Tag: "Doug McIntyre"

Friday, October 9, 2020

| October 9, 2020

Radio Show 2020: Noon Is ‘the new Morning Drive.’ In today’s report from the virtual 2020 NAB/RAB Radio Show, consultant Holland Cooke recalls how, “in olden times, when the boss asked what the station got for its money when you got home from the convention, THIS is what you’d show-off.” In the virtual Radio Show session “Radio Listening During Covid-19: What’s Changed,” Nielsen Audio senior VP/client services John Snyder draws the road map to radio’s New Normal, “and you didn’t have to spend a dime on airfare or hotel!” Read it here.

NYTimes: Talk Radio Is Turning Millions of Americans Into Conservatives. A piece in The New York Times by author Paul Matzko (The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement, Oxford University Press 2020) credits talk radio with, as the headline states, “turning millions of Americans into conservatives.” In the piece, Matzko writes, “Talk radio may face an aging audience, a decline in ad revenue and competition from new mass media forms like podcasts, but there are still millions of Americans whose politics are shaped by what they listen to on talk radio all day, every day. FOX News gets more of the attention for shaping conservative opinion and for its influence on the Trump administration, but we shouldn’t overlook the power of conservative talk radio.” Citing such show hosts as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, Matzko suggests that “[t]alk radio’s power is rooted in the sheer volume of content being produced each week. The typical major talk radio show is produced every weekday and runs three hours, so just the top 15 shows are putting out around 45 hours of content every day. Even setting aside hundreds of additional local shows, the dedicated fan can listen to nothing but conservative talk radio all day, every day of the week, and never catch up.”

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The Other Side is Lying!” looks back at this past week of October 5 – October 9, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Robyn Walensky, talk show host, KWAM, Memphis; Charlie Kirk, talk show host, Salem Radio Network/president, Turning Point USADr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; and David Bernstein, professor, Caldwell University, New Jersey/general manager, TalkersRadio. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network;Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here  or call 616-884-8616.

WABC, New York Debuts ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ Overnight Program. New York City’s TALKRADIO 77 WABC launches the live and local overnight program “The Other Side of Midnight” hosted by Frank Morano. Red Apple Media says that the 1:00 am to 5:00 am program airs Monday through Friday and “features newsmakers, insightful commentary, expert guests, lively exchanges with callers, and a healthy dose of satire. Just this week, Morano welcomed former Trump adviser Roger Stone, subway vigilante Bernard Goetz, former radio talker Doug McIntyre, and radio legend John Gambling. There are also regular discussions exploring the world of the paranormal, including UFOs and conspiracy theories.” In addition to this new program, Morano will continue to host his daily 10:00 am to 11:00 am program on “Talk Radio 107.1” (WLIR-FM, Hampton Bays, Long Island). Red Apple Media and WABC president Chad Lopez says, “Frank has already proven to be one of the most entertaining young voices in talk radio today. We’re thrilled to add Frank to our ranks as we continue to cement our place as New York’s premiere news and talk station. This is the city that never sleeps, and New Yorkers deserve a live and local overnight show.” Morano comments, “I grew up listening to overnight radio. To me, there’s nothing more intimate and more fun. There’s no daypart where you can combine longform interviews, wacky topics, off-the-wall guests, and a bit of irreverence. When I’d fall asleep, or wake up early, listening to the likes of Alan Colmes, Brian Whitman, Art Bell, Jay Diamond and Doug McIntyre, I’d quickly find those voices becoming the soundtrack of my dreams. I was absolutely hooked. I’m hoping to give insomniacs one more reason to stay awake.”

Townsquare Media to Investors: 2020 Continues to Improve. In a presentation to investors, Townsquare Media says that its status as a “small market presence” has “greatly benefitted the company” because its markets reopened sooner than many of the big cities. Townsquare says its digital products and services were more resilient than its over-the-air services and those helped offset overall revenue decline. It adds that digital products Townsquare Ignite and AMPED (advertising on its O&O websites) returned to positive revenue growth in July. Finally, Townsquare tells investors that it has “prudently managed cash and generated positive cash flow from operations through the first six months of 2020,” pointing out that its cash balance on June 30 was $70 million, down just $15 million from its $85 million balance on December 31, 2019.

Calgaro Named OM for Entercom’s Sacramento Operations. Programming pro Joe Calgaro moves from Entercom’s Boston station group to the company’s Sacramento cluster to serve as operations manager for sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” hip hop KSFM, CHR KUDL-FM “106.5 The End,” classic rock KSEG “96.9 The Eagle,” KRXQ “98 Rock,” and alternative KKDO “ALT 94-7,” effective November 1. Calgaro has been serving as operations manager for the company’s sports talk WEEI-FM, adult hits WBGB “Big 103,” and rock WAAF-FM (prior to that signal’s being sold to religious broadcaster EMF). Entercom Sacramento SVP and market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “Joe has a long track record of working with rock, sports and high-profile talent, which lends to the Sacramento portfolio in working with the biggest radio brands and engaging personalities in the market. His experience leading three very different brands in Boston will allow him to strategically position our stations to collectively represent our audience.”

TALKERS News Notes. On today’s Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh program, President Donald Trump will appear for what Limbaugh is calling the “largest virtual rally in radio history.” The program is also giving listeners the chance to submit their questions to the president…..An article by Matt Perez in Forbes explores how Americans perceive the coronavirus pandemic based on political affiliation and their consumption of conservative media. The piece analyzes data from a recent Pew Research poll and says, “Nearly 40% of all U.S. adults believe the outbreak has been ‘made a bigger deal than it really is,’ but only 15% Democrats think it’s been exaggerated compared to 66% of Republicans. That number jumps to 78% among Republicans who only consume FOX News or talk radio like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.”…..SiriusXM’s The Beatles Channel is honoring John Lennon’s 80th birthday today (10/9) with exclusive programming featuring special guests Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Sean Ono Lennon, and more. The weekend-long programming will feature McCartney in conversation with Alec Baldwin in which he reflects on his songwriting partner, bandmate, and friend. It will air multiple times on The Beatles Channel throughout the weekend…..PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, Inc., launches the new podcast/vodcast from Grammy Award-winning artist Pitbull. The first episode of “From Negative to Positive” features Flo Rida, followed by intimate and in-depth interviews with Lil Jon in episode two, and noted producer Uncle Luke, a.k.a., Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew in episode three.

The President’s Battle with COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 5-9. The positive COVID-19 tests for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump and the president’s treatment at Walter Reed Hospital was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the presidential race and Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. Coming in tied at #3 was the transfer of power question, the SCOTUS nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, court packing, and the abortion issue, followed by COVID-19 stats & projections, health care and medications all tied at #4. The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Washington, DC-Based News Pro Bob Costantini Launches ‘Ear on the White House’ News Service. Radio news pro Bob Costantini is launching a Washington, DC-based White House news service called Ear on the White House that serves client stations with regular debriefs with a White House reporter. The former Westwood One News correspondent says, “I provide market-exclusive facts and analysis – not significant leanings – from someone on-scene as we move through the election cycle and potential changes in the dynamic between the White House and Capitol Hill.” Bob Costantini has more than three decades of experience covering Washington, Congress, The White House, and major political issues. His tenure at Westwood One News included traveling with Presidents Trump and Obama. In addition to covering the news, he can also provide an inside perspective on what it’s like to cover the White House, including asking the last five presidents scores of questions. Costantini is available for clients Monday through Friday to do talk-backs with stations and if news warrants, weekends and travel to major event locations are part of the mix. Video debriefs are a possibility for stations that have streaming simulcasts and he’s available for podcasts upon request. Find out more by direct messaging him on Twitter to @costantiniWHear or call at 410-302-3855.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Vince Richards is promoted to brand manager for Entercom’s adult hits KJKK, Dallas “100.3 JACK FM,” effective November 1. Entercom Dallas regional president and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Since 2018, Vince has consistently led the operations efforts for six iconic brands in our Sacramento market, and we look forward to bringing him back to his roots to revamp ‘JACK FM.’ ‘JACK FM’ is a state of mind here in DFW, and Vince’s leadership qualities and rich experience will only fuel its growth.” Richards was most recently operations manager for Entercom Sacramento…..iHeartMedia Chicago is promoting its fourth annual “Sista Strut,” a 3K breast cancer charity walk that will go virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Sista Strut” is presented by Illinois Lottery and Xfinity, and will benefit the Chicago Chapter of the Sisters Network Inc., the nation’s largest Black breast cancer survivorship organization. iHeartMedia Chicago VP of programming Derrick Brown says, “2020 has brought many unforeseen challenges to our community, one being the ability to get together. Breast cancer remains a significant threat to Black women in our community and it is our responsibility to continue raising the much-needed funds to educate and inform our listeners about this devastating disease.”

Friday, January 4, 2019

| January 4, 2019

KABC, Los Angeles Unveils New Talk Show Lineup. With last month’s departure of longtime morning personality Doug McIntyre from the lineup, there was a hole to be filled in the KABC, Los Angeles program schedule.  Cumulus Media moves John Phillips and Jillian Barberie from afternoons to host “The Morning Drive” show and fills the afternoon daypart with a live airing of the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro show (two radio hours plus his podcast) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective Monday (1/7).  Additionally, WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk host Larry O’Connor will host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program and Leeann Tweeden moves from mornings to middays to co-host “Dr. Drew Midday Live” with Dr. Drew Pinsky, taking the place of current co-host Lauren Sivan.  Finally, Peter Tilden returns to his early evening program airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “Ben Shapiro has become the voice of his generation, delivering fact-based, fearless analysis of the issues challenging America.  We are thrilled to welcome Ben to afternoon drive on KABC, in his hometown.  He will fit right in with our reloaded lineup: John and Jillian now waking up SoCal, Leeann teaming with Dr. Drew, Peter Tilden for the extended commute home, and Larry O’Connor, who will energize middays.”

Dave Ramsey Show a Top Podcast in 2018.  According to data from Apple, the podcast edition of the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey radio show (airing on more than 600 stations across the country) was the fifth most-downloaded podcast of 2018.  Ramsey Media senior vice president Brian Mayfield says, “It’s significant.  Just as our audience continues to grow on terrestrial radio, a whole new generation of listeners has joined us on the digital side.  We couldn’t be happier.”  Dave Ramsey comments, “We’ve always determined success based on how many people are getting helped.  The podcast allows people to listen where they want and when they want. And that means they can take control of the money and improve their lives.  It’s awesome.”

WBAL, Baltimore Adds New Midday Show; Moves Hollander to PM Drive. The afternoon news block is gone from Hearst’s news/talk WBAL-AM, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5” and the Brett Hollander show moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Simultaneously, weekend personality Yuripzy Morgan moves to the daily 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Insightful talk and analysis, aggressive news coverage, and a staff that understands Baltimore and Maryland has been WBAL’s calling card for 93 years.”

Gene Rossi Program Debuts on WJFN-FM, Richmond.  Tomorrow (1/5), the Gene Rossi show debuts on news/talk WJFN-FM, Richmond, Virginia. The station is operated by nationally syndicated talk show host John Fredericks – whose program airs from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on the station. Fredericks has created a lineup of talk shows dedicated to Virginia-oriented political talk from across the ideological spectrum.  Gene Rossi is a Northern Virginia-based attorney in private practice with a national law firm.  He spent nearly three decades as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.  In 2017, he was a Democratic candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor and currently teaches constitutional law at George Mason University and trial advocacy at Harvard Law School.   Fredericks says, “The addition of ‘The Gene Rossi Show’ to the WJFN programming lineup is an exciting development for the listening public that also demonstrates our commitment to bringing diverse voices and perspectives to the airwaves. Gene has been an insightful guest on my show over the years and I look forward to listening to him as the host of his own show on our growing news/talk network.”

Armen Williams Appointed PD for KILT-AM and KIKK-AM in Houston. Sports radio pro Armen Williams is the new program director at Entercom’s sports talk duo KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and KIKK-AM “CBS Sports Radio 650.”  Williams was most recently PD at Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan.”  He takes over for the recently departed Ryan McCreddden.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Armen is a born leader and we know that he is the right person to guide ‘SportsRadio’ forward.  His passion, enthusiasm and strategic thinking will help take us to the next level of Houston sports talk.”

Kathy Byerly Named GM at Neuhoff Decatur. Sales and management pro Kathy Byerly is promoted to vice president and general manager for Neuhoff Media’s Decatur, Illinois station group that includes award-wining news/talk outlet WSOY-AM and sports talk WDZ-AM, as well as three music-formatted stations.  Byerly has been serving as director of sales and associate GM for the cluster.  Byerly comments, “I’m thrilled to be leading a team that has proven time and again the core values of our company: grit, community, innovation and excellence.  Every day we are winning for our listeners, clients, community, and resetting the bar for what a local media company looks like in our local market.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Kansas City, KCMO-AM adds Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro to the program schedule in afternoon drive, replacing the Phil Valentine show that ended its syndication run (Valentine still hosts his afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville).  KCMO program director Pete Mundo tells TALKERS, “Our ability to have my local AM drive show with Ben in PM drive gives us two conservative millennials to bring more youth to the news talk radio space.  We’re excited!”…..Houmatoday.com reports that talk radio host Moon Griffon – independently syndicated daily across the state of Louisiana to some 10 affiliates – is being added to the WJBO, Baton Rouge lineup for a Saturday program.  Griffon tells LaPolitics, “I’m tickled to death. We think that we need to be there. I feel like our program talks more about what goes on in Baton Rouge, at the Capitol and in the governor’s office, more than anybody else.”…..It’s the end of an era at Townsquare Media’s WOBM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey as Marianne Levy exits the station.  She joined WOBM in 1997 with her late husband Bob Levy.  Their show wrapped in 2015 when Bob Levy semi-retired.  Marianne continued to work for the station until last month, when she was let go…..Bay Area sports play-by-play pro Greg Papa will be calling games for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers next season on Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco, the team’s flagship station. Papa previously was play-by-play voice for the Oakland Raiders until exiting that role before the 2018 season.  Papa takes over for Ted Robinson who is now handling community affairs for the 49ers…..After telling his listeners that he’s willing do their laundry for them since he does his nationally syndicated Westwood One program from his basement laundry room, more than one listener took Walter Sterling up on it, including retired Air Force sargent Liz Thomison, who sent her military fatigues to Sterling.  Pictured below is Sterling’s 13-year-old daughter Meredith posing with the clean fatigues.  Sterling comments, “Anyone can say ‘thank you for your service.’  Real gratitude is in the spin cycle.”

William Shatner Guests on New Mancow Program.  Legendary actor William Shatner, pictured above with Erich Mancow Muller, was one of the guests on Mancow’s inaugural morning program on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago yesterday (1/3).  Shatner announced his upcoming debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry, where he’ll be promoting his new country album Why Not Me, recorded with Jeff Cook of the band Alabama.

New Congress and Pelosi House Speaker Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 31-January 4.  The 116th Congress and Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s return to Speaker of the House was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the border wall battle and the government shutdown.  Coming in at #3 was Mitt Romney’s attacks on President Trump, followed by U.S. military strategy in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer James Howard joins iHeartMedia Chicago as senior vice president of programming and PD for CHR WKSC “103.5 KISS FM.” Howard most recently held the same position in the company’s Washington, DC region…..Gone from Cumulus Media’s KKND, New Orleans is the urban AC format and in is classic hits as the station is re-formatted and re-branded “106.7 The Krewe.” The station also unveils its new morning show, “The Spud Show,” hosted by New Orleans icon Spud McConnell.  KKND program director Paul Cannell comments, “What a great way to kick off the New Year!  This 100,000-watt classic hits station, featuring incredible personalities like Spud – and the best music ever made – is sure to be a hit here in New Orleans.”…..Entercom adds two personalities to the morning program on urban contemporary WVEE “V-103.”  Jade Novah and JR will join current morning host Frank Ski, effective January 22. Entercom says that in addition to their morning show duties, Novah and JR will create content for V-103’s digital platforms.  Novah is a singer, songwriter, and actress.  She was vocal producer and mentor on FOX TV’s music competition show, “The Four: Battle for Stardom.”  She also released her debut album, All Blue.  JR most recently was on-air at WFAN, New York “The Fan” and has served with NBC Nonstop TV, CNN Headline News, and Bleacher Report…..Alpha Media Dayton’s urban contemporary WROU adds the Premiere Networks syndicated Steve Harvey show to the station’s program schedule for morning drive…..United Stations Radio Networks announces Audrey Parets is taking over hosting “The Acoustic Storm,” the show created and hosted by her late husband Jeff Parets.  Jeff Parets died unexpectedly in November and USRN says he left behind a great music library, an archive of his program and the wish that his wife continue the show. The new show will debut in February…..Pictured below are some of the country’s top voice over artists at the 10th – and likely last – Radio Dream Lunch produced by Art Vuolo.  It took place at the home of radio and record memorabilia museum curator Steve Resnik in Shadow Hills, California on December 30. Seen below are (from l-r): Joe Cipriano, Neil Ross, Randy Thomas, Shadoe Stevens, and John Leader.

 

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. December 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – After being within 5.0 – 5.3 range July through November (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1,  6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL falters by six-tenths to 4.5 (fourth to seventh, 6+). From June – September, “101 FM News – Stay Connected” was at #5. Locked on 2.2 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” slips two-tenths (2.0, #18 to #19, 6+); 2.2 is its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well). A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” drops one-tenth (1.0, #23 to #24, 6+).

Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is an overall -1.2 via three straight decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Portland’s “Fan” was a collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). KFXX is now tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”) is down for the third consecutive month; “The Game” has a cumulative loss of four-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #22, 6+). Meanwhile, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” – the flagship of the Portland Trailblazers – forfeits one-tenth (.6 #25 to #27, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it is without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a collective +1.2 (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (9.3) since March 2018 (9.5), Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB segues from first to second. KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Earlier, it was +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October). Its internet stream gains one-half share (.3 – .8, #26, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Roaring back from November’s loss of six-tenths with a rousing +3.2 (8.2 – 11.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW advances from second to first. “K-103” was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). Prior to November 2018, KKCW was a +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). In December 2017, “K-103” notched a 13.0 (6+). As a result of three straight upticks (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is an overall +1.4 and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In advance of the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though Entercom’s similarly-formatted KWJJ is a cumulative -1.2 in six straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” advances from #13 to #11. A collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” erases seven-tenths of that loss in December (4.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). Four decreases in a row by Entercom-owned KGON accounted for a collective -1.0 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), but “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” counters with a one-half share December increase to 5.1 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the aforementioned negative streak, KGON had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Conversely, its adult hits sibling – KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” – wipes away its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+) with a December -1.1 (3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). A downturn of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.3, 6+) sends co-owned alternative KNRK “94.7 Portland Alternative Music” to its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (3.3, as well). As the result of four straight negative moves, Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD has eroded by one full-share (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6      – .1, 6+, #34, 6+). Having more than doubled (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” surrenders four-tenths to 3.6 (6+) yet returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A December loss of six-tenths by Entercom news/talk WBT follows October’s +.9 and November’s +.5 (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), as the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers exits the top ten (#10 to #12). November’s 4.3 is WBT’s highest 6+-share since February (4.3, as well).

Locked at #19, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has nearly tripled (+1.0) its 6+ share as a result of five straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+). This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+) for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

Four downward trends in succession by University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE accounted for a combined -1.6 (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), but “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” repeats November’s 2.7 (#15 to #17, 6+). The July through December topline for South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is: .5 – .6 – .5 – .7 – .6 – .4 (flat at #20, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Busting out of an August 2018 through November 2018 topline of 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 (6+) with a +2.8 to 8.0 (6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC vaults from seventh to first. This time last year, “K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” notched a 7.0 (6+, December 2017). Progressing by seven-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” and CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1.” Repeating at #2, “The Lake” boasts its eighth straight month without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+) for a whopping +3.7. Meanwhile, “Channel 96.1,” which was a combined +1.3 in September and October (2.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), completely obliterates November’s -.6 (4.0 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Additionally, it overtakes Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” which is down three-tenths in back-to-back months (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+). In five straight decreases, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM was a collective -1.9 (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a December improvement of six-tenths (3.0, #17 to #15, 6+). December 2018 proves to be a rough sweep for the market’s two major country FMs: Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (6.7 – 5.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) both falter by nine-tenths. On top for the past three months, “Country’s Hottest Hits” segues to third. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Entering the November sweep, “The Kat” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). Up (modestly) or flat in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall gain of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” surrenders eight-tenths (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). This marks the third straight slip for iHeartMedia’s WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” for a collective -1.3 (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1, fifth to sixth, 6+). Anchored in fourth-place, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is -2.0 as the result of five straight negative moves (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – A -1.1 to 3.3 (6+) forces iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” out of the top ten (#7 to #11). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded one full-share (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). October’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). Flat at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 (6+).

Without an increase for the fourth straight month (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” carries on at #28.

Four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), but the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet sputters by four-tenths to 3.2 (flat at #12, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Down (marginally) or flat the past three sweeps for a loss of two-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT answers with a whopping +5.2 to 9.5 as “Q-101.9” rockets from ninth to first. In December 2017, KQXT notched an 8.7 (6+). Ousted from the top spot after a one-month (November 2018) stay and dropping to third is Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which returns all but one-tenth of November’s +.9 (7.0 – 6.2, -.8, 6+). September’s loss of eight-tenths curtailed three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, KCYY reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” improves by +1.0 (5.0 – 6.0, sixth to fourth, 6+) and trails “Y-100” by just two-tenths; “KJ-97” spiraled by -1.1 in October. A loss of seven-tenths takes Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” to 4.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). November’s +.7 by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” all but completely dissipates December’s loss of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #14, 6+). Its one-tenth gain in October interrupted five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s -1.4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is off by an additional one-half share (6.9 – 6.4, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” dropped one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, KONO-FM reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. Within 3.0 – 3.5 range (6+) in each of the last six sweeps (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteňo 104.1” slumps by one-half share to 2.8 (#13 to #15, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well – with each having identical 2.7 – 2.2, #16 to #18 (6+) profiles – are Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” and Alpha Media rhythmic CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1.” December 2018’s 2.2 represents recent lows for KMYO (January 2018, 2.2, as well) and KTFM (2.1, May 2018).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Following October’s +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” is a collective -.5 in November and December (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, second to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the October ratings period, KFBK hadn’t posted an increase in the eight previous reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650,” which was a collective +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), falters by six-tenths (2.4, flat at #13).

After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM surrenders six-tenths in December (1.0, #19 to #22, 6+). Just before this particular streak, “ESPN Radio 1320” lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8) in three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). For the third sweep in succession, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is without an increase for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9, #21 to #25, 6+).

Even though Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ tacks on one-half share to November’s +1.1 and is without a loss for the fifth straight time for an overall +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), it remains at #3. Moreover, this (6.9) is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Stable at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI gains one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Rebounding in a huge way from November’s four-tenths’ loss, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” dials up a +2.6 (6.2 – 8.8, 6+) and advances from fourth to first. This time last year, “Mix 96” recorded an 8.8 (December 2017). Despite picking up one-tenth (8.1 – 8.2, 6+), co-owned KSEG backslides from first to second; “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” had been on top the past 10 months. A cumulative -1.6 in October and November (9.7 – 9.2 – 8.1, 6+), KSEG had its lowest 6+-share (8.1) since April’s 8.0. “The Eagle” was +1.0 (May); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); and -1.1 (November). California’s Capital City has one less country challenger as of early-November (2018). That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze” (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #13, 6+); KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+). Remaining in the country format are Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” (steady at #5, 6+) and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” (2.0 – 2.3, +.3, #17 to #15, 6+ ). The combined +1.5 by “New Country” in three straight gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+) obliterates its combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). Meanwhile, this (2.3) is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. With a one-half share increase to 1.6 (6+), Capital Public Radio classical KXPR erases in its entirety October and November’s collective -.5 (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #18. A combined -.8 via three down or flat months in succession (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KKDO “Alt 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10); November’s 3.4 was its lowest 6+-share since May (3.4, as well). When KUDL gained six-tenths in November, it took the Entercom CHR to 5.0, its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.6. In December though, “106.5 The End” spirals by nine-tenths (4.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). After being within 2.2 – 2.9 range the past 13 sweeps, Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” forfeits six-tenths to 1.9 (#14 to #17, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” climbs from eighth to seventh with its best 6+-stat (4.7) since February 2018’s 5.3.

After picking up three-tenths in October, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by a collective nine-tenths in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+) yet advances from sixth to fifth. “The Fan” was +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the previous 19 ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is up one-tenth to .3 (6+) and stays at #23.

An increase of four-tenths by Essential Public Media news/talk WESA takes “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” from #13 to #11 (3.2 – 3.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – The January 2018 through November 2018 (6+) high/low range for Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was 7.9/7.0, but “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” follows November’s one-half share loss with a +1.7 to 8.7 (third to second, 6+). “Bob” has its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (9.0, December 2017). Even though it is an overall +2.4 as the result of four straight positive spikes (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” remains at #4 with its highest 6+-stat since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. At the same time that Forever Media’s WPKL “Oldies Radio – Pickle 99.3” more than doubles its 6+-share  and enters the top twenty (.5 – 1.1, +.6, #20, 6+), co-owned country WOGG “Froggy 94.9” falters by one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #14 to #16, 6+). Elsewhere in the country format, Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” relinquishes four-tenths in consecutive sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” has a four-tenths decrease as well (3.7 – 3.3,  #11 to #12, 6+); and WOGG cluster-mate and fellow “Froggy,” WOGI, is up two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Stuck on 9.5 (6+) in October and November, after October’s loss of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” gains two-tenths to 9.7 (6+) and is on top for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. Following 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot, co-owned rocker WDVE drops to third. Its December loss of one-half share to 8.2 (6+) curtails three straight increases for a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+); WDVE was off eight-tenths in August. Co-owned alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” sputters by six-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+) as the flagship of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins suspends three straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Stabilizing after October’s +2.4 and November’s -1.8 with a more modest December loss of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.2, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL progresses from fifth to fourth. November’s 7.2 is its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1. “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” had a one-month stay (October) at #1; prior to that, the last time KSL reached #1 was in April. Like KSL, iHeartMedia’s KNRS is off two-tenths in December (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) but proceeds from seventh to sixth. “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

The August 2018 – December 2018 topline for Broadway Media-owned KALL is 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 (6+), with “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” cracking the top twenty (#21 to #20). Immediately in advance of that, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

After picking up one-tenth in November, University of Utah news/talk KUER forfeits two-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+); KUER was a collective -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – No station in the 36 PPM-markets we’ve analyzed thus far has made a more dramatic (6+) November 2018 – December increase (+7.0) or has a greater December 2018 (6+) AQH share (12.7) than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI, which marches from third to first. Tied for the lead in August, “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” logged a 13.6 (6+) in December 2017. Its format rival – Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” – slumps by six-tenths to 3.9 (ninth to tenth, 6+), thus halting three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); and now -1.4 in December (7.1 – 5.7, #1 to #2, 6+). Previously in calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, and September. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Nearly erasing in its entirety October and November’s collective -.8 (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #7). As a result, it bypasses Capital Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” (5.4 – 4.5, -.9, fifth to eighth, 6+). Off eight-tenths (2.4 – 1.6, 6+) Brigham Young University’s KBYU “Classical 89” fades from the top twenty (#18 to #22). Flat at #12, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” is an overall -2.8 in five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). As is the case with “K-Bull,” co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” falters by seven-tenths in December (2.6 – 1.9, #14 to #19, 6+). On the heels of recording one-half share October – November gains, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+) and Broadway Media-owned KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, #10 to #11, 6+) each regress by one-half share in December.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fourth occasion in the last five sweeps – and third time in succession -that Entercom’s KXNT posts a 1.9 (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9, #21 to #20, 6+). Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840” had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, after recording a 1.1 (6+) four times in the last seven survey periods (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” drops one-tenth to 1.0 (6+) and remains at #25.

Two-tenths behind KDWN is Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100,” which had doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), but falters by two-tenths to .8 (#25 to #26).

An overall +1.3 in six consecutive upticks (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is off two-tenths in December and departs the top ten (3.1, #10 to #13, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE on top for the fourth month in a row, “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” posts a +.8 to 9.1, its best 6+-stat since 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017. A year ago, KSNE logged a 10.6 (December 2017, 6+). In calendar year 2018, it has been #1 in March, May, June, July, September, October, November, and December. Erasing November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December gain of the same magnitude, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ climbs from ninth to seventh (4.2, 6+). Entering the December 2018 sweep, “Q-100.5” was a collective -1.3 in three losses in succession (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). It is a similar story for co-owned hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1,” which flips November’s -.5 into a December +.6 (5.4 – 6.0, fourth to third, 6+); November’s 5.4 is its lowest 6+-showing since February (5.4, as well). Flat at #15, Beasley Media Group’s similarly formatted KVGS “Star 107.9” is off three-tenths (3.0 – 2.7, 6+). Even though it is without a loss in six straight months for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” backslides from third to fourth; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). Down a combined -1.5 in October and November, Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” regains three-tenths in December (4.3 – 4.6, flat at #6, 6+). As it entered the October ratings period, “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 through five straight gains (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” surrenders seven-tenths in December (4.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” has lost a collective full-share in four declines in succession (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and continues at #11. Its +1.0 in August interrupted three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now off a combined one-half share in November and December (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

Precisely doubling (+.7) its 6+-share via three straight up or flat moves (.7 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM ESPN 580 Orlando” forfeits eight-tenths (.6, #17 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive dips (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6, #21 to #23, 6+).

Repeating at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is in an August 2018 – December 2018 up/down pattern of 3.5 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Orlando Music Formats – Roaring back from October and November’s collective -.7 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+) with a robust +4.0, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF zooms from sixth to first with its strongest 6+-stat (9.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. This time last year, “Magic 107.7” registered a 12.0 (December 2017, 6+). On top the past 11 ratings periods, its Spanish tropical sibling – WRUM “Rumba 100” – stumbles by six-tenths to 8.3 and segues to #2. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. The last time “Rumba” wasn’t #1 was “Holiday” 2017 when “Magic” set the pace. Spiraling by nine-tenths is co-owned CHR WXXL (8.2 – 7.3, second to third, 6+). A one-half share September increase by “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). At the same time that Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” erases November’s increase of seven-tenths with a December loss of eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.3, third to fifth, 6+), its internet “stream” debuts with a .7 (#22, 6+). November 2018’s 7.1 is WMMO’s highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. The station was locked on 6.6 (6+) in July, August, and September, before dropping to 6.4 (6+) in October. A cumulative -1.3 via three down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” has its lowest 6+-stat (5.8) since July 2018’s 5.4. An overall -.7 as a result of being without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” continues at #13. Two positive streaks involving Orland stations come to a close in December 2018. While it stays at #4, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B,” which was an overall +1.4 in five straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+), forfeits four-tenths to 6.5 (6+). A modest +.2, owing to three consecutive up or flat moves (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” slumps three-tenths to 5.1 but carries on at #7.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – After six consecutive months at #1 iHeartMedia news/talk WLW shifts to #2 (10.0 – 9.6, -.4, 6+). Some recent fluctuations for the flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); and -.8 (November). October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths and departs the top ten (3.6 – 3.3, #10 to #11, 6+). July’s increase of eight-tenths halted four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Anchored at #17, sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” surrenders four-tenths (1.4 – 1.0, 6+); 1.4 (October and November) is its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well).

An overall -.7 via four successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU dips from #12 to #13.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Owing to a +3.1 (5.2 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM progresses from fifth to third; “Warm 98.5” posted a 7.5 (6+) in December 2017. By putting together four straight gains for an overall +1.3 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat (9.9) since March 2018’s 10.4. The 1.1 (6+) that Educational Community Radio’s WOBO “The Station With Something For Everyone” logged in November dwindles by nine-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat monthlies, Hubbard country WUBE was +1.0 (7.9 – 8.3 – 8.9 – 8.9, 6+), but “B-105” returns 80% of that increase in December (8.1, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). November’s 8.9 is the strongest 6+-stat for “B-105” in more than two years (8.9, as well, August 2016). Elsewhere in the market’s country format, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash-FM” is trending (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.6, flat at 16, 6+), while WUBE cluster-mate WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9, unchanged at #18, 6+). In each sweep between March 2018 and October 2018, “The Wolf” recorded either a .8 (6+) or a .9 (6+). Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is down or flat for the fourth successive time for a collective -1.9 (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in November, iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” relinquishes that increase in its entirety (4.1 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Prior to November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fourth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats –An overall -1.6 in November and December (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops from fifth to eighth. An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Following five successive improvements that netted a +2.0 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” returns four-tenths (5.0, ninth to tenth, 6+). That positive streak directly followed a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+).

In back-to-back sweeps (November and December), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN gains two-tenths (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #14, 6+); WCPN was off four-tenths in October.

Cleveland Music Formats – As a result of three negative moves in a row, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK was down eight-tenths (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+), but “Cleveland’s Star 102” dials up a +2.6 to 8.2 (6+) and zooms from eighth to second. In December 2017, “Star” notched a 7.2 (6+). Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock,” which was an overall -2.1 (8.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+) via three straight dips, gains two-tenths to 6.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). November’s 6.3 is its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 6.0. A gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 6.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” from seventh to fourth. After being a collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK returns four-tenths to 8.4 (6+); nonetheless, the Radio One urban AC repeats at #1. Prior to that streak, WZAK lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share in five straight March 2018 through August 2018 down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to four consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7, fourth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -2.4.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – This proves to be a particularly tough sweep for Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” (5.1 – 4.0, -1.1, #4 to #11, 6+) and co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” (2.6 – 1.8, -.8, #19 to #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+) in October and November, while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Flat at #23, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” regains the one-tenth it lost in November (.6 – .7, 6+).

After more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight positive spikes (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, Union Broadcasting’s WHB falters by four-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). “Sports Radio 810” was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and +1.2 in October. Even though it erases October’s +.4 with a collective -.4 in November and December (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1, -.3, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” climbs from #17 to #16.

Tacking on three-tenths to November’s +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR improves from #14 to #12.

Kansas City Music Formats – An overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” has answered with a cumulative +1.3 in November and December (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.3, seventh to fourth, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). Cross-town rival, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country,” is a combined -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), drifting from #7 to #14. Also in the format, KBEQ cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” is a combined -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). Reaching the four-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 4.0, Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +1.7 via three straight upticks (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+), rocketing into the top ten (#15 to #8). In eight successive March through November declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM was a combined -3.1, but “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” picks up one-tenth in December to 5.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+). KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Wiping away November’s one-half share decrease with a December gain of nine-tenths (4.7 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” has its best 6+ showing (5.1) since January 2018’s 5.2. On the heels of November’s one-half share loss, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” erodes by another nine-tenths (7.0 – 6.1, flat at #2, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters by seven-tenths to 9.0 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” is #1 for the seventh time in a row. November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Unchanged at #18, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” regresses by eight-tenths to 1.9 (6+), thus interrupting its July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.7 (6+). The one-half share increase that Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3” collected in October and November (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+) is erased with a December loss of six-tenths (4.5, fourth to seventh, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +.9 in three straight positive spikes (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” returns two-tenths (6.1, fourth to sixth, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); and now +1.0 (6.3 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). Recapturing the three-tenths it lost in November (.9 – .6 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” continues at #18.

The August 2018 through December 2018 up/down pattern of Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 3.6 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Tacking on a +1.4 to November’s +.4 (6.3 – 7.7, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” jumps from fourth to second with its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. A combined +1.2 in four straight increases (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One’s WCKX “Power 107.5” inches up from ninth to eighth. An uptick of eight-tenths to 5.8 (steady at #7, 6+) by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” applies the brakes to three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned WCOL is #1 for the 12th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. On the flipside though, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.6 through five straight setbacks (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7, 6+). When WCOL was -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” in calendar year 2018 are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); and -1.5 (November). A -1.3 (3.8 – 2.5, #9 to #11, 6+) takes One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” below a three-share (6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 2.3. Off six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, #12 to #13, 6+), Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” has its weakest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017 (2.2, as well). After posting gains of six-tenths in October and November (6.5 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” surrenders one-half share (7.2, second to fourth, 6+). November’s 7.7 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2017’s 7.9. Following four up or flat trends in a row that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” returns two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) but improves from #11 to #10.

Monday, December 10, 2018

| December 10, 2018

Report: Cumulus Interested in WGN-AM, Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media – owner of news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM and alternative WKQX – is interested in buying legendary news/talk WGN-AM.  Television station company Nexstar has bid to acquire Tribune Media – 42 TV stations, numerous digital properties and cable channel WGN America – for $4.1 billion.  A report in Crain’s Business Chicago indicates that although Nexstar is “in no hurry” to sell WGN-AM, it is not planning to build out a  radio division and will likely sell the station.  None of the major radio operators are up against the AM ownership cap in Chicago so Cumulus, Entercom, Hubbard or iHeartMedia could be contenders to acquire the station.  Feder says that Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner told staffers Cumulus would be interested in the station.

John Hanson Named Program Director for WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Taking over after the departure last month of station OM and PD Andy Bloom as program director for news/talk WCCO-AM is John Hanson.  He joins the station from the company’s Kansas City sports talk duo KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and KWOD “1660 The Score.”  Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “John brings extensive knowledge of the Minneapolis community to his new role with 830 WCCO. I trust our listeners will enjoy the innovative and exciting programing that he will add to the station.”  Prior to joining Entercom in 2013, Hanson co-hosted “Twin Cities Live” on KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.

Jeff Styles Returns to the Air in Chattanooga. Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality Jeff Styles is back on the air in the market today on Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ “NoogaRadio 92.7 FM” for a daily show in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Styles was let go from WGOW by Cumulus Media after being arrested during a road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm by the other motorist.  The case was bound over to a grand jury but the charges against him were dropped.  WGOW subsequently named midday host Brian Joyce host of “The Morning Press” with co-hosts Jim Reynolds and Kevin West.  Styles’ new program is called “Fred the Show” – Fred stands for Free Radio Every Day – and Styles says, “I’m excited to have a platform to listen, and talk to, listeners again…I’m chomping at the bit, excited to stir things up!”

Doug McIntyre to Exit KABC, Los Angeles. Longtime KABC-AM, Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media news/talk station after his contract expires at the end of this month.  McIntyre is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.  In a Tweet, McIntyre says, “Time for me to say goodbye.  After 22 years, I will do my last show at KABC this Friday, December 14th.  What a great run and wonderful experience it has been.  This was a tough call, but I appreciate KABC management for for respecting my decision.”

Nielsen Audio: News/Talk Top Format in PPM Markets.  According to data from Nielsen Audio, overall (Persons 6+), news/talk is the most-listened-to radio format of 2018 to this point with 10% of the AQH audience. Looking at the 25-54 demographic, CHR was again the dominant format with 8% of the AQH audience.  Although news/talk’s audience skews older, it still was the third most-listened-to format (tied with adult contemporary) with 7% of the AQH audience.  Keep in mind that Nielsen lumps public radio news/talk in with its commercial brethren and that certainly adds some youth to that figure, as it likely does with the 18-34 demo, in which news/talk scores 4.3% of the AQH share.

The Bob & Tom Show Renews with iHeartMedia for 13 Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show announces it has struck a renewal deal with iHeartMedia to continue being carried by 13 of the company’s radio stations, including home base WFBQ, Indianapolis; WQMF, Louisville; WTUE, Dayton and more.  The program is distributed by Westwood One.  Show host Tom Griswold says, “Thanks to [EVP/GM iHeartMedia national programming group] Brad Hardin and all the folks at iHeart for keeping our long relationship moving forward.  Many of these stations have been with us for years, so they are jewels in the ‘Bob & Tom’ crown.  Actually, we started our syndication at WFBQ and we’re happy to continue our close and unique tie with that special group in Indianapolis.”

Kim Komando Show to Air on Bloomberg TV in January. Beginning on Saturday, January 5, the new, television version of the weekly Kim Komando program will air on the Bloomberg Television Network at 4:00 pm ET.  Komando’s show is produced by her WestStar Multimedia Entertainment firm and the TV show will be produced at WestStar’s $8 million broadcast center in Phoenix.  Komando says, “We’re thrilled to take our content to an international audience.  We’re taking what we’ve perfected on the airwaves over the last 20 years, reaching millions of Americans each week and sharing it worldwide.  How cool is that?”  The press release says that the program “will be expertly produced to speak to Bloomberg’s loyal audience of business executives, industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.”  Komando adds, “We’re all about tech wellness and helping consumers use technology to enrich their lives and improve their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. In a report by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, it’s revealed that NPR employs “an army of temps” that for them creates a “workplace of anxiety and insecurity.”  Farhi writes, “Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR.  Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them.  Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.”  Temp workers are covered under NPR’s union contract and they make a base salary as per that contract.  According to the piece, about 20%-22% of NPR’s 483 union staffers are temps…..iHeartMedia and Learfield announce that new Milwaukee sports talk outlet WRNW “97.3 The Game” will serve as the new radio home of the Wisconsin Badger Sports Network in Milwaukee.   iHeartMedia division president Jeff Tyler comments, “We have enjoyed great success with many of our new sports/talk and entertainment brands and are excited about the launch of ‘97.3 The Game’ for Milwaukee and Southwestern Wisconsin.  We are also pleased to continue and expand our longtime partnership with Learfield’s Badgers Sports Properties and the University of Wisconsin with ‘The Game,’ ‘The Big 920’ and all the other Milwaukee stations and of course our iHeartRadio brand.”…..National radio rep firm Gen Media Partners announces its acquisition of  Regional Reps and The Tacher Company.  In a press release, GMP says, “While the newly acquired companies will continue to operate on behalf of the radio stations they represent, Gen Media Partners’ combined roster of 4,000 radio station partners will create more opportunities for national advertisers, particularly when they are looking for scale in radio.”  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “With the increased scale and reach, we can develop more national opportunities and generate more agency business for our independent radio partners, while we continue to provide the exceptional service and support that are our hallmark.”  Regional Reps chairman Stuart Sharpe exits while Greg Tacher and Joe Costello of The Tacher Company and Jeff Slivka of Regional Reps remain with their respective companies and take on expanded roles within the Gen Media Partners organization.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Cabinet, Financial Markets Activity, Charlottesville Murder Conviction, Southeast Winter Storm, Paris Riots, Huawei CFO Arrest, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; changes in the Trump cabinet as William Barr to be nominated for attorney general, Heather Nauert to be UN ambassador; and questions arise about a new chief of staff; the huge stock selloff and the activity on the world’s financial markets; James Alex Fields Jr. is convicted of murder in the death of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville protests; a winter storm dumps heavy snow in the Southeast; France continues to deal with violent protests over economic matters; the tense U.S.-China relations after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today looking at urban contemporary.  Three PPM market urban contemporary stations had improved more than a share over the November 2017 survey: Urban One’s WQOK, Raleigh “K97.5” (up 1.5); iHeartMedia’s WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3” (up 1.4); and Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” (up 1.1). There are no urban contemporary outlets that rank #1 in their markets (6+), but WQOK, WERQ, and iHeartMedia’s WUBT, Nashville all ranked #2 in their respective markets in the November 2018 survey. See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Toledo Blade reports a major shuffle of morning show talent at the Cumulus Media cluster in Toledo.   Beginning next Monday (12/17), classic hits WRQN morning hosts Cliff and Lyn will join Gary Shores on country WKKO-FM, 99.9 “K-100.”  Denny Schaffer’s morning team moves from hot AC WQQO-FM to WRQN.   Meanwhile Eric Chase, who handles evenings on WQQO, assumes mornings on the station.  The following Monday (12/21), Jeremy “Pyke” Peterson takes over mornings on classic rock WXKR-FM as Mark Benson retires after a 22-year stint with the station…..In Seattle, Michael Kraig exits Hubbard Broadcasting’s country KNUC where he’d been handling the evening show.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

| January 24, 2017

It’s Official: Trump Names Pai FCC Chairman.  On the heels of news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump would name Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai the new chairman, he’s done just that.  Pai will lead the three-member commission consisting of Pai’s fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly fccnewand Democrat Mignon Clyburn until two more commissioners are named to the body by Trump.  Pai’s statement was simple: “I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States forpaiajit designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”  While Pai has been a friend to the radio industry, serving as a commissioner who is sensitive to efforts such as AM revitalization, the speculation is that this FCC will reverse Tom Wheeler-era policies on net neutrality, broadband subscriber data privacy and others.

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Radio on WADK, Newport.  A little more than a month after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, longtime Rhode Island talk radio personality John DePetro returns to the airwaves via 3G Broadcasting’s WADK, Newport, Rhode Island for a show that launchesdeptrojohn tomorrow (1/25) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  In announcing the news, DePetro states, “I am now the exclusive owner of the ‘John DePetro Show,’ which gives me full ownership of the content of the show and the freedom in the future to syndicate my popular, highly rated, entertaining program.  My listeners should get ready for the most entertaining radio I have ever done, and I will continue to tell it like it is.”  DePetro’s deal with the station includes a two-hour Saturday “John DePetro Show Week in Review.” Station owner Bonnie Gomes comments, “John DePetro and I have known each other since the late 80s when we worked together at a Providence radio group.  John has a well-known, entertaining program and it matches with our goal of making 1540 AM WADK completely live and local.  We are excited to welcome John to our broadcasting family and know that he will bring a new, exciting, entertaining twist to our current programming lineup.”

DGital Media and The Players’ Tribune Partner for Podcast Network.   Sports-themed media platform The Players’ Tribune partners with DGital Media to release its first podcast.  The Derek Jeter-founded podcast network will feature “oral histories, athlete-hosted podcasts, a flagship show and other topical series.”  The theplayerstribunefirst show is “Giant Steps,” an oral history podcast that chronicles the rise of the New York Giants’ first Super Bowl championship in 1986.  The 60-minute episode, narrated by Michael Strahan, features first-person accounts from Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Elvis Patterson, Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells.  The Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler comments, “‘The Players’ Tribune’ has become a destination for thoughtful, insightful storytelling related to topics both on and off the field.  We’re excited to introduce another medium for athletes to share stories and discuss important issues through a unique and intimate listening experience.  DGital Media is a terrific partner on the launch of this newest extension of our premium content offerings.”

Trump Withdraws US from TPP, Women’s Marches Aftermath, Trump Federal Hiring Freeze, Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes, ‘SNL’ Writer Suspended, Parliament to Vote on Brexit, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the aftermath of the Women’s March in DC and in cities across the world; Trump enacts federal government hiring freeze; the deadly tornadoes that tore through the Southeast U.S.; a “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich is suspended for her tweet targeting Barron Trump; Britain’s Parliament prepares to vote on the country’s exit from the European Union; and the Super Bowl matchup between New England and Atlanta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. WABC, New York late morning hosts Sid Rosenberg (left) and Bernard McGuirk (right) are both re-signingbernieandsid17 with the Cumulus station for new, three-year deals.  McGuirk and Rosenberg both still have their roles on the “Imus in the Morning” program.  The new deals pertain to their “Bernie & Sid” 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m excited to spend the next few years at WABC!  [Market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb have been a joy to work for and I’m blessed with the best, funniest and most talented partner in the business!”…..Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM announces the schedule for its Phillies program “The Hot Stove” with Phillies play-by-play team Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.  The hour-long show will air four consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning February 1.

McintyreMartin17Doug McIntyre and Steve Martin Sell Out Four Nights in Southern California.  Pictured above are film and comedy legend Steve Martin (left) and KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (right) on stage during one of four performances that took place January 8-11.  McIntyre hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series and Martin recently joined him at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.  Previous guests in the series have included John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.  Photo: Sue Swan.

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RadioInfo Web bannerWestwood One Names Switzer VP/GM of Music & Entertainment – Country.  This is a return to the Westwood One fold for Bryan Switzer.  He served with then-ABC Radio Networks,switzerbryan Citadel Media and Cumulus Media Networks from 2006 through 2014 overseeing Nashville marketing, promotion, and affiliate sales for “American Country Countdown,” the 24-hour formats and more.  He returns to the media biz from his most recent executive post with JennsCo Chemical Solutions.  As vice president/general manager, music & entertainment-country for Westwood One, he’ll be in charge of the marketing and operations of all owned and represented country shows.

Renda Broadcasting Appoints Steve Granato PD for Fort Myers-Naples Cluster.  Taking over for Randy Savage, who left the program director position with Renda Southwest Florida to join Cumulus’ Wilkes-Barre cluster, is Steve Granato.  He’ll program the company’s four-station cluster including country WWGR “Gator Country 1019,” adult hits WJGO “1029BOBfm,” hot AC WSGL “Mix 104.7,” and news/talk WGUF “98.9 Naples FM Talk.”  Granato previously served with Renda Broadcasting programming the company’s Pittsburgh properties in the early 1990s.

WMMR, Philly Names Brent Porche Overnight Jock.  Philadelphia heritage rock outlet WMMR announces Brent Porche is named the station’s new overnight personality.  The Beasley Media Group-owned station notes porchebrentthat “it’s rare a radio station that goes eight years between full-time hires. It’s rarer still that the position is for a full-time, overnight air talent.”  Porche takes over for Jacky Bam Bam who recently was promoted to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  Porche says of his new gig, “It’s like a lifelong fan rooting for the Eagles and getting hired to play on the team – with all his favorite players!  I’m honored to join Preston & Steve, Pierre Robert, Jaxon, Jacky and all the DJs on such a legendary station.”

Jenkins to Lead Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri Station Group.  Thirty-year radio pro Mikejenkinsmike Jenkins is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri station group that includes, country KRES-FM, oldies KIRK-FM, Christian contemporary KTCM-FM, and news/talk KWIX-AM/FM.  Alpha Midwest Region EVP George Pelletier says, “We are pleased to welcome Mike Jenkins to our Alpha operations in Moberly.  Mike has a terrific track record of success everywhere he has worked.  His reputation of being a great leader, inspired broadcaster and client-oriented sales champion convinced us that he was the right kind of person to lead the Alpha team in Moberly, Missouri.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  San Diego CHR KHTS-FM “Channel 93.3 FM” names Ethan Cole evening personality.  Cole stays with iHeartMedia having spent that past two years producing the “Matty in the Morning” show for WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM.”.…..Saga Communications names Mark the Shark afternoon drive personality at classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee WKLH-FM “Rock 96-5.”  It’s a return to Brew City for The Shark.  He served with former rock outlet WQFM (now AC WLDB) during the 1980s and 1990s…..The Cantore + Woods morning show with Chris Cantore and Steve Woods exits Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego “FM 949” after 15 months in the daypart.  No word on the new morning drive show yet…..WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1”wnksAMshow intern Whitney Thore and the “Maney, Roy and LauRen Show” are back on television for tonight’s (1/24) season premiere of the TLC Network show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” starring Thore.  The show follows Thore, a passionate dancer on her way to maintaining a healthy life style through dance and a “No Body Shaming” policy…..iHeartMedia’s Fresno country outlet KHGE “102.7 The Wolf” is hosting the 2017 Acoustic Kick-Off Concert featuring live performances by country music recording artists Hunter Hayes, Casey Donahew and Lucas Hoge tomorrow night (1/25) at the Tower Theater in Fresno.  The Wolf program director Nick Cash says, “We love to connect our ‘102.7 The Wolf’ listeners with the hottest new country artists in a live and intimate setting.  Hunter has a big, young following in the Central Valley and we can’t wait to sing along with them in the crowd at Acoustic Kick-Off Concert!”

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

| December 20, 2016

MRC Withholds Accreditation of Nielsen’s December PPM Survey.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio has released the first round of data from its December 2016 PPM survey (November 3-30) but it does so without accreditation for the 26 markets that the Media Rating Council has previously accredited.  This stems from mrc-logoNielsen’s PPM connectivity issues that affected the first week of the December survey.  Here’s what the MRC had to say in a statement: “Since the PPM connectivity disruption, Nielsen has shared information with MRC about the outage, Nielsen Audio’s recovery efforts, and related data analyses Nielsen Audio has performed.  However, MRC believes the data analyses related to this incident with which we have been presented by Nielsen Audio, in addition to Nielsen Audio’s response to a series of questions related to the incident that MRC has raised to Nielsen Audio, are incomplete, and therefore MRC and its Radio Committee and its Board of Directors are unable to conclude as yet on this matter.  Nielsen has committed to continue to work with MRC on this issue.  Therefore, MRC has chosen to withhold its accreditation for the December PPM reports to which it would otherwise have been applicable until we receive responses and appropriate analyses of the impacted data that we deem satisfactory to address these concerns.  We will update the marketplace at a future time should this situation change and we believe these issues have been sufficiently addressed to reinstate MRC accreditation of the December 2016 PPM estimates.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of December 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallKABC, Los Angeles Morning Host Doug McIntyre Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s Podcast.  After serving a decade as morning host on KABC, Los Angeles (and 10 years before that developing a powerful, all-night presence on “Red Eye Radio”), multi-media renaissance man, Doug McIntyre has just signed a new, two-year extension to his contractmcintyredoug with the heritage Cumulus-owned West Coast talk outlet.  He is this week’s guest on the award-winning, PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In addition to radio, McIntyre is a page one newspaper op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and has enjoyed a successful 20-year career as a television and film writer/producer/director.  According to Harrison, “Doug is one of the most original hosts in talk radio today – a potent combination of quirky humor, keen intelligence, unbridled courage and smoldering rage.”  Harrison and McIntyre talk about the state of politics, journalism, fake news, and new media – making this program a must-listen for its worldwide audience of “media freaks.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Mark Anderson Rises to VP of Programming at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh.  At its Pittsburgh cluster, CBS RADIO promotes Mark Anderson to vice president, programming, a move up from his current role as Pittsburgh operations manager and program director of hot AC WBZZ and country WDSY.  Anderson will continue to programandersonmark WBZZ and WDSY and will now “provide operational guidance and oversight as well as leadership in developing new products, partnerships and opportunities for all of the Pittsburgh stations.”  Jim Graci continues his role as program director for news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Mark is a well-seasoned programming executive who has a strong track record of successfully managing the day-to-day details as well as the long-term vision and creativity to develop and advance exciting new concepts.  As our products evolve to engage audiences beyond the airwaves, I am excited about the additional contributions that Mark will make to all of our stations.”

Andy West Appointed Creative Services and Imaging Director for iHeartRadio.  In this new role at iHeartRadio, Andy West will oversee a network of producers to develop and produce fresh, format-specific on-air content for the iHeartRadio app, that airs across iHeartMedia’s network of 850-plus radio stations.  The company says he’ll also collaborate with marketing, operations, sales and senior management to create innovative new features and content for iHeartRadio, as well as manage the imaging for iHeartRadio’s digital only stations.  The Atlanta-based West will work alongside fellow creative services & imaging director Ricky Roo.

Chris Jericho and PodcastOne Launch ‘Beyond the Darkness.’  This new audio exploration of the paranormal comes from Chris Jericho’s podcast network under the PodcastOne umbrella and it’s called “Beyond podcastone-bthe Darkness.”  The podcast is hosted by author and radio host Dave Schrader, and radio producer and host Tim Dennis.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “Chris has distinguished himself as one of the jewels of the PodcastOne network.  When he started The Jericho Network collection, we knew it would evolve beyond wrestling.  He’s delivered comedians and now takes us into the paranormal with ‘Beyond the Darkness.’”

Doug Stephan Broadcasts from Israel.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Doug Stephan, co-host of thestephanuri16 “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria,” is pictured here (left) in the Tel Aviv airport with popular illusionist Uri Geller (right).  Stephan reports he’s originating his portion of the program this week from Israel, talking about such topics as President-Elect Trump’s desire to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tense relationship with President Obama, and more.  Stephan says, “The timing of this visit is extremely newsworthy, and besides, what better week to be in Israel than the week before Christmas!”

Odds & Sods.  At news/talk WFMD and country WFRE in Frederick, Maryland, director of operations Phyliss Betson rises to market manager for the duo.  She takes over for Michael Banks, who is exiting to join Connoisseur Media.…..The NHL’s Minnesota Wild and iHeartMedia’s KFAN, Minneapolis announce a three-year extension of their partnership.  KFAN is currently in its sixth season as the official radio flagship home of the Minnesota Wild…..BizTalkRadio announces the addition of “The Win. With Heather Havenwood” to its Thursday evening lineup.  The program, featuring entrepreneur and digital marketing, email marketing and online publishing business strategies expert Heather Ann Havenwood will air at 7:00 pm ET beginning in January.

Russian Diplomat Assassinated, Monday’s Electoral College Vote, ‘Fake News’/Russian Hacking Allegations, Trump Cabinet Nominations, Terror Attack in Germany, China-U.S. Drone Incident, and Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Sergey Lavrov by off-duty Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas; the electoral college vote to officially name Donald Trump president-elect; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the related story of allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election; the cabinet nominations by President-Elect Trump; the deadly terror attack at a Christmas bazaar in Berlin; China returns an intercepted submersible drone belonging to the U.S. Navy; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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A Big 2016 for KXNT, Las Vegas’ Alan Stock.  Sin City talk personality Alan Stock – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at CBS RADIO’s news/talk KXNT – checks in with TALKERS magazine to share this pic with President-Elect Donald Trump and what he’s been up to all year.  In addition to his radio work, Stock has enjoyed a weekly presence on KLAS-TV, appearing on the station’s “Politics Now” in the program’s “Face Off” segment.  He writes a weekly column for the Las Vegas-based Now Report.  In February, he’ll lead a tour of listeners on a trip to Israel.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

| December 14, 2016

Cumulus Renews Rush Limbaugh Through 2019.  The news/talk icon is heard on 33 of Cumulus Media’s news/talk outlets across the country and today’s announcement insures he’ll be heard there through 2019.limbaughrush15  Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media are extending the affiliation agreement for the Rush Limbaugh show and the deal is what the latter calls a “multi-million dollar” one that “represents Limbaugh’s increased power and audience appeal as the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.”  Cumulus throws some ratings data into the presser as well, noting that the Limbaugh show cumulus-logo“experienced combined audience growth of +49 % with Persons 12+ and +23% with Adults 25- 54 on Cumulus-owned stations in Chicago (WLS-AM), Detroit (WJR-AM), Washington, DC (WMAL-FM), Dallas (WBAP-AM) and San Francisco (KSFO-AM).  Nationwide, the program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth in 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%), Adults 25-54 (+13%), Adults 18-34 (+12%) and Women 25-54 (+17%).”  All data is credited to Nielsen Audio.   Cumulus Media SVP of operations and co-head office of programming Bob Walker comments, “Rush is a unique and true broadcaster, and we’ve had a successful partnership for many years.  We’re pleased to continue offering the Rush Limbaugh show on our market-leading brands, which connect with millions of consumers and drive positive results for our partners.”

KABC, Los Angeles and Doug McIntyre Ink Two-Year Extension.  Los Angeles radio personality Doug McIntyre and Cumulus Media sign a deal that will keep him hosting the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC-AM for at least two more years.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “We’re thrilled Doug will mcintyreinamlogo17be with us for at least another two years given the dramatic growth he has achieved for us over the past year.”  In the press release, Hayes says McIntyre has achieved “an impressive 61% increase in weekly listeners in the third quarter of 2016 over 2015 and 70.6% growth year-to-year in the key 25-54 demographic.  Doug has also been a hit with women listeners.”  McIntyre says, “I think we’ve found success by evolving talk radio awaymcintyredoug from stridency; by striking the right balance between today’s headlines and laughs without beating people over the head with ginned-up outrage and demoralizing partisanship.”  McIntyre also writes a popular weekly column for the Los Angeles Daily News and is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and numerous other publications.  He is also a much-in-demand emcee, helming the annual “L.A. Political Roast,” “The Cinema Audio Society Awards,” and the annual “Timothy Coughlin Dinner” in New York, a 9-11 related charity.  Next month, McIntyre will host four evenings with comedy legend Steve Martin as part of the Southern California Distinguished Speakers Series.  In past years he has performed with Monty Python icon John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.

Joe Bell Returns to Beasley to Lead Philly Cluster.  Radio sales and management pro Joe Bell worked for Beasley Media Group for 16 years leading its Fort Myers and Miami operations. Now, almost three years afterbelljoe leaving the company, he returns to serve as market manager of the Philadelphia station group.  Beasley president Bruce Beasley states, “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster in charge of an iconic heritage sports station WQAM, in addition to his experience with major personalities at WPOW ‘Power 96,’ and Miami’s ‘Kiss Country.’  As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills.  Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!”  In Philadelphia, Beasley operates sports talker WPEN-FM and WTEL-AM, rock WMMR, adult hits WBEN-FM, classic rock WMGK, and talk WWDB-AM.

Cumulus Suing JP Morgan Chase for Hindering Refinancing.  In this suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Cumulus Media is asking the court to take action forcing creditor JP Morgan Chase to follow through on steps that will allow Cumulus’ debt-for-equity refinancing to happen before the January 27 deadline.  Cumulus recently announced that it has reached an agreement with bondholders that would allow it to deleverage by as much as $305 million.  But the refinance of those senior notes requires borrowing from Cumulus’ $200 million revolving line of credit and JP Morgan has not allowed the transfer of the revolving line of credit to the new lenders and extended a loan amendment giving the company access to the credit line.  In the suit, Cumulus says it is being affected by an industry-wide decline in business and its heavy debt load is affecting its prescription for improving ratings and revenue.  This refinancing would help ease that burden.  There’s been no public comment by JP Morgan Chase on the suit.

iHeartMedia Announces Strategy in Not Repaying 2016 Legacy Notes.  Saying that as part of its “ongoing efforts to proactively address its capital structure,” iHeartMedia reports that a Special Committee of independent directors has decided not to repay the $57.1 million of the 5.50% Senior Notes due tomorrow (12/15) held by affiliate iheartmedia-logo-smallestClear Channel Holdings, Inc.  It says it will pay the $192.9 million of 2016 Legacy Notes held by other holders.  With this, iHeartMedia will continue to have at least $500 million of legacy notes outstanding on December 15 and will therefore not be obligated to grant certain additional security interests in favor of certain of its debtholders under a so-called “springing lien” set forth in relevant debt agreements.  The company announces that it also filed lawsuits in the State District Court in Bexar County, Texas, seeking a declaration that the $57.1 million of 2016 Legacy Notes remains outstanding and that the Company is not currently obligated to grant any of its debtholders the “springing lien” on any of its assets.

Baltimore Talk Personality Allan Prell Dead at 79.  Longtime WBAL, Baltimore radio personality Allan Prell passed away on Saturday (12/10) at the age of 79.  Prell worked at several stations in Baltimore but made his prellallanmark in the talk radio business hosting a show in middays on WBAL from 1982 through the early 2000s, according to Prell’s obit on WBAL.com.  Prior to his talk host career, Prell was a newsman who won two Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative journalism.  As a talk show host, Prell was named to the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) for three years straight (1999, 2000, and 2001).  He also co-hosted a specialty weekend program called “The Movie Show on Radio” for several years in the early 2000s.  Check out David Zurawik’s memories of Prell in the Baltimore Sun here.

David Field Sells $1.2 Million of Entercom Stock.  In a legal filing disclosed to the SEC, Entercomfielddavid Communications Corp. reports that company president and CEO David J. Field sold 79,607 shares of Entercom stock in a December 12 transaction valued at $1,268,935.58.  Field sold the shares at an average price of $15.94.  After the transaction, Field’s stock ownership stands at 2,053,161 shares valued at $32,727,386.

Odds & Sods.  Last month, programmer Bob Shomper quietly exited CBS RADIO’s Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM.  The company is presently searching for WCCO’s new program director…..Westwood One is now serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the weekly podcast “The Pollsters,” featuring Democratic pollster/political consultant Margie Omero and Republican pollster/political consultant Kristen Soltis Anderson.  The program is available via audioBoom, iTunes, Google, Spotify, and others…..College basketball legend John Calipari is the host of a new, weekly podcast on the Midroll platform, owned by E.W. Scripps.  The “Cal Cast” gives Calipari “a new way for me to connect with people and to talk honestly with high profile guests who all have very interesting stories and bold opinions.”

Trump Transition/Kanye West Visits Trump Tower, Trump Cabinet Nominees, the Syrian Civil War/Allegations of Atrocities in Aleppo, New Abortion Legislation, Election Recount/Russian Influence Allegations, New Star Wars Flick, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and rapper Kanye West’s visit to the Trump Tower in NYC; President-Elect Donald Trump’s choices of ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior; the Syrian civil war and allegations that Bashar al Assad’s forces are randomly killing civilians; the 20-week abortion limit passed in Ohio and an attempt to put restrictions on abortions in Oklahoma; the failed election recount started by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and questions about the extent of Russian influence in the recent elections; chatter about the new Rogue One installment in the Star Wars film franchise; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

| January 5, 2016

wabc logoCurtis Sliwa to Host WABC, New York’s ‘The Drive at Five.’  The “Drive at Five” program takes the place of “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” and debuts this afternoon (1/5) from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The station callssliwacurtis the show a “fast-paced, comprehensive look at the stories and people that have New York talking.”  Curtis Sliwa will continue his role as co-host of “The Curtis and Kuby Show” with Ron Kuby airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  In September of 2014 the station aired “The Ride Home” with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby at 5:00 pm.  Kiernan exited and Cosby did the show solo until moving to weekends with Doug McIntyre (also heard at the company’s KABC, Los Angeles in morning drive) taking over the one-hour show in March of last year.  Sliwa states, “My job will be to take people from their suites to the streets and re-connect them with everything that has transpired while they’ve been working their 9-to-5 jobs.”

eskinspikeSpike Eskin Relinquishes On-Air Duties at WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  According to a report at Philly.com, WIP, Philadelphia program director Spike Eskin is leaving his on-air role on the Joshwiplogo Innes program as he absorbs some of the responsibilities of ousted operations manager Andy Bloom.  In a budget-related move, Bloom’s OM position was eliminated by CBS RADIO.  Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagle Hollis Thomas worked on air with Innes.  Thomas remains on the show and the station moves Marc Farzetta from Angelo Cataldi’s AM drive show to afternoons to handle news updates and other duties on the program.

bubbaSettlement in Nielsen vs Bubba Case ‘Unlikely.’  According to the most recent court filings that detail the schedule for the discovery process and pre-trial hearings in the civil fraud case being brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio, the two sides seem to agree on one thing: a settlement in the $1 million lawsuit is “unlikely.”  Nielsen is suing Bubba on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act as the result of his tampering with the PPM ratings process in the Tampa market.  Although Bubba admitted to the tampering he says Nielsen is unable to prove damages and the $1 million figure was pulled out of thin air.  Nielsen wishes to depose Bubba for up to 14 hours over two days and Bubba says he’s not willing to do that so the court will have to rule on the deposition schedule.  If this does go to trial as it’s expected to do, it’ll be in January of 2017.

bannonstephenkWhat do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephen K. Bannon Have in Common?  Answer: They are the only three radio talk show hosts to make the prestigious Mediaite “25 Mostlimbaughrush15 Influential in Political News Media” list.  The list includes leading names from the world of news-gathering and news-delivering organizations including internet, television and radio.  Rush Limbaugh came in at #8; Sean Hannity showed strongly at #15; and Stephen K. Bannon appears at #19.  Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC (parent company of hannitythe Breitbart News Network), is the host of the weekday morning show “Breitbart News Daily” presented on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Patriot Channel.  The 6:00 am – 9:00 am ET show covers the hottest topics of the day featuring Bannon moderating contributions and features from Breitbart correspondents around the nation and world.  To see the entire Mediaite list, please click here.

brownrobCumulus Names Rob Brown AM Host at WFTW, Fort Walton Beach.  Fort Walton Beach news/talk WFTW “NewsTalk 1260” will launch a new morning drive program next Monday (1/11) featuring longtime local broadcast personality Rob Brown.  His eponymous show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Brown has been serving as a field reporter for local station WEAR-TV.  He’s worked in radio in the Florida Panhandle doing news and sports at sports talk WTKE “The Ticket.”  WFTW operations manager Hayden Green says, “Rob Brown is a native of the area.  He knows the players, he knows the people and he knows great radio.  We’re excited to have him on the team and excited about the future of NewsTalk 1260 WFTW.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Three Programmers to Vice Presidents.  Three Entercom Communications programmers are awarded vice president stripes today: Jim Fox in Sacramento, Mike Moore in Portland and Bob Barnett in Rochester, New York are promoted to VP of programming for their respective markets.  Jim Fox joined Entercom in Sacramento as station manager of active rock KRXQ in 2003 and began overseeing all Entercom Sacramento brands as OM in 2013.  Mike Moore joined Entercom to program country KWJJ in Portland and was upped to operations manager for the cluster in January 2013.  He also serves as Entercom’s director of country programming.  Bob Barnett is a 33-year programmer who oversees all programming for Entercom Rochester.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “Jim, Mike and Bob are outstanding leaders with impressive track records of success in their markets.  They have each earned this recognition.  I could not be happier for them and look forward to many more years of working together.”

cookehollandCES 2016: Radio vs Robots.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronic Show.  As Cooke says, driverless cars are one of the big “oh wow” items at the show.  How the car of the future will affect our hunger for the information and entertainment radio provides while driving isn’t certain yet, but the possibilities they suggest should cause radio people to think about their product.  Read Cooke’s report here.

Obama Gun Control Policy, 2016 Presidential Election, Battle Against Islamic State, Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff, Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Break, World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  President Obama’s plans to use executive orders to amend gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president this year; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and debate over terror attack prevention; the standoff between armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; the break of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the growing Shiite-Sunni rift in the Middle East; turbulent world financial markets open the New Year; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

RadiodaysEurope16Michael Harrison set to Address Radiodays Europe Conference.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison has been named one of the key solo speakers at the forthcoming Radiodays Europe conference set for Paris, France March 13-15 at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris.  Billed as “The World’s Greatest International Radio Conference,” Radiodays Europe is an annual gathering for radio professionals with 1,300 participants from 60 countries.  It is the meetingharrisonmichael2015 point for the European radio industry, both private and public, and a destination for radio people from around the world.  Harrison’s presentation, titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” will cover both the successes and failures experienced by US radio during its transition into the digital era.  Harrison will offer insight into the radio industry’s challenge of successfully integrating its assets and services into an internet-based culture while preserving and enhancing its iconic role as the primary audio medium.  Can it be done?  Harrison states, “Of course, it can!  I intend to lay out the big picture of radio’s path forward with realistic and cautious optimism.  I look forward to this opportunity to speak with broadcasters from around the world.”  For registration and other information about Radiodays Europe, please click here.

leykisbillboard16America’s First Internet Radio Billboard?  It is according to The New Normal principal Tom Leykis who says the electronic billboard (shown at left) that overlooks the northbound 405 Freeway in Carson, California is the first in America to promote an Internet radio show.  The billboard, which just went up on Monday evening (1/4), promotes Leykis’ daily afternoon program.

Friday, November 13, 2015

| November 13, 2015

talkersten logoMizzou Protests and Race Relations Tie for Top News/Talk Stories of the Week.  The protests taking place at the University of Missouri, the ouster of the school’s president and chancellor and the related topic of race relations in the U.S. tied atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of November 9-13 as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  At #2 was the 2016 presidential race and Tuesday’s GOP debate.  Coming in at #3 was U.S. immigration policy and the striking of President Obama’s immigration order, followed by the Syria-ISIS violence 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.  It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

curtiskubyremote15Dinner with Curtis & Kuby.  WABC, New York midday team Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby entertained listeners during an intimate dinner and political conversation event at Delmonico’s Kitchen on West 36th Street in New York.  Forty of the duo’s strongest supporters reserved their spots for “Dinner with Curtis & Kuby: A Night of Political Entertainment and Fun,” kicking off Election Central.  The two answered questions from the attendees and discussed the current political race, social issues, and much more.  Pictured here at the event are (from l-r): Curtis Sliwa, Cumulus New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez, 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb, and Ron Kuby.

mcintyrecleese15Doug McIntyre and John Cleese Take the State Together.  KABC, Los Angeles and WABC, New York personality Doug McIntyre (left) spent four nights last week performing with Monty Python legend John Cleese (right). The show played before packed houses in Beverly Hills, Redondo  Beach, Thousand Oaks and Pasadena, California.

Odds & Sods.  Detroit general manager Chris MacCourtney is promoted within Salem Media Group to operational vice president for the company’smaccourtneychris radio division, effective January 1.  MacCourtney is currently overseeing Salem’s Detroit duo – conservative news/talk WDTK “The Patriot” and Christian teaching WLQV “Faith Talk 1500.”  When he begins his new duties, he’ll also be in charge of the operations of the company’s stations in Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky…..Entercom Kansas City extends its deal with the World Series champion Kansas City Royals for sports talk KCSP “610 Sports Radio” to continue serving as the flagship station for Royals play-by-play.  The new four-year contract runs through 2020 and includes all 163 regular season games plus the team’s off-season “Hot Stove Show.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWorld Famous Comic Strip Artist/Writer Guy Gilchrist Joins Michael Harrison on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ The writer and artist responsible for producing the iconic “Nancy” syndicated newspaper comic strip for the past 20 years and was hand-picked back in the 1980s by Jim Henson to produce the newspaper version of “The Muppets,” Guy Gilchrist, joins Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about media and popular culture in the new installment of Podcast One’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out,” posted today (11/10).gilchristguy Harrison sets the stage looking back at the impact cartoons, comics and puppets had on his development as a “media freak” growing up in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Then, he and Gilchrist discuss a variety of related issues including the critical “controversy” over the new weekly Muppets show launched this season on ABC-TV, the evolution of the beloved characters Nancy and Sluggo, as well as the state of political cartoons, cartoonists and Freedom of the Press in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris earlier this year. In addition, they talk about the impact digital media is having upon the newspaper comic strip industry. To hear this fascinating conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” players located in the right-hand columns of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

kilmeadebookFox Radio and TV Host Brian Kilmeade Writes Historical Book About Thomas Jefferson’s Early American War Against Muslim High Seas ‘Terrorists.’ It is described as “the forgotten war that changed American history” and now it is the subject of a major new bookkilmeadebrian about the fledgling American nation’s naval battles against Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco – the Barbary Wars. The book is the fourth by Fox News Channel co-host (“Fox & Friends”) and Fox News Radio host (“Kilmeade & Friends”) Brian Kilmeade and co-writer Don Yaeger titled, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (Sentinel, 2015). According to Kilmeade, “The challenges we face today are not so different than Jefferson’s, and we’ve much to learn from his boldness and from the courage of the Marines and sailors who died to protect their country.” To listen to an in-depth conversation between Brian Kilmeade and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the book and the history it addresses, plus a lot more, please click

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

| June 11, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Set to Rock Big Apple Tomorrow.  Talk media professionals from all across America (and the world) will be gathering at the historic India House in the Financial District of lower Manhattan tomorrow for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  The event – which sold out three weeks in advance – will feature 65 industry speakers discussing the major issues and challenges facing talk broadcasting on air, online and on satellite including the state of audience measurement systems, integrating the art of radio into the technology of the digital age, adapting to changing sociological and generational attitudes, generating revenue in a new paradigm, navigating controversy and managing on air careers, plus a whole lot more.  Talkers New York 2015 will be the “reality” site of two major documentary films about the media currently in production – plus TALKERS will video record all sessions and speeches for later playback on TalkersTV, free of charge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Every one of these spectacular events has had its own colorful story and has played a significant role in the fascinating evolution of this vital scene we call talk radio.  However, this one is particularly special to me because it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of TALKERS magazine way back in the ancient year of 1990!”  To see the full agenda, please click here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia-Unified Partnership Further Enhances Data-Driven Marketing Approach.  This partnership is being termed a “long-term” one with iHeartMedia investing in marketing technology firm Unified in order to “accelerate the company’s growth and expansion.”  iHeartMedia says the data-driven partnership will deliver “unprecedented insights to advertisers across iHeartMedia’s portfolio of radio, digital, mobile, live events, social and on-demand entertainment and information services.”  Further, it states, “The companies’ strategic partnership will leverage Unified’s Social Operating Platform, the marketing industry’s leading data and analytics platform, to aggregate and unlock the massive data sets generated from iHeartMedia’s 858 radio stations; 70 million registered users of its iHeartRadio platform; 87 million monthly digital uniques; more than 20,000 annual events; and more than 75 million social media users across its network.  In addition, iHeartMedia will contribute data generated from its programming and consumer audiences to Unified’s award-winning data platform.  The combination of iHeartMedia’s data and Unified’s analytics technology brings the power of attribution, audience identification, and impact analysis associated with digital marketing to the unparalleled scale of broadcast media.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “Data-driven solutions are transforming the way that we deliver new value to our marketing partners, providing the ease, measurability and precision of digital marketing at the incredible scale of broadcast.  Unified allows us to leverage big data in new ways that make our portfolio of products, technology platforms, content and personalities the most powerful marketing vehicles available today.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

bearmanbookcoverTalkers Books Gearing Up for Three Releases in Second Half of 2015.  After a 10 year hiatus since the publication of its last book, Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books, 2005) by upper demographics expert Carole MarksTALKERS announces plans for three new releases under the imprint Talkers Books during the second half of 2015.  Scheduled for release in July is Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015) by rising talk star Ethan Bearman. Bearman, who hosts a weekly show on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco and another nationally syndicated by GCN, is described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “one of the brightest, personable and politically independent of the industry’s new breed of young talkers with the potential to become the voice of Generation X.” Bearman’s book will be available in hard and soft cover versions as well as an e-bookhigginsbookcover configuration.  That will be followed by the August release of the first in a series of e-books under the umbrella description, “The Talkers Manifesto Series.” Titled, The Dr. Higgins Guide to Health and Wellness: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual by Evelyn Higgins, D.C.  (Talkers Books, 2015), it is written by a rising star in the field of alternative health care who came to the attention of the TALKERS editorial staff via her outstanding work in Georgia talk radio over the past several years.  Scheduled for release in the fall is Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2015) by Bernadette Duncan.  In this revealing memoir, Duncan recounts her first-hand impressions working with some of the biggest names in talk radio during her 31-year career as a producer for such personalities as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood, Mike Gallagher and many more. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We are enthusiastic about reinvigorating our book publishing arm.  The talk radio world is full of potential literary stars and we are going to do our best to help them find their readerships.”

Odds & Sods.  At the Cumulus Media cluster in New York City, production whiz Fitz is now serving as the producer of the daily “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” program that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on news/talk WABC.  Fitz was previously production director for sister hot AC WPLJ…..The Boston Herald has been named one of three finalists for the Innovator of the Year award presented by the Associated Press Media Editors for the creation of Boston Herald Radio and its integration into the news organization’s daily multimedia news process.  The winner will be selected in October.

Police Excessive Force Cases, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq, TTP Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, ObamaCare Court Challenge, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The spate of alleged excessive force incidents by police across the country and talk about relations between police forces and the Black community; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the military progress of ISIS in Iraq and the U.S. military’s response; the controversy over the TTP trade deal and questions about what’s really in the pact; the ongoing search for two escaped murder convicts in New York State; the expected ruling from the Supreme Court on health care subsidies and how it may affect ObamaCare; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 3, 2015

| April 3, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides another thorough ratings assessment, as he updates the status of all-news outlets. You might recall that in January, the format – albeit with a qualifying database of approximately 20 stations in PPM markets – managed to do something rather astounding: It kept all of them out of negative “Holiday” 2014 – January 2015 territory. The natural question now is: Did the format keep this incredible momentum going? Using data from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2015 PPM survey, Mike examines the performances of all-news facilities in sweep-to-sweep and year-to-year comparisons, as well as charting them in terms of 6+ rank andPPM Monitor 6+ market share. Additionally, we have a side-by-side look of the format’s ultra-impressive January numbers and – in some cases – ironically similar February stats. See the exclusive all-news analysis and overview here.

demaiocarlKOGO Adds DeMaio For Midday Duty. San Diego talker KOGO is pairing Carl DeMaio and  Bob “Sully” Sullivan as co-hosts of the 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm “DeMaio – Sullivan Report.” KOGO program director Brian Long comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Carl DeMaio to our lineup. I have no doubt that, with his experience as a government watchdog and his inside knowledge of politics, this will be the most talked about show in San Diego.” According to DeMaio, “Our show will give San Diegans a vehicle to learn not only about important issues, but to get involved in making a difference and advancing solutions.” In addition to focusing on local news, the three-hour weekday program on theKOGO  iHeartMedia-owned station will combine investigative journalism to examine stories behind the stories. The 40-year-old, Dubuque, Iowa-born DeMaio (Republican and openly gay) previously served four years (2008 – 2012) on San Diego’s city council representing district five. DeMaio lost to former congressman Bob Filner in San Diego’s 2012 mayoral contest and he was defeated by incumbent Scott Peters two years later in a race for California’s 52nd congressional district seat. He is a Georgetown University alum.

mohrjayMohr Wins Big By Horsing Around. As part of its March Madness “Celeb Pick ‘Em” series, USA Today‘s “For the Win” featured an interview with Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr. Within the piece, the star of the 2008 – 2010 CBS-TV sitcom “Gary Unmarried” (which co-starred Paula Marshall) revealed how a bet he made on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament netted him an unusual payoff. It was 16 years ago (1999) and St. John’s was making a run to the “Elite Eight” under head coach Mike Jarvis. Mohr was wagering with a friend who kept saying, “Double or nothing.” His friend – a jockey at Santa Anita racetrack – eventually ran out of money. If St. John’s went another round in the tournament, the friend told Mohr he’d give Mohr the horse on which he (the jockey) was sitting. St. John’s – and Mohr – won but since the actor/comedian had a small yard, the horse was not with him very long. For the record, the St. John Red Storm beat Maryland 76 – 62 in the infamous game-winning bet for Mohr, but lost to Ohio State in a squeaker (77 – 74) the next round. According to Mohr, the primary excuse someone should offer for missing work to watch the Final Four should simply be that you are going to watch the tournament. “If you are not in a sports-friendly work environment,” he says, “I would fake a birth.” It is Mohr’s contention that talk radio show callers should push the envelope and “make the hostFox Sports Radio uncomfortable. The crazier they are, the more fun we have when we play it later when we run out of ideas of our own.” So – how did Mohr do with his NCAA brackets this year? Not bad. He correctly has Kentucky and Michigan State in the Final Four, but also included Iowa State and Ohio State, rather than Wisconsin and Duke. He had Duke losing to San Diego State in the third round and Wisconsin falling to Ohio State in the Elite Eight. His prediction for the final game is that Kentucky’s Wildcats will beat Michigan State’s Spartans.

wfan logo (2)francesamikeNewsday Reports Tense Relations Exist Between WFAN Sports Talk Legend Mike Francesa and CBS Brass.  According to a report yesterday in Newsday (4/2), sports talk WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa says his relationship with executives at the station’s parent CBS Radio have “never been worse.”  In a story written by Neil Best, the iconic media figure who will be delivering the welcoming keynote at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12, has described his relationship with company brass as “very poor,” “awful” and “terrible.”   According to the story, speaking during a break in his show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan, Francesa said that for legal reasons he cannot go into detail about the nature of the dispute. But he acknowledged one source of tension is his ongoing frustration over his often pre-empted simulcast on Fox Sports 1 and 2, and CBS’ inability or unwillingness to find a contractual solution.   The story goes on to report, Francesa did not name the executives with whom he is at odds, but he specifically excluded CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves, who was a target of harsh criticism from him after Moonves fired Don Imus in 2007.  What does Moonves make of Francesa’s status with CBS in 2015? “We love Mike,” he said. “He’s done a great job . . . Let him keep doing what he’s doing and getting the ratings he’s doing and I’m very happy with him.”  TALKERS magazine’s annual feature “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” (also known as the “Talkers Sports Talk Heavy Hundred”) lists Francesa consistently as being THE most important radio sports talk host in the business  — local or national – and has been described by Michael Harrison as “one of the treasures of the talk media industry, sports talk or otherwise.”  Ironically, Harrison has also described the executives that run CBS Radio, with whom Francesa is likely at odds, as “among the smartest and classiest in the business.”  So it would be to the benefit of all parties concerned, including Francesa’s legion of devoted fans and detractors alike, that this dispute is soon settled.  To read the entire Newsday piece, please click here.

proffittProffitt to Pacifica Foundation Radio as Executive Director. In just over five weeks (6/11), former KUHF, Houston chief executive officer and general manager John Proffitt will take over as executive director of Pacifica Foundation Radio. Pacifica national board chair and interim executive director Margy Wilkinson states, “We have spent much of the past year stabilizing Pacifica after a turbulent time. Bringing on permanent, experienced leadership is the next step. While Pacifica still faces significant challenges, I am confident that John can see us through them and put our network back on a path of growth.” National board vice chair Lydia Brazon remarks, “John’s significant experience in radio broadcasting speaks for itself, but it is his recognition of Pacifica’s unique place in today’s media landscape that impresses most. I fully trust John Proffitt can and will rise to the challenge.” Proffitt comments, “I deeply admire the Pacifica commitment to independent news and feature reporting that tell the stories other media outlets frequently ignore or soft-pedal. Its leadership in broadcasting and promoting local art andPacifica Foundation Radio performance is second-to-none, as is its grassroots support from the community. I consider Pacifica to be a national treasure and feel honored to work for its success.” Recording engineer and producer Proffitt spent 25 years at KUHF; more recently, he was a volunteer fundraiser/host (“Thresholds” and “Open Journal”) at Pacifica Houston’s noncommercial KPFT. He will be based in Pacifica’s Berkeley, California headquarters. The five noncommercial stations Pacifica operates are WBAI, New York; KPFK, Los Angeles; KPFA, San Francisco; KPFT, Houston; and WPFW, Washington, DC.

WABC LogoWABC to Report from the Final Four. In harmony with Cumulus Media sibling Westwood One, New York City talker WABC will have a presence during this weekend’s “Final Four.” Sports reporter Mike Gunzelman will broadcast from radio row in Indianapolis with extended sports reports within “[Don] Imus in The Morning,” “The Geraldo Rivera Show,” and “Right Now with Doug McIntyre.” According to program director Craig Schwalb,”With the continuing dialoguePrint surrounding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and all the excitement that is college basketball, it is an important intersection; WABC will be in Indianapolis for all of it.” Reports will be featured in newscasts as well as in social media. WABC will produce two live streaming programs, which will debut tomorrow (Saturday, 4/4) and Sunday (4/5) at 12:00 Noon. Live sports streams are separate from the station’s main WABC Radio stream.

KFWBKFWB, Clippers to Host Fan Appreciation Night. Flagship outlet of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers – all-sports KFWB “The Beast” – will present a fan appreciation night one week from Monday (4/13) when the Clippers play the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Various prizes and merchandise will be distributed throughout the game, and a halftime presentation willLos Angeles Clippers acknowledge “Beast” on-air personalities and station executives. Performances from the Clippers Spirit will tap things off as part of a 5:30 pm fan festival. Among the prizes is an MVP package that includes Clippers playoff tickets in the private suite of “The Beast” and a meet/greet with a Clippers’ broadcaster.

NAB LogoNAB Reveals Radio Board Election Results. Those voted to the National Association of Broadcasters’ radio board include: Bill Coleman, owner, Team Radio Marketing Group of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Bruce Goldsen, president and general manager, Jackson Radio Works of Jackson, Michigan. Randy Gravley, president and chief executive officer, Tri-State Communications of Jasper, Georgia. Bill Hendrich, vice president and market manager, Cox Media Group Jacksonville. Ed Henson, president, Henson Media of Louisville. Beth Neuhoff, president and chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications of Springfield, Illinois. Bob Proffitt, president and chief executive officer, Alpha Media of Portland (Oregon). Their two-year terms will begin in two months (June).

KXKSAlbuquerque Picks Up A Sports Outlet. Newcomer to the format in Albuquerque is KXKS, which transitions to sports from a religious teaching format. According to general manager Eddy Aragon, “We are excited to bring the premier Fox Sports network to the most powerful sports radio signal in the Albuquerque market. Listeners will be able to tune to the 10,000-watt signal of KXKS [at 1190 AM], plus the simulcast signal on 107.5 FM.” Rock of Talk LLC operates KXKS under an LMA with licensee Wilkins Communications. The religious format that previously aired on KXKS moves to Wilkins’ KKIM. KXKS was not among the 21 stations listed in Nielsen Audio‘s fall 2014 ratings book.

KRFTcorcoranSt. Louis Sports Outlet Augments On-Air Lineup. Leased by web-based programming provider TalkSTL.com, sports talk KRFT, St. Louis brings in J.C. Corcoran for 7:00 am – 9:00 am duty and Kevin Slaten for 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm chores on the AM day-timer. In just over two weeks (4/20), former East St. Louis, Illinois-licensed WQQX talents Howard Balzer and Charlie “Tuna” Edwards will begin doing a daily 11:00 am – 1:00 pm program. TalkSTL.com co-owner and operator Scott Gertken comments, “We could not be more excited about the lineup we were able to finalize. We have done a whole lot in 10 days.” According to Corcoran, his morning drive show “will be exactly the same thing I have been doing. Anybody who listens to the show is going to hear J.C. Corcoran – they know what they are going to get. It will be a general interest talk show, entertainment, and a heavy dose of my twisted mind.” Gertken says he hopes to have KRFT as a 24-hour operation by next month.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The SBG-syndicated Marilu Henner program is added to the program schedule at: KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana; WLAD, Danbury, Connecticut; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky.

talkersten logoReligious Freedom Act Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 30-April 3.  The chatter about Indiana’s religious freedom legislation and Governor Mike Pence’s promise to “fix” the law – along with Arkansas’ vow to pass a similar law – was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the Iran nuclear program negotiations.  Following at #3 was the investigation into the downing of Germanwings Flight 9525, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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