Tag: "Entercom"

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

| September 19, 2018

New Podcast Featuring Anthony Scaramucci Debuts on Radio.com. Will folks be interested in hearing what Anthony Scaramucci and his wife Deidre have to say?  Entercom is hoping so as it launches a new podcast on its Radio.com platform called “Mooch and the Mrs.”  Remember that Scaramucci was Donald Trump’s White House Director of Communications for 10 days.  He also served as a consultant to Trump’s campaign. Entercom says, “The new weekly podcast…will feature the couple discussing the world we live in from opposite sides of the political spectrum, while offering an intimate look into the strength of their marriage.”  Entercom SVP/GM Pam Russo adds, “Anthony Scaramucci’s first-hand political experience from his time in the White House, combined with his and Deidre’s unique points of view, will provide Radio.com listeners with a compelling podcast experience. We’re committed to providing a forum for diverse points of view and look forward to hearing Anthony’s and Deidre’s differing perspectives on the political landscape, through the unique lens of their personal relationship.”  The two have previously contributed to programming on the company’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles and Entercom says “ based on feedback and interest in these appearances, it’s clear that there is an appetite for a candid and refreshing look inside how this couple manages differing perspectives within their relationship.”

PodcasOne Brings Celebrity Gossip Maven Perez Hilton On Board. Digital celebrity news and gossip columnist Perez Hilton launches a new PodcastOne show called, “The Perez Hilton Podcast with Chris Booker.”  The new podcast delves into the world of celebrity news via “the bold and humorous lens of Hilton and fellow pop-culture expert, Booker.” PodcastOne says, “The pair bring their unique, and often clashing perspective and insight to the microphone, in this audio extension of one of the leading go-to sites for celebrity news. Plus, celebrity guests like to drop by to spill it all!  New episodes of the podcast will be released weekly, in line with the biggest news of the week.”  Hilton adds, “We are finally home!  PodcastOne is the leader in the space!  I’m upset we didn’t get here sooner!  Chris Booker and I have been doing ‘The Perez Hilton Podcast’ for over three years now and each week it gets better and better!  Our chemistry is unlike any other!  People keep tuning in every week and catching up on all the old episodes they’ve missed because they don’t just enjoy what’s hot in pop culture, they also love the two of us together.  That relationship with our listeners is so special to us!  And we are so confident and grateful that PodcastOne will help us get heard by even more people!  Tune in!  We’re trending now!”

Chris Cuomo to Host Daily Show on SiriusXM. Journalist and cable television personality Chris Cuomo is beginning a daily, two-hour talk radio program on SiriusXM, effective September 24.  The host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” launches “Let’s Get After It with Chris Cuomo,” to air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. channel.   SiriusXM SVP news, talk and entertainment Megan Liberman says, “Chris is a remarkable journalist with a history of tough interviews that have everyone talking the next day.  On his new SiriusXM show, Chris will continue that tradition of fostering important, engaging conversations, while also giving listeners the bigger picture about what’s going on in Washington and beyond.”  During his two-decade career, Cuomo has earned Polk and Peabody awards for team coverage, as well as the Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage.

Former CBS RADIO Stations Unveil New Websites. The web presence for the individual CBS RADIO stations was always part of the company’s local broadcast cluster so that a search for a station brought one to a site from which one could then access any of the radio or TV stations in the cluster.  Now, 10 months after Entercom closed on the CBS RADIO merger deal, the radio stations have their own URL. The sites conform to a template that prominently features their relationship to Entercom’s Radio.com digital platform and features news items relevant to the station’s format.  Back in the CBS days, a number of news and news/talk programmers privately complained to TALKERS editors about their dislike of the cluster website format.  They believed it diminished their station and limited their ability to present content relevant to the format.  Search for your favorite former CBS station and check out the new format.

St. Louis Talk Host Jamie Allman Has October 22 Mediation Date. As TALKERS reported on August 29, Federal Judge Jean C. Hamilton ordered St. Louis talk host Jamie Allman and Emmis Communications and Entercom into mediation, to be completed by November 1.  This order is relative to Allman’s suit against the two companies for breach of contract stemming from Allman’s dismissal from news/talk KFTK-FM for his social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  The parties have agreed to use Richard P. Sher of the St. Louis firm Sher Corwin Winters LLC and they’ll begin meeting on October 22.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Hurricane Florence Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Summit, Woodward Book, U.S.-China Trade War, Emmy Awards, Ernie & Bert Gay Revelation, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the devastating flooding in the Carolinas caused by Hurricane Florence; President Trump’s efforts to de-classify certain documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation; the meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in; Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House sells 1 million copies; the escalating trade war between China and the U.S.; Monday night’s Emmy Awards show; former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman reveals he wrote Ernie & Bert as a gay couple; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Radio exec Alissa Pollack is promoted to EVP of global music marketing at iHeartMedia.  The company says in her expanded role, Pollack will work closely with the company’s brand managers and national programming team to oversee and create custom data-focused roadmaps for artists, brands and advertising partners. She’ll also plan strategic roll-outs with artists, “keeping a strong pulse on what’s connecting with our consumers as well as generating opportunities for music’s current and next superstars in all formats.”  She’ll also retain her current duties and oversight of Mediabase, M-Score, RatetheMusic and BuzzAngle Music…..Geoff Vargo is retiring as president and general manager of Sarkes Tarzian’s triple A WTTS, Indianapolis after a 37-year career with the company.  Rising to the GM post in his place is 16-year station manager Brad Holtz, effective January 1, 2019.  In conjunction with these changes, Laura Duncan rises from APD/music director for WTTS to program director.  (She’s also adding PD responsibilities for sister news/talk WGCL, Bloomington, Indiana.) Holtz comments, “As I move into a new role in my career, I’m delighted that Laura Duncan will take over the programming reigns at WTTS.  As our APD/MD for the past 14 years, Laura has set herself apart as one of the most dedicated and passionate in our business.  She’ll be an outstanding programmer at WTTS.”…..The lineup for this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas includes: Justin TimberlakeFleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, Childish Gambino and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Heffron Drive.  The annual event takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday night…..Beasley Media Group’s legendary rock station WMMR-FM, Philadelphia was honored by the city of Philadelphia in recognition of its 50 years of service to the city.  Pictured below is the WMMR staff in the Mayor’s Reception Room at City Hall receiving an official Resolution from Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh and other members of the council.  Beasley says WMMR-FM is regarded by the industry as the longest running rock station in America.

Monday, September 17, 2018

| September 17, 2018

Newsmax TV to Be Carried on Comcast’s X1 Platform.  In a major move for the Newsmax TV channel, Newsmax and Comcast have signed an agreement for the latter to carry the 24/7 cable news channel on the Xfinity TV X1 platform.  Newsmax TV will initially launch to subscribers of Xfinity’s Digital Starter package that have an X1 device.   Newsmax Broadcasting CEO Michael Clemente says, “Comcast is the largest cable operator in the nation and we appreciate their decision to recognize Newsmax TV as a valuable, independent programmer for their viewers.”  Newsmax TV says it “consistently offers important viewpoints not covered elsewhere and continues to add talent to an impressive lineup that includes: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, and Jesse Lee Peterson, as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.”  It adds that it is currently available in 50 million U.S. cable/satellite homes and expects to reach as many as 80 million such homes by the end of 2019.  Clemente adds that the network plans to ramp up programming in the coming months as it prepares for 2020 presidential election coverage that will begin in earnest next year.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Sports talk listening heated up during the August survey as 74% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise compared to the July 2018 survey. Looking at changes from August 2017 to August 2018, 67% of stations were up from a year ago.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York – on the back of a three-tenths increase – ranked #1 (6+) in the Long Island market in August.  The company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh ranked #4, and WFAN, New York and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

RJ Bell and Chris Broussard & Rob Parker Host New FOX Sports Radio Programs. On the heels of last week’s end of the JT The Brick program and the “Steve Gorman Sports!” show, Premiere Networks today announces the launch of the shows that are rounding out the FOX Sports Radio network program schedule.  Beginning today (9/17), “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” debuts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET as what Premiere calls “the first-ever national daily radio show focused on sports betting.”  Las Vegas personality and founder/CEO of Pregame.com RJ Bell hosts the program that also features FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox, plus famed betting experts Brad Powers and Steve Fezzik.  Premiere says the weekday launch of the program comes after a successful year-long run as part of FSR’s weekend lineup on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also moving up from its weekend status is “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard (left) & Rob Parker (right),” launching tonight from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  As part of the changes, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” adds an hour, airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Premiere Networks SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say in a joint statement, “This historic new lineup further solidifies FOX Sports Radio’s standing as the preeminent sports network in the nation.  It’s now crystal clear that when you’re looking for the best, live sports-talk, this is the place to tune in.  Listeners who want to be entertained, informed, and emotionally invested with the most compelling personalities and storytellers in the industry will be rewarded with every listening occasion.”

Zak Burns Gone from ‘KIRO Nights.’ Talk show host Zak Burns is no longer co-hosting “KIRO Nights” with Gee Scott at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Burns joined the station two years ago to co-host the evening show with Jason Rantz, who left the program last fall to assume the morning drive show hosting duties at sister conservative news/talk KTTH.  KIRO contributor Drew Barth has been sitting in with Scott since Burns’ departure.

Entercom to Relocate Offices to Philadelphia.  In an interview with David Field in Philly.com, the Entercom president and CEO declined to comment on the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia – that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Bala Cynwyd to a building on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia that it will share with Aramark (according to a recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal).  However, in the piece written by Bob Fernandez, Field acknowledges the intense work that the CBS RADIO merger has brought Entercom but says he’s happy with what the new-look company has accomplished so far.  Regarding the move, it’s being reported that the new facility will not only be home to the corporate HQ but will also house the various radio station offices currently in numerous sites throughout the Philadelphia area.  Read the piece here.

Rumor Confirmed: Mets Games to Air on WCBS-AM, New York in 2019 Season. The recent reports out of the Big Apple that Entercom has been wooing the New York Mets to bring their play-by-play to all-news WCBS-AM turn out to be true as the company announces it has struck a six-year deal with the MLB club.  Mets games have aired on iHeartMedia’s WOR since the 2014 season.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “We’re pleased to be the new radio home of the Mets. We remain committed to bringing our listeners and partners the most exciting sports content from their hometown teams, especially in the New York metropolitan area, where we will be the radio home for both Major League Baseball clubs beginning in 2019.”  As part of the deal, Entercom’s other New York radio stations – alternative WNYL ALT 92.3,” hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7 FM,” classic hits WCBS-FM and fellow all-news WINS-AM – will provide promotional support.

Crossover Media Group Sales to Handle Ad Sales Support for Sports Byline USA and BlueWirePods. Cross-platform content production and advertising sales rep firm Crossover Media Group Sales announces it is handling ad sales support for Sports Byline USA network. Sports Byline is led by founder and host Ron Barr and president Darren Peck and serves some 200 U.S. radio affiliates and some 500 additional stations globally as well as satellite radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes, CRN Digital, airlines’ in-flight channels and the American Forces Network.  The company is also working with newly launched podcast network Blue Wire that is aggregating content from sports talk personalities.  Bay Area-based Blue Wire was founded by former KNBR-AM, San Francisco host Kevin Jones.  CMGS managing member Scott Calka says, “CMGS is rapidly becoming one-stop-shopping for marketers to reach a variety of fans across the panoply of sports talk.”

23 Stations Off the Air as a Result of Hurricane Florence.  According to the FCC, as of yesterday (9/16), some 20 FM stations are off the air and three AM stations are off due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.  Also, four television stations report being out of service and 7.2% of the region’s cell towers were reported off-line, with Brunswick, Cumberland, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina reporting the largest loss of cell service.

Kavanaugh Accusation, Florence Drenches the Carolinas, Border Patrol Serial Killer Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Hurricane Florence’s arrival and the resulting historic flooding in the Carolinas; the case of the U.S. border patrol agent charged in connection with four deaths; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related plea deal of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin (Miss New York) during Franklin’s visit to the station today (9/17). Franklin discussed the year ahead for her as Miss America, saying she will continue her work with the performing arts and several children’s charities that’s she supports.  Hurley presented the Miss America Foundation with a surprise $500 grant that will be designated to two charities of Franklin’s choice.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas, Cumulus Media brings Nathan Fast aboard to co-host the morning show on KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” with current morning personality Lisa Taylor.  He was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown CHR KVIL “AMP 103.7” as morning host.   KPLX program director Mac Daniels says, “Nathan is an amazing, creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of four people.  With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and ‘The Wake Up With The Wolf Show’ on one of America’s leading country music brands.  We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”…..iHeartMedia moves Vladimir “DJ Loui Vee” Scott from its Columbia, South Carolina station group to its Indianapolis offices to serve as program director for hip hop WZRL “REAL 98.3” and hip hop WTFX, Louisville “REAL 93.1.”   iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew comments, “Vladimir possesses the creativity, passion, and leadership we look for in programmers.  His direction and attention to detail will take WZRL and WTFX to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Raleigh names Joe Johnson program director and afternoon drive personality for classic rock WRDU, Raleigh, effective September 24.  Johnson held the same positions at the company’s WROV, Roanoke-Lynchburg…..Classic hits KGOR, Omaha debuts the “Mornings with Montez & Shari” featuring Montez and Shari Stone.  Stone was most recently digital project coordinator and midday host at Salem Media Group’s crosstown Christian contemporary KGBI-FM. Montez was most recently afternoon host and music director at the iHeartMedia Omaha cluster’s CHR KISO “96.1 Kiss FM.”  The duo say, “Being from Omaha, we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve our community in a fun way because we love this town.  We can’t wait to entertain every morning and grow our big, radio family.”…..Envision Networks announces that the “Full Metal Jackie” program – hosted by Jackie Kajzer – is now airing on the American Forces Network, broadcasting to United States military servicemembers and their families at home and abroad. AFN Radio director Scott Stover says, “American Forces Network Radio is proud to bring Full Metal Jackie to our US military serving overseas as they listen to our alternative music channel ‘Freedom Radio.’ We thank ‘Full Metal Jackie’ and Envision Networks for partnering with AFN Radio to ‘serve those that serve.’”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

| September 12, 2018

Longtime KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Talk Host Mike Pintek Dead at 65.  Talk radio host Mike Pintek took leave of his radio talk show on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh in late June after his treatment for cancer was interrupted by a stroke he suffered.  He would not return to the air and the station reports that Pintek died early today (9/12).  Pintek, who served with the legendary Pittsburgh news/talk station for more than 30 years, announced back in May of 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  KDKA-AM reports that after receiving the diagnosis, Pintek began “an aggressive form of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and participated in experimental drug studies to ward off the illness, all while continuing to entertain his thousands of listeners daily on KDKA Radio.”  Pintek Joined KDKA-AM in 1982 as a reporter and in 1985 shifted to the role of talk host.  During his career he also served with KDKA-TV as a news break anchor and as host of “Pittsburgh 2-Day.”  See KDKA-AM’s obit here.

Bill Gentry to Lead Cumulus Media Birmingham. Radio management pro Bill Gentry is named vice president and general manager for Cumulus Media’s Birmingham, Alabama cluster that includes news/talk WAPI-AM/WZZR-FM “Talk 99.5” and sports talk trio WJOX-AM, WJOX-FM, and WJQX-FM.  Gentry was most recently SVP and market manager at Alpha Media’s Louisville cluster. Prior to that, he was regional market president for iHeartMedia overseeing Louisville, Lexington, and Nashville.  Gentry says, “I am thrilled to join the Cumulus team in Birmingham and grateful to Mary and the leadership team for this opportunity.  I am particularly excited to be starting just as college football is kicking off in the heart of the SEC, as we are the sports authority in the market.  Given my experience within news/talk and recent time working within the urban arena, I can’t wait to get started!  And I hope the staff won’t mind if I hang a UK jersey in my office.  Looking forward to this new adventure.  This is going to be fun!”

Report: Nielsen Exploring Sale of Entire Company. According to a report by Reuters, Nielsen Holdings Plc is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Guggenheim Securities LLC, “as well as law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, on an ‘expanded’ review of strategic alternatives.”  Previously, the company said it was looking at selling its “Buy” segment, but pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has it now exploring a sale of the entire company.  (The “Buy” segment provides data on consumer behavior and the “Watch” segment is the TV, radio, and digital ratings side of the company.)  Not unlike some radio companies, Nielsen is dogged by a 2006 leveraged buyout by six PE firms and its debt is tagged at $8.66 billion while its market capitalization is estimated to be around $9.4 billion.

Julie Talbott to Be Honored with MIW Radio Group 2018 Trailblazer Award. The honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group will be awarded to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott on September 26 at the RAB/NAB Radio Show in Orlando during the Wednesday Headliner “The Podcast Boom” session.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio to further their careers.  In 2012, it was renamed the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” in honor of Frances Preston, longtime president and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).  Talbott started her career at BBDO Advertising, before moving on and becoming COO of MJI Broadcasting, which was bought by Premiere Networks/Clear Channel in 1999.   After serving in various capacities at Premiere, she was named president of the company in January 2014.  She has received numerous industry awards over the years, including TALKERS magazine’s Judy Jarvis Memorial “Woman of the Year” Award.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik says, “The highest honor the MIW Group bestows is our Trailblazer Award and Julie Talbott epitomizes its very essence.  Julie is a powerful force that combines genuine Southern charm and graciousness with intellectual prowess and business acumen.  She has blazed many trails throughout her career and continues today to leave her indelible mark on radio. We are grateful for her efforts.”

BFoA Prepares for Emergency Grants Due to Hurricane Florence. With the approach of Hurricane Florence, the Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is preparing for an influx of emergency grant applications.  It reminds broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricane Florence that they are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricaneflorence/.  The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting.  Emergency grants are based on financial need.  This year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000.  This increase is particularly significant when considering that last year more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods.

TALKERS News Notes. Former WTEM, Washington personality Kevin Sheehan is launching an eponymous, daily podcast about the Washington sports scene.  As the Washington Post reports, Sheehan – along with several other staffers – was let go from the Radio One sports talk station when his contract expired on August 1…..Crossover Media Group Sales reports that it has added four new political-talk programs to its growing roster of client shows and personalities.  The first is “Honestly Speaking” with Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator, ABC News contributor, frequent guest host on “The View,” and a former Republican communications director.  Her show “brings her voice of reason and signature ‘tell it like it is’ commentary to hot-button political and cultural topics from a ‘common sense’ conservative point of view.”  The second program is “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” a newly launched, 60-minute show streamed live daily at 6:00 pm from Washington, D.C. on podcast and video-on-demand platforms including Facebook,YouTube, Periscope, and InstagramTV.  Former CNN political analyst Martin “will cover news, politics, culture, entertainment, social justice, sports, education, business, and finance.”  CMGS is assisting in the production of and handling advertising sales for the shows…..E.W. Scripps reorganizes its podcasting segment, making Stitcher the parent company.  In addition to giving the podcast platform a new logo, Stitcher is now parent to advertising arm Midroll and comedy podcast segment Earwolf.  Stitcher CEO Erik Diehn says, “Our combined brands and companies – Midroll, Earwolf, and Stitcher – were all individually early pioneers and leaders in podcasting.  Earwolf was one of the first podcast networks; Midroll helped create and grow the podcast ad sales marketplace; and Stitcher was one of the first true podcast apps.  Each of these has evolved and thrived individually and today we mark the beginning of those pieces coming together to form the world’s strongest end-to-end podcast company.”…..Pubcaster WAMU, Washington is announcing a new, two-year project in which 10 broadcast journalists will engage in a collaborative reporting effort on the role of guns in American life titled, “Guns & America.”  The Audion Fellowship is being funded by a $5.3 million grant from the Kendeda Fund.   The 10 fellows hired for the project are: Adhiti Bandlamudi at North Carolina Public Radio; Anthony Cave at KERA, Dallas; Heath Druzin at Boise State Public Radio; Lisa Hagen at WABE, Atlanta; Chris Haxel at KCUR, Kansas City; Jonathan Levinson at Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ryan Lindsay at Connecticut Public Radio; Leigh Paterson at KUNC, Greeley, Colorado; Matt Richmond at ideastream in Cleveland; and Alana Wise at WAMU.  WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel says, “It’s hard to think of a conversation that’s more entrenched than the one around guns – Americans are polarized, frustrated, and stuck.  With ‘Guns & America,’ we’ll have 10 talented journalists from diverse communities around the nation taking a deep and unflinching look at the role guns play in American life.  We believe this kind of in-depth and nuanced storytelling has the potential to change the national conversation.”

‘Think! America with Terry Gilberg’ Is Added to KBNP, Portland and KTAR, Phoenix.  The nationally syndicated Radio America show “Think! America with Terry Gilberg” continues to show healthy growth across the nation with two important Western states clearances – KTAR, Phoenix and KBNP, Portland.  The Saturday evening show (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET) is produced and hosted by journalist-turned-commentator Terry Gilberg with regular on-air appearances by attorney Megan Porth.  Gilberg has been a longtime news reporter and talk show host on a number of Southwest platforms including KFYI, Phoenix.  She is pictured above (center) with conservative social media star pundits Diamond & Silk at last week’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC.

Hurricane Florence Approaches, Trump-Russia Investigation, Midterm Elections, 9/11 Anniversary, Positive Economic News, Bob Woodward Book, Russia-China War Games, Serena Williams Cartoon Backlash, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11). The preparation for Hurricane Florence as it approaches the Carolinas; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks; the positive U.S. economic data; Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; Russia and China take part in joint war games; the backlash over the racist depiction of Serena Williams in a Melbourne newspaper; the first week of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. At the Orlando cluster of Entercom, Dana Taylor is named program director for hot AC WOMX “MIX 105.1” and John O’Connell is appointed PD for alternative WQMP “FM 101.9.”  Taylor has been with WOMX since 1994, most recently serving as APD/music director. O’Connell adds WQMP programming duties to his current responsibility as program director for country WKIS and alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” in Miami.  Entercom SVP and market manager Claudia Menegus says, “I’m excited to elevate Dana and John to these roles.  They are both talented leaders with infectious passion for our brands and I am confident they will continue to raise the bar.” Meanwhile, taking on the assistant program director position at WQMP is music director and midday host Melissa “Mel” Leigh-Sorrentino…..The KXTE, Las Vegas-based alternative morning program “The Dave and Mahoney Show” finds its first affiliate station in Townsquare Media’s alt rock WQSH, Albany “ALT 105.7.”  The program – just beginning its syndication effort – consists of hosts Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney with cast member Sylvia Alvarado and producer Ian Schebel.  Farra comments, “It’s a dream come true to be able to grow the program like this…we are thrilled to be working with Steve Richards and Townsquare Media and look forward to delivering a great morning show with compelling content to the Albany audience.”…..ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce syndication of “The Deja Vu Show,” featuring WBLS-FM, New York afternoon personality Deja Vu.  This new show for urban AC music formats “provides female listeners a mixture of entertainment, lifestyle, and positive affirmation that helps them find their passion and accomplish their dreams.”  Skyview Networks EVP and GM Jeanne-Marie Condo says, “Deja is a diamond who instantly connects with her audience, especially the female audience.  This is a strategic step towards the custom sales integrations that are vital to our agencies and their clients.”…..At iHeartMedia’s classic hits, KGOR, Omama, morning personality Tim Sheridan exits after a two-plus years stint with the station and its sister news/talk KFAB…..Albany Broadcasting alternative WINU “ALT 104.9” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to its program schedule for morning drive…..Cumulus Media alternative rock WKQX teams up with the local Church Street Brewing Company to introduce Q Street, a “righteously good” alternative India Pale Ale to Chicagoland’s craft beer fans.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Q Street beer go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…..Cumulus country outlet WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” is presenting a private, live album launch event for Carrie Underwood’s new album Cry Pretty at Opry City Stage in Times Square on Friday (9/14) at 1:00 pm.  The event will be broadcast on all 82 “NASH” country radio stations…..iHeartMedia Detroit is presenting the “Who’s Got Next Hip Hop Conference” – a conference dedicated to showcasing and educating up-and-coming hip hop and R&B artists in the greater Detriot area.  This inaugural music conference takes place on Sunday, October 14 and will feature educational music industry panels as well as a variety of performances from local breakout artists.  Artists will be selected to perform at the conference during 97.9 WJLB’s “Who’s Got Next?” open mic nights that take place every Wednesday at 311 Ultra Lounge. WJLB program director Nate Bell says, “The hip hop scene in Detroit is on fire right now.  We’re excited to bring our local artists, the community, and national label reps together to advance Detroit as a city and as a culture within the industry.  As the heritage urban stations in Detroit, artists continually come to us for resources on how to get their music played and we want to help.”

Monday, September 10, 2018

| September 10, 2018

iHeartMedia Reports July Financial Figures.  As is required by the US Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia has been filing its 8-K form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission each month that provides basic financial information.  The latest monthly operating report for July 2018 shows revenue was $281.1 million, an 8.4% decrease from the June 2018 period where that figure was $305.9 million. However, net income was $55.2 million, a change from June’s loss of $119.7 million.  During July, the company’s payments to professionals leaped from $1.4 million the month prior to $15.7 million.

WPG, Atlantic City Unveils New Programming. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG-AM/W281BH announces a new program lineup that includes the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and Van Camp” program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David Van Camp – in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s San Antonio-based syndicated program is added for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am program.  The Townsquare Media station says it has enhanced its weekend programming with the addition of Radio America’s Dana LoeschFOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Compass Media Networks’ Lars Larson, and Westwood One’s Walter Sterling.  The station is also beefing up its news reporting with newscasts four times per hour during middays.

Judge Denies Craig Carton’s Request to Keep Documents from Prosecutors.  New York radio personality Craig Carton’s attorneys wanted to submit required documents (detailing subpoenas) only to Judge Colleen McMahon and away from the prosecutors charging Carton with fraud in the trial that will get underway on October 29.  The argument from Carton’s side was that his defense team’s strategy would be revealed to prosecutors.  But Judge McMahon cited Carton’s own words in The New York Post in shooting down that request.  She said the defense’s strategy to argue that Carton was running a legitimate ticket business and was duped by associate Joe Meli is already public knowledge because Carton said as much in a story in the Post.  In that story, Carton said, “I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.” The September 6 Post story by Kaja Whitehouse reports that Carton’s lawyer will argue that Carton “was a professional gambler who placed bets at casinos around the world on behalf of investors — not someone who used investor money to pay off his own gambling debts, as the feds have charged.”

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN Air.  Midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno was back on WFAN, New York after being off the air since July in the aftermath of being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former sales exec who worked at WFAN when it was owned by CBS RADIOLauren Lockwood’s suit alleges a frat house-like atmosphere at WFAN – an allegation current owner Entercom denies.  She further alleges that Benigno propositioned her to take part in threesomes and that he carried out an affair with a female subordinate.  Benigno said he couldn’t talk about the suit but thanked his wife, PD Mark Chernoff, and Entercom executives before getting back to sports talk with co-host Evan Roberts.

Westwood One Announces News Additions. News pro Linda Kenyon joins Westwood One News as a full-time Washington correspondent. She was most recently with Salem Radio Network News covering congress. At the same time, WWO announces that Bob Costantini is now White House correspondent. Kenyon comes to Westwood One with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.  She has served as a Capitol Hill correspondent, White House correspondent, anchor, and general assignment reporter, writer and editor at three national news networks, including the Associated Press and Salem.  Costantini has been covering Capitol Hill and other beats since joining Westwood One in 2015.  His career includes reporting for FOX News Channel, Tribune Television, NBC News Radio, and CNN Radio.

Beasley Names Gregg Stiansen NSM for New Jersey Group.  Sales pro Gregg Stiansen comes to Beasley Media Group from his most recent position with Salem Media Group in Philadelphia to take on the national sales manager position for the company’s New Jersey stations, including news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick.  Beasley SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Gregg is a perfect fit for Beasley Media Group New Jersey.  He is synonymous with New Jersey radio, especially on the national front.  Gregg understands the uniqueness of the job and we’re confident he will hit the ground running in his new position.”

Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted to VP/Director of Sales for Entercom Washington DC. Rising from director of local sales for the company’s hip hop WPGC and Spanish pop WLZL in Washington, DC is Ivy Savoy-Smith, who is now vice president and director of sales for Entercom Washington’s cluster that also includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” Senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Ivy is a natural leader who has embraced every challenge and earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her competitors.  Those privileged to benefit from Ivy’s mentorship are not only better professionals but better people, and her positive influence casts a wide net across the region and the industry.  I can’t think of a better person to lead DC’s elite radio and digital marketing team.”

Cooke: Podcast Listeners Like Booze.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today citing Edison Research and Nielsen Audio data that indicates avid fans of podcasting are consumers of spirits. Of all of the product categories that moved podcast listeners, liquor is one that was either tops or close to tops for many of the podcast categories cited.  See Holland Cooke’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk personality Aaron Goldhammer said back in April that he’d eat horse poop if the Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the draft.  Well, they did and last week Goldhammer followed through on his promise (pictured here).  WKRC-TV has the story here…..A more appetizing story from Cleveland comes courtesy of iHeartMedia as its news/talk WTAM adds an FM translator to its broadcast as W295DE at 106.9 FM begins carrying the signal.  The 195-watt translator gives the station an FM presence in the central Cleveland area. iHeartMedia North Ohio president Keith Hotchkiss says, “As the need for accurate news and information increases, we’re proud to be able to share the great reporting, content, and sports play-by-play with listeners on the FM dial.  And listeners all over the US can always hear WTAM on the free iHeartRadio app and more than 200 devices and smart speakers.  Quite simply, WTAM is everywhere, as it should be.”…..For people who love podcasts and fly Southwest Airlines, iHeartMedia has good news: iHeartRadio Podcasts are now available on all Southwest Airlines in-flight entertainment experience portals. Passengers can now not only listen to their favorite iHeartRadio music but can now also choose from iHeartRadio’s massive library of podcasts from 35,000 feet in the air – without purchasing WiFi!

Trump-Russia Investigation, NYT Opinion Piece/Woodward Book, Obama Campaign Speech, Trump vs Google, China’s Anti-Religion Actions, Les Moonves Resignation, Hurricane Florence Threat, NFL’s Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump administration operatives and Russia agents; the controversy surrounding the anonymous op-ed piece the NYT says was written by an administration official and the new Bob Woodward book about the Trump White House; President Obama’s campaign speech in Illinois criticizing the Trump administration; President Trump’s battle with Google and the possibility of a GOP-led look into the company’s practices; reports of China’s crackdown on churches and mosques; CBS chief Les Moonves resigns in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast; the opening weekend of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Country radio pro Rod Phillips is promoted to executive vice president of country programming strategy for iHeartMedia.  The company says that in his new role, Phillips will continue to lead the Nashville-based iHeartCountry team in overseeing iHeartMedia’s country formats and further extend the company’s country brands across the broadcast, digital, social, and live events platforms.  He will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of country programmers and on-air talent, as well as book artists and produce events for iHeartMedia including the iHeartCountry Music Festival.  He will also continue to head up iHeartCountry’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, that has played a key role in breaking artists such Granger Smith, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, Devin DawsonCarly Pearce, and Morgan Evans…..iHeartMedia’s Dallas classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” announces that Bo Roberts and Jim White, hosts of “The Bo and Jim Show,” are being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.  Roberts and White will officially be inducted on November 3, 2018.  iHeartMedia region president Kelly Kibler says, “Bo and Jim are true radio legends but more than that, they are outstanding people.”

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – On top in both May (with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0) and July, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT erodes by one full-share in August (8.1 – 7.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. Immediately in advance of being a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit flat at #10, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is up two-tenths to 4.4, its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Just prior to that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn,” off nine-tenths in July after being up one-half share in June, gains one-tenth (2.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+) and remains at #18. A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .5 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5, flat at #24 (6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – A July -1.1 (5.8 – 4.7, 6+) by Entercom hot AC KAMX completely erased a collective +1.1 in April, May, and June (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), but “Mix 94.7” responds in August with a gain of seven-tenths (5.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). June 2018’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in seven years (6.1, August 2011). Improving by seven-tenths as well is KLZT “107.1 La Z” (4.4 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). KLZT was off one full-share in June, following a May increase of six-tenths to 5.3 – the highest 6+-stat for the Emmis regional Mexican station since November 2017’s 5.4. A one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC KKMJ “Majic 95.5” to its strongest 6+-stat (6.7, steady at #3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. In five straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths and climbs from  #16 to #14. Despite a loss of two-tenths to 7.3 (6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” advances from second to first. It was a brief one-month (June) stay at #1 for “Bob,” which – in July – returned all of June’s +.6 (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. Prior to picking up one-tenth in March, “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In four straight downward trends, iHeartMedia-owned country KVET-FM (fourth to eighth) is an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). While April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2, this (4.7) is its lowest 6+-performance in over two years (4.6, April 2016). As it is in August, “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It is overtaken by co-owned and similarly-formatted KASE, which was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and now +.4 in August (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). Racking up a +.7 in January ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#23 to #21, 6+), halting three straight dips that produced a -.6 (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). Forfeiting in full July’s +.5, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) slips from #13 #14. Prior to July, “Spirit 105.9” logged a 2.4 in three of the previous four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+); July’s 2.9 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and drops from #18 to #19.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive significate fluctuations have University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” going from third to first in June (+9); first to third in July (-1.1); and third to first in August (7.6 – 8.8, +1.2, 6+). Prior to that, WUNC was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Off three-tenths and slipping from eighth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” logs a 5.1 for the third time in the last five ratings periods (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). Its +.4 in July curtailed three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), while an April decline of two-tenths ended three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Steady at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up by a collective half-share in six straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. As a result of three losses in a row, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has surrendered more than 50% (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, #14 to #16, 6+). Raleigh’s “Fan” was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and -.6 in July.

Raleigh Music Formats – Consistently within 4.5 – 4.8 range between “Holiday” 2017 and July 2018 (4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU erupts with a +1.5 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from tenth to sixth. This marks the first time that “Classic Rock 100.7” has reached the six-share level (6+) in almost three years (6.1, October 2015). Nearly slicing in half July’s -1.3 (7.7 – 6.4, 6+) with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL progresses from fifth to fourth. “Mix 101.5” was a collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+). That streak, however, was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). June’s 7.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2 in three straight downward moves (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, fourth to fifth, 6+), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (#13 to #12) is up six-tenths through four straight (modest) increases (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Following a string of six straight up or flat trends that generated a +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+) and enabled Radio One urban contemporary WQOK to leap from fifth to first in July, “K-97.5” drops three-tenths to 8.7 (6+) and shifts to second. Virtually erasing July’s increase of seven-tenths with an August -.6 (4.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Having posted a 6+-share between 3.0 – 3.9 in each of the last 13 sweeps, CHR cluster-mate WPLW “Pulse FM” is off by six-tenths as well to 2.8 (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in three straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to eighth.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), it enters the top ten (#12 to #10). WFYI was down seven-tenths in April and +1.1 in January. Recapturing two-tenths of July’s -.7 (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center,” which posted a +1.1 in June, remains in sixth-place. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNI (#17 to #18) is a collective -.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Jumping ahead of it (#17 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which notches a +.1 in back-to-back reports (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). July’s +.1 ended three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slices that deficit roughly in half in August with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). It is a history-making month for Cumulus Media’s WJJK. In addition to repeating at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” registers a +.7 to 8.6, the most potent 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history – and first time in eight-share range (6+). On top of that, this is WJJK’s third uptrend in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+). Inching up from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 – Indy’s Classic Rock” displays a one-half share increase to 7.4 (6+), thus wiping away a loss of three-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). While unchanged at #8, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), snapping at four a successive string of down or flat trends that led to an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). On top in April, May, and June before being displaced by co-owned WJJK in July, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). July’s one-half share loss suspended four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its representative July 2017 – August 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); and now -.7 (August). Four-tenths behind WFMS is Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” flat at 6.6 (6+) but slipping from fourth to fifth. In July, “Hank” regained four-tenths of June’s -.9. Immediately prior to that, WLHK was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May’s 7.1 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in September 2015. A collective +1.2 via four consecutive increases (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” returns two-tenths to 5.7 but remains at #7 (6+). After logging a 1.3 (June, 6+) and .5 (#22, July, 6+), co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 disappears from print in August.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering one-half share each and finishing third and fourth, respectively, are Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (7.8 – 7.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” (flat at #4, 6+). In April, Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ more than doubled February’s +.9 with a whopping +1.9; two months later (June), WTMJ virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), WISN is a combined -1.5 in three decreases in succession (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), “News Talk 1130” was an overall –1.6. Up one full-share in January, WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March. Anchored at #14, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 (unchanged at #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant wobbles continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH, which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 in June; and now +1.2 in August (7.2 – 8.4, third to second); “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was a modest -.1 in July. Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. In the lead position for the 42nd consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” regains four-tenths of July’s -.7 (9.8 – 10.2, 6+). Prior to July’s decline, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 13 sweeps, WRIT has been in double-digits (6+) five times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); June (10.5); and August (10.2). The market’s (6+) country share deflates by seven-tenths as WRIT cluster-mate WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is down three-tenths (5.6 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” dips four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), but stays at #11. WMIL rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May 2018 increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Entering the August sweep, WKTI had been within 4.0 – 4.4 range the past six months (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Even though Entercom CHR WXSS posts its third gain in succession for an overall +.9 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.0) since December 2016’s 5.5, “103.7 Kiss FM” backslides from eighth to ninth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” (flat at #15) is without an increase for the third straight month for an overall -.8 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Through six straight February through August down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance classic hits-oldies WZTI has eroded by more than 50% (-.6, 6+), as “Fonz FM” drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in five straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” improves by one-half share to 4.9 (ninth to seventh, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October 2017 to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Without an increase the past six monthlies for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” trots out a +.6 to 3.6 (#13 to #11, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. It trails co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #12 to #10, 6+) by two-tenths. Entering the August ratings period, “Super Talk” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, the topline May 2017 – August 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#18 to #20, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8. Flat at #21, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is an overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which are by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+); “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – In addition to notching its fourth straight uptick that has a produced an overall +1.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since January (7.8, as well). Nearly two full-shares ahead of WNRQ is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (8.8 – 9.7, +.9, 6+), which is #1 for the seventh month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The last five 6+-stats for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT are 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, but with a loss of seven-tenths in August to 6.6 (6+), “101.1 The Beat” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-showing since February (6.7, as well). The market’s (July to August, 6+) country share is off seven-tenths, compared to -1.4 (June to July, 6+). Improving by four-tenths (6.2 – 6.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from sixth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April, following March’s -.3. A January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) erased its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (eighth to ninth) is a collective -1.6 since April (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (4.3) since “Holiday” 2017 (4.1). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February; -.5 in March; and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). “Nash FM” was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing July’s -.6 with an August +.7 (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI climbs from eighth to seventh. In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Similarly, as it entered the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). It then , however, was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains three-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus ending three straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. May’s eight-tenths’ loss wiped out the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The combination of WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gaining four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, #11 to #10, 6+) and The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH dropping two-tenths (#10 to #11, 6+) results in the two swapping places. Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.5 in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). A two-tenths’ improvement to 1.3 (#16 to #14, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). That streak started immediately after “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” picked up six-tenths in February. Originating from Boston, co-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” appears again in the Providence report, following an approximately 6.5-year absence: Its four latest 6+-stats in the Rhode Island metro are 1.4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (flat at #18). One-half share behind WBZ-AM is Cumulus Media-owned WPRV, whose January 2018 – August 2018 topline is .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 – .5 (6+); “AM 790 Talk & Business” remains at #20.

Providence Music Formats – After being down seven-tenths in July, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM racks up a positive spike of one full-share to 9.1, its best 6+-showing in more than a year (9.1, as well, in June 2017). Moreover, “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which had been within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) in each of the previous five sweeps (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+), progresses from fourth to second. An increase of one-tenth (9.9 – 10.0, 6+) is enough to propel adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI from the runner-up slot to #1. “Lite Rock 105,” which has been in double-digits (6+) in ten of the last 16 sweeps, was on top in May and June, with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged at #1 and tumbling to #4 is Hall Communications’ WCTK (10.1 – 7.9, -2.2, 6+). The -2.2 in August negatives a healthy chunk of the +2.9 “Cat Country 98.1” garnered in seven straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) and is the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 decrease by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. July’s 10.1 marked the first time WCTK reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Consistently posting a 6+-share between 9.0 – 9.8 since December 2017 ( 9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.0 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (flat at #3) erodes by -1.2 to 8.3, its lowest 6+-stat since July 2017 (8.3, as well). Spiraling by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WWBB “B-101” (7.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and reached the eight-share level (8.1, July 2018) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). The last three fluctuations for “Coast 93.3” are -1.2 (June); +1.1 (July); and now August’s -.8 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). June’s large decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is up one-tenth to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Down one-half share each are Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (1.7 – 1.2, #12 to #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.6 – 1.1, #13 to #16, 6+) – both re-appearing in the Providence report in July 2018 after a roughly 6.5-year absence.

Norfolk – It is yet another history-setting month for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which is a collective +3.4 in five straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6 – 15.5, 6+) and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 29th time in the last 30 sweeps. On top of that, it is #1 for the 21st time in a row and – with a 15.5 – sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+) WVKL tied this time last month (July 2018). CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” continues its own positive string by being a collective +1.2 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). In addition, August’s 5.3 is its highest 6+-share in more than four years (5.4, May 2014). Conversely, Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.8 via four dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+) and is tied with WNVZ at #5. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). An overall +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” drops one-tenth to 6.2 but carries on in third-place. Just prior to May’s -1.1, WWDE posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” picks up three-tenths in August (1.0 #12 to #11, 6+). While flat at #4, Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” is -2.3 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0, as well). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” erases  that gain completely in July and August (1.5 – 1.0 – .9, #11 to #12, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). Similarly, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” (unchanged at #7) was +1.0 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but hands back 90% of that increase (-.9) in July and August (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” backslides from ninth to tenth. WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). For the fourth sweep in succession, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is up one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), suspending at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May 2018 through August 2018 topline for WUNC is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In five straight down or flat sweeps, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS has lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+) and stays at #16. Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – With a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia rock WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” breaks out a .9 to 4.5 (tenth to ninth) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 4.9. Anchored at #12, CHR cluster-mate WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits,” a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), is up two-tenths in August to 2.9 (6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Albeit -1.7 in four straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5, 6+) Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the eighth straight sweep and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March, but then +1.2 in April. In the runner-up slot for the eighth consecutive time, co-owned adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is off three-tenths to 9.7 (6+). A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that generated a -2.5 in (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Wiping away July’s -.3 with an August +.4 (6.9 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” jumps from fifth to third. July’s decrease ended its streak of three straight upticks for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for “Q-104.1” since October 2017’s 7.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW levels off at 5.6 (steady at #7, 6+), following July’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6, 6+); “93.1 The Wolf” spiraled by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately prior to that loss, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April), with April’s decrease curtailing three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. After a lengthy hiatus, Dick Broadcasting cluster-mates WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” recently returned in print. The February through August topline for “Rock 92” is 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 5.7, unchanged at #6, (6+) for a collective +.6, while WKZL is 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.6 (flat at #8, 6+) and an overall -.6 in that same timeframe.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bounces back with an August +.5 to 2.0 (#16 to #13). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Out of Miami, co-owned news/talk WIOD is trending 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#19, 6+) as it returns to print in West Palm Beach. Clumped together are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains the two-tenths it lost in July (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+); and Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which gains two-tenths for the third month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, #11 to #10, 6+). The -.6 by WJNO halts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that generated a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” – up seven-tenths in four straight increases (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+) – has its 6+-share sliced in half in August to .4 and is flat at #22 (6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After logging five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of one full-share (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” obliterates that deficit completely with a +1.2 to 5.1 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 – and advances from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR answers July’s -1.1 with an August gain of one-half share (4.1 – 4.6, 6+), “Gater 98.7” backslides from fifth to sixth; July’s 6+-showing was its lowest since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX “Mia 92.1” (#14 to #12) is up one-half share to 2.1, its strongest 6+-stat since February (2.1, as well). A combined +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF sets the pace for the eighth month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds with a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, flat at #7, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary battle, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” is up four-tenths after July’s half-share loss (4.4 – 4.8 fifth to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” dips two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). July’s 4.4 by “Sunny” was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1. Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-half share gain in August by Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV (8.7 – 9.2, 6+) nearly erases July’s -.7; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” continues in the runner-up slot. Immediately in advance of July’s decline, WOKV was +2.1 in three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+). Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8, but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Off nine-tenths in March, WOKV was #1 in May. Anchored at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – August 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up two-tenths to .5 – its best 6+-stat since January’s .7 – iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” climbs from #20 to #19.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI makes up two-thirds of the deficit with a +.8 to 4.2 (6+) as “Easy 102.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). More than six full-shares ahead of “Easy” though is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ (10.3 – 10.6, +.3, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the same number of successive months. This (10.6) is the best 6+-showing for “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WJEZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Having recorded a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” dials up a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth), its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. Dropping from second to third, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” was -.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.7 in August (8.7 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s one-half share loss, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+). It is even more of an up/down affair for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in May; -.5 in June; +1.0 in July; and now -.4 in August (5.5 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. Down three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” carries on in fourth-place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (June, 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 in January 2018 and March. In four straight negative moves (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WGNE is an overall -1.3 and remains at #7; “Gator Country 99.9” was +1.1 in April.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). July’s increase pulled the plug on five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). January 2018’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. After slumping six-tenths in July (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” adds one-tenth in August to 2.4 and stays at #12 (6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” is up or flat for the fifth time in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – On the strength of a mammoth +1.5 (4.8 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time in more than two years (6.2, July 2016). Owing to three straight increases (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” is an overall +1.8, climbing from ninth to seventh. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” remains at #13. While iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is on the top for the fourth month in a row, “V-101” regresses by seven-tenths to 10.4 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. A loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) and interrupts its April 2018 – July 2018 (6+) sequence of 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0. Following four straight gains that produced a collective +1.7 (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erodes by eight-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.5 in July and August (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM slips from fifth to sixth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+); June 2018’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Without an increase for the third successive sweep for a combined -1.2 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” nonetheless continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+); May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.7 in four downward moves in a row (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+); this is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Continuing in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” is off one-tenth to 8.0 (6+), after July’s +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Even though Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM improves in back-to-back reports for a +.3 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), “98.9 The Bridge” backslides from #13 to #14.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following July’s one-half share gain, which stopped three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is unchanged in 6+ AQH share (6.2) and 6+ AQH market rank (seventh). Prior to July 2018 and August 2018, “News Talk 1080” last reached the six-share level (6+) in June 2017 (6.7). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just before that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Remaining at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh straight down or flat trend for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Up three-tenths to 1.6 (flat at #13, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” halts five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Immediately before that, it was an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). The January 2018 through August 2018 topline trending for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC- AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #14 (6+).

Hartford Music Formats – In three straight up or flat trends, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM (steady at #8) is a cumulative +1.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” scores its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.0. Fighting back from July’s -2.2, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH cuts that decrease roughly in half with a +1.2 to 11.4 (6+). “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in the last 24 sweeps. August’s +1.2 applies the brakes to four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March, but then -1.1 in April. The three latest fluctuations for hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” are -.7 (June); +1.5 (July); and now -1.4 in August (8.6 – 7.2, second to third, 6+). July 2018’s 8.6 marked the first time WTIC-FM reached the eight-share level (6+) since its 8.3 in July 2017. “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (unchanged at #4) is -1.3 in three straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its lowest 6+-share (6.4) since 6.0 in March. Even though mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKSS sputters by six-tenths to 7.3 (6+) to curtail three straight upticks that netted +1.0 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+), “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” manages to inch up from third to second.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

| September 6, 2018

SEC Critical of iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Plan. The Securities and Exchange Commission has a problem with iHeartMedia’s Third Amended Joint Chapter 11 plan for reorganization on grounds relating largely to its provisions for non-debtor third parties.  If given final approval by the Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia would shed some $16 billion in debt via a combination of debt-for-equity to creditors and the issuing of new notes.  The SEC writes in its opinion that the Plan violates the Bankruptcy Code with respect to discharge petitions.  Specifically, it says, “the Plan includes releases that allow non-debtors to benefit from the Debtors’ bankruptcy by effectively obtaining their own discharges with respect to potential claims arising from past wrongdoing, including willful misconduct, gross negligence, and actual fraud.  The exculpation clause in the Plan is also overly broad.  The release and exculpation provisions are at odds with sound public policy considerations underlying the rights of creditors and investors to pursue legitimate claims against wrongdoers.”  The 11-page objection from the SEC also says that iHeartMedia’s disclosure statement “lacks adequate information, as required under Section 1125(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, to support the release, exculpation, and permanent injunction provisions.”

Battle Between USTN and Entercom Comes to an End. With Wednesday’s statement from United States Traffic Network, LLC that it has entered into a wind-down agreement with Entercom (USTN’s largest and only secured creditor), the legal battle between the two companies appears to be over.  USTN says that although the terms of the agreement are confidential, it “has commenced an orderly wind-down of its radio business under the supervision of Gavin/Solmonese, LLC, an independent liquidating agent. In addition, USTN has agreed to cause the dismissal, with prejudice, of its litigation against Entercom.”  USTN’s service to stations will end tomorrow (9/7). USTN says all employees have been released from all non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and every station and client will be given service for a limited wind-down period.

Day Number Two of “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Burning Up the Airwaves from the Nation’s CapitalThe “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row began the second of its two-day run this morning (9/6) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The annual broadcasting/political event, now in its 12th year, is presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).  A record number of more than 65 radio talk show hosts from across the nation are participating with live remotes interviewing numerous available guests from the fields of politics, law enforcement, media, and business about the state of the immigration reform movement.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is in attendance and scheduled to appear on 25 radio shows between yesterday and today.  Harrison states, “Immigration reform has been one of the most important topics on talk radio for well over a decade – long before Donald Trump made it a front burner issue.  Many of the concerns of the American people regarding immigration have been expressed on talk shows and especially at this radio row which has grown into an extremely influential industry tradition.  The question no longer is should or if immigration reform is going to be implemented – but rather by what methods.”  Pictured above: Harrison (left) making a point to program host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his nationally syndicated radio show and Newsmax TV simulcast.

Salem Radio News Issues Directive on Phrasing for Coverage of NYT Op-Ed.  The controversial op-ed piece published by The New York Times that the paper says is authored by a Trump Administration insider is causing controversy within the talk radio news reporting business.    Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine that he had to kill a report by Salem Radio News White House correspondent Greg Clugston for referring to the author as an “official.”  Tradup says, “The person is ALLEGED to be a ‘high official,’ but might also be a deranged nut or the nephew of an intern at the NY Times. Since nobody knows, we should not participate in advancing the identity of this weasel as an ‘official’ in the Trump Administration.  SRN News and TOWNHALL News are solid 24/7 broadcast news operations and will not be accomplices in validating what may be prima facie Fake News generated by the #1 print opponent of President Trump.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media pro Tony Bruno is being honored by Barrett Sports Media with an annual award to be given in his name at the 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit in Los Angeles.  BSM president Jason Barrett says the Tony Bruno Award will be given to a current member of the sports radio industry who is “unique, unafraid, and cutting thru on a national level.”  Barrett adds that Bruno was the first sports radio personality to host a national sports morning show for three different national networks (ESPN, FOX Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio).  He made a mark locally on WIP and WPEN in Philadelphia and was featured in the EA Sports Madden NFL game (2005-2007)…..SiriusXM is expanding the weekend political talk program “Signal Boost,” hosted by Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh, to a live, daily show airing at 12:00 noon on the Progress channel starting September 10.  Both Maxwell and McIntosh served on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.  Maxwell is also the senior director of progressive programming for SiriusXM and an MSNBC political analyst…..Entercom announces that sports talk WIP, Philadelphia helped raise $201,632 for the Eagles Charitable Foundation (ECF) during the weekend’s 2018 Eagles Radiothon.  The Philadelphia Eagles’ public charity provides the Philadelphia region with greater access to vision care and autism research.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “It was an honor to have been a part of this incredible initiative for the 19th straight year and to have a hand in making a difference in our local community.  Every dollar counts when it pertains to making a difference in the lives of others and I’m particularly proud of our generous listeners who helped us reach this goal.”…..Sports USA announces it will become the longest-tenured broadcaster of National Football League Sunday afternoon games when it kicks off its 17th NFL season on Sunday, September 9 with a doubleheader featuring the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots followed by the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the San Diego Chargers.  Sports USA Larry Kahn says, “To become the longest-running radio distributor of NFL Sunday afternoon play-by-play is really an honor.  It is a true testament to the talent that we have had on our network and the continued success of the NFL.  The past 17 years have gone by in the proverbial blink of an eye.”

Entercom Names Coyle SVP of Human Resources. Named to the new role of SVP of human resources for Entercom is Martin Coyle.  He joins the company from the tech company XL Catlin where he was vice president of human resources.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “We are pleased to welcome Martin to Entercom. Martin has a strong track record of developing effective human resources strategies.  We look forward to leveraging Martin’s experience integrating teams as we continue to scale and strengthen our organization.”

NYT Trump Official Op-Ed, Woodward Book, Trump-Russia Investigation, Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings, NBC-Weinstein Story Controversy, Nike’s Kaepernick Deal, Allegations of Anti-Conservative Bias by Social Media, Iran’s Currency Collapse, Nicaragua Unrest, 2018 NFL Season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/5). The New York Times’ publication of an anonymous op-ed piece from a Trump administration insider that’s critical of the president; the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; the controversy over NBC’s decision not to go forward with Ronan Farrow’s investigative story alleging Harvey Weinstein raped women; Nike’s new “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned meeting with state attorneys general about anti-free speech actions by social media platforms; Iran’s sinking currency value and allegations of a U.S.-orchestrated attempt at regime change; the political unrest in Nicaragua and fears of more refugees fleeing to the U.S.; week 1 of the 2018 NFL season; and the MLB playoffs push 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 media maven Robert Feder reports that Jenny Milkowski leaves Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago where she’s been afternoon personality for the past five months, for San Diego to become traffic anchor and social media reporter at KFMB-TV.  Milkowski previously did TV traffic reporting at Chicago’s WFLD-TV. Milkowski’s co-host, Jay Styles, will continue as solo star of the WSHE afternoon show in the interim…..In the Greenville-New Bern, North Carolina market, Gina Gray rises to program director at Dick Broadcasting’s CHR WERO “BOB 93.3.”  She’d been APD and music director and now takes over for the departing Chris “Hollywood” Mann.  “BOB 93.3” evening personality and imaging director Austin Moore is assuming the APD/MD duties.  Gray says of her new gig, “It was really great working with Chris Mann.  We did a lot of great things together at ‘BOB 93.3’ and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.  I’m really excited for this next chapter of my radio career with Dick Broadcasting Company.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting closes on its purchase of adult contemporary WDKB, DeKalb, Illinois from Tana Knetsch and Ronald G. Klein.  Mid-West paid $610,000 for the FM that makes its Rockford-area cluster now six stations strong. Bob Heymann of Media Services Group was the exclusive broker.

August 2018 PPM Data – Round Two. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in July and August (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), WMAL returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Immediately prior to July, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet was a combined -1.5 via three consecutive downward moves (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In March, WMAL reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0). Not only does Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM completely erase July’s -.5 with an August +.5, “106.7 The Fan” marches into the top ten (#13 to #9). July’s decrease pulled the plug on three upticks in succession that netted a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). Before notching a +.6 in January, the Washington Nationals flagship was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). After a lengthy hiatus from being listed in print, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” reappeared in June with a 1.0 (6+); immediately disappeared in July (0.0); but is back in August with a .9 (#19, 6+). The five most recent trends for WTOP are a very steady 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 9.4 (6+) as the Hubbard all-news operation is #1 for the eighth straight month. WTOP rebounded from April’s -.8 with a +.1 in May (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, it shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, WTOP reclaimed the lead position with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). By gaining four-tenths to 8.0 (6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU not only moves from third to its familiar runner-up slot, “The Mind Is Our Medium” halts three straight flat or downward trends that resulted in a collective loss of nine-tenths (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.6, 6+). Between January 2018 – June 2018, WTOP and WAMU finished first and second, respectively. Flat at #24, Entercom business news WDCH picks up two-tenths to .5 (6+), thus ending three straight months without an increase (5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Without an uptick the past three sweeps for a -.4 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” recaptures the three-tenths it lost in July and continues at #5 (4.7, 6+). Within 2.4 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the ninth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), alternative sibling WWDC “DC-101” elevates from #17 to #14. An increase of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, ninth to sixth, 6+) takes Columbia Union College Broadcasting contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” to its highest 6+-share (4.6) since July 2017’s 4.8. Ever-consistent Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’  WETA “Classical 90.9” (2.3 – 2.9, +.6, #18 to #14, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 22nd straight ratings period. Following six straight up or flat reports for a collective +2.3 (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ forfeits nine-tenths to 7.0 (6+) and segues from second to third. In July, “Majic”  registered the highest 6+-stat (7.9) in its PPM history, breaking the “old” record set the previous month (June 2018). It has a three-tenths lead over Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which finishes fourth for the fifth sweep in succession. After four straight reports without an increase for an overall -1.4  (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR was a combined +1.1 in June and July (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.8), with July’s 6.8 its best 6+-showing since January’s 7.1. In April, “Majic” pulled ahead of WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top until WMMJ picked up two-tenths to 5.8, while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7. A July gain of three-tenths by WKYS erased the -.2 it logged in five straight down or flat surveys (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the Radio One urban contemporary facility regresses by seven-tenths in August (3.9 – 3.2, 6+) and drifts out of the top ten (#8 to #13). Although flat at 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country” rises from #16 to #14. Elsewhere in the format, Aloha Station Trust’s WFRE “99.9 Free Country” vanished from print in July, but returns in August with a .8 (#22, 6+). Slipping from #11 to #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC-FM is an overall -.8 via four consecutive decreases (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Displaying its third straight uptick for an overall +1.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM progresses from eighth to sixth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). It roared back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+) with a +1.0 in April. It has a 1.1-share (6+) advantage over Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (3.8 – 4.0, +.2, tenth to ninth, 6+), which was a combined -1.9 in June and July (5.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+) and -1.5 in February. Finishing at third and fifth, respectively, are Boston University’s news/talk WBUR (5.6 – 5.7, +.1, fifth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.8 – 5.3, -.5, fourth to fifth, 6+). In June, WBUR surrendered half of May’s +.6 with a loss of three-tenths. It was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March is its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. An overall -1.6 in three decreases in a row (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH logs a +.1 to 3.2 (#12 to #11, 6+). WGBH improved by seven-tenths in January but was off two-tenths in both February and March. When iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO notched a gain of two-tenths in July (to 2.5, 6+), it ended three downward moves in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+); however, in August, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” returns one-tenth (2.4, #13 to #14, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – In addition to ranking first for the eighth consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM is up or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+) but was off one-half share in April. It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. The “Holiday” 2017 – August 2018 topline trending for its format challenger, Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” (flat at #16), is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+). Up one-half share as a result of five successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WWBX “Mix 104.1 Boston’s Best Variety” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th successive sweep, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” (2.4 – 2.5, +.1, 6+) advances from #15 to #13. As we’ve been seeing in numerous PPM-markets, out-of-market signals and longtime Nielsen Audio nonsubscribers are suddenly showing up in print. The largest market in “The Bay State” is no exception as iHeartMedia Providence’s WHJY “94 HJY” records a +.7 (#26, 6+) and – from “The Heart of the Commonwealth” (Worcester) – co-owned adult contemporary WSRS “96.1 SRS – Worcester’s At-Work Station” appears in the Boston report with a .6 (#28, 6+). While neither of these two outlets was listed in Boston’s July 2018 sweep, they are perennial powerhouses in their respective “home” metros. Surrendering in full the +1.1 it gained in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” departs the top ten (3.0, -1.1, #9 to #12, 6+); July’s 4.1 is its highest 6+-share since January 2017’s 4.4. In a somewhat similar scenario, classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” wipes out its overall gain of six-tenths through three positive spikes in succession (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) with an August decrease of nine-tenths to 5.7 (second to third, 6+). Co-owned alternative WBOS “Alt 92.9 – Boston’s Alternative,” which was up two-tenths in four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), drops one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and remains at #18. Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” is off six-tenths in five straight down or flat trends (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+), while Entercom’s WAAF “The Only Station That Really Rocks” is -.8 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). While unchanged at #23, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.2 (6+), thus halting seven successive up or flat trends that nearly doubled the Providence station’s 6+ Boston stat (.7 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #20, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is in a bookend 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 sequence (6+). WIOD’s one-half share loss in May halted seven straight positive or flat trends that netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). It is tied with Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains half of July’s -.2 (1.8 – 1.9, +.1, #21 to #20, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Likewise, the market’s two main sports talk outlets are mirroring each other. The May through August topline for Entercom’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” is .9 – .8 – .9 – .8, (#25 to #27, 6+), while cluster-mate WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth for the third time in succession (.9 – .8 – .7 – .6, #27 to #28, 6+). When “The Ticket” posted a .8 (6+) in June, it curtailed five consecutive .9 postings (6+); WQAM’s May gain of two-tenths stalled five sweeps in succession without an increase for a collective -.8 (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – July’s deadlock at #1 is broken with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” posting a one-half share gain (6.9 – 7.4, 6+) at the same time that Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” drops six-tenths (6.9 – 6.3, first to second, 6+). “Easy” advanced from second to first in June, but after three straight months without a decrease for an overall gain of eight-tenths (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), it squandered six-tenths in July. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Meanwhile, in advance of its August decrease, “Amor 107.5” was +1.9 in three straight gains (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned Spanish tropical WRTO posts a one-half share improvement (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), enabling “Mix 98.3” to enter the top ten (#11 to #9). In July, it surrendered three-tenths, thus snapping at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, Entercom adult contemporary was a cumulative -1.2 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+), but “101.5 Lite FM” notches a +.3 to 5.8 (6+) and climbs from fifth to fourth. July 2018’s 5.5 is the lowest 6+-share for “Lite” since 5.2 in July 2017. West Palm Beach mainstay – Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety From The ‘90s & Now” – pops up in Miami with a 1.2 (#24, 6+). Separated by one-tenth in April and May, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are tied at #11 in August. Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is down in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.3 (March – August, 6+). Down or flat nine reports in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), WFLC was +.6 in June. Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, “Y-100” eroded by eight-tenths in March. While it remains in third-place, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” is a collective -1.4 in three straight downturns (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+). As the result of four consecutive upticks, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB was up one-half share (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), but “103.5 The Beat” returns two-tenths to 2.8 (#14 to #15, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s like-formatted WEDR “99 Jamz” (unchanged at #6) is trending 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 (March 2018 – August 2018, 6+). Even though it is down a combined eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety From The ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” moves from #18 to #17. Entercom rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96” is off four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, #16 to #17, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to an increase of eight-tenths (5.5 – 6.3, fourth to third, 6+), Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” registers its best 6+-performance since its 6.5 in January, February, and March. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April; “News Radio 950” was frozen on 5.8 (6+) in May and June. Although unchanged at #9, sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is off seven-tenths in three negative moves in succession (5.3 – 5.6 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. A two-tenths improvement to 3.8 (#12 to #11, 6+) by Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” applies the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Without an increase for the eighth straight survey period for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM actually advances from #20 – #19. Steady at #22, Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (.6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – By logging a +.8 (5.0 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 ‘80s ‘til Now” zooms from eighth to fourth with its best 6+-stat (5.8) since April’s 5.9. Mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers the overall -.9 in six successive sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.5 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” (steady at #15) is a combined +.4 in three straight up or flat moves (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), after having suspended three straight setbacks of one-tenth each (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it returns two-thirds of July’s +.6 (8.3 – 7.9, -.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month a row. A loss of two-tenths in June ended five straight positive spikes that generated a +2.5 (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). Drifting from third to eighth, co-owned WRIF “Everything That Rocks” is a collective -.8 in July and August (5.6 – 5.3 – 4.8, 6+), immediately after four consecutive improvements that led to a combined +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+). June’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2017 (5.9, as well). At the same time that Entercom’s WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Best Country” picks up three-tenths (5.5 – 5.8, steady at #4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (flat at #17) drops two-tenths to 2.3, its lowest 6+-showing since Holiday 2017’s 2.1. Three down or flat moves in succession by WYCD accounted for a cumulative loss of one-half share but that was fully erased in June with a +.5. When “Nash FM” slipped by two-tenths in June, it halted five consecutive up or flat moves that netted nine-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). Meanwhile, the market’s two main urban ACs sputter by three-tenths each: iHeartMedia’s WMXD “Mix 92.3” (5.5 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+) and Radio One rival, WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM – The Real Sound of ‘The D’” (3.5 – 3.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Early last month, Radio One gospel WPZR “Praise 102.7” became Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WDKL “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” The change was made with less than one week remaining in the August sweep and Detroit’s frequency at 102.7 records a 2.2 (#18, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A very steady October 2017 – June 2018 6+-topline trending of 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8 by KIRO-FM suddenly became jarred in July (-.7 to 5.1, 6+) and August (+.8 to 5.9, 6+). The Bonneville news/talk facility zooms from sixth to second. It is tied in the runner-up slot with Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which posts a +.5 to 5.9 (third to second, 6+). The uptick curtails three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for an overall -1.1 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). KUOW took over the runner-up slot in May after a one-month stay at #1. On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Off eight-tenths in July and August (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” drops from #11 to #14. As a result of four positive spikes in succession (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), the Seattle Mariners flagship was a combined +1.9. Prior to May, the last time KIRO-AM reached the four-share level (6+) was in October 2015 (4.3). Up two-tenths (2.3 – 2.5, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO returns to the top twenty (#22 to #19). On the other hand, Bonneville’s KTTH departs the top twenty (#20 to #22) as “Conservative Talk Radio” returns July’s +.3 (2.1, 6+), thus interrupting four up or flat trends in succession for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). The (6+) topline February 2018 – August 2018 trending for Sinclair-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” (#25 to #24) is a remarkably consistent 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1. Flat at #28, iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM  gains two-tenths (.5 – .7, 6+); “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was frozen on .6 (6+) in May and June.

Seattle Music Formats – Rebounding from July’s -.4 with an August +.6 (3.0 – 3.6, 6+), Hubbard’s KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) proceeds from #14 to #13. Entering the July 2018 ratings period, “The Bull” more than tripled (+2.4) its 6+-stat as the result of six straight survey periods without a loss (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.4, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “The Bull” is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.0, +.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). By gaining one-tenth, it actually breaks a streak that dates back to October 2017 in which “The Wolf” alternated an up sweep with a down one (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). These two country stations were tied at #14 in June. There is a two-station Seattle adult contemporary tussle involving these same two group owners as well, with Entercom’s KSWD “The Sound” logging a one-half share increase to 3.8 (#13 to #11, 6+) to halt four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). “The Sound” posted a one-half share gain in March as well (3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Even though Hubbard’s KRWM is off by nine-tenths in July and August (5.0 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+), “Warm 106.9” advances from eighth to seventh. Prior to a +.3 in June, KRWM was -7.1 (or down roughly 60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the AC station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015; “Warm” was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017. It is a rollercoaster ride for iHeartMedia’s KUBE “93.3 – Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” (formerly CHR KPWK), which was a collective +.8 in five straight sweeps without a loss (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+); surrendered the entire eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) in July; and now regains one-half share in August (3.3, #17 to #15, 6+). In a case of major league back-to-back wobbles, KQMV “MOViN 92.5” immediately follows July’s massive +1.7 (6.1 – 7.8, 6+) with a -1.4 to 6.4 (6+). In any case, the Hubbard CHR repeats at #1. Prior to July, the last time KQMV reached the seven-share level (6+) was in February (7.1). A collective +1.4 in four straight up or flat trends (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” falters by nine-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and shifts from second to fourth. July’s 6.4 marked the first time KJR-FM crossed the six-share level (6+) in more than two years (6.1, May 2016). As a result of obliterating July’s one-half share increase with an eight-tenths decrease (4.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” fades from the top ten (#7 to #12). Its +.5 in July pulled the plug on three straight down or flat moves that generated a -.5 (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM adds one-tenth in July and August (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+) and carries on at #11. KTAR-FM was up three-tenths in April but was then a combined -.5 in May and June. It was +.8 in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), followed by an overall -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). While steady at #15, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” cobbles together four straight gains for an increase of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Close behind are Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ (3.0 – 2.7, -.3, #14 to #16, 6+) and Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (2.5 – 2.6, +.1, flat at #17, 6+). A +.6 in July by KJZZ applied the brakes to three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a combined -1.5 (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM was frozen on 2.5 (6+) in June and July. From January through May, it was a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – The two-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ held over Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” in July has been sliced in half as KESZ drops two-tenths, while KSLX hangs out a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+). This is the third straight decline for KESZ for an overall –1.7 (9.0 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.3, 6+), but it remains on top for the tenth straight report. KESZ was up seven-tenths in April and then logged a gigantic +1.7 in May; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of July’s lofty -1.1 to 5.5 (6+), KSLX erased in its entirety the +1.1 it netted in six straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Moreover, “Classic Rock 100.7,” which had been entrenched in the runner-up slot eight consecutive ratings periods, shifted to fifth. Even though it backslides from second to third, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is an astonishing +2.7 in just three straight upticks (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+); “The Mountain” was tenth in May. Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT notches its third straight increase for an overall +.9 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, #17 to #14, 6+) as “Que Buena 105.9” has its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.2. Conversely, co-owned Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3,” which had been up one-half share in June and July (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+), flounders by eight-tenths (1.3, #26, 6+). Immediately after quadrupling its 6+-share (.3 – 1.2, +.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders two-thirds of that increase and has its 6+-share carved in half (.6, -.6, #26 to #31, 6+). Off six-tenths, as well, is Maricopa County Community College’s classical-formatted KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach” (2.2, #15 to #18, 6+), which had been +.8 in three successive up or flat trends (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.7 range (6+) each month this calendar year (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country & All-Time Favorites” segues from third to fourth, while its format challenger – Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” – adds four-tenths (3.8 – 4.2, 6+) and remains at #9. A cumulative -1.9 in five successive negative trends (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” actually bumps up from #20 to a three-way tie at #18.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – After four negative moves in a row for a collective -2.2 (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW bounces back with a +.7 to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). Its recent fluctuations include -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) +.7 (May) -.7 (July); and now +.7 (August). It is tied at #9 with Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830,” which is flat at 4.4 (6+). Prior to August, its four previous fluctuations were +.8 (April); -.8 (May); -.8  (June); and +.5 (July). The Minnesota Twins flagship was locked on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. Although flat at #12, iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” posts a +.1 to 3.8 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four decreases in a row that yielded a -2.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+); “K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. Up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to the June sweep, KTLK was +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Regaining the three-tenths it lost in July, Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” (2.7, #17 to #16) interrupts three straight down or flat moves that accounted for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). Its March decrease of three-tenths stopped four straight up or flat trends that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” slips from #20 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Ending its 7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3 (6+) sequence with a +.5 to 7.8, its highest 6+-share since September 2016’s 8.1, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” marches from second to first. The last time KDWB occupied the top spot was exactly one year ago – August 2017. It dislodges Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM, which had occupied the penthouse the past seven sweeps. In addition to dropping from first to second, “KS-95” is -1.5 in four straight downward trends (8.6 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+). Its -.7 in May halted four successive progressive moves that netted +2.8 (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+). Following four consecutive upticks for a collective +1.0 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KTCZ “The Cities” forfeits 60% of that increase (3.6, -.6, 6+) and slips out of the top ten (#10 to #14). Following five consecutive months without an increase for a cumulative -.7 (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” logs a +.3 to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Ever since debuting in February, Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO 95.3 – GO Radio” has put up a topline of 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP tacks on one-half share to July’s +.3 (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) as “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” carries on at #15. Classical music sibling KSJN erodes by -1.0 (2.0, #15 to #18, 6+), nearly wiping out its collective +1.2 from five consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). The overall +.9 that Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” racked up in June and July (5.0 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) vanishes in August with a -.9 to 5.0 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shifted from first to second in April; returned to #1 in May; dropped from first to third in June; slipped from third to fourth to July; and returns to first in August (5.8 – 6.5, +.7, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. Locked on 5.1 (6+) in June and July, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO regresses by six-tenths to 4.5 (6+), skidding from fifth to ninth. “News Radio 600” was +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; +.6 in May; and now -.6 in August. October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Resurfacing in the San Diego report after a lengthy absence, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, #23 to #22, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760,” which returns half of July’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Its June increase of one-tenth curtailed three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). Three of the market’s sports talkers produce a complete mixed bag: Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” gains two-tenths (.8 – 1.0, #24, 6+); Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” is flat at .8 (#25, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #28 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Powered by a +1.5, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS rockets from sixth to second. “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective +2.8 via six straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 6.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Uni Radio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” is up eight-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1, 6+), catapulting from #18 to #10. Adding six-tenths to July’s +1.0 (3.7 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-programmed KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” inches up from seventh to sixth, crossing the five-share level 6+ (5.3) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.1. Notching increases of one-half share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Comunicación XERSA-owned/Local Media San Diego-operated alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” (1.7 – 2.2, #20, 6+). “Star” was off one full-share in June and July (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), while “91-X” pulls the plug on six successive sweeps without an increase that produced a loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.2 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). It is a short (one-month) stay at #1 for KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which segues to third. “Sunny” registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded in April with a +.5; was -.7 in May; answered with a +.8 in June; piled on a +.5 in July; and is -.4 in August (6.2 – 5.8, 6+). Ironically, the station “Sunny” replaced at #1 in July – cluster-mate KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” – was only on top for one month (June), as well. Off three-tenths in August (5.9 – 5.6, 6+), KSON shifts from second to fourth. An April loss of one-tenth by “New Country” ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective -1.6 in three downward moves in a row (4.0 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.4, 6+), fading from #11 to #19. Faltering by one-half share each are Tegna rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM BFM” (3.5 – 3.0, #10 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” (3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #14, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since March (2.9).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – Four-tenths of a share separates Denver’s top three August 2018 finishers. Included in that trio is Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR, which displays a lofty +1.1 (5.2 – 6.3, 6+) to progress from fifth to second. It was a brief one-month stay at #1 (in May) for KCFR, which lost seven-tenths in June. In addition to being on top in May, KCFR was #1 in January and March. When it faltered by six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Trending 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA flips from fourth to sixth. Following January’s one-half share loss, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first but the flagship of the Colorado Rockies exited the top spot in May after a one-month run. Owing to a +.4 to 2.9 (6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” advances from #16 to #14. “The Fan” faltered by one-half share in June and July (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), posting its lowest 6+-stat (2.5) since July 2017’s 2.3. Denver’s “Fan” was +1.0 in March. Unchanged at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” was up three-tenths in June; down two-tenths in July; and now up one-tenth in August (2.0 – 2.1, 6+). Immediately before the June sweep, KHOW had been down or flat four sweeps in a row for an overall setback of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC drops one-tenth (1.0 – .9 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+). Prior to June’s 1.0 (6+), KUNC recorded a .7 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps.

Denver Music Formats – Stuck on 5.7 (6+) in May and June before slipping to 5.6 (6+) in July, Bonneville-owned KYGO “Denver’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (steady at #3), reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since last November’s 6.0. Recording a 1.5 (6+) in four of the last six sweeps (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KBPI “107.9 Rocks The Rockies” notches a one-half share increase to 2.0 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#20). Not only is Entercom classic rocker KQMT #1 for the third month in a row, “99.5 The Mountain – A Mountain of Classics” is a cumulative +1.7 in three upticks in succession (4.9 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+) by Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” wipes out its +.6 via three straight positive spikes (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). The five most recent 6+-stats (April – May – June – July – August) for Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” are 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.8. Immediately after logging three consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +1.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -1.1 in June, July, and August (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+). While May’s 5.6 is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7, July and August 2018’s 4.5 is its softest since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.8. Up or flat five months in a row for a collective +1.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” drops two-tenths to 5.8 (second to fourth, 6+). July’s 6.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for KOSI since Holiday’s 2017’s 11.5.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – In six of the last seven sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has had a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, 6+); -.7 in July; and now +.6 in August (3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #10). Without a loss for the fourth sweep in a row for a +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” progresses from #16 to #13. A one-tenth setback in April ended three straight increases that produced a gain of one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January improvement of three-tenths curtailed four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Down of flat for the fourth consecutive month for a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” segues from #18 to #19. Starting with the “Holiday” 2017 report, the Tampa Bay Rays flagship was up or flat for the next five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF (flat at #20) is 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 (6+). When WUSF added two-tenths in June, it halted six successive ratings periods without an increase that accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – A +.7 (6.4 – 7.1, 6+) enables Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” to register its highest 6+-stat in just over a year (7.1, as well, July 2017). Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WXTB “98 Rock” (3.8 – 4.3, tenth to ninth, 6+); CHR cluster-mate WFLZ “93.3 – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); and Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+). Four straight up or flat trends by “98 Rock” netted eight-tenths (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+), but it was down nine-tenths in July; June’s 4.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since October 2017 (4.7, as well). It’s a yoyo effect for “B-98.7,” which was +.6 in June; -.6 in July; and now +.5 in August. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline was 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (6+); June’s 2.5 is its best (6+) showing since 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Erasing July’s +.4 with August’s -.5, Cox Media Group CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” departs the top ten (#9 to #14). In July, “Hot” beat WFLZ (6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017, when “Hot” scored a 4.0 (6+) to 3.8 (6+) for WFLZ. After logging four straight up or flat trends that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WDUV slipped three-tenths in July to 8.8 (6+), but “Lite Favorites” picks up one-tenth in August to 8.9 (6+) and leads the pack for the 72nd successive ratings period. WDUV was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After adding a +1.0 to June’s four-tenths’ increase (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders all but three-tenths of that combined +1.4 (6.4 – 5.3, -1.1, third to fifth, 6+). In July, “Magic” reached the six-share level (6.4) for the first time since May 2017 (6.0).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.7. 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” climbs from tenth to ninth. Baltimore’s “Fan” was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and a combined -1.0 in May and June (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). With an April 2018 – August 2018 topline of 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 3.1 (6+), independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” moves from #12 to #11. One-tenth behind is Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” (3.1 – 3.0, -.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Following five decreases in a row for a cumulative -1.7 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), WYPR posted a July increase of six-tenths. A collective -.8 in five straight sweeps without an increase (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Hearst Television news/talker WBAL drops from #13 to #14. After five consecutive times of recording a 1.1 (6+) in the Baltimore report, American University-owned news/talker WAMU slips to 1.0 (#18 to #23, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In the runner-up slot for the fourth month in a row, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92-Q Jams” hauls out a +.9 to 7.8, its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017 (7.8, as well). Nearly wiping out July’s -.8, Hearst Television’s WIYY dials up a +.6 (4.4 – 5.0, ninth to sixth, 6+). Prior to July’s decrease, “98 Rock” registered six successive ratings periods without a loss for an overall +1.8 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). This represents the eighth successive sweep that Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is without a loss for an overall +2.2 (2.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+); “The Bay” jumps from eighth to sixth. Advancing one-half share as well in August are Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classic Music Station” (1.3, #16, 6+) and Entercom’s WLIF-HD2 (.6 – 1.1, #18, 6+). WBJC halts four straight down or flat trends that erodes approximately half (-.7) its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8 – .8, 6+). Albeit off eight-tenths from July (9.5 – 8.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC  WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” finishes on top for the eighth month in a row. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), “Magic” was an overall -2.2 but it bounced back with a +.3 in June. WWIN-FM occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight ratings periods without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), it lost one-tenth in March. Dramatic shifts continue for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; +.6 in May; +.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.6 in August (6.8 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+). Although steady at #6, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF is a collective -1.8 in four successive negative moves (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). “Today’s 101.9” was #1 in December 2017 (9.7, 6+) and “Holiday” 2017 (16.3, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – After three straight negative moves that generated a loss of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” answers with a collective +1.0 in July and August (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, #16 to #12, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), WXOS posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; and -.6 in April. Regaining two-tenths of July’s -.6 (8.0 – 7.4 – 7.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” repeats in the runner-up slot. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was +2.3 in April; May’s 8.3 represents its highest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. Flat at #14, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU is up six-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. As a result of declining by one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+), Emmis-to-Entercom’s KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” slips from #15 to #17. Owing to May’s +.3, “FM News Talk 97.1” ended three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to a January gain of seven-tenths, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – Not only did Gateway Creative contemporary Christian KLJY reappear in print in June, after being unlisted for 18 straight sweeps, “99.1 Joy FM” boasts one of the most stunning stories of the year by logging a +1.3 (6.5 – 7.8, 6+) to storm from third to first. It supplants iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 6.7, -1.1, first to third, 6+). After sputtering by a combined -1.5 in May and June, KLOU recaptured nine-tenths in July (6.9 – 7.8, 6+). On top for four consecutive months (January through April), “St Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifted to #2 in May. An overall -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. This is the fourth straight uptick for Hubbard’s  KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative,” which nets a +1.4 in that stretch (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.4, tenth to seventh, 6+). At the same time that co-owned WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” regains the six-tenths it lost in July (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by eight-tenths (4.2 – 3.4, #11 to #15, 6+). Entering the June report, WIL was without a loss for six survey periods in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), but then spiraled by -1.1; “The Bull,” meanwhile, was off three-tenths in July. Following July’s one-half share increase, Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” surrenders nine-tenths (5.8 – 4.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to July’s one-half share increase, WFUN logged five successive negative moves accounting for an overall -1.5 (6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). In the Entercom cluster, hot AC KYKY “Y-98” is off six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5, ninth to tenth, 6+), while adult contemporary KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” regresses by one-half share (5.4, fifth to seventh, 6+), halting six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded an overall +1.7 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Without a gain for the fourth sweep in a row, Emmis-to-Entercom CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (#17 to #16) is off by one full-share (3.7 -3.4 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).

Friday, August 31, 2018

| August 31, 2018

Entercom Appoints Paul Ihander PD for Las Vegas Talk Duo. Programming pro Paul Ihander is named program director for Entercom’s news/talk KXNT “Talk Radio 840” and sports talk KXST “Sports Radio 1140” in Las Vegas.  Ihander has been serving as assistant program director and news director at Bonneville’s Phoenix operations.  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney comments, “Paul is a seasoned executive with incredible passion for the format that will help lead ‘News and Talk Radio 840 AM’ and ‘Sports Radio 1140 AM’ into the future.  We are confident he can help both our brands reach new heights by tapping into not only the many neighborhoods that make up this unique community but also the millions of visitors that flock to the internationally famous ‘Strip.’”

FCC Shoots Down Jamie Allman’s Challenge to KFTK-FM and KNOU-FM Sale. Appealing to the FCC to reconsider Emmis’ sale of news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU in St. Louis to Entercom was one of two fronts on which talk host Jamie Allman was fighting the two radio companies – he’s also suing in federal court for breach of contract after being fired for his ill-advised tweet about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg.  But the FCC denied Allman’s Petition for Reconsideration arguing that Allman wasn’t able to meet the standards necessary to establish standing for his complaint that Entercom took undue control of the station it was operating under an LMA when it fired him.  Recently, Allman and Emmis were ordered to mediation over Allman’s breach of contract suit and the judge expects the two sides to have concluded mediation sessions by November 1.

Craig Carton Speaks Out on WABC’s ‘Bernie & Sid’ Show. He told the WABC audience that he couldn’t talk about his defense of the fraud charges being leveled against him by the feds, but he did reiterate his innocence.  Former WFAN morning drive personality Craig Carton did take the opportunity while speaking with Sid Rosenberg and Bernard McGuirk to say how much he wants to return to New York radio after his case is adjudicated and how he expects to hear from potential employers.  The New York Post reports that Carton threw a few jabs at WFAN – both at the morning show’s ratings and Mike Francesa’s waistline.  Read it here.TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison hosted Carton on his PodcastOne show back in May.  You can hear that interview here.

ESPN’s Three-Pronged Podcast Bucket List. Managing editor Mike Kinosian writes today about the podcast strategy at sports giant ESPN. As the popularity of podcasting grows and producers get more of a handle on who’s listening and for how long, bringing home the revenue that justifies the effort is their primary goal. ESPN is no different. ESPN vice president of digital audio and radio marketing Tom Ricks says, “Our sales team is aligned with our podcast business. We are in the marketplace, trying to monetize inventory within the podcasts. In the last few years, we have become more focused on representing podcasts as another in the broad array of media types that ESPN takes to market in sales.” Corporate restrictions prohibit Ricks from sharing specific revenue figures generated via podcasts, although he is able to boast that, with 36 million downloads, May 2018 was ESPN’s “best month ever” and that January 2018 through July 2018 consumption was “up 65%,” versus the same period last year. He predicts, “We expect to set record after record rolling into the fall when there’s a convergence of Major League Baseball’s post-season, as well as the start of the NFL, college football, and NBA seasons. That mirrors ESPN television: The fourth quarter is the most-watched, with October having the biggest reach of any other month.” Read the entire piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlanta sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” enters into a new multi-year deal to continue to serve as the flagship station for Atlanta Falcons football and Atlanta United soccer.   The deal with AMB Sports and Entertainment also commits Entercom’s hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” and urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” to providing promotional support.  Wes Durham and Dave Archer remain in the booth for Falcons games and Mike Conti, Hugh Douglas, and DJ Shockley are hosting the pre- and post-game shows.  Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “We are proud to extend our partnership with the Falcons and United.  As the leaders in sports radio, we are committed to providing our listeners with premier coverage of their favorite hometown teams.”…..iHeartMedia Columbia sports talk WCOS signs a deal with Clemson University and JMI Sports to serve as the market affiliate for play-by-play for Tigers football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball games as well as the Clemson Tigers Network’s “Tiger Calls” coaches shows.  iHeartMedia Columbia sports director Christopher Thompson says, “Sports fans know that Clemson has reached an unprecedented pinnacle in college football — competing for a national championship year after year after year.  With the enthusiasm generated by Dabo Swinney and the Tigers, the optimism after a Sweet 16 trip by the Clemson men’s basketball team, a dynamic new coach for the women’s hoops team and a young-but-versatile Tigers baseball squad, we’re excited to be all in with Clemson Sports on Fox Sports Radio 1400.”…..Rhode Island talk show host Wayne G. Barber is named Best Radio Personality by the Woonsocket Call/Pawtucket Times. Barber’s “Outdoor Scene” show is heard on WNRI, Woonsocket/W236CW. Barber says he was tied for 3rd place in last year’s balloting and he’s proud to have reached the top spot over such notable Rhode Island personalities as John Dionne, Larry Poitras, John DePetro, and Dan Yorke.

Trump-Russia Investigation and CNN Trump Tower Story Tied for Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the controversy over the CNN story alleging Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in advance tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain.  Coming in at #3 was the exit of White House counsel Don McGahn and speculation about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, followed by Tuesday’s primary races and the November midterm elections at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

WFAN Superstar Mike Francesa Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most successful on-air figures in sports talk radio, Mike Francesa, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The two discuss the back story about Francesa’s recent retirement and quick return to hosting afternoons on all-sports giant WFAN, New York. Francesa candidly talks about the differences between working for former station owner CBS RADIO and current owner Entercom. He explains the strategy behind the new “Mike’s On” app and finding the balance between on-air and digital product branding. He answers critics who complain that the subscription price of $8.99 per month for the app is too steep and the benefits of being attacked regularly by the New York newspaper sports writers. The wide-ranging conversation which includes the impact of legalized gambling on sports talk media also covers the rapid disappearance of the centrally located brick and mortar radio station as the place talent do their shows. This extraordinary podcast is a must-listen for radio professionals as well as ardent fans of the medium. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Bakersfield, iHeartMedia flips KBFP from Spanish pop to hot AC as “Sunny 105.3 FM.”  Saying that core artists will include MadonnaMaroon 5, P!nk, Bon Jovi, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna, SVP of programming Steve Weed adds, “A new day has dawned for Bakersfield radio with the rise of ‘Sunny 105.3.’  It’s a brand new kind of station for Bakersfield, with a unique playlist of songs all curated to help listeners feel good.”…..This weekend, Beasley Media Group’s WMGK-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the “I Want My MGK Weekend” featuring rock songs by artists from the 80s, including: The Police, Billy Idol, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and more.  WMGK on-air personalities will share fun 1980s photos from their own personal collections on the station’s website and via social media.  WMGK program director Bill Weston says, “It’s a fun way to present a long weekend centered on the 80s.  We will celebrate those artists who were all over our TVs at the turn of the decade, including: Peter Gabriel, Police, the Fixx and Pat Benatar, as well as the one-hit wonders with funky haircuts and acid washed jean jackets!”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

| August 30, 2018

Alex Silverman Promoted to Program Director at KYW, Philadelphia. News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted by Entercom from his assistant director of news and programming role at WCBS-AM, New York to program director for its Philadelphia all-news, KYW.  Silverman joined WCBS Newsradio 880 in 2011 as an anchor. The company says he’s “helped lead the station’s coverage of major news events in New York and around the country, including Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Orlando nightclub shooting.”  He received a 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the transportation crisis in New York and he recently helped guide WCBS through a modern refresh and reimage of its iconic Newsradio brand.  Silverman comments, “KYW Newsradio is the beating heart of Philadelphia. I’m incredibly excited and honored to lead the top-notch team of news professionals who make it vital, both now and into the future.”  Silverman is currently the industry representative to the board of directors for WJPZ Radio in Syracuse, where he provides operational, financial and technical oversight for Syracuse University’s student-run radio station. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.”

Clay Travis to Host FS1 Sports Wagering Show. Sports talk personality Clay Travis hosts FOX Sports Radio’s daily “Outkick the Coverage” program.  Beginning on Monday, September 10, he’ll appear with a group of co-hosts on FS1’s new television sports gambling show, “Lock It In.”  The program will air from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET and feature co-hosts Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman.  FOX Sports says the show “aims to make the avid sports fan smarter and more informed about the world of sports betting.  The show stars an eclectic cast of entertaining, sports-obsessed minds that want to make watching that night’s games as entertaining as possible.  While fans tune in to see what the experts are saying – and who they are putting their hypothetical money on, they will also get smarter about the biggest sports stories of the day.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee’s news/talk WTMJ and sister country WKTI are holding a fundraiser tomorrow (8/31) to benefit victims of the August’s historic severe weather and flooding around the state of Wisconsin.  Scripps Milwaukee VP and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “Many towns in our state have been ravaged by high winds and major flooding.  We want to encourage our listeners to help our neighbors recover from the major damage left in the wake of these powerful storms.  Through our Radiothon this Friday, story coverage and grassroots volunteerism, we hope to make a positive and quick difference in our region.”  The stations will hold the radiothon from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm local time…..Sports talk personality Nick Wright joins the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel on SiriusXM when he begins hosting the “What’s Wright” show from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 4.  Wright – who began his radio career at KCSP, Kansas City and served for four years with KILT-AM, Houston – joined FS1 in April of 2016 to host the morning show, “First Things First” with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe.  That show is also heard on FOX Sports on SiriusXM.  Wright says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be back hosting a daily radio show and look forward to talking all things sports with SiriusXM subscribers across the country.  Mad Dog Sports Radio is a widely recognized national radio brand and boasts an excellent lineup of hosts that I’m honored to join.”…..ABC News Radio is presenting live coverage of Arizona Senator John McCain’s memorial service and ceremonies on Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 am ET.  Correspondent Aaron Katersky anchors from New York and digital journalist Ali Rogin reports from Washington National Cathedral.  The ABC News Radio team will provide multiple one-minute status reports each hour throughout the morning…..Entercom sports talker WIP-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the annual “Eagles Radiothon,” starting today (8/30) and continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday (9/4 & 5), to benefit the Eagles Charitable Foundation dedicated to serving low-income children in the greater Philly area.  The multi-day auction, sponsored by Santander Bank, offers fans the opportunity to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the ECF.  Highlights of the auction include one-of-a-kind sporting experiences, such as a personal passing clinic with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, a trip to Super Bowl LIII, and a round of golf with Eagles Hall of Fame and SportsRadio 94WIP radio broadcaster Merrill Reese, among others.

McGahn to Exit WH/Fate of Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump vs CNN, John McCain Passing, Tuesday Primaries/Midterm Elections, Ex-Cop Convicted in Black Teen’s Death, Aretha Franklin Service, Aaron Rodgers Contract, First Man Film, the NFL’s pre-season, and Major League Baseball Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The announcement that White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave the administration this fall and the related speculation about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related battle between President Trump and CNN over its reporting of the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya; the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain; Tuesday’s primary elections and this fall’s midterm elections; ex-cop Roy Oliver is sentenced to 15 years in death of unarmed teen; Friday’s funeral for Aretha Franklin; Aaron Rodgers becomes NFL’s highest-paid player; this weekend’s opening for the film, First Man; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball 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. At Entercom’s urban contemporary KHTP, Seattle “HOT 103.7,” Bre Ruiz is named co-host for the Sir Mix-A-Lot morning show, effective September 4. Ruiz was most recently an air personality and music director at the company’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento.  He says of his new gig, “I am so blessed and excited to continue my radio journey with a legend like Sir Mix-A-Lot and to work under such a well-respected program director like Eric Powers.  I cannot wait to live the amazing Seattle life and connect with our loyal listeners.”…..The new “Women of iHeartCountry” program hosted by Bobby Bones and Amy Brown debuts this Labor Day weekend.  The one-hour program is being produced by iHeartMedia and is devoted exclusively to female artists. Bones is executive producer of the program that will “feature music from both established female artists and promising up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on-air personalities.”  It will air on 125 iHeartCountry stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks personality Angela Yee (center) of the WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show.  She’s with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray (right) as de Blasio names Yee a New York Public Library Ambassador and declared August 28 “Angela Yee Day” in NYC.  In this role, Yee will continue her work encouraging members of the public to get library cards and visit their local public library branches to read, learn, and grow.  Yee is an avid reader and writer who will also participate in New York Public Library events, campaigns, and programs.  She will host her popular “Kickin’ It from The Stoop” book club at library branches across the city.  Mayor de Blasio says, “Public libraries help thousands of New Yorkers explore the world outside our five boroughs, something Angela Yee also does through her book club and radio show.  We are very lucky to add someone as passionate as Angela to our list of library ambassadors.”…..On-air pro Jax joins CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality.  Jax was most recently with CHR KTXY, Columbia, Missouri…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that its weekly classic rock show “Get the Led Out” will dedicate six full weekly episodes of the show to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Led Zeppelin.  Host Carol Miller will focus the program on such events as the group’s first tour, the recording of Led Zeppelin I, and the band’s landing in New York City, among others…..SiriusXM is broadcasting the entire funeral celebration of the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday (8/31) live, beginning at 10:00 am ET.  The coverage will be heard on the satcaster’s Aretha Franklin Tribute Channel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

| August 29, 2018

Jay Barker to Host New Regional Sports Talk Show. At the end of February, Cumulus Media shuttered “The Opening Drive” morning show on its sports talker WJOX-FM, Birmingham that featured former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, Al Del Greco and Tony Kurre.  Now, via a deal with Audio Visual Excellence, Barker is producing a sports talk show that will air across some 10 signals, including Townsquare Media’s WTID-FM, Marion/W265CG, Tuscaloosa “TIDE 102.9/100.9.”  “The Jay Barker Show with Lars Anderson” airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, and joining Barker and The Athletic writer Anderson is Barker’s former WJOX producer Kerry Adams.  Barker tells AL.com, “This is something Lars and I started talking about probably a year-and-a-half ago or more. We talked about doing a show together.  I had wanted to move to middays for a while as my kids were getting older; that would fit my schedule better.  And I started talking to Lars and Kerry about it and we were able to make it happen.  Once we left JOX, we started putting it together, how we would do a show together.”  In addition to hosting the daily program, Barker will also appear on the “Tide Tailgate Show” prior to Alabama football games this fall.

Jamie Allman’s Complaint Against Emmis Ordered into Mediation.  St. Louis talk radio host Jamie Allman’s complaint against Emmis Communications is being ordered to alternative dispute resolution – read, mediation.  Federal judge Jean C. Hamilton wants the mediation sessions concluded by November 1 of this year.  As you may recall, Allman was fired by Emmis (still owner of KFTK-FM, St. Louis) and Entercom (LMAing the station in advance of acquiring it in a sale from Emmis) after his crude social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg gained traction. He was let go from his commentary gig at Sinclair’s KDNL-TV, St. Louis before KFTK-FM fired him.  Allman is claiming his dismissal violated the terms of his contract.  Emmis/Entercom say that Allman’s action caused sponsors to cancel ad contracts and put the station in a bad light.

LSU Athletics Partners with Skyview Networks for Broadcasts. This new, multi-year deal between LSU Sports Properties (operated by Outfront Media Sports Inc.) and Skyview Networks allows the school to use Skyview’s distribution service, AdView inventory management, and Live Read capture for its radio play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says this deal pairs the AdView system with its distribution to provide detailed tracking and reporting of all radio inventory, including on-air advertiser mentions, to generate instant affidavits for faster client billing.  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “We believe the Tigers will realize ease and efficiency in contract management and tighter turnaround on revenue collection with AdView’s tracking and output capabilities.  We look forward to partnering with the university and continuing our discussions on broadcast solutions.”  LSU Tigers radio voice Chris Blair comments, “We are excited to partner with Skyview Networks.  It’s one of the top distribution companies and, most importantly, they understand what we do in the sports broadcasting space.  Their Adview system will provide our team with many more opportunities to make the LSU Sports Radio Network even better.”  AdView also offers additional modules for clients that would like to manage all forms of their advertising media in one consolidated system.  This includes radio, TV, web, print, signage, and more to give organizations complete reporting of all avenues of sales revenue.

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s honored to welcome cable news/talk legend Bill O’Reilly to his eponymous USA Radio and Newsmax TV program.  O’Reilly is appearing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the top of the show…..In the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York market sports talk outlet WCPV is switching affiliations from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio, effective September 4.  Owner Vox AM/FM is also re-branding the station, using the “101.3 The Game” handle.  The local afternoon show “The Huddle” with Rich Haskell, Arnie Spanier and Brady Farkas will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will be joined on the program schedule by Colin CowherdClay Travis, and Dan Patrick…..After recent reports about the changes coming to ABC TV’s “The View” this fall, it is being confirmed that former “FOX & Friends Weekend” host Abby Huntsman (daughter of U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman) will join the cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain when season 22 launches on September 4.

Tuesday’s Primary Races, Trump vs Google, Passing of John McCain, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Mexico Trade Talks, Michael Cohen Guilty Plea, Texas Cop Convicted in Teen Death, Catholic Church Abuse Scandal, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). Tuesday’s primary races in Florida and Arizona; President Trump claims Google searches are biased, promises investigation; the death of Arizona Senator John McCain, his funeral wishes, and the fate of his senate seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign law violations; Texas cop Roy Oliver convicted of murder in shooting of unarmed black teen Jordan Edwards; the controversy surrounding the latest Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball 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. On-air pro Ashley Nickels exits her midday jock and APD/MD role with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington “MIX 107.3” after four years with the station…..Tomorrow night (8/30), Cumulus Media alternative WKQX is hosting the neXt2rock local challenge event at the Cubby Bear in Chicago.  Five of Chicago’s top local bands will compete to determine who will be the Chicago neXt2rock winner and have a shot at going to the finals in Los Angeles on October 4.  The winner of the finals will be awarded a record deal on John Varvatos Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella and will receive exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus stations nationwide.  The five bands are: Friday Pilots Club, MIDWAVE, Like Language, The Giving Moon, and TAKE THE REINS.  WKQX program director Troy Hanson is one of the judges and WKQX personality James VanOsdol is emceeing…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting its free, “Endless Summer Show Presented by AllState” on Saturday, October 6 at XFINITY Live.  The event will feature live performances from: Bleachers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Wonder Years, Two Feet, and The Unlikely Candidates.  The New Music Discovery Stage will also feature performances from alternative-rock artists: Mo Lowda & The Humble, Castlecomer, and Cold Fronts, with more to be announced.

Monday, August 20, 2018

| August 20, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format.   Almost half of the stations in this panel (47%) saw their 6+ AQH share dip compared to the June 2018 PPM survey with just three all-newsers – Entercom’s WBZ-AM, Boston; WCBS-AM, New York; and KNX, Los Angeles – enjoying increases.  Compared to a year ago, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington (up 1.1%) and WBZ-AM (up 0.8%) lead the pack of five news stations improving over the July 2017 survey.  Although there are only 11 all-news stations in the panel, six rank in the top 5 in their respective markets with WTOP ranking #1 (6+) in Washington, KCBS-AM ranking #2 in San Francisco and KFBK ranking #2 in Sacramento.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Names Four Programmers to Podcast Captain Positions. According to Beasley Media Group vice president of programming Buzz Knight, this team of podcast captains will be responsible for assisting the local markets in evaluating and partnering with local content providers, along with helping the company’s overall mission of building a larger podcast community.  He adds, “We are thrilled to have our new podcast captains help lead our creative process as Beasley Media Group continues to develop and grow the company’s podcast strategy.”  Named to the positions are: Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub”; Chuck Damico, program director, WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and APD for WMMR-FM; Steve Black, air personality, WRIF-FM, Detroit; and Roy Brown, morning personality, WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1.”

Wisconsin Sports Talker Bill Michaels Okay After Lightning Strike. From a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comes news that WSSP, Milwaukee-based, regionally syndicated sports talk personality Bill Michaels was struck by lightning while doing a remote broadcast from a Junior Achievement Golf Outing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin last Thursday (8/16).  Michaels’ wife Sherry posted the story and some pix (including the one seen here) on Facebook.  Michaels was doing his show from a patio at the golf course when the lightning hit.  He later said on his show, “I was sitting at the table … as [producer] Joe [Zenzola] and I were having this conversation.  A lightning strike had taken place.  It wasn’t directly to me, but it had taken place in the area.  There was enough energy – I don’t know how to put it – but it hit me.  It jolted me, I guess, is the best way to put it.  It burned my arms, burned my fingers and found out later it had blown out through my shoe.”  The strike interrupted the remote link back to the station and Michaels immediately sought medical attention.  He was treated at a local hospital where he spent several hours. He was back on the air on Friday to talk about the experience.

Clay Travis Returns to WGFX-FM, Nashville with Premiere Networks Syndicated Show. Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Clay Travis is back on the Nashville radio station where he got his start as a sports talk host.  Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” is adding an hour of Travis’ Premiere Networks-syndicated show to WGFX-FM’s program schedule, airing from 5:00 am to 6:00 am, leading into the station’s “Wake Up Zone” morning show.  Travis launched his sports talk career in 2010 as part of the “3HL” program.  WGFX-FM program director Brad Willis comments, “We’re excited to add Clay Travis back to ‘The Zone’ lineup as his presence in Nashville and his perspective on sports across the nation is one that our listeners have enjoyed for many years.”

‘LI News Radio’ Host Tom Schiliro Drives Vehicle in Presidential Motorcade. Pictured above is WRCN-FM, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” midday talk host Tom Schiliro standing next to the presidential state car nicknamed “The Beast.”  The JVC Media personality was shocked when he received a call from the White House and was asked to drive a dignitary vehicle in the presidential motorcade on a pending visit to Long Island by President Trump.  In speaking with the White House advance team, Schiliro learned that the White House often reaches out to select retired police officers and military personal in the local area to participate in the presidential motorcade by driving cars that shuttle local invited guests and business dignitaries around. Schiliro’s name was put on a list by Congressman Lee Zeldin and Brookhaven political leader Jessie Garcia because of the “great community work Tom does with LI News Radio and his tenure with the Suffolk County Police Department.”  Neither LI News Radio listeners nor station staff were given advance notice about Schiliro’s “remote broadcast” but after Air Force One arrived at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton it was “all clear” for Schiliro to call into the studio and give LI News listeners his once-in-a-lifetime broadcast from the actual POTUS motorcade.

Pete Forester to Lead Sales for Beasley’s WCTC-AM and WMGQ-FM in New Jersey. Radio sales pro Pete Forester is promoted to director of sales at Beasley Media Group’s New Brunswick, New Jersey duo of news/talk WCTC and adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3.”  Forester has been serving as national sales manager for the company’s New Jersey-based properties for the past 14 years. Beasley SVP and market manager Dan Finn states, “Pete has demonstrated an incredible work ethic along with creativity.  I’m confident he will thrive being based in Somerset and leading our team.”  The company is conducting a search for a national sales manager and inquiries about that position can be sent to: Jennifer.Alexander-Mettlen@bbgi.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports radio pros Scott Linn, Tim Murray, and Steve Solomon are launching a new podcast via Patreon.com.  The three formerly hosted the morning drive program on the SB Nation Radio network.  They spent several years as Steve Czaban’s co-hosts/sidekicks on his national radio show on FOX Sports Radio and later SB Nation Radio.  Linn currently co-hosts with Czaban.  Murray serves as the studio host for Navy football and as a sports anchor for WTOP, Washington.  The “Linn, Murray, and Solly” podcast is available on three different tiers at www.Patreon.com/LinnMurraySolly starting at $4.99 per month…..Westwood One launches a new podcast series featuring sports radio personality Scott Ferrall titled, “Ferrall on the Bets.”  The podcast will launch next Monday (8/28) with six 30-minute original shows per week, posted Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 am ET. Ferrall says, “I am thrilled to offer bettors a free resource for picks.   I watch as many games as I can, I check out all the lines.  I love being the go-to predictor of the podcast world and I thank Westwood One for the opportunity.”…..Cumulus Media announces that 77 WABC’s OG Podcast Network is launching a new home improvement podcast co-hosted by Dean Marisco (left) and Derek Stearns (right) titled, “Under Your Roof and In Your Backyard with Dean and Derek.” New, 45-minute podcasts are being released every Friday.  Marisco and Stearns host the national television shows “Rock Solid” and “Indoors Out” on Scripps Networks and appear on “Victory Garden” on PBS…..Entercom Houston and the NFL’s Texans agree to extend their partnership for airing play-by-play and related Texans programming through the 2027 season.  As part of the agreement, KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” will continue to carry all Houston Texans games and KLOL-FM “Mega 101 FM” will broadcast all games in Spanish. KILT-AM will air a three-hour pregame and postgame show, plus “Texans All Access,” airing weekdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm during the regular season and 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm during the offseason. The Texans Radio Network broadcast team of Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware will continue to provide play-by-play and game analysis as they have done for the past 17 years.  Enrique Vasquez and Gustavo Rangel will provide the play-by-play for Spanish broadcasts on Texans Radio Network…..Legendary Indianapolis Colts voice Bob Lamey is retiring from his position as play-by-play announcer for the team’s games heard on Emmis’ sports talk WFNI and country WLHK in Indianapolis.  Matt Taylor, currently studio host and a sideline reporter, will handle play-by-play on an interim basis.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa Recordings/Book, Church Sexual Abuse Scandal, Manafort Trial/Expected Cohen Charges, Brennan Security Clearance Issue, Midterm Elections, Madonna Turns 60, Crazy Rich Asians Film, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Omarosa Marigault Newman’s Trump recordings and her new, tell-all book; the Pennsylvania scandal involving widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the possibility of charges being filed against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen; the stripping of John Brennan’s security clearance; the looming midterm elections; pop icon Madonna turns 60; the success of the Crazy Rich Asians film; NFL pre-season action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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. Two Bay Area morning duos extend their contracts with iHeartMedia San Francisco. KIOI “STAR 101.3” morning hosts Marcus & Sandy (right) and KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” AM personalities Jack Kulp and Carolyn McArdle (left) are celebrating new deals with the company to keep them waking up their audiences.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker states, “Both Marcus & Sandy and Jack & Carolyn have established their respective shows as some of the most listened to morning shows in San Francisco and we’re thrilled to sign them to multi-year extensions.”…..KCTZ, Minneapolis implements programming changes, adding adult alternative artists to its current hot AC programming.  Station PD Rich Davis says the new “Cities 97.1” will broadcast an eclectic mix of adult alternative and hot adult contemporary music including songs from artists which the station was instrumental in breaking over the years like Ed SheeranColdplay, and John Mayer. The station will also include music from a variety of top artists such as Imagine DragonsMaroon 5, Adele, and Weezer.  Minneapolis singer-songwriter Keri Noble is hosting the weekday morning show from 6:00 am to 10:00 am and Minneapolis local favorite Paul Fletcher hosts afternoon drive.  Davis adds, “We’re connected to the Twin Cities and we care about our community and the music we play.  ‘Cities 97’ was born in 1984 and now reborn in 2018 and we’re thrilled to grow and continually evolve with our listeners and fans.”…..In Los Angeles, Entercom appoints midday personality Yesi Ortiz music director for CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP Radio.”  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman declares, “We are very proud of Yesi’s on-air work since joining us earlier this year.  She has been a respected leader in the music community for many years and we look forward to her expanding her duties as 97.1 AMP Radio’s music director.”…..Pictured below is Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and former Journey frontman Steve Perry in the KQRS, Minneapolis studios talking with station morning personality Tom Barnard about his new solo record, Traces.  This is Perry’s first record in 24 years.  He spoke with Barnard about the album artwork that is comprised of a collection of images tracing Perry’s life and career.  He also discussed why he chose to walk away from the music business.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

| August 16, 2018

WOWO, Fort Wayne Morning Host Charly Butcher Dead at 61. The Pathfinder Communications news/talk station says that longtime station personality Charly Butcher died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon (8/15) due to what is likely a cardiac event.  He was 61 years old and leaves behind his wife Sarah and three children.  The Journal Gazette notes that Butcher had been a radio host in the market for more than three decades, including time as part of the “Those Two Guys in the Morning” show alongside Tony Richards on co-owned music outlet WMEE-FM during the 1980s.  WOWO posted a statement from Indiana congressman Todd Rokita in its website that reads: It is with a heavy heart that WOWO reports, Charly Butcher, a family man and Fort Wayne radio fixture, has passed away at the age of 61. He died Wednesday afternoon likely due to a cardiac event.  “It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany Charly on his ‘Morning News’ segment over the years.  Charly is a beacon of truth and courage to all that have known him and has always put the interests of his listeners and community first. Your legacy lives on, my friend.”

Entercom’s ‘93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh Announces Fall Lineup Changes.  Steel City sports talker KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” tweaks its lineup, effective September 4.  Chris Mack is partnered with Colin Dunlap for “The Fan Morning Show.”  Jim Colony continues his role as anchor for updates on the program.  (Meanwhile, Jeff Hathhorn and Eric Hagman continue to report and cover Pittsburgh sports and anchor the station’s weekday 20/20 updates.)  Andrew Fillipponi leaves middays and the current “Cook and Poni” program to move to afternoons with Chris Mueller for “The PM Team with Poni and Mueller.”  Ron Cook remains in middays as Joe Starkey moves from the current “Starkey and Mueller” show to co-host the new “Ron and Joe” show with him.  Entercom SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “‘93.7 The Fan’ sets the tone for the sports scene in Pittsburgh.  This new lineup elevates our sound and will engage the Pittsburgh sports fans beyond the level they have already come to expect from us.”

FCC Sues Austin Pirate Dubbed Alex Jones’ ‘Flagship.’ Although the station hasn’t broadcast since last December, the Federal Communications Commission is suing the operators of the pirate radio station that called itself “Liberty Radio” for non-payment of the $15,000 fine levied against them.  The defendants are Walter Olenick and Rae Nadler-Olenick and, according to the complaint, the two had operated the station that aired the Alex Jones program on the 90.1 frequency for about four years.  “Liberty Radio” is currently operating as an online station.

Entercom Recruits Lee Davis to Lead Sales at TWIN.  That’s the company’s Traffic Weather and Information Network and Lee Davis is joining Entercom to serve as senior vice president of sales for the division.  Entercom chief revenue officer Bob Philips comments, “With a premier collection of leading radio brands across the country, Entercom has the scale and reach to provide advertisers with compelling solutions.  We welcome Lee to the team and look forward to growing TWIN under his guidance and expertise.”  Davis was most recently with MediaCrossing as executive vice president for the programmatic digital media agency.  Prior to that, he was EVP of sales for Univision Communication’s Local Media division. But he was also a one-time VP/GM at then-CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York and achieved “#1 billing station” status during his tenure there.

TALKERS News Notes. In Philadelphia, air talent Geoff Mosher exits Beasley Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he was co-hosting the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show and handling fill-in duties.  With his exit, Devon Givens continues hosting the evening show solo.  In a Twitter announcement, Mosher says he’s had “an amazing experience” during this three years with “The Fanatic” and that he’s pursuing new opportunities that he can’t talk about right now…..The sale of WAMT-AM, Pine Castle Sky Lake and WHOO-AM, Kissimmee in Florida (Orlando market) to Immaculate Heart Media closes.  The stations were sold to the religious broadcaster by Bruce Maduri-owned Genesis Communicationsfor $1.5 million.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..ABC Radio is offering four three-hour specials for broadcast during the Labor Day weekend.  “Rock and Roll Labor Day Salute” is hosted by Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant playing classic rock saluting the “hard-working men and women of America”; “A Labor Day Salute to Country Kids” is hosted by Little Big Town and invites listeners to spend Labor Day weekend with family by taking a look at the baby boom that has occurred in country music stars’ families over the past few years; “America Works: Ten Years Since the Great Recession” is hosted by ABC News Radio’s Aaron Katersky and chronicles the decade since the Great Recession hit in 2008; and ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “The 2018 Back to School Special” that looks at a buzzing Amazon fulfillment center in Seattle where back to school supplies and clothing are being shipped out daily, a peanut butter factory in Arkansas making the popular lunch spread as well as explores the technology currently being used in the classroom, a new lunchbox craze, back to school styles, dorm room tips, and school safety.

The Boys of Summer.  Two talk media industry luminaries were spotted last night (8/16) at the Yankees-Rays game in the Bronx by the “selfie-paparazzi” who sold this exclusive piece of celebrity gossip and incriminating evidence to TALKERS for the cost of a dirty pretzel and a ride on the #4 train.  Pictured above taking in the action are media consultant and RT America talk host Holland Cooke (l) and Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum (r). Testifying in his own defense, Cooke tells TALKERS, “I remain a lifelong Red Sox fan.  I have not gone over to the dark side.  It just happens to be Cap Night at Yankee Stadium.”  “Sure, sure,” TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian responded, “Wait’ll the guys at the Block Island Times get their hands on this!”

Trump Revokes Brennan’s Security Clearance, Trump-Russia Investigation, Omarosa Recoding/Book tour, Tuesday Primary Results, Cuomo’s America Comments, PA Church Sexual Assault Scandal, Italian Bridge Collapse, New Haven Mass Overdose, Crazy Rich Asians Film, Western Wildfires, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The security clearance for former CIA director John Brennan is revoked by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the secret White House recording made by Omarosa Manigault Newman and the release of her book; primary elections in several states and talk about the midterms in November; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comment that America was “never that great”; more than 300 priests and Catholic laymen accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania; the deadly collapse of a major highway bridge in Genoa, Italy; some 71 people overdose on synthetic marijuana in a New Haven park; the film Crazy Rich Asians premier’s with all Asian cast; the deadly wildfires affecting the U.S. West; NFL pre-season activity; and Major League Baseball 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 DJ Stout exits Beasley Media Group where he was program director at WSOC, Charlotte and corporate country format captain.  That opens a plum programming position in North Carolina…..Also in the country format, Graham Bunn decides to pursue new opportunities and leaves Mt. Wilson Broadcasters’ KKGO, Los Angeles “GO Country 105” where he co-hosted the AM drive show with David Bugenske.  Bunn was a part of television’s “The Bachelor” franchise before entering radio. Bugenske is handling mornings solo for now…..The syndicated “Dana Cortez Show” is being added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s KTFM, San Antonio “Energy 94.1” for afternoon drive.  The program is being syndicated by ABC Radio and Skyview Networks.  Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker states, “From previously competing against them, we know that listeners in San Antonio are passionate about Dana and [co-host] Auto.  We are thrilled to have them joining the KTFM team.”…..The Farm Aid festival will air live on AXS TVSiriusXM Satellite Radio, and FarmAid.org.  This year marks the fifth consecutive year that AXS TV will bring the annual Farm Aid festival to a television audience.  Farm Aid 2018 is scheduled for Saturday, September 22, at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford.

Twelve Takeaways from July PPM – Part Four. Below are managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2018 PPM survey.  This fourth and final report includes the markets of Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – May’s market leader with the station’s highest 6+-share (8.2) since November 2016 (9.0) before segueing to second in June, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT returns to #1 in July (7.8 – 8.1, +.3, 6+). A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths interrupted three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Continuing its up/down pattern that commenced in February (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” returns to the top ten (+.4 from June, #11 to #10). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Immediately after its one-half share improvement in June, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” relinquishes nine-tenths (2.3 – 1.4, #16 to #18, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Locked on .3 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is frozen on .5 (6+) in June and July (flat at #24, 6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – By gaining six-tenths to 2.8 (#17 to #14, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” suspends five straight January through June down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Although remaining at #18, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in four straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+). Off by a collective nine-tenths in May and June (5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” reduces that deficit approximately in half with a +.5 to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). After having logged a 2.4 in three of the last four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” improves in July by one-half share (2.9, #14 to #13, 6+) with 2.9 its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. It is a brief one-month stay at #1 for Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM,” which returns in its entirety June’s +.6 and drops to second (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). Showing uptrends in April, May, and June for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” surrenders the entire gain with a July -1.1 to 4.7 (fifth to seventh, 6+). June’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). This marks the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned KASE has a fluctuation of one-half share: “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was -.5 in May; +.5 in June; and now, -.5 in July (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). In three straight downward trends, co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM (third to fourth) is an overall -.8 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down for the third straight time for a -.6 and drops below a one-share (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, #22 to #23, 6+). Stuck on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths over the past three sweeps (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – July’s -1.1 (8.7 – 7.6, 6+) by WUNC erases June’s +.9 as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk slides from first to third; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. While flat at #8, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” adds four-tenths to 5.4 (6+), thus halting three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April decline of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). In five sweeps in succession without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (#19) is a collective +.4. In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. There’s another significant shift for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and now -.6 in July (2.6 – 2.0, flat at #14, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WDNC is unlisted for the second straight month. After eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does Radio One urban contemporary WQOK put together a string of six straight up or flat trends that nets a whopping +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+),      “K-97.5” surges from fifth to first. Adding eight-tenths to June’s +.4 (4.9 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” climbs from seventh to sixth, reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2017’s 6.0. Powered by an increase of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). A collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL relinquishes exactly half that gain in July (6.4, -1.3, 6+) as “Mix 101.5” slips from third to fifth. The 7.7 in June was its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -.9 in June and July (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2, third to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (flat at #13) is up one-half share via three straight modest upticks (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Even though Educational Information Corporation classical WCPE is off one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+), it moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – After being down seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI answers with three straight (May-June-July) increases for a combined +1.2 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Having posted a +1.1 in June, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” regresses by seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) and slips fourth to sixth. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, co-owned sports talk WFNI is a collective -.7 in June and July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. It is tied at #17 with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” which notches a +.1 (to 1.6, 6+), thus ending three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Not only does Cumulus Media’s WJJK add six-tenths to June’s +.5 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9, 6+), “Classic Hits 104.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-share since October 2017 (7.9, as well). It trades places with co-owned WFMS (8.2 – 7.7, -.5, first to second, 6+), which had been #1 the past three months. July’s one-half share loss by “95.5 The Country Station” pulls the plug on four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its July 2017 – July 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; +.5 in May; and now -.5 in July 2018. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regains four-tenths of June’s -.9 (6.2 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to June, “Hank” was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that eventuated in a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Owing to a +.6 to 4.4 (#11 to #10, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” halts four downward trends in a row that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). With four consecutive increases, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH “Hot 96.3” (steady at #7) is a collective +1.2 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+); however, urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WNOW-HD2 drops eight-tenths (1.3 – .5, #20 to #22, 6+). While remaining at #9, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU nearly wipes out June’s -.6 with July’s +.5 (4.3 – 4.8, 6+); 4.3 in June is the lowest 6+-stat for “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” since re-appearing in print in December 2016. Improving by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia-owned WOLT  (3.8 – 4.3, steady at #11, 6+). “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” rebounds from June’s -.7 to 3.8 – its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8. Eroding by a combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), co-owned CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at #8.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There is no June 2018 – July 2018 6+ change for Scripps news/talk WTMJ’s share (7.8) or market rank (#2). In June, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. In April, the Milwaukee Brewers flagship matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, WTMJ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” is a combined -1.0 in June and July (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+) but remains at #4. With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 15th consecutive sweep (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, #13 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – July 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (#17 to #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – A July increase of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, 6+) enables Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” to advance from #15 to #13. Bouncing back from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 (to 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL  proceeds from seventh to fifth. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” is within 4.0 – 4.4 range for the sixth consecutive month (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#10 to #11). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Even though it falters by seven-tenths to 9.8 (6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 41st consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 12 sweeps, WRTI has been in double-digits (6+) four times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); and June (10.5). Meanwhile, while unchanged at #20, Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s classic hits-oldies WZTI “Fonz FM” (#20) has eroded by 50% (-.5, 6+) through five straight February through July down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). As Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (ninth to eighth) improves by four-tenths to 4.9, its highest 6+-share since June 2017 (4.9, as well), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” forfeits three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #13 to #15, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fifth straight down or flat trend for Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music,” which is a combined -.9 in that stretch (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #9, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Separated by one-half share are Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7,” which has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths for the third straight sweep, (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+) and sports talk sibling WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” without an increase for the sixth consecutive month for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). January’s half-share improvement by “Super Talk” halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – July 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (four-way tie at #16 to #18, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2. After cratering in June by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” stabilizes at .9 (#20 to #21). “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – By gaining nine-tenths (5.9 – 6.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” jumps from sixth to fourth with its best 6+-showing since April 2017’s 7.0. Down or flat four ratings periods in a row for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” is an overall +1.3 in June and July (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+) and advances from third to second. Despite being off four-tenths (9.2 – 8.8, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the sixth month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -.4 (6+) June 2018 – July 2018, after being -1.1, May 2018 – June 2018. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” drops another eight-tenths after June’s -.8 (5.2 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” regains the four-tenths it lost in June (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6, flat at #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. Meanwhile, the market’s (6+) country share is -1.4 from June as all three major country FMs take a hit. In addition to being down eight-tenths to 3.8 (6+), curtailing three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). WKDF was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to eighth) is a collective -.7 in that timeframe (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (6.2) since January (6.2, as well). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Off two-tenths (6.4 – 6.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” slips from fifth to sixth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) obliterated its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). While unchanged at #4, iHeartMedia classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” posts its third modest gain in a row for a +.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being down or flat the third month in a row for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” progresses from eighth to seventh. May’s setback of eight-tenths erased the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following three positive spikes in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders half that increase (3.4, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Drifting from #15 to #20, co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has an ultra-steady January 2018 – July 2018 topline of: .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 (6+). Immediately after gaining six-tenths in February, iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#13 to #16) is down an overall nine-tenths in five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Sputtering by one-tenth each and finishing at #10 and #11, respectively, are The Wheeler School’s WELH and WGBH Educational Foundation WGBH (1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public news/talk facilities finished back-to-back four straight times and they were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.3 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – Seven (primarily Boston) stations that have either been on extended hiatus or brand new to being listed in the Providence report surface in July 2018. They include Townsquare Media CHR WFHN (1.7, #12, 6+); iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WCIB (1.6, #13, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN (1.5, #14, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM (1.5, #14, 6+); iHeartMedia News – Talk WBZ-AM (.8, #18, 6+); WGBH Educational Foundation classical WCRB (.1, 6+); and WGBH Educational Foundation classical WGBH-HD2 (.1, 6+). Basically substituting June’s -1.2 with a +1.1 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” carries on in sixth-place. The large June decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). Continuing to be on a roll, co-owned classic hits-oldies WWBB (unchanged at #4) is a whopping +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and “B-101” reaches the eight-share level (8.1) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). With even greater momentum than WWBB, Hall Communications’ WCTK is not only +2.9 (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) in seven straight sweeps without a decrease, “Cat Country 98.1” progresses from second to first. Moreover, this (10.1) represents the first time WCTK has reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Setting the pace in May and June, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” slips by four-tenths to 9.9 (6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. “Lite Rock” was a combined +1.7 in May and June (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Down seven-tenths but flat at #4, co-owned WPRO-FM “92 PRO-FM Today’s Hit Music” is within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) for the fifth successive sweep (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+). Plummeting from #12 to #17, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is a combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Roaring back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE is a cumulative +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) and jumps from fifth to third. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3 2WD” strung together three positive spikes in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the lead for the 20th time in a row and a collective +2.5 in four straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 28th time in the last 29 sweeps. This (14.6) ties the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era (November 2017), breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) WVKL set in September 2017. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – which previously was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). On the heels of June’s -1.0 (8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” freefalls by -1.2 to 6.1 (third to fourth, 6+), the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” forfeits one-half share to 1.0 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom hot AC WPTE was +1.0 (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but “94.9 The Point” returns half that gain with a -.5 to 3.4 (flat at #7, 6+). As the result of three slight dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) is a cumulative -1.2. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). As the result of seven successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” (flat at #12) craters by a massive –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Meanwhile, rhythmic hot AC WMOV-HD2 debuts at #14 with a .1 (6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips by one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) but stays at #9. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+); WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). This is the third time in a row that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps, 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+) finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is without an increase for the fourth straight month for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, it returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS is off 75% (-.6) in four straight dips (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2, 6+). Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Off -2.5 in five consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” answers in July with a +.9 to 10.0 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot for the seventh straight sweep. It is nine-tenths behind co-owned urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which – despite being -1.3 in three straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9, 6+) – is #1 for the seventh straight sweep. Furthermore, WQMQ notches double-digits (6+) for the 21st time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March but then +1.2 in April. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG” spent seven straight survey periods on top. After plummeting by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+), country sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” hauls out a +9 (4.7 – 5.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -1.5, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April). Its April decrease curtailed three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is off three-tenths to 6.9 (flat at #5, 6+), thus snapping its streak of three straight increases for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is its highest 6+-share since October 2017’s 7.3. When WTQR registered a +1.2 in May, it drew even with “The Wolf.” Following a long absence of being unlisted, Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR resurfaces. “Rock 92” posts gains in four of the five February through July sweeps and is a collective +1.5 in that stretch (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). Co-owned CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” is in the same boat as “Rock 92.” The six latest 6+-stats for WKZL are: 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Having faltered by six-tenths in May and bouncing back with an increase of nine-tenths in June (7.9 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jams” surrenders eight-tenths in July to 7.4 (6+) but remains at #3. WJMH was a combined +1.1 (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, January – February – March, 6+), but off one-half share in April. It is a remarkably similar scenario for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG, which was -.6 in May; +.9 in June; and now -.6 in July (7.5 – 6.9 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+); “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” remains at #4. Entering the May sweep, WMAG netted +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+). Although flat at #12, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #9 are iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” ( +.2, 6+) and Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (3.1 – 2.9, -.2, 6+). This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for WJNO for a collective gain of nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that netted +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Whereas this is the highest 6+-showing for WJNO since “Holiday” 2017 (2.9, as well), 2.9 is the lowest 6+-stat for WLRN since (ironically) “Holiday” 2017 (2.3, as well). While flat at #11, Alpha Media’s WFTL gains two-tenths for the second month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). “News Talk 850” had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” (#12 to #16) is down or flat for the third straight time for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In four straight upticks (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+), Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” gains seven-tenths and checks in at #22.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds in July with a +1.1 to 3.8 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Flat at 9.3 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is nonetheless on top for the seventh month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 ratings periods in a row on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Falling from fourth to fifth, iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “Gater 98.7” erodes by -1.1 to 4.1, its softest 6+-stat since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Despite dropping one-half share to 4.4, its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” moves from fifth to fourth. It is 1.9 shares (6+) behind iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” (6.5 – 6.3 -.2, flat at #2, 6+). Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and had been +.8 (December 2017); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); +.5 (March); and -1.0 (April). Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” (flat at #6) is off one full-share in five successive sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Five iHeartMedia Miami stations that haven’t recently appeared in the West Palm Beach report show up with their May, June and July data. They include: CHR WHYI (1.9, #12, 6+); urban contemporary WMIB (1.8, #13, 6+); classic rock WBGG (1.3, #17, 6+); rhythmic hot AC WMIA (1.0, #19, 6+); and news/talk WIOD (.9, #20, 6+).

 Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three positive spikes in succession for a +2.1 (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” returns one-third of that increase (8.7, -.7, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. It fell there in June after a one-month stay at #1; WOKV was -.9 in March. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Flat at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – July 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Similarly, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (unchanged at #20) is consistent with its February 2018 – July 2018 trending of .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .3 (6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); erased 80% of that margin with a +.8 in April to 5.0 (6+); forfeited -.5 in June to 4.5 (6+); and is +1.0 in July (4.5 – 5.5, seventh to sixth, 6+). This (5.5) is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. After faltering one-half share in June to 7.9 (6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” responds in July with a +.8 to 8.7 (third to second, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s -.5, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+); WJGL was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Flat at #14, iHeartMedia gospel WKSL-HD 3 is up one-half share (2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Albeit down one-tenth (10.4 – 10.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” repeats at #1. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WEJZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” was an overall +5.8 in four straight uptrends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WEZI – is a collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+) as “Easy 102.9” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Having registered a +1.1 in April, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE Gator Country 99.9” (fifth to seventh) has it all erased with three May through July decreases in succession for a -1.1 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). The station it is chasing – iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” is off one-tenth (7.2 – 7.1, 6+) and carries on in fourth place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 ( 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). Leading the field for 12 straight ratings periods, “Jacksonville’s Country” shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to #1 in January 2018 and March; October 2017’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. In October 2017, WQIK  had a 10.3-share advantage (13.6 – 3.3, 6+) over WGNE.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” picks up two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #11. Its eight-tenths’ setback in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for a collective +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Owing to a -.6 (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” slips from #11 to #12. Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Having logged a .1 (6+) in March, April, and May, Entercom sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” posts a .3 (6+) in June and July (#18 to #17).

Memphis Music Formats – Within 7.1 – 7.9 range (6+) in each of the last six survey periods (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” hangs out a +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9, and continues in fourth-place. It has a sizeable (6.5-share, 6+) lead over Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (1.4 – 1.6, +.2, #15 to #13, 6+). Co-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” adds six-tenths to June’s +.5 (3.9 – 4.5, 6+) and continues at #9. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Flat at #13, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is down four-tenths (2.0 – 1.6, 6+). Locked in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” is a collective +1.7 in four straight gains (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Without a loss in May, June, or July for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+) urban AC cluster-mate KJMS “V-101” finishes in the lead position for the third month in a row. After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. Having registered four straight increases for an overall +2.3 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” forfeits eight-tenths to 6.0 (6+) but continues in fifth-place. June’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Even though it is a combined -1.2 in June and July (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+), with May’s 10.0 its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.6 in three downward moves in succession (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” continues in third-place. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Steady at #6, co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the fifth time in a row for a collective -2.5 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+); June and July’s 4.8 is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.6. Ranked #17 in June with a .8 (6+), Shelby County Schools urban AC WQOX “88.5 The Voice of SCS” disappears from print in July.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does a one-half share gain by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM (5.7 – 6.2, steady at #7, 6+) conclude three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), the 6.2 propels “News Talk 1080” to the six-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 6.7. An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just prior to that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). While Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh down or flat trend in succession for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” improves from tenth to ninth. WNPR followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Directly after being an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.2 in five successive down or flat trends (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, #12 to #13, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods. Despite regaining the two-tenths it lost in June (1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips from #13 to #14. By losing two-tenths in June, “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had its consecutive streak of up or flat trends, which produced a +.4, end at five (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Dusting itself off from June’s -.7, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” roars back with a +1.5 to 8.6 (6+), jumping from fourth to second. This (8.6) is the first time WTIC-FM reaches the eight-share level (6+) in exactly one year (July 2017, 8.3). “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Notwithstanding it is the only station in the 48 PPM-markets with a June 2018 – July 2018 (6+) decrease of at least two full-shares, co-owned adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” (-2.2, 6+) is #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 21th time in the last 23 sweeps. It is, however, an overall -4.1 in four straight March through July downward moves (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March but then -1.1 in April. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). Unlisted in the Hartford report since March 2012, Cumulus Media Springfield (Massachusetts) adult contemporary WMAS-FM returns at #11 with (6+) May – June – July trending of 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.2. While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” is -1.4 in June and July (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.3, 6+), with July’s 6.3 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.0. Within 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) in each sweep between October 2017 and May 2018, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ picked up three-tenths in June to 4.0 (6+); in July, however, “Radio 104.1” regresses by one-half share to 3.5 (flat at #9).

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

| August 9, 2018

Tribune Terminates Sinclair Merger Agreement. Included in our story yesterday which dealt with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s second-quarter earnings report (Talkers.com, 8/8) was the following quote from Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley who addressed the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company: “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” It was announced early today that not only is the marriage between the two entities over, Tribune Media is suing Sinclair Broadcast Group for breach of contract; the suit was filed today (Thursday, 8/9) in Delaware Chancery Court. The proposed $3.9 billion deal hit a snag when the FCC designated it for a hearing, a red flag that the transaction would most likely not be approved. Last month, FCC chair Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70% of U.S. households. Tribune is charging that, “In an effort to maintain control over stations it was obligated to sell, Sinclair engaged in unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations with the Department of Justice and the FCC over regulatory requirements; refused to sell stations in the markets as required to obtain approval; and proposed aggressive divestment structures and related-party sales that were either rejected outright or posed a high risk of rejection and delay – all in derogation of Sinclair’s contractual obligations.” Tribune further claims, “Sinclair’s entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement; but for Sinclair’s actions, the transaction could have closed long ago.” According to Tribune chief executive officer Peter Kern, “In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the merger agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.” Revenue for Tribune’s only radio property – Chicago news/talk WGN – is not broken out in the company’s second-quarter financials. “Notwithstanding our disappointment regarding the outcome of the [Sinclair] transaction,” Kern remarks, “we are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, which were very strong. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA grew 69% versus the prior year period and 84% for the first half of the year. While net core advertising revenues declined 6%, we were able to drive consolidated revenue growth of 6% when excluding the impact of barter revenues, with solid growth in retransmission and carriage fees revenues and political advertising revenue. Our disciplined focus on cost management drove programming expenses down 29% and corporate and other cash expenses, excluding transaction costs, down 19% over the prior year period.”

Rumor Becomes Fact: Warner Is WW One’s Lead MNF Analyst. Just this past Tuesday (Talkers.com, 8/7), we referenced a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, hinting that Hall of Fame QB and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner would join Kevin Harlan as Westwood One’s lead analyst for “Monday Night Football” and the Super Bowl. It is now official: Warner’s first broadcast will be in a little over four weeks (9/10), when the Oakland Raiders host the Los Angeles Rams. He becomes only the fourth regular “MNF” analyst for Westwood One since its broadcast partnership with the NFL began 40 years ago. The others were Boomer Esiason (2000-2017); Matt Millen (1996-2000); and Hank Stram (1978-1984, 1987-1995). Ever since he retired from the NFL, Warner insists he has “been blessed” with tremendous broadcasting opportunities. “I am grateful to Westwood One for this opportunity and for believing in me with this role. The bar has been set extremely high by Boomer Esiason and others. I look forward to grabbing the torch, working hard, and maintaining the sense of excellence that has become synonymous with Westwood One. I also look forward to continuing my relationship with Kevin Harlan, who I believe is one of the best play-by-play people in the business.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We have been proud partners of the NFL for more than four decades and our best-in-class broadcasts feature the brightest stars from the league. Kurt Warner is a keen observer with a great eye and unique analysis. He adds another layer of authenticity, knowledge, and expertise to our roster. He is an incredible asset for our loyal and passionate listeners and engaged advertisers.” Westwood One Sports executive vice president/executive producer Howard Deneroff adds, “To have a player, and person, of Kurt Warner’s caliber become our lead analyst is incredibly exciting. We look forward to Kevin and Kurt working together full-time. We are confident that they will continue the legacy of great Westwood One broadcast teams which have informed and entertained listeners on Monday nights for decades.” A 2017 inductee in the pro football Hall of Fame, Warner played 12 seasons in the NFL, leading two different franchises (St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals) to Super Bowl appearances. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1999 and 2001. He and wife, Brenda, created “The First Things First Foundation,” dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, and “Treasure House,” which provides a supportive living environment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Multi-Year TuneIn, Cumulus Deal Expands Streaming Partnership. The arrangement between the two principals calls for streaming of Cumulus Media’s 441 stations in 90 markets, as well as shows on co-owned Westwood One Podcast Network on the TuneIn platform. Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner remarks, “We understand that consumers engage with content across multiple platforms and devices. We put our listeners first, and we have made it our mission to provide a modern and platform-agnostic listening experience. Expanding our partnership with TuneIn takes our distribution and promotional opportunities to the next level, exposing our portfolio of leading stations, shows, and programs to new fans.” TuneIn chief executive officer John Donham states, “As the world’s leader in live digital audio, we are thrilled to provide our listeners access to some of the best live-station programming across sports, news, talk, music, and entertainment, as well as popular podcasts and other on-demand content offered by Cumulus Media. We look forward to a long and successful partnership as we grow the next chapter of the audio business together.” Heretofore, Cumulus Media stations have been available through iHeartRadio, as well as TuneIn.

Salem Media Group Reports Mixed Q2 Results. Second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group increased .2% to $66.3 million; net broadcast revenue rose 2.7% to $50.6 million; and station operating income held steady at $13.3 million. Conversely, operating income fell 84.4% to $1.3 million and net income spiraled from a gain of $1.3 million to a loss of $2.2 million. In addition, EBITDA dropped 40.8% to $6 million and Adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $11.2 million. A full-slate of Salem Radio Network talk shows aired on news/talk WBIX, Boston but, in early-January (2018), Salem Media Group agreed to sell “The Buzz” for $685,000 to the International Church of the Grace of God, which – through an LMA – flipped the station to a Portuguese format; the sale was finalized approximately two months ago (6/20). The second-quarter included a $5.7 million net loss on the sale of stations in Omaha and land in Covina, California. Salem Media Group projects third-quarter total revenue to be flat or up 2% from 2017’s $65.4 million.


Round Three of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 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 Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Under newly-signed five-year deals, Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will return calling Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games. The NHL team’s radio broadcasts are split between Rogers sports talk CJCL “Sports Net 590 The Fan” and Bell Media sports talk CHUM “TSN Radio 1050.” Per The Toronto Sun, the deal is for radio only. This year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt award winner – Bowen – has been calling Toronto Maple Leafs games since 1982; Ralph has been on the broadcasts since 1997 ….. Morning driver John Hines is retiring at the end of the month from heritage Entercom Minneapolis news/talk WCCO. Newly-arrived (from Entercom Philadelphia) operations manager Andy Bloom is holding on-air auditions to fill that upcoming “News Radio 830” vacancy. In a station memo obtained by City Pages, Bloom writes, “My only interest is getting someone that will generate an audience. The fact is, the majority of news/talk radio listeners are center-right.” ….. Former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dennis Brown is named co-host of KNBR’s pregame and postgame NFL coverage. This marks the 14th year of 49ers football on the Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk outlet. Program director Jeremiah Crowe comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Brown to the KNBR family. Dennis brings a Super Bowl champion’s perspective to our coverage, and he will maintain a regular analyst role throughout the week during our primetime talk programming. The addition of Dennis further strengthens KNBR’s NFL roster as the strongest in all of sports radio.” Brown, who was a 49ers television analyst from 2012 – 2017, adds, “As a Bay Area native, I’m very excited to be joining KNBR’s game-day broadcast team. I’ve listened to KNBR for decades and jumped at the opportunity to join their pregame and postgame coverage.” Brown was the 47th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft and played all seven years of his career for San Francisco, including 1995, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXIX ….. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Dave Wyman is named radio analyst for the NFL’s Seahawks on Bonneville-owned flagships KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” and news/talk KIRO-FM “Radio 97.3.” The former linebacker (Seahawks and Denver Broncos) will work alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Raible during the regular season; Jen Mueller and John Clayton return as sideline reporters ….. Cleveland-based podcast production and radio syndication network Front Porch Media Network acquires Pit Pass Media Group, producers of weekly two-hour motorcycle racing podcast “Pit Pass Moto,” which has had 785,015 episode downloads in the last four years. Front Porch chief executive officer Michael DeAloia notes, “We look forward to enhancing the brand and building new content. We continue to concentrate on building a dynamic and engaging podcast portfolio. ‘Pit Pass Moto’ is a prestigious podcast and one that merits additional resources and investment.” The podcast’s partner and guest host Ed Kuhlenkamp remarks, “We are excited about the Front Porch Media acquisition and what it means for the show’s fans. We believe Front Porch Media has the resources required to take the ‘Pit Pass Moto’ brand to the next level.”

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

Mueller Investigation; Ohio Special Election/Primaries; Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/8). The Robert Mueller probe; the special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfires and their possible causes; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/8), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. “Summer Camp,” a two-day, outdoor music concert showcasing the different sounds of alternative rock, will be held this Saturday (8/11) and Sunday (8/12) at Redmond, Washington’s Marymoor Park. Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End” hosts the tenth annual event, which will feature – among others – AWOLNATION, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Manchester Orchestra, Robert DeLong, and Elle King. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Pearl Jam’s “Home Fund” to fight homelessness in Seattle. The “Home Fund” is part of the Vitalogy Foundation, which supports the efforts of non-profit organizations and their work in the fields of community health, the environment, arts and education, and social change ….. Changes at Cumulus Media Syracuse find CHR WNTQ “93-Q The #1 Hit Music Station” music director/afternoon drive talent Rick Roberts boosted to assistant program director/digital content manager, while production director Joey Walker takes over as “93-Q” mid-day host/digital content manager for alternative WAQX “95-X” and rock WXTL “105.9 The Rebel.” Operations manager Tom Mitchell comments, “We are pleased to promote from within. In these new roles, both Rick and Joey will apply valuable fresh perspective to market leader ’93-Q.’ Rick assumes all APD duties, along with digital content oversight/management and the afternoon-drive air shift. Joey brings talent and enthusiasm to the ’93-Q’ midday slot. Both will continue to develop new opportunities for us in the digital and social media realm.” ….. Former 12-year vice president of operations for Rubber City Radio Akron’s WQMX “94.9 Your Station – Your Country,” Sue Wilson Cordle, restarts her voiceover business with Sue Wilson Creative. She previously was Cleveland adult contemporary WDOK’s director/programming for 12 years; a programming consultant for McVay Media; and director/programming of Salem Cleveland contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” and co-owned Christian talk WHKW “AM 1220 The Word.” ….. In conjunction with the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), Kizart Media Partners (KMP) will present the 18th annual “Power of Urban Radio Forum” October 4th and 5th in Washington, DC. This year’s National Service awardee, Procter & Gamble chief business officer Marc Pritchard, will be the keynote speaker. KMP founder/managing director Sherman Kizart notes, “We continue the tradition of bringing together influential marketers and advertising agencies to discuss the incomparable value that the African-American market and urban radio bring as key communications elements. The event coincides with NABOB’s 42nd annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference. NABOB and PURF conference registrations are $200 for members; $400 for non-members ….. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder is first to report that, sometime next year, legendary “Windy City” programmer/on-air talent Tommy Edwards will publish his memoir, which will feature stories of Edwards’ 54-year radio career. Highlights will surely include his time working with the iconic Larry Lujack and moonlighting as public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls. Four years ago, Edwards retired from CBS Radio’s classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (now Entercom-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”) ….. Grammy-nominated country artist Cam will serve as the first host of Slacker Radio’s “Women Crush Everyday” (#WCE Country), a channel devoted to introducing and elevating female country artists. “Women Crush Everyday” will feature commentary and playlist selections from ladies in the music industry. Slacker’s country format captain Jess Wright declares, “We have amazingly talented women making music in Nashville and they deserve to be heard. In 2017, more than 97% of the artists who appeared on the year-end country top 40 were male. This doesn’t reflect the quality of music created by women – it reflects a lack of support from the gatekeepers of country music who believe that women have limited commercial appeal. Through Slacker, we can bring the music of female country artists directly to our audience, curated by the people who are most passionate about it – the women in Nashville’s music industry.” ….. Interim general manager of Bellevue Community College-owned KBCS, Seattle – Carol Handley – is named director of music programming at Friends of 88.5 FM’s KNKX in the same market and will begin her new duties one week from next Monday (8/20). Director of content Matt Martinez notes, “Carol has proven success in building and nurturing teams and on-air talent; an entrepreneurial spirit; and a love of storytelling. With her deep roots in the Seattle music scene, I am confident she will redouble our commitment to supporting this vital and vibrant community.” Handley succeeds Nick Francis, who is retiring after 13 years in that position. In Seattle’s July 2018 Nielsen Audio PPM report, KNKX ranks #14, dropping the six-tenths it gained in June (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+).

Rod Shares Red Roses With Dresdale. During his interview with ABC Radio‘s Andrea Dresdale (r), one of the most prolific pop star interviewers in radio, the ageless Rod Stewart (l) discussed his new album “Blood Red Roses” and his headlining tour with Cyndi Lauper.

 

 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 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. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

David Field’s Internal Memo Regarding USTN Lawsuit

| August 7, 2018

“Under the terms of our former agreements with USTN at the time of our November 17, 2017 merger with CBS Radio, USTN was obligated to pay Entercom about $47 million per year in exchange for a large portion of our highly valuable traffic and other short duration inventory. In the 8 1/2 months that have elapsed since our merger with CBS Radio, USTN has paid us a grand total of just $3 million out of the $33 million we were originally entitled to under our former agreements. As a result of this, and factoring in unpaid accounts receivable due to Entercom as of closing the CBS Radio merger, we have taken a financial hit of greater than $35 million over that time period, significantly impacting our earnings and our cash flow.

“We were told by management at USTN and GTN (USTN’s parent company at the time of our merger with CBS Radio) that USTN had significant financial challenges that precluded them from paying us. Nonetheless, we spent months working tirelessly, constructively, patiently and in good faith with GTN and USTN to help solve USTN’s significant challenges. We made enormous financial concessions, bending over backwards to be supportive of USTN’s efforts to fix their problems. Initially, we worked with GTN on finding a solution until they sold the company to USTN’s American management for a ‘nominal’ sum. We then worked collaboratively with USTN management and in April 2018, we agreed to make a number of enormous concessions to give USTN some relief and time to right the ship. At the time of this restructuring, we were owed $23 million. In this restructuring, we agreed to dramatically reduce the amount that USTN paid us each month. We converted a portion of what they owed us into a minority equity position in USTN, and we converted the remainder into a Senior Secured Debt obligation of USTN which provided USTN with additional time to pay what they owed.

“When it appeared to us that despite our financial concessions, USTN was not making sufficient progress to solve their fundamental problems, we reached an agreement on June 30 to acquire the remainder of the company in exchange for what they owed us plus approximately $1 million, all subject to our due diligence.  What we found during our diligence review was unsatisfactory. We were disappointed to find that their financial condition and projected performance fell significantly short of what we had been led to believe. In addition, USTN management had fallen short on a number of other objectives in their turnaround plans and we first learned about a number of contingent liabilities. Based on our diligence, we informed USTN management that we were exercising our contractual rights and would not be completing the merger. USTN then filed a lawsuit against Entercom which is baseless, frivolous and insulting and attempts to blame Entercom for USTN’s financial problems and make us look like the bad guys. On July 24, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $1.3 million which was then due under our revised agreement for the June broadcast month. On July 31, 2018, USTN failed to pay us $5 million which was then due under our senior secured note.

“The facts are clear: Entercom has received only $3 million out of the original $33 million due under the agreements in place at the closing of the CBS Radio merger. Entercom did not create this problem; USTN did.  Entercom has bent over backwards to work constructively and patiently with USTN to help them fix their problems. We have made enormous financial concessions to help them. And yet USTN still has not demonstrated that they are able to make ends meet, failing to make their required payments to Entercom for June and failing to make a $5 million required payment on their restructured debt to Entercom. USTN management can conjure up a ridiculous lawsuit and engage in name-calling, but it can’t change the facts or the truth of what has occurred here. USTN has failed to meet its obligations over many months. Entercom has acted with great restraint for many months, but we cannot continue to invest our time, resources and capital in a business that has been unable to fix its own problems. We have moved on and are glad to be in control of our own destiny with our valuable traffic inventory, but given the ridiculous allegations by USTN, I wanted to make sure you were fully familiar with the facts and understood that we have acted ethically and responsibly throughout this painful situation.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance – Open Letter

| August 7, 2018

“In recent months, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has signaled that, after more than two decades, they are open to revisiting the outdated rules that govern the local ownership of radio stations. Because of this unique opportunity, our industry, working with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), undertook a project to develop a radio industry proposal that could be presented to the FCC ahead of its 2018 quadrennial ownership review to help frame the next generation of these rules.

“Months of work by NAB board members and staff recently culminated in the NAB’s proposal to modify the current rules, which was sent to the FCC’s media bureau chief on June 15. Prior to its submission to the FCC, this proposal had been developed and vetted by a special committee of the NAB Board formed for this purpose, as well as by the full radio board itself. At both the committee and board level, the proposal to revise the ownership limits was debated and voted upon openly, and, at both levels of review, it passed with a substantial majority of support (it bears clarifying that what some have pejoratively characterized as ‘a faction’ was in fact a substantial majority).

‘As we believe this is an issue of paramount importance for the future of the radio industry, we have taken an active part in these discussions, and, like others, we have further studied the issues involved so that we may come to a carefully considered decision.  We wanted to share our conclusions in this regard, in the hope that it helps to clarify the public dialogue on this topic.  To be clear, we are fully supportive of and have endorsed the NAB proposal.

“It might be helpful to start with a little history as to why these rules exist. Regulation of public airwaves emerged in the 1930’s out of an effort to manage interference across the radio spectrum. Broadcast media ownership rules were introduced in 1940: the driving force then, as it has been for the many modifications that have taken place in the last 80 years, was the government’s desire to ensure that no one entity could exert too much influence over the flow of information, either nationally or in a single community.

“Reflecting the dynamic nature of media competition, these rules have undergone several modifications over the eight decades of their existence, each time to relax common ownership limits to reflect the competitive impact from changing technology. The proposal that the NAB sent to the FCC is simply the latest logical development in a conversation that dates back to 1940 and which, for the past eighty years and in each modification, has only been moving in one direction.

“The current numerical ownership limits were established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the 22 years since then, the emergence of digital and social media, not to mention the pervasive use of smartphones and other devices, has fundamentally disrupted how information is disseminated locally and nationally. The competitive landscape for information, as well as audio entertainment, has changed dramatically. In radio, our main competitors (Facebook, Google, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and SiriusXM, for example) did not even exist in 1996. And yet, our rules are based on that era.

“Given the vastly different competitive landscape in the information marketplace, it follows logically that the rules that were intended to limit advantage and undue influence must themselves adapt or be eliminated altogether. The rules that were originally intended to level the playing field for other competitors 80 years ago are now a constraint that inhibits radio’s ability to compete, as well as attract capital and investment. After all, on the internet, none of our competitors are subject to any of these limitations, nor were Sirius and XM subject to similar limitations to prevent their merger ten years ago.

“In addition, we would note that there are several other important factors that further reinforce our decision on this topic: First, ownership restrictions limit the ability of local stations to take advantage of economies of scale that could bolster the industry’s financial position at a time of unprecedented competition. For radio companies to continue to serve the public interest by providing local news, local sports, local weather, and essential emergency programming, these companies need to be economically viable entities, free to compete for assets, capital, and resources on a level playing field with their competitors.

“Second, common ownership will drive more format diversity, as the NAB noted in its letter to the FCC. This serves the best interests of both audiences and advertisers.  Companies will use their additional stations to experiment and develop new and micro-targeted formats, rather than compete with their existing stations. These new formats will serve specific communities and demographics in ways that most of commercial radio does not do today. This will help radio serve its audience better by providing greater consumer choice, serve its advertisers better by offering broader audience reach, and help our industry compete with the virtually unlimited channels and micro-targeted audio audiences offered by digital and satellite competitors.

“Finally, while elimination of the cross-ownership restrictions between radio, TV, and newspapers by the FCC in 2017 was a welcome and long overdue step (particularly for the newspaper business, where we believe this step, if enacted a decade ago, could have helped to save hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs), it seems counter-intuitive to us that radio companies are now allowed to expand into other forms of media, but not to expand our offerings in radio itself.  Cross-ownership only makes sense if it is also accompanied by the opportunity and choice to expand within our own industry, and in the form of media that we know best.

“At the same time, we are of course aware of the arguments against modification of the ownership rules and have considered them carefully in arriving at our conclusions. We have heard an argument that the NAB’s proposal will hurt the value of AM radio. As significant owners of AM radio stations, we have an abiding interest in the value of these assets. Nevertheless, our self-interest does not override the fact that media ownership rules were not intended to provide economic subsidies or determine winners and losers, and to use them in that way today, to advance the interest of one class or company in particular, is a perversion of their intent. Rather, the best way to ensure the value of AM stations, and to deliver for the listeners of this service, is to provide essential and important programming, and unique and valuable benefits to advertisers. In that regard, we can point to several AM stations that continue to be successful: Entercom’s [all-news siblings] WINS and WCBS-AM in New York and [all-news] WBBM-AM in Chicago, as well as iHeartMedia’s [news/talk] KFI in Los Angeles.  These were four of the top ten billers in our industry in 2017.

“Of course, it is also a reality that many AM stations are struggling in today’s competitive environment.  We think that the FCC has already addressed this issue through its AM Revitalization Effort and has given AM stations, and their owners, every available opportunity to ensure their success and longevity, short of stepping in to interfere with the functioning of a free market. This would not be the appropriate role of a regulatory agency, nor would it comport with the free market principles to which we subscribe.

“We have also heard an argument that common ownership offers no benefit to the advertiser. We disagree, and, as noted above, believe that the benefits of common ownership that accrue to the listener in the form of greater format diversity will also benefit the advertiser. Our experience in competition with digital media has been that a key point of differentiation between offline and online advertising is the latter’s ability to micro-target audiences for an advertiser, based on very specific audience characteristics. We know that advertisers value this capability, and that it drives dollar shifting from radio to digital. In conjunction with investment into and development of our own data collection and advanced audience insights, the prospect of being able to offer a greater number of unique formats, along with the localism that is our medium’s hallmark, will enhance radio’s ability to present a competitive advertising solution versus digital and social media. Yes, it is better for our advertisers if we can deliver a better product.

“Complete agreement on any issue is difficult, but given the opportunity before the FCC right now, it was vital that we find consensus. Therefore, we are pleased that the NAB was able to develop a proposal that represented the consensus of a substantial majority of its board of directors, and we thank the staff members of the NAB and the members of the ownership committee (that was formed for this purpose) for their service to the industry. Anything short of providing the FCC with a framework for reforming the radio ownership rules would have been an abdication of the job that the NAB and its board are obligated to perform.

“We respect dissenting views on this topic and hope that our thoughts, as expressed in this letter, have added to the public discourse. We know that all opinions are the result of strong feelings about what is in the best future interests of this industry, which we all love.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

| August 6, 2018

Bonneville To Close on Eight Entercom Stations. All of those particular properties being disposed are in California and have been held in an FCC disposition trust. Bonneville has been operating them under Local Marketing Agreements since the closing of Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio. Acquired by Bonneville from Entercom for a total of $141 million in cash are: CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now”; urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay”; and adult contemporary KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (all in San Francisco); San Jose classic rocker KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock”; as well as KHTK “Sports 1140”; KNCI “New Country 105.1”; adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites”; and hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5 – Today’s Best Hits” (all in Sacramento). The transaction is expected to close either late in the third-quarter of this year, or early in the fourth-quarter. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 San Francisco sweep, KMVQ and KOIT-FM are tied in fourth-place (3.8), while KBLX is #12 (3.0). In San Jose, KUFX ranks fourth (5.2, 6+). Meanwhile, in Sacramento, KYMX places third (5.9); KNCI is sixth (4.3); KZZO ranks eighth (4.1); and KHTK finishes at #25 (.9, 6+).

One Person Injured at WORT Shooting. Police in Madison, Wisconsin are saying that a shooting shortly after 3:00 am yesterday (8/5) inside Back Porch Radio Broadcasting’s WORT “89.9 Community Radio” does not appear to be a random attack. There’s no known motive and no suspect is in custody. Nonetheless, a man wearing a mask and hood entered the station during the transition between the 12:00 midnight and 3:00 am programs and opened fire on three station workers. Witnesses say five shots were fired, injuring one 33-year-old man in the buttocks and shattering the glass between studios. The injured station staffer was sent to the hospital but quickly released. Police said there were no signs of forced entry into the building. WORT board president David Devereaux-Weber told the Wisconsin State Journal that the shooter, “fired a number of shots.” He said volunteers ducked for cover; ran into the master control room before hiding in the music library; and called 911. Devereaux-Weber said that a code is needed to enter the building. It is unclear whether the shooter knew the code or held the door open after someone entered the station. Multiple volunteers arrived to help get the station back on the air at 9:38 am. WORT reportedly plans to tighten security.

Apple Podcasts, Facebook Latest to Remove Jones Podcasts. As we reported last Friday (TALKERS.com, 8/3),  Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded the episodes violated its hate content policy. Now, Apple Podcasts and Facebook are taking action against him. Five of Jones’ shows were removed from Apple Podcasts with a spokesperson telling Buzzfeed, “Apple does not tolerate hate speech. We have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users. Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.” At the same time, Facebook removed “The Alex Jones Page,” The Alex Jones Channel Page,” “The Infowars Page,” and “The Infowars Nightly News Page.” Facebook notes, “Upon review, we have taken [the content] down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred [these] removals were related to this.” Reacting to the earlier Spotify situation, Jones – who is syndicated to radio stations by Genesis Communications Network – said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Entravision Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Second-quarter radio revenue for Entravision Communications was unchanged at $17.24 million, while television was off 3% to $36.531 million; digital increased 32% to $20.558 million. Chairman and chief executive officer Walter Ulloa notes that, “Growth in our digital media segment offsets a decrease in our television segment, while our radio segment was flat. We improved our free cash flow and net income over last year’s second quarter. We continued to build our digital footprint through our acquisition of a digital advertising technology company, while implementing steps to more efficiently align operations and reduce costs. Looking ahead, we remain well-positioned to build on our success in further attracting Latino and other audiences worldwide, and expanding our advertiser base to the benefit of our shareholders.” Entravision’s board declared a nickel per share quarterly cash dividend for Class A, Class B and Class U common stockholders. The dividend is payable next month (9/28) to shareholders of record as of September 14.

Kwei-Cook Promoted to Radio One Charlotte LSM. Integrated marketing specialist Debbie Kwei-Cook is elevated to local sales manager of Radio One Charlotte. According to vice president and general manager Doug James, “Debbie has a long history of success in Charlotte and with Radio One. She has been a top performer in our company, most recently winning the President’s Club Award the past two years as the top salesperson and she has extensive management experience.  I’m thrilled to be able to have Debbie bring her knowledge, passion, and leadership to our management team.” Kwei-Cook comments, “I look forward to helping the local sales department develop strategic marketing campaigns to drive sales for local businesses.” Kwei-Cook previously spent 11 years as vice president and general manager of Radio One Charlotte and more than ten years as general sales manager of CBS Radio Charlotte. Since October 2012, she has been chief operating officer/president of My Talent Bank Group. 

Crossover Media Group Sales Adds Sports Programs. The company will be responsible for advertising sales and assist with production for “DeSean Jackson One-on-One,” a weekly podcast featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver. In addition, CMGS will syndicate/handle ad sales for “VSiN Action Update,” a series of sports betting vignettes – fed twice each weekday – from the first network dedicated to sports gambling information, Brent Musburger-founded VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). In association with Sports USA and its founder Larry Kahn, CMGS will launch “The Buck Stops Here,” a twice-weekly football podcast hosted by former Indianapolis Colts tight end Charles Arbuckle. A weekly podcast hosted by Joe Morgan – “Classic Conversations with Joe Morgan” – will feature the MLB Hall of Fame second baseman speaking with some of the biggest names in sports history. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Ron Hartenbaum comments, “The recent Supreme Court decision on sports wagering has opened up enormous opportunities to generate local ad revenue, not just on sports radio stations but within the rock and country formats – namely, anywhere men are listening. We are thrilled to be able to add the new VSiN content, as well as the new offerings from DeSean, Larry, Joe, and Charles to our expanding lineup of show offerings to marketing partners.”

CONSULTANT OPINION:  Rush Limbaugh Affiliates Should PANDER to Trump Fans.  In an opinion piece posted today (8/6), media consultant Holland Cooke writes that Rush Limbaugh affiliates should capitalize on the solid numbers available to them by taking advantage of Limbaugh’s recent ratings increases and telling ardent supporters of President Trump exactly what they want to hear.  Cooke writes, “’Pander.’” That is your one-word, sure-shot ratings success strategy… Check logic at the door.  Unlike those pesky fact-checkers, Trump supporters take him seriously-but-not-literally.  Our job is to exploit THE – repeat, THE – best thing that ever happened to talk radio, the Trump presidency.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

CONSULTANT OPINION:  A Real Producer Can Protect a Talk Show Host from Saying Something Stupid.  Former WWRL 1600 AM, New York executive producer, Jeffrey Haveson – now an independent news/talk programming consultant – writes a provocative opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (8/6) stating that incidents such as the recent “Turban Man” controversy at New Jersey 101.5, Trenton could be avoided if radio stations employed what he calls “real” producers.  Haveson writes, “Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are back at Trenton-based New Jersey 101.5 after a 10-day suspension, but what have we learned from this as an industry?  For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the suspension was meted out to Dennis and Judi after they repeatedly called New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewalon, who is a Sikh, ‘the guy with the turban’ and ‘Turban Man,’ and Dennis defended the name calling by saying ‘if that offends you, then don’t wear the turban (man) and I’ll remember your name.’ This is a perfect example of why talk radio stations, be they public or commercial, news talk, conservative talk, progressive talk, sports talk, financial talk, or other, need real producers.  By real producers, I do not mean the glorified gofers and ‘yes people’ that many stations call producers nor an overworked board op who is also charged with screening calls and chasing down guests.  On the other hand, by real producers, I also don’t mean someone who acts as the host’s supervisor.  The program director should be the supervisor over both the host and the producer. A real producer is a trusted partner to both the program director and host, who shares their vision for this particular program and the station in general, and supports the host in creating content that fits that vision.  It is all about the vision.  If the host and/or the producer don’t have the same vision for the program as the program director, one or both of them need to be replaced.”  To read the entire opinion piece, please click here.

WPRO-AM Inks Five-Year Deal for P.C. Basketball. Beginning with the upcoming season, Cumulus Media Providence news/talk WPRO-AM will become the official radio home of Providence College men’s basketball. It is part of a five-year agreement with Providence College Athletics and its multimedia rights holder, Learfield. Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras declares, “Providence College is the premier men’s college basketball program in Southern New England. We are enthused about the partnership and look forward to many great seasons of Friar basketball.” Providence College athletics director Bob Driscoll comments, “Cumulus Media has the top radio brands in our market and this will provide unlimited marketing and exposure opportunities for us. This is a tremendous partnership for our basketball program and our fans.” The school’s men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley adds, “WPRO [AM] is a big part of the culture of radio in Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. I believe this will provide our fans the opportunity to get more coverage and access of Friar basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the airwaves on WPRO [AM], the new home of Providence College men’s basketball.” John Rooke and Joe Hassett, the voices of Friar basketball for more than 30 years, will call all Friar games this season. “The Ed Cooley Radio Show” will air on select weeknights throughout the season.

TALKERS News Notes. Former NFL lineman Orlando Franklin joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.” According to KKFN program director Armen Williams, “We are really excited to have Orlando as part of our championship team – he has a sincere passion to be on ‘The Fan.’ It’s great to have Orlando on our game day on-air presentation.” Originally drafted in the second round by the Denver Broncos in 2011, Franklin retired in May and he notes, “I’ve known this is what I’ve wanted to do after football for years. I love the interaction the sports radio platform provides. It is an honor to now be on the same team as a lot of these guys that I’ve listened to my whole career.” In addition to the Broncos, Franklin has played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Washington Redskins ….. Meanwhile, six-year KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” veteran Ted Johnson departs the afternoon program (“Triple Threat”) at the Entercom Houston outlet. A rotating group of analysts will join remaining co-hosts Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord. Former New England Patriots linebacker Johnson is reportedly moving back to Boston to be closer to his children ….. Tulsa’s NBC-TV affiliate, KJRH-TV “2 Works For You,” will be providing news and weather content for that market’s iHeartMedia cluster. “Our staff is very excited to work with the team at Channel 2,” comments iHeartMedia area president Jon Phillips. [Meteorologist] Mike Collier is a favorite in our building; he and his team will sound great delivering weather to the iHeart audiences. Keeping our listeners safe is our first priority and the team at Channel 2 will ensure just that.” The iHeartMedia Tulsa group consists of sports talk KTBZ “1430 The Buzz”; sports talk KAKC “1300 The Buzz”; rock KMOD; country KTGX “106.1 The Twister”; CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat”; regional Mexican KIZS “101.5 El Patron”; and classic rock KTGX-HD2 “93.5 The Jet.” KJRH-TV had been working with the Scripps cluster; however, when Scripps sold its Tulsa stations to Griffin Communications, it joined forces with Griffin’s CBS affiliate in the Oklahoma metro, KOTV-TV ….. This past Friday (8/3), Townsquare Media’s KFYO “News/Talk 95.1 & 790,” Lubbock (Texas) originated Chad Hasty’s 8:30 am – 11:00 am show from Austin’s Resurgent Gathering. Among those Hasty interviewed there were Texas senator Ted Cruz and Texas GOP chair James Dickey ….. Speaking of Townsquare Media Lubbock, Dave Dunaway is named regional operations/programming manager for its stations there, as well as in Odessa-Midland. There are ten Townsquare Media facilities in those two Texas metros. Dunaway most recently programmed and did afternoon drive at Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “Nash FM.” He has also worked for WZZK, Birmingham, as well as WTGE “100.7 The Tiger,” Baton Rouge.

WRKO, Boston Morning Co-Host Kim Carrigan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most familiar figures in local Boston talk media, Kim Carrigan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” For the past several years, Carrigan – a political moderate with a background in journalism – has co-hosted WRKO, Boston’s 6:00 am to 10:00 am morning show, sharing the mic with conservative personality Doug “VB” Goudie and the program’s on-air producer Jim Clerkin, who is liberal as well as openly gay. The result is a dynamic, eclectic mix of topics and opinions on a station otherwise positioned in a more purely conservative orientation. Prior to joining WRKO as a talk show host, Carrigan spent a number of years as a Boston television personality on several local stations, most recently co-hosting the popular morning news/chat show on WFXT-TV (Fox 25). She and Harrison discuss the differences between radio and TV morning news/talk, the evolving role of women in radio, the challenges of balancing local and national issues in the Trump era, and the strategy of expanding the target base on a predominantly conservative station. Harrison, who occasionally serves as a fill-in host on WRKO, including its morning show, says, “Kim Carrigan is one of the best local talk show hosts in radio today. She brings journalistic sensibility and fairness to the table without sacrificing the power of opinion that fuels the news/talk format. She projects youthful dynamism tempered by seasoned journalism and general life experience – a great combination. She has the glamor of celebrity balanced with a down-to-earth neighborly persona. The WRKO morning show is an interesting exercise in navigating the turbulent waters of today’s news/talk radio conversation. It’s wonderful having Kim as a guest on the podcast.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Flair for Fort Myers. The “Nature Boy” himself – Ric Flair – is among the grapplers scheduled to appear when Beasley Media Group presents the inaugural “Legends of Wrestling” event next month (9/15) in Fort Myers at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The “ultimate fan experience” will kick off with a behind-the-scenes VIP meet and greet and question & answer session (3:30 pm – 5:30 pm). In addition, there will be an opportunity to take photos with the wrestlers (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm) before the matches begin at 7:00 pm. As well as Flair, other “sports entertainment” stars slated to be on the card include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat; Jim “Hacksaw” Duggan; Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart; and The Nasty BoysBrian Knobs & Jerry Sags. Ticket prices range from $20.02 for general admission to $210.82 for VIP and ringside seating. Beasley Media Group’s six-station Fort Myers cluster consists of sports talk WWCN “99.3 ESPN Southwest Florida”; news/talk WJBX; adult contemporary WJPT “Sunny 106.3”; CHR WXKB “B-103.9”; WRXK “96 K-Rock”; and Spanish tropical WRXK-HD2 “98.1 Playa.”      

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories this Past Weekend  (8/4-5).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPresident Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; and Major League Baseball 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. Starting today (8/6), DSC rejoins iHeartMedia San Diego classic rock KGB-FM for 6:00 am – 10:00 am duty. DSC consists of Dave Rickards, Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph, Chris Boyer, Nina “Ruth 66” Reeba, Emily Maguire, and Sarah Beebe. Coinciding with DSC returning to KGB for morning drive, Bob & Coe move from mornings to afternoon drive; Clint August segues from afternoon drive to middays; and Marc Coppola will host nights. Market president Melissa Forrest comments, “Bringing DSC home to KGB and reinforcing the station with heritage talent like Clint, and Bob & Coe is a reflection of the power behind KGB’s legendary call letters. We are immensely proud to bring this lineup to San Diego’s loyal rock listeners.” Rickards remarks, “After 28 years as the top-rated morning show in San Diego, DSC has come full-circle with its return to the legendary KGB-FM. I’ve always felt that KGB was our home, and nothing beats a happy homecoming.” Meanwhile, “Chainsaw” adds, “It feels amazing to bring DSC back to where it all began. We are thrilled to continue making you smile and laugh coffee out of your nose every morning.” ….. Following April’s departure by morning hosts Mason & Remy, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” transitions the syndicated Bobby Bones show from a delayed nighttime airing to morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am). WEBG program director Lance Houston comments, “The Bobby Bones Show really connects with the core country audience more than any other show I’ve ever seen throughout my career. I am truly confident that Bobby Bones and his team will be an entertaining morning show for our one million-plus weekly country radio audience in Chicagoland.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano notes, “We are excited to add the most recognizable name in country radio to our morning lineup.” ….. When hearing that a local wheelchair-bound woman was refused service at a local (St. Peters, Missouri) nail salon, Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” morning co-host Cassiday was “heartbroken.” A representative of another local establishment – Cut and Dye Salon – contacted (“Spencer’s Neighborborhood” member) Cassiday and offered to treat the mother (Dorothy) and daughter (Beth) to a full-day of pampering, noting that everyone should be welcome. Cassiday recounts, “It was shocking to learn that she and her mom went in for a pedicure, only to be told by the salon owner they don’t serve people ‘like her.’ I knew we needed to do something. I was confident, with the power of local radio, ‘The Arch’ could take a hurtful moment and make it positive for them. We had them come in to meet us and surprised them with a spa pedicure live on air. To be able to bring a smile to the face of this young woman was priceless. In days like this, I am reminded of the power of radio and that there are good hearts across the St. Louis bi-state.” ….. “Phoebe’s Flight 5K,” an Entercom Sacramento-hosted event, will take place this Sunday (8/12) at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin (California). Emceed by (CHR) KUDL “106.5 The End” morning hosts Gavin Ferguson, Katie, and Rayne, the “rain or shine” happening will feature a fun run for children and a 5K run for adults; post-race activities will follow. Phoebe’s Fund was founded by Ferguson and his wife Stacy in honor of their daughter Phoebe, who was stillborn. Race proceeds will benefit Phoebe’s Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps alleviate the financial burden of parents who have lost a child to miscarriage or stillbirth by providing grants for grief therapy …. WABD “The Gulf Coast’s Hit Music Station,” Mobile mid-day talent Jimmy Steele adds program director duties at the Cumulus Media mainstream CHR. Steele will continue as the cluster’s operations manager and PD of the company’s Mobile news/talker WXQW. Cumulus Media Mobile vice president/market manager Don Boyd comments, “We are fortunate to have deep talent here with one of the country’s top CHR programmers, Jimmy Steele, already in the building. Under Jimmy’s direct leadership, he [will continue] to evolve this legendary radio station.” Steele remarks, “I am excited to roll up my sleeves and splash back into my CHR roots. It is an honor to be able to come to work each day and serve our talented Cumulus Mobile team. They are very supportive and for that, I am grateful.” Steele previously programmed several iHeartMedia stations and was operations director/brand manager for Saga Communications in Columbus. He succeeds Sid Kelly, who transfers to Cumulus Media Indianapolis as program director of CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9.” ….. WRUF, Gainesville names Justin “Tyler” Clapp brand manager/afternoon personality at the University of Florida-owned country outlet. Most recently, Clapp was operations manager for Townsquare Media Fort Collins (Colorado) and brand manager of country KUAD. He formerly programmed WWGR, Fort Myers (Florida) from 2007-2009, and was Great Eastern’s director of programming ….. Vice president of operations Don London is celebrating his 25th year at Entercom Norfolk.

Two Cool Cats.  A couple of rock ‘n’ roll’s coolest cats got together in the Los Angeles studios of SiriusXM Satellite Radio this past week.  The legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (pictured right), whose numerous hits from the 1960s include “Palisades Park,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” “Tallahassee Lassie” and more, visited with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom (left) to record an interview for Jim’s Sunday night show, “Rockabilly Rave Up” heard on the “Underground Garage” channel.  The interview will be aired on 8/19 at 8:00 pm ET.

Friday, August 3, 2018

| August 3, 2018

Beasley Broadcast Group Q2 Revenue Up 1%; Station Operating Income Up 3.5%. Net revenue for the second quarter of 2018 was $61.6 million for Beasley Broadcast Group – an increase of 1% over the same period in 2017.  For the first six months of 2018, net revenue was $116.8 million – up from $114.8 million in 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Beasley’s second quarter results reflect our ongoing execution of strategies to drive revenue, productivity and growth across our local radio broadcasting and digital platforms.  The 1% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenues combined with essentially flat station expenses and the operating leverage related to the top-line growth resulted in a 3.5% increase in second quarter SOI.  Overall, our second quarter results again demonstrate the efficiencies we are realizing related to our expanded scale and the operating leverage in our model, which collectively led to a 28.6% increase in earnings per share.  During the second quarter, Beasley remained committed to enhancing shareholder value through capital returns and capital structure improvements.  In this regard, we declared our nineteenth consecutive quarterly cash dividend. In addition, interest expense decreased approximately 20% year-over-year to $3.8 million, reflecting the recent refinancing of our senior debt, which reduced our interest rate by 200 basis points.  We used cash from operations to make voluntary debt repayments of $2 million in the second quarter and ended June 30, 2018 with total outstanding debt of $220 million.”  As previously reported, on May 1, 2017, Beasley completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, and on December 19, 2017, Beasley completed an asset exchange transaction whereby it exchanged its Boston adult contemporary station WMJX-FM and $12 million for Boston’s sports station WBZ-FM.  The results reflect the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and six months ended June 30, 2017.  The results also reflect one month of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the three-month period, and four months of contribution in the six-month period ended June 30, 2017.  The $0.6 million, or 1.0%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30, 2018, reflects the inclusion of WBZ-FM Boston, partially offset by the disposition of WMJX-FM Boston and the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations.

E.W. Scripps Radio Revenue Hit by Write-Down of Stations Value. The sale of its radio stations has been the focus of industry news about E.W. Scripps as it re-aligns to concentrate on its television and OTT businesses.  As a result, it has been reporting its radio segment as “discontinued operations” in recent quarterly reports.  In the second quarter of 2017, the radio segment’s income was $1.7 million.  The second quarter of 2018 has produced a loss of $2.9 million as the result of “non-cash charges of $25.9 million to write down the assets of the radio business to fair value.”  Scripps has agreed to sell its five-station Tulsa cluster to the local Griffin Communications for $12.5 million and its Milwaukee duo to Good Karma Brands for $16 million.  The company has 27 stations in six markets for which it continues to seek buyers.

Report: Cain to End Talk Show on WSB-AM, Atlanta.  As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is exiting his daily, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM “News 95.5 and AM 750.”  Cain – who assumed the late morning show slot after Neal Boortz’s retirement in 2013 – will continue with the station doing a daily, two-minute commentary leading up to the noon newscast.  To fill the hour, Eric Von Haessler’s program will expand to the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.

Spotify Pulls Some Alex Jones Podcasts For Violation of ‘Hate Policy.’ Media personality Alex Jones has had a number of his podcast episodes pulled from Spotify’s service after the digital audio platform concluded that the episodes violated its hate content policy.  According to the Associated Press report, the episodes became notorious on social media, forcing the company to act.  It issued the following statement: “We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.  Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” According to the AP story, Jones said the action is “what I expect. I was born in censorship.  I was born being suppressed.”

Perry Stone Named OM for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. Programmer and air personality Perry Stone joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois four-station cluster to serve as operations manager for news/talk WMAY-AM/W234CC and rock WQLZ-FM, effective August 6.  In addition to his OM duties for both stations, Stone will host the afternoon show on WQLZ.  Stone was most recently with Saga Communications in Charlottesville, Virginia as operations manager for news/talk WINA-AM/FM and rock WWWV.  The company says Stone “has worked on-air in markets as large as New York City and San Francisco and as small as Carbondale, Illinois.  So, he not only knows Illinois, but he understands the opportunities and challenges in markets of all sizes.” Mid-West Family Springfield general manager Harvey Wells says, “We conducted a nationwide search for this position and Perry’s experience both in management and on-air made the difference.  I’m looking forward to him joining our off and on-air team.”  Stone remarks, “It’s great to get back to the Midwest.  I spent time in Carbondale and in Milwaukee and have always enjoyed the people and places there.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all that Central Illinois has to offer.  In addition, Mid-West Family Radio is one of the most respected companies in radio. I could not be happier.”

Wilson and Parcell New Midday Hosts on WFNZ, Charlotte ‘The Fan.’ After Chris Kroeger was named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Entercom sports talk outlet WFNZ “The Fan” conducted a search for his replacement in middays and announces that Nick Wilson (inset) and Josh Parcell (right) begin as the new midday stars on Monday (8/6).  Wilson was most recently with the company’s WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan” where he hosted the evening program.  Parcell has done fill-in work on WFNZ and has served as a producer for ESPN.

Smith Promoted to VP of Engineering for Beasley Media Group. Moving up from his regional engineering director & corporate project manager position with Beasley Media Group to vice president of engineering is Lamar Smith.  He’s been with the company for the past seven years and he’ll continue to be based in Charlotte where he’ll manage large corporate projects throughout the country as well as assist in overseeing the company’s engineering staff.  Smith also currently serves as vice president of the Emergency Broadcast Association.

Mickey Moore Appointed VP of Sales at iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Media sales and marketing pro Michelle “Mickey” Moore is the new vice president of sales at iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis station group that includes news/talk KTLK and sports talk KFXN “The Fan.”  iHM Minneapolis also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota.  Moore joins iHeartMedia Minneapolis from Franklin Covey, where she served as a client partner.  She previously worked at iHeartMedia as the general sales manager for KDWB-FM from 1994 to 2001.  Moore’s sales background also includes American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio, where her positions included managing director of inclusion and community impact, senior director of organization development and senior director of underwriting sales.  Region vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander says, “We are pleased to have such a respected, seasoned leader like Mickey join iHeartMedia Minneapolis. Her wealth of industry experience and her ability to blend creativity and sales strategy will benefit both our sales team and our clients.”

TALKERS News Notes.  It was a frightening experience for WWJ-AM, Detroit reporter Mike Campbell as an apparently disturbed man smashed the window of his station vehicle while he was filing a live report on a fatal car crash in the city.  He was unhurt in the incident and was able to successfully file his report. Numerous reporters form various outlets were on the scene when the suspect (who was subsequently tasered and subdued by police) used a metal baton to smash the windows of two station vehicles while shouting obscenities and racial slurs…..Former NFL tight-end Martellus Bennett debuts his new podcast, “Revenge of the Jocks,” on PodcastOne Sportsnet.  The company says the weekly program “goes beyond Martellus, the athlete, as the Super Bowl champion explores the infinite world of creativity.  Speaking firsthand, as an entrepreneur, musician, animator, sketch artist, children’s author and app creator himself, Bennett will be joined by fascinating friends to discuss a broad spectrum of topics, including what it means to be a creative, activist, and overall culture-shaping world-changer.”…..Entercom sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia relaunches the “Go Birds” podcast hosted by station personalities John Barchard and James Seltzer.  The radio show will continue to air on Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on “SportsRadio 94WIP.” The podcast will be available on Radio.com.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “Both the podcast and radio show have been Eagles fan favorites and we are excited to continue the tradition.  The name of the show might be changing, but fans can expect the same insight into their favorite football team.”…..VSiN – the network dedicated to sports gambling information – announces a partnership with sports talk KNBR, San Francisco that taps VSiN to deliver daily Bay Area-focused updates for the station. Starting Monday (8/6), KNBR will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Bay Area sports teams. VSiN will supply one report in the 9:00 am hour and another in the 5:00 pm hour each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.   KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “We are excited to partner with VSiN in bringing top-notch gaming updates to the KNBR airwaves.  VSiN continues to be an industry leader in this space and VSiN founder Brent Musburger has had his finger on the pulse of sports gambling for decades.”…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio announced that they have reached a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that will add per diem and temporary employees working in SAG-AFTRA covered titles to the union’s longstanding contract that currently covers more than 100 full-time workers at NYPR.  The Agreement adds more than 30 people to a larger group that has been represented by SAG-AFTRA since 2000…..Longtime Purdue University sports broadcaster Larry Clisby is fighting stage 4 lung cancer and metastic brain cancer.  The problem is Medicare doesn’t cover all of his medical bills.  Family have started a GoFundMe page to which people can donate.  Clisby became the radio voice of Purdue men’s basketball in 1984.  He also called Boilermakers football for 10 seasons.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 30 – August 3.  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Donald 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 trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on financial fraud charges.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump administration’s immigration policy tied with the related story of the Portland mayor’s battle with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, followed by the midterm races and the reports of continuing Russian election interference at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See the entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A GoFundMe page has been set up for former triple A KINK, Portland program director and air personality Sean Demery.  He is battling to recover from a brain stem stroke suffered in January of this year and his insurance has run out, causing financial struggles for him and his family. You can donate here.…..An ill-advised Facebook post has cost classic rock WKLR, Richmond morning personality his job.  Brady DeAngelo posted a picture of the back of a woman sitting at a bar and a caption that contained coarse language. You can see WTVR-TV, Richmond’s coverage, including a screen capture of the post here.  DeAngelo commented, “I made a joke that some thought was inappropriate on my personal Facebook page and it became more of an issue than I believe it should have become.”.….KLAL, Little Rock “Alice 107.7” morning show personalities Heather (left) and Poolboy (right) were honored with the Best Radio Personality award from The Arkansas Times.  This marks the fourth consecutive win in the Best Radio Personality category for the duo.  CHR KLAL was named Runner-Up Best Radio Station for 2018, a category it has won or received runner-up in each year since 2010…..iHeartMedia announces it has partnered with Super Hi-Fi to introduce “new AI capabilities” that will make the iHeartRadio digital platform sound more like a live radio show.  iHeartMedia says, “The new integration brings the best of live broadcast radio to digital streaming music by delivering flawless song transitions, including precise crossfades, volume leveling and truly gapless playback to iHeartRadio’s listeners.”

Thursday, July 26, 2018

| July 26, 2018

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Host Jamie Allman, Emmis and Entercom Argue Over Motion to Dismiss His Breach of Contract Suit.  If you’ve been following the legal case in which talk show host Jamie Allman is suing Emmis and Entercom for his firing from news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis, there’s an update to report.  Remember that Allman was let go after the blowback from his tweet in which he referenced Florida school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg saying, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  Emmis/Entercom asked the court to dismiss the case and on Tuesday (7/24), each side filed arguments for and against the motion to dismiss.  Allman argues to convert the Motion to Dismiss to a motion for summary judgement due to Emmis/Entercom’s attachment of the contract’s Assignment and Assumption Agreement and news stories about his tweet to its argument and second, due to his claim that he’s a third-party beneficiary of the contract because of FCC ownership cap issues affecting the Emmis-Entercom stations sale.  Emmis/Entercom argue that their attachments comply with the rules for filing for the Motion and that Allman’s ownership cap argument is irrelevant because that matter is governed by the FCC.  Allman also argues that whether Emmis/Entercom legally fired him based on the language of his contract should be decided by a jury, not by a judge in the form of a dismissal.  It appears Jamie Allman is in this fight for the long haul.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Suspends Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco for ‘Turban Man’ Comment. After catching heat for comments made by midday personalities Dennis Malloy (right) and Judi Franco (left) about New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” has suspended the pair “until further notice.”  During a radio conversation about Gurbir’s decision to not prosecute low-level marijuana arrests for the next month, the duo referred to Gurbi – a practicing Sikh – as “turban man.”  The comments went viral on social media and the station posted its response on its website. It says, “We are aware of the offensive comments made by Dennis and Judi during today’s broadcast.  We have taken immediate action and have taken them off the air until further notice.  We are investigating the matter and will have further comment shortly.”

Mike Pintek Takes Leave from KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh. After being off the air for a few weeks, KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Mike Pintek announces he’s on leave from the station to focus on his health.  In May of 2017, Pintek announced he’s been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and is under the care of Dr. Nathan Bahary at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.  He says in a statement posted on the KDKA website, “At this point, I need to take some time and really focus on my health.  I know a number of listeners have reached out to the station to get an update on my condition since I haven’t been on the air for a few weeks.  I want everyone to know how much I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, encouragement and support.”  Pintek recently suffered a stroke but his doctors believe his rehab from that will be successful and he’ll return to his course of chemotherapy.

SiriusXM CEO Says AM/FM Must Improve Its Product to Survive. Commenting on the competitive nature of today’s audio services industry during Wednesday’s Q2 investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer says that his company has been addressing the threats of new and improved audio services since he’s been with the company.  In talking about that, he also gave his opinion about AM/FM radio’s future.  “I’ve been here almost 14 years, and during those 14 years I’ve seen a couple of moments where people have said, ‘Oh, competition and what’s it going to do?’  And yet, you look at the unbelievable things that have occurred over the last 10 years – the unbelievable surge in technology and yet you still look at the number of people that listen to AM/FM radio every day, okay?  And honestly, that’s the area I think that’s got a problem.  If they don’t vastly improve their product, that’s the area where I think listener hours are finally going to come or finally going to shift away to other things.  If you really want to know where I think it inevitably shakes out.”

SiriusXM Second Quarter Revenue Up 6%.  CEO Jim Meyer wasn’t taking a potshot at radio in the story above, but he makes his comments standing on pretty firm ground as far as SiriusXM’s business is concerned.  The company announces its 2018 second quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, up 6% over Q2 of 2017.  Net income for the quarter was $292 million, a gain of 42% over last year’s $202 million figure.  Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM’s strong start to 2018 accelerated in the second quarter.  We added 483,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter with an impressive 1.6% self-pay churn rate, our best-ever performance.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1, and we are thrilled to increase our full-year guidance for self-pay net additions, revenue and adjusted EBITDA.”

Nielsen 2018 Q2 Revenue Flat. Ratings and research giant Nielsen Holdings plc announces 2018 second quarter financial results.  Nielsen was basically flat on revenue of $1.6 billion, up 0.2% compared the same period in 2017.  Nielsen Audio is part of the company’s Watch segment that was up 4.5%, but the audio revenue was basically flat for the quarter.  The Audience Measurement of Video and Text and Marketing Effectiveness revenues accounted for a large portion of the Watch segment’s growth.

Nielsen’s Mitch Barns to Retire at Year’s End. Also on Wednesday (7/25), Nielsen’s board of directors announced that CEO and board member Mitch Barns will retire from the company at the end of 2018.  James Attwood, current chairman of the board, is named executive chairman.  Barns will remain through the end of the year and Attwood, a managing director at The Carlyle Group will assume a more active role and will direct the search for the new CEO.  Attwood says, “Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen – his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come.  I, along with the rest of the board of directors, thank him for his service.”

Salem Selling KOTK-AM, Omaha to Hickory Radio. Omaha-market news/talk KOTK-AM “The Answer” and religious KCRO-AM (and their translators) are being sold by Salem Media Group to Hickory Radio, an affiliate of Walnut Radio.  The deal includes the stations continuing to operate in those formats and with their respective brands, as Salem is licensing “The Word” and “The Answer” to Hickory.  Salem president/broadcast Dave Santrella says, “We are thrilled to put these radio stations in the capable hands of Walnut Radio, a broadcaster with deep roots in the area and with a commitment to maintain the quality of broadcast our ministry partners, advertisers and listeners have come to expect.”  No price has been announced yet.

News/Talk KVOI, Tucson Sold to Bustos Media. The Doug and Mary Martin-owned company Good News Communications agrees to sell news/talk KVOI, Tucson to Amador Bustos’ Bustos Media Holdings.  No sale price has been announced yet but Bustos says in a statement, “As a long-time Spanish language broadcaster, we are excited to step into the arena of news/talk radio in Tucson, Arizona, a city we have worked in before and have loved for many years.”  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

TALKERS News Notes. The new voice of the New Orleans Saints is former Saints player Zach Strief, who begins handling play-by-play duties on flagship Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Strief will work alongside former teammate Deuce McAllister.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Chris Wegman states, “When we set the criteria for the new ‘Voice of the Saints’ we were looking for someone who would make the professional play calls, as well as someone who has a deep connection to the team, the fans, and our community.  Zach possesses all of those qualities, knows the game firsthand and is a fixture in the New Orleans community. We’re very excited about adding him to the team.”…..Envision Networks announces that it has brought aboard new affiliate relations manager Josh Friedman.  He comments, “After being able to intern with Envision Networks, I was excited to join the team full time when the opportunity came.  I look forward to working with Danno, Laura, and the rest of the team and to continue to grow Envision’s affiliate base while upholding the superlative level of customer service established by Envision.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that iHeartMedia Chicago chief engineer Bob Fukuda has exited the station group. Feder notes that Fukuda was a 30-year veteran of iHeartMedia, as well as its predecessors Clear Channel and Evergreen Media…..WBUR, Boston names Meghna Chakrabarti and David Folkenflik co-hosts of the NPR-syndicated midday program “On Point.”  They will assume their new on-air duties on August 20. They take over for Tom Ashbrook, who exited back in February after allegations of workplace abuse.  Folkenflik is an NPR correspondent and Chakrabarti is host of WBUR’s “Radio Boston.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show, hosted by Chris Hill, adds new affiliate station WTAX, Springfield, Illinois.

Trump-Cohen Tapes/Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Meeting, Trump Pushes Back Putin Meeting, Rosenstein Impeachment, YouTube Bans Alex Jones Videos, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, U.S.-China Trade War, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The release of some of the recordings made of Michael Cohen’s conversations with President Trump and the investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign; President Trump’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over trade issues; the next Trump-Putin meeting is pushed off into 2019; GOP House members introduce articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; YouTube bans three Alex Jones videos from its platform; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; the effects of the U.S.-China trade war; and Major League Baseball 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. A new, nationally syndicated weekend program featuring Ellen K is being launched by iHeartMedia.  Dubbed “The Ellen K Weekend Show,” it will be a four-hour adult contemporary weekend program emanating from Los Angeles where Ellen K also hosts morning on the company’s KOST.  The company calls it “custom-tailored content for an audience that wants to feel informed on lifestyle trends, inspired by ‘feel good’ moments and enhanced by shareable factoids.  Listeners will also enjoy the latest showbiz news and interviews with the biggest names in music like John Legend, Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson and more.”…..Beasley Media Group names Joel Weiss music director for alternative WBOS “ALT 92.9,” effective August 6.  Weiss spent the past 13 years as music director and air personality at Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X.” WBOS program director Ken West says, “I’m excited to welcome Joel to ‘ALT 92.9.’ He loves music, loves radio, and loves Boston.  His passion and energy for the alternative format will help push ‘ALT 92.9’ to new heights!”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

| July 24, 2018

Mark Wainwright Exits Morning Gig at WSYR, Syracuse. WSYR, Syracuse morning personality Mark Wainwright says of his departure from the station’s full-time morning host gig, “I’ll skip over a lot of the details, but the end result is that my contract ended in July and I decided to move on.  It was as amicable and as mutually respectful a separation as anyone could want.  We parted on good terms and I would not hesitate to work for iHeartMedia again if the right situation came along.  In fact, the management at WSYR and several other iHeart stations indicated they would be happy to bring me back as a fill-in or guest host as the need arises, and at least one program director told me he definitely plans to call on me at some point. I’m looking forward to that.”  He says in a good-bye message on WSYR.com, “I am leaving iHeartMedia and NewsRadio 570/WSYR.  I hosted my final morning show in Syracuse today (7/20).  While it’s certainly possible that I will return from time to time as a guest host or substitute – come on, at some point [Bob] Lonsberry has to take a vacation.” He relates how he filled in for the ailing Joe Galuski and eventually replaced him on the morning show after his passing.  He also thanks management for sticking by him while he dealt with his own throat cancer.  Read his entire post here.

Stephanie Perl Named Entercom Hartford Market Manager. Before moving into the television business as local sales manager for Tribune’s WTIC-TV and WCCT-TV in the Hartford-New Haven market, Stephanie Perl was general sales manager for CBS RADIO Hartford.  She returns to that radio cluster now owned by Entercom as SVP and market manager.  She’ll lead heritage news/talk WTIC-AM and sister stations CHR WTIC-FM, adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5,” and urban contemporary WZMX “HOT 93.1.”  Entercom regional president Mark Hannon says, “We are happy to welcome Stephanie to the Entercom team and back to our stations in Hartford.  Her business acumen and leadership will help us provide our partners with premier solutions that reach our loyal and engaged audience in Hartford.”

TALKERS News Notes. This fall, award-winning journalist and author Alison Stewart begins hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program on public radio news/talk WNYC, New York.  New York Public Radio says the show will focus on culture, the arts, local news, and life in the New York area.  New York Public Radio president and CEO Laura Walker comments, “Alison Stewart is the perfect host for our new midday show that will lead the New York conversation.  She is intelligent, lively, and experienced, and has her finger on the pulse of pop culture, the arts, and news in a way that is deeply of the moment.”…..Westwood One reports its plans for this week’s Podcast Movement conference.  It says one key element is the Westwood One “Pitch Pod” on the 5th floor lobby of the Marriott.  “Podcasting talent can tell their story right at the conference, recording a sharable video pitch for consideration for a roster slot on Westwood One Podcast Network.  Reporters and media contacts are also welcome to stop by the booth to record a video about their experience at Podcast Movement.”   Tomorrow, Westwood One Podcast Network’s Tim Sabean, Opie, and Carl Ruiz will present “The Art of Storytelling” for attendees…..The second season of the Jim Breslo-hosted podcast “Hidden Truth” is launched.  Following the first season of the weekly hourlong podcast titled “Hidden Truth:  Las Vegas Shooter,” comes “Hidden Truth: Transgender Movement.”  In this series, Breslo “embarks on a journey to discover what it means to be transgender and what impact the movement is having on society.” Episode one features the first of a three-part interview with Breslo’s fraternity brother Dave Richmond, a divorced accountant and father of two who, much to Breslo’s surprise, recently became Sabrina.  “No subject is left off limits as they discuss everything from sex and surgery, to parenting and pronouns.”…..Changes are coming to ABC-TV’s daytime talk program “The View.”  The New York Post reports that Sara Haines is exiting “The View” to work alongside Michael Strahan on the third hour of “Good Morning America.” It’s being reported that FOX News Channel “rising star” Abby Huntsman is in talks to become a cast member on “The View.”  She is the daughter of former GOP presidential candidate and current Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Abby Huntsman, like her father, has some centrist tendencies, and is not reflexively conservative.  She made some headlines on July 15, when she appeared to ding the president’s meeting with Vladimir Putin by tweeting, ‘No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.’”…..The NFL’s Oakland Raiders flagship radio station will still be an Entercom property but it is changing from sports talk KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” to all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM.  Games will continue to air on KGMZ as long as there is no conflict.

SRN’s Larry Elder Supporting Angel Tree Camp. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk host Larry Elder (right) at the Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Camp that provides fresh air and summer camp activities for children whose mother or father are in prison.  Elder is a regular fundraiser for the program.  He tells TALKERS, “Children of prisoners haven’t done anything wrong and they shouldn’t pay for the misdeeds of a parent.”  Elder notes that 70% of prisoners’ children eventually end up behind bars themselves, a cycle that is being broken by the Angel Tree Camp program.  Pictured here with Elder are Calacinto Ranch director Angela Cerda (center) and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).

KBA-WKU Radio Talent Institute Underway. Taking place this week on the campus of Western Kentucky University is the 6th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association-Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute. All week long, more than 40 broadcasters from Alpha Media, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Forever CommunicationsCapCity Communications, Forcht Broadcasting, The Cromwell Group, Cumulus Media, and iHeartMedia are working with students in sessions dedicated to on-air skills, sports, news, promotions, digital, production, as well as being certified by the RAB as Radio Marketing Professionals.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie comments, “It is great to have the solid support of the KBA, who are such early believers in and supporters of the Talent System, now for 6 years; and WKU, who embraced this from the moment it was introduced to the university.  Working together – broadcasters, universities and the National Radio Talent System – we are building the talent farm for the industry and discovering and preparing the next generation of broadcasters.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Trump Security Clearance Issue, U.S. Illegal Immigration Policies, Ozarks Duck Boat Tragedy, Toronto Shooting/Deadly BART Knife Attack, Southwest Heatwave, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Trump’s desire to remove security clearances from former intelligence officials who are critical of him; the policies relating to treatment of illegal immigrants and their children; the deadly Ozark duck boat capsizing; the fatal shooting in Toronto and the knife slaying on the BART train; the heatwave affecting the U.S. Southwest; the opening weekend for the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball 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. At Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WHQT, Miami “HOT 105,” Big Lip joins to work alongside Shelby Rushin as co-host of the afternoon drive program, effective July 30…..Cumulus Media names 26-year radio pro Don Brake program director and morning personality for country KAYD-FM, Beaumont, Texas “NASH 101.7.”  Brake joins Cumulus from WKKQ, Morgantown, West Virginia where he was music director and midday personality…..Pictured below are WJBR-FM, Wilmington staffers (from l-r) Brandi Tigani, Chris Leonard, and Diana Beasley volunteering to cook for 50 families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.  The effort was part of the radio station’s Beasley Best Day of Caring event.

Monday, July 23, 2018

| July 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this month’s final look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Comparing 6+ numbers, 51% of news/talk stations saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May 2018 survey to the June survey.  Looking at year-over-year numbers, 51% of stations realized AQH share gains.  In the June 2018 survey, 13 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their markets (6+), with Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati ranking #1 in their respective markets. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nielsen Releases Podcast Insights Study. This “marketers guide to podcasting” from Nielsen Audio explores the purchasing habits of podcasting fans in the fast-moving packaged goods category – groceries, booze, pet goods, personal care items, etc.  Based on its Homescan panel with additional data from an online questionnaire of those panelists who identify as fans of podcasting, Nielsen says, “The podcast listener tends to spend more at the grocery store on a weekly basis according to our research.  Advertisers who can leverage the podcast audience may find a greater ROI since this group tends to spend more.”  The study examines the buying habits of avid podcast fans based on podcast genre.  For example, the graphic at right shows the top five product categories purchased by fans of news and politics podcasts, as measured by the influence those fans have had on a category’s annual sales.

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Off the Air Today.  Contrary to the report published on Friday (7/20) in TALKERS based on a New York Post piece, midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno will not be on the air today.  Benigno – who is accused of sexual harassment in a suit filed against him, WFAN, and other staffers in New York state court in Brooklyn by former WFAN sales exec Laura Lockwood – was on vacation last week when the suit was filed.  Initially, the station said Benigno would be back on the air today (7/23) and that it looked forward to defending itself and Benigno. However, after letting clients know that Benigno would remain off the air today, the station is apparently doing its own investigation into Lockwood’s claims and deems it wise to keep him off the radio for now.  The station has not made public his return date.

NBC Sports Radio Adds Chris Simms and Peter King to ‘Pro Football Talk Live.’  Two NFL experts are added to the roster of NBC Sports Radio’s “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio.”  The press release from NBC Sports says former NFL quarterback Chris Simms continues as a part-time co-host during the radio/TV simulcast hours on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, and that NFL insider Peter King joins the program for a weekly, two-hour simulcast.  “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” launched in January of 2015 and is currently heard in morning drive on more than 150 affiliate stations.  It’s also heard on SiriusXM.

iHeartMedia’s ‘FM 96.9 The Game’ New Flagship for Orlando Magic.  Jumping from Cox Media Group’s WDBO-AM, Orlando to iHeartMedia’s simulcast of WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” is the NBA’s Orlando Magic.  The station will serve as the flagship for the franchise’s radio play-by-play.  Dennis Neumann is handling play-by-play, Richie Adubato takes on the color analyst duties for all home games, while Brandon Kravitz serves as pregame, halftime and postgame host for all games, and will provide sideline reports for all home contests.  Additional programming includes the nightly, half-hour “Magic Drive Time” hosted by Dante Marchitelli.

Wither ‘Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw?’  We know that Shelly Dunn is retiring from radio and the “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” program that’s been heard in the San Diego market for the past 28 years.  But now that rock KFMB-FM owner Tegna has announced that it and the show have failed to come to terms on a new agreement, where the show will land is the big question.  For its part, Tegna says, “After extensive negotiations and a generous offer to the DSC team, we were unfortunately unable to reach an agreement to keep the show here at KFMB.  We wish the DSC the very best with their future pursuits.  We also want to thank and wish Shelly Dunn well on her retirement, which she announced last week.  She’s had an incredible 30-year career and will be missed.  We are looking to the future and remain committed to our listeners in San Diego.”  Dave Rickards posted a series of tweets showing his removing the show’s stuff from the KFMB studios and saying he has a new place to put it, and ending with, “Announcement coming shortly.”  Some industry watchers believe the show might be destined for Entercom’s struggling sports talker KWFN, based on the idea that the DSC show would be a good way to draw listeners to the newly flipped station – that is if Entercom wants a non-sports show in morning drive.  Stay tuned.

Chad Benson Show Clears on ‘Power Talk 1360’ in Modesto-Stockton.  The Radio America nationally syndicated Chad Benson show is now airing in the afternoon drive daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFIV “Power Talk 1360” in the Modesto-Stockton, California market.  KFIV-AM is added to the recent list of affiliates to begin carrying the show, including KTAR-FM, Phoenix and KSTE-AM, Sacramento.

Trump-Putin Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Trade War Threats, Trump-Rouhani Threats, Jeanine Pirro-The View Spat, Trader Joe’s Slaying/Standoff, Toronto Shooting, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on goods from the European Union and concerns about a new trade war; President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchange threats; FOX News star Jeanine Pirro’s boisterous exit from an appearance on ABC’s “The View”; the slaying of a Trader Joe’s staffer after a standoff with an armed man in Los Angeles; the deadly shooting in a Toronto restaurant; the opening weekend of the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS AUDIO: Michael Harrison Interviews Former CBS Radio CEO/President Dan Mason About VSiN and the Potential Impact of Legalized Sports Betting on Media. Launched in 2017, VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) is the first media network dedicated to providing news, analysis and proprietary data to the millions of Americans who bet on sports and make gambling a multimillion-dollar industry. Launched by sports media legend Brent Musberger and fueled by award-winning broadcasters and legendary odds makers, VSiN’s mission is to inform and entertain these consumers wherever and whenever they want it. A dedicated SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel (204) is among the platforms on which VSiN is available, which also include live video streaming, web (www.VSiN.com), mobile and social. One of the principals in the VSiN organization is former CBS Radio CEO/president Dan Mason who serves as a strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations. Mason, who served in the top position at CBS Radio for 15 years, is one of the most colorful and accomplished figures in the radio industry today. He is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee who also serves as an advisor to iHeartMedia and chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, in addition to participating as a talent in network sports play-by-play announcing and commentary (women’s basketball and horse racing). TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who worked closely with Mason in the late 1980s establishing WZLX, Boston as one of the nation’s leading classic rock stations, caught up with him yesterday (7/17) for an exclusive telephone interview. They discuss VSiN and the potential impact of legalized sports betting on the media industry. To listen to the conversation in its entirety, please click

      here
.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the title of director of music programming in Baltimore for Entercom is Tom Cook.  The company announces he’ll be responsible for programming adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” and CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5.”  Cook was most recently Michigan regional operations manager for Townsquare Media.  Entercom SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys comments, “We are delighted to welcome Tom to our team.  He has an amazing track record of accomplishments at the various stations he has programmed and we look forward to him bringing that enthusiasm and experience to us here in Baltimore.”…..On-air pro Dan Day exits his role as evening host at Guaranty Media’s classic rock WDGL, Baton Rouge “Eagle 98.1.”  At the same time, the company announces that Mike Benson– who also serves as an account executive for the cluster, is returning to the air to host the midday program.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

| July 19, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Flip Midday and Afternoon Programs.  Beginning August 13, the “OMF” Show featuring Glenn Ordway, Lou Merloni, and Christian Fauria takes over the afternoon drive daypart and the “Dale & Keefe” show with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe slides to middays. The change was announced on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning program today (7/19).  This is a return to afternoons for Glenn Ordway who for years reigned as ringmaster of “The Big Show” in PM drive.  But competition from new rival WBZ-FM upset that show’s dominance and Ordway was let go in 2013 and was replaced by Mike Salk.  WEEI re-hired Ordway two-and-a-half years later to work the midday show.  Since then, the OMF program has steadily gained ground in the Boston ratings.  “OMF” will compete with WBZ-FM’s “Felger & Mazz” program, which was the highest-rated show in afternoons, racking up a 14.7 share (Men 25-54) in Nielsen’s June PPM survey.  The “Dale & Keefe” show earned a 6.8 share going against “Felger & Mazz.”

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Accused of Sexual Harassment. In a suit filed in New York State Court in Brooklyn, WFAN, New York midday personality Joe Benigno is accused by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood of sexual harassment.  The allegation is part of a larger, $5 million suit against CBS RADIO (now owned by Entercom), sales execs Sean Argaman and Mark Zukerman, and other unidentified staffers for creating a hostile work environment based on sex, discrimination based on sex, retaliation, and more.  The complaint reads like a lurid expose of a workplace dominated by men behaving badly.  Lockwood – who worked in sales at WFAN for 11 years – alleges that Benigno tried to coerce her into having a “threesome” with him and his wife.  Additionally, she says he engaged in a two-year affair with a female subordinate.  Her complaint paints a picture of a workplace where drinking on the job took place, prostitutes were acquired for clients, and potential clients were entertained at strip clubs.  She alleges the station’s executives tolerated a workplace that subjected her to sexual harassment.  Entercom tells the New York Post it can’t comment on pending litigation but that it will “defend the company vigorously.”

WBZ-FM, Boston Midday Show to Simulcast on NBC Sports Boston. The simulcast of the midday “Zolak and Bertrand” show on NBC Sports Boston is now the second show based at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to air on the New England cable sports channel. The “Felger & Mazz” PM drive show (co-hosted by Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti) has been simulcast there since 2010.  The Zolak and Bertrand show – featuring former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak (left) and Marc Bertrand (right) – airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and will be available via NBC Sports Boston, nbcsportsboston.com and on the NBC Sports app as well as the 98.5 Sports Hub app and 985thesportshub.com, effective July 23.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “We are thrilled to extend the Felger and Mazz simulcast partnership with NBC Sports Boston and to include our top-rated midday show so Boston fans can not only hear, but see the fun that this team has together in our new state-of-the-art studios.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Overall, public radio news/talk stations were down from the May survey to the June survey with 51% of stations seeing dips in weekly 6+ AQH share. Comparing numbers from a year ago, almost half the stations on the panel were up year-over-year and almost half were down.  Three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both the San Francisco and adjacent San Jose markets.  KOPB, Portland and WUNC, Raleigh also were #1. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that sports media icon Brent Musberger has agreed to a three-year deal to serve as the radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Raiders, who are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Musberger is the managing editor at Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Sports Information Network).  He retired from ABC Sports and ESPN in January to join VSiN…..U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) is in a battle for re-election with challenger Democrat Angie Craig (whom he beat by 1.8% two years ago) and his radio past is playing a role in the campaign.  The former Minnesota and nationally syndicated talk radio personality’s musings about women and political correctness were the focus of a CNN report that Craig and Lewis’ opponents are trying to use against him in the campaign.  Lewis’ campaign manager Becky Alery tells the Star-Tribune, “This has all been litigated before, and as Rep. Lewis has said time and time again, it was his job to be provocative while on the radio.”…..The terms of the settlement are sealed, but the agreement between plaintiff Jennifer Neill and defendants WMGK, Philadelphia morning host John DeBella and Beasley Media Group has been approved by the court.  Neill was suing the defendants claiming a pattern of sexual harassment on the part of DeBella.  Neill served as a traffic reporter on DeBella’s program.  She alleged some 30 incidents of harassment, including unwanted physical contact…..Envision Networks’ “American Biker Minute” is added to the programming at Southern Stone Communications-owned WRTT-FM, Huntsville, Alabama.  The 60-second feature is hosted by bike enthusiast Jeff Ryan.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Award Presentation for “Lifetime Achievement.”  Today (7/19), TALKERS magazine concludes posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity has been posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 17th and final installment is of the presentation of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award by publisher, Michael Harrison to Vuolo Video Air-Chex CEO, Art Vuolo at the event’s closing cocktail reception.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young; the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb; the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation/Russia’s Interrogation Request, Alleged Russian Spy Case, California Break-Up Question, Israel Passes ‘Nation-State’ Law, Facebook’s Conspiracy Theory Policy, Google’s EU Fine, and Hader Tweets Controversy/MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The effects of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related request by Putin to interrogate U.S. officials; the case of alleged Russian spy Maria Butina and her relationship with GOP consultant Paul Erickson; the question of splitting California into three states fails to make the ballot; Israel’s passage of the controversial “nation-state” law; Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Facebook’s conspiracy theory policies; Google is fined $5 billion by the European Union; and Brewers pitcher Josh Hader suffers fallout from past racist and homophobic tweets, tied with the MLB All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Philly Station Deals Announced: Beasley Acquires Country WXTU-FM from Entercom; Jerry Lee Sells Hot AC WBEB-FM to Entercom.  Philadelphia-based Entercom is paying $57.5 million cash to Jerry Lee LLC for hot AC WBEB-FM “101 More FM” and it is divesting of country WXTU.  Beasley Media Group is paying Entercom $38 million for that station.  Beasley says, “Excluding one-time transaction costs, the acquisition of WXTU-FM is expected to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley formerly owned WXTU and launched the country format on the signal in 1983.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our acquisition of WXTU-FM represents a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders and further enhances our revenue and competitive position with a strong cluster of five FM and two AM stations in a key, top-10 market.  Importantly, the addition of WXTU-FM is consistent with Beasley’s disciplined approach to growing our platform by executing accretive transactions that deliver valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement, all with a limited impact to our leverage.”  Speaking about the acquisition of WBEB, Entercom CEO David Field says, “We are very pleased to add the legendary WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our group.  It is a terrific addition to our lineup that will enhance our ability to serve our listeners, customers and the community.  I tip my cap to Jerry Lee, one of the industry pioneers and a visionary leader who built ‘B101’ into such a special station and has done so much for radio over the decades.  We are saddened to say goodbye to our colleagues at WXTU but know that they will be in great hands.”  Beasley begins operating WXTU under an LMA on July 23.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

| July 11, 2018

Entercom Ups Kauffman and Spacciapolli to Market Managers. Two radio management pros are being promoted to SVP/market manager positions within EntercomStacey Kauffman will lead the Sacramento station group and Michael Spacciapolli will head up the Pittsburgh cluster.  In Sacramento, Entercom operates sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320.”  The Pittsburgh cluster includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “Nothing makes me happier than promoting from within.  I am thrilled that we offer career paths and can elevate deserving people to new leadership roles.  Both Michael and Stacey have earned these opportunities.”  Kauffman most recently served as director of sales in Sacramento. Spacciapolli has been leading the sales effort as director of sales in Pittsburgh for more than 10 years.

Jeanne Smith to Lead iHeartMedia Quad Cities. Moving from iHeartMedia’s Cedar Rapids cluster to the Quad Cities station group to assume the market president role is Jeanne Smith.  She was most recently SVP of sales.  The Quad Cities cluster includes heritage news/talk WOC-AM.  Area president for iHeartMedia Des Moines Joel  McCrae, “Jeanne’s strong performance in Cedar Rapids earned her this promotion.  She is a strong, innovative leader who has worked closely with our Quad Cities team in the past, giving her a genuine connection and solid understanding of our market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Lomas Brown is joining the game day broadcast team at Cumulus Media’s news/talk 760 WJR.  He’ll provide commentary and analysis beside play-by-play voice Dan Miller.  WJR VP/GM Tom O’Brien says, “Jim Brandstatter did an excellent job for the past two years on WJR and for many years prior and we’re proud of the work we did together.  The addition of Lomas Brown, a former All-Pro Lion, will bring a unique perspective to the game day broadcast.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that Michelle Grubshtein has joined the company as national account manager.  In this role, she’ll work with the sales department focused on products including: Shazam For Radio, The Hit List with Fitz, Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister, Sun Select RADAR, Sun Latino Networks, and many others.  Michelle comes to Sun with more than eight years of experience in the industry working with Orion Worldwide as a broadcast negotiator and, most recently, as an account manager at Shareablee…..Westwood One News White House correspondent Bob Costantini (pictured at right) files a report from outside NATO headquarters in Brussels as the network covers President Trump’s meetings with European leaders at the NATO summit.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Special Luncheon Donation by WPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Today (7/11), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 11th installment is a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson.  Already posted:  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

TALKERS London Correspondent Graham Mack Moves from ‘Bob FM’ to ‘Fix Radio.’  British award-winning broadcaster Graham Mack – host of the popular TalkersRadio program “London Calling” – has been named the new program director of Fix Radio.  For the past four years, Mack has been the morning chat show host/PD of the music/talk outlet, “Bob FM,” Hertfordshire (London) and has also been heard regularly on the BBC.  Mack has worked at a number of stations in Australia and the UK and is one of Michael Harrison’s primary radio “go-to” sources to discuss issues pertaining to US-British relations.  Harrison describes Mack as “an international radio treasure.”   Fix Radio is a radio station aimed at blue collar tradespeople and builders. It’s on DAB digital radio throughout London. Digital radio listening in the UK now accounts for almost 51% of all radio listening.  Mack tells TALKERS, “I was a pipefitter on a construction site in New Zealand and air conditioning mechanic in Sydney, Australia so this is the perfect fit for me.”  Fix Radio CEO Louis Timpany tells TALKERS, “We are pleased to welcome Graham to Fix Radio as he