Tag: "Dennis green"

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

| August 12, 2020

Sumner Redstone Has Died. According to a statement from ViacomCBS, its chair emeritus and chief executive officer of controlling shareholder National Amusements, Sumner Redstone, has died. Redstone served as Viacom CEO from 1996 – 2005, and was executive chair of the Viacom and CBS boards from 2005 – 2016. He since was chair emeritus for both companies. A statement reads, “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator, and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today.” Sumner Redstone was 97 years old.

Beasley Study: Boston Consumers Optimistic. Results of Beasley Media Group Boston-commissioned/ Strategic Solutions Research-conducted polling indicate the majority of Boston-area consumers remain optimistic even during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, a large percentage feel their spending is – or will soon be – back to normal. Beasley Media Group Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna comments, “The company’s study is meant to help guide marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state-of-mind and planned future behaviors. It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients. People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows true ‘Boston Strong’ grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners – nine of ten – support wearing a mask, and they expect others to do so as well.” Strategic Solutions Research partner Hal Rood notes that, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, “It does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.” The survey was conducted July 6 – 16 among 1,532 listeners of Beasley Media Group Boston’s five radio stations: sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”; classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 ’80s & More”; WKLB “Country 102.5”; WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9”; and rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.”

Local Ad Revenue Estimates Lowered. Continuing economic fallout owing to the coronavirus crisis has led BIA Advisory Services to adjust its estimate for 2020’s total local advertising market to $140.4 billion, which is down from April’s $144.3 billion. Albeit with this year’s anticipated strong political advertising, BIA’s updated forecast estimate represents a 6.1% decline from 2019. BIA’s senior vice president/chief economist Mark Fratrik explains that, “To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals. We believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that, after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive, but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.” As political campaigns continue to drift to online rallies and events, presidential and down-ballot candidates are spending significant dollars in local broadcast and digital advertising. Ever since its April prediction, BIA increased the expected political ad spend from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion. Distributed share to different media includes $5 million to terrestrial radio; $138 million to over-the-air TV; $40 million to cable TV; and $26 million to online/digital.

COVID-19 Concerns Cause BFA Golf Tourney Cancellation. Owing to coronavirus-related safety fears, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has scrubbed its celebrity golf tournament fundraiser. Another big BFA money driver – the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament traditionally held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas – was cancelled as well a few months ago. Broadcasters Foundation chair Scott Herman remarks, “Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help. This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.” Broadcasters Foundation president Jim Thompson adds, “We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them. Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America.” The two golf fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. In hopes of negating the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation is launching a plea for donations. Personal contributions can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate offerings are accepted through the Angel Initiative, while bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Mr. Master Marks Milestone: Million Spots Per Week. The company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) – Mr. Master – has processed and provided compliance for one million network spots per week nationwide. This coincides with Mr. Master announcing new AIM agreements with Neuhoff Communications (five markets/20 stations) and Forever Communications (three markets/26 stations). It has AIM renewal contracts with Entercom (44 markets/453 stations); Alpha Media (46 markets/226 stations); SummitMedia (nine markets/51 stations); and Forever Media (16 markets/63 stations). Mr. Master president Stu Jacobs states, “We are very proud that AIM has become such a widely accepted, and useful tool that helps networks, stations, and advertisers to quickly get the accurate information they need, whether they are working in-office or remotely. One million national network spots a week – 52 million spots a year – is a huge milestone for our company. We couldn’t have done it without our first-class team and the amazing clients who trust us with their accountability.”

Albuquerque’s KQTM Aligns With Cage Side Seat MMA Media. The multi-layered broadcast relationship between Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” and Cage Side Seat MMA Media includes weekly Jim “Gries” Grieshaber-hosted longform programming; daily UFC/MMA commentaries/features; and weekly guest appearances on live programming. KQTM president Joe O’Neill comments, “It’s great to work with Jim. He’s a national-level talent connected to the pulse of UFC/MMA. We look forward to bringing “Gries” to New Mexico.” Grieshaber adds, “We’re so pumped to partner with our friends at ‘The Team’ and the great MMA fans of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is hallowed ground in our sport. It is home of the mecca of MMA gyms Jackson-Wink MMA, the GOAT Jon Jones, and legends like Holly Holm, Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. We’re coming strong with the best in MMA/UFC sports talk programming.”

Key Networks And Virtual Jock Partnering. In the barter basis arrangement, New Generation Radio product Virtual Jock will provide syndication company Key Networks access to its on-air talent and programming services. Virtual Jock founder/president/chief executive officer Jason Kidd explains that right before launching Virtual Jock five years ago, “Many stations were downsizing and losing strong local talent in the process. Fast forward to now and the need is greater than ever before. Teaming up with Key Networks will allow us to take things to an even higher level, expanding and offering our major market talent roster to radio stations across all formats. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.” Key Networks president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins comments, “The ongoing disruption from COVID-19 has severely impacted every radio company. All have eliminated some on-air positions and daypart shifts as cost-cutting moves in order to retain financial stability. Virtual Jock can now assist these groups and others by offering a no-cost barter option to fill some of these numerous holes and to also reconnect with those disenfranchised listeners. We want to work closely with stations to fill this void as radio is beginning to rebound.” Chief revenue officer Dennis Green notes, “Jason [Kidd] and his team have developed a concept that offers stations a chance to bring top-notch talent across all formats to markets from coast-to-coast. Key Networks is delighted to partner with Virtual Jock to provide a marketing opportunity that is cost-effective for stations both large and small to have dynamic and proven talent on their air.” In addition to 24/7 formats, Virtual Jock currently offers 40 full-time/in-house voice talents, as well as fully-produced audio programs and imaging. New York and Orlando-based Key Networks is a Sun & Fun Media-affiliated company.

Shondaland Audio, iHeartMedia Release Original Podcasts. As part of an arrangement between iHeartRadio and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland Audio, three podcasts will debut this month: “You Down?”; “Criminalia”; and “Go Ask Ali.” Future podcasts will include “#Matter,” “American Coup,” and “Black Girl Lost.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Shonda Rhimes is an absolute creative powerhouse. Developing these first few shows together has indicated what a strong partnership iHeartMedia and Shondaland have formed with Shondaland Audio. The breadth and depth of content that’s in progress as part of this partnership is unparalleled. We’re thrilled to work beside the Shondaland team to bring Shonda’s unique storytelling magic to podcast listeners everywhere.” Shondaland Audio chief design and digital media officer Sandie Bailey states, “Podcasts allow for innovative and intimate storytelling and that’s exactly what this slate offers – deeply human stories through a range of genres and formats aimed to engage the varied and ever- growing podcast listenership. iHeartMedia has been an incredible partner in forming Shondaland Audio. I’m thrilled that audiences will soon hear more from our collaboration with this new offering of shows.” Rhimes oversees development of the slate; Bailey manages day-to-day operations. Previously launched “Katie’s Crib,” a bi-weekly podcast following “Scandal” and “Waitress” actress Katie Lowes joined the slate three months ago. It releases a new episode tomorrow (Thursday, 8/13) that features actress Gabrielle Union.

Veritone One Signs On With Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Audio advertising and media agency Veritone One is now subscribing to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Veritone One senior vice president of strategy and investment Conor Doyle comments, “As one of the largest podcast advertising agencies serving over 100 active clients across 15,000 podcasts, Nielsen’s research will help us refine our current placements and unlock market opportunities for new advertisers wanting to enter the medium. Access to consumption and audience data will attract brand advertisers who have been previously hesitant to enter the largely direct-to-consumer space. Integrating Nielsen’s unique insights along with our proprietary AI-based analytics and decades of experience will enable us to set a new industry standard in podcast advertising.” Nielsen Global Media executive vice president/managing director David Hohman notes, “Veritone One is an agency that is on the cutting-edge of advertising. We are excited to empower them as they turn their data into actionable intelligence with real-time campaign optimization. With more brand advertisers coming into the podcast medium, and Nielsen’s ability to analyze over 150 podcasts, Veritone One will be able to reach even greater success as an innovative industry leader.”

TALKERS News Notes. “Women To Watch” joins the lineup of Red Apple Media New York’s WABC “Talk Radio 77” this Saturday (8/15) at 8:30 am. It will commence as a 30-minute show, expanding to 60 minutes three weeks later (9/5) at a yet-to-be-determined time. The show’s founder/host Susan Rocco remarks, “I always wanted ‘Women to Watch’ to be the go-to media network for all stories related to women’s leadership and success. We are building a woman-owned, women-run media company to amplify the voices of women who are leading across all industries.” WABC’s senior vice president of programming Dave LaBrozzi notes his station, “is proud to support strong women by bringing this lively and inspiring weekly show to the NYC market.” The first guest featured on WABC will be The Weiss Agency executive vice president Heather Cohen, who comments, “‘Women To Watch’ is the place to go to hear inspiring stories by inspiring women. Susan [Rocco] is the consummate professional and her interviews are spot-on.  I’m honored to be the first guest in the NY market.” Rocco states, “Heather Cohen is an exciting first guest for our new market. She’s a New Yorker, has worked in the industry and was recently elected chair of The Alliance For Women in Media.” Originated and still heard on Entercom Philadelphia’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Women To Watch has expanded to a national podcast and digital platform … Separate from his duties as 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm host on Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM, Erick Erickson today (Wednesday, 8/12) celebrates the one-year anniversary of doing self-syndication. His first affiliate was in Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Twelve months later, Erickson is on more than a dozen Georgia news/talk outlets. A one-man band, he does affiliate relations, and ad sales. Describing the experience as rewarding, Erickson explains, “Georgia’s swing state status makes a statewide program focused on the state a unique selling point. I try to be upfront, though, that I want to stretch outside the state after the election and keep growing nationwide.”  … As noted yesterday (TALKERS, 8/11), president Trump chatted on-air with Salem Media Networks host Hugh Hewitt. That wasn’t yesterday’s only radio stop for the chief executive though as he visited with Fox Sports Radio’s (6:00 am – 9:00 am, ET) “Outkick The Coverage” host Clay Travis. Regarding college football and the coronavirus, Trump told Travis, “People don’t realize it’s a tiny percentage of people that get sick and they’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with bad hearts, diabetes, some kind of a physical problem or a weight problem. These football players are very young, strong people. Physically, they’re in extraordinary shape, so they’re not going to have a problem. You’re not going to see people dying. You can’t have empty seats. I’m not sure college football can do it, but we’ll have to see.” On the return of the NFL and the NBA, he commented, “Well, they want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government. I would say this – if they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open. Other than that, I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible to get them open. They can protest in other ways. I don’t think they should protest our flag or our country. Basketball ratings are down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re going up for the shot. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in big trouble — bigger trouble than they understand.” … Taking the place of annual in-person tours that SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio” channel usually conducts, it will present 32 virtual NFL training camp shows – one for each NFL franchise. Starting today (Wednesday, 8/12), “NFL Radio” channel hosts will interview players, coaches, and team executives via video conferencing. SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen states, “Like all NFL fans, we look excitedly ahead to the 2020 NFL season. Even amid these very unique circumstances in which teams are reporting to camp, we remain dedicated to giving our listeners the most in-depth and comprehensive preseason preview of their favorite teams. Our experts include some of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people covering the game today. They will deliver a level of analysis on teams and players that you can’t get anywhere else.” …  Numerous lineup changes next Monday (8/17) at Disney-owned/Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk WMVP will find “ESPN 1000 Chicago” airing two hours (5:00 am – 7:00 am) of ESPN Radio’s new national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti. Shifting from 6:00 am – 9:00 am to 7:00 am – 10:00 am is David Kaplan. He will partner with Jonathan  Hood, who segues from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Meanwhile, Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic transition from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm to 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, as ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg-hosted “Greeny” takes over the vacated 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm slot. Weekend hosts Chris Bleck and Adam Abdalla advance to 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, while Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman remain in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) … Citing pandemic-caused budget issues, Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” parts ways with morning host Jim Villanucci and producer/host Sam Hauser. The station’s afternoon program – “Team Talk” – is being handled by a revolving set of hosts. Formerly an on-air talent at Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM, Villanucci joined KQTM two years ago. He previously worked at news/talk stations in Portland (KXL) and Las Vegas (KXNT). Before coming to “The Team” last year, Hauser served as sports director in Austin, Minnesota at KAUS and was a producer/board op in Miami at sports talk WAXY “790 The Ticket.”

Kamala Harris Receives VP Nod, Mail-In Voting Debate, School Opening Struggles, and Chicago Unrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11).  The selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as Joe Biden’s running-mate topped the TALKERS list of most-discussed stories on news/talk radio across America yesterday (8/11).  It was followed by the debates over mail-in voting and the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other major topics included Chicago unrest, Russia’s vaccine, stimulus relief, and the cancellation of Big 10 and Pac-12 college football according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With Ryan Seacrest’s television partner Kelly Ripa taking yesterday (Tuesday, 8/10) and today (Wednesday, 8/11) off, his “Live With Kelly & Ryan” co-host those two days is Sisanie, his radio partner. The two work together  on Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” heard around the country from iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR flagship KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM.” Sisanie has filled in for Ripa several times the past few years … Last summer, Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” asked David Rush, the world’s fastest juggler and breaker of over 150 Guinness World Records, to attempt shattering the record for most balloons popped in one minute using chopsticks. Rush established that mark in 2018 with 28 balloons, but that feat was subsequently broken. Rush set out to regain the title this past Sunday (8/9) – this time using hand pump-inflated, COVID-free balloon targets bearing “The Bob & Tom Show” logo. Halfway into the attempt, Rush recounts that he was “just barely on pace to beat the record,” but began throwing the chopsticks a little faster to pop 40 balloons in 60 seconds – a new world record. A big promoter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, Rush dedicates all his world records to that cause … WBVX “Classic Rock 92.1” names Dennis “Dead Air” Dillon program director/afternoon personality of the LM Communications Lexington (Kentucky) outlet. LM Communications owner/president Lynn Martin remarks, “We are pleased to welcome Dennis Dillon, who has a long history of presenting the very best classic rock music and now can present it to the best classic rock audience in Lexington. By introducing him to our locally-owned and operated radio group, we once again show that being a local voice rather than just a cog in a national wheel lets us provide something truly unique to the classic rock audience in Lexington. Dillon notes, “In a time when big corporations are moving away from local DJ’s in the community, I’m ecstatic to have found a home in the city I love with a locally-owned and operated company. I’ve always loved this genre and I’m already discovering that the ‘Classic Rock 92.1’ fans share that same passion.” Dillon previously worked in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chattanooga … Former MusicMaster vice president of sales Jerry Butler joins Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala as local sales manager for a cluster that includes alternative WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz”; country WPLL; rhythmic CHR WTGM “Magic 101.3”; classic hits-oldies WXJZ; and contemporary Christian WTMN & WRZN. Marc Radio general manager Dave Cobb comments, “Jerry brings the perfect mix of leadership, marketing, on-air personality, and programming savvy. He knows the radio industry inside and out. He is great at advising clients and introducing them to new products. He’s a great asset to our team.” Butler adds, “Our goal is to guide the local advertising community on how best to earn impressive returns on their investments in any, or all, of our radio station formats.” … After stunting by playing a weekend of all-Christmas music, Zimmer Midwest Communications Springfield, Missouri flips sports talk KWTO “The Jock” to adult contemporary “98.7 The Dove.” ZMC co-owner John Zimmer remarks, “It’s a great day for our company to enter the greater Springfield market with stations featuring the most powerful signals and largest coverage areas to serve the Ozark region. The greater Springfield region has been a great driver of growth in Missouri – we are proud to be of part of the expansion. We look forward to making a positive impact and difference for the community and businesses with our local solutions and stations to promote the economy of the Springfield region.” Kevin Howard and Liz Delany (“Kevin & Liz”) debut in morning drive next Monday (8/17). Core artists on “Lite Rock Favorites The Dove” include Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, and Sting.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

| July 9, 2020

Round Two of June PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s June 2020 survey period covered May 21 – June 17. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ratings Takeaways” from this second round of ratings. The intense spike in ratings for news/talk stations that happened during the April survey has halted and many of those stations are seeing weekly, 6+ AQH shares falling off. In Washington, although Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM lost 1.1 shares from the May survey to the June survey, it still ranks #1 in the market with an 8.2 share. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington dips four-tenths to a 7.6 share but remains ranked #2. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO dips one-half share to a 4.3 share and the #7 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM rises seven-tenths to a 6.6 share and the #3 rank. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle loses just one-tenth from May to June and remains ranked #1 with a 7.1 share. Entercom all-news WWJ, Detroit drops three-tenths to finish the June survey with a 5.4 share and the #3 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” report here.

Chris Fleming Named EVP at El Dorado Broadcasters. Broadcasting executive Chris Fleming joins El Dorado Broadcasters – operator of radio stations in the Victor Valley, California and Yuma, Arizona markets – as executive vice president for the company and general manager for the Victor Valley cluster. El Dorado operates news/talk KIXW, Victor Valley “Talk 960” and news/talk KBLU in Yuma in addition to seven music brands in the two markets. Fleming was most recently EVP for Neuhoff Media and based in Lafayette, Indiana. El Dorado president Jason Wolff says, “Chris Fleming has a long history of building products and growing revenues in markets of all sizes. I’ve watched from a distance as Chris built tremendous value for Brad Moran at Ramar. Now I’m excited to give Chris the reins and see him guide El Dorado into a successful integrated marketing company with strong radio brands at its core.”

Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Nominees. The nominees for induction into the Radio Hall of Fame as members of the class of 2020 have been announced. At the same time, the RHoF says that this year’s induction ceremony will be a live radio broadcast from multiple locations this October. The exact date and additional details will be announced along with the inductees on August 17. Industry voting in four of the six categories begins Monday (7/13) and listener voting in the other two categories begins on July 20. RHoF chair Kraig Kitchin states, “2020 marks 100 years of radio and, while we regret that we cannot hold an in-person event this year, we’re looking forward to the excitement of a live, multi-location radio broadcast. I want to thank Dennis Green, chair of this year’s Nominating Committee, and all the radio professionals who are volunteering their time and expertise to the difficult task of selecting inductees from such an impressive list.” The first four categories below are voted on by the 600-member industry participant panel and the last two are voted on by listeners.

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)
Mark & Brian – KLOS-FM, Los Angeles
Bobby Rich-KFMB-FM, San Diego & KMXZ-FM, Tucson
Bob Rivers-KJR-FM, Seattle
Donnie Simpson-WMMJ-FM, Washington D.C.

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)
Angie Martinez-WWPR-FM, New York City
Matt Siegel-WXKS-FM, Boston
Elliot Segal-WWDC-FM, Washington D.C.
Bob Stroud-WDRV-FM, Chicago

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more)
Sid Mark-host, “Sounds of Sinatra”
Joey Reynolds-host, WOR Radio Network
Cokie Roberts-political reporter, NPR
Suzyn Waldman-New York Yankees Radio Network

Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more)
“The Breakfast Club”-Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, DJ Envy, Premiere Networks
Larry ElderSalem Radio Network
Jaime Jarrin-Los Angeles Dodgers Network
Kim KomandoWestStar Radio Network

Music Format On-Air Personality
Whitney Allen-“The Big Time with Whitney Allen,” Westwood One
Bob & Sheri-“The Bob and Sheri Show,” Westwood One
Sway CallowaySirius XM Shade 45 Channel
John Boy & BillyPremiere Networks

Spoken Word On-Air Personality
Glenn BeckPremiere Networks
John & Ken-KFI-AM, Los Angeles
Stephanie MillerWYD Media
“Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me”-NPR

TALKERS News Notes. Talk media personality Michael Smerconish is the subject of a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Writer Ellen Gray interviews Smerconish about his talk radio and talk TV career in advance of the one-hour special that will air on CNN this Saturday at 10:00 pm titled, “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking.” The show was supposed to be a 12-city tour featuring a two-hour, live stage event but the coronavirus pandemic nixed the tour. Instead, Smerconish filmed the program at the Bucks County Playhouse with a socially distanced crew. Smerconish’s thoughts on political polarization, talk media and more are part of the show and the interview. He hosts a weekend show on CNN and his daily talk show on SiriusXM…..Former FOX News Channel journalist Shepard Smith joins CNBC to anchor a new, one-hour evening news program titled. “The News with Shepard Smith,” airing nightly at 7:00 pm ET. CNBC says the program will debut in the fall and “will cover the most significant news stories of the day and will feature the well-respected, fact-based storytelling that has been the hallmark of his 30-year career.” Additionally, Smith will assume the new roles of CNBC’s chief general news anchor and chief breaking general news anchor as well as executive editor of “The News with Shepard Smith.” Smith says, “Gathering and reporting the news has been my life’s work. I am honored to continue to pursue the truth, both for CNBC’s loyal viewers and for those who have been following my reporting for decades in good times and in bad.” Smith served with FOX News Channel for 23 years before exiting last fall…..The New York TimesMichael Grynbaum reports that Joy Reid is being promoted to the 7:00 pm ET slot at cable news/talk channel MSNBC, effective July 20. Grynbaum writes that Reid “rose to television fame as a sharp critic of President Trump and commentator on liberal politics and race.”  Her new show, “The ReidOut,” takes the time slot long occupied by “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, who exited MSNBC earlier this year in the aftermath of accusations of “sexist behavior in the workplace.”…..Sports talk host Tony Bruno’s show is soon to be heard in Southern California as XEPRS, San Diego “THE MIGHTIER 1090am” adds the show to its lineup in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot. “The Tony Bruno Show” – with co-host Harry Mayes – is syndicated via a partnership between SB Nation Radio and JAKIB Media. XEPRS operator Bill Hagen says, “Adding Bruno to the relaunch of this historic radio station was a true no-brainer. Tony helped invent the entire sports radio genre and it is only fitting that an icon like Tony is on an icon like ‘THE MIGHTIER 1090am.’”

RAB’s ‘Open for Business with Purpose’ Presentation Set for July 22. The RAB announces that as part of its Business Unusual initiative, the next presentation in its Open for Business live video series takes place on July 22 at 1:00 pm ET and is titled “Open for Business with Purpose.” RAB says, “This live video presentation features a panel representing an example of a partnership built for the greater good including a nonprofit organization, brand marketers, and broadcasters who lead by example and unite audiences.” Panelists (pictured above, l-r) include: Maureen Carlson, chief program officer, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; Whitney McChane, vice president, marketing communications, International Dairy Queen; Quinton Martin, chief of staff, office of the president, vice president community marketing, Coca Cola, North AmericaRoxanne Marati, vice president of sales, Entercom Denver; Sean Shannon, vice president and market manager, Cumulus Media Atlanta. The presentation will include a Q&A moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber. Registration is free for RAB members.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Trump Schools Order/Foreign Students Ban, SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling, Presidential Race, Summer Heatwave, and Sports Leagues Opening Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases and deaths; President Trump orders U.S. schools to open in the fall under threat of withholding funds and orders a ban on foreign college students on campus this year; the Supreme Court rules that employers do not have to provide birth control as part of health care plans if they object on religious or moral grounds; the November presidential election; the heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and the controversy over sports leagues reopening as athletes test positive for COVID-19 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Jennifer Horn is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the hardest working, rising stars in news/talk radio, Jennifer Horn, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Horn is heard on the air every day on several high-profile venues and serves as the general manager of another. She co-hosts “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman on two Salem Media Group Southern California “The Answer” stations – KRLA-AM 870, Los Angeles and KTIE-AM 590, San Bernardino (the Inland Empire) where she also hosts the “Jen and Don” show. In addition, she is co-host of the nationally syndicated “DJV Show” with Doug Stephan. On top of that, this dynamo is the VP/GM of ground-breaking network/content producer, CRN Digital Talk Radio, launched in the early 1980s by her father, Mike Horn. In a fast-paced conversation that covers a lot of bases, Harrison taps into Horn’s conservative perspective on many of today’s hottest issues in addition to exploring the details of her colorful history as a second-generation broadcaster. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. South Florida hot AC WMIA flips to an all-90s format as “Totally 93.9 All 90s All the Time.” iHeartMedia Miami SVP of programming Rob Miller says, “‘Totally 93.9’ is South Florida’s first all 90s station. In these anything-but-normal times, we believe our audience is craving a familiar and nostalgic listening experience that brings back fun memories of their high school and college years, and we think ‘Totally 93.9’ is ‘da’ bomb.’”…..Beginning next week, Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” – hosted by Elaina Smith – will showcase a week of special nights with guest hosts  Trisha Yearwood, Danielle Bradbery, Chrissy Metz (from NBC’s “This Is Us”), Brett Eldridge, Justin Moore, and Rascal FlattsJay Demarcus with his wife Allison. Each night, one artist will host from home and share a night of country music fun with fans. Smith says, “There are few things more comforting than hearing familiar voices every day. Which is one of the reasons radio has been so helpful through this pandemic. I am beyond grateful to all the country stars that have stepped in to hang with our listeners while I can’t be there. This time around we’ve got a really fun mix of artists that I know will keep the positive vibe of the show going as we continue to navigate 2020 together.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that the MeTV-FM format picks up a new affiliate station as Langford Broadcasting’s WGTO-AM/W256DV begins airing the format. Owner Larry Langford says, “WGTO AM910 and FM97.1 has been a classic hits station for many years, but we found ourselves competing with higher power stations playing the same tight playlist and voice tracked DJ’s. We needed to try something different. MeTV-FM pulls it off in a way that allows you to enjoy the music flow with creative and entertaining drop ins about the times and the music. We are looking forward to a long relationship in the South Bend, Indiana market!”

Monday, May 4, 2020

| May 4, 2020

Monday Memo: “3 Big Things” Feeling cooped up by coronavirus confinement?  You’re not alone!  But, in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke notes some “silver linings” in this crisis (an opportune call-in topic).  Read it here.

Coronavirus Statistics and Projections, Re-Opening States, Pressure on China, Presidential Race/Joe Biden Allegations, Financial Markets Activity, and Korean DMZ Incident/Kim Jong Un Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and predictions about future deaths; the various states that began re-opening their economies; accusations the coronavirus escaped from a Wuhan laboratory, China’s response, and pressure on the country to open up to investigation into the origins of the virus; the presidential race and Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault against Joe Biden; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; and shots fired between North and South Korea across the DMZ and Kim Jong Un’s resurfacing were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Don’t Fight Santa. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that it doesn’t matter if radio reaches 92% of adults each week if there are no cars parked at retail stores in your market.  To help a client in this climate, you have to “see what your advertisers see.”  Read his column here.

Hubbard Radio Announces Cuts Across Its Radio Properties. On Friday, Hubbard Radio chairman and CEO Ginny Morris announced in a memo to the company’s staffers that the disruption in the advertising business due to the coronavirus pandemic was forcing the company to take the unfortunate step of reducing payroll via layoffs at its radio stations in Chicago, Seattle, Phoenix, Washington, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that six staffers at sports talk KSTP-AM “SKOR North” were let go including Minneapolis Twins reporter Derek Wetmore and Minnesota Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that longtime WXOS-FM sports talk host Bernie Miklasz was one of 20 staffers in St. Louis to be let go.  Post-Dispatch reporter Dan Caesar adds that the lineup at WXOS changes with Miklasz’s exit.  Randy Karraker moves from afternoons to Miklasz’s former 7:00 am to 10:00 am show.  Midday host Anthony Stalter moves to the afternoon show with Brad Thompson and Chris Rongey.  Cardinals play-by-play voice Dan McLaughlin will host an hour-long show at 10:00 am while Jamie Rivers and Brandon Kiley will host the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program.

Key Networks Celebrates a Year in Syndication for Bill O’Reilly. It’s been a year since Key Networks brought conservative media icon Bill O’Reilly back to radio in national syndication via his daily radio feature “The O’Reilly Update.”  That show, along with the morning drive feature “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition,” are currently airing on 208 radio stations from coast-to-coast. The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition launched in January. O’Reilly says, “It is simply imperative that Americans get the truth in this very dangerous time. Many news agencies spin it. ‘The O’Reilly Update’ never does that. We deliver honest news and commentary every day in a concise, lively format. It’s gratifying to see the great response.”  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Over 200 stations carrying programming in a year’s time is an amazing feat! It speaks to the quality of the content. During these challenging times, listeners want to hear news and commentary from a trusted voice and Bill O’Reilly delivers with ‘The O’Reilly Update.’”

‘Marilyn: Behind the Icon’ Podcast Series Debuts. A new podcast series from the alliance of Crossover Media Group Sales, LifeBites, and “Behind the Icon” producers looks at the life of Marilyn Monroe via a dramatic narrative based on Gary Vitacco-Robles’ bestselling books, ICON: The Life, Times and Films of Marilyn Monroe Volumes I and II (BearManor Media, 2015). The series is called “Marilyn: Behind the Icon” and “portrays Monroe up close and personal with a dramatic storyline featuring narration, actor dramatization, and commentary by a mental health expert. Marilyn Monroe is played by the talented Erin Gavin, who portrayed the legend on stage. Erin captures the essence of Marilyn that will captivate the podcast audience. In addition, the series features award-winning voice-over talent, Brad Hyland (Santa from Elf on the Shelf, Victoria’s Secret and many commercials) as the sultry, warm-voiced narrator.”  Producer Nina Boski says, “Fans around the world have an unending fascination with Marilyn Monroe. But underneath the glamour, there was a real person who struggled tremendously with mental health and addiction issues, which are truly an American epidemic. ‘Marilyn: Behind the Icon’ will reveal a dramatic narrative that will help Marilyn become more real and even more relatable to millions of fans and for people who are suffering from some of the same issues as the icon.”  Crossover Media Group Sales managing partner Sue Freund adds, “‘Marilyn: Behind the Icon’ is such a dynamic story for millions of Marilyn fans. We wanted to take on a project that was different and could tell the icon’s story to the world in a unique and groundbreaking way.  The producers of ‘Marilyn: Behind the Icon’ knock it out the park with their ability to share the Monroe story. They made it come to life – to entertain, but also to educate the audience at the same time about mental illness and addiction. The podcast gives a voice to Marilyn’s struggles in a way that can help others potentially seek the help she herself so desperately needed. We are excited to get behind such a compelling project!”

Radio Cares Radiothon Raises More than $500,000 for ‘Feeding America.’ The “Radio Cares Feeding America Emergency Radiothon” that began on Thursday (4/30) and ran through the weekend has raised more than $500,000 for hunger relief organization Feeding America. The radiothon closed with a $20,000 donation from Scott and Sandi Borchetta and Big Machine Label Group. The funds raised will provide 5 million meals for Americans living with hunger. The charitable initiative was developed and led by Ron Stone, president & CEO, Adams Radio Group, and Brian Philips, EVP, content & audience, Cumulus Media/Westwood One. Philips says, “Listeners answered the call from their favorite stations, large and small, unified by the cause of American hunger. Our listeners represent the most generous cross-section of America. There exists a bond among them that no crisis can break. Cumulus is always proud when what we do moves people.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new, weekly podcast from ABC News’ FiveThirtyEight titled, “PODCAST-19: FiveThirtyEight on the Coronavirus” debuted on May 1. The program features host Anna Rothschild, with the support of FiveThirtyEight team, investigating COVID-19 mysteries, debating when it’s safe to reopen the economy, and keeping track of the latest scientific developments on vaccines and treatments. ABC News says Rothschild has over a decade of experience reporting on science, health, and the environment. She has won multiple awards for her science communication, including from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics…..The John Fredericks Radio Network is broadcasting live this week – Monday through Wednesday – from Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.  Fredericks says the show is investigating how the systemic poverty in the Delta region is affecting how residents are coping with the coronavirus pandemic.  He adds, “We’ll be discussing what the next steps are for small business owners, residents, and students, many of whom do not have high-speed broadband. Some have no Internet whatsoever, which may lead them to fall further behind the learning curve.”…..iHeartMedia Orlando is presenting an online “Education Fair, Education Summit” on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at EducationSummitFL.com. Designed to serve colleges, universities, tech schools, trade schools and more, the custom web page will allow education recruiters to conduct video interviews and review transcripts in real time. Students can log on and click on the education institute profile they wish to chat with. iHeartMedia Orlando partnerships manager Chianna Ray says, “This virtual event is exactly what our community needs right now. Many students have not had the chance to visits schools, meet with recruiters and are feeling unsure of their future. Recruiters have missed valuable face time with future students since events are not taking place at this time. We look forward to making that connection through our event.”…..Beasley Media Group stations in Fayetteville, Augusta, and Charlotte are hosting a complimentary 30-minute webinar designed to help struggling restaurant owners and managers directly impacted by the pandemic. The webinar will take place on Thursday, May 7, at 2:30 pm. Beasley says the session will feature actionable insights, timely advice, and relevant information that local restaurants can use immediately to help increase business during these challenging economic times. Participants can learn from Steve DaPolito, co-owner of Charlotte-based Bisonte Pizza Co., who helped to increase sales for his business at the onset of COVID-19. They can also learn about resources available to local restaurant owners provided by representatives from both the North Carolina and the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association…..Beasley Media Group and broadcast television firm TEGNA are partnering on a broadcast TV series focusing on the esports rivalry between the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws and Dallas Fuel.  TEGNA, owner of stations in 12 Texas markets, is broadcasting a weekly docuseries of original episodes chronicling the competition. Beasley Esports COO Lori Burgess comments, “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Dallas Fuel and TEGNA’s Texas stations to bring fresh sports competition and entertainment back to our fans and TV viewers. Video gaming is hotter than ever and professional esports is taking center stage this month in Texas with the inaugural Lone Star Showdown presented by Samsung. New fans can expect a battle worthy of champions.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  As a result of Hubbard Radio’s decision to trim payroll because of the COVID-19 business climate, here are some of the air personalities reported to have been affected: In Chicago, media writer Robert Feder reports classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” night host Phil Manicki and overnight host Greg Easterling, along with AC WSHE-FM “SHE 100.3” morning producer Robb Rose and night jock Brian Middleton, WDRV-FM promotion manager Heather Torrey, and hot AC WTMX-FM “101.9 The Mix” morning producer Cynthia Denicolo and social media staffer Melissa “Mel D” Dever all exit. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that country WIL-FM “New Country 92.3” morning hosts Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway are gone. Today (5/4), Hubbard announces that WSHE program director Cat Thomas is leaving that station to move to Seattle to become brand and content director at CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5” and adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9.”  Vice president of brand and content at WTMX and WSHE Jimmy Steal is assuming WSHE PD duties…..After the company put the wraps on the nationally syndicated country radio morning program “The Ty Bentli Show” on Friday with the exit of hosts Chuck Wicks and Tricia “TJ” Jenkins (Bentli exited the show earlier this year), Cumulus Media’s Westwood One launched the new “Morning Koffy” syndicated program hosted by Paul Koffy and co-host Jasmine Sadry. Cumulus EVP marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Well known in the radio industry and well-liked by country artists, Paul is the ideal host for this new show. Paul has spent his entire career in country music and, surprisingly, has never before hosted a program from Nashville – we can’t wait to see what he does from Music City. With Jasmine on the other mic, this show is one good morning brew.”…..Tampa Bay CHR WFLZ-FM “93.3 FLZ” replaces “The Kane Show” with new morning drive program, “THEjoeSHOW.”  Moving from the company’s Detroit CHR WKQI “Channel 955” where he was afternoon drive personality and APD, host Joe Carballo is joined by Ashley Nics and producer Jed Shilling. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay VP or programming Tommy Chuck says, “‘93.3 FLZ’ has a long history of incredible morning personalities. I’m excited to announce the next great show that is poised to take over Tampa Bay. Joe, Ashley, and Jed have done a great job preparing for this opportunity.” In Detroit Ashley Nics served as a producer for “The Mojo in the Morning Show” and hosted middays. Jed Schilling worked in the programming and digital department. Together, the three also hosted the “Heavily Anxious” podcast…..In Baltimore, morning drive personality Stash, a.k.a. Steve Ash, exits Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay.”  Stash announced the move via a Facebook post…..Alpha Media Bakersfield announces Erik Fox is promoted to program director for KLLY-FM “Energy 95.3.”  He’s been serving as music director and afternoon drive host for the station. Alpha Media Bakersfield general manager Jeremy Price says, “Erik Fox has shown himself to be one of the hardest working individuals in this industry that I have ever worked with. His love for the music marks a huge step up for the station. And in the year that he has been MD for ‘Energy,’ our ratings have risen to levels not seen on that station for over half a decade. Individuals committed to local radio like Erik are rare and we are blessed to have him on our team and, in this new capacity, are excited to see him continue to dominate in the ratings.”…..iHeartMedia moves Atlanta hip hop “The Beat” from WRDG-FM at 96.7 to WBZY-FM at 105.3.  The move bumps the Spanish hits format that had been airing on WBZY-FM.  Station program director Dan Hunt says, “We’re excited for the opportunity to rebuild ‘The Beat’ from the ground up and continue to represent the urban music culture with a sound unique to Atlanta.  Atlanta’s music lovers will get to listen to the most prolific voices in hip hop radio today, including “The Breakfast Club” and DJ Scream.”

Monday, April 6, 2020

| April 6, 2020

Monday Memo: Sulking?  Or SHINING?  Because “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” consultant Holland Cooke describes how smart stations are making every effort to sound relevant to first-time listeners, whose listening habits have changed during the pandemic crisis.  Read his column here.

The U.S. Coronavirus Cases and Death Toll, the Hydroxychloroquine Debate, Churches Defy Anti-Gathering Orders, Financial Markets Activity, Celebs with Covid-19/Boris Johnson Hospitalized, ‘Tiger King’ Documentary, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tally of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases, the death toll, and projections for the worst numbers to appear later this week; reports of a debate in the White House’s Situation Room over the effectiveness of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in treating covid-19; a number of Southern churches hold services in defiance of anti-gathering orders; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; the celebrities – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who’ve contracted covid-19; the uber-popular “Tiger King” documentary airing on Netflix; and the status of the presidential race were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Grab an Oar. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s Pending Business column offering some tips on creative thinking in this time of unprecedented upheaval.  He presents some ideas for seeking out new advertising categories as well as how to present the notion that “radio listening is UP.”  Read his column here.

Barron’s: Advertising Is Disappearing. It’s not a pleasant read by any means, but the Barron’s piece titled, “Google and Facebook Can’t Save the Advertising Industry This Time,” presents an unvarnished look at the current state of the advertising industry as Covid-19 keeps the majority of the American – and global – economy shut down.  It addresses all sectors of the ad-supported media – radio, TV, print, cable and digital.  Yes, digital.  As the story explains, the problem is devastating in its simplicity: “Even the most prominent ad buyers lack reasons, and often the means, to buy ads.  Global travel is on hold; for airlines, hoteliers, cruise lines, casino operators, and car-rental firms, there are no products to promote.  With auto factories shut, there is little need to push cars.  With movie theaters closed, there are no film trailers.  And aside from grocery stores, pharmacies, and large box-store chains, most retailers are shuttered.  Meanwhile, many of the small and medium-size businesses that buy online ads are struggling to stay solvent.”  Read it here.

Ramsey Network Unveils ‘Work Matters with Ken Coleman Podcast.’ The newest podcast from the Ramsey Network is titled, “Work Matters with Ken Coleman.”  The Ramsey Network says, “From burnout and bad bosses to the hottest in-demand job skills, each daily, short episode takes on relevant topics to help listeners stay informed and on top of job market trends.  Ken gives expert, practical advice on turning obstacles into career opportunity.”  Ramsey Solutions EVP of media Brian Mayfield adds, “This is an extension of the brand that Ken has already successfully established.  It’s a daily dose of relevant content that will have an immediate impact on the redefined job market facing our listeners.  It could not be timelier in its launch.”  Coleman is the #1 bestselling author of The Proximity Principle and hosts the Ramsey Network’s “The Ken Coleman Show,” currently airing on 40 radio stations across the country and “The Ken Coleman Show” podcast which has more than 16 million downloads.

‘The Jesse Kelly Show’ Launches Via Key Networks. The three-hour, late morning program “The Jesse Kelly Show” debuts today (4/6) in national syndication via Key Networks.  The program airs live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET (delayed broadcasts available via XDS) and stars U.S. Marine veteran, former Congressional candidate, and conservative radio and television host, Jesse Kelly.  The program emanates from flagship station KPRC, Houston.  Key Networks notes that due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is offering the “Test Drive Jesse Kelly” program through April 30, 2020, with no agreements or contracts necessary to try the show.  Stations that are experiencing any staffing challenges due to the coronavirus and have programming gaps to fill can try the show with no contract or commitment.  Kelly joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 and on 9/11, watched the towers fall from inside his barracks.  He later deployed to Iraq as an infantry Marine during the Second Persian Gulf War and received an honorable discharge after four years.  In 2010, with no political experience to speak of but many opinions to share, Kelly decided to test the political waters and ran for Congress in a Democratic-controlled district of Arizona.  Though a virtual unknown in the race, he was only narrowly defeated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Kelly used his large social media following as a platform to continue many of the conversations started on the campaign trail.  He joined KPRC, Houston in 2018 to host a one-hour show.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Jesse Kelly has been a leading voice during the coronavirus pandemic, arming listeners with actionable facts on how to keep their families safe.  He is also very supportive of small businesses during this very challenging time, encouraging America to support workers and small businesses.  Listeners across the country will respond to Jesse’s candor, relatability, insight and humor, at a time when they are looking for a reasoned and informed perspective and a trusted companion for uncertain times.”

Howie Carr Radio Network Launches Drive to Feed ER Workers from Local Restaurants.  The Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network – syndicator of the Howie Carr show – is launching the “Howie Carr’s ER Eats USA!” program in which it is teaming up with local hospitals in New England to feed hospital workers and support local restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Howie Carr Show is asking listeners and readers to donate anywhere from $4.99 to $19.99 and all funds collected will go to directly to restaurants to feed hospital workers.  The Howie Carr Radio Network will work with hospitals to make sure that the food is packaged appropriately to keep hospital staff safe. Further, Howie Carr show advertisers that donate $1,000 to the campaign will be featured in promos and on the landing banner on Howiecarrshow.com (Limit 5 sponsors).  All sponsorship money will go directly to the cause.

Next ‘New Jersey 101.5’ Coronavirus Town Hall to Air Thursday. This Thursday at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts addressing the severe economic consequences New Jersey residents and businesses are facing from the coronavirus crisis.  “New Jersey 101.5” senior political director Eric Scott will host the broadcast.  He says, “New Jersey has already seen the highest number of jobless claims in our state’s history and a majority of businesses have been ordered to close.  Our Town Hall broadcasts bring those affected in direct contact with the experts that can help them survive these unprecedented conditions.”  For this edition, the expert panel will feature Robert Asaro-Angelo, New Jersey State Labor Commissioner; Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; and Michael Affuso, director of government relations for the New Jersey Bankers Association.  Scott and his guests will take calls from listeners during the live program that will be available on-air and streamed via the station’s website and Facebook Live.

TALKERS News Notes. In an effort to assist businesses in the markets in which it operates, Beasley Media Group is presenting a complimentary webinar, titled: “Financial Relief for Small Business Owners: The Road Map.”  The free, 30-minute online webinar takes place on Wednesday (4/8) and features representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration providing relevant discussion of how local businesses can qualify and apply for emergency funds and grants available during these unprecedented times…..iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO, San Diego is airing a special series relative to the Covid-19 pandemic each evening at 8:00 pm titled, “Right Now.”  The hourlong show features a different KOGO or KFMB-AM personality taking on a different topic.  On Monday evenings, KOGO business reporter Bob “Sully” Sullivan addresses financial matters; Tuesdays it’s KOGO afternoon host Lou Penrose talking mental health; on Wednesdays KFMB’s Mark Larson tackles physical health with the aid of medical professionals; Thursdays will feature KFMB’s Mike Slater taking on spiritual issues; and Fridays will see KOGO morning anchor LaDona Harvey exploring tips for living under quarantine and social distancing…..iHeartMedia Orlando presenting an online job fair called Keep Orlando Working on Thursday and Friday (4/9-10) designed to assist residents of the community finding jobs during this time.  The two-day online recruitment event custom web page will feature human resource recruiters and business owners conducting interviews via video chat and reviewing resumes in real time.  iHeartMedia Orlando partnerships manager Chianna Ray states, “iHeartMedia Orlando is committed to its community especially during times of crisis.  Thousands of service industry professionals are currently out of work.  There are companies that are hiring right now that need quality help and we look forward to make that connection through this virtual event.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP” morning personality Chris Booker exits the station as part of Entercom’s cuts and furloughs.  Booker hosted the program with co-hosts Chelsea Briggs and Krystal Bee…..iHeartMedia promotes Reggie Brown to the program director role at Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7.”  Brown is the station’s afternoon drive host – a role in which he will continue.  He takes over for Bailey Coleman, who was promoted from PD of WKKV to VP of programming for the company’s New Orleans cluster.   Brown says, “I’m thrilled to lead the ‘V100.7’ team.  I’m excited to continue to bring quality programming and thriving events to our Milwaukee community while continuing to entertain our audience in the afternoons.”…..This evening (4/6), the “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America” will receive an encore airing on FOX TV.  The hourlong program hosted by Elton John and featuring numerous pop artists raised more than $10 million for Feeding America and The First Responders Children’s Foundation.  Tonight’s airing takes place at 9:00 pm ET…..Condolences to the family and friends of record industry figure Neil Lasher, who died at the age of 73 at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut after complications from Covid-19.  Lasher was a former executive at Sony ATV.  He’d also worked for such labels as Chrysalis, EMI, Polydor, United Artists, and others.

Monday, March 23, 2020

| March 23, 2020

Monday Memo: Coronavirus Community.  “When normalcy is upended, it is human nature to take comfort hearing how others are faring” and consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “it’s less misery-loves-company than we’re-all-in-this-together.”  And in this week’s column, he cautions that, right now, stations are making a lasting impression.  Read it here.

The State of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Federal Stimulus Package Debate, Global Stock Selloff, Unemployment Rises/Recession Predictions, Summer Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the coronavirus pandemic; the federal stimulus package being debated in congress; the global stock selloff is predicted to continue; the expectations of high unemployment figures to be reported and a recession is being predicted for the U.S.; and the possibility the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo will be postponed were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Warning, Speed Bumps Ahead. Radio sales pro and president of Lapcom Communications, Steve Lapa, writes in this new TALKERS column Pending Business about how to work in the sales environment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  Lapa has tips for planning and prioritizing for sales staffers dealing with limited in-person collaborations, online meetings, minimal studio and talent access, constant price fluctuations, and more.  Read it here.

WABC, New York Adds Bill O’Reilly ‘Morning Edition.’ Conservative commentator and talk show host Bill O’Reilly is joining the daily program lineup at Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York via his Key Networks-syndicated morning drive radio feature, “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.”  O’Reilly’s 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” launched in late April 2019 and between the two shows O’Reilly is heard on more than 200 stations.  O’Reilly says, “WABC is the station I listened to as a kid.  It is a legacy radio outlet and I hope I can add to the legacy with honest, no spin daily commentary.”  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks is so proud to be associated with Bill O’Reilly and ‘The O’Reilly Update.’  The content has been superb and the tremendous response is a testament to Bill and the talent he brings to the airwaves, with a style unmatched in media.  We’re thrilled to welcome the great WABC New York, bringing our affiliate group to over 200 stations in 10 months.”

Salem and Hugh Hewitt Agree to Contract Extension. This new deal between Salem Radio Network and talk host Hugh Hewitt runs through December of 2028.  Hewitt has been a host on SRN since July of 2000.  In April of 2016, he moved from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET show on the network, to morning drive, taking over for Bill Bennett who had hosted the “Morning in America” show.  Salem says that Hewitt’s national footprint has grown to more than 450 affiliate stations and he’s also seen on a video simulcast on Townhall.com.  Hewitt appears regularly on NBC News programs, including “Meet the Press,” and is a regular contributor to the Washington Post.  Hewitt says, “I look forward to not only this fall’s presidential election but the next two presidential campaigns and all the news in between them as well.  The past 20 years have been two decades of upheaval and crisis, a sudden devastating attack on America, of war and terror and now a pandemic, of hard-fought elections and massive legislative and legal changes.  It’s been a privilege to cover these breaking news events for three hours a day with the extraordinary team and guest list we have assembled and rely upon.”  Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger states.  “Hugh has been a Salem stalwart since 2000.  He’s one of the most respected voices in American media today, and as Salem continues to grow our national and international footprint, Hugh’s program remains a flagship show for the news/talk format which Salem helped pioneer.”

Ratings Takeaways from Final Round of Nielsen’s February PPM SurveyTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from the fourth and final round of February PPM data from Nielsen Audio. Some positive weekly, 6+ AQH share movement among spoken-word stations includes: iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh adding a half share to January’s 1.8 share hike to finish February with a 7.6 share and the #2 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis tacks four-tenths on during the February survey to land at an 8.0 share and the #2 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville piles another six-tenths onto its January share-and-a-half increase to finish the February survey with a 10.4 share and the #2 rank in the market.  See Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Beasley and Borrell to Present ‘Crisis Marketing for Local Business’ Seminars. This series of complimentary webinars from Beasley Media Group and Borrell Associations takes place tomorrow and Wednesday (3-24/25) as part of Beasley Media Group’s ongoing ‘We Are All in This Together Community of Caring Initiative.’  It consists of five, 30-minute webinars focused on crisis marketing for local businesses impacted by the current coronavirus situation.  Topics addressed will include: valuable tips for communicating with customers & non-customers, how to craft creative & appropriate marketing messages, and common concerns & opportunities faced by local businesses.  Beasley is making the session “open to any interested businesses, however, it is especially relevant for local companies located within Beasley Media Group markets.”  The webinar will be moderated by Beasley Media Group chief digital officer Todd Handy and vice president of digital sales Dan Frisbie.  Local marketing experts Gordon Borrell, Jim Brown, and Corey Elliott of Borrell Associates “will provide valuable guidance on how local businesses can not only survive but thrive and make a difference in times of crisis.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “850 ESPN” program director Matt Fishman tells TALKERS that the station has created a new show to get fans ready for the only major sports event on the calendar – the NFL Draft – taking place on April 23.  Beginning tonight from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, WKNR is presenting “ESPN Cleveland’s Countdown to the Draft” hosted by Tony Grossi…..The South Bend cluster of Federated Media – including news/talk WTRC, Niles, Michigan “Michiana’s News Channel” – is launching “Operation: Restaurant Rescue.”  The stations have produced a digital menu of area restaurants that are offering carryout or delivery options and allows consumers to buy gift cards for some of the establishments…..Racing star Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, is resuming his SiriusXM show, “Happy Hours.”  The show airs Wednesday’s at 1:00 pm on the SiriusXMNASCAR Radio channel with Matt Yocum as co-host.  Harvick says, “Matt and I figured it would be good to get back on SiriusXM to talk to the fans and try to entertain folks during this downtime.  Even though we’re not racing, there’s still plenty to talk about, both the things involving our sport as we look ahead to the season, and also what’s happening in our daily lives away from the track.  I hope we can take your mind off other things and maybe make you laugh a little bit along the way.”

iHeartMedia Stations to Play National Anthem.  At 12:00 noon ET today, all iHeartMedia radio stations will play a version of the National Anthem.  The company says, “In these challenging times, we want to take a moment of solidarity to celebrate our collective strength as a nation and recognize the heroic efforts of so many workers on the frontline – including our doctors, nurses, health care professionals, caregivers, and other critical responders who are working night and day to get us through this. Today, iHeartMedia will honor the resilience of Americans by encouraging the masses to unite through the healing power of music as our 850+ radio stations and formats across the country air a version of the National Anthem.  We want to send our heartfelt thoughts, concern and support to any family who may need it as we face these tough times together as a country.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions announce that “The 55th ACM Awards” will take place on Wednesday, September 16 – in a city and venue yet to be announced – and will air on CBS TelevisionKeith Urban will serve as host and the lineup of performers will also be announced at a later date…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Orlando announces that its Earthday Birthday Number 27 Music Festival set for April 18 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds will be postponed to September 5 at the same venue…..In response to the coronavirus pandemic, iHeartMedia Charlotte is launching “Carolina Cares,” an initiative to help the local community by highlighting local organizations and services necessary during times of crisis.  Across all its stations’ websites, iHeartMedia Charlotte is promoting various local organizations offering services to individuals as well as businesses that are operating on limited hours and restaurants that are offering delivery, pickup or gift cards during this pandemic.  Local organizations highlighted will include Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, American Red Cross and Classroom Central, with more to be added on a need basis…..Entravision Communications announces “El Show del Mandril” – starring Ricardo Sanchez – is the new morning drive show on Regional Mexican KDLD, Santa Monica “Viva 103.1 FM.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

| December 3, 2019

Round Four of November PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  Nielsen’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: In Raleigh, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” adds another two-tenths to its recent full-share increase to land at a 3.1 share and the #14 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ flagship news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” rises six-tenths to a 6.4 share good for the #5 rank; and Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds six-tenths to its recent 6+ uptick for a 4.8 share and the #11 rank in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.

Dave Ramsey Launches ‘Borrowed Future’ Podcast Examining the Student Loan Crisis. This new podcast series from Ramsey Solutions is hosted by George Kamel in which bestselling author of Debt Free DegreeAnthony O’Neal – joins him to “explore the lies we believe about college, the soaring cost of tuition, and the predatory nature of the student loan industry.  Listeners will learn how to pay for college without going into debt and find out if college is even the right choice for them.”  Guests on season one of the eight-part “Borrowed Future” podcast include: Mark Cuban, Mike Rowe, Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Meg Meeker, Seth Frotman, and Ramsey Network personalities Ken Coleman, Rachel Cruze, and Chris Hogan.  Apple Podcasts Review says, “This is the first honest approach to the student loan crisis that you will hear.  Not just a commentary or criticism, but real-world solutions to the #1 personal finance challenge in America.”

Key Networks Launches ‘O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’ A new, morning drive program featuring Bill O’Reilly is being offered in national syndication by Key Networks.  “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition” is a two-minute feature and companion to Key Networks’ 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” currently airing on more than 180 stations.   The three-minute program – two minutes of content with two embedded 30-second network spots – officially debuts in January.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “‘The O’Reilly Update’ has been a great success in a short amount of time.  We have heard from stations that asked for an opportunity to have O’Reilly’s content available for morning drive and Key Networks delivers with ‘The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’  The best way to start your day is analysis from the best commentator in the business.  I can’t think of a better way to start 2020 than to bring this expansion of ‘The O’Reilly Update’ to the market.”

Crossover Media to Lead Sales Efforts for Bleav Podcast Network. Cross-platform ad sales firm Crossover Media Group Sales is leading the advertising sales for Bleav Podcast Network’s 150-plus podcasts.  The Bleav Podcast Network focuses on sports team content, “uniquely providing team fanbases with former players as hosts in football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.”  In addition to team shows, Bleav creates local and national podcasts with topic experts in multiple categories such as golf, tennis, fitness, gymnastics, family, action sports, racing, film, esports, law, music, self-help, and more.  Bleav says that based on the highly exclusive local and national content experience, its advertisers see a very high awareness, retention, and response rates based on the show host’s live read endorsements.  Crossover Media managing partner Sue Freund says, “We’re excited to be working with Bleav.  This is an ideal partnership as both Crossover Media and Bleav are rapidly growing companies within the podcast market.  Bleav is introducing new podcasts daily to the marketplace and we’re looking forward to giving advertisers the opportunity to partner with their network of fantastic hosts and content.”

Logan Upped to OM at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Programming pro Bruce Logan is promoted to operations manager for Hubbard Radio’s West Palm Beach station group.  Logan has been serving as program director for country WIRK-FM and adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9.”  In this new role, he’ll add oversight for news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM “FOX Sports 640,” hot AC WRMF, and urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3.”  Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach SVP/market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “We have an exceptional cluster of stations in West Palm Beach and I’m pleased to have an exceptional leader in the OM role.  Bruce has made an immediate impact on our cluster in the short time he has been with us.  I look forward to putting his talent to work on all of our brands.”

KBME, Houston’s Greg Koch to Leave Station to Focus on Health. Former NFL offensive lineman and midday sports talk host Greg Koch told his listeners on Monday (12/2) that he’s leaving his role with KBME at the end of this week to focus on his health.  Koch – who co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with fellow former NFL player N.D. Kalu – was diagnosed a year ago with Parkinson’s disease, but says he realizes he’s been feeling the effects of the disease for more than 10 years.  The iHeartMedia sports talk station has issued no statement about its plans for the program after this week.  Read the Houston Chronicle account here.

Townsquare Ups Sieks to Regional VP. Sales and management pro Christine Sieks rises to regional vice president for Townsquare Media’s Northeast Region.  For the past two-plus years, she’s been VP for Townsquare New Hampshire.  In her new role, she will continue to directly oversee sales in New Hampshire as well.  Prior to joining Townsquare, Sieks served in senior management with iHeartMedia New Hampshire.  Townsquare SVP Rob Williams says, “Christine Sieks made an immediate impact on our performance and culture when she joined Townsquare in 2016, distinguishing herself among our best local market leaders and strategic thinkers.  I’m thrilled to work more closely with her to help our teams continue to learn, grow, and perform.”

BFoA Commences Year-End Giving Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end appeal today (12/3) in conjunction with the national charitable giving event, Giving Tuesday.  The BFoA’s drive asks for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  The Broadcasters Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only organization dedicated exclusively to providing aid to broadcasters and their families whose lives have been upended by tragic illness, accident, or catastrophe.   The Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid this year. Monthly grants have increased over 75% since 2015, and more than 500 emergency grants have been awarded since 2017. Over the past 19 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed over $11 million to broadcasters in need.  Donations can be made by visiting www.broadcastersfoundation.org/donate.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “These funds make a huge difference in the lives of broadcasters and their families.  Our grant recipients are hard-working broadcasters who have experienced unthinkable tragedy and desperately need and deserve our support.”

Impeachment Proceedings/Republican Report, NATO Summit, 2020 Presidential Race, China Bans U.S. Military from Hong Kong, U.S.-France Tariffs, Jeffrey Epstein Case, and ‘AGT’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2). The impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the Republican-authored report attempting to refute the Democrats’ case against the president; the controversial start to the NATO summit as President Trump calls comments by France’s Emmanuel Macron about the U.S.’ reliability “very insulting”; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; China enacts a ban on U.S. military ship stopovers in Hong Kong because of the U.S.’ pro-democracy act; Trump ramps up tariffs on French goods; the Jeffrey Epstein case returns to the news cycle after BBC interview with Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre; and the controversy over the exit of judges from “America’s Got Talent” due to allegations of a hostile workplace 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 Derrick Brown is promoted to vice president of urban programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago region.  He’d been serving the company as director of urban programming and program director for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.” He’ll continue to program “V103.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “Derrick’s exemplary record of success with our urban brands puts this promotion into the no-brainer bucket of decisions.  We are beyond fortunate to have him at the helm of the Chicago region’s phenomenal urban brands.”  In this role, Brown will be responsible for overseeing all urban programming and digital operations for “V103,” hip hop WGCI and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”…..Programmer Eric White is adding PD duties for alternative WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina to his current role as program director at Sunrise Broadcasting’s co-owned hot AC WILT.  White, who takes over for Laura Lee, says, “I’m grateful to Valerie Brooks, Sunrise, and Capitol Broadcasting management for this opportunity.  I look forward to digging in and taking on the already solid modern rock brand and growing it to new heights in 2020.”

Thursday, June 6, 2019

| June 6, 2019

‘The O’Reilly Update’ Surpasses 125 Affiliates; Adds Weekend Program. The new radio program from Key Networks starring conservative media figure Bill O’Reilly has shot past the 125-affiliate mark in its first month on the air.  The daily, 15-minute show called “The O’Reilly Update” recently added such signals as WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte; KFYI-AM, Phoenix; and KFMB-AM, San Diego.  As a result of this success, Key Networks announces it will launch an O’Reilly Update-Weekend Edition for affiliates of the weekday show in July.  It says the weekend edition of ‘The O’Reilly Update’ will feature the best content of the show from the week along with other material from the Bill O’Reilly archives. Key Networks notes that of the stations airing the program, 23% are non-news/talk stations, including country and classic hits stations with 70% of the affiliates being FM stations.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “In just six weeks on the air, ‘The O’Reilly Update’ is quickly becoming a must-listen for audiences around the country.  It is clear that O’Reilly’s voice was missing from the airwaves and stations want no spin comment on what’s happening across our nation.  We can’t wait to welcome more stations on board!”  Bill O’Reilly will speak about his return to radio in a special keynote presentation at TALKERS magazine’s annual conference, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, taking place in New York City tomorrow (6/7).

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Kate Delaney is celebrating 10-plus years at the helm of her GCN-distributed “America Tonight” late-night program. Delaney says the show was recently added to the program schedule at news/talk KCAA, Loma Linda, California and business talk WWMI, St. Petersburg, Florida…..NPR and WBUR announce that Tonya Mosley is named the third co-host of midday “Here & Now” news and talk program that is hosted by Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson.  The show airs on more than 475 NPR member stations. Mosley has been serving as the Silicon Valley bureau chief for KQED, San Francisco.  She also hosts new podcast, “Truth Be Told.”…..ABC News Radio is providing live coverage of the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky, with reporting by correspondents Tom Rivers in Normandy and Karen Travers in Washington, DC.  Additionally, today’s episode of the “Start Here” podcast will feature an interview with David Muir from Normandy…..SiriusXM is presenting coverage of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday (6/8) from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.  Through its broadcasting agreement with Horse Racing Radio Network, SiriusXM is airing all Triple Crown races as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

WLW, Cincinnati’s Jeff Henderson Announces Retirement. Longtime Cincinnati radio newsman Jeff Henderson is retiring from his role with iHeartMedia after a long career in the market.  Cincinnati Public Radio’s John Kiesewetter has the full story here.  Henderson, who is currently regional news director – based at WLW-AM, Cincinnati – responsible for news content at a number of stations in six states.  He started his career at the old “YES95” in Cincinnati and moved to WLW in 1983.

Trump in England/75th D-Day Anniversary, Trade Wars with China and Mexico, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and CMT Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump and the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion; the tariffs the U.S. is placing on Chinese exports and threatening to put on Mexican exports; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Democrats increasing talk of impeachment proceedings against President Trump; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and Wednesday night’s CMT Awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS Convention Set for Tomorrow in New York City. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running and most important convention in the talk media industry (radio, television, satellite, internet) – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – is set for tomorrow (6/7) in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater. More than 67 speakers will address the hottest issues, challenges and opportunities facing talk radio and its related media and business communities before a sold-out crowd of media professionals. TALKERS will provide on demand video coverage of the key sessions of this colorful event shortly after it takes place for those who have been locked out due to on-site space limitations. For the latest agenda and information about this historic convention, please click here.

Alliance for Women in Media to Honor CBS News’ Erin Moriarty. Later this month, “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty will be honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.  The award will be presented by CBS News president and senior executive producer Susan Zirinsky.  The Gracies Lifetime Achievement Award honors a woman in media who exemplifies and embodies the essence of the iconic trailblazer, the late Gracie Allen, the namesake of The Gracie Awards.  AWM/F executive director Becky Brooks says, “Throughout her 40-year journalism career, Erin Moriarty’s well-researched, diligent approach to covering stories about crime and justice, about consumer issues, and much more has been consistent and illustrates why she is so worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award. Through the Gracies, we are incredibly proud to honor and celebrate outstanding talent and content by, for and about women.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Long Island operations of Cox Media Group, Katelin Tinley is promoted to director of sales.  In this role she’ll utilize her decade of sales management experience to oversee sales operations for Long Island’s radio brands, including WBAB-FM, WBLI-FM, and its digital media platform, Local Solutions.  She says, “It is truly an honor to work every day with our amazing team and products at WBAB, BLI and Cox Local Solutions.  I couldn’t be more excited to take on this new role and build upon the success that our winning team has created at CMG Long Island!”…..Programming pro JD Garfield is heading back to Boise as program director for Impact Radio Group’s hip hop KWYD “Wild 101” and sister active rock outlet KQBL-HD2/K256CZ “I-ROCK.”  He was most recently with Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville as PD…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI, Detroit, “Channel 95.5” brings Krissy T aboard as evening personality.  She joins the station from her most recent gig with Mainestream Media’s rhythmic CHR WHTP, Portland “HOT 104.7.”…..Midwest Communications closes on its acquisition of alternative WNFZ-FM, Knoxville “94Z” from Oak Ridge FM Inc., for $2 million. Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. was the exclusive broker in this transaction…..Pictured below at the 2019 CMT Music Awards radio remote broadcast in Nashville earlier this week are (from l-r): Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta, Sheryl Crow, “CMT After MidNite” and CMT Radio Live host Cody Alan, and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott.

Monday, March 25, 2019

| March 25, 2019

Monday Memo: Welcome to the Spring Book. Consultant Holland Cooke offers some tips for radio stations in this week’s Monday Memo as the Nielsen Audio spring survey begins on Thursday (3/28). Cooke reminds programmers that the most important listeners are your P1s because research shows that less than 25% of a station’s cume contributes more than 50% of its Average Quarter Hours. The most efficient way to boost AQH share is to get more listening out of your P1s and he offers some ideas on how to do that.  Read it here.

Mike Francesa Hits Twitter in Response to NY Post Piece; Post’s Marchand Fires Back. Last week, TALKERS magazine alerted you to the New York Post story by Andrew Marchand alleging that Entercom’s WFAN, New York had been negotiating with sports personality Adam Schein to take over Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive slot on the station.  Over the weekend, Francesa took to Twitter to correct the “outrageous misinformation” and “outright lies” being spread about his status at the station.  Francesa reiterates he’s working without a contract right now, that Entercom has a long-term offer for him (he hasn’t signed it yet), and that he’s okay with adding a person to the show (in fact, it was his idea).  Francesa doesn’t mention Schein in his tweet but Marchand writes in his column that Francesa “essentially confirmed” last week’s story and asserts that Francesa knows his show needs help to avoid losing the now-tight ratings battle with crosstown WEPN-FM’s Michael Kay show.  Marchand speculates WFAN overnight host John Jastremski might be considered as a co-host.

Bill O’Reilly Returns to Radio with 15-Minute Program.  Titled, “The O’Reilly Update,” the new 15-minute radio program hosted by former, longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly will launch on April 29.  The program is being syndicated by Key Networks for daily delivery at 11:30 am ET with all advertising included – no additional barter units – and two minutes of local avails in the feature.  In the press release, O’Reilly states, “More than ever before, Americans need accurate information and honest news analysis in order to make intelligent decisions.  It is all about protecting yourself and your family.  The daily ‘O’Reilly Update’ will arm you with facts and provide opinion based on those facts.  Can’t wait to get started.”  O’Reilly hosted the nationally syndicated program “The Radio Factor” from 2002-2009.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “On the Mount Rushmore of spoken-word talent you must include Bill O’Reilly.  It’s an honor to bring Bill back to radio to deliver appointment listening and revenue opportunities for affiliate stations in a unique format.”

Hugh Hewitt Named New Head of Richard Nixon Foundation. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is returning to his roots at The Richard Nixon Foundation as he’ll become president and CEO of the organization on July 1.  Hewitt will continue to host his Salem Radio Network program, make appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and write op-eds for the Washington Post.  He’ll split his time between Washington and Yorba Linda, California, the site of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.  Forty years ago, Nixon hired Hewitt as a researcher.  Nixon Foundation chairman Dr. James H. Cavanaugh says, “The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum recently underwent a complete renovation, and the new, interactive museum galleries enjoy increased attendance and positive reviews.  Hugh will lead the Nixon Foundation in its exciting next phase of growth, expanding its presence through national programming with an emphasis on articulating the Nixon legacy of pragmatic realism in domestic and foreign affairs.”  Hewitt says, “Richard Nixon was a grand strategist and master diplomat, and his vision is exactly what is needed today as America faces challenges and opportunities with China, North Korea, Russia, throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The world needs to be reminded of President Nixon’s lasting foreign policies, the strategic methods by which he assessed conflict and disagreement, and how he crafted strategies for resolution — building a more peaceful world.”

Noted Media Figure Rick Ungar Launches Independently Syndicated Progressive Talk Radio Show. “The Rick Ungar Show” launched on March 4, 2019, airing in the 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET time slot, on the following stations:  WCPT 820 AM, Chicago; KKSF 910 AM, San Francisco; KTNF 950 AM, Minneapolis; KABQ 1350 AM, Albuquerque; and KTRC, 1260 AM/103.7 GM, Santa Fe.  According to Ungar, while the program airs on a charter lineup of progressive stations, The Rick Ungar Show seeks to bring a more open minded, fair approach to the progressive radio landscape by continuing in the tradition of “Rational Radio” established during his years in partnership with Michael Steele on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio program, “Steele & Ungar.” Ungar tells TALKERS, “While my ideology certainly leans to the left, I have never been one who seeks to talk for the left.  My role is to convey the facts – even when they may not favor the left point of view – along with my opinions on those facts. It is then up to the audience to decide where they stand based on the facts presented. I never care if you agree with me or not. But when you are hanging out with your friends over the weekend and the talk turns to politics, I want my listeners to be the smartest, best informed, people in the room.”  The new show is reportedly experiencing call-ins from Trump supporters who are not calling to yell at the host but rather to rationally discuss the issues put on the table.  Ungar continues, “The plans are to be the first nationally syndicated program to be carried by conservative stations in a long time looking to provide their listeners with a view from the other side-presented in a way that is fair, open and welcoming to all viewpoints on the political spectrum.”  Rick came to the world of political talk radio from the entertainment industry where he was a writer and producer. He also served many years as the president of the Marvel Character Group. He additionally serves as the editor-in-chief of www.TheDailyCentrist.com, an on-line news and opinion site dedicated to publishing rational arguments on the issues of the day from all sides of the political spectrum.  To get in touch with Ungar please email rickungar@gmail.com.  Meet Rick Ungar at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday June 7.

FCC Investigating Political Ad Rate Complaint at Entercom Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the Federal Communications Commission investigating whether a politician in the 2018 congressional race got the lowest unit charge as required by law.  Entercom was sent a letter of inquiry for documentation on paid election advertising on news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talk WGR-AM, and five other Buffalo market stations.  Entercom admitted that it had not posted the required information from the 2018 campaigns until just this January but said it was the result of an internal error.  It also told the paper it is working with the FCC on the matter and doesn’t plan further public comment.  The FCC is requesting information about paid candidate ads and non-candidate issue ads that aired on all of Entercom’s Buffalo stations by April 4.

TALKERS News Notes. High-profile psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jordan B. Peterson joins the Westwood One Podcast Network with his new, eponymous podcast launching this week.  Peterson is joined by his daughter and co-host Mikhaila Peterson as the two break down the dichotomy of life and explain how individuals and culture are shaped by values, music, religion, and beyond…..Washington, DC AM signal WSPZ is being sold bySalem Communications Holding Corporation to Immaculate Heart Media for $750,000.  The 1260 AM signal has been simulcasting Salem’s Christian teaching format heard on WAVA-FM, Washington…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sales pro Peter Bowen is exiting his role at Entercom’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago as director of sports sales after 10 months in the position.  Bowen wrote in an email to colleagues, “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone over the past 10 months.  It was great to reunite with so many familiar faces and friends…and it was awesome to meet so many new people.”  Bowen had previously served in the market as Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager…..Talk show host Bill Carroll – the Canadian who hosted a midday show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles for a number of years – is expanding the reach of his Bell Media program.  He’s currently based at news/talk CFRA, Ottawa and his 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program will now be syndicated across a number of Bell-owned news/talk stations every Friday afternoon…..Wisconsin radio personality Gary Douglas is retiring from the business and his current post with NRG Media as operations manager for the Fort Atkinson/Whitewater cluster and morning host for news/talk WFAW-AM. Douglas’ 46-year career has included stops at WIBA-AM, Madison and WDUZ-AM, Green Bay.  He’ll continue his role as play-by-play voice for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sports broadcasts.

Tennessee’s Stonecom Radio Unveils New Facility.  Pictured above are two images from Stonecom Radio of its new, 10,000-plus square foot facility (left) in Cookeville, Tennessee that’s home to news/talk WUCT-AM/W231DG, country WKXD, rock WBXE, and AC WLQK.  At right is a news studio.  Stonecom unveiled the new building with a ceremony attended by state and local dignitaries.  Tennessee Association of Broadcasters executive director Whit Adamson was in attendance and stated, “Stonecom is led by a true team of broadcasters who are proud to serve the entire region they touch with their signal of each of the respective stations in the cluster.”

Mueller Report Delivered/Trump Claims Victory, Islamic State Victory, Border Wall Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller delivers his report on the Trump-Russia investigation to the attorney general’s office and President Trump claims victory; U.S. troops’ taking of the last territory in Syria held by ISIS; the issue of the border wall and reports of another migrant caravan forming in Central America; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Prime Minister Theresa May’s last chance at getting her EU exit deal through Parliament; the box office success of Jordan Peele’s horror film Us; and the NBA and NCAA tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. South Florida hot AC WMIA-FM announces the new “Mack in the Morning with Letty B” program will debut on April 1.   The show stars Miami on-air pro Mack, Los Angeles native co-host Letty B and producer Nick Pena.  Station PD Joey Brooks says, “I am excited to announce Mack, Letty B and Nick as 939 MIA’s morning team.  Not only is this group entertaining, but they are committed to the South Florida community. Individually, each of them brings a unique perspective to the show and I am confident that they will quickly earn listener loyalty.”…..On-air personality Kenny Walker re-ups with WMXJ-FM, Miami “102.7 The Beach” to continue hosting the morning show on the classic hits outlet.  Walker says, “The energy of this station stood out to me when I joined in 2016 and I am honored to continue being a part of our listeners’ daily routines.  I look forward to continue building our station’s brand and connecting with Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.”…..The world famous KROQ, Los Angeles us announcing the 11th annual “Kevin & Bean’s April Foolishness” event hosted by morning show duo Kevin and Bean.  The station says this special anniversary celebrates the prestigious legacy of April Foolishness that blends hysterical stars with the most talented up-and-coming names in all of comedy.  Special guests will include: Adam Ray, Felipe Esparza, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eddie Ifft, Jamie Lee, and Ray Romano.  The event will also feature “The Kevin & Bean Rap Battle” with beatboxer Joshua from “Drop the Mic.”…..Nationally syndicated urban morning radio star DeDe McGuire was in Milwaukee over the weekend appearing at “The Gathering” presented by affiliate station WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3.”  She’s pictured below (center) with listeners at the 17th annual event that gives fans the opportunity  to shop with local vendors, watch music, network,  and meet their favorite Jammin’ 98.3 hosts.  “DeDe in the Morning” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Monday, May 21, 2018

| May 21, 2018

Is There a Heavenly Hundred?  Today, as TALKERS magazine posts the 2018 edition of the Heavy Hundred, Paula Ryan, the wife of late radio personality Matt Patrick writes a piece for TALKERS in which she remembers her husband and his intense love of and dedication to the craft of performing on radio.  She writes, “Every year we looked forward to the Heavy Hundred being published by TALKERS magazine.  Many of Matt’s close friends in the business got the nod year after year.  Matt would celebrate his colleagues, singing their accolades, and then quickly got back to working on his own shows in order to take it all to the next level.  I knew it was only a matter of time before he would land on that list.  Unfortunately, time was not on his side.” Read Ryan’s piece here.

Dennis Green Named Chief Revenue Officer for Sun & Fun Media. Longtime Westwood One executive Dennis Green has joined Sun & Fun Media as chief revenue officer.  Sun & Fun Media creates products for radio stations, including: vacations, gift cards, vehicle wraps, branded station merchandise, and bill pay for NTR events, television and billboard advertising for radio stations, research, consultants, equipment, software and more, all available exclusively through barter.  In this newly created position, the company says that Green will lead the development of new products and services for radio stations and will manage a team of six affiliate sales professionals to grow the company’s affiliations across the U.S.  He’ll continue to be based in New York City.  Sun & Fun Media co-founder and CEO Rob Koblasz says, “Dennis Green is one of the most respected, experienced and trusted affiliate sales executives in the radio industry and we are thrilled that he is joining Sun & Fun Media as chief revenue officer.  With Dennis’ considerable expertise in radio operations and network radio sales, we will be able to offer our affiliates more and better solutions exclusively for barter than ever before.”

Former FOX News Host Andrea Tantaros’ Suit Against Company and Individuals Dismissed.  The former FOX News Channel personality was suing FNC and a number of individuals, including former FOX executive Bill Shine and late FOX chief Roger Ailes, for $10 million.  Andrea Tantaros claimed that in response to her making allegations of sexual harassment against various FOX executives, she was put under illegal surveillance.  Tantaros was representing herself – pro se – and in a ruling highly critical of the merits of the suit, Judge George B. Daniels dismisses all of the claims, ruling that Tantaros failed at every level to provide factual support for the allegations.  Tantaros claimed, among other things, that she was being spied upon by one of Roger Ailes security personnel, that FOX tech persons installed malware on her personal computer in order to spy on her, and that she was illegally videotaped at work.

Kirshbom to Lead iHeartMedia Raleigh Cluster.  Radio management pro Alan Kirshbom joins iHeartMedia as market president for the company’s Raleigh cluster that includes news/talk outlet WTKK-FM.  Most recently, Kirshbom was vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media in Memphis.  Previously, he’d served as vice president and market manager for Entercom in Austin and Milwaukee.  As market president, Kirshbom will be responsible for “leveraging iHeartMedia Raleigh’s radio station brands and assets to provide quality programming and create new revenue opportunities.  He will spearhead all aspects of the market’s operations including sales, programming, digital, events and promotion initiatives.”  Kirshbom will report to Dave Carwile, president of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region.

Russel Robertson Appointed SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Tampa. Moving from the company’s Seattle station group to Tampa, Russell Robertson assumes the SVP of sales role for iHeartMedia’s cluster there. iHeartMedia’s Tampa cluster includes news/talk WFLA and sports talk WDAE.  iHM Tampa market president Chris Soechtig says, “I’m thrilled to have Russell join our team.  His 10-plus years of experience in iHeartMedia’s Pacific Northwest and San Diego Regions coupled with his passion for helping clients grow their business makes him the ideal choice for SVPS in Tampa Bay.”

Raising Money for Nevada GOP Candidates. Pictured above are Las Vegas-based talk show hosts Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) and Heidi Harris (left) at the Denim & Diamonds BBQ Fundraiser held in Las Vegas on Saturday night.  Wachs and Harris co-emceed the event sponsored by the Southern Nevada Republicans Women’s PAC and designed to raise funds for primary race GOP candidates. WSB-AM, Atlanta talk show host – and former presidential candidate – Herman Cain was a speaker at the event.

JVC Media’s John Caracciolo Delivers Commencement at Long Island’s Five Towns College.  Pictured above at the commencement at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, Long Island is JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo (left) with Chicago drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Danny Seraphine (center) and school president David Cohen (right).  Caracciolo was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.  JVC Media owns and operates stations on Long Island – including news/talk WRCN-FM, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” – and in Florida.

TALKERS News Notes. Omaha native and Radio One founder Cathy Hughes (right) is pictured here with Nebraska media personality Tom Becka (left) – formerly of KFAB, Omaha and KCMO, Kansas City – after being honored by the Omaha Press Club.  The city of Omaha named a street in her honor, as well. Hughes joins the ranks of other famous Nebraskans including: Warren Buffett, Johnny Carson, and Larry the Cable Guy…..Indiana Radio Watch publisher Blaine Thompson reports that Daryl McIntire is exiting his role as director of sales for Sarkes Tarzian’s news/talk WGCL/W241CD and triple A WTTS in Bloomington, Indiana.  McIntire served with Sarkes Tarzian for 32 years in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne…..Pictured below broadcasting live from the Connecticut Democratic State Convention on May 18 is WTIC-AM, Hartford “Newstalk 1080” afternoon drive personality Todd Feinburg.  Feinburg broadcast his show from the Hartford Convention Center interviewing state political figures and taking listener calls.

Texas School Shooting, Trump Asks DOJ to Investigate FBI-CIA Surveillance of Campaign, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Royal Wedding, Iran Nuclear Plan ‘B,’ Deadpool 2 Film, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Santa Fe High School shooting on Friday that left 10 dead; President Trump asks the DOJ to investigate whether the Obama Administration asked the FBI or CIA to infiltrate the Trump campaign; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S. and China agree not to accelerate a trade war; Saturday’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to unveil “Plan B” for Iran nuclear deal; the film Deadpool 2 tops the weekend box office; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a change in morning drive talent at iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago “93.9 LITE FM” as Melissa Forman returns to the station to host AM drive, replacing Kristina Kage.  The company says Forman “will kick off the workday with two hours of commercial free music from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  Melissa’s tradition of informing and entertaining listeners will continue through celebrity interviews, charity involvement, and the unique relationships that she’s built with the people of Chicago.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano says, “I am so excited to welcome Melissa Forman back into the iHeartMedia Chicago family.  She has a rich history with Chicago and 93.9 LITE FM’s listeners, and we are looking forward to working with her again.”…..iHeartMedia’s KMRQ, Modesto, California “Rock 96.7” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to the program schedule for morning drive.

Friday, May 18, 2018

| May 18, 2018

Edison: Streaming Makes Up Less than 10% of Radio Station Listening. Media research firm Edison Research is presenting at this week’s American Association of Public Opinion Researchers conference in Denver.  Company VP Randy Brown’s presentation documents issues that come from implementing surveys online that attempt to measure internet behaviors.  One conclusion of his is that streaming behaviors will be overstated in a survey implemented online because it is difficult to reach lighter internet users from internet sample frames, even if one is using high-quality internet samples. In creating its Share of Ear studies, Edison has determined that “8% of the combined listening to broadcast radio content is from the streams and 92% is from over-the-air…these numbers would be vastly higher (and incorrect) if we did not take the steps we do to correctly represent all listeners and all listening.”  Edison goes on to say, “It is worth noting that we see quite a difference based on the type of content.  For news, sports and personalities, streams comprise 12% of the total listening, whereas for music the streams are 6%.  Perhaps this speaks to streaming being more vital for radio’s more unique aspects.”  You can download Brown’s presentation here.

Dennis Green to Exit Westwood One. After a 22-year career with radio syndicator Westwood One, SVP of affiliate sales Dennis Green is exiting the company to accept a new, yet-to-be-announced position. Westwood One chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer says in a memo to affiliates that the company sincerely thanks Green “for his absolute dedication and excellent contributions made during his successful 22-year tenure at Westwood One.”  Green says, “I want to thank my Westwood One family for a 22-year ride that was everything you could want in a media career. Serving radio stations around the country and the world with the best in programming and services was an honor and privilege that I’ll never forget.  As I embark on my next challenge, I’m proud to be part of the legacy that Westwood enjoys in the industry, and will continue to enjoy for years to come.”

Andi Poch Promoted to EVP of Integrated Partnerships at Entercom. This new role of executive vice president, integrated partnerships puts Andi Poch in charge of leading Entercom’s strategy, creative development and execution for multiplatform, client partnerships. The company says she’ll focus on integrated solutions across audio, digital, branded content, live events and experiential partnerships. Additionally, she will be responsible for the development of new and expanded content franchises and innovative, customizable opportunities to drive national business and new revenue streams.  She will continue to report to Bob Philips, chief revenue officer at Entercom.  Philips comments, “We are excited about Andi’s new role at Entercom. This is a strategic shift in the way we go to market and an opportunity to leverage our national, multiplatform scale across audio, digital, social, live events and branded entertainment to offer national advertisers the innovative marketing solutions they need to connect their brands to our loyal and engaged consumer base.  The additional scope will provide Andi the opportunity to expand on the terrific work she has already done for Entercom.”

Francesa ‘Talked Into’ Joining Twitter. Now that Mike Francesa is back in afternoon drive on WFAN, New York after a roughly five-month retirement from the Entercom sports talk station, he’s surprising his fans again by joining Twitter.  He’s been a famous critic of social media but tells the New York Daily News that since rejoining the station, he’s been “talked into” launching a Twitter account.  He’s making his initial, official tweet from Twitter’s New York headquarters this afternoon. Francesa had always avoided social media, arguing that if he tweets his takes, it gives people less reason to tune into the radio show.

A Visit to Old Stomping Grounds. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison paid a visit to the legendary New England powerhouse WTIC-AM, Hartford “NewsTalk 1080” for an on-air chat with his old buddy, afternoon drive host Todd Feinburg, yesterday (5/17).  The two discussed many of the hot economic issues surrounding Connecticut state politics.  Harrison was the first full-time host launching WTIC’s modern era as a pure news/talker when he did middays on the 50k outlet back in 1991-92.  He currently joins Feinburg as a regularly featured guest and occasionally serves as fill-in host for the program.  According to Harrison, “WTIC has long played a key role in Connecticut’s history and culture.  The station has maintained a great news department and a deep commitment to community service, not to mention really smart callers.”  Harrison (center) is pictured above with Entercom Hartford VP of operations and programming Steve Salhany (left) and Feinburg (right) in the station’s main studio.

Cool Morning News Opportunity. News Radio KFBK, Sacramento, an iHeartRadio station, is looking for a highly skilled, experienced executive news producer to lead and manage its top-rated “KFBK Morning News” – a four-hour, fast-paced, market-leading live newscast. Candidates need large-market, long-form newscast producing experience, immaculate writing and editing skills, along with strong problem-solving and leadership abilities to excel in this key position within the news management team.  Strong digital and social media skills are essential. Some on-air reporting/anchoring required.  For more info and to apply, click here.

KCBS-AM, San Francisco Snags Seven AP Television Radio Association Honors.  Bay Area all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco was recently honored with seven 2017 Associated Press Television and Radio Association awards.  The organization honors important journalism across 13 Western U.S. states through its annual awards contest.  The Entercom station picked up first place honors for Best Continuing Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; Best Feature Story “Sonic Gentrification” by Doug Sovern; Best Spot News Coverage for “Wine Country Wildfires”; and Best Weather Reporting for “San Jose Flood.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The Fisher House Foundation – the charity that provides housing for the families of military personnel who are being treated at VA centers – is working with the Jeff Wyatt Group for its special radio programs. The Jeff Wyatt Group is working with Fisher House to assist with affiliate relations for the Memorial Day special, “The Gift” – hosted by Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery – as well as on the Christmas time program “Home Away from Home.” On the latter, Jeff Wyatt Group will write, produce and distribute the show…..American Public Media is ending the “Marketplace Weekend” program. Lizzie O’Leary hosts the program and will remain with APM to handle fill-in work on the daily “Marketplace” program.  Affiliate stations will get “best-of” shows through July…..The sale of WFGA-FM, Hicksville, Ohio from Talking Stick Communications to Swick Broadcasting Company for $300,000 cash closes.  The exclusive broker for the deal was Jason James of Patrick Communications.

Trump-Russia Investigation Returns as Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 14-18, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the scheduled meeting between North Korea and the U.S. and the hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-China trade negotiations, followed by U.S.-Mexico border security 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.

Craig Carton Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Major sports talk personality and newsmaker Craig Carton gives an exclusive interview to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Carton is the former co-host of the mega-successful morning show “Boomer and Carton” (with Boomer Esiason) on WFAN, New York that dominated in the coveted male 25-54 demographic Big Apple ratings wars for a decade between 2007 and 2017. The duo had replaced Don Imus in that position after the station’s then-owner CBS RADIO cut the legend loose in the wake of the infamous incident in which he insulted the women basketball players of Rutgers University on-air with a poorly-executed racial quip. Craig Carton was one of the biggest stars in sports talk radio and the sky appeared to be the limit. However, it all came crashing down in 2017 when he was arrested by federal agents at his home in New York City on criminal charges of securities fraud. Then after a few months of laying low, while professing his innocence and awaiting trial in October, a fascinating comeback began to take root. It started with a podcast and that led to a daily online 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET radio show with a video simulcast on the FNTSY Sports Network. Now, after two months of positive reviews and significant audience growth, the show will be offered to terrestrial broadcast stations coast-to-coast by Sports Byline USA and Focus 360. It will debut on May 29, as a 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program, with a roster of 25 stations and the hope is it will grow well beyond that to at least 100 stations by the year’s end. Of course, much of this depends on the results of Carton’s forthcoming day in court. In a remarkably candid conversation, Carton tells Harrison that he is innocent and patiently looking forward to his day in court to tell his story and clear his name. The two also discuss the new show as well as the general state of sports talk radio and media. Harrison says, “Craig Carton is an outstanding talent and his new show sizzles with his unique personality and skills. I believe he is innocent until proven guilty and deserves the support of the radio industry until the facts of the case are finally revealed in court. The radio business is better off with Craig Carton on the air. I hope this all works out for him.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Chicago market, Alpha Media talk show host Kevin Kollins – heard daily on WJOL, Joliet in afternoons – is adding a second show to his duties as he assumes the morning program at sister adult contemporary WSSR-FM “Star 96.7.”  Kollins joins Lisa Jordan as her new co-host, replacing Josh Cooper, who exited last month…..SiriusXM is broadcasting performances and backstage interviews from this weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas on its new Insomniac Radio channel.  EDC Las Vegas will also air on Diplo’s new and exclusive SiriusXM channel, Diplo’s Revolution.  This year marks the ninth year SiriusXM has broadcast EDC Las Vegas…..Pictured below at the kickoff event for the inaugural ACM/Live in the Vineyard Goes Country on Tuesday, May 15 at Peju Province Winery in Napa Valley, California are (from l-r): Chris Clare, PD, WNNF-FM, Cincinnati; George King, VP, programming, Westwood One; Tom Martens, Warner Music Nashville; Leslie Caraccilo, VP, music & entertainment, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Aaron Roberts, VP, programming partnerships, Cumulus Media/Westwood One; Mac Daniels, PD, KSCS-KPLX, Dallas; Brian Thomas, PD, WKHX-FM, Atlanta; and Steve Pleshe, PD, KSKS, Fresno.  (Photo: Royce Risser)

Round Four of April PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 survey period covered March 29 – April 25. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a January – February – March (6+) topline of 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.2, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT posts a +.7 to 7.9 (steady at #2), its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Three upticks in a row by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+), but “News Radio 590 AM” drops one-half share in April to 4.1 (flat at #9, 6+). The majority of that +1.8 is rooted in January’s +1.3. Immediately in advance of its positive streak, KLBJ-AM was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). In the market’s sports talk arena, both Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, flat at #19, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3, unchanged at #24, 6+) are without an increase for the third time in a row, with each station losing three-tenths in that stretch.

Austin Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM advances from fifth to third with its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It bypasses co-owned/similarly formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which is +1.7 via four straight gains (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, sixth, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 1.4 (#23 to #20, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” pulls the plug on six negative or flat trends in succession that accounted for a loss of 60% (-1.5) of its 6+-share (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+). Not only is Emmis adult hits KBPA #1 for the fourth month in a row, “Bob” flashes a +1.0 to 8.9, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March 2017. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten (10) sweeps. A November gain of one-half share halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately before picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). Off by six-tenths (6.4 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” slides from third to fourth. Stymied at 3.5 (6+) in January and February, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” drops one-half share in both March and April (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it repeats at #2, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” erodes by -1.0 (8.8 – 7.8, 6+). January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. A loss of two-tenths to 5.1 (sixth to seventh, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three consecutive positive spikes in a row that netted +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just ahead of that streak, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). In addition to being the third time in a row that Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF posts a 1.0 (6+), “News Radio 680” is anchored at #19 for the ninth straight sweep. Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4, #12 to #13, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the eighth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, #20 to #21, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Three negative moves in succession by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+), but “Mix 101.5” answers with an April gain of seven-tenths to 5.8 (6+), climbing from seventh to sixth. Adding one-half share to its +.3 in March (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” moves from #17 to #16. Albeit a combined -1.8 in three dips in a row (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight month; January 2018’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Co-owned gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” is up or flat for the third time in a row for a +1.4 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and bumps up from tenth to ninth. February’s increase ended three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). After registering an eye-popping +2.6 in January, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is a combined -2.0 in three successive decreases (9.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+) but remains at #3. “Today’s Best Country” was off a collective full-share October-November-December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +2.5 owing to four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” progresses from eighth to seventh. Co-owned sports talk WFNI “The Fan” remains the same from March in 6+-share (2.3) and 6+-market rank (#15). The same is true for iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” which is flat at 1.8 (6+) and remains at #17. After trending 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI surrenders seven-tenths to 2.6 (flat at #14, 6+); WFYI notched a +1.1 in January.

Indianapolis Music Formats – This market’s top three April 2018 finishers are separated by just three-tenths of a share. Included in that trio is Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which registers a +1.1 (6.2 – 7.3), enabling “95.5 The Country Station” to rocket from #6 all the way to #1. This (7.3) is WFMS’ best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.5 and the first time at #1 since November 2013. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); and now +1.0 in April. Its format rival, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” is +1.3 via four consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Displaced at #1 after two months there and dropping to #4 is Entercom CHR WZPL (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down in three successive sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” notched a +1.4 in January and gained one-tenth in both February and March. Within 1.1 – 1.8 range (6+) in each of the last 12 sweeps, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (#18 to #16) posts a +.7 to 2.1, its best 6+-stat since April 2017 (2.1, as well). Stuck on 6.4 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” improves by six-tenths to 7.0 (its strongest 6+-showing since December’s 7.7), advancing from fifth to third. Gaining one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” (6.7 – 7.2, third to second, 6+) which posts its best 6+-stat since last August’s 7.6 and University of Indianapolis-owned jazz outlet WICR (.8 – 1.3, #21 to #19, 6+). Up or (mostly) flat three sweeps in a row (4.8 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by -1.2 to 4.7 (seventh to ninth, 6+). Owing to a -1.0 (7.4 – 6.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” skids from second to sixth. “Soft Rock” was #1 in December 2017, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018. Its 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the best 6+-showing for WYXB since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November 2017’s 5.5 was its weakest since November 2012’s 5.3. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). A combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW follows with a collective -1.5 in March and April (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) as “100.9 Radio Now” departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Meanwhile, urban AC cluster-mate WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.1 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #12, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Matching February’s +.9 (6.0 – 7.9, 6+), Scripps news/talk and Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ jumps from fifth to the runner-up slot. Before that February gain of nine-tenths, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). After finishing second the past six survey periods, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” (7.5 – 6.8, -.7, 6+) falls to fourth. WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When “News/Talk 1130” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was five years ago (8.1, April 2013). This is the 12th report in succession that University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM (#14 to #15) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range and fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a +.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+). Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is a combined -.6 in three negative trends in a row (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Over and above tacking on a gain of one-half share to its +.6 in March (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 38th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. As a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is an overall -3.8 since “Holiday” 2017. This (3.6) is its lowest 6+-showing since 2.9 last November. Faltering by seven-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix,” which is -1.2 in five successive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, flat at #7, 6+). This (4.5) is the first time “Mix” has slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. It is tied at #7 with iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams,” which regresses by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; +.5 in January 2008; -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, 6+); +1.1 in March; and now -.5 in April (7.4 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December 2017’s 7.6 marked the first time WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In four upticks in succession (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” (unchanged at #6) is a cumulative +1.9. Until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Although off one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), WMIL’s format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” is in the top ten as well (flat at #9). February’s +.6 by “KTI Country” suspended six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – After trending 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 (6+), Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” improves by seven-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #14). Similarly-formatted/Cumulus Media-owned WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#10 to #12) is -3.1 in three consecutive losses (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9. Co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” adds two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” was a combined +1.3 but it forfeits three-tenths to 5.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Despite recapturing the two-tenths it lost in March (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” segues from #17 to #19.

Nashville Music Formats – April’s “Music City USA” country battle is a mixed bag. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” counters March’s -.5 with a +.6 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” answers its -1.2 in March with a +.5 (4.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, #11 to #10, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” falters by one-half share after March’s -.3 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). Following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash FM” dropped three-tenths in February. WSIX was +1.1 in January to end three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+); “The Big 98” added six-tenths in February. A January and February +1.9 by “Nash Icon” (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). By gaining eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.9, flat at #17, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “WAY-FM” logs its strongest 6+-share since September’s 2.0. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-programmed WLVU returns seven-tenths of its mammoth+2.2 in March (1.0 – 3.2 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). Nashville’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” virtually disappeared from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (6+) but regained roughly one-third of that deficit in February (+.9). Following back-to-back increases of one-tenth (.5 – .6 – .7, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” posts a +.5 to 1.2 (its best 6+-stat since last November’s 1.2) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #20). Adding one-half share to March’s +.7 (.2 – .9 – 1.4, 6+), TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” climbs from #20 to #18; March 2018 marked the first time “Activa” reached the top twenty. Regaining the one-tenth it lost in March (8.7 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the third month in a row. The Midwest Communications adult contemporary property ranked #1 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February with a +1.0. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). The market’s (6+) CHR share shrinks by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” sputters by nine-tenths to 5.7 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” is off one-half share to 2.3 (#15 to #16+). As a result, “The River” suspends three straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), while WNFN halts four straight up or flat moves that generated six-tenths (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An affiliate of the Red Sox Radio Network, WVEI trots out a +.6 to 3.4 (6+) and continues in eighth-place. The Entercom sports talker was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+); however, leading up to the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). Unchanged at #7, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” improves by eight-tenths via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When “News Talk 630” lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Down one-tenth each are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.3 – 2.2, #10 to #11, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (2.2 – 2.1, #11 to #12, 6+). This is the fourth straight time that these two stations have finished back-to-back. Following a February gain of six-tenths (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” returns half of it in March and April (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, -.3, 6+) to drop from #12 to #13. Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” which gained one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (.3 – 4. – .5 – .6, 6+) loses one-tenth to .5 (flat at #16, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Over the course of the last nine sweeps, WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” has scored a 6+-share no lower than 7.8 and no higher than 8.3 (8.3 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 8.1). In April, the Cumulus Media CHR improves by six-tenths to 8.7 (fourth to second, 6+). Progressing by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101 The 80s and More” (5.9 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+), and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106,” which enters the top ten (1.8 – 2.4, #12 to #10, 6+). Up nine-tenths in March, “B-101” had been within 5.0 – 5.9 range (6+) the past 12 sweeps. Co-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” gains two-tenths (9.2 – 9.4, 6+) and repeats at #1. February’s 9.6 is its best 6+-stat since September 2013 (9.6, as well). As a result of four straight up or flat trends (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.1 and has its best 6+-share since July 2017’s 8.4, yet backslides from third to fourth. Off by one-half share each are Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.1 – 8.6, second to third, 6+) and Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” (2.8 – 2.3, eighth to tenth, 6+). This is the softest 6+-share for “Lite Rock,” which was -1.1 in March, since October 2015’s 7.2; “Holiday” 2017’s 12.3 was the strongest 6+-share for WWLI since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, “Latina 100.3” was down six-tenths in February and up seven-tenths in March.

Norfolk – While it continues in fourth-place, Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is +2.4 in three upticks in a row (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). In five straight (slightly) up or flat trends, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” (flat at #8) has gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Recapturing the two-tenths it dropped in March (12.3 – 12.1 – 12.3, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is #1 for the 17th time in a row. In addition, it posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 25th time in the last 26 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 this past November, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). After being an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” falters by one-half share to 4.1 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Following three downtrends in a row for a -.5 (1.3 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), Hampton University jazz outlet WHOV “Smooth 88.1” notches a +.3 to 1.1 (#12 to #10, 6+). As the result of four successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (flat at #10) spirals by -3.9 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). At #12, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” is without an increase for the seventh straight time for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). By dropping one-tenth to .6 (flat at #13, 6+), Saga Communications-owned adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” ends four straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.2 .3 .4 .4 .7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three decreases in succession (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a cumulative -2.1; WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. Following three positive spikes in a row for an overall +.7 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” drops two-tenths to 2.3 (#11 to #13, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Having registered a .9 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC drops two-tenths to .7 (#13 to #15, 6+). In three straight (slight) increases, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+), but “Triad Sports” is off two-tenths in April to .6 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only does it roar back from its -1.1 in March with a +1.2 (11.0 – 12.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” remains at #1, recording double-digits (6+) for the 18th sweep in a row. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, WQMG spent seven straight survey periods on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. After being a collective +.7 in three positive moves in a row (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY dropped six-tenths in March, but “La Ley 101.1” rebounds in April with a +1.0 (3.0 – 4.0, 6+), yet backslides from ninth to tenth. In a similar context, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” shifts from eighth to ninth despite being +1.5 through six successive sweeps without a loss, including April’s +.5 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well in April is co-owned adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today,” which nets +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, steady at #4, 6+). Conversely, a loss of nine-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to sixth, 6+) by Entercom country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” curtails three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WJMH was a combined +1.1 since January (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+), but “102 Jams” is off one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the fourth straight sweep without a loss for Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” (1.0 –  1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 –  2.0, #14 to #12, 6+), which is +1.0 in that timeframe. As the result of four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO was a collective -1.3, but “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” scores a +.3 to 2.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, WJNO was up six-tenths via three consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Off nine-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned WZZR notches a +.3 as well (to 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been +.5 through three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). After posting a 3.2 (6+) three sweeps in succession, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is (also) up three-tenths (to 3.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). A one-tenth uptick to .2 (#19 to #18, 6+) by Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” ends five successive down or flat trends that generated a loss of six-tenths (.7 – .6 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .1, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Gaining six-tenths to 4.3 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to three successive downtrends that accounted for a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). At the same time that Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” posts a one-half share increase (4.7 – 5.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” falters by twice that margin (5.9, -1.0, flat at #2, 6+). “Kool” had been +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Its six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 in February; +.5 in March; and now -1.0 in April. Off one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. While on top for the fourth month in a row, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is a collective -1.0 in March and April (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive months on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). A combined +1.2 in February and March (1.1 – 1.8 – 2.3, #6+), JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” surrenders two-thirds of that increase (1.5, -.8, 6+), drifting from #10 to #15. Unchanged at #3, Alpha Media urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” is off one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), thus snapping four straight improvements that accounted for a +1.7 (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+). WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” logs its third straight decrease for a collective -2.2 (5.3 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, eighth to ninth); WAYF was +.9 in January (4.4 – 5.3, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Completely erasing March’s -.9 with an April +.9 (8.2 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” progresses from #4 to a three-way scrum at #2. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Public news/talk WJCT drops one-tenth in both March and April (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) yet improves from #12 to #11. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at .3 (6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” repeats at #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – Continuing an alternating pattern that started in December, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (8.1 – 9.2, +1.1, 6+) succeeds iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (9.0 – 8.2, -.8, first to second, 6+) at #1. WQIK was on top in December; WEJZ in “Holiday” 2017; WQIK in January; WEJZ in February; WQIK in March; and it is now WEJZ’s turn in April. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. A whopping -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+), WQIK posted a +1.1 in March. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The respective format rivals of WEJZ and WQIK enjoyed April gains. Specifically, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9” bumps up by one-half share to 4.6 (tenth to seventh, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” rebounds from its -.6 in March with an increase nearly twice that size (4.8 – 5.9, +1.1, eighth to sixth, 6+). Having logged a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five ratings periods (5.5 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” hangs out a +.8 to 6.3 (steady at #5, 6+), its strongest 6+-stat since last August’s 6.6. An overall +1.7 in three increases in succession (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” relinquishes -1.1 to 4.2 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth consecutive sweep for a combined +1.6 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL repeats at #2; “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). As the result of three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL is a collective -1.6; “97.9 Kiss-FM” was +1.0 in January to stop three straight losses that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat the last three monthlies for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS drops one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which is without an increase for the third successive sweep for a -.3 (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). WREC was -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017.

Memphis Music Formats – Tacking on a robust +1.2 to March’s +.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on at #3. This (9.2) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” since last October’s 10.2. Off one full-share in February and March (4.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 102.7” erases 80% of that deficit with a +.8 to 3.8 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). By gaining six-tenths (following a +1.0 in March), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” (9.2 – 9.8, 6+) marches from second to first. It swaps places with urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” (9.7 – 9.4, -.4, first to second, 6+), which had been #1 the past three months. “V-101” rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. It departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Within 4.1 – 4.5 range since December (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” (flat at #8) falters by six-tenths to 3.9, its lowest 6+-share since last July’s 3.8.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three down or flat trends in succession (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR is -1.7 but continues in eighth-place. “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. The last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). A loss of one-tenth to 5.8 (unchanged at #7, 6+) by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM pulls the plug on three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Immediately prior to this streak, “News Talk 1080” was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” gains four-tenths (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, flat at #13, 6+). Flat at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in March and April (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR – which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz – was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – In addition to registering its fourth successive improvement for an overall +2.1 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its best 6+-showing since last October’s 7.8. Frozen on 7.3 (6+) in January and February, then slipping in March by six-tenths to 6.7 (6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC – Today’s Best Variety” breaks out a +.8 to 7.5 (6+), jumping from fifth to second. After hauling out a +1.1 in March (13.2 – 14.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WRCH surrenders that increase in its entirety and is back at 13.2 (-1.1, 6+). Nonetheless, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 21st consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 18th time in the last 20 sweeps – and tenth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Having improved three times in a row for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 forfeits roughly half that gain (2.1, -.6) but carries on at #11.

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