Tag: "Emmis"

Monday, June 8, 2020

| June 8, 2020

Monday Memo: New Normal HR? If you’ve been broadcasting remotely during the shutdown, and you’re daydreaming about getting back to what was left of radio station camaraderie, consultant Holland Cooke quotes Cher from “Moonstruck:” “SNAP OUT OF IT!” In this week’s column: Why telecommuting is GOOD news for you; and an HR expert explains how listeners’ lives are changed. Read it here.

George Floyd Protests, De-Funding Police, Re-Opening Across America, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, U.S.-China Relations, and Tropical Storm Cristobal Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The racism and police brutality protests that took place all over the world; the prospect of de-funding the police department in Minneapolis and in other cities; states across the nation continue to re-open their economies; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections about future cases; tense relations between China and the U.S. over the coronavirus pandemic; and tropical storm Cristobal hits the Gulf Coast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Sales: Clients (As Well as Listeners) Seek Connection. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that the on-air team at your news/talk station “is working hard to deliver the storylines driving the news cycle and talk the talk the listener expects every day… And THAT is the light in the darkness. That critical expectation of the listener attracted to the content of your news/talk programming is your start point. The reason your listener is engaged is your path to a cohesive sales flow that can resonate with potential sponsors.” Read his column here.

Emmis Suspends Sports Talker Joe Staysniak After Race Discussion. Former Indianapolis Colts player and current WFNI, Indianapolis “1070 The Fan” morning drive co-host Joe Staysniak is serving a one week, no-pay suspension from his show after management deemed his remarks about the police and racism in America were insensitive. The Indianapolis Star reports that during a discussion about the protests taking place in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, Staysniak said that Black people should say, “I’m going to stop being a victim,” and “Well, you know, get an education, you know, get a second job.” When co-host Jeff Rickards said that a Black driver is six times more likely to get pulled over than a white driver in some parts of Indiana, Staysniak responded, “OK and then you have to look at why. Is that racism or is that the time of day? Is that the car they’re driving? Are lights out? Are turn signals working?” He added, “It comes down to a cultural thing too. Are we putting ourselves in a situation where we don’t need to be? Again, when we have multiracial police officers…cell phones out…it just becomes harder and harder to believe you are being targeted like that.” Staysniak has apologized and Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a statement, “Emmis takes very seriously its commitment to the communities in which we proudly serve and reaffirms its dedication in rooting out injustices and oppression in any form.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Indianapolis, iHeartMedia debuts a new business talk outlet branded “Business News 97.5 FM” on translator W248AW, bumping the simulcast of alternative WOLT-FM. The station is airing almost exclusively content from Bloomberg Radio. iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew says, “This is a unique format for a unique time. As the Indianapolis market continues pushing forward in a responsible fashion, we want to provide sound financial and business content to consumers looking to rebuild their personal and professional portfolios.” The company has not indicated what the feeder station is for the FM translator…..The Nevada Talk Network – consisting of KELY-AM, Ely; KNNR-AM, Sparks; KNNT-FM, Battle Mountain; KAVB-FM, Hawthorne; and KPKK-FM Amargosa Valley – adds Starnes Media Group’s “The Todd Starnes Show” to its programming lineup for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart…..WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro received a “thank you” from Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Gary Dantzler as Dantzler took part in a press conference with Governor Gina Raimondo in which the governor announced a state partnership with Black Lives Matter to improve race relations. DePetro tells TALKERS magazine that he often had Brother Gary (as he’s called) on his radio show as a guest and treated him fairly. “The moment he chose to acknowledge it is incredible and positive for talk radio, since he was always shunned by local TV.”…..The radio edition of the “Cigar Dave Show” will end on June 27 after 25 years as host Dave Zeplowitz transitions the content to “more timely, daily short to medium-form, unrestricted podcasts aligned with related new e-commerce initiatives.”…..Dr. David Samadi, M.D. is named lead medical contributor for Newsmax TV. Dr. Samadi currently serves as director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Dr. Samadi is not only a brilliant surgeon, but also a great communicator who is able to explain complex medical issues clearly and concisely. During the coronavirus we have found him to be an invaluable resource for our viewers.”

Roger Neel Retiring from WNBF, Binghamton. After 42 years with the station, Roger Neel is retiring from his full-time position with Townsquare Media’s WNBF, Binghamton. Neel serves as morning show personality and brand manager for the news/talk station and for sister sports talker WYOS “CBS Sports Radio.” His last day will be June 19.  Neel joined the station in 1978 when he was hired as the play-by-play announcer for Binghamton’s minor league hockey franchise the Broome Dusters.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tomorrow (6/9), Cumulus Media’s urban-formatted radio stations, along with Westwood One urban brands, will air an 8 minute and 46 second audio tribute to George Floyd at 1:00 pm ET. The nationwide tribute, titled “8:46-Remembering George Floyd,” will align with Floyd’s burial Tuesday. Cumulus VP, urban formats Kenny Smoov says, “People are tired. They want Change now. They want Peace now. It is a beautiful thing to see people from outside of the African American community and from all over the world coming together to say ENOUGH! Let’s be the living generation that ends systemic racism!”…..Programming and on-air pro “Big Rick” Daniels is named program director for Gulf South Communications’ country WTVY, Dothan, Alabama “95.5 Your Country.” Daniels was most recently morning personality at country WGCC-FM, Bowling Green, Kentucky. At Gulf South, Daniels will also serve as digital brand manager for classic country WDJR-FM and CHR WKMX-FM…..Condolences to the family and friends of triple A WWCD-FM, Columbus “CD 102.5” program director and afternoon personality Mason “Mase” Brazelle who died on Saturday (6/6) after a sudden illness at the age of 53. The station’s website says, “Mase to all was known for his deep knowledge and passion for music, his ability to make anyone feel welcome, staff and listeners alike. Mase was a staunch supporter of shopping local from his vast collection of vinyl records from local stores and live music dating back to his time as a drummer in a rock band. Mase will be deeply missed.”

April 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| May 15, 2020

April 2020 PPM Data – Information for the April 2020 ratings period has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from the PPM-markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from fourth to third, Waterloo Media Group-owned KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590” is +2.8 in four consecutive gains and crosses the six-share level (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 6.4, 6+). In a bit of a statistical oddity, Entercom’s KJCE has logged either a .3 (6+) or a .4 (6+) in each of the past 15 ratings periods. Flat at #26, “Talk Radio 1370” records a .3 (6+) the third time in a row.

Off one-half share in March/April (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” repeats at #21. Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is up one-tenth in March/April (.5 – .5 – .6, flat at #25, 6+).

Following three successive spikes for a +2.9 and hitting double-digits for the first time in its PPM-history (7.4 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned public radio news/talk outlet KUT forfeits one-half share to 9.8 (6+) but is #1 the fourth month in a row. Recent (6+) fluctuations include: -2.0 (April 2019); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); +1.2 (August); +2.0 (October); -1.9 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.5 (January 2020); +.6 (February); and +.8 (March).

Austin Music Formats – A combined +1.0 in March/April (1.2 – 1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #15). Sinclair Telecable-owned regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” continues an alternating up/down pattern that began last August and includes its current increase of seven-tenths (4.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). Up four-tenths in March (3.4 – 3.8, 6+) co-owned KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” is down six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). A March increase of one-tenth to 6.4 (6+) by Entercom-owned adult contemporary KKMJ followed its January/February -5.5 (11.8 – 6.7 – 6.3, 6+). In April, however, “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” falters by -1.2 to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+). KKMJ was a combined +6.7 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (5.1 – 6.3 – 11.8, 6+) and had a “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1. In that sweep, KKMJ became the first Austin station to record double-digits (11.8, 6+) since it did so in “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Sinclair Telecable’s similarly-formatted KGSR “Star 93.3” follows “Holiday” 2019’s increase of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.7, 6+) with four downturns in a row for a -1.2 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+). In addition to being -2.6 in six straight decreases and falling below a four-share (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” departs the top ten (#7 to #13). Co-owned rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” has lost eight-tenths in three straight slips (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being down eight-tenths in March/April (7.6 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” progresses from fourth to third. WTKK was a combined +2.3 in January/February (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). After dropping two-tenths in March, Curtis Media Group’s WPTF answers with a +.9 to 2.7 (#16 to #15, 6+). “News Radio 680” was unlisted in January and reappeared in February with a 2.0 (6+).

As a result of three consecutive slips, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is –2.6 and falls under a two-share (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.2 – 1.1, #15 to #17, 6+).

Following three straight spikes that generated a +1.1 (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” falters by -1.0 to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Doubling (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 4.2, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “The Classical Station” climbs from #14 to #11. Displaying increases of eight-tenths each are Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (eighth to fourth) and Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life/Your Music” (5.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “The Light” continues an alternating up/down pattern of 6.2 – 7.0 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 6.1 (6+). Entering the April sweep, WBBB was off one-half share in three losses in a row (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). In the country skirmish, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM. “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” improves by one-half share (unchanged at #2) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” notches an increase of six-tenths (#12 to #11). WQDR-FM follows February’s loss of six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) with a combined +2.4 in March/April (5.2 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). Unlisted in January, WQDR-FM was previously a collective -1.9 through five successive decreases (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, WNCB logs its fifth sweep in a row without a loss for a net gain of +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+). By posting a +.6 to 4.4 (steady at #10, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” pulls the plug on seven consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). In six straight down or flat trends, Curtis Media Group’s similarly-formatted WPLW-FM “Pulse FM” is a collective -2.2 (5.2 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+). Not only is Radio One urban AC WFXC +2.5 through four consecutive gains (7.2 – 8.7 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.7, 6+), “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 the fourth time in a row. After four straight sweeps on top, WFXC shifted to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019. January 2019’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. A combined -2.7 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 4.8, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” stumbles from fifth to ninth. “Mix” was +2.2 (“Holiday” 2019) and -1.7 (January). As a result of five consecutive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia Greensboro’s similarly-programmed WMAG is -2.0 (2.2 – 1.9 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .2, #22 to #23, 6+). After being +1.1 in three straight bumps (2.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 3.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Carolina’s Greatest Hits KIX 102.9” falters by eight-tenths (2.9, #11 to #14, 6+). Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK was an overall -2.5 in four straight downturns (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). In April, “K-97.5” sputters by one-half share to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Down one-half share as well is iHeartMedia alternative WDCG-HD2 (.9 – .4, #19 to #21, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not quite doubling (+4.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight upticks, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” achieves double-digits (6+) and progresses from second to first (5.4 – 7.6 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 10.3, 6+). Its recent (6+) shifts include: -1.2 (April 2019); +.9 (June); -1.3 (“Holiday” 2019); +2.2 (January 2020); +.8 (March); and +1.5 (April 2020).

Its sports talk cluster-mate WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” however, is -1.2 via three straight slips (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 1.8, #14 to #15, 6+). Regaining the two-tenths it lost in March (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” repeats at #17.

Three straight improvements by WFYI led to an overall +1.6 (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3 , 6+), but the Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk station spirals by -1.3 to 4.0 (seventh to ninth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – The wild ride plays on for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which boasts an April +2.2 (6.9 – 9.1, fifth to third, 6+). Having occupied the top spot 11 sweeps in a row, WJJK dropped to second in December. Its 11.1 (July and September) represents the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Among WJJK’s recent (6+) fluctuations are: +1.7 (April 2019); +1.4 (July); -1.1 (August); +1.1 (September); -2.2 (December); -1.4 (“Holiday” 2019); +1.1 (January 2020); -1.0 (March); and +2.2 (April 2020). Bettering March’s +1.4 with an April +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” reaches the ten-share level (7.2 – 8.6 – 10.1, third to second, 6+). A combined -1.1 in February/March (6.9 – 6.6 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” erases that deficit with a +1.3 to 7.1 (6+) and continues in sixth-place. Off two-tenths in March (7.5 – 7.3, 6+), WFMS’ format rival – Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank-FM” – dials up a +1.0 to (8.3, 6+) and remains at #4. Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM purges February/March’s half share decrease (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+) with a +.7 to 6.0 (steady at #7, 6+). On top the past five reports, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” segues to fourth (9.5 – 8.3, -1.2, 6+). WYXB was an overall +10.8 through three increases in succession (7.4 – 8.8 – 10.2 – 18.2, 6+), but was then -9.3 in January/February (18.2 – 9.1 – 8.9, 6+). Its 18.2 (“Holiday” 2019) represents the strongest 6+-performance by any Indianapolis station in the PPM-era. Regressing by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are Cumulus Media hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (#10 to #14) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A “WTTS “92.3 Experience The Music” (#10 to #11). In an alternating down/up sequence that began last August, “The Mix” is 3.7 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.0 (6+). As a result of three drops in a row, WTTS is -1.6 (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Despite being down two-tenths to 4.3 (6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” advances from ninth to eighth. The loss, however, suspends three straight gains that yielded a +1.3 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posted a 3.4 (6+) in June but is unlisted the eleventh time in a row.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The news/talk station on top in this Wisconsin market in April 2020 is iHeartMedia’s WISN. “News/Talk 1130” is an astonishing +5.3 via four straight spikes including April’s mammoth +3.5 and crosses the nine-share level (4.0 – 4.2 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 9.3, fourth to first, 6+). Replicating March’s +.6 (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ jumps from sixth to third. “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was off eight-tenths in January/February (5.9 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). In six straight sweeps without a loss, Alpha Media’s Kenosha-licensed WLIP doubles (+.3) its 6+ AQH share (.3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, #20 to 18, 6+).

It’s a mixed-bag for the market’s four sports talkers. On the plus side, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game – Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks” is up one-tenth (.6 – .7, #17 to #16, 6+) and Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” is flat at .6 (#17 to #18, 6+). Dropping one-tenth are Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (.6 – .5, #17 to #20, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” (.4 – .3, flat at #22, 6). The latter has lost four-tenths in seven straight sweeps without an increase (.7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+).

As a result of four straight gains, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.0 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, eighth to fifth, 6+). Repeating March’s 1.4 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD climbs from #13 to #12.  

Milwaukee Music Formats – In the Magnum Radio cluster, WVTY “92.1 VTY Country” more than triples (+1.8) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.8 – 1.6 – 2.6, #12 to #11, 6+); however, WMBZ “92.9 Buzz Country” surrenders all but one-tenth of March’s +.8 (2.1 – 1.4, -.7, #11 to #12, 6+). The December 2019 through February 2020 topline for WVTY was .9 – .7 – .9 – .8 (6+). Prior to March, “Buzz Country” hadn’t had an increase the previous four sweeps for a net loss of four-tenths (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+). An overall -3.0 in three straight setbacks (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” falls from second to eighth. WMYX had a January-only stay at the top. After posting an increase of seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (6.2 – 6.9 – 7.6, 6+), it faltered by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2019 before notching a +1.8 in January (6.1 – 7.9, 6+). Co-owned CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” is in an alternating up/down pattern which includes April’s -1.1: 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 3.1 (ninth to tenth, 6+). In March, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” each plummeted by -1.2. Now in April, both falter by eight-tenths. After spending the past six reports at #1, WRIT segues to #2 (7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Previously, “Big FM” spent four straight months on top before slipping to the runner-up slot in October. “Holiday” 2019’s 11.8 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its recent (6+) moves include: -1.5 (May 2019); -1.3 (October); +4.0 (“Holiday” 2019); -3.9 (January 2020); +1.0 (February); and -1.2 (March). Meanwhile, in four straight downturns, “B-93.3” has lost roughly 56% (-6.4) of its 6+ AQH share (11.4 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 5.8 – 5.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). “B-93.3” was a cumulative +6.2 as a result of three bumps in a row (5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 11.4, 6+). With their “Holiday” 2019 (6+) AQH share and market rank information in parentheses, the following Saga Communications stations are unlisted the fourth month in a row: WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (5.6, fifth, 6+); WHQG “102.9 The Hog Everything That Rocks” (4.7, eighth, 6+); urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (3.2, #13, 6+); and rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.5, #15, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” is up seven-tenths in March/April (4.7 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WWTN was -.7 (December/“Holiday” 2019) and then +.7 (January 2020). Up one-half share in March/April (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” progresses from #16 to #13.

Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is an overall -2.8 in three drops in succession (4.7 – 3.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In that same timeframe, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” has lost more than half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.0 – .6 – .4 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

Following January’s +1.1 (4.6 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” forfeits -1.7 in three straight slips (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Not only is Midwest Communications-owned adult hits WCJK an overall +3.0 in four straight spikes allowing it to cross the nine-share level (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 9.2, 6+), “96.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” advances from second to first. The last time Nashville’s version of “Jack-FM” occupied the top spot was November 2019. Knocked out of the penthouse after five consecutive sweeps there is WCJK’s adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (9.7 – 8.1, -1.6, first to second, 6+). A combined +8.3 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.5 – 9.7 – 15.8, 6+), WJXA has been: +1.0 (May 2019); -1.6 (October); +2.2 (December); +6.1 (“Holiday” 2019); -5.5 (January 2020); +1.3 (February); -1.9 (March); and -1.6 (April). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 The Rock,” which more than doubles (+3.4) its 6+-stat via four successive upticks including April’s hefty +2.1 (3.3 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 6.7, tenth to fifth, 6+). Advancing from fourth to third, co-owned urban contemporary WUBT 101.1 “The Beat” posts its fifth straight spike for a collective +2.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+). As a result of three straight boosts, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” is +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#11 to #7).  Middle Tennessee State University’s WMOT “Roots Radio 89.5,” which lost three-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4, 6+), triples March’s .4 and enters the top twenty (1.2, +.8, #18, 6+). Three straight down or flat moves by Educational Media Foundation’s WLVU resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is +.9 in March/April (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Drifting from fourth to tenth, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is -3.1 in March/April (7.1 – 6.4 – 4.0, 6+), following January/February’s +1.5 (5.6 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+). Just prior to the December 2019 report, WRVW netted nine-tenths via five straight sweeps without a loss (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+), but was then -.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+). Without an increase the past eight reports for a -1.2 (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .7 – .5 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), TBLC Media’s Spanish contemporary WNVL “Activa” disappears from print.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight positive or neutral trends – highlighted by April’s +2.3 – WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” has more than doubled (+3.6) its 6+ AQH share. The Cumulus Media-owned outlet  crosses the six-share level (2.5 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 6.1, 6+) and advances from seventh to fifth. Gaining nine-tenths in five straight sweeps without a loss (.4 – .6 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” progresses from #16 to #14. Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #20 to #19, 6+).

Dropping from ninth to tenth, Entercom sports talk WVEI is a cumulative -1.7 in three straight slumps (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.4, 6+).

Following three improvements in a row for a +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” surrenders 70% of the windfall (1.5, -.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

After three straight up or flat moves yielded nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH drops two-tenths to 3.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). More than doubling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share in March/April (.9 – 1.4 – 2.1, 6+), Rhode Island Public Radio news/talk WNPN progresses from #13 to #11.

Down three-tenths in February/March (.7 – .6 – .4, 6+), The Wheeler School-owned news/talk WELH “89.3 The Public’s Radio” regains two-tenths to .6 (#20 to #19, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On the heels of regressing six-tenths in March, Hall Broadcasting’s WCTK roars back with a +1.9 (7.9 – 9.8, third to second, 6+). “Cat Country 98.1” was +2.1 in January/February (6.4 – 7.8 – 8.5, 6+), directly after “Holiday” 2019’s -1.9 (8.3 – 6.4, 6+). Up two-tenths in March (2.1 – 2.3, 6+), Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). After being an overall +2.6 through three successive increases (8.0 – 9.4 – 10.2 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY drops four-tenths to 10.2 (6+). Nonetheless, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 the fourth time in a row. On top four consecutive months, WHJY segued to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2019, when it was -1.3. The three latest shifts by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” are: -8.3 (16.8 – 8.9 – 8.5, January/February, 6+); +1.3 (8.5 – 9.8, March, 6+); and now -1.9 in April (9.8 – 7.9, second to third, 6+). Sputtering by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are WWLI’s rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” (#10 to #12) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (#15 to #17). “Hot” is off eight-tenths in March/April (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+), while WJMN is down the third time in a row for a -1.0 (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). Unlisted the 11th month in a row are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from #11 to #13, Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1” is down or flat the seventh straight time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.3, 6+).

Norfolk Music Formats – Expunging February/March’s -1.0 (7.4 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+) with an April +1.1 to 7.5 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WOWI “103 Jamz” continues in the runner-up slot. More than five full-shares ahead of WOWI is Entercom urban AC WVKL (13.6 – 12.6, -1.0, 6+), which is #1 the 17th consecutive ratings period. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” was –1.5 in February and +.7 in March. Just prior to February, WVKL was an overall +2.7 in three straight gains (11.7 – 12.7 – 14.1 – 14.4, 6+). Its August 9.1 (6+) marked the first time since January 2014 (9.8) that WVKL failed to log double-digits (6+). The 15.5 it posted in August 2018 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After losing more than 60% (-7.7) of its 6+ AQH share through three straight downturns (12.4 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” picks up one-tenth to 4.8 (6+) and continues at #3. Faltering by seven-tenths each are Max Broadcast Group country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” (fourth to fifth) and iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN’ 107.7” (1.0, #11 to #14, 6+). “The Eagle” is without an increase the third time in a row for a -1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+); WMOV was up six-tenths in February/March (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). Off one-half share each are Entercom rhythmic CHR and hot AC cluster-mates WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” (fifth to sixth) and WPTE “94.9 The Point” (flat at #7). In March/April, “Z-104” is down seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), while “The Point” has lost nine-tenths in the same stretch (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). In three consecutive increases, Max Broadcast Group CHR WVHT was +1.6 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6, 6+) and crossed the three-share level (3.6) for the first time since July (3.1). While down one-tenth in April to 3.5 (6+), “Hot 100 Today’s Hits Now” nonetheless advances from sixth to fourth. These three Saga Communications-owned properties are unlisted the third month in a row: WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock”; WNOR “FM 99 Rocks”; and adult standards WJOI “Joy FM – Great Songs/Great Memories.” WAFX was -1.5 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (7.3 – 6.7 – 5.8, #4, 6+); WNOR lost basically half (-4.5) its 6+ AQH share via four consecutive downturns (9.1 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+), finishing fifth in “Holiday” 2019; and WJOI logged a .2 in “Holiday” 2019 (#17, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A whopping +5.3 through five consecutive upticks (8.1 – 8.3 – 9.8 – 10.4 – 11.8 – 13.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1.

A combined +.6 in March/April (.8 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” advances from #17 to #15. After posting a .3 (6+) in February and March, Cox Media Group sports talk WOKV-AM “690 AM ESPN Jacksonville” is unlisted in April.

Public radio news/talk WJCT follows March’s half-share improvement (3.4 – 3.9, 6+) with a loss of seven-tenths and exits the top ten (3.2, #10 to #11, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Augmenting its March increase of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+) with an April +1.0, iHeartMedia’s rock-formatted WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio” enters the top ten (3.8, #13 to #9, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was -1.3 in March (6.1 – 4.8, 6+), rebounds with a gain of six-tenths (5.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 1.3 (#17 to #16, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s New Alternative” applies the brakes to nine consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -1.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share softens by -2.0 as Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is -1.4 (sixth to eighth) and iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1 is -.6 (ninth to tenth). WGNE continues its alternating down/up pattern: 4.0 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 4.0 (6+). Without an increase the third time in a row, WQIK is -1.0 in that period (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+). Flat in seventh-place, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -1.0 in March/April (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.9 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from fifth to fourth. Following February’s -1.2 (2.9 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is a combined +.5 in March/April (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2, steady at #11, 6+). Without an increase the sixth time in a row for a one-third loss (-1.4) of its 6+ AQH share (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” nonetheless climbs from #21 to #16. Tied with WFTL in a four-way scrum at #16 is iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD “610 News Radio” (.6 – .7, +.1, #22 to #16, 6+).

The November 2019 through April 2020 topline for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” is: .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#25 to #22, 6+).

Despite being an overall +.9 in four straight reports without a loss (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Dade County School Board public radio news/talk WLRN backslides from eighth to ninth. WLRN was +.8 (December) and -1.0 (Holiday” 2019).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four latest fluctuations by Hubbard Broadcasting urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” are +1.8 (January); -2.3 (February); -1.5 (March); and +.8 in April (5.0 – 6.8 – 4.5 – 3.0 – 3.8, steady at #7, 6+). Nearly doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH stat in three straight spikes (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” continues in eighth-place. Co-owned CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” gains eight-tenths in three successive sweeps without a loss and reaches the four-share level (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). The three stations deadlocked at #1 in March all experience April erosion. Emerging in sole possession of first-place is Hubbard Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (7.7 – 7.2, -.5, 6+). “Sunny” was up three-tenths in February/March (7.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+). It now has a half-share lead over iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL (7.7 – 6.7, -1.0, first to second, 6+). Immediately prior, “Today’s Kool 105.5” was +3.1 as a result of three consecutive improvements (4.6 – 6.3 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), which directly followed five downturns in succession for an overall -2.8 (7.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). The third part of that March #1 triangle – Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF “Variety from the 90s and Now” – falters by -1.2 (7.7 – 6.5, 6+) and falls to third. Off -1.0 in March, WRMF had been on top three straight months. WRMF dropped one-tenth in February, following January’s +1.1. After spending 12 ratings periods at #1, WRMF slid to #2 in “Holiday” 2019 (-1.5). It substituted November’s -.6 with December’s +.6  (9.2 – 8.6 – 9.2, 6+). Plummeting by -1.0 each are iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” (4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WZTU “Tu 94.9” (#16 to #20). A collective +1.9 in three bumps in a row (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 5.0, November 2019 through January 2020, 6+), WKGR erased February’s loss of six-tenths with a March +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+). WZTU continues an alternating down/up sequence: 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .9 – 1.8 – 1.3 – 1.4 – .4 (6+). Remaining at #10, Hubbard-owned WIRK “New Country 103.1” is down or flat the sixth straight sweep for an overall -2.8 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of four straight bumps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” is a collective +2.6 (3.0 – 3.9 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) and pushes up from seventh to sixth.

Unlisted in January, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .7 – .8 – -.5 (February – March – April, flat at #15, 6+).

Off four-tenths to 3.0 (6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD exits the top ten (#10 to #11). It had been an overall +1.3 as a result of three successive increases (2.1 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+). The “Holiday” 2019 through April 2020 topline for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill public radio news/talk WUNC is: 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 (flat at #14,  6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Off three-tenths in March (3.0 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” answers with an April uptick of eight-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Adding six-tenths to its half-share gain in March (7.2 – 7.7 – 8.3, 6+), Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR “Rock 92” jumps from fourth to second. In addition to being a collective +1.2 in three straight spikes (9.9 – 10.5 – 10.8 – 11.1, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. This directly follows three consecutive losses that resulted in a -1.1 (11.0 – 10.9 – 10.1 – 9.9, 6+). In 2019, WQMG was #1 in January, February, April, May, July, and December. An overall -1.6 in three successive setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.1, 6+), Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 KZL The #1 Hit Music Station” falls from eighth to ninth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM All The Hits” has lost eight-tenths in March/April (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.0, unchanged at #12, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (second to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (flat at #5, 6+); and Entercom’s country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (sixth to seventh, 6+). In three straight drops, “Simon” is -2.8 (10.4 – 8.9 – 8.1 – 7.6, 6+). Its recent (6+) fluctuations include: -1.6 (April 2019); +1.1 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.4 (September); +1.0 (November); -1.2 (December); -2.2 (“Holiday” 2019); and +1.9 (January 2020); In November 2019, “Simon” hit the eleven-share level (11.9, 6+) for the first time since February 2018 (11.4). After improving by seven-tenths in February (7.4 – 8.1, 6+), WMAG is -1.0 in March/April (8.1 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). Following its “Holiday” 2019-only stay at #1, WMAG plummeted by roughly 54% (-8.8) of its 6+ AQH share (16.2 – 7.4, 6+). Immediately before that, four successive spikes netted WMAG a +9.9 (6.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 10.2 – 16.2, 6+). In an alternating up/down pattern that started in December, “The Wolf” is: 4.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 4.8 (6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +2.6 via four consecutive spikes, iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” hits the seven-share threshold (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 7.0, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Repeating at #13, Entercom’s WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is -1.6 in three straight slips (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+). Locked on .3 (6+) in February and March, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” drops one-tenth to .2 (#20 to #21, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH stat by notching five straight up or flat moves (1.9 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). A combined +1.3 in March/April (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), WDIA’s urban contemporary sibling – WHRK “K-97” – continues in third-place. “K-97” was -1.0 in January/February (7.8 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). In six down or flat reports in a row, urban AC cluster-mate KJMS was -3.0 (10.5 – 10.5 – 9.7 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.8 – 8.5, 6+); however, “V-101” pulls the plug with a +.2 to 8.7 (6+) and continues at #2. In February, KJMS exited the top spot after 16 consecutive times there. The alternating up/down sequence by Shelby County Schools urban AC WQOX “The Voice of SCS” includes April’s half share increase: 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). While adult contemporary endured a very harsh April 2020 sweep, both of Memphis’ ACs notch modest increases: Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” gains four-tenths (5.0 – 5.4, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” is up one-tenth (1.2 – 1.3, #15 to #16, 6+). “The River” had been -4.0 as a result of three consecutive downturns (9.0 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+). The Bridge” was up three-tenths in February and down one-half share in March. In addition to being #1 the third month in a row, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO is +2.8 in three straight jumps (8.3 – 9.1 – 11.0 – 11.1, 6+). In March, “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” hit double-digits (11.0) for the first time since November 2018 (10.7). Entering the January sweep, WRBO was +1.4 in three straight increases (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.5, 6+). A cumulative -3.1 as a result of three successive setbacks (8.3 – 7.8 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned gospel WHAL falls from fourth to seventh. “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” was off six-tenths in December and +1.8 “Holiday” 2019/January 2020. Including its current -.8, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” continues an alternating up/down pattern: 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 3.8 – 4.3 – 3.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+). In the country battle, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Today’s Best Country Kix 106” is down eight-tenths (#9 to #11), while Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” loses seven-tenths (2.2, flat at #12, 6+). The last four moves by “Kix 106” are +.9 (January); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); and -.8 in April (4.1 – 3.3, 6+). WGKX was -1.7 in December/“Holiday 2019.” Meanwhile, “The Wolf” gained one-half share in February and was -.6 in March (3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #4, Entercom-owned WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective  +1.9 through four consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2 – 7.6, 6+). After doubling its 6+ AQH share in February/March (.6 – .8 – 1.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” forfeits one-half share to .7 (#13 to #14, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WPOP  (.2 – .7, +.5, #15 to #14, 6+).“News Radio 1410” logged a .1 (6+) 21 straight times and then posted a .2 (6+) in back-to-back reports.

In three straight slumps, WPOP’s sports talk cluster-mate, WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” loses eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.1, #12 to #13, 6+).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is -1.6 in March/April (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.0, #9 to #10, 6+). As a result of three straight sweeps without an increase, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” loses half (-.2) is 6+ AQH share (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, #15 to #16, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats –  A combined -.5 in February/March (7.9 – 7.5 – 7.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” explodes with a +2.4 to 9.8 (6+) and storms from third to first. As a result, it ends at 46  Entercom adult contemporary WRCH’s consecutive string of #1 finishes. A combined -2.1 in March/April (11.0 – 9.9 – 8.9, 6+), “Lite 100.5” segues to the runner-up slot. WRCH was a combined +8.6 in December/“Holiday” 2019 (9.8 – 11.5 – 18.4, 6+) and -7.7 in January; 18.4 is the best 6+-showing of any Hartford station since WRCH’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2018. Recent (6+) WRCH shifts include: -1.3 (April 2019); +1.0 (May); -1.0 (July); +1.2 (September); +1.7 (December); +6.9 (“Holiday” 2019); -7.7 (January 2020); -1.1 (March); and -1.0 (April 2020). Off three-tenths in February (6.8 – 6.5, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale” counters with a +2.4 in March/April (6.5 – 7.6 – 8.9, 6+) and is tied with WRCH at #2. Unchanged at #8, Entercom-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” continues an alternating up/down pattern that includes April’s -1.5 (6.2 – 7.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 4.1, 6+). Three drops in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” result in a -2.6 (7.4 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 4.8, flat at #7, 6+). Reaching the market from New Haven, co-owned/similarly-formatted WKCI “KC-101” is off six-tenths in March/April (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.5, #12, 6+). Without an increase the tenth time in succession for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Kool Radio – Good Times/Great Oldies” drops from #14 to #16.

Friday, April 3, 2020

| April 3, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Behind Closed Doors!” looks back at this past week of March 30-April 3, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSJim Blasingame, talk show host, “The Small Business Advocate”; Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Doug Stephan; talk show host, the “DJV Show”; Mike Bendixen, program director, CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010”; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News Channel; and Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist, Psychcast-MDedge. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Radio’s John McConnell Cheats Death Thanks to Anti-Malaria Drug. Former ABC Radio SVP of programming and current EVP of talent and content management agency Workhouse Media, John McConnell, narrowly escaped the clutches of COVID-19 thanks to Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) – a drug used to combat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  McConnell tells TCPalm.com’s Laurence Reisman that after being admitted to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach in very bad shape, he and his wife had made out their wills and, after a time, had even said goodbye to each other, expecting the worst.  Staff were preparing to put him on a ventilator and McConnell had heard about the poor recovery rates for ventilated patients. But Dr. Gene Posca was also talking to McConnell about the pros and cons of Plaquenil and McConnell decided to try it.  The first 12 hours did not provide relief, but soon thereafter, McConnell began to feel better.  He says he’s feeling better every day and his main concern is to not get exposed again.

Missouri Radio Personality Recovering from COVID-19. “American Viewpoints” host Mike Ferguson believes he contracted the coronavirus during a recent trip to Chicago.  Feeling ill about a week after his trip, Ferguson saw a doctor who diagnosed a bad cold.  KRCG-TV, Columbia, Missouri reports that diagnosis was wrong, and Ferguson ended up spending nine days in a St. Louis hospital before being released.  Ferguson produces the “American Viewpoints” program that airs across numerous radio stations in Missouri, including on Zimmer Broadcasting’s talk stations KWOS-AM, Jefferson City and KSSZ-FM, Fayette “93.9 The Eagle.”  He tells KRCG-TV, “It was very painful in the lungs.  When I would start having a coughing fit, and these would last 90 seconds to 2 minutes, you would get residual pain from headaches, abdominal strain and things like that.  The really scary part is when you just can’t suck in enough air and you just keep coughing out more air than you can bring in.”  Ferguson was given a three-day treatment of anti-malaria medicine.

Sterling: Call in Your Chips. Talk show host Walter M. Sterling wonders why the industry that put the current administration into power – radio – isn’t asking to be saved from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “Right now, radio companies are firing people.  Why?  Isn’t radio eligible for the bailout?  Every radio company expense line could easily fit into a two trillion-dollar package.  Isn’t that bailout for media as well as other industries?”  Read his column here.

John Minko Takes Early Buyout from WFAN. As reported by Newsday, WFAN, New York update anchor John Minko is taking a buyout from the Entercom sports talk outlet, thereby creating a position for another staffer.  The 67-year-old Minko has been with the station since June 29, 1987 – two days before it flipped to sports.  It was about a year later that Emmis executive Rick Cummings (remember, Emmis owned the station at the time) saved Minko’s job at the station.  Minko tells Newsday he told Cummings, “I said, ‘There’s no way I can thank you for this,’ And he said, ‘Yes, there is a way… you could do this for somebody else someday.’”  He adds, “I thought that if I took it now, which was the right thing to do, if that prevented somebody else from getting fired, then I thanked Rick [for what he did].”

Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco and KWFN, San Diego Present ‘Virtual Game of the Week.’ Sports talk outlet KWFN, San Diego “97.3 The Fan” and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” are inviting fans to “97.3 The Fan’s Virtual Game of the Week,” a baseball game featuring the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants on SonyPlayStation 4’s “MLB The Show 20” video game.  The contest will be streamed on the stations’ Facebook pages and will feature real-time commentary from air talent Ben Higgins, Steve Woods, John Kentera, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Chris Ello.  KGMZ-FM personalities Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal, Dan Dibley, Joe Shasky and Ryan Covay will also participate.

TALKERS News Notes. WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa and station owner Entercom have issued a cease-and-desist order to a Twitter user – and regular Francesa antagonist – for that person to stop posting audio and video of Francesa’s program.  The New York Post reports that the anonymous person behind the Funhouse Twitter account will abide by the order but tweeted, “He just went from being mostly irrelevant to completely irrelevant.  Don’t misunderstand… I’m a nobody, but I lost count of how many people told me they only hear him via my clips.  He didn’t think this through.”…..The previously announced RAB webinar, “Data Drives Revenue” featuring Analytic Owl will feature brand-new granular data. COVID-19 has challenged marketers to find the best messaging and methods to communicate with consumers.  The RAB says that in this one-hour webinar, Analytic Owl’s David Shapira will share new data and insights for the current business unusual landscape.  It’s free for RAB member and takes place Tuesday (4/7) from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and Thursday (4/9) from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Podcast listens continue to rise for FOX Sports RadioPremiere Sports Network says FSR realized one million more podcast listens in March 2020 than in February 2020, when there was a full month of live sporting events.  FSR goes on to say that year-over-year, the network’s total podcast audience grew by 67%…..Pineapple Street Studios and The Meteor announce the launch of “Doctor’s Log: A COVID-19 Journal,” a limited-run podcast series on which leading ER physician Dr. Esther Choo reports from the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis — the emergency room of a busy American hospital — as health professionals encounter the most significant health threat and pandemic in modern history.  She says, “There is a gap between what we’re experiencing and worrying about on the healthcare delivery side and what the general public sees.  My experience is just one piece of the global healthcare response to the pandemic, but hopefully with this podcast, I can represent the voices of my colleagues, honor their work, and share their struggles as the entire country grapples with an unprecedented threat.”

Statistics About COVID-19 Infections and Projections of Future Cases Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 30 – April 3. Statistics and projections about the infection and fatality rates of the coronavirus were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the strain placed on the U.S. health care system by the pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the state of the world’s financial markets, the economy, and the relief package approved by congress and signed by President Trump, followed by the politics surrounding the pandemic and its effect on the November presidential race 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. On-air pro Mike Waters is joining NRG Media’s classic hits KOKZ, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo as morning drive personality, effective Monday (4/6).  Station operations manager Jeff Winfield says, “We are thrilled to have Mike join NRG Media as the voice for 105.7 KOKZ for the morning drive.  He brings more than 30 years’ experience in the radio industry across a variety of formats.  Mike understands the importance of NRG’s mission to provide great local radio.”  Waters adds, “I look forward to the opportunity to work with a great team already in place in the market!  I’m excited about the opportunity to work with a very talented group of individuals, a great radio company.  I can’t wait to get on air.”…..SiriusXM – with the help of pop star Taylor Swift – is launching a Home DJ series on its CHR channel SiriusXM Hits 1.  Beginning today, Swift (followed by other pop artists) will take over SiriusXM Hits 1 from her home.  Swift and the other stars will be playing the most requested hits and their favorite music, providing commentary and more to connect with their fans all across North America.  Others to take part in the program will include: Niall Horan, Camila Cabello, Sia, 5SOS, Diplo, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Puth, Pete Wentz, and more.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We love to connect fans with their favorite artists, and our Home DJ series will bring some of the biggest names in music into our homes as people look for ways to be entertained.  Taylor Swift will lead the way and will be followed by many stars on Hits 1 in the days ahead as they play their favorite music for the channel’s faithful national audience and new listeners too.  Our new Stream Free option opens up our channels to anybody who wants some diversion and great music.”

Thursday, March 5, 2020

| March 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

| October 1, 2019

TALKERS and The Epoch Times’ Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” Takes Place in NYC; Video Available for Viewing.  A 90-minute panel discussion took place in New York today (10/1).  The “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” was a panel discussion that included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  See the video of today’s event here.

Ramsey Solutions Addresses National Student Loan Crisis. The company is working to help families avoid  traps of student loans and show them a better way to pay for college. Ramsey Solutions chief executive officer/“Dave Ramsey Show” host Dave Ramsey declares, “Americans have been fed a lie that it is impossible to afford college without student loans. That lie has the average graduate burdened with over $35,000 in student loans from the moment they’re handed their diplomas. The system is broken, and we want people to know the truth: It is possible to pay cash for college.” Thought leaders Ramsey, Mark Cuban, and Seth Godin are among those interviewed in “Borrowed Future,” an eight-episode podcast series featuring real-life stories that explore the student loan crisis. Anthony ONeal, author of “Debt Free-Degree: The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Kid Through College Without Student Loans,” remarks, “Parents and teens believe that student loans are the only option, but debt doesn’t open doors – it closes them. I travel the country speaking to thousands of people each year. I meet students all the time who are working hard, applying for scholarships and grants, and are actually graduating debt-free. I believe more parents and students can do this, but they need a plan. We’re here to provide that plan.”

NAB PILOT Program Announces Internship Grant Recipients. Launched this past spring, PILOT is the National Association of Broadcasters’ technology initiative which has thus far provided paid internships to 13 NAB member organizations for undergraduate students in radio and television engineering/technology positions. The program is provided in partnership with the NAB’s Leadership Foundation as part of an effort to grow technical and engineering talent for the industry. Grants for the spring 2020 term will be provided to the following NAB members: Michigan State University news/talk WKAR-AM, news/talk-classical WKAR-FM, and PBS affiliate WKAR-TV, East Lansing (Michigan); Butler County Radio Network (Butler, Pennsylvania) news/talk WISR, country WBUT, and rock WLER; Scripps Media Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV; and Marquee Broadcasting Bowling Green, Kentucky’s WNKY-TV. NAB’s executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny notes, “We have been encouraged by the response to this program and are thrilled to continue it for a second year. PILOT and the NAB Leadership Foundation remain committed to assisting NAB member stations in attracting the best and brightest new candidates to a career in broadcast technology.” NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke adds, “The NAB Foundation is happy to provide opportunities with PILOT for students in the broadcast technology and engineering fields. Our intent is to continue to expand the pool of talent for our industry.” The program seeks to help NAB members that do not currently offer engineering or media-technology internships. It will provide resources to assist selected stations in identifying and supporting interns, as well as assistance for the selected interns to attend next year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

TALKERS News Notes. Celebrities and politicians were omnipresent in Staten Island this past Saturday (9/28) at the nuptials of Salem Media Group New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” executive producer/talk host Frank Morano and his fiancé Rachel O’Brien. “This truly was the most unique assemblage of people ever to come to one party,” he maintains. It’s hard to argue that claim as Morano’s WNYM colleague, Joe Piscopo, got the afternoon started with a Frank Sinatra “New York New York”/“That’s Life” medley reminiscent of how Piscopo did it on “Saturday Night Live.” Morano is quick to note that Piscopo’s date for the affair was none other than supermodel Carol Alt. Among others spotted in the crowd were congressman Dan Donovan; former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey; billionaire businessman/New York City-based Red Apple Group chair/CEO (and new owner of New York City news/talk WABC) John Catsimatidis; former mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis; and criminal defense attorney Arthur Aidala, currently representing Harvey Weinstein. Syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher was in attendance as were talk host/author Kevin McCulloughRichard Bey, sportscaster Russ Salzberg, and Shelley Goldberg. There were no reports of fisticuffs or violence of any type at the wedding. That is actually quite remarkable and noteworthy, given that John A. Gotti and his sister, reality TV star/author Victoria Gotti, were there along with Guardian Angels founder/talk show host Curtis Sliwa. Things could have gotten particularly dicey as it was Gotti who was charged with ordering the 1992 kidnapping and shooting of Sliwa. Gotti went on trial four times with each trial ending in a hung jury. “Needless to say, we kept John and Curtis on opposite sides of the room,” Morano quips. “It did lead to one of the more interesting quotes of the evening. As Curtis was dancing, John remarked to me, ‘Do you think Curtis would mind if I cut in to dance with his wife?’” Also at the wedding was Maureen Gioeli, the wife of Tommy “Shots” Gioeli, who Morano describes as “the alleged acting boss of the Colombo crime family” ….. Six-year (2003 – 2009) Bernalillo County (New Mexico) sheriff Darren White will join Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB “AM 770 News Radio” as midday host (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm), beginning next Monday (10/7). Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Darren is one of the best political minds around, with deep roots in the Albuquerque media market and New Mexico politics. KKOB delivers the best lineup in radio and Darren is going to help us fill out our already amazing roster.” White states, “I’m honored to join the legendary KKOB and host a show in a time slot between a national radio powerhouse in Rush Limbaugh and a radio legend in TJ Trout. I’m grateful to Jeff Berry for this amazing opportunity and excited to get behind the mic to continue the long tradition of engaging talk radio.” Formerly a correspondent for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV, White was secretary of New Mexico’s Department of Public Safety and Albuquerque’s chief public safety officer ….. Pre-game and post-game host of Cincinnati Reds games, Tommy Thrall, will succeed retired hall of famer Marty Brennaman as the team’s lead radio voice on iHeartMedia Cincinnati news/talk WLW. After calling minor league Pensacola Blue Wahoos games for six years, Thrall joined the Reds crew this season. He previously was the radio voice of the Quad Cities River Bandits ….. Three-year senior producer/audience development & engagement Stephanie Curtis is promoted to Minnesota Public Radio’s MPR News director of programming. Executive director of news & programming Nancy Cassutt comments, “Steph holds a clear vision for what needs to come next in our programming in order to be relevant and engaging with our audiences. She understands our newsroom and where we have the best opportunities to grow and better serve our listeners. Combined with her wealth of talents, this makes her a perfect fit for this role.” Curtis has been with MPR for over 25 years and is the “Movie Maven” on the weekly “Cube Critics” podcast ….. WFPL news editor Jonese Franklin is boosted to local host for NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the Louisville Public Media news/talk station. WFPL director of news and programming Erica Peterson notes, “Jonese brings a diverse depth of experience to the job, including years working as a journalist, editor and broadcaster. I’m excited to hear her on the air every day, and I know our listeners will be as well” ….. Beginning next Monday (10/7), iHeartRadio Broadway debuts “Show & Tell with Frank DiLella,” a weekly Broadway-focused original podcast. New episodes will be available every Monday via the iHeartPodcast Network. Host of “On Stage,” Spectrum News NY1 theater correspondent DiLella is an Emmy Award winning journalist. According to iHeartRadio Broadway director Sarah Jane Arnegger, “We’re thrilled to have Frank DiLella join iHeartRadio Broadway. Frank has been an integral part of the Broadway industry for years. With his built-in audience, this podcast will serve as an extension of what Frank does best with his comprehensive reporting style and celebrity theatrical interviews.” DiLella remarks, “I am truly excited to be teaming up with iHeartMedia and iHeartRadio Broadway as it expands its Broadway programming. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the folks who make up the theater community in New York and abroad. With this new opportunity, I look forward to bringing my in-depth conversations and commentary with the movers and shakers of the industry to a larger audience.”

Cumulus Media Cluster Sets Annual “Christmas For Our Troops.” The fundraiser and series of donation drives that will benefit our service personnel will commence one week from this Friday (10/11) and run through November 12. In partnership with Step Up For Soldiers, Cumulus Media Wilmington, North Carolina will collect items donated by the community for deployed servicemen and women and raise funds to ship the packages overseas in time for Christmas. Cumulus Wilmington vice president and market manager Eric McCart states, “In addition to collecting items, an important need we have is to collect money for our ‘Christmas For Our Troops Postage Fund.’ It costs $14.35 to send each flat-rate box overseas. The more monetary donations we receive, the more Christmas packages we can send to our troops. We will be accepting both ‘Postage Fund’ and suggested item donations while we’re on location at our collection sites. ‘Postage Fund’ donations can also be made online.” Items to be collected will include writing utensils, games, snacks, bottled drinks, and anything else that is easy-to-use, easy-to-wash, and easy-to-store. In addition to WAAV “980 The Wave – News, Talk, & Sports,” the company’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster includes WWQQ “Double Q-101.3 Cape Fear’s Country Leader,” adult contemporary WGNI “102.7 GNI Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” urban contemporary WMNX “Coast 97.3,” and classic rock WKXS “94.5 The Hawk.”

Stations Go From One Backyard To Another. Headed by Van A. Michael, Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC closes on its purchase of seven Pennsylvania stations from … and here’s where it gets tricky … Daniel J. Farr’s (also) Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC. Neither of these Backyard entities has any other broadcast interests. Stations involved are sports talk WWPA “ESPN Radio 1340”; WWPA’s FM translator W267BJ at 101.3; WILQ “105.1 Today’s Best Country”; and hot AC WLMY – all in Williamsport; rock WZXR, South Williamsport; rock WCXR, Lewisburg (which simulcasts WZXR); and classic hits-oldies WBZD, Muncy. Kalil & Company, Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran consultant/programmer John Sebastian signs the first client for his “WOW Factor” format – KOAI, Phoenix – and as part of the deal, he will be the consultant and hands-on program director of the Riviera Broadcasting outlet. Riviera Broadcasting chief executive officer Michael Cutchall remarks, “John has been one of the most innovative programmers in the history of radio. There is no one better to connect with listeners and communities in his approach and philosophy to programming. His excitement to join our team is contagious and his desire to win is relentless.” Sebastian asserts that KOAI will be “the first of many ‘WOW Factor’ stations across America with an eclectic mix of music researched and curated for baby boomers.” His previous Phoenix programming background already includes KUPD, KSLX, and KDKB. Sebastian has programmed in other markets such as Los Angeles (KTWV, KHJ, and KZLA); Chicago (WJMK); Dallas (KPLX); Boston (WCOZ); Seattle (KISW); Minneapolis (KDWB); and Nashville (WSM-FM). According to Nielsen Audio PPM data, the February 2019 through August 2019 (6+) topline for classic hits-oldies KOAI is: 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5. It ranks #25 in August 2019; iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is on top (7.0, 6+). ….. Former Bohn Broadcast Services vice president of business development Chris Roth is appointed program director of Entercom Washington, DC classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” Roth will “work closely” with Entercom classic hits-oldies format captain Chris Ebbott, who programs Los Angeles’ co-owned/similarly formatted KRTH “K-Earth 101.” Entercom Washington, DC senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “One year into the format, we are satisfied with the station’s position, but we are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve. Chris Roth brings the vernacular and market knowledge to finetune ‘94.7 The Drive’ to DC’s particular tastes. He’s uniquely-suited for this role; I am excited to see him help our station excel.” Roth notes, “Programming ‘94.7 The Drive’ is a dream job for me. I’m passionate about the classic hits format and I’m looking forward to making it the fun destination for DC listening.” Roth previously was an on-air talent at Baltimore adult contemporary sibling WLIF “Today’s 101.9”; director of programming for WAVA, Washington; a reporter at Washington’s all-news WTOP; and director of programming and operations for Winchester, Virginia hot AC WINC-FM ….. As noted in this space just last Friday (9/27), Scott Roddy exited his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for a “yet-to-be-revealed position.” Well, it didn’t take long for the mystery to be revealed as Roddy will join Entercom Portland next Monday (10/7) as program director/operations manager for country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” and hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.” Entercom Portland senior vice president/market manager Kim Martinez states, “Scott has an impressive track record programming leading stations; we’re fortunate to add him to the team. I am confident his proven leadership will enable him to step in and immediately enhance the programming efforts for our stations.” Roddy notes, “I’m stoked to join the iconic ‘Wolf’ and to bring some electricity back to the ‘Buzz.’ Kim Martinez is building a world-class operation at Entercom Portland. Her passion for our industry, audience, investors, and local team is unparalleled. I’d like to thank Kim; [chief programming officer] Pat Paxton; [regional president] Doug Abernethy; and [senior vice president of programming] Dave Richards for the opportunity.” Prior to joining WARH in February 2016, Roddy programmed stations for Entercom Indianapolis, Oasis Radio Group Fort Wayne (Indiana), and Saga Communications ….. This Saturday (10/5) at 8:00 am, iHeartMedia Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM, urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390” will hold the third annual “Sista Strut” 3K breast cancer charity walk to benefit the Chicago chapter of the Sisters Network. According to iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming Derrick Brown, “We are dedicated to serving the community in which we live and work. We remain committed to doing our part in being a source of support and encouragement for those battling and recovering from this disease.” WGCI-FM morning show member Kendra G and WVAZ midday talent Bionce Foxx will host the event. Special guests will include “Steve Harvey Morning Show” co-host Carla Ferrell ….. Forming the new morning team at Emmis Indianapolis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” are Caleb James and Mindy Winkler. James most recently programmed NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9,” while Winkler arrives from WLHK’s adult contemporary sibling WYXB “B-105.7.” Former “Hank” morning driver Dave O’Brien is now doing similar duties at Entercom Denver classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” ….. Louisville alternative WGHL “Alt 105.1” program director/afternoon talent Phil “PK” Kukawinski tacks on  programming duties for Alpha Media adult hits cluster-mate WXMA “102.3 Jack-FM.” He succeeds Sarah Jordan, who continues as marketing director and mid-day personality (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on co-owned CHR WDJX “99-7 DJX” ….. To help raise funds, supplies, and awareness for rescue dogs, iHeartMedia Colorado Springs hot AC KVUU “My 99.9” will team with the Lovepup Foundation for the initial “Lovepup Family Fest” one week from Saturday (10/12, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) at Weidner Field. KVUU morning drive talent Johnjay of the syndicated “Johnjay and Rich” show will host the event. All money and pet supply donations will benefit local Colorado Springs animal rescue organizations …..  Meanwhile, KVUU cluster-mate KCYY “Y-96.9 #1 For New Country” and Oakwood Homes join forces four weeks from today (10/29) for the first-ever “Boo Bash” to benefit HBA Cares. Hosted by “Y-96.9” afternoon drive host Shawn Patrick, the event will feature entertainment from Matt Stell, Noah Schnacky, and Tyler Walker Band. “Boo Bash” proceeds will benefit local transitional and accessible housing in the Colorado Springs area, along with other local community projects. Doors will open at 6:00 pm at Boot Barn Hall ….. WCYQ “100.3 The Wolf” nighttime talent Paul Orr exits the SummitMedia Knoxville country station to focus on his voiceover business. Before joining WCYQ, Orr worked in Birmingham (WZZK); Oklahoma City (KTST); Fort Myers (WWGR); and Shreveport (KRMD) ….. A “goat” is loose in Hagerstown-Chambersburg (Maryland-Pennsylvania) as Verstandig Media transitions CHR WNUZ “Now 92.1” to classic hits-oldies WIKG “92.1 The Goat – The Greatest of All Time.” This comes after a weekend of stunting with all-Christmas music; the station is inviting listeners to “Take Your Goat To Work.” Continuing the theme, the “goat herd” is airing 20 songs in a row in its first week.

Delilah Honored With AFN Challenge Coin. For her unwavering support of service members and veterans, Premiere Networks’ adult contemporary host Delilah received the American Forces Network challenge coin last Thursday (9/26) at the Radio Show in Dallas. Military challenge coins have been issued to servicemen and servicewomen since World War I as a symbol of honor, respect, gratitude, and loyalty. Delilah is heard weeknights at 7:00 pm in Japan, Korea, and central Europe on AFN Radio’s “Today’s Best Hits Adult Contemporary” channel. Pictured left to right are: Tom Arnholt of AFN programming and operations, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Delilah, who co-hosted last week’s NAB Marconi Awards, and Curt Eckstein of AFN programming and operations.

Monday, July 1, 2019

| July 1, 2019

Emmis and Standard General Form New Company to Buy New York’s WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM. This new company will be called Mediaco Holding and it will buy urban radio stations WBLS-FM and WQHT-FM “Hot 97” for $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note receivable, and 23.72% of the common equity of Mediaco.  Emmis will distribute this common equity of Mediaco pro rata to its shareholders in a taxable dividend.  Mediaco will be a public company expected to be listed on NASDAQ, and Emmis will remain a separate public company, as well.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will serve as CEO of Mediaco and Emmis will remain active in the management of WBLS and WQHT and provide certain corporate services to Mediaco pursuant to a management agreement between the parties.  Investment firm Standard General will appoint a majority of the board of directors of Mediaco and Soohyung Kim, CEO, managing partner and chief investment officer of Standard General L.P., will be chairman of Mediaco.  After this deal gets regulatory approval, Emmis Communications will still operate New York’s WLIB and WEPN (through an LMA with ESPN Radio), four radio stations in Indianapolis, Indianapolis Monthly, and Digonex, a dynamic pricing company.  Emmis recently announced it is selling its 50.1% ownership stake in eight Austin, Texas stations to Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million.   Smulyan says of this latest deal, “This is a landmark day in the 40-year history of Emmis. We look forward to continuing to manage two of the world’s most iconic radio brands in ‘HOT 97’ and WBLS and employ our award-winning New York team as we partner with Soo Kim and Standard General to form a new public company to invest in media opportunities.  The transaction provides Emmis significant capital to aggressively pursue new business opportunities that align with our entrepreneurial spirit and management skills.  We are also excited to work with Soo and Standard General to grow Mediaco Holding.  We have already been evaluating great investment opportunities and I’m incredibly excited about the future. Today is a great day for the future of Emmis.” Emmis says that no personnel changes are planned, and all New York employees will continue to be Emmis employees with Emmis benefits as part of an Employee Leasing Agreement with Mediaco.

Kietzman Exits WHB-AM, Kansas City in Aftermath of Andy Reid Comments. Kansas City sports talk personality Kevin Kietzman has exited Union Broadcasting’s sports talk WHB-AM “Sports Radio 810” where he’s been hosting “Between the Lines” for the past 22 years.  Last week, Kietzman was suspended from the station after he referenced Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s two sons Britt and Garrett – both of whom battled drug issues and Garrett died of an overdose in 2012 – during a monologue about Reid’s ability to fix players with personal problems.  In an apology issued last week, Kietzman said his intent was not to blame Andy Reid for Garrett’s death, but he understood how his comments could have been interpreted as such.  Union Broadcasting president Chad Boeger issued a statement saying Kietzman’s departure was mutual, but it’s likely Kietzman would have preferred to return to his job. Kietzman was allowed to issue a final statement: “It’s been my honor and privilege to host ‘Between the Lines’ for the past 22 years and I’m proud of being a founding partner of this great local company that is so committed to our community.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Begin Posting Today with Erica Farber and Cousin Brucie Receiving AwardsTALKERS has begun posting key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention today (7/1).  The first two videos being posted today are RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award.  The convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story – took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Nielsen Releases Total Audience Report for Q1 2019. The latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen has been published and although the time spent with radio relative to other media options shrank from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, in the audio universe it is still the most popular platform with 92% of the 18+ U.S. population.  Looking at the daily hours and minutes spent with each platform, among adults 35-49 radio listening dipped from 1:50 minutes per day to 1:45 minutes.  In the Millennial group – adults 18-39 – listening time went from 1:25 in Q1 of 2018 to 1:20 in Q1 of 2019.  Which platform is seeing the largest growth? It’s the use of an app or the web on a smart phone.  That category is up across the board, even with upper demos.  In the adults 50-64 demographic, for example, use of an app or the web on a smartphone rose from 2:24 minutes per day to 2:47 minutes from Q1 of 2018 to Q1 of 2019.  See more about the report here.

Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying. Too much commercial and promo copy is…typical.  In-one-ear-out-the-other.  In this week’s Monday Memo column, consultant Holland Cooke offers examples of effective messages, most of which include “The Two Magic Words.”  Read his column here.

Chris Williams Signs Four-Year Extension to Remain with iHeartRadio. Digital executive Chris Williams will continue as chief product officer for iHeartRadio as he signs a four-year contract extension.  In this role he oversees digital programming initiatives, product marketing, UXD, and product strategies.  He joined the company in 2013 and rose to his current post in 2014. The company says that during his tenure as CPO, he has “expanded the iHeartRadio footprint to over 280 platforms and 2,000 devices and more than tripled its audience to where it currently stands with a registered user base of 130MM.  He also led the product initiative to launch two on-demand services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access.”

TALKERS News Notes. Newsday’s Neil Best writes that Entercom New York regional president Susan Larkin “would love” for WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa to continue hosting his radio show “forever.”  Best’s column speculates about Francesa’s future with the station, addressing both Francesa’s own musings about the challenges of hosting his radio show and doing his digital content for his app as well as the fact that the company is paying eight personalities to host four shows.  Larkin tells Best the company is pleased with the ratings and revenue from Francesa’s show.  Read it here…..WREX-TV, Rockford, Illinois reports that Midwest Family Broadcasting’s sports talk WNTA-AM is canceling its live and local sports talk shows and replacing them with syndicated fare.  Gone from the station are “Randy & Co.,” a two-hour morning show hosted by Randy Ruef and featuring a rotating cast of co-hosts as well as producer Jordan Goethe, and “Full Court Press,” the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm show co-hosted by Jake Logli and Jackson Schwartz…..Pictured at left is Westwood One talk host Jim Bohannon as Santa Claus bringing Christmas in June to kids at the Collins Children’s Home of Seneca, South Carolina.

G20 Summit/Trump Meets with Kim Jon Un and Xi Jinping, Hong Kong-China Tensions, Immigration Reform, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, and Stonewall Anniversary Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan and President Trump’s meetings with China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the protests in Hong Kong against Chinese rule; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform policies; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; Iran’s production of weapons grade uranium; and the anniversary of New York’s Stonewall Riots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Hartford hot AC WTIC-FM names Ryan “Salt” MacMillan the new morning drive host, taking over for Gary Craig, who recently announced his retirement.  Salt began hosting the Entercom station’s morning program with incumbent morning personality Christine Lee today (7/1).  Salt comes to Hartford from the company’s Boston hot AC WWBX-FM “Mix 104.1” where he was part of the “Karson & Kennedy” morning program. He says, “Boston has given me so much over the past seven years both on and off the air and I will forever be thankful, but it’s time for a new adventure in Hartford.  Gary Craig is a Hartford radio legend and with his long-time partner, Christine Lee, I am honored to try and continue his legacy.”…..Award-winning CMT host and radio personality Cody Alan just celebrated his 2,000th episode as host of “CMT After MidNite.”  Alan was surprised with in-studio appearances by Garth Brooks and Keith Urban, as well as a phone call from Thomas Rhett.  In addition to this major milestone for “CMT After MidNite,” Alan is also celebrating the 100th episode of his “Cody Cast” podcast and the 10th anniversary of the Premiere Networks-syndicated program “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.”…..Programmer Kat San Andres adds music director duties for Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic AC XHRM “Magic 92.5” to her responsibilities that also include serving as music director and APD for sister CHR XHTZ “Z90.”  She joined “Z90” in 2004 as a morning program intern and has worked her way up through the programming department…..Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation announces its new venture in which Radio Disney has agreed to license Radio Disney video content to SBC. SBC will “telestream” the Radio Disney video content: the audio will be broadcast on SBC’s radio station WIGO-AM, Atlanta and simultaneously the video will be streamed at wigoam.com. Sheridan has a patent which covers telestreaming.  SBC says it will launch a one-hour daily program featuring Radio Disney video content in the near future that will tentatively be called “The Radio Disney Hour.”  SBC COO Ron Davenport, Jr. says, “We are honored and extremely flattered to be the first radio broadcaster licensed by Disney to use Radio Disney video content. The Radio Disney team has been incredible to work with, and we are very excited about the possibilities going forward.”…..Sun Broadcast Group and “The Michael Baisden Show” announce a renewal of the show’s distribution deal through December 31, 2020.  Baisden says, “Now that the show is hitting on all cylinders it’s time to do what I do best…engage with people.  I began my career hosting relationship seminars and producing upscale events, it’s time to get back out there and connect with my listeners face-to-face and have some fun!”…..SiriusXM is launching a limited-run music channel called “Madonna’s Madame X Radio” that will be available during the month of July.

Monday, April 15, 2019

| April 15, 2019

Brown Parts Ways With iHeartMedia Denver. The approximately 12-year association between talk show host Michael Brown and iHeartMedia Denver has come to an end. While this turn-of-events isn’t something Brown wanted or anticipated, he emphasizes he has “fond memories” of his time in radio and is “looking forward to getting behind the microphone as quickly as possible.” He maintains radio is “a fantastic medium that will never disappear,” and he “readily embraces” the digital aspect of the business. Citing conversations he had with iHeartMedia regional senior vice president of Denver programming JoJo Turnbeaugh, Brown – who served as under-secretary of Homeland Security in both of George W. Bush’s administrations – reports his departure is owing to “format changes.” Brown’s Denver radio career began at news/talk KOA, where he did part-time work before becoming a full-timer. He then spent several years in afternoon drive on news/talk sibling KHOW, and recently returned to KOA. Regarding his highly-publicized experiences during Hurricane Katrina, Brown co-authored June 2011’s “Deadly Indifference, The Perfect (Political) Storm: Hurricane Katrina, The Bush White House, and Beyond.” In it, he criticizes the performance of several people and critiques his own performance by stating that he “failed to be ready for the press and was too timid in his response.” Politically, Brown describes himself as “very clearly center-right, conservative, with a strong libertarian bent.” He appears at #83 on The Talkers Magazine 2018 Heavy Hundred.

Thomas Inducted Into The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. In recognition for her career in radio and community service, Entercom Detroit WWJ “News Radio 950” reporter Vickie Thomas was honored yesterday (4/14) in a ceremony at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Entercom Detroit senior vice president/market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “For more than 25 years, Vickie Thomas has been informing our listeners on major stories that impact our community in and around Detroit. Vickie is an incredible journalist who isn’t afraid to pose tough questions to city leaders and other officials to report a fair and accurate story. She is well deserving of this honor and we are extremely proud to have Vickie inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.” Thomas comments, “In thinking about my over 30-year career in radio, with most of that time spent at WWJ, I can’t help but acknowledge all the people who took the time to encourage me and guide me. I’m really a reflection of those outstanding individuals. This award is extremely special because it comes from my peers. I’m blessed to have my body of work in journalism acknowledged by the selection committee; I thank each member who poured over all the applications and deemed me worthy of this honor.” Thomas, who joined WWJ in 1991, has earned awards from the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Michigan Associated Press, and the National Association of Black Journalists. She graduated cum laude and with honors in journalism from Wayne State University in 1989.

MONDAY MEMO: The Podcast Consumer 2019.  In our on-demand culture, consumers have taken control of their media.  We call the audio version “podcasting,” something everyone seems to be doing now.  But who is listening?  In this week’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke summarizes the recently released Edison Research “Podcast Consumer 2019” report. Click here to read how he outlines ways radio broadcasters can exploit this trend.

TALKERS News Notes. All remaining regular season and postseason play of the New York City Football Club will air in Spanish on the ESPN app, along with the iHeart and Tune-in apps. In addition, select games of the American professional soccer team will air locally in New York City on WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes Radio 1050.” ESPN Radio Group senior vice president Tim McCarthy remarks, “WEPN-AM is proud to be associated with a tremendous brand like NYCFC. We believe giving our  listeners a choice on quality play-by-play has tremendous value; this agreement with NYCFC does just that.” NYCFC chief executive officer Brad Sims notes, “We are excited to have our 2019 matches broadcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes platforms. We want to give our fans many different ways to follow our club. This is a terrific alliance that will make our games even more accessible. New York’s Hispanic community is extremely passionate about soccer and is an integral part of our fanbase, so it continues to be a priority for us to provide Spanish-language presentations. ESPN is a leader in the sports media landscape and we’re looking forward to working together.” Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas will give their commentary throughout the season ….. Changes to take effect in three weeks (5/6) at Emmis-owned WFNI “Indy’s Sports Center – The Fan” will find Jeff Rickard and “Big JoeStaysniak moving from mid-days (10:00 am – 12:00 noon) to morning drive (7:00 am – 10:00 am). “Jeff & Big Joe” will succeed ESPN Radio’s “(Mike) Golic & (Trey) Wingo,” while ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” will inherit the vacated 10:00 am – 12:00 noon slot …. A nine-year program director of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “Cleveland’s Country 99.5,” Charley Connolly is named operations manager of Cumulus Media’s eight Youngstown stations and will be the day-to-day PD of country WQXK “K-105” there. Cumulus Youngstown vice president/market manager Bill Kelly comments, “We are fortunate to have someone of Charley’s background available to us in Youngstown. This is going to be fun.” In addition to WGAR, Connolly programmed iHeartMedia Cleveland’s adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake.” Prior to that, he performed similar responsibilities for Cumulus Media Nashville’s news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” and country WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.” In addition to WPIC “News Talk 790,” WBBW “Sports Radio 1240 AM,” and WLLF “Sports Radio 96.7 FM,” Cumulus Media Youngstown consists of aforementioned WQXK; CHR WHOT “Hot 101”; classic rock WYFM “Y-103”; classic country WSOM “America’s Music”; and classic hits-oldies WWIZ “Z-104.” ….. Approximately 250 guests attended last Friday’s (4/12) eleventh annual “Hurley in the Morning” charity dinner and silent auction, which raised $40,000. Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes keynoted the festivities at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino – Hotel. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the highest levels of government, business, and industry sectors,” declares Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG morning talent Harry Hurley. “Todd is a kind and generous friend. He is such a well-respected talent and a wonderful gentleman. Todd took the time to greet every guest, making each one feel like the most important person in the Ocean Ballroom.” Resorts Casino – Hotel president/chief executive officer Mark Giannantonio opines, “Harry could take his iconic event anywhere – it was truly spectacular. Todd Starnes was engaging and entertaining. Our audience enjoyed his humble, friendly, and unifying message. Resorts was happy and proud to once again host this charity dinner and we look forward to hosting Harry’s event again next year.” Starnes did his 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm Fox News Radio talk show onsite. Among dignitaries attending were congressman Jefferson Van Drew; New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney; New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella; and current and past New Jersey state legislature members. Ahead is Hurley’s twelfth annual charity golf open (6/21) in Egg Harbor Township (New Jersey) ….. Following his tenure as Reach Media’s integrated ad sales coordinator, Erick Vilson joins Sun Broadcast Group as national account manager and will be based in New York City. Sun Broadcast Group chief operating officer Julio Aponte, Jr. comments, “I was very impressed with Erick’s background, reputation, and his dedication to excellence. Bringing someone with his digital and event experience on-board will allow our team to offer greater business opportunities for our agencies and a deeper connection with our national audience for our advertisers.” Vilson notes, “Becoming part of the Sun Broadcast Group family is a fantastic opportunity. Their reputation in the industry, new approach to business, and clever ways to market their offerings was very attractive to me. I am very excited to bring my experience to the sales team.” Vilson has held sales and operation positions for iHeartMedia and Emmis.

Mueller Report Anticipation, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Assange Case Free Speech Implications Top Stories Discussed on News/Talk Radio This Weekend.  According to the research of TALKERS, news/talk shows across the country this weekend (4/13-14) were largely focused on the topics of anticipation of the Robert Mueller Report’s planned delivery to Congress this Thursday, the next level of the College Admissions Scandal and charges filed against celebrity participants, the 2020 Presidential Race, and the Julian Assange Case’s implications on free speech and the free press going forward.

Progressive Talk Radio Champ Thom Hartmann Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. What is the state of progressive news/talk radio on the commercial and non-commercial dial? What is the liberal talk radio view of the early competition in a crowded field of hopefuls vying for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination? And what is the general status of the “Left” in American politics in 2019? Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Thom Hartmann – consistently ranked the most important progressive talk radio host on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – is the guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Hartmann (heard daily 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET) tackle these and other pertinent issues in an illuminating conversation that gets right to the heart of today’s talk media landscape. Harrison states, “Thom Hartmann has not only earned the respect of people on all sides of the political spectrum for his authentic, even-handed approach to today’s issues from the liberal perspective, but the unique and aggressive multi-platform distribution paradigm that he and his team have developed over the years stands as a model for independent radio syndication of all ideological stripes going forward into the digital era. The radio industry should pay attention to this innovative broadcaster.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.

Survey Says: Social Media Use Unchanged. Notwithstanding privacy controversies, “fake news,” and social media censorship, the share of adults in the United States who say they use certain online platforms or apps is statistically the same as it was this time last year. That is the conclusion of a Pew Research Center study conducted January 8 to February 7 (2019). The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter are each basically the same as in 2016. Instagram, however, shows an uptick during this same timeframe, growing from 35% of adults to 37%. Roughly seven of every ten adults in this country say they still use Facebook; nearly three of every ten visit Pinterest; and more than one of every five are Twitter users. Of all Facebook users, approximately three of every four visit the site every day – half check that platform several times a day. Those particular numbers identically mirror Pew’s 2018 survey results. At the same time, YouTube use remained at 73%, while LinkedIn users went from 25% to 27%. Slightly more than half of YouTube users (51%) visit the site daily – up from the 45% who said the same in 2018. According to the report, Instagram and Snapchat are especially popular with younger adults, with Instagram used by two of every three 18 – 29-year-olds and Snapchat used by slightly more than two of every five (62%) people in that demo.

Lilly Broadcasting Becomes A Radio Player. As a result of paying $900,000 for three Warren (Pennsylvania) stations it is acquiring from Frank Iorio’s Radio Partners LLC, San Luis Obispo, California-based Lilly Broadcasting enters the radio business. The three Warren-area outlets involved are WNAE “News Talk 96.7,” classic hits-oldies WRRN “92 Gold,” and WKNB “Kinzua Country 104.3.” Lilly owns television facilities in Honolulu, Erie (Pennsylvania), Elmira (New York), Marquette (Michigan), and the Caribbean. According to Lilly Broadcasting president Kevin Lilly, “The Warren radio properties create synergies with our current footprint in our Pennsylvania television DMA, comprised of Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties. They will allow us to better serve our viewers and now our radio listeners while in their homes, cars, and online. We look forward to providing the best content available for our listeners and will improve the news, weather, and sports information on all platforms.”

 

 

San Antonio’s New Vibe. KXTN “Tejano & Proud,” San Antonio transitions to KVBH “Vibe 107.5.” Of the rhythmic hot AC presentation that will mix “pop, hip-hop, and R&B artists from the 1980s and early-2000s,” Univision San Antonio vice president and general manager Chris Morris states, “We are excited to launch a brand-new format that reflects the distinct musical tastes of San Antonio – one of the most diverse communities in the nation. By reformatting and optimizing our audio portfolio, we are able to better serve our audience and give them more of the content they love.” In conjunction with the format flip, the “Tejano & Proud” format shifts to a simulcast on KVBH-HD2 and KCOR, while “Univision Deportes Radio” moves from KCOR to KROM-HD3. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period, KXTN ranks #14 (3.1). Its February 2018 through February 2019 high was 4.0 (6+) in February 2018.

More Than A Million Smiles. As part of its fourth annual “Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy,” Westwood One’s “The Bob & Tom Show” raised a record $1,053,500 in Vienna, West Virginia for the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Pictured here is show cast member Josh Arnold who performed with fellow veteran touring comics Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, and Henry Phillips. Parkersburg (West Virginia) rocker WHBR “103.1 The Bear” is the local “Bob & Tom Show” affiliate.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After nearly four years with iHeartMedia Denver CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” morning driver J.J. Kincaid (of “JJ & Nina”) departs. Immediately in advance of his Denver stint, Kincaid had a nine-year afternoon drive run in New York at co-owned/similarly-formatted WHTZ “Z-100” and spent three years in Dallas at another iHeartMedia CHR, KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” ….. On the heels of Beasley Media Group Boston flipping WBOS from “Alt 92.9” to “Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11), the station eliminates the music director position that was held by Joel Weiss, who exits. After having spent 13 years in a similar position at Cox Media Group Tampa’s WSUN, Weiss joined WBOS less than a year ago ….. Formerly the program director/afternoon drive talent at Martz Communications Group-owned WAMO “Pittsburgh’s #1 for Hip-Hop,” Jonathan Steele, will join Beasley Media Group Detroit’s WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” next Monday (4/22) as afternoon drive personality, using the air name “J. Steele.” According to WMGC vice president and market manager Mac Edwards, “When we heard J.’s demo, he jumped to the top of our list. Having the opportunity to meet him and discover his impressive skill set as both a person and personality, there was no denying J. Steele was the right talent at the right time to help us write the next chapter of success.” Program director John Candelaria comments, “We are very impressed with J.’s experience and his strong desire to entertain the listeners in Detroit. I am excited to hear his high energy interactive show and see him earn the community’s respect.” Steele adds, “This is the job I dreamed about as a little kid. I am beyond excited to light up the airwaves for this incredible radio station.” The revised weekday “Bounce” line-up includes: “The Gello Show with Joanna” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. With Emmis Indianapolis’ WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” ever since the country outlet launched in 2005, morning talent Dave O’Brien exits, as his contract isn’t renewed. O’Brien started his Indianapolis radio career in 1996 at WRZX, later going to WNOU for two years and to WENS in 2004 ….. Jazz KUVO, Denver program and content director Nikki Swarn is appointed PD for Rocky Mountain Public Media‘s new R&B/hip-hop streaming service, “The Drop.” Swarn comments, “It is such an honor to get to serve the Colorado community through this incredible opportunity. We anticipate engaging Coloradans with an exciting blend of their favorite artists, while providing a platform for new and Colorado-based musicians as well. The audience consuming R&B and hip-hop is vast and hungry for dynamic experiences in music; we want to fill that void.” Swarn previously was Entercom Denver’s director of promotions and marketing and spent six years as Max Media Denver’s director of marketing and promotions ….. In separate fundraisers for their respective communities, two Alpha Media country-formatted properties (WFLS and KZKX) recently combined to bring in nearly $200,000. Completing its eleventh year of working with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, WFLS “93.3 – Today’s Country,” Fredericksburg (Virginia) accounted for $135,479 in a two-day event hosted by the station’s morning team – Steve & Jessica. That figure broke WFLS’ previous records. Alpha Media market manager Beth Vickers states, “It is a privilege to lead a team of individuals who are passionate about helping others. Steve & Jessica were amazing hosts, pulling long hours to make it all happen. Our community and our listeners were so generous with donations – results like this make a difference.” Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZKX “KX-96.9,” Lincoln (Nebraska) – along with the Starlite Event Center – raised over $60,000 for American Red Cross flood relief during a one-night (3/29) benefit concert. Entertainment was provided by local bands Dylan Bloom, Bucka Ruse, and Sack of Lions. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “That night was a humbling experience as the people of Saunders County and surrounding areas – many of them flood victims themselves – came together with auction items and monetary donations to go directly to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are so blessed to have listeners like this in the KZKX family.” Severe flooding began impacting Nebraska in mid-March. The “KX-96.9” donation check was presented to the American Red Cross last Thursday (4/11).

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Monday, October 15, 2018

| October 15, 2018

iHeartMedia Appoints Greg Millard to EVP of Event and Experiential Partnerships Post. This new position is under the watch of iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli.  New EVP of event and experiential partnerships Greg Millard comes to the company from his most recent position with Turner Broadcasting as vice president of partnerships and branded programming.  In his new role, Millard will spearhead the go-to-market strategy for all of iHeartMedia’s national sponsorship sales efforts, including the company’s roster of nationally recognized marquee events; the iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles; custom events and partnership opportunities; and local events in more than 150 markets nationwide.  Castelli says, “iHeartMedia has the biggest, culture-defining events in music across every genre.  Greg will leverage these events and culturally relevant moments to connect brands with their consumers.  With our unique access to data, insights, artists, moments and airwaves, iHeartMedia’s one-of-a-kind partnership opportunities help brands shape pop culture – not just chase it.”

Alpha Media’s ‘640 The Hurricane’ Names Andy Slater Afternoon Host. West Palm Beach sports talk outlet WMEN-AM “640 The Hurricane” announces the addition of the Andy Slater show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot, effective today.  Slater was most recently hosting afternoons at iHeartMedia’s WINZ, Miami.  He’d served with Alpha Media’s WMEN for six years prior to that.  WMEN program director Paul Mason states, “Nobody has their finger on the pulse of the South Florida Sports scene like Andy Slater.  His proven track record of breaking local sports stories, inside sources, and his massive poker tournament is a huge win for ‘640 The Hurricane.’”

KLBJ-AM, Austin Weekend Talk Host Sued by Local Police Commander. Austin police commander Jason Dusterhoft is suing gun shop owner and weekend talk personality Michael Cargill and retired police officers group members Lyndon Lueders and Kevin Fisk for defamation. Dusterhoft claims that the trio defamed him by talking on the radio about his being put under criminal and internal investigation for allegedly assaulting a woman at a local nightclub. Dusterhoft is currently on restricted duty.  He claims the three made false statements about him.  Cargill tells the Austin American Statesman that the matter is a free speech issue.  Cargill’s one-hour, weekly show, “Come and Talk It” airs Sundays at 4:00 pm on Emmis-operated news/talk KLBJ-AM.

TALKERS News Notes. Conservative media icon Bill O’Reilly won a round in his legal battle with fellow, former FOX News Channel colleague Laurie Dhue, who is suing O’Reilly for allegedly breaking the terms of a previous sexual harassment settlement by speaking publicly about those past allegations.  O’Reilly’s team had filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and/or Dismiss the Complaint and U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ordered the two sides to arbitration, citing the clause in the settlement providing for dispute resolution.  Dhue argues that in a series of media appearances in 2017 prior to and leading up to FOX’s firing of O’Reilly, he made categorial denials of any wrongdoing even though, she argues, the settlement terms forbade him from doing so.  Dhue complains that these “false statements” cause her harm because “no employers will hire her if they believe that [Plaintiff] has previously made false allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.”…..iHeartMedia and Einhorn’s Epic Productions are teasing their new original scripted mystery podcast call “Lethal Lit.”  “Lethal Lit” is a six-episode scripted podcast that follows teen detective Tig Torres as she returns to her small hometown of Hollow Falls where her aunt was framed as a serial killer ten years ago.  It’ll debut October 29 with two episodes and subsequent episodes will air each Monday on the iHeartRadio platform.  iHM says this is a “new type of storytelling format” for iHeartRadio.  Check out the official trailer here…..The photo below is a shot of the KKOB, Albuquerque hot air balloon that flew during last week’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  Station PD and director of AM Operations for Cumulus Albuquerque Pat Frisch says the now-world famous balloon festival was started back in 1972 to celebrate the heritage station’s 50th anniversary.  The balloon below is being piloted by Ron Curry.

Trump ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Sears Declares Bankruptcy, U.S.-Saudi Tensions, November Midterms, Kanye West White House Visit, Portland Patriot Prayer Violence, American Pastor Andrew Brunson Released, Hurricane Michael Aftermath, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to President Trump’s sit-down interview with ’60 Minutes’ reporter Lesley Stahl; iconic American retailer Sears files for bankruptcy protection; the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the November midterms and the battle for control of congress; Kanye West’s Oval Office meeting with President Trump; the violence at the Portland, Oregon Patriot Prayer rally; Turkey releases American pastor Andrew Brunson; the aftermath of Hurricane Michael; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball league championships series were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Beaumont, Texas market, Cumulus Media names Tommy “Jammer” Muzzillo program director for CHR KQXY “Q94.”  Muzzillo has been serving as assistant program director and music director, as well as afternoon personality at the station since 2010.  He rises to this position with the recent retirement of former OM and PD Brandin Shaw.   Muzzillo says, “I am thrilled to be programming the station I helped put on the air back in 1993!  And the funny thing is, our VP/market manager Bo Brown, who took the reins at the stations about three months ago, was with me when we kicked off ‘Q94’ back in 1993!  He and I work very well together and we have a really solid team at Cumulus Beaumont, plus having great Cumulus leaders and great minds like Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Leslie Whittle, and Louie Diaz to bounce music and ideas off of makes us even stronger as we take the station into the future.”…..Director of programming Jerry McKenna exits Cape Cod Broadcasting’s four-station cluster – including country WKPE and adult contemporary WOCN – as the company eliminates his position…..Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host, Emmy Award-winning television personality, and best-selling author Steve Harvey was among the honorees at the Merge Gala Awards at the 10th annual Merge Summit in Los Angeles.  The Merge Gala Awards recognize those making an impact in bridging the worlds of faith and entertainment.  Harvey was joined by fellow award recipients Laila Ali, DeVon Franklin, and Chad Johnson & Michelle Williams.  (Photo: Von Jackson, Vlex Photos)…..Detroit radio duo “Rat and Puff,” a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, respectively, are launching the 3rd annual “Terror Tour” – showcasing three of the biggest and scariest haunts that Michigan has to offer. Friends of the “Rat and Puff” show have the opportunity to win free tickets on their social media accounts and go along with the show as they document each experience. Despite not having a radio home at the moment, the show wanted to continue its yearly tradition.   They say, “We are really excited about our ‘Terror Tour’ this year because we personally, hand-picked all three stops.  We are super fans of haunted attractions and Michigan has some of the scariest in the country.  We encourage everyone to follow along with us on our social @RatAndPuffShow as the tour is bigger and scarier than ever.”…..iHeartMedia Nashville’s CHR WRVR “107.5 the River” announces the lineup for its second annual “Live. Life. Love.” concert taking place on Monday, December 10 at Marathon Music Works.  The concert will feature performances by Why Don’t WeDan + Shay, Lauv, and Kim Petras.  All proceeds from the event will benefit To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit organization that supports mental health and suicide prevention resources nationwide.

PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC. Compared to the August 2018 PPM survey, 49% of the hot AC stations on this panel were down (6+ AQH share) in September with 42% up and 9% flat.  Year-over-year, 50% were down with just 45% of stations up.  Just two hot AC outlets ranked #1 in their market in September – iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach – while nine hot AC outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

| October 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases August Financial Figures; Revenue Up 6.3%. Although iHeartMedia is not publicly traded and required by law to release financial data, it is making monthly reports public during its Chapter 11 reorganization process. According to yesterday’s statement detailing August financial data, the company’s revenue climbed 6.3% to $299.4 million.  Operating income rose significantly to $76.8 million, and net income rose to a five-month high of $66.9 million.  (iHM posted sizable losses of $139.8 million and $119.7 million in both April and June, respectively.) During August, iHeartMedia paid out $9.7 million to outside professionals – those handling the reorganization process – down from July’s five-month high of $15.7 million.

Michael Harrison Podcast Poses Provocative Question:  Does the Human Brain Act as a Kind of Radio/Television Antenna?  Silicon Valley high-tech industry financial expert Mark Gober is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Gober is the author of a provocative new book titled “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life” (Waterside Press, 2018).  In it, he presents the latest scientific research and evidence suggesting that, contrary to popular belief and mainstream science dogma, human consciousness doesn’t originate in the brain but, rather, in a higher universal dimension – perhaps even beyond time and space as we perceive them.  The implications of such a possibility are profound.  Harrison states, “I’ve always been fascinated by the obvious connections between human biology and our technological extensions of it.  In other words, our inventions are enhanced mechanical versions of what nature has already provided us.  Is it not possible that just as the content of radio and TV programs does not originate in the physical appliances that pluck it out of the air for us, our consciousness – thoughts, words and creativity – comes from some other invisible source outside the brain?  Maybe the brain is a biological radio antenna processing signals from elsewhere?  Mark Gober’s book tackles this issue in a direct, credible and understandable way.  He’s a great guest!”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. The NFL’s Washington Redskins are working with Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software and Live Read Capture system, under a new, multi-year deal.  Skyview says, “AdView’s custom design makes scheduling complex play-by-play inventory efficient, providing the Redskins a user-friendly solution as they bring their radio rights in-house for the first time.  With the ability to manage their own broadcast, the Redskins will benefit from scheduling flexibility and quick proof-of-performance turnaround to their sponsors.”  Skyview vice president of business development Matt Stys comments, “We are thrilled to work with the Washington Redskins and believe that AdView will be a powerful tool as they begin managing inventory in-house for the first time.  AdView is custom-tailored to play-by-play broadcasts, which maximizes value in scheduling.  We look forward to growing our partnership in seasons ahead.”…..More Washington Redskins news as Entercom announces it has inked a deal with the club to present Spanish play-by-play on WJFK-AM “El Zol Deportes.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We’re excited to partner with the Washington Redskins and bring Spanish-language coverage of the team to fans in the community. As the unrivaled leader in sports radio, we remain committed to expanding our sports content and reaching an even broader audience.”…..In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications news/talk WIBC-FM takes on a new television partner for news and weather coverage. Since 2011, the station had a relationship with E.W. ScrippsABC affiliate WRTV-TV.  Going forward, the station is partnering with Nexstar’s CW affiliate WISH-TV.  As part of the deal, WIBC-FM will air an audio simulcast of the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “Daybreak” program.  Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “WIBC has a serious commitment to local news.  We are thrilled to work with a TV station that is equally passionate about local coverage.  This partnership is a natural.”  WIBC director of programming David Wood adds, “We are already planning for some joint projects that will make this TV-radio partnership unique to the market.”…..The Waco Herald-Tribune reports that the launch of a new sports talk station by Edwards Media LLC is being delayed until the end of this month due to “engineering and recent weather issues.” The station – be heard via the HD2 channel of the company’s co-owned hip hop KWBT-FM and on translator K231CG at 94.1 FM – is expected to air CBS Sports Radio programming such as Jim Rome and “Tiki and Tierney,” along with local morning show “Go Big or Go Home” with station GM Rich Richardson.….It’s been seven seasons since the Milwaukee Brewers made the MLB playoffs and to celebrate, flagship radio station WTMJ is hosting “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” for game one of the National League Division Series on Thursday (10/4).  At the venue, fans will hear Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Uecker calling the game on WTMJ while watching the television video.  Station director of programming and news Eric Brooks says, “We can’t wait to hear Mr. Baseball calling October baseball with hundreds of Brewers fans hanging on his every word.  This what the postseason is all about.”

Warner Wolf Loses Imus Age Discrimination Suit; Attorney Vows to Appeal. According to a report in the New York Daily News, longtime New York sports media figure Warner Wolf has lost his age discrimination suit against former employer Don Imus, largely on jurisdictional grounds.  Imus fired Wolf, who had been handling sports reports on the “Imus in the Morning” show from his home in Florida, in 2016.  In the complaint, Wolf states that Imus regularly mocked his senior citizen status on air prior to firing him.  But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James d’Auguste ruled that since Wolf lived and worked in Florida, any discriminatory conduct would have taken place there.  In his decision, Judge d’Auguste also noted that Imus’ jabs about Wolf’s age didn’t rise to the level of discrimination since Imus himself is also old. Wolf attorney Doug Wigdor says they will appeal.

Kavanaugh Investigation, Sanders’ Stop BEZOS Bill, the USMCA Deal, U.S.-China Tensions, Kanye West ‘SNL’ Pro-Trump Speech, Midterm Elections, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; Bernie Sanders’ bill that would tax Amazon, Walmart and others for the amount their workers receive in federal benefits; the new USMCA trade pact between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the flap over Kanye West’s pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; November’s midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the weekend’s NFL action, and the MLB playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for Cumulus Radio Station Group.  Diaz is continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as program director for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay states, “This move recognizes the success that our company has had with Louie Diaz, first in Dallas, then in D.C., and now in Atlanta.  We’re excited to have him join the team in the Office of Programming at Cumulus Media.”…..Adult hits WRRA, Pittsburgh “96.9 BOB FM” has a new program director as John Robertson announces his retirement from the Steel City Media station and Sean Stevens rises to the PD position.  Robertson has spent the last 20 years of his 40-plus year radio career with Steel City Media.  Stevens is currently the afternoon drive star and will retain that role while assuming the PD position…..M-10 Broadcasting’s classic hits WQLL-AM “Q1370” brings Ken Merson, a.k.a. Merson Person, aboard to host the “Merson Person in the Morning” program, effective October 8.  Merson has most recently been program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel.  Current morning host Platinum Pat O’Neill moves to afternoons to make room for Merson…..In Kansas City, Steel City Media’s adult contemporary KCKC “KC102.1 ups Natalie “Rush” Randall from her APD/MD role to program director. She says of her promotion, “I discovered a new family since joining the team at ‘KC102.1,’ and being able to watch the station grow has been such an honor.  I’m excited to continue the forward momentum of KCKC and to lead the next chapter of the station.”…..WKLB, Boston morning personality Hannah Byrom exits the Beasley Media Group country station after two-plus years there.  She says via Facebook, “This morning was my last show with ‘COUNTRY 102.5.’  It’s been a great run for the past two-and-a-half years, and I’ll miss getting to hang with [co-host] Jackson Blue & [producer] Santi DeOleo every morning. THANK YOU to every one of you that allowed me into your life every morning.”…..Drake Hall and “The Drake Hall Show” come out on top again in The Memphis Flyer’s “Best in Memphis” 2018.  Hall hosts the morning show on Cumulus Media’s rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”…..The new classic hits radio show, “Throwback Nation Radio,” debuts tonight from 7:00 pm-12:00 midnight on AC and classic hits stations in multiple markets across the U.S.  The show is being hosted by Tony Lorino and Danny Hustle…..Connoisseur Media announces the “One Song, One Us” campaign that is designed to “encourage unity, love, kindness, acceptance, and hope in our communities through the power of music and the artist’s messages by featuring a song at 2:00 pm every weekday on all stations.” Connoisseur director of brand management Michelle Stevens says the song will be chosen by the listeners.  She says, “The interactive nature of this initiative will provide listeners an authentic acceptance of the things that really matter most to each of us as human beings.  We all have struggled with issues like depression, addiction, insecurity, abuse, and a host of other things that can be disabling to the human spirit without compassion and support. Music is so often the familiar tie that is able to connect us all on a deeper level when it’s difficult to articulate for ourselves.  Together, we can take a fresh approach to the meaning behind the lyrics and weave a bond of unity, inner strength and the simple reassurance that we are not alone.”

September 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the September 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Off in each of the last four months for a collective -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” adds three-tenths in September to 2.0 (#20 to #19, 6+). The key station of the Mets was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Flat at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its fifth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Down of flat for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC mirrors WKXW by picking up two-tenths (1.1, #25 to #24, 6+). Having logged a 4.7 in three of the last four sweeps (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (6+), sliding from fifth to ninth; 4.7 (May, July and August) is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). For the third month in succession, WEPN posts a 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+); “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS manages to advance from seventh to a sixth-place tie. Trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 (6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM progresses from #15 to #13. In July, it ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). With an August improvement of seven-tenths, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM recaptured in its entirety the seven-tenths it lost in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); however, the public radio news/talker surrenders six-tenths in September (3.4 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, after recording a .5 (6+) three times in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM gains one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Up or flat for the sixth time in succession for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” jumps from tenth to eighth. It overtakes Emmis’ similar-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop,” which sits at 3.9 for the fourth time in the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) and repeats at #9. After posting four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. An overall -1.6 via three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 14th successive sweep. Prior to July, the last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) as “Power 105.1” climbs from #12 to #11. In the market’s hot AC battle, Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7,” whose April through August topline was 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 (6+), is off two-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to a four-way tie at #13), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” adds one-tenth and is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 (May through September, #18 to #17, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Repeating August’s 1.2 (6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” inches up from #28 to #27. Flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+), and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” drops two-tenths to .9 (6+) and remains at #32. Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” logs a .4 (6+) for the fourth month in a row and stays at #41 (6+). Matching the (6+) August – September (1.2 – 1.2) topline of KRLA is iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which triples its 6+-stat (+.8) through eight successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, #28 to #27, 6+). Tied with news/talk KEIB is sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” which bounces back from August’s -.4 with a +.1 to .9 (#33 to #32, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A decrease of just one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+) is enough to force Entercom’s KNX from the top ten (#9 to #11); “1070 News Radio” added four-tenths in August. Down six-tenths in April, KNX followed with in an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). Over the course of the last seven sweeps, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (unchanged at #16) has a 6+ topline of 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 12 ratings periods, Meruelo Group rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” busts out a +.6 to 3.2 (6+), catapulting from #15 to #9. On top for the fifth straight sweep, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG is nonetheless off one-tenth for the third sweep in a row. In fact, its seven most recent trends are: 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+). Dating back to December 2015, “My-FM” has set the pace on 17 of the past 37 Los Angeles sweeps: February 2017 through November 2017; January and February 2018; and May 2018 through September 2018. Remaining in the runner-up slot is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which continues a repetitive 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 (6+) sequence. A collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV was then a combined six-tenths in three straight dips (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). In September, however, “94.7 The Wave” improves by four-tenths to 4.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS picked up four-tenths in August, but “102.7 Kiss-FM” returns half that increase in September (4.6 – 4.4, -.2, 6+), slipping from third to fifth. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” – which had logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – sputters by one-half share to 2.3 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #20. In six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), co-owned KROQ was a combined +.7, but the alternative outlet drops one-tenth to 2.8 (#11 to #14, 6+). Its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+). After logging a 2.1 (6+) the past three consecutive months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA drops one-tenth to 2.0 (#21 to #22, 6+); “Zona Mx 101.9” is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 20th ratings period in a row. Similarly, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (#20 to #17, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 35th time in succession and is without a loss for the fourth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) for a net gain of three-tenths.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from August’s one-half share loss with a gain of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #17 to #16. Entering the August sweep, the Chicago White Sox flagship posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). When WGN picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). The May through September topline trending for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM is 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+). Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Having logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the last three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” trots out a +.8 to 4.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), the Chicago Cubs flagship rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is up two-tenths to 1.2 (#26 to #24, 6+). After six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM adds two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+); February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. A combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is up one-tenth to 2.3 (flat at #20, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+). A March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – While on top for the ninth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 5.7, -.3, 6+) has its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). In a highly-noteworthy eight straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV more than doubled its 6+-stat (a combined +3.0). In September, however, “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” forfeits more than one-third of that increase (4.4, -1.1, second to fifth, 6+). Upon entering the September sweep, co-owned hot AC WTMX was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps; however, “101.9 The Mix” regresses by eight-tenths to 4.1 (6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. A combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT erases half the deficit in September with a +.3 to 3.2 (#15 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to that, “93.9 Lite FM” notched three increases in succession for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Following August’s eight-tenths’ leap, Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI “90.1 Moody Radio” surrenders more than half that increase (1.7 – 1.2, -.5, #24, 6+). Via three consecutive upticks, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM is a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, third to second, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Up or flat for the fifth successive month for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE carries on at #13. Seven-tenths ahead of “100.3 SHE” is Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV,” which is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the eighth month in a row and up or flat for the third successive time (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.3 – 3.7, +.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) has a more than two-to-one advantage over iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.8 – 1.6, -.2, #22 to #23, 6+). This is the 14th straight time that “US-99” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO falters by a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, #12 to #15, 6+). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). As a result of forfeiting three-quarters of August’s +.4 (2.1 – 1.8, -.3, 6+), cluster-mate KGO departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). The August increase ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). After trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR spirals by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#5 to #14). “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Chipping away at July’s -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is a combined +.5 in August and September (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0, #22 to #21, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, the key station of the Oakland A’s had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). This marks the eighth time in a row that sibling KCBS-AM (5.7 – 5.3, -.4, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, the all-news operation was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). It is 1.5 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8, +.4, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” notches a one-half share for the fifth time in the last seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, #32, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Steady at #4, Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC is up or flat for the fourth straight time for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adult contemporary cluster-mate KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by a collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). Unchanged at #3 is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is -.4 in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), after being an overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by one-half share each and making healthy ranker moves in the process are Bonneville urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay” (3.3 – 3.8, tenth to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #6, 6+); and co-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” (2.7 – 3.2, #15 to #10, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Star” since February’s 3.8. Meanwhile, the last time KOSF reached the three-share level was nearly three years ago (3.0, October 2015). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN is an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to August, “107.7 The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) is enough to send Cumulus Media’s WBAP  back into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Preceding the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which had been without an increase the past four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+), gains two-tenths to .9 (6+) and is steady at #34. Down or flat four consecutive ratings periods (.6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .5 (flat at #25, 6+). Displaying a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline, co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” continues at #16. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) that “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Although level at 2.3 (6+), Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” drops from #19 to a three-way tie at #20. Prior to August, “The Fan” had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). The ten most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#33 to #32) are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0. Despite being a consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 (6+) from June through September, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” exits the top twenty (#19 to #23). In fact, going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). After notching a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a +.4 to 3.0 (#18 to #14, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – At the same time that WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” improves by seven-tenths (1.6 – 2.3, #20, 6+), First Dallas Media’s similarly-formatted KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” regresses by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #27, 6+). It is the lowest 6+-share for KCBI since “Holiday” 2017’s 1.3. As the result of five straight sweeps without a loss, City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” more than doubles (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #15 to #13, 6+). At #1 for the ninth straight month, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” follows August’s +1.1 (5.5 – 6.6, 6+) with a loss of four-tenths to 6.2 (6+). “Kiss” was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+), after a +1.5 via three upticks in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Without a loss for five successive sweeps for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 2.7 (#13 to #18, 6+). Notwithstanding it is down or flat  for the sixth time in a row (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” climbs from sixth to fifth. It is two-tenths behind co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3 and steady at #3, 6+). When KSCS dropped nine-tenths in August, it curtailed seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined nine-tenths in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH tumbles from #13 to #16; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” gains two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+) yet backslides from #23 to #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC returns August’s +.1 (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+) but “ESPN 97.5” remains at #27. Albeit flat at 3.2 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF advances from #17 to #16, where it is tied with KTRH.

Houston Music Formats – An overall -1.3 in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” responds with a +.4 to 3.9 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#14 to #9). In August, “The Box” slipped below a four-share (3.5, 6+) for the first time since July 2017’s 3.9. In addition to being on top for the fifth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is up six-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then rebounded from a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. A cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ responds with a collective +.7 in August and September (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. On the heels of gaining four-tenths in August to 4.2 (6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” forfeits twice that increase with a September loss of eight-tenths (3.4, 6+), drifting from #9 to #15. In advance of the August sweep, “Mega 101” had a March – July 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8. Adult hits cluster-mate KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.2 in four straight positive spikes (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), surrenders just over half that combined increase (5.0, -.7, third to seventh, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2017, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK was an overall +1.4 in eight straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). The string ends in September though as “Houston’s Eagle” is off four-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 6+). KGLK’s 5.7 in July and August is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM rebounds in September with a +.4 to 7.9 and is #1 for the 34th consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Leveling out at 1.3 (6+), following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” continues at #21. WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Prior to April’s 2.0 (6+), WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is now an overall +1.1 in three upticks in a row (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3, #16 to #15, 6+). Doubling the two-tenths it picked up in August (2.0 – 2.4, +.4, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” carries on at #18. When the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Down or flat five sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE recoups half that deficit (seven-tenths) in August and September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8, #12 to #11, 6+). April – September stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#25 to #23) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – An increase of three-tenths to 5.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” pulls the plug on four down or flat sweeps in succession for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). An overall -.9 in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” erases two-thirds of that shortage with a +.6 to 4.0 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). “Kiss” posted three negative trends in succession for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), but was up seven-tenths in June. This Georgia metro’s two CHR rivals again finish back-to-back, only in September, iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (ninth to seventh, 6+) emerges ahead of Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (unchanged at #8, 6+). “Power” is without a loss for the fifth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), while “Q-100” is up three-tenths in four straight up or flat moves (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 6.6 (6+) in June and July, classic hits-oldies sibling WSRV notched a one-half share increase in August to 7.1 (6+), but “97.1 The River” surrenders seven-tenths to 6.4 (6+), segueing from second to third. Three positive spikes in a row by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “The Fish” falters by six-tenths to 5.3 (fourth to fifth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Following a May through August (repetitive 6+) sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (seventh to ninth, 6+). In the market’s country contest, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is off one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, #11 to #12. 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” adds one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, flat at #14, 6+). A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was then -.7 in June. July’s 3.9 by “Kicks” is the station’s  best 6+-showing since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Not only does Entercom hot AC WSTR have its consecutive string of up or flat monthlies that yielded a collective +1.4 end at four (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” exits the top ten (3.6, -.3, #10 to #13). Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the fourth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing its winning ways, Entercom’s WPHT is +1.3 in five straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8, #15 to #14, 6+). “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#21 to #22) is off two-tenths to 1.3, its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). After logging a +.7 in August, Entercom sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” levels out at 5.9 and remains in sixth-place (6+). Prior to August, WIP was a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); and +.7 in August. Flat at #18, Beasley Media Group sports talk WPEN-FM is without a gain for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. On the heels of an August +.7 to 5.2 (6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” slips by one-tenth to 5.1 but continues in eighth-place (6+). In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), KYW was -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April. An August increase of one-half share by WHYY discontinued three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet drops one-tenth in September (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) and stays at #10.

Philadelphia Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ jump from #13 to #11 with a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+), “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a collective -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). Over and above racking up its third improvement in a row for a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WDAS-FM marches from second to first. August’s 7.3 marked the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reached the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot and shifting to second is Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which is a combined -1.2 in August and September (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0, 6+). This comes immediately after six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WRFF gained a collective four-tenths, but “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative” falters by six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Unchanged at #4, WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). WBEB had been on top from March through June but was dislodged from the top spot in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.        Entercom is now operating WBEB under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until it officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase of the Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary outlet.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” was a collective -1.3, but the key station of the New York Mets recaptures one full-share (2.8, 6+) and rockets back into the top twenty (#22 to #13). Before surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC adds two-tenths to 1.5 (#23). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+). Despite dropping two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN repeats at #1. August’s 5.2 is its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since November 2017’s 5.9. “Sports Radio” was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and the New York Yankees’ flagship was +.7 in July. WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). The Entercom all-news operation gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied with co-owned and similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). Checking in at #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It remains tight at the top, as the first six Nassau-Suffolk September 2018 finishers are separated by seven-tenths of a share. Despite dropping four-tenths (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM remains in the runner-up slot. “Real Variety 97.5” was ousted from the penthouse in July after nine straight months there. Its +.1 in August halted seven successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -7.6 (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share decline (2.6 – 2.1, 6+) sends Entercom’s similarly-programmed WNEW “New 102.7” from #14 to #18. One-tenth behind is its NYC format rival – Cumulus Media’s WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.2 – 2.0, -.2, #18 to #19, 6+). Mirroring WALK-FM’s (6+) August – September 5.1 – 4.7 profile and thus part of the four-way tie at #2 is its classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains one  full-share in August and September (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). It moves from #5 to that aforementioned four-way logjam at #2. Included in that scrum as well is iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is flat or down slightly for the fifth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+) yet actually moves up from #4. Off one-tenth (2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#15 to #16) is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 47th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR regains one-tenth (1.4, #13 to #12, 6+). KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth Inland Empire sweep in succession (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” manages to climb from #19 to #17. It is tied with iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE,” which after debuting in July with a .2 (6+), gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+) and is flat in September (.3, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July with a .2 (6+); dropped one-tenth to .1 (6+) in August; and adds one-tenth in September (.2, #21, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the eighth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – In an absolute runaway, the honors for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 gain by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here goes to Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” (7.4 – 9.9, +2.5, 6+). Not only that, “Jose” finishes first for the fourth successive sweep and is +5.3 in five straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). The last time KLYY reached the nine-share level (6+) was in February 2017 (9.2). Continuing in the runner-up slot, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is a collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE is a collective +1.3 as “Old School 104.7” carries on at #6. Following four straight Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario decreases for an overall -1.8 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is steady at #5. A collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI relinquished 80% of that increase in August (3.7, -1.2, 6+); however, “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” answers with a +.5 in September to 4.2 and continues in fourth-place. Improving by one-half share as well is All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1, #17 – #14, 6+), which had notched a .6 in four of the last five sweeps (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6 – .6, 6+). In three consecutive losses, Entercom country outlet KFRG was -1.5 (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), but “K-Frog” picks up one-tenth to 4.5 and carries on at #3. When KFRG sputtered by four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks” (ninth to tenth, 6+), which is -1.0 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+) and Lazer Licenses’ Spanish adult hits KCAL-AMLa Mexicana 1410” (.7 – .1, #16 to #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the fifth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1, #21 to #23, 6+). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+). “La Preciosa 1440 AM” erupted with a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), only to disappear from print in September.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third increase in a row for Cumulus Media’s KGO for a cumulative +1.1 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+). July’s increase stopped four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, however, relinquishes exactly half of its 6+-share (-1.1) in three consecutive downward moves (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, #21 to #27, 6+). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Immediately after registering a +.8 to halt three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” spirals by one full-share (4.4 – 3.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. The six most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk/Oakland A’s flagship KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 (6+). Even though it loses the one-tenth it gained in August (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM remains in second-place. Its -.8 in July curtailed four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 to 6.2 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. Between January 2018 – June 2018, KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. A June increase of six-tenths by KQED followed a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+); it was +1.0 in January.

San Jose Music Formats – As a result of three upticks in succession (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” has doubled its 6+-share (+1.7) and vaults into the top ten (#18 to #10). A July gain of seven-tenths by adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ interrupted four straight negative trends that produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In August, “98.1 The Breeze” surrendered eight-tenths, but it recaptures seven-tenths in September (3.5 – 4.2, ninth to seventh, 6+). Erasing in full August’s -.5 with a September +.6 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” advances from #15 to #13. Enjoying an increase of six-tenths as well are University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.8 – 2.4, #19, 6+) and Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2 – 1.8, #22, 6+). KBLX cluster-mate, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” is a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) and is #1  for the third straight month. As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media triple A KFOG was up eight-tenths, but has that increase wiped out in full (1.9, -.8, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#13 to #21). After recording five gains in a row for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” returns one-third of that increase (5.4, -.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music,” which had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), is now -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – There is more good news for Townsquare Media news/talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which is #1 for the third month in a row and +2.0 in four straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0, 6+). Moreover, this (8.0) is its best 6+-share since March (8.1). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. WKXW was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Up or flat for the third time in a row for a +.6 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). The New York Mets flagship was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). The January – September 6+ topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (flat at #25) is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5.      Remaining at #10, Entercom sports talk and Yankees’ key station WFAN has its fourth Middlesex-Somerset-Union decrease in a row for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up eight-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5, #20 – #18, 6+). The March through September topline for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM (#22) is 2.9  – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 (6+). Stuck on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, all-news sibling WINS has now recorded a 1.7 (#23 to #24, 6+) for the fifth straight time. Tied with WCBS-AM at #22 is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM, which drops two-tenths to 1.9 (6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – Off seven-tenths in July and August (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” roars back with a +1.0 to 5.4 (fifth to second, 6+). Even though it notches its third increase in succession for an overall +.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” backslides from fourth to fifth. Faltering by eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” slips from second to third. Its rhythmic CHR sibling – WQHT “Hot 97” – wipes out August’s +.3 with an August -.5 (3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to August, “Hot” was within three-share range (6+) in each of the prior 13 sweeps. Posting identical 3.5 – 3.2 (-.3, #12 to #14, 6+) profiles are Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which was down one-half share in August; Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1.” Despite being down for the fifth consecutive month for an overall -1.4 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” advances from #12 to #11.

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