Tag: "Entercom"

Thursday, April 19, 2018

| April 19, 2018

Beasley Programmer Buzz Knight Launches New Podcast Series. The title of the new podcast is “Healthy Paranoia” and Beasley Media Group vice president of programming Buzz Knight will produce a new episode each week that will be found on the “Insights” section of the brand-new Beasley Media Group corporate website.  Beasley says the podcast will “feature interviews with thought leaders of today discussing new innovation, new methods, new strategies and new thinking.” The first episode examines autonomous driving in Las Vegas.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to unveil this exciting new podcast on the Beasley platform that focuses on innovation… a coveted core value of our company.  I look forward to listening to Buzz as he shares valuable insight from thought leaders who are making a difference both in the media industry and the world around us.”

CBS News Radio Wins Four First Place ‘Headliner Awards.’ The 84th National Headliner Awards from the Press Club of Atlantic City were recently announced, and CBS News and CBS News Radio combined for five first place honors.  On the radio side, CBS News Radio earned first place honors in: the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Newscast category for “Las Vegas Newscast” by Steve Futterman, Deborah Rodriguez and Wendy Zentz; in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage category for “Las Vegas Massacre” by the CBS News Radio staff; in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story for “National Film Registry” by Dave Barrett; and in the Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series category for “Labor Day” by the CBS News Radio staff.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated feature, “The Miller Minute” hosted by Dennis Miller, hits the 100-affiliate mark two months after its debut.  Westwood One says the show clears on such signals as WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; WLS-AM, Chicago; KPAM,, Portland; and KLFE, Seattle…..News/talk outlet WYAY-FM, Atlanta “Talk 106.7” officially announces its new program lineup that TALKERS reported on Tuesday (4/17).  With the move of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson’s show to afternoon drive it should be noted that Pete Davis and Jim Gossett serve as cast members of the program…..The afternoon drive sports talk race in Indianapolis gets some attention from the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Scott Olson. His report records the success of the “Query & Schultz” program on iHeartMedia’s WNDE over the past several Nielsen Audio PPM surveys.  Last November, John Gliva on Emmis’ crosstown WFNI led “Query & Schultz” in the Men 25-54 demo with a 3.9 AQH share to the latter’s 2.3 share.  As of the February PPM survey, “Query & Schultz” leads afternoon sports talkers with a 4.8 AQH share of Men 25-54 over WFNI’s 4.1 AQH share…..Twin Cities alt-weekly City Pages names KKFN, Minneapolis afternoon personality Dan “Common Man” Cole “Best Sports Talk Host” for 2018.  The mag says, “Every afternoon, Dan ‘Common Man’ Cole does an artful job of not giving a shit. In a format that’s riddled with blowhard jocks summoning the hottest takes, Cole plays it smirkingly cool.  A keen awareness of the comic absurdity of the universe—especially the sports-talker one—rudders his easy-breezy ‘progrum.’”

Cool News Radio Opportunity.  Operations manager Tim Wenger informs us that Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo “NewsRadio 930” – Buffalo’s 24-hour radio newsroom of record – is looking for a full-time news professional charged with a mix of anchoring newscasts and reporting.  Successful candidate will be as comfortable ‘on the street’ reporting and publishing web content as they are behind a microphone in-studio.  Exceptional social media skills and an innate ability to seek out important, impacting, and relatable stories are key qualifications. See the official job posting here.

WGTK, Greenville’s Joey Hudson Recognized for Crimefighting Work. WGTK, Greenville, South Carolina talk show host Joey Hudson is pictured above (right) receiving the “Media Person of the Year” award by the Southeastern Crime Stoppers Association at their annual conference held in Atlanta.  The Salem Media Group air personality was recognized for his “Crime of the Week” feature.  Crime Stoppers’ Tony Lee says, “Joey’s dedication to promoting our ‘most wanted’ has assisted local law enforcement in making numerous arrests and clearing hundreds of cases that otherwise may go unsolved.”  Hudson has been a supporter of law enforcement for years as the executive director of the Mike Gallagher show charitable foundation’s Fallen Officer Fund supporting the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Russia Sanctions Controversy, U.S.-North Korea Talks, California Sanctuary Battle, Southwest Emergency Landing, Israel’s 70thAnniversary, Trump Syria Policy, Barbara Bush Legacy, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18).).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related James Comey book, A Higher Loyalty; President Trump’s reversal of U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s announcement there would be further sanctions against Russia; the revelation that CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ahead of scheduled future talks with President Trump; the battle between the federal government and California over the state’s sanctuary cities policy; the deadly emergency landing of Southwest flight 1380; Israel celebrates its 70thanniversary as a nation; the splintering of the GOP over President Trump’s Syria policy; the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush and her legacy; plus MLB and NBA playoffs action among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Windy City radio personality Showbiz Shelly is the new midday host at iHeartMedia CHR WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM.”  iHeartMedia markets group president Matt Scarano says, “Showbiz Shelly is a Chicago institution.  Shelly is a true radio pro with tremendous Chicago roots and I am honored that she chose to join the iHeartMedia Chicago team.”…..Also from Chicago, Cumulus Media names imaging pro Nick Draeger creative imaging director for alternative WKQX.  Draeger was most recently with Entercom Sacramento handling imaging for the cluster’s rock stations, including alternative KKDO “ALT 94.7.”  WKQX program director Troy Hanson says, “We talked with many strong candidates, but we kept coming back to Nick’s excellent grasp of cut-through messaging for the brands he’s worked on.  Nick will work with our voiceover pros Dan Stone and Wendy K. Gray to continue to deliver the top-notch writing and sonic feel of WKQX.  We’re excited to have Nick on board!”…..Rock radio personality Lyndsey Marie is moving back to Atlanta after almost four years in Chicago where she was hosting middays on the former WLUP-FM.  She’d been hosting middays on Cumulus Media’s rock WNNX “Rock 100.5” from Chicago but now she’ll be working from WNNX’s studios.  She’s also heard on company rock stations: KXXR-FM, Minneapolis; WFTK-FM, Cincinnati; KGGO-FM, Des Moines; WIXV-FM, Savannah; and KKGL-FM, Boise.  Lyndsey Marie says, “I am excited to go back ‘home.’  Georgia’s been on my mind since I left it, and I’m ready to make some noise with Jesse Kage and my old friends Southside Steve and Jason Bailey.  We get to call Atlanta our playground.  I don’t know if it gets much better than that.”…..2018 ACM “Entertainer of the Year” Jason Aldean is performing live today (4/19) at WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” in an intimate show at the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17, high atop Madison Square Garden.  Cumulus Media’s “NASH FM 94.7” is also streaming Aldean’s performance live on Facebook…..Cumulus Media Charleston sadly confirms that legendary Charleston radio personality, Frankie Green, a.k.a., Frankie the Big Bopper, died earlier today.  The native Charlestonian was a much-loved fixture on the Lowcountry entertainment scene for more than 40 years.  Since February 2000, he hosted the Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on the company’s urban AC WMGL-FM “Magic 107.3” on which he played old school and the blues and shared stories and community information with his passionate and loyal audience.  In January 2015, Green was honored by President Barack Obama with the President’s Volunteer Service Award…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (right) with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (left) backstage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 14.

Round Three of March PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s March 2018 survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – No stranger to significant month-to-month fluctuations, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB makes it three straight months at #1. Representative recent trends include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); and now +1.0 in March (8.5 – 9.5, 6+). When it entered the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Three increases in a row by Alpha Media news/talk KXL produced a cumulative +1.7 (3.5 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), but “101 FM News – Stay Connected” forfeits four-tenths in March to 4.8 (6+) and is flat at #6. Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). Even though it is without a loss for the third time in succession for a +.6 (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly programmed KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” falls from #19 to #20. Continuing an up/down pattern that began in November, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is trending .8 – 1.0 – .7 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#23 to #25, 6+). Entercom sports talk KFXX is unchanged in both 6+-share (2.0) and 6+-market rank (#18). In February, “1080 The Fan” returned the four-tenths it picked up the previous sweep (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). Climbing from #22 to #21, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game” regains the four-tenths it lost in February (1.4 – 1.0 – 1.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” keeps this “four-tenths” theme going with … a +.4 (.7 – 1.1, #25 to #24, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – After being down or flat three sweeps in a row for an overall loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KXJM is a collective +1.3 in February and March (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.5, #16 to #13, 6+). In each of the previous 15 sweeps, “Jam’n 107.5 – Portland’s #1 for Hip-Hop and Throwbacks” logged a 6+-share in the 2.1 – 2.9 range. A February loss of seven-tenths by Mount Hood Community College’s KMHD cut its 6+-share in half (1.4 – .7, 6+), but “Jazz Radio 89.1” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 1.2 (#25 to #23, 6+). Back in January (2018), Alpha Media’s KUPL registered a massive +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but “98.7 The Bull #1 for New Country” has forfeited 80% of that increase (-1.6) in the last two ratings periods (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3, 6+) as it drifts from #8 to #15. Moreover, the eight-tenths lead it held in February over its format rival – Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” – is now a two-tenths advantage for “The Wolf” (3.9 – 3.5, -.4, #11 to #13, 6+).  On the heels of gaining one-half share in February (4.5 – 5.0, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” erodes by -1.1 to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Slipping by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” (6.1 – 5.5, flat at #3, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (5.8 – 5.2, unchanged at #4, 6+). Within 3.0 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” drops one-half share to 2.9 (#14 to #16, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from February’s -.7 with a March +.5 (1.9 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” inches up from #19 to #18. After three upticks in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WBT returns more than half that increase (3.6, -.7, 6+), drifting from #8 to #14. WBT was +1.4 in three consecutive improvements (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0, July – August – September – October, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE (3.5 – 3.3, -.2, flat at #15, 6+); “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats –Five consecutive ratings periods without an increase by Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF accounted for an overall -1.8 (5.9 – 5.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), but “Old School 105.3” erases nearly half that deficit with a +.8 to 4.9 (6+) as it rockets into the top ten (#12 to #7). The three most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” are +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); and now +.6 in March (6.2 – 6.8, fourth to second, 6+). “The Kat” shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, its first time on top since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). It is a slightly similar up/down/up scenario for co-owned WEND, which was +.7 in January to halt three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.6 (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+); -.5 in February (4.3 – 3.8, 6+); and now +.5 in March (3.8 – 4.3, 6+). As a result of March’s one-half share increase, “106.6 The End – Charlotte’s Alternative Rock” returns to the top ten (#14 to #9). In February, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths, but in March, “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, 6+), skidding from third to sixth. In seven straight positive or flat trends, its urban AC sibling WBAV was a cumulative +1.7 (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 7.4, 6+), but “V-101.9” surrenders six-tenths in March (6.8, 6+). Not only that, after a short one-month stay at #1, WBAV returns to the runner-up slot it held in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Its 7.4 in February marked the first time “V-101.9” reached the seven-share level (6+) in nearly four years (7.2, April 2014). Trading places with WBAV is iHeartMedia-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock,” which is up eight-tenths in three consecutive up or flat trends (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). This (7.3) is its best 6+-stat in nearly a year (7.6, April 2017). Prior to being locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December. Flat at #13, CHR sibling WHQC “Channel 96.1 – All the Hits” has its fourth straight up or flat trend for an overall +.8 (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite a one-tenth drop (4.4 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI actually elevates from ninth to seventh. A January +1.6 took WOAI to 4.4 – its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing at #20, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” logs its third improvement in succession for a collective +.5 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Conversely, Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is a combined -1.9 in three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, #15 to #17, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. This is the third time in a row that iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” posts a .5 (flat at #28, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – The up-down-up story for Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” is +.8 (January); -1.0 (February); and now +.7 in March (2.4 – 3.1, #17 to #14, 6+). For a bit of a change, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KONO-FM has a modest month-to-month move (7.3 – 7.2, -.1, 6+) as “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” stays on top for the third sweep in a row. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; “Holiday” 2017’s -.9; January 2018’s +1.8; and February’s +.5. January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in succession that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Three straight negative moves by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT result in a whopping -.9.6 (13.6 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) as “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Variety Station” spirals out of the top ten (#5 to #11). In seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN was an overall +1.8, but “107.5 Tejano & Proud” sputters by seven-tenths in March to 3.3 (6+), slipping from #12 to #13. Having netted a staggering +2.7 in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” forfeits six-tenths in March to 6.2 (6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August 2017 ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” – records its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.0 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+). Taking one-half share losses are Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (6.1 – 5.6, flat at #3, 6+) and Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+), which was a combined +.8 in three successive up or flat trends (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #12, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is up an overall eight-tenths via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s +.6 halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Locked on 5.3 (6+) in January and February – its highest 6+-share since April 2017’s 5.7 – Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” falters by seven-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to ninth, 6+). January’s +1.3 curtailed four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” stabilizes after February’s -.9 with a one-tenth gain (5.7 – 5.8, steady at #6, 6+). “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+) – January’s 6.6 represents its best 6+-showing since September 2016’s 7.6. Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is without a loss for the ninth ratings period in a row for a net gain of one-tenth (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Setting the pace in this Pennsylvania market for the 13th consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW racks up a +.8 (10.3 – 11.1, 6+); “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). An overall -4.8 in January and February (10.6 – 6.8 – 5.8, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Today’s Wish 99.7” chalks up a March gain of seven-tenths to 6.5 (6+) and remains at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, “Wish” posted a 10.6, the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year. Stymied on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, WSHH more than doubled the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia rocker WDVE, which has been +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and now -.5 in March (8.3 – 7.8, 6+). WDVE has been in second-place in nine of the last ten sweeps. October’s 10.2 marked the first time it reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Off by one-half share as well, mainstream CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” carries on in fourth-place (7.4 – 6.9, 6+). Logging their third straight increases in a row for a +1.5 and +.7, respectively, are Entercom’s WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+) and Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1, steady at #11, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s been an interesting game of musical chairs lately for iHeartMedia-owned KFBK. Specifically, “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; and now up again to #1 in March. Flat at 8.1 (6+), it actually shares the lead with KSEG (see below). Down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), KFBK logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and followed in January 2018 with a +.2; January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Dropping one-tenth (2.5 – 2.4, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” stays at #15. KSTE was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. Up four-tenths (4.4 – 4.8, 6+), Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ climbs from sixth to fifth. KXJZ posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a -1.0 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), while co-owned KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 (#21 – to #23, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Not only does a +1.0 (2.9 – 3.9, 6+) give Entercom-owned KKDO its best 6+-stat in more than two years (3.9, February 2016), “Alt 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” breaks into the top ten (#12 to #10). Trending 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 (January-February-March), co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” continues at #1, albeit in a tie with KFBK (see above). A January gain of two full-shares by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). In six successive up or flat trends, Capital Public Radio’s KXPR was a collective +1.5 (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+), but “88.9 The Classical Station” stumbles by seven-tenths in March to 1.8 (#15 to #18, 6+). Notwithstanding that it remains in third-place, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is -8.2 as a result of three dips in a row (14.2 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). “Mix” ranked first in December 2017 (8.8, 6+) and in “Holiday” 2017 (14.2, 6+). Co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1” is an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). Likewise, Entravision-owned/similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is +.7 in three successive upticks (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, flat at #13, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is without a loss for the third time in a row as well for a +.3 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1, #17 to #16, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.8 in three consecutive positive spikes (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” continues at #2. Immediately prior to this streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). While flat at 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” progresses from tenth to ninth. KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Following February’s -1.1 (4.1 – 3.0, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER drops one-tenth to 2.9 (#12 to #13, 6+); KUER was up eight-tenths in January. Unchanged at #21, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – As it eats into January and February’s -15.9 (23.2 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+) with a +.9 to 8.2 (6+), Bonneville-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” stays on top for the sixth ratings period in a row. “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October. Also displaying a March +.9 is iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (5.9 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+) which notes its finest 6+-share in exactly two years (7.1, March 2016). Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 (6+), Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KYUU “U-92, #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” posts a one-half share gain to 2.1 (#20 to #19, 6+). On a seesaw, Cumulus Media’s KHTB “Alt 101.9” was -.6 in January (1.8 – 1.2, 6+); +.9 to 2.1 (6+) in February; and is -.6 in March (1.5, #19 to #20, 6+); February’s 2.1 was its best 6+-showing since August 2017 (2.1, as well). The market’s two hot ACs regress by one-half share: Capitol’s KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” (6.2 – 5.7, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” (4.0 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). While it continues at #22, 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” relinquishes four-tenths (1.0, 6+), thus snapping at ten a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one-half share (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three positive spikes in succession (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Nevada Public Radio news/talk KNPR gains one full-share and inches up from #15 to #14. Conversely, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840,” which was up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+), drops one-tenth to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). A one-half share decrease by Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” to .9 (#23 to #25, 6+) pulls the plug on five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7   – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled its 6+-share. A collective -.4 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” drops from #25 to #27.

Las Vegas Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth consecutive report (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” is an overall +2.6, progressing from fourth to third. Gaining six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE (6.8 – 7.4, 6+) as “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” marches from second to first. “Sunny” held the lead in December 2017 (10.6, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). Dislodged from #1 and trading places with “Sunny” is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More” (7.1 – 6.8, -.3, first to second, 6+). In December 2017, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse after five straight months there. It previously was +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); and -.5 (February). Frozen on 2.2 (6+) in the last four ratings periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona MX 103.5” erupts with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #19 to #14. Picking up one-half share each are Entercom’s KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station,” which is +1.2 in three straight gains (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0, seventh to fifth, 6+) and Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” (2.6 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to being a combined -2.2 in January and February (4.8 – 3.9 – 2.6, 6+), KSOS was an overall +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten sweeps, Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” is -1.0 to 2.6, freefalling from #10 to #17. Following three upticks in a row that produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” surrenders six-tenths to 2.9 (#11 to #14, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Heritage iHeartMedia news/talker WLW forfeits half of its combined +2.0 from January and February (8.3 – 6.3, -1.0, 6+) as it slips from second to third. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” loses one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) but advances from #11 to #10. WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Following a collective +.7 in January and February, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU is off by four-tenths in March to 3.2 (flat at #12, 6+). Adding two-tenths each are iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” (1.1 – 1.3, #20 to #19, 6+) and co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports AM 1360” (.5 – .7, steady at #22, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – It’s a very productive sweep for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the third straight time; is a cumulative +2.9 in three consecutive up or flat trends (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+); and reaches double-digits (10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. Rhythmic hot AC sibling WREW “Mix 94.9” erases February’s -.5 with a +.6 (4.5 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). Its +1.3 in January followed a -1.4 from five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Progressing from third to second, Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” registers its fourth positive spike in succession for an overall +2.5 (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3, 6+). This comes immediately after December’s -1.4. Sputtering by seven-tenths (1.5 – .8, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s classical-formatted WGUC “Music For Your Heart, Mind, & Spirit” falls from #16 to #20. A combined +1.2 in January and February (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” returns one-half share to 3.4 (#10 to #11, 6+); February’s 3.9 was its strongest 6+-share since August 2017’s 3.9. Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Up a combined three full-shares in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” returns a modest 10% of that increase (4.9, -.3, 6+) and remains at #8. January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Three-tenths behind WTKS is Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5,” which was stuck on 4.7 (6+) in January and February before dipping to 4.6 (6+); even so, it moves from tenth to ninth. Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5,” was +2.0 in September 2017. Without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF gained seven-tenths in January; lost three-tenths in February; and now regains two-tenths in March (1.6 – 1.8, flat at #16, 6+). Despite being off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE remains at #14. In January, “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” regained the six-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017. Back-to-back at #19 and #20, respectively, are Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (.7 – 1.1, +.4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (.7 – .9, +.2, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – While it remains at #6, Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” records its third uptick in a row for an overall +2.4 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in November, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. The last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was one year ago (6.1, March 2017). In another such streak, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” is +1.6 in three straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, fourth to third, 6+); this is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1. The market’s (6+) Spanish tropical share improves by +1.0, as Entravision Communications’ WNUE “Salsa 98.1” is up six-tenths (2.4, flat at #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” adds four-tenths (9.5 – 9.9, #1 for the third consecutive month, 6+). “Salsa 98.1” had been off one full-share in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 1.8, 6+). Following 11 consecutive months on top, “Rumba 100” dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. In January, co-owned WJRR posted a +1.3, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), but “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” is now -2.0 in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” is a collective -1.6 in February and March (6.6 – 7.2 – 6.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Magic” spent two months at #1 and was a combined +8.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 before plunging in January by -9.3 (15.9 – 6.6, 6+). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” falters by one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, #11 to #12, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In five successive sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is +1.2 and repeats at #10. Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” is within 5.0 – 5.5 range for the sixth time in a row (5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). A one-half share gain in January suspended three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Immediately after posting a cumulative +3.2 in six straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is now -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – No sooner does iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” boast a whopping +1.9 (8.4 – 10.3, 6+), it follows with the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease logged by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. As a result of its -2.0 (10.3 – 8.3, 6+), “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” shifts from first to second. WMJI was -1.9 in January, following “Holiday” 2017’s +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+). When WMJI reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time it accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. It is succeeded at #1 by Radio One urban AC WZAK, the station WMJI replaced at the top in February. Not only does WZAK progress from second to first, it is an overall +1.5 in its third increase in a row (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+). Having reached #1 in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Its urban contemporary cluster-mate, WENZ “Z-107.9,” returns in full the six-tenths it gained in February (5.7 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). February’s +.6 pulled the plug on three straight losses that accounted for a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). In addition to WZAK, iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” logs a gain of six-tenths as well (3.6 – 4.2, 6+) and is flat at #12. A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK then lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” responds in March with a +.5 to 5.4 (6+) and advances from ninth to eighth. In December, “Star 102” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). Trending 6.8 – 7.2 – 6.8 (“Holiday” 2017 – January – February, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share to 6.3 (6+), but carries on in fourth-place.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to roaring back from February’s -.9 by recapturing all of it (4.0 – 3.1 – 4.0, +.9, 6+), Union Broadcasting’s WHB cracks the top ten (#14 to #10). “Sports Radio 810” was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Similarly, its format rival – Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” – erases February’s -.4 with a +.4 (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.8, 6+) and is back in the top twenty (#21 to #19). After registering six positive spikes in succession for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned news talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” slips by two-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to fifth, 6+); cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is also off by two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, flat at #19, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” is trending .8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 (unchanged at #22, 6+). Without a loss for the fifth time in a row for a +.8 (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR carries on at #16.

Kansas City Music Formats – Locked on 5.0 (6+) in November and December and then on 4.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.1 in February and March (4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. In the Cumulus Media cluster, classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” which faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) to drop from first to second, regains half that loss and is back at #1 (8.1, +.3, 6+). Its January -2.0 curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). It once again swaps places with classic rock sibling KCFX “The Fox,” which is down six-tenths (8.6 – 8.0, first to second, 6+). In February, “The Fox” recaptured all but one-half share of January’s -1.7 (7.4 – 8.6, +1.2, 6+) as it advanced from second to first, replacing KCMO-FM. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Prior to November, “The Fox” occupied Kansas City’s top spot for ten consecutive months. While unchanged at #10, Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” is down eight-tenths in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). On the heels of February’s -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, 6+), country sibling WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” flounders by another seven-tenths to 4.0 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country,” which was frozen on 3.9 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 4.4 (6+) in January and February, picks up four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” drops three-tenths (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) and remains at #3.

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #7, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is a collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+); 4.3 is its best 6+-showing since August 2017’s 4.7. Having eroded by one full-share in February (7.1 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN follows with a -.7 to 5.4 (fifth to sixth, 6+); “News Radio 610” was +1.5 in January and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time “News Radio 610” reached the seven-share level (6+) was two years ago (7.3, February 2016). A -.3 in December halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). For the fourth report in a row, sports talk sibling WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is without an increase and is off two-tenths in that timeframe (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, flat at #16, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet is missing from print for the second straight month.

Columbus Music Formats – This is the third consecutive sweep that iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL sets the pace in Ohio’s state capital. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to the top spot in January. It has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); and now +1.1 in March (12.3 – 13.4, 6+). A combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” returns one-third of that increase (9.0, -.5, 6+) but is #2 for the third time in a row. Declining by one-half share as well is Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (5.9, third to fifth, 6+). In February, it wiped out roughly one-fifth of January’s -5.8 with a +1.2. “Sunny” exited the top spot in January after just one survey period (“Holiday” 2017). It was +5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 to 11.0, its most potent 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014).

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

Remembering Art Bell. The somewhat eerie fact that 72-year-old Art Bell died on Friday the 13th (4/13 in Pahrump, Nevada) certainly could not go unnoticed or overlooked. Bell was the founder and original host of the paranormal-themed “Coast to Coast AM,” which Premiere Networks syndicated on hundreds of North American radio outlets. Part of a Bell retrospective on that program’s website details that, “His love of radio led him to working for an English-language station in Japan, where he set a Guinness world record for broadcasting 116 hours straight. This was no mere radio stunt, however, as it served to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.  Upon returning to the United States, he entered the world of talk radio with an overnight program on KDWN, Las Vegas.  After noticing that episodes covering conspiracy theories and paranormal topics generated considerable interest from listeners, Bell transformed the show from political talk to discussion of these often-verboten realms. Syndicated nationally in 1993 [by Talk Radio Network], ‘Coast to Coast AM’ soon became a radio phenomenon.  During the 1990s, when ‘The X-Files’ had people wondering about the world of high strangeness, Art Bell was the voice of that world, introducing millions of radio listeners to a vast array of paranormal topics and the researchers that studied them. As he begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”  The Jacksonville, North Carolina born former Air Force medic “semi-retired” from “Coast to Coast AM” 15 years ago but could be heard hosting the program on weekends from 2003 – 2007 and was an occasional guest host through 2010.  Bell called his show “absolute entertainment” and did not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but offered a forum where they would not be openly ridiculed. SiriusXM debuted “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” in September 2013 on its “Indie Talk” channel, but that four-hour (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, PT) Monday through Thursday venture ended after just six weeks. Approximately four-dozen stations carried his 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight PT “Midnight in the Desert” show, which launched on the Internet in July 2015 on Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network. Three months later in October of 2015, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviewed him for his weekly podcast. The following is a brief excerpt from that long-form conversation in which Bell assesses the state of the radio industry and its future.  To listen to the clip, please click 

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Thursday, April 12, 2018

| April 12, 2018

Entercom Re-Thinks Hot Talk Hybrid ‘97.3 The Machine’; Launches Sports Talk ‘97.3 The Fan’ Today.  After two weeks of consideration following air personality Kevin Klein’s controversial Tweet promoting his morning show that would never see the light of day, Entercom drops the hot talk/sports talk hybrid format for KEGY, San Diego – that included Dan Sileo in middays and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoons – and goes traditional sports talk.  The lineup features Sileo in morning drive and market pro Chris Ello partnered with Padres legend Tony Gwynn Jr. for afternoon drive.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger says, “After a recent off-air tweet, we took the opportunity to step back, listen to the important feedback from the community and our partners – the Padres – and re-evaluate the path forward.  The station was always going to be largely about sports and we determined the right thing to do was to go 100% all-in.  We look forward to building ‘97.3 The Fan’ into San Diego’s best sports station, delivering the highest quality content and listening experience for the people of this great community.”  Middays will feature CBS Sports Radio syndicated personalities Jim Rome (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) and Doug Gottlieb (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and, of course, the San Diego Padres are sticking with the station for its radio flagship.

RTDNA Concerned About DHS Journalist Database Program.  Via its Voice of the First Amendment Task Force, the Radio Television Digital News Association says it is “expressing grave concern regarding a report the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is soliciting bids from companies that would create a database of ‘hundreds of thousands of news sources around the world and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top media influencers.’”  RTDNA reports that it learned via the website Big Law Business that the Department of Homeland Security is “seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify ‘any and all’ coverage related to the agency or a particular event… The data to be collected includes a publication’s ‘sentiment’ as well as geographical spread, top posters, languages, momentum, and circulation.  The request comes amid heightened concern about accuracy in media and the potential for foreigners to influence U.S. elections and policy through ‘fake news.’” Big Law Business says the DHS request for proposals was put out after 19 Republican members of Congress wrote with concerns about Al Jazeera (owned by the government of Qatar) and whether it should have to register as a foreign agent.  RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “Whether or not the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security is seeking to create a database of journalists and others as a result of the inquiries about Al Jazeera’s independence, it is wrong.  The fact the U.S. government may wish to monitor journalists would put the principles of the First Amendment, and the existence of responsible journalism, which are bedrocks of our democracy, on a perilous precipice.”

‘Free Talk Live’ on Affiliate Binge. The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” show starring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces it has passed the 180-affiliate mark.  The program adds more than a dozen stations during 2018 so far, including: Cumulus Media’s WGOW-FM and WGOW-AM in Chattanooga; Eagle Communications’ KFEQ-AM, Kansas City; The Cromwell Group’s WZUS-FM, Decatur, Illinois; Connoisseur Media’s WJET-AM, Erie; Texarkana Radio Center’s KTFS-AM/FM, Texarkana, Texas; and EMG2’s KTEL-AM/FM, Walla Walla, Washington.  The show also welcomes back former affiliates Sugar River Media’s WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM/FM, Lebanon in New Hampshire.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Paul Ryan Announces Exit, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Mexican Border Security, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the status of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller; House Speaker Paul Ryan announces he won’t run for re-election and will leave his post next January; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress; President Trump’s threats of military action in Syria aimed at the Russians; Mexican border security and the “caravan” of illegals; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. It’s being called a re-launch of its classic R&B format in New Orleans.  Entercom’s WWWL-AM is now simulcasting on translator W225CZ and re-brands as “The New HOT 92.9 FM.”  Entercom says the new frequency will reach a broader fan base in the Northshore area and improve the listening experience for the adjoining New Orleans metro areas.  Big Abe continues to host the morning drive and Kelder Summers will remain in the afternoon drive daypart…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth consecutive year.  The limited-run channel on the satellite radio service will feature music by artists who will be performing leading up to the festival.  Once it starts, Coachella Radio will provide continuous coverage of the festival both weekends with live performances, artist interviews, as well as exclusive Coachella news and happenings…..Westwood One welcomes more than 90 of country music’s biggest acts to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards to celebrate the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “With our long-standing official partnership, only Westwood One Backstage and the Academy of Country Music Awards can deliver such extraordinary star-power to our listeners, affiliates, and advertisers.  We’re bringing the biggest country music stars and radio personalities together to capture unique over the air, on demand, and social content that celebrates the passion, the energy, and the glory of country music at its best.”

FCC Quiets Cumulus’ ‘99X’ Atlanta Translator for Now.  The translator – W255CJ, Atlanta – has been the subject of complaints from Steve Gradick’s WWGA-FM, Tallapoosa, Georgia citing interference for several years now.  But yesterday (4/11), the FCC issued a cease operation order to Cumulus for the translator that’s been simulcasting the HD2 signal of WWWQ as alternative “99X.”  WWGA and Cumulus were ordered to do a series of on-off air tests and, although Cumulus argued that the tests showed no significant interference due to the operation of W255CJ, WWGA’s interpretation of the results indicated its best signal was present when the translator was off.  The FCC ruled that since Cumulus has not “remediated the interference,” it is ordering Cumulus to shut it down.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

| April 11, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Parts Ways with Jamie Allman.  A day after TALKERS magazine reported that St. Louis morning drive talk host Jamie Allman was still with news/talk KFTK-FM hosting his morning show after losing his KDNL-TV show, “The Allman Report,” it now appears Allman has left the radio station.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman reports that Entercom (operating KFTK-FM under an LMA as it prepares to close on the purchase of the station from Emmis) has canceled his show and cut ties with Allman.  This comes after Allman Tweeted a March 26 statement regarding Parkland, Florida’s David Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  The Post-Dispatch report cites a statement by Entercom’s Esther-Mireya Tejeda saying, “I can tell you on the record KFTK has parted ways with Mr. Allman and that his show is canceled effective immediately.”  This morning, former Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones is hosting “97.1 Mornings.”

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW:  Hogenson Communications, LLC President Scott Hogenson Profiled.  Operating for decades at the dynamic intersection between talk radio and politics, media pro Scott Hogenson has been a key player in the dissemination of information about public policy in the media.  Hogenson served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was the lead executive for media relations and communications strategy.  He worked on four presidential campaigns as a senior member of the press office at the Republican National Committee and directed talk media operations during the 2016, 2004, 1996 and 1992 presidential election cycles.  He also managed or consulted on radio operations for every Republican National Convention since 1992.  An award-winning journalist and academician in his early career, Hogenson now runs a full-service public relations firm, Hogenson Communications, LLC, that specializes in talk radio.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison catches up with Hogenson and gets his views on the current state of talk radio/political relations.  To listen to the entire audio conversation, please click 

      here
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TALKERS News Notes. New York-based talk show host John Catsimatidis is providing a bonus service to affiliate stations with custom local interviews.  He hosts “The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis” – a nationally syndicated Sunday morning show featuring “interviews with A-List guests from politics, business, science, and more.”  Catsimatidis says that this past weekend, he spoke with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and distributed the interview exclusively to local affiliate WSYR.  Last month, Catsimatidis interviewed Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack and sent the segment to WJAS, Pittsburgh, and WNAE, Warren, PA, exclusively.  He says, “Whenever it makes sense and the opportunity presents itself, I want to conduct more of these locally focused interviews for our radio station partners.  Combined with interviews of the biggest national and global leaders, our affiliates can win in their markets.”…..The NAB announces the winners of the 2018 Crystal Radio Awards for “outstanding year-round commitment to community service.” Spoken-word stations honored this year include: Entercom’s all-newsers WINS, New York and WWJ, Detroit; Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix; and Neuhoff Media’s WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois. See the full list here…..KLBJ-AM, Austin morning personality Jeff Ward recently presented to the Lost Creek Civic Organization a speech titled, “Social Media’s Effect on Society.”  The Austin Statesman reports on Ward’s speech, in which he told the attendees, “People are consuming what’s easy…eating what they like, staying in one place and super-serving themselves 24/7 and 365 days a year…I will tell you that my industry has worked really hard to replace news; it’s wrong, and I feel the responsibility and try to tell people that it’s wrong.”…..The Tampa trial of morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge (he’s being sued by Nielsen Audio for $1 million for causing damage to the company for allegedly tampering with that market’s PPM panel) has a date.  If you remember, the trial was supposed to start on April 2 but was postponed at the last minute.  The new trial start date is June 18…..Entercom is launching a Spanish-language sports talk station in the Washington, DC market on WJFK-AM/WLZL-HD2 branded “El Zol Deportes.” The station will use content from ESPN Deportes and will also offer Spanish play-by-play of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” Major League Baseball and the NBA playoffs…..Pictured at right are Valerie Geller (left) and Kipper McGee (right) yesterday in Las Vegas at the 2018 NAB Show.  The two consultants were signing editions of their latest books, Beyond Powerful Radio by Geller, and Brandwidth by McGee.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Open with Two Back-to-Back Fireside Chats Featuring Sean Hannity and Caroline Beasley. It will be a morning blockbuster double-header as TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! opens with Michael Harrison hosting back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” with two key industry players – Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. After that, the conference will blast forward as its subtitle “Full Speed Ahead!” indicates with presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Salem Radio Network VP, Phil Boyce; and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. See the agenda and registration information here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/FBI Raids Cohen Offices, Zuckerberg Before Congress, U.S. Syria Policy, Israel’s Gaza Response, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Trump Cancels ‘Summit of the Americas’ Trip, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related FBI raid on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s offices; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress on the Cambridge Analytica data usage; U.S. military policy in Syria; criticism of Israel’s response to Gaza protests; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity over Kimmel’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; President Trump cancels trip to “Summit of the Americas” to focus on Syria; the state of security on the U.S.-Mexico border and the fate of the caravan asylum-seekers; China eases up on U.S. auto tariffs; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As the result of iHeartMedia’s hiring of Lance Houston as program director and midday personality on its Chicago country outlet WEBG “BIG 95.5,” Steve Stewart exits the PD/midday host role.  Also, Mason Schraeder and Zach “Remy” Hoesly exit the morning show and Amber “Alabama” Cole goes forward hosting the program solo…..The Johnjay& Rich Show appealed to some of their artist friends to encourage the girlfriend of U.S. Army-bound Anthony to say “yes” to his invitation to the prom.  Anthony is shipping out to boot camp soon and Johnjay and Rich called in The Chainsmokers (seen in lower right inset of the photo below) to convince Andrea to accept his proposal.  She did.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Friday, April 6, 2018

| April 6, 2018

Damon Bruce Renews with ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco. Sports talk pro Damon Bruce and Entercom Communications agree to a new multi-year contract to keep him hosting afternoon drive on KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz comments, “Damon Bruce is an iconic Bay Area sports voice who has been an important part of The Game’s surge in popularity.  We are beyond thrilled that with this new extension Damon will continue to keep us growing and thriving.”  Bruce started his sports talk career at crosstown KNBR.  He’s served with SiriusXM, ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and CBS Sports Network.  He joined KGMZ in 2014.

Dan Bickley Is ‘All-In’ at Bonneville’s ArizonaSports.com and KMVP-FM.  Phoenix sports media pro Dan Bickley (left) is digging in at Bonneville’s operations in the Valley.  The longtime local sports columnist is moving his columns and all of his written content to the company’s digital platform, ArizonaSports.com.  Simultaneously, Bonneville is adding two hours to the “Bickley and Marotta” sports talk show he co-hosts with Vince Marotta (right).  The program airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm currently but will start at 10:00 am, effective April 23. (It appears this move means the current 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show “The Blitz with B-Train and Jurecki” [Bertrand Berry and Mike Jurecki] is cancelled.) Bickely states, “I’m ecstatic to join a team as talented and powerful as Arizona Sports.  It’s a blessing to have an on-air partner like Vince Marotta, to work alongside the most engaging personalities in Arizona, and to bring my column to one of the fastest growing platforms in the country.” Bickley has been covering sports in the market for 20 years with the Arizona Republic and AZCentral Sports.

Mike Hartel Rises to EVP for Alpha Media’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Radio management pro Mike Hartel is promoted to executive vice president for Alpha Media’s Mid-Atlantic Region that includes the Dayton, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Canton, Ohio; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Hagerstown-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and Bluefield, West Virginia markets.  Spoken-word stations in that region include: sports talk WOIC-AM, Columbia, news/talk WNTX, Fredericksburg, and sports talk WING-AM, Dayton.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt says, “Mike has demonstrated leadership skills surpassing our expectations from day one of joining the company and he has the unique ability to inspire and mentor those around him.  I’m delighted to promote him into this role working side-by-side with our other regional EVP’s: Bill McElveen, Larry Bastida, and George Pelletier.”

Why Does Talk Radio Struggle? Answer: It Doesn’t.  Talk show host and Talk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree writes in a piece for TALKERS magazine that talk radio is as strong as it ever was.  He says that when moments of controversy on a talk station arise, the only “sales problems” stations have are created because “we allow sales departments to run our programming in moments like these.”  Furthermore, Crabtree says no one can sell conservative talk radio better than the people who understand it and those people are the hosts.  “I was recently having a philosophical conversation with a programmer in a top-50 market who told me that ‘we generally don’t want our talent out doing any sales [activities] in markets this size…so they can focus on their shows.’ I was stunned!”  Read Crabtree’s entire piece here.

PodcastOne Announces Three New Publisher Deals. Podcast giant PodcastOne announces the network’s newest talent partners. The entertainment site Collider teams with PodcastOne to amplify distribution and advertising sales for their five movie and television-themed podcasts. Three-time NBA champ BJ Armstrong joins PodcastOne SportsNet to host “In the Key” with Sirius XM’s Gerald Brown. That weekly show provides insider conversation on the cultural beats of the moment, from basketball to hip hop. Finally, “Bubba’s Exotic Motorsports” launches featuring the award-winning, father-and-son car-building team, Bubba and Tom. Their weekly podcast for car enthusiasts debuts April 15.

TALKERS News Notes. WABC, New York morning hosts Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg were paid a visit by President Donald Trump.  POTUS called the station to chat with “Bernie & Sid” about a number of hot topics. He also congratulated the two on succeeding the “Imus in the Morning” program on the legendary Cumulus Media station. Listen to the segment here…..Houston-based Patrick Creighton begins hosting the late night “Straight Heat with Patrick Creighton” on SB Nation Radio from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET beginning Monday (4/9).  Creighton co-hosts the midday “Nate and Creight” show on Gow Media-owned KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Creighton says, “I am really excited to bring my unique blend of sports, entertainment, and fun every night to SB Nation Radio.  It’s an incredible challenge, but one I am eagerly awaiting.  I’d like to thank David Gow and Craig Larson for this amazing opportunity.”

Price: Are You Ready for Today’s 10 Plagues? Broadcast continuity expert Howard B. Price – who served with ABC/Disney for many years as director of business continuity & crisis management – says you can use the 10 plagues Biblical story as metaphor for what a concerned broadcaster must prepare in order to prevent an unstoppable event from ruining your ability to serve your listeners and, of course, advertisers.  Price says the tale “mirrors our ongoing struggles to convince managers that at one time or another, very bad things will have dramatically negative impacts on their operations.  And more likely as not, those bad events will cascade, causing even more catastrophic business impacts. Which is why we really should listen to and act upon the warnings we’re given, whether we like them or not.”  Read his piece here.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 2-6. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ‘immigrant caravan’ making its way through Mexico tied with President Trump’s order to have the U.S. military protect the Southern border.  Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-China tariff threats and the related financial markets activity, followed by the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KXNT, Las Vegas, Afternoon Drive Host Alan Stock Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  It has been slightly more than six months since the terrible Las Vegas shooting rocked the nation.  However, in today’s rapidly accelerating, increasingly frenzied news and communications environment, it might as well have been six years ago.  This observation is especially apt considering the continuing series of events involving senseless and random violence assaulting the public’s collective consciousness.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison catches up with veteran talk show host of Entercom news/talker KXNT, Las Vegas, Alan Stock.  Together they revisit the tragedy of October 1, 2017 and discuss it from the perspective of a talk station where the event was a mind-numbing local news happening and one that still permeates the thoughts and memories of its audience.  On this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” Alan Stock recounts the radio station’s response on the night of the massacre and the days, weeks and months that followed.  Harrison and Stock also talk about the impact Donald Trump is having on news/talk radio, the state of journalism and the American conservative movement.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that hip hop jock and VJ Ed Lover is destined to be the new morning personality on Entercom’s urban contemporary WBMX “104.3 Jams.”  Lover rose to prominence as host of “Yo! MTV Raps” back in the 1990s. Most recently he was serving with Radio One’s “Boom 102.9” in Atlanta as morning host.  Feder says the station will make the announcement next week…..“Brooke & Jubal” co-host Brooke Fox (pictured below) was honored at 425 Magazine’s “Women to Watch” event at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated personality was among five women who were recognized as “change-makers for their dedication to moving the needle forward and making America stronger and more adaptable for the next generation.”

Thursday, April 5, 2018

| April 5, 2018

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 Highlights Radio’s Reach. This latest version of Nielsen Audio’s report on audio usage notes that “93% of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week—more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly’s report underscores the reach of radio across the media-using population.  “According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone.  Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.”  Industry insiders are well aware that the challenges facing radio as a medium include decreased time spent listening over the past decade or so.   Although certain formats, news/talk and sports talk especially, have maintained TSL better than many music formats.  The graphic here shows the reach of the news/talk format among Gen Xers.  News/talk is the #1 format reached by Boomers (55-64) with a 15% AQH share according to Nielsen’s National Regional Database 2017.

Photo Copyright Issues May Dog Kevin Klein.  In addition to the state of limbo in which Entercom’s new hot talk/sports hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” finds itself, yet-to-debut morning personality Kevin Klein may have legal issues involving the photographer who took the photo seen here of the Coronado bridge, used in Klein’s controversial promotional Tweet.  According to a story in the San Diego Union Tribune, local photographer Jesse Cuevas says he’s considering his legal options regarding Klein’s use of the pic.  Cuevas admits the photo wasn’t legally copyrighted but says the negative press associated with the image gives it “no marketability” from this point forward.  In case you missed it, Klein sent out a Tweet to promote his new morning show that showed the Coronado bridge with the phrase, “Jump…to a new morning show.”  There was public outcry over the insensitivity toward suicide – some 400 suicides have taken place on the bridge since it opened.  Klein has not taken to the airwaves at “97.3 The Machine” as of Thursday morning.  It’s assumed, based on a statement from San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, that Entercom and the team will sit down and discuss the matter at the end of the team’s home stand.

The Howie Carr Radio Network Promotes Two. Three-year staffers Steve Robinson and Grace Curley are moving up at The Howie Carr Radio Network.  Robinson is named vice president of operations and Curley rises to producer.  Robinson and Curley joined Howie Carr more than three years ago when he began his independent syndication.  Over the years, their roles have grown with the success of the network’s expansion.  Robinson is the regular fill-in host for Carr and Curley performs daily entertaining segments on the program.  Their promotions follow the signing of a major broadcast contract with Carr’s Boston flagship WRKO, now under the ownership of iHeartMediaHowie Carr comments, “Steve and Grace have proven themselves on this network since day one in 2014.  These well-deserved promotions should help us reach even higher levels of performance as we move forward.”

Radio Host Alan Taylor on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan.’ Nationally syndicated radio personality Alan Taylor, host of “The Drive with Alan Taylor,” is pictured above (left) with Kelly Ripa (center) and Ryan Seacrest (right) on “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan!” showcasing the top crossover vehicles for 2019.  Taylor’s Radio America-syndicated program is a weekly, two-hour show that reveals the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips, auto show coverage, automotive expert insights, track-day reporting and behind the scenes action.

SiriusXM Brings Journalism Pro Oliver Knox Aboard.  U.S. political journalist Oliver Knox joins SiriusXM to serve as chief Washington correspondent.  Knox worked for 15 years for Agence France-Presse covering U.S. politics.  He’s covered six presidential campaigns and has deep knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill and the White House.  In July, he will be appointed president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, for which he currently serves as vice president. In this role for SiriusXM, Knox will cover the day’s top news stories and provide analysis for all of SiriusXM’s political channels, effective Monday, April 16.   In the coming months, Knox will also host his own live, weeknight show on the POTUS channel. About this new gig, Knox says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at SiriusXM.  I’ve loved hosting a show on SiriusXM these last few years, bringing its deeply engaged audience in-depth conversations with newsmakers and experts.  I look forward to building on that foundation in the months and years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report by WABC-TV, New York, seven people are being charged in the 2012 murder of WOND-AM, Pleasantville, New Jersey talk show host April Kauffman.  Prosecutors say her murder was orchestrated by her late husband Dr. James Kauffman in order to prevent her from revealing a drug ring he was operating in concert with the Pagans Motorcycle Gang.  Dr. Kauffman committed suicide while in prison earlier this year.  Authorities say that in 2011 April Kauffman threatened to divorce Dr. Kauffman and expose his drug business…..iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York launches a new “Daily Mets Podcast” hosted by New York Mets radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin.  The podcast is an expansion of his popular “What Did We Learn?” segment from Mets radio post-game programs.  Lewin says, “Because we are producing this podcast every day, it will be totally up-to-date with content.  It will be informative and playful at the same time.  It’ll be a fresh perspective on the team and in 10-20 minutes any fan will be completely in-the-know.”

‘Immigrant Caravan’/U.S. Military Plans, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump on U.S. in Syria, Zuckerberg Before Congress, MLK Assassination Anniversary, Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump Attack, YouTube Shooting, Trump vs Amazon, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). The caravan of immigrants from Central America moving through Mexico toward the U.S. and President Trump’s plan to use the military to protect the border; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; President Trump orders the Pentagon to prepare a Syrian exit strategy; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 date with Congress on data usage issues; the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jimmy Kimmel’s mocking of Melania Trump’s accent; the shooting and apparent suicide at YouTube headquarters in California; President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Jeff Bezos; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, Entercom names market media pro JoAnne Purtan morning show co-host at classic hits WOMC, alongside Stephen Clark.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says of Purtan, “We are thrilled that JoAnne is part of the new WOMC morning show.  In addition to being a widely respected journalist, she is an integral part of the Detroit community.  JoAnne’s father, Dick Purtan, is a huge part of the heritage of WOMC and it’s exciting to have a Purtan back at the station.” JoAnne Purtan says, “After 27 years in television news [20 years with WXYZ-TV], I’m excited for this new adventure in radio.  I listened to my dad on the radio for much of my life and I’m truly humbled to be at the same station where he spent the last 15 years of his iconic career entertaining people in the morning.  Stephen and I have always worked so well together and we’re so excited to team up again.  After covering a lot of serious news through the years, we look forward to spending mornings with Detroit’s listeners, sharing good news, great music and some fun.”…..In Miami, programming pro Rob Morris exits his role as vice president of programming for the cluster and PD of CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  Assistant program director and music director Will Calder is serving as interim PD for the Entercom station…..Hubbard Radio Seattle names Corey Dillon afternoon drive personality for new country outlet KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  Dillon says, “I am so excited to join the team at ‘The New 98.9 The Bull’ and a company like Hubbard.  My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home.  I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle.” Dillon comes to KNUC from his most recent gig as evening host at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”…..Mike V is joining Mikey Esparza on Midwest Television’s classic rock KFMB-FM, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM,” effective Monday (4/9) on the afternoon drive show…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated “Full Metal Jackie” show, hosted by Jackie Kajzer, announces new affiliate stations, including: KATT-FM, Oklahoma City; KKBZ-FM, Fresno; WTCX-FM, Green Bay-Appleton; and KHYX-HD2/K232EA, Reno.  Kajzer comments, “I’m forever on a mission to bring hard rock and metal to the masses and I’m honored to have these new stations as new affiliates!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones is making his ABC-TV debut on Sunday night as he joins the cast of “American Idol” to help mentor the top 24 contestants.  He’ll meet with the first 12 performers this week, followed by the remaining 12 on April 15, to “help them reach the next level in their artistry and performances.”…..iHeartMedia Colorado Springs appoints Samantha Kumm market president. The cluster includes country KCCY, hip hop KIBT, hot AC KVUU, and adult contemporary KLCX, and rock KBPL.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

| April 4, 2018

ABC Radio and Skyview Networks Expand Radio Syndication Efforts.  A statement from both companies says ABC Radio and Skyview Networks are “further aligning” their resources to “identify, develop and syndicate talent and programs to broadcast radio.”  For its part, ABC Radio will seek out talent syndication opportunities – for both music and news/talk formats – and will handle the affiliate sales angle, while Skyview Networks will take care of national sales and distribution.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones states, “We are building on the momentum and tremendous success we’ve already seen in our existing partnership.  ABC Radio has always represented creative and innovative programming and we are excited to offer programmers and talent a new, stable business environment to grow and monetize their brands.”  Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele adds, “The timing of our syndication partnership couldn’t be more perfect.  We’ve heard from a significant number of programs and clearly there is a need for another syndication option in the marketplace.  We’re growing and continue to make substantial investments in technology and our staff, and it’s paying off.  This new venture is really a reflection of the dynamic synergies between ABC Radio and Skyview, and our positive business trajectory.”  In July 2016, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks renewed their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.

Cumulus and Merlin Strike a Deal for WKQX, Chicago.  On Tuesday evening, Cumulus Media announced that it has arrived at a deal to acquire Chicago alternative rock WKQX from Merlin Media.  Cumulus has been operating the station under a local marketing agreement, but when it filed to reorganize under Chapter 11, it asked the court to void a number of its prior agreements that it considered onerous.  The WKQX LMA included a “put-and-call” that would have allowed Merlin to force Cumulus to buy the station at a predetermined price (the “put”). The combo deal included WLUP-FM, but Merlin found another willing buyer in Education Media Foundation, which is acquiring WLUP for $50 million.  As part of this deal, Cumulus Media is also getting the intellectual property of “The Loop.”  The speculation in Chicago is that the company will transform classic hits WLS-FM into “94/7 The Loop.” Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, “After operating the station for the past four years, we are delighted to be able to bring this beloved station under Cumulus’ ownership on economic terms that make sense for our business.  We look forward to continuing to deliver the best alternative rock programming to our devoted listeners in the Chicago area for years to come.”  Though no price for WKQX in included in the press release, media trade RBR-TVBR is reporting the price tag is $18 million.

Janet Bro Named COO at USA Radio Networks. Rising from vice president/general sales manager to chief operating officer at USA Radio Networks is Janet Bro.  The company announces that this promotion comes as the company completes its corporate relocation from Phoenix to its flagship station offices at KBDT-AM, Dallas. USA says that in this new position, Bro will lead the networks, including the company’s stations in Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis, as well as five properties in Nevada.  USA says, “Bro comes from a distinguished career in media and advertising.  She began in radio/TV at Bradley University, has owned and operated three FM stations in Illinois and managed others before embarking on a two-decade adventure with Verizon’s Yellow Pages.”  USA Radio Networks CEO Fred Weinberg says, “Our goal is to create news and programming that we and our affiliates can be proud of. We’re not Democrats or Republicans, we’re Americans and that’s how we see the news.  Janet is the perfect person to push this forward.”  USA Radio Networks provides news and long-form talk programming for some 500 affiliates across the country.

Still No Kevin Klein at ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego.  Yes, Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” is still playing rock music and comedy bits during morning drive, five days after air personality Kevin Klein was to debut as host of the new station’s AM drive show.  He’s still listed on the station’s website, so it’s unlikely he’s been let go.  What is likely is that Entercom is still negotiating with the San Diego Padres over the station’s role as flagship for the MLB club.  The Padres either stay or they go.  If they stay, one line of thought is that the station veers from the guy talk/sports hybrid to a pure sports talk station (in order to assuage the team). But if the Padres take their play-by-play elsewhere, perhaps Kevin Klein takes to the air as morning host and the station keeps its “edge.”  It’s hard to imagine Entercom letting this go beyond this week and it must be very difficult to sell time on a station thats format is in question.  In case you’ve missed the backstory, Klein posted a promotional Tweet for his show that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides.  That upset many San Diegans, as well as the Padres.  But, that wasn’t the only issue.  According to comments made to the San Diego Union Tribune by Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, the club hasn’t been happy with the station’s general tone. Fowler told the paper that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.

Larry Kudlow to Do Regular Guest Spot on WABC’s John Batchelor Program. The new director of the National Economic Council – Larry Kudlow – is going to join John Batchelor each Tuesday evening at 9:00 as a guest on Batchelor’s WABC, New York radio program.  The station says that the Tuesday night guest spots “will include other colleagues and will cover topics including the economic health of the U.S. and its allies and trading partners.”  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Kudlow and Batchelor have been working together on-air each week since 2004.  It is a joy to learn that the Trump administration is willing to make the country’s new economic adviser available to the national and global audience of ‘The John Batchelor Show.'”

Cooke: The Class of ’68 Turns 68.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the value of Baby Boomers to talk radio.  On the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cooke notes many of the cultural touchstones that affected the generation.  He says that while Millennials now outnumber the Boomers, the Baby Boom generation outspends the Millennials at retail.  That’s an important fact for radio sales people who are selling upper-demo radio formats like news/talk.  See his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. We have a new date in the legal saga between Bubba the Love Sponge and Nielsen Audio.  After suddenly postponing Monday’s scheduled start of the courtroom proceedings, the two sides are being called in for a status conference on April 10.  Perhaps we’ll learn more about the trial schedule after that. Nielsen is suing Bubba for $1 million in damages for his part in a PPM ratings manipulation plot in the Tampa market…..Salem Media Group re-brands KDZR, Lake Oswego, Oregon from its former “Talk 1640” to “AM 1640 The Patriot.” Also, in Oregon, Salem rebrands KPAM, Portland – the station it’s operating under an LMA – to the familiar “AM 860 The Answer.”  Some programming adjustments take place on KPAM as the SRN-syndicated Dennis Prager grabs an hour from the local Tim Hohl and Terry Travis morning show.  Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham show replaces Clark Howard in middays, and the afternoon drive show featuring Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson changes from “Afternoon Northwest” to “The Afternoon Answer.”…..Today (4/4) Alpha Media is joining World Concern to raise funds to “Cure 1 Million Kids.”  As part of World Health Week, Alpha Media stations in 49 markets are working to raise money to cure children living in developing countries of parasites that can cause blindness, malnutrition, disease and even death.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt remarks, “We are so proud and honored to work with World Concern for this one-day push to help save children’s lives.  We are passionate to use the power of our Alpha community of listeners and business clients to do what we can to help those less fortunate.  World Concern is a wonderful organization that will take what we raise and make a difference in a young person’s life.”

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches ‘Broadcasting Hope’ Campaign.  A new industry-wide campaign is being launched by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, called, “Broadcasting Hope.” The goal of the initiative is to reach broadcasters across the country with trade ads, social media, and more to ensure that broadcasters in acute need know they can apply for aid from the Broadcasters Foundation.  It is the only charity devoted exclusively to providing financial assistance to broadcasters whose lives have been devastated by illness, accident, or disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “There are broadcasters in local markets across America who may qualify for aid, and it’s imperative that they know the Broadcasters Foundation can be a life support.  The radio and TV trade publications and members of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations have been very supportive in helping us expand awareness of the Foundation’s charitable mission.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Trump-Russia Probe, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, YouTube Shooter, U.S.-Mexico Relations/Illegal Immigration Battle, Spotify Stock Market Debut, Villanova Beats Michigan, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China as both countries impose tariffs; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; the feud between FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; the woman shooter who injured four before taking her own life at the YouTube campus in California; the relations between the U.S. and Mexico and President Trump’s threat to use the military to guard the border; digital audio giant Spotify goes public; Villanova beats Michigan to claim the NCAA title; the first week of MLB action, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Newly flipped country KNUC, Seattle re-brands as “The NEW 98.9 The Bull.”  Lisa Adams is the program director at the Hubbard Radio station and she says, “Welcome to the next evolution of 98.9, a personality all its own.  More BULL, more MUSIC, more FUN.”  She also says the station plans to make its final additions to the air staff soon…..Also from Hubbard Radio, the Chicago cluster announces that sales pro Nancy O’Brien is promoted to director of sales for hot AC WTMX, classic rock WDRV “The Drive,” adult contemporary WSHE, and in-house digital media services arm 2060 Digital.   O’Brien has most recently been serving as national sales manager Midwest region for the company…..Neuhoff Media tweaks CHR WWHX-FM, Bloomington, Illinois to a rhythmic CHR station with the new brand, “HOT 100 The Beat of BloNo.”  Neuhoff Media Bloomington vice president and general manager Danielle Outlaw says, “‘HOT 100’ is the only station designed specifically for the 18-34-year-old audience in Bloomington-Normal.  The music, the connection, the interactivity, the engagement and the beat.  Bloomington-Normal was ready for ‘HOT 100,’ we’re thrilled by the reaction, the future has arrived, it’s ‘HOT 100.’”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

| April 3, 2018

Day Four of Where’s Kevin Klein?  The website for Entercom’s sports/guy talk/rock hybrid still lists Kevin Klein as morning drive host.  In fact, it says he’s on the air now.  But, he’s not; the station is still playing rock music as of this morning.  Klein was supposed to start his morning show stint on KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” last Thursday.  But, after the ill-fated Tweet poking fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides, Klein’s fate appears to be up in the air.  The station is the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball, but the team was upset with the Tweet as well as the station’s general tenor, according to recent local media reports.  Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler last week told the Union Tribune that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.  It seems safe to assume that Entercom and the Padres are still in discussions about their deal.  Programming execs may be re-evaluating the station’s image, or they could be waiting for the issue to blow over.

FNC Backs Laura Ingraham with Strong Statement. Despite reports of advertisers fleeing FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” program starring Laura Ingraham, FNC co-president Jack Abernethy issued a strong statement in support of her.  As talk media watchers are aware, Ingraham’s social media comments about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg’s college applications drew criticism from some quarters.  Hogg posted a list of Ingraham’s advertisers, suggesting a boycott, and the feud gained momentum.  Ingraham is on a planned vacation this week, and Abernethy issued the following statement: “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.  We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”  Read Variety’s take on the matter here.

Former WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Host Ralph Bristol to Run for Nashville Mayor.  According to a report in The Tennessean, former WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” morning host Ralph Bristol will run as a Republican in the August election for the Nashville mayoral position.  Megan Barry recently resigned from the mayor’s office after pleading guilty to felony theft over $10,000 in connection with her extra-marital affair with her former security chief.  The 68-year-old Bristol tells that paper that he left his gig with Cumulus Media’s WWTN due to and “editorial difference of opinions” with station management.  (Brian Wilson recently assumed AM drive duties at the station.)  Bristol is opposed to a $9 billion transit bill that is intended to alleviate Nashville’s traffic problems and is banking on his opposition to the controversial proposal to fuel his campaign.

Longtime Washington News Pro Connie Lawn Dies at 73.  News pro Connie Lawn died this morning at her home in Falls Church, Virginia at age 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Lawn was the longest-credentialed member of the White House press corps, having served for 50 years.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Lawn served with him during the 1990s at USA Radio Network and, more recently, worked for SRN News on a part-time basis.  Tradup says he told his staff, “All of us at SRN News and TOWNHALL News send our condolences to Connie’s husband, Dr. Charles Sneiderman, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the radio news industry.  She was one-in-a-million.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (4/4), SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination in Memphis 50 years ago.  SiriusXM host and human rights activist Joe Madison will broadcast his daily show live from Ben’s Chili Bowl.  The popular D.C. restaurant was frequented by Dr. King during his life and remained open during the riots that ensued following his assassination.  Other programming will take place across the satcaster’s Progress and POTUS channels…..Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 2018 Masters Tournament this Thursday through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, Westwood One will present hourly updates and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club…..ESPN Deportes Radio (WEPN-AM, New York) launches a new, local afternoon show called “Zona NYC,” airing from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, hosted by Tenchy Rodriquez and Nestor Rosario.   ESPN says the show will focus on the sports themes most relevant to the New York City Hispanic community.  Rodriquez brings years of experience as a reporter in the Dominican Republic covering MLB and Dominican League Baseball.  Rosario serves as Spanish-language color commentator for the New York Mets and as play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants.

Trump Mexico Criticism, U.S.-China Tariffs, Financial Markets Activity, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, Iran Nukes Deal, Steven Bochco and Winnie Mandela Die, NCAA Championship Game, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  U.S. immigration policy and President Trump’s criticism of Mexico’s policing of illegal immigration; China slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in response to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports; Monday’s sharp Dow drop and the financial markets’ responses to U.S. policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the feud between FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; criticism of the Iran nuclear deal from Israel and Saudi Arabia; the deaths of television producer/writer Steven Bochco and Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela; Monday night’s NCAA championship game between Villanova and Michigan; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Detroit on-air and programming pro Jessica Tyler adds music director duties for Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD to her responsibilities at the cluster.  Tyler continues to serve as APD, music director, and midday jock at sister country outlet WDRQ-FM “NASH FM 93.1.”  Cumulus Detroit director of programming Robby Bridges says, “Jessica’s passion for music and her relationships with artists and the label community is unparalleled.  I’m pleased she’ll work with me, APD Kendall Taylor, and our corporate team on the sound of Detroit’s 96.3 WDVD going forward!”…..At Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations, Allan Lamberti is named morning host at rock WFOX, Stamford/Norwalk “95.9 The FOX.”  He’s been with the cluster since 2003 in a variety of positions.  Station PD Kevin Begley says, “Allan is a walking trivia night.  He knows more about pop culture and music than anyone I’ve ever met.  Being a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, Allan is a perfect person to entertain ‘FOX’ listeners on their way to work in the morning.”  Begley adds that Lamberti leads a re-tooled lineup that includes the addition of Keith Dakin in afternoons…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Dayton Kane to operations manager and program director for country WPKR-FM and alternative WWWX-FM “96.9 The Fox.”  Kane was most recently program director for the company’s classic rock WKRU and classic hits WOGB in Green Bay.  Cumulus VP and market managerJohn Rowe says, “Dayton has demonstrated strong programming leadership qualities and produced outstanding results within Cumulus Wisconsin. We’re excited to expand his role and take advantage of his success and experience.”

West Coast Jock John Mack Flanagan Dies at 71.  As reported in LARP.com, John Mack Flanagan, who spent most of his career at KFRC, San Francisco – but also did part of 1975 at KHJ, Los Angeles – passed away after a battle with congestive heart failure on March 31.  In addition to his work at KFRC, he also worked on air at KWSS, San Jose; KSFO, San Francisco; KYA, San Francisco; and KBGG-FM, San Francisco.

Monday, April 2, 2018

| April 2, 2018

Will Entercom Add News/Talk WTMJ, Milwaukee to its Brew City Cluster?  According to industry rumors and now picked up by the Milwaukee Business Journal, Entercom is the leading contender to acquire Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and sister country outlet WKTI-FM.  E.W. Scripps recently announced that it is selling its 34-station radio group and will focus on its television business.  Currently, Entercom owns three stations in the market: CHR WXSS “Kiss FM,” hot AC WMYX, and sports talker WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  The addition of WTMJ and WKTI would not violate the FCC ownership cap.  If this rumor becomes reality, Entercom would add WTMJ’s play-by-play rights for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Brewers baseball, and Milwaukee Bucks basketball to its sports offerings and be an excellent complement to the sports talk on “105.7 The Fan.”

WABC, New York Adds Juliet Huddy to ‘Bernie & Sid in the Morning.’  Journalist and television personality Juliet Huddy joins the cast of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The show made its debut as the morning program replacing the “Imus in the Morning” show today. The station says that Huddy – former host of “Good Day New York” on WNYW-TV “FOX 5” and former FOX News Channel personality – joins Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg on the new morning show.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Juliet is a natural performer and is equally comfortable talking entertainment and life as she is talking politics.  Juliet is an amazing addition to the show and to 77 WABC.”

Talk Pro Pete Mundo Joins KCMO-AM, Kansas City for Mornings.  News/talk and sports talk pro Pete Mundo joins Cumulus Media as assistant program director and morning air personality on the “KCMO Morning Show” on KCMO-AM/K279BI.  Mundo began his career in Woodward, Oklahoma.  He moved to New York in 2013 and served with CBS RADIO at WCBS-AM, WFAN-AM/FM, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosted shows on FOX News Radio.  Cumulus Media Midwest Regional VP and Kansas City market manager Donna Baker states, “In our extensive national search for the right talent to connect with our loyal KCMO news/talk audience, Pete emerged as the clear choice.  We are excited to welcome him back to the Midwest to lead 103.7-710 KCMO to a new level of success for our listeners and advertisers.”  Mundo adds, “I’m thrilled by the opportunity to return to the nation’s heartland to host mornings on the legendary KCMO and to assume programming responsibilities as assistant program director.  Bringing a fresher perspective to news, political, sports and local topics and how they affect the Kansas City community on KCMO-Talk Radio 103.7/710 is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kevin Klein Remains MIA on KEGY, San Diego. As of Monday morning, it remains unclear just what the status of KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” morning personality Kevin Klein is.  Though the station’s website lists Klein as the morning host, he was not on the radio today (4/2).  His show was supposed to launch on MLB Opening Day (3/29), but the station has continued to air the mix of comedy bits and rock music in AM drive that is the overnight programming.  As we reported previously, the San Diego Padres – for which the station serves as its flagship for play-by-play – took issue with Klein’s Twitter promotion that poked fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history of being the site of hundreds of suicides throughout its history.  The team is also reportedly not thrilled with the general tone of the station. It’s assumed that Entercom officials and the Padres are in talks about where the two sides go from here and Klein’s status may be part of that.

Alex Jones’ Son Rex Challenges Parkland Student to Gun Laws Debate. The son of Internet and radio personality Alex Jones is challenging Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg to a gun control debate. Hogg is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, along with fellow student Emma Gonzalez, has become the media face of students seeking gun control measures in response to the deadly shooting.  Jones’ son Rex is 15 years old and, according to Inquisitr.com, has been provided by his father with “a platform to express an alternative view of gun control from a teenager’s perspective.”  See the Inquisitr.com story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the February 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Approximately 45% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ AQH shares rise from the January survey to February, while 28% are down and 27% remained flat.  Year-over-year comparisons indicate that 42% of stations realized 6+ gains from the February 2017 survey to February 2018.  Forty-eight percent saw their 6+ number dip.  While 12 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the February survey, just two stations – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” – ranked #1 in their respective markets.   See the entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Las Vegas conservative media figure Heidi Harris has a busy week of events that will feature her new book, Don’t Pat Me On The Head! Blowback, Setbacks and Comebacks in Vegas Radio.  Harris says the new book “covers my various life experiences before radio, my nearly 20 years in radio, and 15 years as a cable TV talking head.  I discuss how to pick topics, callers, and guests, and share some great behind-the-scenes stories, as well as how I’ve survived treacherous colleagues and the politically correct, who sometimes want to slit my throat.”  This week, Harris is speaking at the Vegas Does Business luncheon at Gordon Biersch, Flamingo and Paradise on Thursday (4/5).  Later that evening she’ll be signing books at the Sun City Siena Conservatives meeting. On Saturday (4/7), she’s doing a book signing at Avery’s Coffee.  That evening she’ll appear on the “Jesus and Tim” show on KKVV, Las Vegas…..The Boston Globe reports that market news pro Rod Fritz exits iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston “NewsRadio 1030.”  The paper reports that an internal memo from the station’s Jon MacLean stated, “Rod Fritz is moving on and will no longer anchor here at WBZ.  We thank Rod for his years of service and wish him all the best.

Trump DACA and NAFTA Statements, Russia Diplomatic Breaks, Trump-Russia Investigation, Author Claims Conway White House Leaker, Trump Tariffs, Parkland Students vs Ingraham/Nugent, Ready Player One Film, Final Four, MLB Season Opens, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s statement on no DACA deal and the threat to NAFTA if Mexico fails at border security; Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; author Ronald Kessler suggests Trump aide Kellyanne Conway is the biggest White House leaker; China hits back at U.S. with tariffs on U.S. goods; the feud between Parkland students seeking new gun laws and FOX News Channel’s Laura Ingraham and Ted Nugent’s attack on them; the new film Ready Player One; the weekend’s Final Four games; the opening of the Major League Baseball season, and NBA 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. As reported last week by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom names DreX, a.k.a. Kevin Buchar, and Nina co-hosts of the new morning drive show on its CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”  The “DreX and Nina” show will also feature Gabe Ramirez, who was a cast member on the station’s previous morning program, “The J Show.”  DreX says, “I’m honored, privileged, and humbled for this opportunity to come home to the Chicago audience.  I’d like to thank Entercom, Jimmy de Castro, Todd Cavanah, Erik Bradley and the entire ‘B96’ crew for welcoming me with open arms.  I am very much looking forward to teaming up with my two new partners Nina and Gabe in America’s greatest city.”  DreX previously worked in Chicago at WKSC-FM from 2002 to 2010.  Nina most recently worked mornings at WBMP-FM, New York City…..Radio pro Larry Wilson is the new morning host on Marc Radio’s country WPLL, Gainesville-Ocala “I Am Country.”  Wilson will also serve the company as host of the afternoon show sister classic hits outlet WXJZ.  Wilson had been hosting his “Livin’ Large with Larry” in the Billings, Montana market. He says, “After half of my 36 years on the air spent up north, Marc Radio is a ‘sunny’ change that I am looking forward to.  My show will stream online, so I can still share the sunshine with my Montana friends.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Monday, March 26, 2018

| March 26, 2018

Positioning: The Battle for Your Government.  Consultant Holland Cooke says it’s interesting to note how today’s current political candidates – including Democrat Conor Lamb, recent winner of the Pennsylvania Congressional special election – are using some of the time-proven strategies of “product differentiation” to separate themselves from their opponents.  Read his piece here.

Imus’ ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Segment Airs.  Radio legend Don Imus appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning” yesterday, interviewed by Anthony Mason about his 50-year radio career, including his fondest memories and his regrets.  Last week, CBS teased the segment, reporting that Imus said he would include Howard Stern in the same group with himself as one of the five greatest radio performers of all time.  If you missed it you can read a partial transcript here and see the video.

Price: Investors May Not Care About Operational Resilience, but Your Listeners and Advertisers Do.  Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, says that as recent natural disasters have taught radio and television operators in places like Houston, the U.S. Southeast, and in the Caribbean, both listeners and advertisers care about the operational resilience of your stations.  “Your business has value so long as it operates.  When it doesn’t, it has no meaningful value to your audience or your clients.  And modern technology has made reasonable operational resilience easier and more affordable than ever.  Seems like a no-brainer.”  Yet many operators don’t take the time to prepare and end up regretting it.  Read Price’s piece here.

MIW Radio Group Announces Participants in 2018 Mentoring Program.  The four mentees for this year’s MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, are announced.  This year’s class consists of: Candy Cintron, assistant program director at El Zol 107.9, Entercom, Washington; Amanda Guest, founder & general manager BFF.fm, Best Frequencies, Inc., San Francisco; Jillene Khan, WMGN afternoon host/social media director, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Madison; Kimberly Sonneborn, vice president of digital operations, Beasley Media Group, LLC, Charlotte.  Now in its 17th year, the MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  To date, the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has successfully mentored a total of 43 mentees.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pro wrestling icon Jim Ross is taking his podcast to the Westwood One Podcast Network, effective in early April.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “This proud partnership is an impressive match between two legendary brands – Jim Ross and Westwood One.  Jim always brings it, which is why he has such a passionate fan base and massive social media following.  We can’t wait to share the first episode of ‘The Jim Ross Report’ with his highly engaged audience.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Urban View Vote” – what it calls “a non-partisan, mid-term election year voter registration campaign designed to raise awareness about voter registration opportunities throughout the 50 states.”  The campaign includes the roll-out of an “Urban View Vote” vehicle to tour multiple states – visiting college campuses, community centers, and other key locations.  Urban View host and programming consultant Karen Hunter states, “This is a crucial time in our country’s history to register new voters, and Urban View listeners will lead the way.  On Urban View, we don’t just talk about issues, we take action.  Now more than ever, we want people to know their voting rights and to empower them to take an active role in their futures.  Our hashtag – #10for2018 – reflects our goal that every listener will inspire 10 people they know to get registered.”

‘March for Our Lives,’ Stormy Daniels’ ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bolton Named National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump’s China Tariffs, Craig’s List Shutters Personals, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” gun control advocacy demonstrations; the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump names former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate; Trump’s tariff threats on Chinese goods and China’s response; Craig’s List closes its personal ads section to prevent human rights violations; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; and NBA 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. In Tampa, iHeartMedia names the personalities for its “Throwback 94.5, 99.1, and 105.9.”  Morning drive is home to “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” Queen B hosts middays, DJ Chase is afternoon personality, and DJ Sandman is evening jock.  The three-signal station is fed to W233AV, Gulfport; WVVD-LP, Seffner; and W290BJ, West Tampa via WMTX-HD2.  Station PD Mychal Maguire says, “This is an opportunity for us to give our listeners a great lineup of air personalities along with the great throwback hip-hop songs they grew up listening to and love.  iHeartMedia Tampa is continuously providing our listeners with the music and entertainment they want.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Weigel Broadcasting’s Windy City low-power FM, adult contemporary WRME “Me-TV FM” is syndicating its programming to WJMK-AM, Bridgeport, Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland market).  WJMK-AM station manager Philip Bernstein says, “We are excited to bring the Tri-Cities the proven ‘Me-TV’ music format, which attained ratings far surpassing the heritage stations in Chicago in only one year of being on the air.”…..Three staffers exit Entercom’s San Diego cluster.  Alternative KBZT “ALT 94/9” program director Chris Patyk, cluster promotions director Kiku Boyance, and production assistant Dawne Davis all exit in what’s being termed a restructuring…..Pictured below is “CMT After Midnite” syndicated star Cody Alan (at the standing mic) in the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt speaking with UMG Nashville recording artist Jordan Davis (seated).  In addition to meeting with the young patients and their families, Davis chatted with Alan about the release of his debut album, Home State, and his first headlining “White Wine and Whiskey Tour” that kicks off in April.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

| March 20, 2018

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Launches Live Midday Show Hosted by Pat Frisch.  Longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque program director and air personality Pat Frisch is debuting a new, live midday talk show to air in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Frisch’s eponymous program is being produced by Jim FreeseCumulus Media Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “Some of the largest feedback we’ve received from our listeners is that they love our local programming and they love when Pat fills in on KKOB.  This gives us the opportunity to enhance our live, local approach to radio and gives our listeners the chance to call in, be heard and hear the latest news and topics nationally and locally.”  Frisch hosted the station’s morning drive program in 2005-06.  The station now airs 11 hours of local talk in addition to the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin programs.  Frisch states, “I’m so excited to grab the reigns from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  KKOB is as New Mexican as red or green and Lobos or Aggies.  This move gives us even more opportunity to focus on serving New Mexico.”

KJR-AM, Seattle Makes Programming Changes.  Seattle sports talker KJR-AM announces a new morning drive program called “Chuck and Buck in the Morning” hosted by Chuck Powell and Bucky Jacobsen.  The move of Powell to mornings changes the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm “Chuck & Puck” show to “The Jason Puckett Show.”  Also, current morning drive personality Dick Fain is moving to the new afternoon drive show with Dave “Softy” Mahler.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Seattle Rich Moore says, “I couldn’t be more excited for this new era at Sports Radio 950 KJR.  We just got bigger and stronger today.  We added depth for compelling sports talk, knowledge, and aligned our strong personalities to be Seattle’s strongest local sports talk station.”

Broadcasting Live from Qatar.  One of the fastest-growing, independently syndicated news/talk hosts in America – and a long-time Donald Trump insider – John Fredericks is broadcasting his show live this week from Qatar where he is on a Middle East fact-finding mission.  He is pictured yesterday (3/19) with Dr. Ali bin Smaikh al Marri, chairman of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee.  Fredericks tells TALKERS, “We discussed the adverse impact the Saudi-UAE-Baharain-Egypt embargo is having on the basic human rights of Gulf citizens, students, families and migrant workers in Qatar.”  Earlier today (3/20), Fredericks is pictured with Her Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of @QatarFoundation.  He engaged her in a wide-ranging interview that included Qatar’s unique empowerment of women in the Gulf and the six U.S. universities in Education City.  Fredericks reports, “Her Excellency is focused on education and finding new and innovative ways to learn.  She told me, ‘Our history has not yet been written.’”  Fredericks’ show airs live each day between 6:00 am and 10:00 am ET.  For more information, please click here.

Entercom’s David Field Shares Thoughts on iHeartMedia and Cumulus Bankruptcies in Companywide Memo.  Addressing the bankruptcy proceedings of both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Entercom president and CEO David Field tells his employees that the reason the two companies are in the situation they are is because of “ill-advised decisions to place too much debt on their companies.  Period, full stop.  The bankruptcies have nothing to do with radio.  In fact, any company in any industry that takes on too much debt will suffer a similar fate.”  He goes on to say the radio business is a healthy one that generates earnings and cash flow and he bemoans the “erroneous and misleading narrative” that challenges in the radio business are the reason for the bankruptcies.  “If radio has an issue, it isn’t the size of our audiences or the value of our product or the health of our business model.  No, our issue is that we are highly undervalued and receive far less than our fair share of total ad spending.  With Entercom’s newly enhanced scale, advocacy efforts, marketing capabilities and customer outreach, we intend to change that.  And with iHeart and Cumulus emerging from bankruptcy, the industry will be even healthier going forward and that’s good news for all of us…Let’s make sure we get the word out so that our advertisers, partners, and other key influencers understand the facts and don’t come away with any false perceptions.”

Bill Handel Health Scare.  As chronicled by LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel returned to the air yesterday (3/19) after more than a month off the station.  LARadio.com writes, “His time away from the radio went from a case of the flu to major pain to visits to the ER four times in six days.”  After his case of the flu, Handel began to experience extreme pain and made four visits to the emergency room in six days.  He was treated for a cyst on his spine and sepsis.  Read about it here.

McMahon: Four Steps to Creating Magic on the Radio.  Consultant Bill McMahon writes today about the importance of creating “meaningful emotional experiences” for one’s listeners in order to build and hold a loyal audience.  McMahon says those experiences “make their lives more interesting, rewarding and fun” and they “challenge them to think, feel, and grow.”  Check out his column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Suburban Chicago hot AC WXLC, Waukegan adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” program for the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Haynes Johns is operations manager and program director at the Alpha Media station and he says, “We’re excited about the helpful advice she’ll be sharing with our audience every weeknight, plus the local connection with Chicagoland’s own Dr. Laura Berman!”…..In a piece published in Newsday, former WFAN, New York afternoon drive star Mike Francesa says he misses being on the radio more than he thought he would.  The Big Apple sports talk legend also says he expects to announce his plans to return to the media between April 1 and May 1.  Francesa tells Newsday’s Neil Best that he won’t be doing the 27 and ½ hours per week that he was doing on WFAN, though he expects to be doing “some traditional presentation and some new presentation.”…..Boston University‘s public news/talk station WBUR, Boston is taking ideas for a new radio program as it launches its “Next Great Show Contest.”  Submissions are being accepted now through April 20.  WBUR says it’s seeking “a creative, funny, and engaging person or group of people.  Participants are encouraged to submit an idea that no one has heard before, especially on public radio.  The only requirement is the show needs to be funny.”  Finalists will get to pitch their program to a panel of judges including WBUR producers and award-winning comedian Alonzo Bodden.  The grand prize winner will have a pilot episode produced by WBUR…..ESPN will begin presenting video simulcasts of its ESPN Radio programs “Golic and Wingo” and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” on ESPNews, beginning Monday, April 2.  Those two shows join the afternoon “Will Cain Show” on the channel.  “Golic and Wingo” has been seen on ESPN2 since its launch in November and will continue from 6:00 am to 10 am ET.   “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” has aired on ESPNU since September 2015 and is seen 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Sports Announcers Report Card publisher David Halberstam is presenting a four-part series commemorating late sports media legend Howard Cosell on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Check it out here.

Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe, McCabe Firing/FBI Investigation Movement, Texas Package Bombings, Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse, Trump’s China Tariffs, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The status of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the movement among conservative lawmakers to open a special counsel investigation into alleged abuses at the FBI; the series of package bombings in Austin and San Antonio; the data misuse allegations against Cambridge Analytica and Facebook; President Trump’s announcement he’ll slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods; the weekend’s NCAA tourney games; the first week of the NFL free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago classic hits outlet WLS-FM has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Wade Linder to the position, taking over for Brian Thomas as he moves to Atlanta to program WKHX “Kicks 101.5.”  Linder moves there from defunct heritage rocker WLUP-FM where he was PD from June 2014 through the station’s recent LMA to Educational Media Foundation.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren states, “Having the luxury of replacing a premier program director like Brian Thomas with Wade Linder doesn’t happen often.  We are most fortunate to be able to move Wade from WLUP-FM to the program director’s role at WLS-FM.  This allows us the opportunity to continue growing upon the heritage and recent success of 94.7 and to keep one of the country’s most talented PD’s in our cluster.”…..Westwood One brings media pro Paul Joseph aboard to assume the newly created role of VP, program operations and content for its music and entertainment division.  The company says Joseph will “leverage his vast industry experience to coach, consult, and train Westwood One/Cumulus hosts and producers to better engage listenership, build their brands, and drive revenue within the company’s pop music programming arena.”  Joseph joins Westwood One from Cumulus Media, Los Angeles.  He says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the amazing Westwood One team.  Our goal is to strengthen programming and content across the platforms by using all the tremendous assets of Westwood One and Cumulus Media, including Zach Sang, the brightest young star in radio.  Many thanks to Suzanne Grimes, Charles Steinhauer, Kirk Stirland, Susan Stephens, and, of course, Mike McVay for their confidence and support. Let’s rock!”…..Cumulus Media names “Lexi and Banks” (pictured at right) the new morning show on country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City RVP and market manager Patrick Reedy states, “With over five years of entertaining SLC under their belt we’re confident that ‘Lexi and Banks’ will hit the ground running with a fun, fast-paced, entertaining show that is sure to put a smile on listeners faces.”…..On-air pro Summer Stevens joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s country KOMG, Springfield, Missouri “105.1 The Bull” to co-host morning drive with incumbent personality John Kimmons on the newly renamed “Biscuits & Gravy in the Morning” program.  She’d previously been with Scripps’ crosstown country KTTS.

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

TAKEAWAYS

1) New York City Spoken-Word Formats – As the result of five sweeps in a row without an increase, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” has lost nearly one-half (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and slips from #12 to #14. The last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). On the other hand, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (#22, 6+), halting three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS gains one-tenth and remains at #2. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM carries on at #13, registering a 2.8 (6+) for the third straight sweep. Despite the fact it is without an increase for the fifth consecutive time for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). Down or flat the past four ratings periods for a -.4 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regains half that loss with a +.2 (1.2, #23, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#24), whose last ten New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off two-tenths to 3.2 (steady at #11, 6+). It entered the January 2017 sweep within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the previous seven survey periods and notched a +1.0 to 3.4, reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 3.0. Co-owned WNYC-AM is -.1 (.7, #26, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A positive spike of one full-share by Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.0 – 6.0, fourth to second, 6+) takes “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” to its best 6+-showing since 6.1 in August. After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but “106.7 Lite FM” remains on top for the seventh straight sweep. Off by one-half share in February as well is Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WXNY “X-96.3,” which drops out of the top twenty (2.1 – 1.6, #19 to #21, 6+).

2) Los Angeles Spoken-Word Formats – The largest plus or minus (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 move in the City of Angels is by iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640,” which returns the six-tenths it grabbed in January (3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) and slips from fifth to seventh. When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Three other news/talkers in the country’s second-largest market combine for an overall 2.4 (6+), including KFI cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” locked on 1.0 for the sixth sweep in succession (#28, 6+); Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #31, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” (flat at .5, #37, 6+). Even though KNX “1070 News Radio” is +.1 to 3.3 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well) – the Entercom all-news outlet segues from a ninth-place tie to tenth. Right behind KNX and unchanged at #11 is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), KSPN “710 ESPN” ties KEIB at #28, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” is flat at .4 (#40, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective +.8 (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). “K-Earth” crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Down two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” nonetheless repeats at #1. Prior to its +.6 in January, “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While Cumulus Media’s KLOS is without a loss for the fourth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” backslides from #11 to #13. Onetime all-news outlet (and later sports talk) KFWB is now a Lotus Communications-owned Spanish oldies facility “980 La Mera Mera” and is trending .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 (#35, 6+).

3) Chicago Spoken-Word Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM elevates from fourth to second (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+) with its finest 6+-stat (5.3) since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well), Tribune Media news/talk WGN is -.2 to 3.1 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. This marks the sixth straight up or flat ratings period for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (#23) which is up seven-tenths in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR gained six-tenths in January, but is down two-tenths in February and exits the top twenty (2.7 – 2.5, #17 to #21, 6+); “670 The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Cross-town ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#25, 6+). At #22, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is down or flat for the sixth time in succession for a cumulative -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – Not only does Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP double the margin of its January +.6 (2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, 6+), “Me TV FM – Me Music” vaults from #21 all the way to #6. Making a huge leap as well is Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (2.6 – 3.3, +.7, 6+), which rockets from #19 to a three-way tie at #8 and matches its September 3.3 (6+). Following a topline (6+) of 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” advances by one-half share to 3.2 (#17 to #11, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WVAZ (6.8 – 6.6, -.2, 6+) repeats at #1; “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” had been on top from February through September. Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” is -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. Until about four and a half months ago (11/9/2017), Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston. Off by one-half share (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” shifts from second to third. An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” touched the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4).

4) San Francisco Spoken-Word Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to its +.5 in January (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. When Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM surrenders one-half share in February (6.2 – 5.7, flat at #2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Off one-tenth, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO falls from #19 to #20 (2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, January 2018, and February 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Despite being flat at 2.2 (6+), KSFO climbs from #18 to a three-way logjam at #15. At the same time that KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” drops three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, eighth to tenth, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” adds four-tenths and enters the top twenty (1.7 – 2.1, #18, 6+) with its best 6+-stat (2.1) since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) by KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” ends a topline sequence of 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.2 (6+) as the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet jumps from ninth to fourth. November 2017 through February 2018 (6+) trending for rhythmic CHR sibling KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay Area’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6. In three straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” (seventh to sixth) has picked up six-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As a result of an eight-tenths loss (2.8 – 2.0, #12 to #19, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC records its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well).

5) Dallas Spoken-Word Formats –  Without a decrease for the seventh time in a row, Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (steady at #16) is a collective +.7 in that timeframe (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Even though posting its third straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” backslides from a three-way tie at #18 to #20. Also in the news/talk format, Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is flat at 1.2 (#30, 6+); Cumulus Media Group’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at .7 (#35, 6+); and North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA is up by one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, #20, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK registered a one-half share uptick in January, but “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” coughs up 60% of that increase in February (3.5 – 3.2, -.3, #11 to #12, 6+). The market’s two other sports talk outlets are down as well: Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” off one full-share in four straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, #22, 6+), and ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” a collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #33, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (6+). While “Kiss” repeats at #1, it is tied for the lead with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” (5.2 – 5.4, +.2, second to first, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (5.4, as well). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Consistent in registering a 3.4 six of the last seven ratings periods (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” hangs out a +.5 to 3.9 and enters the top ten (#12 to a three-way tie at #7). After improving by one full-share in January (3.1 – 4.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” forfeits one-half that increase (3.6, -.5, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11); January’s 4.1 was its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June 2017.

6) Houston Spoken-Word Formats – Back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.8 – 3.6, -.2, down from #13 in January, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1 – 3.5, +.4, up from #17 in January, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). There is no positive movement on any of the market’s three sports talk signals: Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (.9 – .8, -.1, #24, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” (flat at .7, #25, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (flat at .6, #27, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Duplicating its +.5 in January (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” progresses from #15 to a three-way tie-up at #11. Before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017, “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Bouncing back from January’s -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+) with a +.2 to 7.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the fourth time in a row; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Unchanged at #3, co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7 in four straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5, 6+). On the heels of a +1.0 in January, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” surrenders all but one-tenth of that gain (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, sixth to ninth, 6+); January’s 5.1 is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Dropping by one-half share is Liberman’s KEYH “La Ranchera” (.7 – .2, #31, 6+).

7) Atlanta Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 27th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM surrenders exactly one-half of January’s +1.6 (10.2 – 9.4, -.8, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Flat at 1.8 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” moves from a tie at #19 to a four-way logjam at #18. Three other Atlanta commercial news/talkers all check in at .1 (6+): Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer”; iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640”; and Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community.” With a December 2017 – February 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE carries on at #7, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS is +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, #25, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” sputters by -1.1 in February to 2.6 (#13 to #17, 6+). Via four successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up three-tenths and trails “The Game” by just over one-share.

Atlanta Music Formats – Within 3.5 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” busts out a +.7 to 4.2 (#14 to #12, 6+). Somewhat similarly, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV has recorded a 5.5 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (5.5 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) but “97.1 The River” improves by six-tenths to 6.1, advancing from fourth to second. A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.0 in January and February (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot to fourth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Returning all of January’s half-share gain – and an extra one-tenth (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+) – Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” slips from #12 to #14. The market’s two mainstream CHRs – iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.3, +.2 #11 in January, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (4.2 – 4.3, +.1, 6+) are tied for tenth-place. By picking up one-tenth in January, “Q-100” ended four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+); “Power” was +.5 in January.

8) Philadelphia Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for WIP. The flagship of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, but is -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom sports talk property repeats at #1. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Both Entercom all-news KYW as well as public news/talk WHYY improved by one full-share in January. Now, KYW is -.1 (5.2 – 5.1, flat at #7, 6+), while WHYY regresses by three-tenths (4.2 – 3.9, eighth to ninth, 6+); WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Finishing at #18 and #19, respectively, after being tied at #18 (1.8, 6+) in January are Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (1.9, +.1, 6+) and – from outside the market – Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.8, flat, 6+). WPHT had been -.9 in three successive sweeps without an increase (2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share, Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” is a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). This is the first time since September’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reaches the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. With its best 6+-stat since September’s 6.6, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” has a positive spike of one full-share (5.3 – 6.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Owing to a +.9 (2.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Immediately following an increase of six-tenths, urban AC cluster-mate WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” falters by -1.1 (6.6 – 5.5, 6+), sliding from third to sixth. Three-tenths behind aforementioned WIP is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which picks up one-tenth to 8.4 (6+), after a January 2018 decrease of -8.7. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” had been a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.

9) Long Island Spoken-Word Formats – Mirroring Atlanta’s WZGC, and Philadelphia’s WDAS-FM for largest (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (see above), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” is -1.1 in the Long Island report (4.0 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #11). Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” checks in at #24. Tied with WFAN at #11 is its all-news cluster-mate WINS (down from #10 in January), which is without an increase in Long Island for the sixth time in succession for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM drops four-tenths (3.0 – 2.6, 6+), drifting from #11 to #16. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Improving for the third time in a row for an overall +.8 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” climbs from #16 to #14. Following three consecutive modest losses for a -.5 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC picked up one-tenth in January and repeats its 1.2 in February (#25, 6+). At #23, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM records a 1.8 for the third straight ratings period (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share swells by +1.9, mainly fueled by a +1.4 from Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (4.0 – 5.4, 6+), which rises from a three-way tie at #6 to #2. Its +.6 in January ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). The other half-share of that +1.9 comes from iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” (5.2, flat at #3, 6+), which had been down the past four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptures nine-tenths (4.0 – 4.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/Connoisseur Media-owned WBZO is off three-tenths to 3.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Having slipped by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, “103.1 Max FM” answered with a +1.2 in January to 4.2, its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. In five straight sweeps without a loss, co-owned WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” is +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.1 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” leaps from #20 to #14. Its January increase halted at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). There is a similar scenario for iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, which was up six-tenths in January as well, and tacks on one-half share in February (3.0 – 3.5, #11 to #9, 6+). Flat at 7.4 (6+), bouncing back from January’s -5.4, WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fifth consecutive time. The Connoisseur Media hot AC was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.7 in January and February (8.5 – 4.4 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 40th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by two-tenths, after adding four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and drops from #14 to #16 (2.6, 6+).

10) Riverside Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR returns that collective four-tenths in its entirety (.9, #13 to #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – February 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” inches up from #18 to #17.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of dialing up a January +1.8 (5.5 – 7.3, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA piles on a +1.1 to 8.4 and repeats at #1. January’s huge gain pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot just over two years ago with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Dusting itself off from a January -.5, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” displays a +.7 (3.6 – 4.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. A no-show from July 2017 through November 2017, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” is .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 (#15 to #13, 6+) since then. Meanwhile, co-owned/similarly-formatted KXSB, which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+), disappears from print. Nearly doubling its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” sputters by one-half share to 2.5 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0.

11) San Jose Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 8.5 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – repeats at #1. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. It has a 2.7-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which squanders eight-tenths in February (6.6 – 5.8, flat at #2, 6+). Up by a combined seven-tenths in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO progresses from #14 to #12. In a five-way scrum at #20 is co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Ping-ponging from 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” slips from #11 to #13. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January loses three-tenths (.6, #30 to #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gains two-tenths to 1.2 (#29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – As the result of five increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9, fifth to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7. Owing to a gain of seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” proceeds from eighth to sixth. After doubling its 6+-share in three successive up or flat trends from October through “Holiday” 2017 (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ relinquished one-half share in January but regains it all and another one-tenth (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+) as “93.3 La Raza” is part of that five-way tie at #20 (up from #27 in January). Returning in full the seven-tenths it picked up in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” segues from fifth to eighth (4.0, 6+).

12) Middlesex Spoken-Word Formats – Although down three-tenths (8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW repeats at #1. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Back-to-back are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.7, +.2, #22, 6+) and Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.5 – 1.6, +.1, #23, 6+). WOR was -.5 in five successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is a cumulative +1.2 and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.9 in four successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). At #21, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+). This is the third consecutive downward move for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM for a -.6 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, #20 to #18, 6+). Conversely, all-news sibling WINS (#25) is up for the third straight time for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Although unchanged at #4, Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” posts a +1.1 5.9 (6+). A January loss of two-tenths halted three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Progressing by one-half share each are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” (5.8 – 6.3, steady at #3, 6+); Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (unchanged at #5, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (seventh to sixth, 6+); and co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 – New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (#14 to #9, 6+). WBLS regains in its entirety the half-share it lost in January. “New York’s Greatest Hits” extends its successive string of up or flat moves to four for an overall +1.2 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+), while in its fourth straight up or flat trend, “Z-100” is a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+). As the result of three positive or flat trends in succession, “Power 105.1” is a collective +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). An improvement of one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) by Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” (#13 to #12) draws to a close four downward trends in a row for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2,  6+). In addition to slumping by seven-tenths (3.3 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom mainstream CHR-turned-alternative WBMP “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative” exits the top ten (#10 to #15). Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” spirals by nine-tenths from 3.1 to 2.2 (#14 to #18, 6+). Declining by one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary and classic rock siblings WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” (6.9, flat at #2, 6+) and WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.4 – 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). “Lite-FM” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but shifted to second in January. Its -4.1 in January ended six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Friday, March 9, 2018

| March 9, 2018

WABC, New York to Move ‘Bernie & Sid’ to AM Drive.  After Don Imus wraps his legendary radio career on March 30, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York will move the late morning “Bernie & Sid” show into the morning drive daypart, effective Monday, April 2.  Longtime Imus sidekick (and executive producer) Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg have been together hosting their late morning show since January of 2016.

WWBA, Tampa Launches Chris Ingram Show.  A new late morning show debuts on Genesis Communications’ WWBA, Tampa/W252DF, Largo “News/Talk Florida” on Monday (3/12) starring Chris Ingram.  The station says the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program follows “the new and very mellow ‘Bubba The Love Sponge Show.’  Chris is a well-known political commentator and is seen as a frequent guest on ‘Bay News 9,’ CNN and other cable news shows.  He was recently chair of the Tiger Bay Club, a political think tank in the Tampa Bay area.  His first guests include Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Jim Greer, former chairman to the Republican Party of Florida.”  Genesis VP of content Steve Kyler says, “Chris brings a fresh, independent look at politics, social issues, and the happenings in entertainment right here in Tampa Bay. Listeners will have a real treat by listening to him every day.”

Alpha Media Appoints Cort Johnson National Digital Content Producer. Although Cort Johnson’s primary responsibility will be creating national digital content for Alpha Media’s rock formats, the company says he’ll also be a major contributor to streaming and podcasting strategies.  In announcing Cort Johnson’s new role as national digital content producer, Alpha Media national director of digital content Ernie Martinez comments, “I am thrilled to be collaborating with Cort!  His skillset, experience, and knowledge in both the digital and traditional radio space are going to be pivotal in driving content on Alpha Media’s digital and social platforms.”

Weekly eSports Show Added to KFXX, Portland Lineup.  Portland, Oregon sports talker KFXX “1080 The Fan” is adding a new, weekly eSports-focused program to its lineup.  Entercom says is partnering with Westwood One to bring “Checkpoint Radio” – hosted by gaming industry experts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan – to the station’s program schedule.  Entercom Portland SVP and market manager Bill Ashenden states, “We are excited to partner with Westwood One to bring eSports content to our community.  The popularity of eSports is growing rapidly among the digital generation and, as the leaders in sports audio, we are committed to expanding our offerings to engage with these listeners.”  “Checkpoint Radio” managing partner Rick Scott adds, “By taking this step with eSports and gaming, the Entercom Portland team are the trailblazers in Portland.  We value having ‘The Fan’ join our growing family of ‘Checkpoint Radio’ partners and look forward to serving the eSports community there.”  The program airs Thursdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime WSBT, South Bend morning host Jon Thompson, a.k.a. JT, wraps a 42-year radio career at the station as Mid-West Family Broadcasting replaces his morning show with ESPN’s Golic & Wingo show.  The South Bend Tribune reports the 70-year-old JT “was surrounded by his family: wife Marilyn; daughters Sarah and Rebecca, both in town for their father’s final show; and son Josh, a Navy aviator who came in from the East Coast.”  Thompson started his career in 1971 and moved to South Bend in December of 1975…..Farmington Hills, Michigan-based New Radio Media announces the launch of its digital streaming entertainment network that offers original online audio and video content featuring topics of interest to metro Detroiters.  New Radio Media says the programming currently consists of 13 shows across five channel categories: business, lifestyle, community, Geektainment, and arts & entertainment.  New Radio Media CEO Paul Bensman says, “The demand for streaming entertainment by the consumer grows every year and we are creating a delivery platform for now and for the future.  The community is going to help to shape the programming we offer so if anyone has an idea for a show, we want to hear it.  Engaging fresh voices and opinions and undiscovered musical talent, plus experienced presenters and nationally recognized entertainers, will offer Detroit a new and exciting network for entertainment.”

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 5-9.  The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and the related talk of trade wars tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Stormy DanielsDonald Trump relationship and legal actions.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia Investigation, followed by the Justice Department’s suit against California over the state’s sanctuary policies at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Renowned Relationship Builder, Social Engineer, International Networking Consultant and Podcaster Jordan Harbinger Is This Week’s Guest on The Michael Harrison Interview.   Named by Forbes magazine “one of the 50 best relationship-builders in the world,” social dynamics expert, attorney, digital era networking consultant and podcaster Jordan Harbinger joins Michael Harrison in a fascinating and informative dialogue on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Harbinger discuss the pros and cons of social media, building an audience in the era of niches, the art of interviewing, America’s role in an increasingly sophisticated world, the generational divide, the need for educational reform and more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Today, Chicago says good-bye to WLUP-FM “The Loop” as the venerable rock outlet powers down and Educational Media Foundation starts operating the station under an LMA and flips it to Christian contemporary at midnight.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, legendary WLUP-FM personality Steve Dahl will be ringmaster of the station’s final program as a rock outlet.  Dahl will talk with special guests – and former WLUP personalities – Sky Daniels and Kevin Matthews.  Read Feder’s column here…..In related news from Chicago, Cumulus Media – still operating Merlin Media-owned alternative WKQX under an LMA – brings Tim Virgin aboard to host the afternoon drive show.  His addition to the program schedule bumps Walt Flakus to the evening show.  Virgin had been doing the afternoon show on WLUP-FM.  Also joining WKQX from “The Loop” is James VanOsdol who becomes digital content captain for the Cumulus Chicago cluster…..In Baltimore, Entercom names Bethany Linderman co-host of “Mix Mornings” on hot AC WWMX “MIX 106.5.” with incumbent host Reagan Warfield.  She was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany, New York co-hosting the morning show.  She says of her new gig, “I’m excited to get to know my new town and connect with MIX 106.5’s listeners.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to build this great morning show with Reagan on one of America’s premiere hot AC stations.”

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA 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. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

| March 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Filing Likely This Weekend.  That’s what industry and financial business watchers are saying as the grace period on iHeartMedia’s February 1 non-payment of $103 million in interest runs out.  For example, Bloomberg’s Emma Orr says that advisers working with iHeartMedia senior creditors have been made privy to bankruptcy papers designed for the first day of bankruptcy court proceedings.  Orr writes, “Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn’t in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren’t in restricted talks with the company…Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.”  iHeartMedia and senior creditors have been unable – so it seems at this late hour – to come to terms on a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan making it likely that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy will take place that could, in Orr’s words, “turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.”

Entercom Flips CHR KEGY, San Diego Hot Talk/Sports Hybrid.  Or so it would seem as Entercom dropped the CHR format on KEGY, San Diego yesterday afternoon at 2:00 pm and began stunting with rock songs.  A website for the station indicates it’s being branded “97.3 The Machine, Talk That Rocks” and displays a program schedule that includes the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon drive show “The Men’s Room” (Miles Montgomery, Steve The Thrill Hill, Mike Hawk, and Thee Ted Smith) in both morning drive and afternoon drive.  Sandwiched between in middays is former crosstown sports XEPRS morning host Dan Sileo.  The site lists “music & comedy” to air from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Though the site doesn’t mention San Diego Padres baseball, a previous presser from the MLB club indicated games would air on 97.3 FM this season.  A number of industry watchers – including TALKERS magazine – expected the station to flip to sports talk.  Time will tell if this stunting is a bit of misdirection or if Entercom is really going go with a hot talk/sports hybrid.  Stay tuned!

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the January 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Historically, the format experiences a ratings dip during the Holiday survey period and rebounds in January and things are no different this year.  Kinosian writes that “more than eight of 10 of these news/talk panelists are up between Holiday 2017 – January 2018 (82%, 6+), while only one in 10 (10%) of the qualifiers listed here are down; the remaining 8% are flat.”  But, comparing January 2017 to January 2018, “roughly three of every five stations on our news/talk sample register a year-to-year decrease (61%, 6+), while approximately one in three (32%) improve; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  Two talk stations managed to rank #1 in their respective markets in the January survey – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Twelve other news/talk outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Gun Control Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 26 – March 2.  The debate over gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and the related televised White House meeting in which President Trump favored raising the minimum age for gun ownership was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the resignation of White House communications director Hope Hicks the day after her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the FISA abuse allegations, followed by the Trump-Russia probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

USA Radio Network Refutes Industry Scuttlebutt.  The radio syndication firm says rumors that it is canceling its “Daybreak USA” morning talk program are untrue.  USA Radio Network says the show is continuing with new hosts RoddWilliam Stowell and his wife Rachael Marie.  Company general manager Janet Bro states, “There are always rumors in this industry, but this one is unfounded and obviously unconfirmed with USA Radio Network.  We have made several changes in other shows and will soon be adding other programming opportunities for you.  Canceling Daybreak is not even a consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talker WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is adding ESPN Radio’s “Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz” to air in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, beginning Monday (3/5)…..CBS News Radio’s “WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP” celebrates 80 years on the air on March 13.  CBS notes that the program is America’s longest-running newscast program.  On March 13, special programming “will explore the first broadcast in 1938, its significance to the history of radio at the time, and how the ‘WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP’ has evolved to remain relevant today.”  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “People have lots of choices for news, so achieving 80 years on the air is an incredible landmark.  We are proud that millions of Americans rely on the reporting of CBS News every day.”…..SiriusXM is launching two news sports talk channels on Monday (3/5), one each dedicated to a college sports conference.  SiriusXM ACC Radio will super-serve fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference with programming including “ACC This Morning,” hosted by Mark Packer and Wes Durham.  The afternoon “ACC Today” show is hosted by Chris Spatola and Jac Collinsworth.  The SiriusXM Pac-12 channel focuses on Pac-12 Conference sports, including a morning drive show hosted by Guy Haberman and former Washington State quarterback and Pac-12 Player of the Year Ryan Leaf.  The afternoon “Pac-12 Today” is being hosted by Kate Scott, Utah alum Sean O’Connell, and former Oregon lineman Geoff Schwartz.

Christopher Nixon Cox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He is the son of Tricia Nixon Cox and New York State Republican Party chairman Edward F. Cox and the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon. Attorney, international businessman, and GOP strategist, Christopher Nixon Cox is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Cox discuss the state of politics in America, the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, his memories of growing up in a major American political family, and his involvement in talk radio in the US and abroad. Harrison describes Cox, who served as New York State executive director of U.S. Senator John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and is a former congressional candidate as “a bright and articulate young man with an extraordinarily colorful past and an extremely bright future.” Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College Students Reported from CPAC.  At last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, students from Hillsdale College conducted more than 50 interviews over two days.  WRFH, Hillsdale “Radio Free Hillsdale” general manager Scot Bertram guided students Ben Dietderich, Shad Strehle, and Ryan Murphy through interviews with an array of personalities, from conservative thinkers to celebrities to college alumni.  This was the first time the college hosted a booth on CPAC’s media row.  Above left is Strehle interviewing former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and at right, Murphy files a video report.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Entercom names Emily Raines co-host of the morning show on country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”  Raines joins “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” on Monday (3/5).  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are excited to welcome Emily to our ‘Morning Wolfpack’ show alongside Matt McAllister.  She is a very talented personality, compelling storyteller and has a competitive spirit that understands what it takes to play at the highest level of major market radio.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WSHE afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau’s last shift on the Hubbard Radio adult contemporary station is today.  In a statement, Carriveau  says, “I am so appreciative of all of the wonderful opportunities Hubbard Radio Chicago has given me.  To have hosted afternoons on WSHE after hosting middays on WTMX makes me extremely proud of the past decade in my career.  I will deeply miss the amazing people I have worked with for so many years.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones morning show re-ups with Adams Radio Group’s country WBTU, Fort Wayne “US99.3” through 2024.  Bobby Bones comments, “I am pumped to be staying with ‘US93.3.’  No station has been more supportive.  And in return I’ve tried to show my support back by going to Fort Wayne multiple times to do shows for my awesome listeners.  Shout out to everyone at Adams Radio Group and PD Randy Alomar for fiercely promoting the show every day.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies 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. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Monday, February 19, 2018

| February 19, 2018

iHeartMedia Strikes Deal for UConn Athletics in Hartford. On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported that University of Connecticut sports play-by-play is leaving Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford at the end of this basketball season after a 26-year relationship.  The impression, based on Entercom Hartford market manager Phil Zachary’s comment that he “couldn’t justify what they [UConn] were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions” is that the two sides couldn’t come together on the cost of the rights from rights-holder IMG Radio Networks.  But, Zachary subsequently spoke with the Manchester Journal Inquirer and it appears money was not the primary issues.  He told the paper, “The school felt the conservative programming that WTIC airs is at odds with the best interest of the university.  WTIC has a successful programming recipe. We’re not going to change it just to have two hours of sports programming at night.”  To that end, the university has struck a new 10-year deal with iHeartMedia to air UConn Huskies games on sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN.”  This new deal provides for pre- and post-game shows as well as the “UConn Women’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Geno Auriemma,” the “UConn Men’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Kevin Ollie,” “UConn Football Coach’s Radio Show with Randy Edsall,” and the “UConn Hockey Coach’s Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.”  iHeartMedia region president Steve Honeycomb says, “This partnership joins three iconic brands.  Having UConn sports on iHeartMedia’s ‘97.9 ESPN’ has been our long-term goal.  This is the perfect partnership and offers even more entertaining programming for UConn Nation.”

Invite to Speak at Radio Week Africa Turns into Money-Losing Odyssey.  U.K. talk show host Graham Mack reports to TALKERS about his bizarre experience being “hired” to speak at last week’s Radio Week Africa conference that took place at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.  Well, Mack never went to Uganda to speak at the conference because, as he puts it, even though the invitation to be a paid speaker smacked of one of those emails from a Nigerian prince who wants to give his money away and, he responded to the inquiry and although he was hired to speak, the result was the same as the Nigerian prince email – he never saw a shilling.  In fact, he lost about £350 in medical bills for vaccinations etc.  Mack – who hosts the morning show on “BOB FM” that serves London’s “Home Counties” – learned that he’s not the only radio expert who was promised a fee and paid expenses only to find it hard to actually get paid.  American consultants Valerie Geller and Sean Ross found themselves in the same boat.  Mack tells TALKERS what the conference organizers are really up to.  “It looks like what this conference does is book radio people from all over the world to speak at their conference, agree to pay them a fee, provide flights and accommodation, and then, after they’ve sold tickets at $125 a piece they cancel the speakers (or in a lot of cases, including mine, they just stop returning phone calls and emails) but leave their names and picture on their website until after the conference has started.”  Read Mack’s blog about his travails here.

Herskovitz: Radio Language Changes Along with Advertisers. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz shares his thoughts about the changing nature of language on the radio and the evolving categories of advertisers using radio to sell their goods and services.  Read it here.

WGN, Chicago Lines Up White Sox Baseball Talent.  Now that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago has signed to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago White Sox baseball, the station announces that Andy Masur will host the pre-game shows and Mark Carman and Adam Hoge will split hosting duties for the post-game shows.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the station also hired Dave Zaslowsky as executive producer for the broadcasts.  He held the same position with Cumulus Media when the games aired on WLS-AM.  Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson remain in the booth for the play-by-play.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, New Manafort Problems, Trump on Oprah Presidential Run, Iran Nuke Deal Violation Allegations, Ingraham vs LeBron, Black Panther Film, Winter Olympics, and NBA All Star Game/Fergie’s National Anthem Rendition Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre, including gun control issues and failures at the FBI; the controversy over allegations Russian hackers have and are still attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is accused of bank fraud; President Trump’s tweet about Oprah Winfrey possibly challenging him in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech alleging proof Iran has violated its nuclear deal by selling weapons; talk host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” attack on LeBron James after his criticism of President Trump; the Black Panther film’s weekend success; the PyeongChang Winter Olympics; and the NBA All-Star Game 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. In Los Angeles, Meruelo Media makes air staff changes, moving midday KDAY personality Cece to hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as part of “The Cruz Show with J Cruz” morning program.  At the same time, Krystal Bee moves from the J Cruz show to her own program airing from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Assuming the midday show at classic hip hop and R&B simulcast KDAY, Los Angeles/KDEY, Ontario is former crosstown KISS-FM personality Bryhana…..iHeartmedia announces today that Quinn is named assistant program director and music director for country WMIL.  Quinn continues hosting the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia Milwaukee VP of programming Kerry Wolfe states, “I look forward to having Quinn take the reins as my right-hand person.  She always brings great energy to the team.  She also has great ears, impressive social skills, and can help keep me in line.”…..Hudson Valley radio personality Mark Bolger exits Townsquare Media’s hot AC WCZX, Poughkeepsie “Mix 97.7” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Taylor Dickson.  Bolger tells the Poughkeepsie Journal that he hopes to return to the air in the market saying he thinks he has many years left to broadcast…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is hosting its 11th annual Birthday Celebration concerts, presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers, taking place on June 17 and June 30 at the BB&T Pavilion.  The June 17 lineup will feature performances by Thirty Seconds To Mars, Portugal. The Man, Walk The Moon, CHVRCHES, Misterwives and The Neighbourhood.  The  June 30 lineup will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Judah & the Lion, AJR, Sir Sly and Missio.  WRFF program director John Allers states, “The ‘Radio 104.5’ Birthday Celebration is always a highlight of the year for many of our listeners along with our sponsors and staff.  We are very excited once again to host the biggest names in alternative rock on one stage for our amazing group of listeners.”…..Edison Research proudly announces that VP Megan Lazovick is being named one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital for 2018 in the “Rising Star” category. The award recognizes the most influential women in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content.

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA 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.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Friday, February 2, 2018

| February 2, 2018

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Today!  DON’T MISS THE DISCOUNT!  The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end today (Friday, February 2) at 5:00 pm ET.  Those registering before the deadline will save $50.  TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day!  Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET TODAY pay only $279.  The convention is already well on its way to being an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tim Clarke Upped to VP of Audience and Content for Radio at Cox.  In this new role, Tim Clarke will “set the overarching content strategy for radio — programming, new content development, content distribution, audience growth and measurement” for Cox Media Group.  Clarke has been serving CMG as senior director of digital audience for radio.  The company says that “vice president of programming Steve Smith will continue in his critical role to oversee CMG format leaders and work directly on radio programming with radio stations and brand managers.”  Smith will report to Clarke in this new structure.  Clarke says, “It is an honor to take on these expanded responsibilities.  Cox is truly an incredible organization and I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded throughout my 13-year career here.  This is an exciting, transformative time for the media business and Cox Media Group has the best radio brands and digital products in local media.”

Cumulus and Merlin Agree to Path Forward for WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago.  With stations operator Cumulus Media in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and unwilling to buy the two Chicago rock stations for the previously contracted price of $50 million, stations owner Merlin Media and Cumulus have agreed to the following new terms.  Cumulus will continue to operate the stations under the local marketing agreement but will not be bound to purchase the alternative and classic rock outlets.  Merlin will continue to present the stations to prospective buyers.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We’re pleased to reach this mutual agreement, which establishes a clear path forward for these stations and our employees in Chicago following months of negotiations with Merlin.  We continue to be interested in permanently acquiring these stations on economic terms that make sense for our business.  In the meantime, as we have for the past several years, Cumulus will continue to operate WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM while Merlin seeks a new owner.  Importantly, nothing is changing in the near-term.  It is business as usual for team members, advertisers and partners, and we look forward to achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.”  The new agreement with Merlin provides for an approximately three-month extension of the LMA with additional extensions thereafter, exercisable upon mutual agreement by Cumulus and Merlin.

Bankruptcy Judge Relieves Cumulus of Contract Responsibilities. Yesterday, Cumulus Media was in court for a hearing before bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman.  As you’re aware, the company asked the court to let it out of some 20 contracts that it deemed were untenable – including the Merlin deal in Chicago noted above.  Judge Chapman agrees to let Cumulus out of all the deals – the Chicago Bulls had already arranged to move their radio play-by-play from WLS-AM to Entercom’s crosstown WSCR – except a content distribution agreement that Westwood One has with CNBC.

Alpha Media Names Format Captains; Greg Martin to Lead News/Talk/Sports.  Nine format captains are named by Alpha Media, with news/talk KTSA and sports talk KZDC, San Antonio operations manager and content director Greg Martin appointed to lead the news/talk/sports formats.  Alpha has this to say about Martin: He’s “spent the better part of his career doing top 40 at great stations such as KKSS, Albuquerque; KHFI, Austin, KQKS, Denver; and KTFM, San Antonio.  Several years after returning to San Antonio in 1999 to do afternoons on KTFM, Greg eventually transitioned into operations and programming ‘News Talk 550’ KTSA and ‘ESPN San Antonio’ day-to-day.”  Speaking about the new roles, Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick says, “We are always proud to promote from within Alpha.  Our format captains have been carefully selected based on their experience, format expertise, reliability, and performance.  I look forward to seeing great success happen from this collaboration.”  Other format captain appointments are: rock/alternative/AAA – Kenny Vest; classic hits/oldies – Rick Hirschmann; country – Joe “MoJoe” Roberts; hot AC/AC – Leo Baldwin; CHR – Ben Davis; urban/urban AC/Gospel – Darrick “Brown” Williams; rhythmic/throwbacks – Mark “TicTak” Allen; and Spanish – Alfonso Flores.

Former All-News KQV, Pittsburgh Sold for $55,000.  Once upon a time, KQV, Pittsburgh was a big-time CHR station serving the market.  Later it morphed into an all-news station operated by the Dickey family’s Calvary Inc. (not the Atlanta Dickeys of Cumulus fame).  Just before the holidays, Calvary revealed that the news format was just too expensive to continue operating the station and that, after much soul-searching, it would be selling the heritage signal.  Now we learn that Bob Stevens – a principal of Broadcast Communications Inc. – is buying the station for $55,000.  This deal is a “limited asset purchase agreement” and Stevens will move the transmitter location for the station to the one occupied by his current property, WEDO, McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

PPM Analysis: Public News/TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.   Given that the Holiday survey period takes place at a time of year that pulls people out of their usual listening habits, it’s not surprising that “only about one of every five stations on this public news/talk panel are up December 2017 – ‘Holiday’ 2017 (22%, 6+) while 72% are down; the remaining 6% of the sample is flat.”  However, comparing Holiday 2016 6+ ratings to Holiday 2017, “more than six of 10 stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up year-to-year (64%); 26% are down; and the remaining 10% are unchanged from a year ago.”  No public news/talk station ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four ranked #2: KQED, San Francisco (and in the nearby San Jose market; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KOPB, Portland.  See the whole report here.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Tips FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade.  White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (right) poses for a pic with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (left) after appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show and telling his listeners that President Trump will release the secret FBI surveillance memo very soon.  Kilmeade Tweeted out this pic and the scoop from Kelly.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s the end of an era for New Orleans Saints fans as local radio play-by-play legend Jim Henderson, a.k.a. Hondo, is retiring from his booth duties after 31 years with Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.  Entercom New Orleans market manager Chris Wegmann says, “Jim has been a beloved member of our team at WWL in New Orleans for many years.  He made a very complex job look easy and raised the bar for sportscasters everywhere.  I speak on behalf of the entire WWL family when I say we will miss Jim dearly, as will all New Orleans Saints fans across the Gulf South and throughout the country.  We wish him the absolute best on his next chapter.”…..The compensation committee of Cumulus Media agrees to extend the contract of EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  She’ll also be getting a raise, effective July 3, bumping her annual salary to $650,000.  The new deal puts Grimes under contract with the company through July 2020.  As with most corporate executives, her contract also includes a bonus structure and the ability to earn stock options…..The talk radio show “Vegas Never Sleeps with Steven Maggi” is going national via the Biztalk Radio Network.  Maggi calls his show a “weekly romp to Las Vegas, the capital of fun, food and entertainment” that provides “a look behind the scenes of world-class hotels, dining, gaming, special events and conventions.”  Maggi began hosting the program in 2016 and he says the Sunday 11:00 am ET show is “the perfect addition for stations looking for a weekend program that brings the excitement and energy of Las Vegas to their market.”

Trump’s State of the Union Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 29-February 2.  This week’s State of the Union Address from President Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation and whether the president will talk with special counsel Robert Mueller.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the potential release of the secret FBI surveillance memo, followed by the status of the Obama-era DACA act and the administration’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programmer Jason Carr joins the iHeartMedia Cleveland cluster to serve as program director for alternative “ALT 99.1 FM” (WMMS-HD2/W256BT) and assistant program director for rock WMMS.  iHeartMedia North Ohio Region president Keith Hotchkiss comments, “Jason Carr comes to Cleveland after spending 10-plus years programming and running stations in Florida.  I’m excited for him to head north, experience the Cleveland winter, contribute to the growth of ‘ALT 99.1 FM’ and further strengthen the brand of ‘100.7 WMMS.’”…..Entercom announces a branding tweak and air-talent changes on some of its San Diego stations.  First, alternative KBZT leaves behind the “FM 94/9” brand and is now “ALT 949.”  The air talent moves are reflected in the new lineups at adult contemporary KYXY and classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1.”  KYXY’s new schedule is: Susan DeVincent in mornings, Dorothy Tran in middays, Joe Rosati in afternoons and Sherry Knight for evenings.  At KXSN, AJ and Sara host mornings, Dave Mason is in middays, Gene Knight hosts afternoons and Brooks O’Brian is the night personality…..As reported first by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Entercom’s triple A WXRT, Chicago announces plans to drop the 43-year-old Sunday night “Jazz Transfusion” program hosted by Barry Winograd.  The show’s final edition will be this Sunday at 11:00 pm.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

| January 30, 2018

Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations.  These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom.  Terms – including price – are not available at this time.  If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK.  It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.

Imus in the Morning/WABC Update.  From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him.  The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC.  TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor.  Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.

Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show.  There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far.   The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.

PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule.  TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program.  In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape.  He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis.  Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck.  As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox.  It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up.  WSCR also carries the Cubs.  Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons.  And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox.  Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game.  He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor.  He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump.  Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27).  The station took home the following:  Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.

Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus.  WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations.  Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money.  One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP.  Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million.  Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer.  Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.

Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII 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.  Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010.  During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego.  About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time.  Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences.  From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith.   Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET.  iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.”  At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26.  The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February.  The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most.  Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B.  Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.

Friday, January 26, 2018

| January 26, 2018

E.W. Scripps Talk Stations on the Block.  Yesterday’s news from E.W. Scripps confirming recent rumors that it is selling its radio station assets has kicked the speculation machine into high gear.  Most experts believe there is no buyer out there who wants all 34 stations in this portfolio.  Some say iHeartMedia and Cumulus are right out due to debt issues and that Entercom is still digesting its CBS RADIO acquisition.  Companies that are more likely to be in the market for signals that fit their business model include Beasley Media Group and Saga Communications.  One thing we can be certain of – it will be interesting to see who acquires which stations and how much they pay!  Regardless, the following is a summary of the spoken-word stations in Scripps’ radio portfolio. In Milwaukee (Scripps’ largest market), there’s heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM.  In Omaha, the lone talker is sports KXSP “AM 590 ESPN.”  Tulsa has heritage news/talk KFAQ.  And, Tucson is the home of news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM (plus its translator).

Cumulus Officially Unveils ‘The New Talk 106.7.’ As TALKERS reported yesterday based on Rodney Ho’s column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cumulus Media has made another tweak to WYAY-FM, Atlanta, re-branding it “The New Talk 106.7” and getting rid of the “news radio” verbiage.  The station is still in the process of building a talk radio morning show after canceling the newsy program anchored by Rob Stadler in December.  The station is promoting personalities Shannon Burke, Kim “Kimmer” Peterson, and Brian Joyce.  Cumulus Atlanta vice president Sean Shannon says, “Talk has become the domain of dogma, where hosts are advancing an agenda.  ‘The New Talk 106.7’ will be a place for honest discourse where our hosts have a perspective, not an agenda.”

Entercom Names Rooney VP-DoS.  New York radio sales pro Brian Rooney joins Entercom’s NYC operations to serve as vice president, director of sales.  Rooney was most recently with iHeartMedia as VP of sales for classic rock WAXQ, New York ‘Q104.3.”  He’s also been sales manager at WFAN and worked in sales at WOR and the New York Mets Radio Network.  In New York, Entercom operates all-newsers 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan,” plus classic hits WCBS-FM, alternative WBMP-FM, and hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7.”  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam says, “Brian’s strong leadership and great track record in New York made him the perfect choice to lead our Entercom New York team.”

Vince Richards Appointed OM at Entercom Sacramento. Programming pro Vince Richards takes over the operations manager post at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM “ESPN 1320,” CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” rock KRXQ, classic rock KSEG “96.9 Eagle,” and alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7.”  Richards was most recently national operations manager for Townsquare Media.  He comments, “Sacramento is one of the crown jewel markets in the company with a tradition of excellence and an incredibly talented and passionate staff.  Thanks to Pat Paxton, Dave Richards and Lance Richard for passing me the torch and the opportunity to lead this awesome staff.”  Richards takes over for Jim Fox, who was recently named vice president of programming for Entercom Dallas.

Heavyweight Syndicators’ Top Execs to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of two of the leading radio syndication company executives to the roster of industry leaders serving as speakers at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks and Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One will address the movers and shakers of the talk media world at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Earlier this week, it was announced that Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity would serve as morning keynote speakers at the event. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Suzanne Grimes and Julie Talbott bring enormously pertinent content to this convention’s table. They are influential leaders with enormous experience, insight, perspective, and wisdom of great value to share about the state of the radio business.” The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception. All in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.