30.  NBC News is reporting that the family intends to appeal the dismissals.

NYFalt172017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Open for Entries; TALKERS Publisher Michael Harrison Named to Advisory Committee.  The 2017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries.  The awards program – now in its 35th year – honors “the World’s Best Radio Programs,” receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from more than 30 countries around the world.  NYF Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson says, “From hard-hittingandersonrose investigative journalism to breath-taking theater of the mind, radio today engages listeners as never before across a growing spectrum of genres and platforms.  Storytelling, the power of the individual voice, and the immediacy of the medium – all testify to the universal language of radio.  And so, every year we augment our categories not only to be in sync with the industry but in order to stay ahead of the curve as visionaries around the world raise the bar of what is possible.”  Additional categories added this year to address the breadth of radio programming emerging in today’s marketplace include: Best Live News Special and Heroes Documentary.  NYF also added two new podcast categories for Music and Personal Lives.  This year New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two new members to the Advisory Board: TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison and SiriusXM VP/talk production & operations Todd Stack.  NYF calls Harrison “one of America’s leading authorities on radio, communications, and public opinion as it is expressed in the media.”  The Advisory Board is comprised of prominent international executives recognized as thought-leaders in the radio broadcasting industry. These individuals function as a sounding board for the competition’s executive director, offering suggestions for category updates and sharing ideas, trends, and other concerns that impact radio broadcasting. Their guidance insures that the competition is relevant and in step with the ever-changing radio industry.  For information about submitting entries, click here.

Trump Press Conference, Russian Hacking Allegations/McCain Releases ‘Trump Dossier,’ Trump Business Separation Plan, Trump Cabinet Nominations Hearings, Obama Farewell Address, ObamaCare Repeal Efforts, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  President-Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since winning the White House; the allegations Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC emails and John McCain’s delivering the “Trump dossier” purportedly documenting bizarre sexual behavior by Trump while staying in Moscow to BuzzFeed; Donald Trump’s plan to put his business into a trust run by his sons in order to avoid conflicts of interest; the hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions; President Barack Obama’s Tuesday evening “Farewell Address”; the efforts by the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

medvedbook17Michael Medved’s New Book Cracks NYT Bestseller Top 10 in Religion Category.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved’s latest book, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic (Crown Forum 2016), has cracked the top 10 in The New York Times Bestseller list in the religion, spirituality and faith category.  The Salem Radio Network talk host’s book looks at important moments in the history of the United States and suggests that “at moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress.”  He writes that many notable leaders over the years have believed that the country’s good fortune came straight from the hand of God.  Read more about the book here.

Talk Media Network Names Willis Damalt to Senior Affiliate Relations Post.  Affiliate relations pro Willis Damalt joins talk radio programming syndicator Talk Media Network as senior affiliate relationstalkmedianetwork representative.  During his career, Damalt has served with the WOR Network as senior director of affiliate relations, at USRN, and SFX.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “We’ve been on the lookout for the right person to join our fun, but focused team, and having Willis Damalt aboard at Talk Media Network is a great way to start the New Year.  In the past 30 days, we’ve added 30 new show clearances, with Willis already contributing to our growth and providing great affiliate service.”   Damalt will serve stations primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Upper-Midwest and Southwest and affiliate relations director Ken Silverstein covers the rest of the country.

Odds & Sods.  77 WABC, New York is expanding the weekend “Always in Fashion” show featuring host and fashion business leader Mark Weber.  The show, dedicated to business and fashion, has been airing Saturday eveningswebermark from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm for the past year.  Beginning this Saturday (1/14), the program will now be broadcast Saturday evenings from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Sunday afternoons from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Southern California journalist and award-winning public radio news host Alex Cohen will become KPCC-FM, Pasadena’s voice of “Morning Edition.”  The native Angeleno is well known to KPCC listeners as co-host of “Take Two,” the station’s morning news magazine for the past four years…..Scripps announces that on this week’s “Cal Cast” podcast with Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari, UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma will be the guest.  Auriemma is on the verge of breaking his own record of consecutive wins with his UConn Lady Huskies.  On January 10, Auriemma coached his team to its 90th consecutive win – tying the record his teams set in 2010.  UConn faces Southern Methodist radiomercuryawards17University on the road this Saturday (1/14), with a chance to notch a record-breaking 91st consecutive win…..Call for entry for the 26th annual Radio Mercury Awards is now open.  Entries are being accepted for outstanding creative spots, campaigns and innovative radio work from advertising agencies, radio stations, production companies, colleges, universities, and advertisers.  Chief judge Mark Gross, along with a soon-to-be-announced team of final round judges, will disburse over $87,000 in cash prizes including the $50,000 Best of Show prize.  Winners will be announced at the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards event on June 1 in New York…..SiriusXM announces “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons is hosting a new, limited-run show on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM channel, Radio Andy.  It’s titled “Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics” and will feature Parsons “breaking down today’s often confusing political climate, while exploring how U.S. citizens can become better participants in our government system.”

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Debbie Mazella Named Program Director at AC WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Ten-year WMGQ staffer Debbie Mazella is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey adult contemporary outlet.  Mazella has been assistantmazelladebbie program director for the past nine years while serving as midday host at “Magic 98.3” – a duty she will continue in addition to her new PD responsibilities.  Mazella states, “Ever since my childhood, I wanted to be involved in radio and I’m extremely grateful to the mentors who have influenced, encouraged and helped me on my career path.  It’s even more exciting to know that I am the first female PD in Magic’s 40 year history!”

daveMahoneyKXTEDave & Mahoney Return to CBS RADIO’s KXTE, Las Vegas.  Sin City alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” welcomes back morning personalities Dave & Mahoney, effective Monday, February 6.  The duo was most recently hosting the morning daypart at the company’s KHMX, Houston “Mix 96-5.”  They hosted the morning show on “X107.5” beginning in 2009, before leaving the market.  KXTE program director Ross Mahoney says, “Dave & Mahoney live and breathe Las Vegas and are ingrained in the history and lifestyle of ‘X107.5.’  They know the music, the community and understand what the ‘X107.5’ brand means to the listeners.  I couldn’t be more excited to have the boys come home and do what they do best – entertain Las Vegas!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In San Diego, program director and afternoon personality Mike Halloran exits Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.”  His bio has been scrubbed from the station website…..At Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver, 17-year station personality Kendall B. exits the “KS1075” morning show…..John St. John is named operations manager for Midwest Communications’ Duluth, Minnesota station group that includes: country KTCO, classic country KDKE “102.5 Duke FM,” classic rock KQDS, adult contemporary KDAL-FM, news/talk KDAL-AM, news/talk WDSM-AM/W251CD and sports talk WDUL…..Beasley Media Group’s Detroit  classic rocker WCSX is hosting the “Cold as Ice,” ice fishing tournament at Lake St. Clair Metropark on Saturday, January 28.  Fishermen (and fisherwomen!) participating have the chance to win prizes for the top 10 catches.  First place prize of $1,000 goes to the fisher who catches the heaviest perch!  The fisher who catches the largest pike will win $500 cash and the one who catches the heaviest pan fish will win $250.

coburnbobMemorial Set for Legendary KLOS, Los Angeles Personality Bob Coburn.  A memorial service for Bob Coburn is set for Saturday, January 21 at Malibu Presbyterian Church in Malibu, California at 2:00 pm.  The service will be followed by a reception at Ollo Restaurant in Malibu.  If attending, you are asked to RSVP either via Rockline@gmail.com or by texting or calling 818-636-6160.  Coburn died in December at age 68 after a battle with lung cancer.  His weekly, syndicated “Rockline” show aired from 1981 through 2014.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

| December 6, 2016

Will Art Bell’s Suit Against Michael Savage Be Successful?  On Friday (12/2), TALKERS magazine reported that talk show host Art Bell and his wife are suing fellow talker Michael Savage in U.S. District Court in Northern California for defamation after Savage said the following on his Westwood One nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio.  I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show.  Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years.  You can’t do UFOs.  That’s an in joke, by the way, for people whoweismansteven understand the business.  There are other topics you can’t do…”  For his take on Bell’s chance of success, we turned to TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman.  He says, “It is hard for public figures to win defamation lawsuits because they have to prove actual malice or a reckless disregard for the truth.  More telling in this case, however, may be for Bell to prove that he was harmed.  Rodney Dangerfield once won a defamation case against a tabloid that said he snorted cocaine with hookers in a hot tub.  He won the case, but only was awarded a dollar because the judge said his reputation wasn’t harmed.”

Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver Joins WGAC Talk Host Lineup.  Nine-year Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver exited the mayor’s office in 2014.  Now, he’ll join the on-air staff at Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WGAC, Augusta to host “There It Is” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily.  The station says thatcopenhavedeke Copenhaver “will bring an exciting brand of talk radio through his relationships with local, regional and national government officials, as well as high-level executive decision makers throughout the Southeast and beyond.  Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Mark Haddon comments, “We are delighted to have Deke join us on the air at WGAC.  He brings a fresh approach to the current issues of the day that are important to our local community.  We think Deke will have a little something for everyone, so it should be enlightening and entertaining…a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the Central Savannah River Area.”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallTrans-Atlantic Conversation on the American Election and Brexit.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth discussion about the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s recent public vote approving Brexit with award-winning British talk show host Graham Mack.  The two compare notes on both the American and English points-of-view regarding the surprising state of world affairs as we wrap up the politically and culturally mind-bending year of 2016 on both sides of the Atlantic.  It takes place on the latestmackgraham installment of the hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison states, “My dear friend Graham Mack really has his finger on the pulse of British public opinion and brings a refreshing objectivity and honesty to the discussion about the complex events taking place there following the Brexit referendum.  He also offers a fascinating look at the election of Donald Trump from the English perspective.”  Harrison adds, “This installment of the podcast also gives me the opportunity to express my own personal assessment of this past election and the impact it is having upon politics, journalism and the media in the US.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Chiasson to Lead Cumulus Lafayette.  At the Lafayette, Louisiana cluster of Cumulus Media, Scottchiassonscott Chiasson is named vice president/market manager.  The company says Chiasson is a Lafayette native with 18 years’ experience in broadcast sales and operations management.  He’s previously served with E.W. Scripps in Wichita, iHeartMedia in Colorado and Florida, Metro Networks in Orlando, Cox Media in Lafayette, and CBS RARIO in Tampa/St. Pete.  Cumulus Media SVP Jeff Brown states, “Scott is a great radio guy and a Lafayette native.  That combination is a terrific match for our powerful brands and our talented team.”

Beasley Media Group Names Jami Beasley Associate General Counsel.  Attorney Jami Beasley joins the family business as associate general counsel for Beasley Media Group.  Beasley has most recently been serving as beasleyjamipartner in Kopelowitz  Ostrow P.A.’s Ft. Lauderdale office, where she focused on commercial and complex litigation, as well as her previous experience in real estate litigation.  She comments, “It’s an honor to serve Beasley Media Group as associate general counsel.  This is an exceptional opportunity and I am eager to contribute to the corporate team.”  General counsel Joyce Fitch adds, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jami to Beasley’s corporate headquarters.  Jami’s experience will greatly enhance the legal department and I will rely on her talent and skills as we move forward in our dynamic, growing company.”

wmaltrio16WMAL, Washington Raises $491,000 for Fisher House.  The 13th Annual WMAL Fisher House Radiothon, benefiting Fisher House Foundation, raised a record-setting $491,064 from the station’s generous listeners in the Washington, DC area over the past weekend.  The two-day event concluded with a live broadcast from The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP of news/talk Bill Hess states, “I remain in awe of WMAL listeners.  They have generously donated some $5.4 million over the last 13 years in support of this wonderful organization and its mission.”  Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WMAL morning co-host Larry O’Connor, mid-morning personality Chris Plante, and morning co-host Brian Wilson.

Steve Deace Book Gets Movie Deal.  Talk show host and conservative media figure Steve Deace is getting a movie deal for his novel, A Nefarious Plot (2016 Post Hill Press).  Believe Entertainment principals Carydeacenefariousplot Solomon and Chuck Konzelman – producers of the film “God’s Not Dead” – have purchased the film rights to Deace’s book and will begin developing the story for a film to be released in 2018.  Konzelman states, “We’ve been looking for the right story to expand into the imaginative and compelling horror-thriller genre and we knew it was Deace’s book as soon as we read it.  We’re into developing movies with spiritual themes, and A Nefarious Plot represents a way to explore those themes in a whole new way for the faith-and-values audience.”  Deace, who writes about issues exclusively for Conservative Review, says of this project, “My goal with A Nefarious Plot was to literally scare the hell out of people.  I’m very excited to see how Believe Entertainment will do exactly that.”  A Nefarious Plot centers around a demonic force which has long sought to manipulate American history to the ruination of the world’s lone superpower.

Trump Names Carson HUD Secretary, Al Gore Visits Trump Tower, Trump Calls Taiwan President, Fake News/DC Pizzeria Incident, Iran Nuke Deal Status, Mistrial in Cop Shooting Death of SC Man, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  The Trump Administration transition and the naming of Ben Carson as nominee for HUD Secretary; Vice President Al Gore’s controversial visit to Trump Tower in New York; President-Elect Donald Trump breaks protocol and speaks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the incident in which a North Carolina man fired a gun in a DC restaurant that he believed may have been operating a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton; Iran’s concern over the status of its nuclear deal with Trump soon to be president; a mistrial is declared in the case against former officer Michael Slager, who shot unarmed black motorist Walter Scott to death in South Carolina; the aftermath of the deadly warehouse fire that took the lives of 36 people; the Dakota Access pipeline controversy and the recent Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling requiring the pipeline be re-routed; the four-team college playoffs tournament; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Northwest Missouri State to Host Radio Talent Institute.  The Missouri Broadcasters Association is working with six radio companies to bring the Radio Talent Institute to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville July 31 through August 9, 2017.  The Institute is a 10-day radio immersion program bringing broadcasting nationalradiotalentsystem-logostudents together with more than 30 broadcast professionals for on-air training in music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales and more.  Students will also become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  Missouri will be one of six states in the country hosting an institute with the National Radio Talent System.  Other locations are the Kellar Radio Talent Institute Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Confer Radio Talent Institute Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute Western Kentucky University, GAB Radio Talent Institute University of Georgia, and Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Central Washington University.  Missouri Broadcasters Association president Mark Gordon states, “We are pleased to bring in a program taught by industry professionals that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Broadcasting companies taking part include: Hubbard Radio, Eagle Communications, Emmis Communications, Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group, iHeartRadio, and Mid-West Family Broadcasting.”

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Sunday Night at CBS RADIO Philadelphia.  On Sunday evening, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling spoke with guests about Satan and the history of rock ‘n’ roll.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Sterling, former WYSP program director Tim Sabean, classic hits WOGL program director Anne Gress, and Get the Led Out author Denny Somach.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Glenn Beck Defamation Lawsuit Update

| June 18, 2015

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — The wheels of justice don’t turn particularly fast.  It has been two years since the Boston Marathon bombing and a year since Saudi Arabian student Abdulrahman Alharbi sued talk show host Glenn Beck for defamation.  At the time of the bombing and for some time thereafter, Beck was convinced that there was a conspiracy that extended beyond the Tsarnaev brothers that included another person who Beck publicly identified as an al Qaeda “control agent” and the “money man” behind the bombings, although the lack of sophistication involved in the crime did not appear to require any significant funding to bring about this attack.  Abdulrahman Alharbi , the man identified by Beck as the conspirator not only was present at the bombings, but actually was among those injured by the blasts.

Read More

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

| February 17, 2015

walshbobbyguntherWAEB, Allentown Talk Host Named in Defamation Suit.  Allentown talk show host Bobby Gunther Walsh – heard in AM drive on iHeartMedia’s WAEB-AM — is named in a defamation and slander suit by the city’s District Attorney Jim Martin.  The primary defendant in the case is blogger Bill Villa who has called Martin “crooked” and “corrupt” and alleges he “fixes” cases, according to a report in The Morning Call.  Villa lost his 25-year-old daughter in a drunk driving accident and Villa claims Martin bargained a plea deal with the man accused of being responsible for his daughter’s death “in secret,” without ever notifying the family.  Villa went on Walsh’s WAEB show to talk about his issues with Martin’s work as DA.  Read the story here.

cherrycreekradio logoCorporate Promotions at Cherry Creek Radio.  At the corporate level, Cherry Creek Radio announces eight promotions that affect its 55 O&O stations in 15 Western U.S. markets.  Moving up from regional director of sales to EVP and regional manager are: Kelley Cheatwood, John Craft, and Ron Korb.  Group PD Bob Guerra rises to EVP/director of programming.  Rita Calvin adds EVP stripes to her controller position.  Travis Cronen is now VP/director of operations & IT; Ken Eklund is upped to VP of engineering, and Mary Sims becomes VP/director of accounting.  Cherry Creek Radio president and CEO Joe Schwartz comments, “With our new financial structure in place and with the many plans we have to grow the company, I feel it was important to recognize these eight individuals for the outstanding work they have done for the company over their tenure at Cherry Creek Radio.  Each of these promotions are for employees who have been with the company for at least eight years or more.”

browneWNYMBizCelebrating Success.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne (standing) speaks at the recent Success Stories Breakfast Series at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey produced by Salem Communications New York and its stations news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “The Mission.”  The event featured numerous speakers telling their stories of success, that also included former NFL star, G-III president and entrepreneur Carl Banks; My Pillow inventor Mike Lindell; Bluerock Energy president and CEO Phil Van Horne; and Bergen Community College director of multicultural affairs Ron McKnight.  The program was moderated by WNYM host Kevin McCullough and broadcast live on WNYM by morning show host Joe Piscopo.

futuri logoFuturi Media Awarded Patents for Instant Alert and Listener Driven Radio.  Calling it a “milestone for the company,” Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig announces the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to him and the company’s chief technical officer Brian Seeders for its “Instant Alert” and Listener Driven Radio (LDR) technology.  In a press release, Futuri Media says the patent describes a broad range of methods related to Listener Driven™ programming, including Instant Alerts, where listeners can receive e-mail, SMS text, and tweets moments before their favorite songs play on the air.  This is also one of several U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications held by the company that describes and protects its unique interactive mobile and social apps.   Anstandig comments, “Futuri has invested a significant amount in R&D related to interactive broadcasting as well as social and mobile technology for local broadcasters.  The issuance of this patent is a milestone for our company and our many innovative broadcast partners, who have used this and our other technologies to drive ratings and revenue since the company’s launch in 2009.”  Futuri CIO Brian Parsons adds, “Protection of our team’s innovations is critical.  Our goal is to shape the future of media with social and mobile technology that makes it possible for consumers to embrace and personalize their favorite media brands.  Whether it’s an interactive playlist, alerts for your favorite songs, a feature-rich mobile app, or social monitoring, we’re striving to create easy-to-use platforms that deliver innovative and proprietary high value for our partners.”

Odds & Sods.  Brooklyn talk host Frankie Russo is crowdfunding to continue to buy time (and hopefully, he says, evenrussofrankie more time) on New York’s legendary 77WABC.  Russo has been brokering the 1:00 am to 2:00 am Saturday slot for the past year and is now firing up an indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 to expand his presence on the station…..Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian passed on February 11 and his funeral was on wachsTarkanianFebruary 16 at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church.  GCN-syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured here with Tarkanian on the left) tells TALKERS, “It was a beautiful ceremony with laughter and tears honoring a legend.  I went to UNLV 89-93 and witnessed one of the most exciting teams year-after-year win and eventually conquer the National Championship under Jerry’s legacy.  Our city is going to great lengths to commemorate such an icon.  I knew Jerry to be warm and cuddly and I credit his and the Runnin’ Rebel legacy with the start of the Las Vegas boom in the mid-90s.  He helped put UNLV on the map from a once considered ‘casino town’ and made us locals proud to be Las Vegans.  Thank you Jerry!  You will be missed but never forgotten!”…..NBC Sports Group announces it will present live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races for the first time on NBC Sports Radio.  It will produce radio coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes on numerous broadcast and digital platforms.

Scott Walker Presidential Prospects, Court Blocks Obama Immigration Order, Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Brian Williams Suspension, Battle Against ISIS, Fifty Shades of Grey Film, and Cindy Crawford Photo Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/16).  Analysis of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s chances of receiving the Republican nomination for president in 2016; a Texas court blocks the Obama amnesty order; the battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; the aftermath of the Brian Williams suspension; the battle against ISIS and the militant movement’s bloody tactics; controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey; and the flap over an unretouched photo of 48-year-old Cindy Crawford were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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