Tag: "ESPN"

Monday, June 29, 2020

| June 29, 2020

Monday Memo: Curing the Radio Advertising Pandemic. “Local-Local-Local” has been the desperate plea of programmers, as corporate bloodletting whacked station staffs. In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke debriefs an independent station owner – in the eye of the storm in Texas – who weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than absentee-owned competitors, with a grassroots sales strategy focused on the service retailers deemed “essential” during the shutdown. Read it here.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Russia-Taliban Bounties Allegation, Presidential Race/Trump ‘White Power’ Tweet, Black Lives Matter Movement, Confederate & Colonial-Era Statues/Mississippi Flag Change, BET Awards, and Sports Leagues Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The spike in COVID-19 cases in Sun Belt states, the total cases around the globe, and projections for future cases; the report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban fighters for killing American soldiers; the November presidential election and President Trump’s tweet including a supporter shouting, “White power!”; the protests organized by and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement; the controversy over the status of Confederate and Colonial-era statues and Mississippi’s state flag change; Sunday’s BET Awards show; and the state of professional and college sports leagues as they attempt to launch or re-start their seasons were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: The Great Ones Have This Trait. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that more important than product knowledge, planning & organizational skills, and a “Rolodex” of contacts, is one trait that the best salespeople share: Enthusiasm. So, how do you stay enthusiastic during these challenging times? Lapa offers three tips in his column you can read here.

FOX News Channel Welcomes Will Cain. As had been predicted, Will Cain’s exit from ESPN and his ESPN Radio show on Friday (6/26) is being followed by his joining FOX News Channel as co-host of “FOX & Friends Weekend” (Saturdays & Sundays 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET). Cain will make his official debut on Saturday, August 15 alongside co-hosts Jedediah Bila and Pete Hegseth. FNC VP of morning programming Gavin Hadden says, “Will has a unique ability to connect with an audience on a wide variety of topics and will make an excellent addition to the ‘FOX & Friends’ franchise.” Cain, who was a political analyst for CNN and co-hosted “In the Arena” with Eliot Spitzer prior to joining ESPN, says, “I am excited to join the team at ‘FOX & Friends Weekend’ and look forward to building upon my experience in sports, news, and politics on the number one morning show in the country.”

Eric Johnson Named Program Director at AC WJBR-FM, Wilmington. Programming pro Eric “EJ” Johnson is named program director for Beasley Media Group’s Wilmington, Delaware adult contemporary WJBR-FM. Johnson was most recently PD at the company’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” a position he left last November. Prior to that he spent almost 20 years programming news/talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” In his new role, Johnson will be in charge of content for WJBR-FM’s on-air and digital platforms as well as hosting the afternoon drive show. He says, “Thank you to Joe Bell, Justin Chase, and Bruce Beasley for bringing me back to the family. I’m looking forward to working with the Beasley management team and the talented staff at ‘Mix 99.5’ WJBR in serving our listeners and the community! The station has such a rich heritage in Wilmington and the tri-state area and has a tremendous signal. We will make it shine!”

Newsmax TV Live on fuboTV. Cable television news channel Newsmax TV joins the channel lineup on fubo Standard – the basic package of live streaming TV platform fuboTV. The package offers subscribers more than 100 sports, news, and entertainment channels. Newsmax TV SVP of content distribution Andrew Biggers says, “fuboTV is offering TV viewers an exciting and growing platform for watching content across genres — news, sports, and entertainment. Newsmax is happy to bring a fresh voice to their subscribers, especially when demand for news is so strong.” fuboTV’s Mihir Shah comments, “Adding Newsmax to the fuboTV platform will give our users access to even more news programming, which is critical during these times as cord-cutters are looking for a variety of both national and local news to stay informed.”

Chris Jones Promoted to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Atlanta. Rising from his general sales manager post at iHeartMedia’s Atlanta cluster to senior vice president of sales is Chris Jones. He’ll oversee all sales operations for the Atlanta market and report to iHeartMedia Atlanta market president Justin Schaflander. Jones states, “Atlanta has been my home for 38 years, having grown up in Lithonia, attending UGA and residing in Marietta with my beautiful bride, Shell, and my two amazing daughters, Maggie and Kate Belle. I am blessed to have called Atlanta home. I love everything that is Atlanta — the energy, excitement, and diversity. I am excited to lead the charge for iHeartMedia Atlanta and the incredibly talented group of sellers, support, talent, and leadership I get to work alongside.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former University of South Carolina and NFL player Rick Sanford announces he’s leaving the South Carolina syndicated radio program “SportsTalk” due to worsening effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The State reports that Sanford addressed his listeners on Friday (6/26) saying he’s leaving the talk program he co-hosts with Phil Kornblut and Matt Smith because the neurocognitive disorder from which he suffers makes it difficult to perform his duties on the radio. “I struggle with keeping my train of thought, finding the right words, and remembering how to do things. My fuse has gotten shorter and my filter has lessened… This is a progressive condition and the time has now come for me to step away from the (microphone).”…..Red Apple Media’s TALKRADIO 77 WABC in New York is partnering with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to present the “All American Weekend” on Saturday, July 4, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm (and replayed on 7/5 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm). WABC says, “The show harkens back to the early days of rock ‘n’ roll when 77 WABC was a music station and its catchy jingle was known to every New Yorker.” The show is being hosted by DJ Vinnie Medugno and will feature former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani conducting special interviews with Tunnel to Towers heroes…..Entercom says that its Podcast Network is the “top commercial network for the second month in a row, according to Triton. From May 11 through June 7, the network had more than 22.6 million average weekly downloads… In addition, Triton’s latest four-week ranker featured 22 shows from Entercom’s Podcast Network in the Top 100, the most of any publisher for the third month in a row despite new networks joining the report.” Entercom notes that “Pod Save America” was its highest-ranking show at #9.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Over the weekend, Vuolo Video’s Art Vuolo alerted TALKERS magazine that legendary Boston disc jockey Arnie “Woo Woo” Ginsburg passed away at the age of 93. Vuolo says Ginsburg was a broadcast engineer at both WBOS and WBCN but he is best known for his work as night jock on WRKO and WMEX. Ginsburg’s show was called “The Night Train” and the train whistle sound effect gave him his nickname, “Woo Woo.” Later in his career he was EVP of Pyramid Broadcasting, which owned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 FM.” Vuolo archived the WRKO reunion that took place in 2017. You can see that video here…..iHeartMedia moves WZEE, Madison “Z104” afternoon host, MD and APD Sean Strife to the company’s Detroit cluster to serve as afternoon host and APD/MD at CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

| June 24, 2020

Former WFAN Star Craig Carton Released from Prison. Former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton was granted early release from a federal penitentiary yesterday morning (6/23) after serving a little more than a year of his three-and-a-half-year sentence on a fraud conviction. The New York Post reports that Carton will serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement or a halfway house. Of course, this gets the speculation going about a return to the WFAN airwaves for Carton and the Post’s Andrew Marchand writes about a possible scenario today. Marchand suggests in his column that while a return to mornings alongside Boomer Esiason is not likely, he can see Carton in afternoons facing ESPN’s crosstown WEPN-FM star Michael Kay. He writes, “Carton has what [current WFAN afternoon hosts] Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts lack — Carton is an entertainer, first and foremost.”

CMG Moves News/Talk WDBO to Translator; Spanish Music Format Airs on 96.5 FM. A series of programming moves by Cox Media Group takes news/talk WDBO off the class C FM signal at 96.5 and returns it to its original AM 580 signal – bumping the ESPN Radio sports format that’s been airing there – and simulcasts WDBO on translator W297BB at 107.3 FM that had been simulcasting urban contemporary WCFB-FM, Daytona Beach. CMG sees a bigger revenue upside to a Spanish-language music format than the news/talk format. CMG Orlando VP and general manager Jason Meder says, “With two dominant TV stations, six radio brands, and various digital platforms, Cox Media Group Orlando delivers the largest audience in Central Florida. This move strengthens our portfolio of radio brands and reflects our commitment to serving the diverse community of audiences and advertisers in the market.”

PPM Analysis: Coronavirus Cume Factor (Part 1). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian continues his analysis of Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey, today pivoting to the cume for all-news and sports talk stations. As Kinosian notes, when referring to a station’s ratings, AQH share is most often cited. But cume is just as important (if not more), so today he examines the performances of all-news and sports talk stations based on cume. He lays out charts showing cume increases and decreases from the April 2020 survey to the May 2020 survey for both formats. See it all here.

Starnes Media Group to Syndicate New Sunday Show Starring Jennifer Kerns. The new, Sunday talk radio program “All-American Radio with Jennifer Kerns” is launching on KWAM, Memphis this Sunday and will be offered in national syndication via Starnes Media Group. Kerns served as a press secretary for 15 years in blue states and swing states. She served as an appointee of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as spokeswoman and communications director for the California Republican Party, the Colorado Recalls (defending the Second Amendment), and the Prop. 8 initiative in California that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Starnes Media Group says the program will feature Kerns delivering conservative commentary and hard-hitting analysis of Sunday morning news shows, political news of the week, and a look ahead at what’s on tap on the campaign trail across America. Todd Starnes adds, “Jen is one of the top conservative writers in America today and her ability to connect the dots for her audience is going to lend itself well to talk radio. She is a champion for conservative causes who has won millions of votes across America. Her unafraid, outspoken, yet down-to-earth style is going to endear her to our listeners in Memphis.” The program airs live at 5:00 pm CT.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM evening talk host Ji Suk Yi is leaving the Nexstar Media Group radio station after her July 10 program to become the breaking morning news reporter for the company’s “News Nation” national news startup at WGN America. Though “News Nation” will be a three-hour, nightly newscast, Ji will appear on NewsNationNow.com and its app. WGN-AM general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle states, “‘News Nation’ is a marquee asset for Nexstar and we were thrilled that Ji got this opportunity.”…..The Buffalo NewsAlan Pergament reveals that Buffalo Sabres reporter Paul Hamilton is being let go by Entercom’s sports talk WGR, Buffalo. Hamilton was one of the company’s staffers furloughed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Entercom has made his departure from the station’s airwaves permanent. The story notes that a memo from Entercom Buffalo market manager Tim Holly says “these are difficult times that affect us in ways never considered. That being said, I am sorry to announce after a 25+ year career on WGR, Paul Hamilton will no longer be our resource for the Buffalo Sabres and no longer employed at Entercom Buffalo.” The company also lets promotions department staffer Rosemarie Paternostro go in the financially related move…..A new, daily radio feature is being launched by Marketplace and Westwood One. The “Marketplace Minute” is 60-second economic news report – delivered three times daily – produced in Los Angeles by American Public Media and distributed by Westwood One. Westwood One says this partnership “represents the first time a public media entity has partnered with a commercial audio network to distribute a news product in these formats.” Marketplace SVP and general manager Deborah Clark says, “Now more than ever, it’s clear every American needs to understand the economic realities we face. This partnership will help us realize our mission of raising the economic intelligence of the country by bringing new audiences to our storytelling. We’re in a critical time for smart, nonpartisan, solutions-based journalism, and we want to reach audiences where they are. To that end, commercial radio is a logical distribution extension.”…..SiriusXM announces a new, weekend radio program hosted by Stacy Washington that airs Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Patriot channel. Titled, “Stacy on the Right,” the program features the journalist and conservative commentator interviewing politicians and newsmakers. Washington also offers “her views on the week in politics plus the breaking headlines from the busy Sunday morning news cycle.” Washington is an Emmy-nominated TV personality, podcast host, and documentarian, who is already a familiar voice to the Patriot audience as a regular fill-in host on the channel, in addition to her appearances on FOX News, FOX Business, CNN, The Blaze, and PBS.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Bolton and Mary Trump Books, Presidential Race/Primary Elections, BLM Protests/Statue Removals, Second Round of Stimulus, Bubba Wallace Case, MLB to Open July 1 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23). The rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in some parts of the U.S. and projections about future cases as the country continues to re-open; the controversy over former national security adviser John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened book and the White House’s battle to prevent Trump’s niece Mary Trump from publishing her book; the presidential race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and this week’s primary elections; the Black Lives Matter protests taking place around the country and the removal of Confederate and Colonial-era figures; President Trump’s desire for a second round of stimulus checks; the “noose” case involving NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace; and Major League Baseball’s plans to open camps on July 1 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN-FM – Jason Pullman and Katie Bright – is out. The story indicates that after Bright decided to resign her position to focus “on her personal life,” the company also decided to cut ties with Pullman and will execute a search for a new WUSN morning show. For the time being, midday host Drew Walker will be on air from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm…..A four-part, limited series titled, “Motown Countdown with iHeartRadio’s Angela Yee,” will air on FOXSoul.tv each Tuesday in July at 10:00 pm ET, beginning July 7. iHeartMedia, FOX Soul, and Motown Records announce the partnership. FOX Soul head of programming James DuBose says, “As we continue to grow FOX Soul into the premier destination for black culture content, being able to partner with iHeartMedia and Motown to bring this series to the community is the definition of black excellence and I couldn’t be more excited.” Each 30 minute episode will contain one countdown of the “top 5 current torchbearers” in a specific category. The series premiere will focus on hip hop’s best. The second installment will highlight the most impactful songs to encourage change and revolution. The third will discuss Andre Harrell-inspired hits, and the final will consider Motown songs throughout the decades…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Nashville is airing “Celebrate the USA,” an annual birthday party for America, over the Fourth of July weekend. CMA and ACM award winner Jon Pardi hosts the show with some of his all-star friends including: Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, among others. The four-hour special will be available for stations to air over the holiday weekend beginning Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5…..iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River” announces the lineup for its virtual music festival “River Under Your Rooftop” on July 9 that will feature performances from: Lewis Capaldi, Finneas, Jojo, Tones And I, AJR, Olivia O’Brien, Alec Benjamin, and Jxdn, with more performers still to be announced. The event will broadcast live on the @1075theriver Instagram page, with each artist participating in a small virtual meet and greet directly after their performance.

April 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Four

| May 15, 2020

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

Austin

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

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

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

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

Raleigh

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

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

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

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

Indianapolis

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

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

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

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

Milwaukee

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

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

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

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

Nashville

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

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

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

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

Providence

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norfolk

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

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

Jacksonville

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

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

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

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

West Palm Beach

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

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

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

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

Greensboro

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

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

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

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

Memphis

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

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

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

Hartford

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

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

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

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

Sports Radio and the Coronavirus Pandemic – Now What?

| March 31, 2020

By Andy Bloom
Andy Bloom Communications
President

 

MINNEAPOLIS — In the days leading up to MLB’s Opening Day, I advised sports radio clients regarding ideas to keep listeners interested in their stations and teams while live sports remains on hiatus due to the coronavirus.

The ideas require franchises and leagues to work with local broadcast rights holders. I didn’t have contact with any of the teams or leagues. I thought, however, it would be logical for these organizations and their local broadcast partners to help keep their brands pertinent during the pandemic. A Wall Street Journal article I read convinced me the teams and leagues will listen to the idea.

Read More

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

| February 19, 2020

Round One of January PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey was released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2-29.  Coming off the previous Holiday survey during which Christmas music listening alters usual audience media habits, some spoken-word stations gain lost ground in weekly, 6+ AQH share.  In New York, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM adds five-tenths to finish January with a 3.1 share and the #12 rank, while ESPN’s WEPN-FM gets six-tenths back to post a 2.1 share and the #19 rank.  iHeartMedia news/talk KFI, Los Angeles gains seven-tenths for a 3.3 share and the #9 rank in the market.  Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago adds eight-tenths to finish January with a 3.8 share and the #8 rank.  iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston finishes its sixth survey without setback by adding eight-tenths to finish January with a 5.4 share and the #5 rank in the market.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

Conservative Talker Steve Malzberg to Host Weekly RT America Show. Talk host Steve Malzberg is joining cable’s RT America to host the weekly media commentary program, “Eat the Press,” set to debut Friday (2/21) at 6:30 ET (with repeat broadcasts Sundays at 10:30 AM).  Malzberg says, “I have been highlighting media bias to my audiences for years.  Some of it is blatant.  Some is less obvious, and some is actually revealed by what the media is not telling you at all.  With “Eat the Press,” I relish, pun intended, the opportunity I’ve been given by RT America to make this important issue my focus.  Stay hungry, because ‘Eat The Press’ will have a lot to offer each week.”  Malzberg has hosted radio talk shows at WABC and WOR in New York (and in national syndication).  He’s hosted his own show on Newsmax TV and served as a commentator on FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and RT America.

Entercom to Sell WAAF-FM, Boston to EMF for $10.75 Million. The latest major market FM signal to be acquired by religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation is Entercom’s rock WAAF-FM, Boston.  The price tag is $10.75 million in cash and EMP will begin operating the 107.3 FM frequency under a network affiliation agreement beginning Saturday (2/22).  The WAAF transmitter is in Westborough, Massachusetts and covers the central and eastern portions of the state, including the Worcester market.  Entercom states in a press release that it will continue to air the WAAF format on WWBX-HD2 104.1 FM and WEEI-HD2 93.7 FM and via RADIO.COM.  Entercom says it expects the deal to close in the second quarter of this year.

Jimmy Farrell Promoted to Director of Sales for CMG Jacksonville. Sales and management pro Jimmy Farrell is moving from his general sales manager post at Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster to the company’s Jacksonville operations where he’ll be director of sales.  CMG’s Jacksonville cluster includes news/talk WKOV-FM “News 104.5.” sports talk WOKV-AM, plus five music brands.  CMG Jacksonville vice president and general manager Katie Reid says, “We are pleased and proud to promote Jimmy to this new position.  His entrepreneurial approach, high-impact leadership style, deep understanding of both the marketplace and Cox Media Group’s offerings has served him well, enabling him to exceed sales goals by complementing his customers’ brands and business objectives with CMG station content solutions that meet their objectives.”

Nolan Murphy Named NSM for Good Karma Brands.  Sales pro Nolan Murphy is promoted from his marketing consultant post at Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee operations to national sales manager for the company’s Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Cleveland, and West Palm Beach station groups.  Sports talk WMVP-AM, Chicago director of sales David Scharf says, “Nolan’s skillset and attitude makes him the perfect national sales manager.  His knowledge of Good Karma Brands’ assets sets us up to win partnerships quickly, while also planning and preparing us to win long term.  His solutions-based approach and solid work ethic will help us develop the national division of Good Karma Brands.”

Georgia Student Chosen for Mentorship Program. Sophomore Georgia College and State University student Jonathan O’Brien has been chosen as the first quarter mentee in the Benztown Mentorship Program.  The program is being sponsored by Benztown in conjunction with the National Radio Talent System and O’Brien is the third student from the NRTS to take part in the mentorship program.  O’Brien – who attended the GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia last summer – handles news duties on his college radio station, WGUR-FM, Milledgeville, Georgia and is passionate about radio news.  He will be mentored by Jennifer Seelig – director of news and programming at Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco – during O’Brien’s Benztown-sponsored trip to the Bay Area March 15-17.  She will also mentor O’Brien virtually throughout the spring academic semester.  Benztown president Dave “Chachi” Denes says, “If Jonathan O’Brien is any indication of the future of our industry, we’re in great shape.  We are so pleased to be able to provide this opportunity with the assistance of our friends at the National Radio Talent System and the incredible Jennifer Seelig and KCBS.”

Oakland A’s to Be Heard Online Only in Oakland.  In a first for the MLB club, this season’s radio play-by-play of Oakland Athletics baseball will only be heard
streaming online in the Oakland market.  Affiliate radio stations will still broadcast games over the air but fans in the Bay Area will hear games via its TuneIn channel, “A’s Cast”.  The team’s games were heard on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “860 AM The Answer” last season.  Oakland A’s president Dave Kaval says, “We really listened to our fans and saw the success with ‘A’s Cast.’  We’re doing an incredible job getting people excited about baseball and the content. Partnering with TuneIn and having a semi-exclusive platform; we think it made a lot of sense and sets the example.”

Presidential Race, Trump Grants Clemency, Stone Sentencing/Barr Criticism, Coronavirus Pandemic, Weinstein Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18). The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November and tonight’s Las Vegas debate; President Trump issues a number of high-profile pardons and clemencies; the controversy over the Justice Department’s change in sentencing recommendation for Trump adviser Roger Stone and the related criticism of Attorney General William Barr; the status of the covid-19 coronavirus and its effects on the Chinese economy; and the trial of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein on sexual assault charges 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. Gone is the business talk format on Cumulus Media’s KTBL-AM Albuquerque and now the station – along with FM translator K233CG – becomes rock as “94.5 The Pit/KTBL, Albuquerque’s New Choice for Rock.”  The station flipped airing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.”  Cumulus Albuquerque vice president and market manager Jeff Berry says, “We are thrilled to provide ABQ and the surrounding areas with an exciting new rock station.  ‘The Pit’ will provide fans with current rock artists like Shinedown and Disturbed, laced with 90s and 2000s mega bands such as Metallica and Foo Fighters.  It will be a game changer for ABQ rock fanatics and our clients.”…..In Detroit, Cumulus Media’s country WDRQ rebranded from its “NASH FM 93.1” moniker to “New Country 93.1” and replaced the syndicated “Ty Bentli Show” with the local “Electric Barnyard with Broadway & Krissy.”  Bill “Broadway” Bert moves from afternoons to partner with Krissy T, who recently exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5.”  Station PD Lance Tidwell takes over the afternoon drive show.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

| February 18, 2020

Beasley Broadcast Group 2019 Q4 Net Revenue Dips 4.6%; Full Year Net Revenue Up 1.6%.  In reporting 2019 fourth quarter financial results, Beasley Broadcast Group states that “the $3.5 million, or 4.6%, year-over-year decrease in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2019 reflects the cyclical impact of strong political advertising revenue recorded in the prior year period, partially offset by fourth quarter 2019 revenue increases in six of the company’s market clusters.”  The decrease in operating income in Q4 reflects “the year-over-year decrease in station operating income, in addition to higher corporate expenses related to digital growth investments and a $12.4 million non-cash impairment charge related to Beasley’s AM stations in Boca Raton and Atlanta and a $1.3 million impairment loss on an investment, partially offset by a $17.1 million gain from land and tower sales during the period.”  Net revenue for all of 2019 was $261.1 million, an increase of 1.6% over 2018.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Fiscal year 2019 was an active and productive period for Beasley as we continued to make significant progress rolling out our digital expansion and transformation initiatives across the company, while advancing our revenue diversification strategies and actively managing our local radio platform to drive long-term SOI growth and margin expansion. Beasley’s fourth quarter net revenue decline of $3.5 million primarily reflects a $2.8 million reduction in political advertising revenue compared to the prior year period. While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment remained healthy with six of our markets generating year-over-year revenue increases.  By opportunistically divesting several non-core land and tower assets in 2019, Beasley generated a 31% increase in full year free cash flow over the prior year period, which enabled us to complete several strategic growth and diversification investments in our broadcast, digital, technology and esports platforms throughout the year.  Our fourth quarter results highlight the value we have begun extracting from our digital transformation strategy investments.  In the fourth quarter, Beasley generated digital revenue growth of approximately 44% on a year-over-year basis, with digital now accounting for 9.2% of total revenue, compared to 6.1% of total revenue in the prior year period.  With our focus on quality content production and consumer engagement, we are growing audience share across our digital platforms while delivering multi-platform turnkey marketing solutions to advertisers and brands. Overall, we are pleased with the momentum and trajectory of our digital initiatives and look forward to this growth trend continuing in 2020.”

Jim Louth Rises to APD at Boston’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ Eleven-year station programming staffer Jim Louth is promoted from midday show executive producer to assistant program director at Beasley Media Group’s sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  During his career, Louth produced New England Patriots broadcasts for 16 seasons, spent six years as a producer at sports talk WSKO-AM, Providence “790 The Score,” and two years at ESPN in Bristol.  The APD position opened after Rick Radzik was promoted to program director following Mike Thomas’ departure for WMVP-AM, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  Radzik says, “Jim has been with the station since day one.  He’s done a great job, not only producing our midday programming, but also overseeing our New England Patriots game day broadcasts over the past decade.  His institutional knowledge of the Sports Hub’s operation and relationships with the staff make Jim the perfect choice for the APD position.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new report from marketing firm Claritas and sales force Market Enginuity concludes that “podcast advertising campaigns result in an average 10 times lift relative to print, digital, and TV.”  The white paper reports that “new marketing tools are allowing advertisers and marketers to gain deeper insights into the effectiveness of podcast channels.  In November 2018, Claritas acquired the omni-channel attribution platform Barometric and has since collected and reported on campaign results across more than 100 advertisers, which drove a deeper analysis in the channel’s effectiveness as compared to non-podcast channels.  This analysis, across industries such as consumer packaged goods, automotive, direct brands, finance and insurance, shows that while non-podcast channels historically result in a 2.6% lift in conversions – with common channels such as digital display at 1.1% lift, print at 2.4% and linear TV at 3.1% – podcast channels are driving 34% lift on average.”  See more here…..Cadence13 announces an exclusive partnership with The Dolan Twins – brothers Ethan and Grayson Dolan – for the launch of their first-ever podcast, “Deeper with The Dolan Twins.”  The Dolan Twins have a combined following of over fifty million followers across all platforms, have won five Teen Choice Awards in three years, and earned a spot on Time magazine’s list of Most Influential Teens.  The weekly podcast debuts on Tuesday, February 25…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One News has once again won the Golden Mike Award from the Southern California Radio Television News Association.  Pictured at right is Los Angeles-based correspondent Jim Roope, who traveled to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.  This is the fifth consecutive year that Westwood One News and Roope have won the Golden Mike award.

Presidential Race, Covid-19 Pandemic/Locust Plague, DOJ Contoversy, Boy Scouts File for Bankruptcy, and U.S. vs Huawei Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17). The Democrats battling to take on President Trump in November and tomorrow night’s debate in Las Vegas; the coronavirus pandemic and the locust plague that affected East Africa moves to China; the controversy over Attorney General William Barr’s administration of the Justice Department and accusations it’s reducing Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation under pressure from President Trump; under financial pressure from sex abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy; and the U.S.’s battle against China’s Huawei over its 5G platform were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Girls Night Out.  A great conversation between longtime radio pals took place along the waterway in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as Compass Media Networks senior director of news/talk affiliate sales Susan O’Connell visited TALKERS South during her travels through the Sunshine State.  Pictured (l-r): Former ABC Radio Networks executive Gloria Briggs, O’ Connell, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, and author/professor, Bernadette Duncan.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit’s “Mojo in the Morning” show is celebrating its 20th anniversary at iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 955” with a special broadcast on Friday (2/21). The program, hosted by Mojo and Spike with co-host Shannon, will be broadcast live on WKQI as well as sister stations WSNX, Muskegon, Michigan and WVKS-FM, Toledo “92.5 KISS-FM.”  Also appearing on the special broadcast will be original cast members Sara Fouracre, Chad Mitchell, and Eric Harthen.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto says, “‘Mojo in the Morning’ is the Mount Rushmore of Detroit radio.  The talented cast and show are continually striving to do bigger and better things than before and have evolved over the years to connect even more with the Detroit community.  ‘Mojo in the Morning’ is one of the most accessible, cutting-edge, and successful shows in Detroit and we’re honored to have it on our program lineup.”

Monday, January 20, 2020

| January 20, 2020

When You Walk Through a Storm:  Cox Media Group Expresses Empathy and Interest in Talk Radio Pros Upended by iHM Layoffs.  The news/talk format coordinator of Cox Media Group, who also serves as the company’s senior operations & program manager for WSB and Cox Media Group Atlanta, has informed TALKERS that there could be employment opportunities available at Cox for displaced broadcasters down the road.  Drew Anderssen tells TALKERS, “With the depth of recent layoffs, a lot of incredibly talented people are finding themselves in a new position – out of work.  Please just know that we’re thinking about each of you and are always interested in speaking about future opportunities within CMG, especially in spoken-word formats.”  Anderssen invites people who lost their jobs to contact him at either Drew.Anderssen@cmg.com or 404-897-6233.

Monday Memo: He Saw This Coming on Stilts. In the aftermath of – and fearing aftershocks from – last lweek’s iHeart talent cull, consultant Holland Cooke warns “you will get CHILLS” when you read how specifically this was predicted…in 1995.  And Cooke explains why times remain opportune for stations and their ex-employees.  Read it here.

Trump Impeachment, Presidential Race, Iran Tensions, Virginia Gun Rights Rally, Putin Power Grab, and SAG Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The impeachment process and the selection of President Trump’s legal team; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in November; the protests that have rocked Iran in the aftermath of the down of a passenger jet and the Islamic state’s nuclear ambitions; the gun rights rally taking place today in Richmond, Virginia; Vladimir Putin’s move to change Russia’s constitution to extend his rule; and Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Journalist John Solomon Launches New Digital News Outlet.  Award-winning journalist John Solomon announces he’s creating a new media outlet called Just the News, that he says will “address the growing need for fact-based, impartial news and compelling digital content.”  Solomon, who has served as a journalist and executive at such new organizations as The Hill, The Washington Times, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast, says, Just the News will “deliver exclusive news, podcasts, books, polling, and video content showcasing some of the most respected and trusted journalists and editors in news media today.”  Longtime Washington Times senior editor Daniel Wattenberg is the news outlet’s managing editor.  Senior contributing writers include David Brody, the long-time correspondent from the Christian Broadcast Network; former CNN political director Christine Dolan; and Lee Smith, author of the best-selling book The Plot Against The President.  Solomon says more hires and partnerships are expected to be announced in the next few weeks and the JusttheNews.com website is slated to launch within the next month.  He adds, “True journalism has been on the decline for years as major media companies have built business models that push agenda-driven news, click-bait content and opinion masquerading as fact, fueling mistrust and contempt from the American people.  As the fallout from the recent Russia collusion narrative exposed, journalists today too often rush to get their stories first and then are left to hope they are right.”  Just the News will be headquartered in Washington D.C. and consist of four divisions dedicated to web-based reporting, video journalism, podcasting, and long-form nonfiction book publishing.

Second Annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Celebrated. On Friday night (1/17), iHeartMedia produced the second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards live at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles.  The program was also streamed live via LiveXLive.  Winners this year included “The Dropout” from ABC News taking Podcast of the Year honors, The New York Times winning Best News Podcast for “The Daily,” and Crooked Media’s “Pod Save the People” taking home the Best Political Podcast honors.  Pictured above is Conan O’Brien celebrating his winning the Best Comedy Podcast for “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.”  See all the winners here.  Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio pro Scott Ferrall exits his late-night show with CBS Sports Radio to join SportsGrid to host two new video streaming programs.  “Scott Ferrall: Coast to Coast” streams from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET, followed by “In-Game LIVE” streaming from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  Both shows emanate from SportsGrid’s Meadowlands Studio and debut on January 29.  SportsGrid says, “‘Scott Ferrall: Coast to Coast’ and ‘In-Game LIVE’ will serve the obsessed frenetic sports fan with live pregame and in-game wagering odds, moneylines, statistics, strategies, and insights with expert gaming analysis from Scott and his many guests.”…..Today (1/20), “First Take, Your Take with Jason Fitz” debuts in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET daypart on ESPN Radio and simulcast on ESPNEWS.  ESPN says, “The show will further the most-timely conversations from that morning’s edition of ESPN’s marquee debate show, “First Take,” with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and host Molly Qerim Rose.  Smith will regularly join Fitz on the show to provide his unique brand of commentary. A powerful lineup of sport-specific experts, as well as callers, will also add their reactions to propel the discussion.”…..Entercom names the new radio broadcast team for Boston Red Sox baseball on flagship WEEI-FM, Boston.  Handling play-by-play will be 37-year Red Sox announcer Joe Castiglione along with Will Flemming, Sean McDonough, and Lou Merloni…..iHeartMedia Delaware air talent Scott Klatzkin is named 2019 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.  Klatzkin is the voice of the University of Delaware Blue Hens.  This is the fourth time he has won the honor, having previously been selected in 2016, 2012, and 2009.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Hubbard Radio does a talent shuffle on heritage rock outlet KSHE.  Twenty-nine-year station personality Guy “Favazz” Favazza moves from afternoons to morning drive with current morning personality John “U-Man” Ulett (who joins the show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am).  Lauren “Lern” Elwell heads from mornings to the afternoon drive daypart, and Mark Klose – who hosted mornings at KSHE from 1977 to 1983 – takes over the midday show.  Station brand and content director Marty Linck comments, “These moves pair The U-Man and Favazz (both KSHE’s longest-running talent) together in morning drive, and gives Lern a great platform to connect with our fans as a standalone on-air personality.  In addition, having Mark Klose re-join the staff during the work day and bring back ‘Klose’s Cut Above’ at noon will really help further cement our position as the rock music authority in St. Louis.”…..Pictured below is Coldplay performing at RADIO.COM’s brand new, state-of-the-art HD Radio Sound Space in Los Angeles Friday night.  The inaugural RADIO.COM Live event featured the band playing some of its classic hits, as well as some songs from the new album, Everyday Life.  The special performance was attended by a small audience of Entercom’s KROQ, Los Angeles listeners and was streamed nationwide on RADIO.COM.  Photo: Tim Norris/Getty Images for RADIO.COM

Thursday, January 9, 2020

| January 9, 2020

Chad Benson to Join KTAR-FM, Phoenix for Afternoons.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Chad Benson is not giving up his Radio America-syndicated show – he’ll continue to host it at its new live feed time of 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET (beginning January 20) – but he’s joining air personality Larry Gaydos on Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix “News 92.3 FM” as co-host of the station’s 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show, effective January 21.  Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “Chad is one of the most talented and energetic talk show hosts that I’ve ever seen.  I can’t wait for he and Larry to inform and entertain the KTAR audience on their way home each day.”  Mac Watson had been hosting the KTAR afternoon show with Gaydos, but he exited the station in October.  Speaking about his new gig, Benson says, “I am beyond excited to be partnering with Larry Gaydos – one of the most talented men in radio – on one of the most iconic stations in the country.  Here we come Phoenix.”  At the same time, Bonneville says KTAR-FM is adding “Arizona’s Evening News” to its daily lineup – a full hour of news, traffic, and weather starting each weeknight at 6:00 pm.

Report: 60 Million U.S. Adults Own Smart Speakers. According to the latest edition of The Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 from Edison Research and NPR, 24% of U.S. adults own a smart speaker device.  That’s about 60 million people 18+.  That’s up from 21 million at the end of 2018 and 7 million at the closing of 2017.  The report includes video interviews with study panelists who explain how they acquire new smart speaker skills and from where they get recommendations about new content.  As far as discovery is concerned, 45% of those surveyed say they get new skills or actions for their smart speaker from family and friends.  Many panelists said that after the initial ownership period passed, they stopped trying to see what else the smart speaker could do and now rely on it for a handful of the same tasks.  The report found that 69% of smart speaker owners agree they don’t know enough about them to use all of their features.  See more about the study here.

Emmis Communications 2019 Fiscal Q3 Net Revenue Flat.  Issuing financial data for its 2019 fiscal third quarter, Emmis Communications reports net revenue of $10.7 million, flat compared to the same figure in the fiscal third quarter of 2018.  Net revenue for the first three quarters of fiscal 2019 was down 5.3% to $29.3 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  For the fiscal 2019 Q3, Emmis posted an operating loss of $6 million, up 61% from the $3.2 operating loss posted in Q3 of fiscal 2018.  During fiscal 2019, Emmis closed on its sale of its 50.1% interest in Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company, L.P. to Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million and the sale of its controlling interest in New York’s WQHT-FM and WBLS-FM that netted $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note, and a 23.72% stake in Standard General’s Mediaco Holdings – the new controlling owner of the stations.

U.S.-Iran Relations/Soleimani Killing, Iran Plane Crash, Trump Impeachment, 2020 Presidential Race, Megxit, Puerto Rico Earthquake Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8).  The relations between the U.S. and Iran after the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; the deadly crash of a Ukrainian jet in Tehran and speculation about the cause; the articles of impeachment against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step back” from senior royal duties; and the conditions in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of recent earthquakes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The newest addition to the ESPN podcast lineup is Scott Van Pelt, who launches “SVPod” on January 14.  The late-night “SportsCenter” host’s weekly podcast will include long-form interviews, commentary, and expanded takes on his “One Big Thing” segment on SportsCenter.  Van Pelt says, “As much as I enjoy the ‘SportsCenter’ show we get to do at midnight, it doesn’t always provide the time and space for all I want to get to.  I look at interviews we had with Patrick Beverley, Matthew McConaughey, or Rakim as examples of times when the conversation was so interesting to me that it went on far beyond what we had room for on TV.”…..Compass Media Networks announces its slate of top-ranked, exclusive college basketball broadcasts that begin Sunday (1/12) with defending Big Ten Tournament champions Michigan State taking on Purdue.  Compass general manager for sports Michelle Salvatore says, “Our 2020 college basketball schedule continues Compass Media Networks’ decade-long reputation of excellence.  The teams, storylines, and rivalries cultivated and offered year in and year out are incomparable.  We are proud, once again, to offer our affiliates and corporate sponsors the best of college basketball and look forward to continuing this decade-long distinction.”  Find out more about the entire schedule of games here…..Two new episodes of the podcast “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein” debut today (1/9).  They are hosted by ABC NewsMark Remillard and are available on numerous platforms.  Also, the two-hour primetime television special, “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein,” airs tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on ABC TV.

Newsmax President/CEO Christopher Ruddy Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The journalist and entrepreneur who launched Newsmax in 1998 and built it into one of America’s most successful and influential multi-media platforms, Christopher Ruddy, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Newsmax.com ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news websites and Newsmax TV has enjoyed a rapid ascent to prominence in the cable news/talk TV arena with a current presence in 70 million cable homes across America. Harrison and Ruddy discuss today’s politics including the election, the state of cable news/talk television and insights drawn from his personal friendship with President Donald Trump. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The urban morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” (pictured below), syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks, adds 10 new affiliates in the New Year, including: WJXM-FM, Meridian, Mississippi; WIBB-FM, Macon, Georgia; and WMNX-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina.  The program — hosted by Angela Yee, Charlamagne Tha God, and DJ Envy — is now heard in 90 markets across the country…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is re-branding its evening country radio show, changing the “NASH Nights Live” show starring Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith to “Nights with Elaina,” hosted by Smith.  The program will launch on February 3.  Smith says, “I’ve been lucky enough to have spent the last six years of my life with the best country music fans in the nation every single weeknight, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to continue connecting with them with a new show, ‘Nights with Elaina.’  If there is one thing I’ve learned that listeners and stars have in common, it’s that we’re all just trying to figure out life and have fun while doing it.”  Shawn Parr is exiting the network…..The nationally syndicated urban show “DeDe in the Morning” adds eight new affiliate stations.  The program, starring DeDe McGuire, is a syndicated effort from Service Broadcasting Group’s KKDA, Dallas “K104” and Compass Media Networks.  Service Broadcasting director of operations and GM and brand manager for the program Geo Cook says, “DeDe’s unique content and strong connection to culture and community are fueling a revolution of perception about how women can lead and dominate ratings in morning drive.  We are thrilled that DeDe’s show is growing rapidly and spreading more laughter and fun in new markets.”  The show is currently heard on 35 affiliate stations…..Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is now airing on oldies WHRY, Hurley, Wisconsin and oldies WVVE, Grand Marais, Minnesota – home of the “World’s Tallest Indian” – a 52-foot fiberglass statue of tribal leader Hiawatha.  Envision says, “Listeners to the stations are hearing the legendary Wolfman Jack’s famous antics, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and comedy bits every Saturday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.”…..All Pro Broadcasting names Santiago Romero afternoon drive host at hot AC KHTI, Riverside “Hot 103.9.”  He was most recently with Entercom’s CHR KLUC, Las Vegas handling on-air, imaging and production duties…..On-air pro Eva Matteson is leaving her morning drive co-host role at Saga Communications’ hot AC WMGX, Portland “Coast 93.1” at the end of next month.  Matteson has been dealing with health issues and told listeners she wants to focus on those and spend more time traveling.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

| January 8, 2020

Elliot Jacobson Joins Newsmax TV as EVP of Programming/Chief Content Officer. Television executive Elliot Jacobson joins Newsmax TV as executive vice president of programming and chief content officer.  He most recently held the same position with Comcast-backed Baby Boomer-targeted network RLTV.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Elliot comes to Newsmax with a significant career in content strategy, programming operations, and production.  We’re excited because Elliot has a tremendous background in content and will help us implement our 2020 plans and beyond.”  Jacobson began his career as a news producer in Spain and has held positions at news and entertainment networks and production companies over the last 25 years.  He has consulted extensively on programming strategy and operations for emerging networks domestically and internationally.  He is a frequent speaker on the subjects of Boomer audiences and consumers.  He says, “I have followed Newsmax’s extraordinary growth over the last several years and I am enthusiastic to join the team.  Chris Ruddy has positioned Newsmax to become a critical source of news and information in the media landscape.”

It’s Official: Rush Limbaugh Renews with iHeartMedia. During his rally in Miami over the weekend, President Trump revealed that Rush Limbaugh had signed a new – the president said – four-year deal with iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks.  In an official release, iHeartMedia says the “specific terms” are not being announced but “long-term, multi-platform agreement reflects The Rush Limbaugh Show’s decades-long dominance in the talk radio format, including increased audience levels and revenue.”  In a statement, Limbaugh says, “Growing up, dreaming of and pondering success, I never actually envisioned it to the degree I have experienced it.  And it would not have happened without a huge audience of Americans, people who make the country work; hundreds of great radio stations who took a great risk 31 years ago; and the wonderful people at iHeartMedia, who know radio almost as well as I do.  Now, four more years!  There is nothing I would rather do!”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 PPM survey, today reporting on the public radio news/talk format.  Public radio talk fared better than its commercial news/talk “cousins” in the build-up to the holiday season with half of the stations on our panel see positive weekly 6+ AQH share movement and only 32% of stations seeing a decline when comparing November to December data.  The year-over-year comparison – December 2018 to December 2019 – shows about half the stations were up (48%) and the other half went down (52%).  Two public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: WAMU-FM, Washington and KUT-FM, Austin.  However, five public radio news/talk stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See all the data here.

TALKERS News Notes. At Salem Media Group’s KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1FM The Answer,” Rush Limbaugh now airs in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks superstar moves there from Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KARN-FM.  FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade assumes the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot at KARN-FM…..Production pro Jody Avirgan leaves his senior editorial producer position with ESPN where he produced and voiced the “30 For 30 Podcasts.”…..Podcast producer cabana adds two new programs to its portfolio of shows.  “Voices for Justice” is a true crime program hosted by Sarah Turney, whose sister Alissa went missing in 2001.  “ONE Extraordinary Marriage” is co-hosted by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo, marriage coaches and co-authors of 7 Days of Sex Challenge.  cabana SVP of business development Frank DeSantis says, “We’re excited about 2020 and kicking off the new year with these two great podcasts.  Our advertisers are eager for podcasts that tap into the interests and emotions of listeners.  We look forward to working with Sarah and the DiLorenzos and to bringing their audiences to national advertising brands.”

Iran Air Strikes/Middle East Tensions, Trump Impeachment, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/The Economy, Hunter Biden Paternity Case, and Puerto Rico Earthquakes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7). Iran’s strikes against U.S. bases in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S.’ killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; the impeachment articles against President Trump; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in November; the activity in the financial markets and the health of the U.S. economy; a judge rules Hunter Biden is the father of the child of a former DC stripper; and the earthquakes wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Houston, Jessie Watt joins the cast of “The Morning Mix” on Entercom’s hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” alongside air personalities Sarah Pepper and Geoff Sheen.  Watt comes to Houston from her most recent position at the company’s WYCD, Detroit where she was the on-air producer for the “Chuck, Rachael and Grunwald in the Morning” program.  Watt says, “I am beyond thrilled to be joining Entercom Houston’s incredibly accomplished ‘Mix 96.5’ team.  I feel lucky to be able to spend my mornings working and laughing with the fiercely talented Sarah Pepper and Geoff Sheen and am extremely excited for the opportunity to work under [market manager] Sarah Frazier and [program director] Chase Murphy.”…..iHeartMedia and FOX Entertainment announce the nominees for the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards that will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 29 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The event also will be broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “The iHeartRadio Music Awards is a true celebration of the music and artists that millions of fans listen to every day on their favorite radio stations across the country.  FOX’s young and engaged audience has proven to be the perfect home for our iHeart listeners.”  You can see the nominee list here…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated hip hop show “The Breakfast Club” is now airing on Cumulus Media’s hip hop WMNX, Wilmington, North Carolina “Coast 97.3.”  WMNX program director and afternoon drive host Brandon “Bigg B” Hickman says, “We are excited to bring a fresh morning to Wilmington with breaking hip hop and R&B with Angela Yee, Charlamange the GOD, and DJ Envy.  This addition pushes the urban culture forward with topics from trending news, finance, and politics wrapped up in a music intensive show on the way to work.  They and we are the culture!”

Monday, December 23, 2019

| December 23, 2019

Entercom Hacked Again? Media industry insider and reporter Jerry Del Colliano reports this morning (12/23) that some of Entercom’s IT systems have been compromised by a “more sophisticated attack” than the one the company suffered in September of this year.  Del Colliano’s report states that the attacks happened early Sunday morning as hackers gained access to encrypted servers thought to be located in Philadelphia.  The report says the attack seems “aimed at the critical Entercom all-news stations” and that KYW, Philadelphia was “playing back recorded segments from the overnight into the day (on Sunday).”  TALKERS magazine has reached out to Entercom for comment about the matter.  Obviously, at this point the scope of the alleged attack is impossible to determine.  As of this morning, KYW appears to be functioning normally.

Protecting Your Company from Cyberattacks. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman – who also publishes the website scamicide.com – offers some advice for media companies to help them avoid the debilitating and expensive effects of cyberattacks.  He writes, “A major reason for the increase in ransomware attacks is due to the new business model used by sophisticated cybercriminals who develop the intricate ransomware programs.  Instead of merely deploying the malware themselves, they are now selling or leasing the use of their malware, along with tech support, on the Dark Web to less sophisticated cybercriminals.  The Dark Web is a special part of the Internet where criminals buy and sell goods and services.  It is expected that ransomware attacks will continue to increase throughout 2020.”  For more on how to protect your IT infrastructure, read Weisman’s column here.

It’s Official: Bart Scott to Middays at ‘ESPN New York.’ The announcement comes from WEPN, New York owner ESPN that former New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott is returning to “98.7FM ESPN New York” on January 2 to join Alan Hahn as host of the “Bart & Hahn” show from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Scott will also serve as a regular contributor to ESPN television’s “Get Up” and “First Take” programs.  Scott has been serving as co-host of the early afternoon show at Entercom’s crosstown WFAN with co-host Maggie Gray.  He was originally partnered with Gray and Chris Carlin in afternoon drive at WFAN.  The trio were bumped to late afternoons when Mike Francesa returned to WFAN four months after leaving at the end of 2018.  Carlin, who exited WFAN in early September, recently join WEPN as evening host.  ESPN New York VP/GM Tim McCarthy says, “We are so excited to have Bart back at ‘98.7 ESPN’ where we started his radio career.  The combination of Bart and Alan will add a unique perspective to New York sports talk in a very entertaining fashion.”  Scott worked as an NFL analyst for CBS from 2013 to 2017.  He joined ‘ESPN 98.7FM’ as a special guest for the 2017 NFL season on “The Michael Kay Show” and “Humpty & Canty.”  He also hosted “Inside The Jets.”

Brenda Egger Named Region President for iHeartMedia Denver. Management and sales pro Brenda Egger is the new region president for iHeartMedia’s Denver region.  Most recently, she was senior vice president and market manager for KSE Radio.  Prior to that she was market manager for Citadel Broadcasting in Colorado Springs.  She began her career in radio sales for KOA, Denver.  In her new role, she will work closely with the programming, business, and sales teams for all station brands in the Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins markets.  iHeartMedia Markets Group division president Jeff Tyler states, “I’m thrilled to have someone with Brenda’s experience and knowledge join the iHeartMedia Denver team.  We have a tremendous team and strong brands in the Denver region and I am confident that Brenda’s tenure in the state provides the leadership and excellence that our partners and our advertisers have come to expect.”

Monday Memo: Telephone. It’s For You.  Is radio surrendering to smartphones?  Or exploiting them?  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke shares an eerie warning.  Read it here.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Steve Ruxton is joining Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM as a part-time and fill-in news anchor.  Ruxton is an anchor and reporter for the Chicago-based, syndicated television financial news show.  Ruxton previously served as host of Weigel Broadcasting’s “Stock Market Observer” and “WebFN.”…..WHO, Des Moines “Newsradio 1040” afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway is busy during this holiday season.  In addition to his PM drive show, he’s filling in on morning drive at WFLF, Orlando “News Radio WFLA” this week and next (except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).  Next Monday, he’ll also be filling in for nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, the San Francisco 49ers, and the 49ers Foundation announce that they raised more than $125,000 for local Bay Area youth sports initiatives as a result of the third annual 49ers Foundation Holiday Sports Auction.  The two-day charity auction was broadcast from the KNBR studios on Tuesday, December 3, and Wednesday, December 4.  KNBR has partnered with the 49ers Foundation on the auction for three consecutive years, raising more than $300,000 since its inception in 2017.

Impeachment, Financial Markets Activity/Economy, 2020 Presidential Race, India Protests, North Korea Threats, Virginia Car Pileup, and Eddie Murphy Returns to ‘SNL’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The articles of impeachment against President Trump and the Democrats’ strategy for the next step in the process; the positive activities in the financial markets and the state of the U.S. economy; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the violent protests in India over the new citizenship law that excludes Muslims; North Korea’s threat of a “Christmas present” for the U.S.; the 69-car pileup in Virginia caused by ice and fog; and Eddie Murphy’s return to “Saturday Night Live” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iHeartMedia Announces Three Podcasters to Be Honored at January Podcast Awards. When next month’s 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles, three podcast producers will be honored with iHeartRadio Podcast Icon Awards.  The New York Times’ “1619” podcast will receive the Social Impact Award; NPR’s “Life Kit” podcast will get the Innovator Award Presented by Zoom; and Tenderfoot TV’s Payne Lindsey and Donald Albright with be honored with the Audible Audio Pioneer Award.  The awards show will stream live Friday, January 17 at 11:00 pm ET/8:00 pm PT via a LiveXLive stream and on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. iHeartMedia says, “The iHeartRadio Podcast Icon Awards pay tribute to the creators, organizations, and podcasts that have made groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”  The 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will “honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2019 and will span 30 categories, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry.”  See more here.

Cyberspace Law and Security Expert Steve Weisman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The publisher of one of the nation’s leading sources of credible information about scams and fraud – Scamicide.com – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In addition to his work with Scamicide.com, Steven J.J. Weisman is a professor of law at Bentley University in Boston, a prolific best-selling author, a columnist for USA Today, a widely sought media commentator, and the legal editor of TALKERS.  Harrison and Weisman discuss a wide array of topics including the dramatic erosion of privacy that is threatening liberty and democracy in this new era.  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 and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Via her Facebook page, on-air pro Fran Lane reveals that she’s the victim of budget cuts at Entercom’s adult contemporary WLIF, Baltimore.  Lane, who hosted the evening “Love Songs” show says, “It is with a very heavy heart that I share this news with you… I am no longer employed at ‘Today’s 101.9’ due to company-wide budget cuts.  I hosted the 7 to midnight ‘Love Songs’ show for nearly 26 years.  I am heartbroken.”

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