Tag: "first quarter"

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.

Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Monday, May 8, 2017

| May 8, 2017

Entercom Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.4%.  Net revenue was $97.5 million – an increase of 1.4% over the same period in 2016 – for Entercom Communications for the first quarter of 2017.  The company reports that station expenses increased 5% to $75.4 million, and station operating income decreased 10% to $22.0 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says in a press release, “I am very pleased with our progress on all fronts as we continue to plan and prepare for our transformational merger with CBS Radio.  This will truly be a game-changing event for Entercom as we will achieve a number of scale-related benefits, including the ability to compete far more effectively against other media for a larger share of advertising spending.  First quarter revenues increased 1.4%, down about 1% on a same-station basis ex-political. We experienced a highly unusual degree of large one-time only expenses during the quarter (including the return of a station license in Sacramento, CBS transaction costs and our CFO transition), that drove expenses significantly higher. Looking ahead to the completion of the merger with CBS, we expect synergies that will drive margin expansion.”

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Flat; Broadcast Revenue Dips 1.9%.  Both the broadcast revenue ($47.8 million, down 1.9%) and digital revenue ($10.7 million, down 2.9%) were in negative territory for Salem Media Group during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2016.  It was the publishing division – up 34.6% on revenue of $6.5 million – that prevented a companywide dip in total revenue for the quarter.  As it stands, total revenue for Salem’s 2017 Q1 was $65 million, an increase of 0.6%.  The company reports that total operating expenses increased 2.9% to $60.2 million from $58.5 million and net income increased to $1.1 million, or $0.04 net income per diluted share from $0.4 million, or $0.01 net income per diluted share.

Sinclair Broadcast Group to Buy Tribune Media for $3.9 Billion.  This deal is mostly about television stations, but it will include Tribune Media’s lone radio property as Sinclair Broadcast Group will acquire WGN-AM, Chicago in the deal.  Several years ago, Tribune split its newspaper and television divisions, with the former taking on the Tronc moniker and the broadcast division remaining under the Tribune Media banner.  Sinclair owns only four other radio stations.  They are all-news KOMO-AM/FM, talk KVI-AM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”

WKNR, Cleveland’s Premium Subscription Effort Creates Controversy.  As illustrated in the Crain’s Business Cleveland piece written by Kevin Kleps, sports fans in Cleveland seem to be split over station owner Good Karma’s decision to offer commercial-free podcasts of its regular programming to those willing to pay $8.50 per month (or $85 for a year) for the content.  WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” VP and general manager Keith Williams says, “We know the way fans are consuming media in an on-demand world.  They don’t have the time or resources they once had. We’re providing them what they asked for.”  Quoted throughout the piece is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Read the story here.

French Presidential Election, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats, Russia-U.S. Election Investigation/Yates Testimony, Sanctuary Cities Issue, New Orleans Confederate Monuments Removal, MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential election in France that saw Emmanuel Macron defeat Marine Le Pen; the GOP plan to replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act with its own health care system; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and its threats against the U.S.; the investigation into allegations Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election and former Attorney General Sally Yates’ testimony on the matter; debate over the Trump Administration’s actions against sanctuary cities and the larger issue of immigration policy; the controversy over New Orleans’ removal of Confederate monuments; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ (and sister country outlet WKTI) were honored with 2017 Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards over the weekend.  WTMJ was named Large Market Radio News & Talk Station of the Year and recognized as Best News Operation of the Year in the Large Market Radio News & Talk category.   Between the two stations, they took home 17 awards, including: Best News/Talk Morning Show: Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller; Best Spot News Reporting: Milwaukee Riots; and Best Newscast.  Scripps Milwaukee Radio Operations vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “We’re humbled to be honored by our peers in the industry.”…..According to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CBS RADIO has cut four staffers from news/talk KRLD-AM, Dallas.  Those ousted include: “Texas Overnight” host Charley Jones, air personality J.D. Ryan, sports anchor-reporter Roger Emrich, and reporter and assistant news director Matt Thomas…..At the Times-Shamrock Communications operations in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Tom Ferguson exits the brand manager role there where he was responsible for sports talk WEJL and alternative WFUZ “ALT 92.1.”…..San Diego State University and FOX Sports College Properties announce a multi-year agreement with iHeartMedia San Diego to broadcast SDSU football and men’s basketball games beginning with the 2017 football season.  Games will be broadcasts locally on classic rock KGB-FM, KLSD “XTRA 1360 AM” in San Diego and on KTDD, Riverside “Fox Sports 1350.”

Radio Talent Institute at University of Georgia Begins Today.  Today begins the fourth annual Georgia Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia.  Cumulus Media VP of programming John Dimick begins the 10-day institute with the opening session and, over the course of the Institute, some 40 broadcasters from companies including Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, CBS RADIO, Beasley Broadcast Group, Radio One, Entercom, Alpha Media, and others will conduct sessions.  Georgia Association of Broadcasters president Bob Houghton says, “I knew we needed this, but even then didn’t realize how special it is until going through the experience of the Institute.  Broadcasters from all over the state come and give their time and expertise.  These students will be the leaders in our business 10, 20, 30 years from now.  We have a great deal of pride in what we are accomplishing.”

WMAL, DC Afternoon Drive Host Larry O’ Connor Guests on Harrison Podcast. On the afternoon of Thursday, April 24 at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news sites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC. During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record. The next morning (4/25) Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president. The result was a fascinating conversation about the relationship between talk radio and politics that provides the basis for this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Harrison stated, “Larry O’ Connor is one of the most significant rising stars in talk radio today. He is intelligent, articulate, independent, funny and fair. I am delighted to have him as this week’s guest on the podcast.” O’ Connor will be delivering the welcoming remarks at the forthcoming TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York City. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Todd Starnes at Liberty University Convocation. Pictured above is Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes addressing more than 14,000 students at convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Starnes – who produces a daily, short-form feature distributed by Fox News Radio – discussed current events during his speech.  He also led a seminar for students majoring in journalism.

 

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Oklahoma City market, iHeartMedia and evening radio personality Brad Boyington part ways. Boyington had been the night DJ at CHR KJYO “KJ 103” for the past three years…..KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” announces the lineup for its annual Summer Camp concert event.  The show – taking place at The Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach on August 19, will feature: Foster The People, The Head and The Heart, HAIM, Bleachers, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Magic Giant, Youngr and Beth Ditto.

iHeartCountry Festival Rocks Austin’s Frank Erwin Center. On Saturday (5/6), the fourth annual iHeartCountry Festival took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas –hosted by syndicated personality Bobby Bones – and featuring performances from: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kip Moore.  Pictured above are (from l-r): “Bobby Bones Show” personality Lunchbox, singer Karen Fairchild, “Bobby Bones Show” personality Amy; and Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town. Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

| May 4, 2017

iHeartMedia Posts Q1 Consolidated Revenue Dip of 2.4%.  In today’s release of 2017 first quarter financial data, iHeartMedia reports consolidated revenue was $1.32 billion – down 2.4% from the same period in 2016.  That figure includes the Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor segments, which both saw revenue decreases.  The iHeartMedia segment’s revenue was $757 million – up 2.5% from the first quarter of 2016.  The report also notes that the revenue increase was “driven primarily by increases in trade and barter, sponsorship and other revenues surrounding our live events, and digital, as well as our core radio business.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease in political advertising revenues and lower revenue from our traffic and weather business.”  Once again, the company includes language about its tenuous debt situation in a section that details its payments and coming obligations: “For the year ended December 31, 2016, we adopted a new accounting standard that requires us to evaluate on a quarterly basis whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017. At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 million and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018. Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the notes exchange offers and term loan offers, management has determined that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following May 4, 2017 as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending notes exchange offers and term loan offers.”

Radio Advertising Down 8.7% in First Quarter for Radio One; Company Name Change to Urban One Effective Tomorrow.  The radio advertising sector of Radio One, Inc’s first quarter of 2017 garnered $46.1 million – a decrease from the same period in 2016.  Net revenue for the entire company was $101.2 million – down 7.1% from Q1 in 2016.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “A combination of tough political comps in radio, and non-recurring major client spending at Reach Media, made for a weak start to the year in radio advertising.  TV One ratings held up well overall (+4% Household, and flat 24-54 total day), although we were down in the younger-end demographic. Despite this, we were able to post growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the division.  Our digital business will be bolstered by the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, which will be immediately accretive.  MGM National Harbor continues to perform well, and we have accrued approximately $1.5 million of income in the first quarter.  We remain committed to growing our cash flow in 2017, despite the slow start to the year.  Our name change to Urban One will become effective on May 5th, and will better reflect our diversified multimedia platform.”

Saga Communications Down 4.1% in First Quarter.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2017 for Saga Communications was $31.4 million, down 4.1% from the same period a year ago.  The company attributes that decline primarily to reduction in political revenue of $1.3 million from the same quarter in 2016.  For the quarter, station operating expense increased 1.5% to $25.1 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million to $3.5 million. Free cash flow for the quarter was $3.2 million.

GOP Health Care Bill, Comey Hearing, Hillary Clinton Interview, Colbert’s Anti-Trump Rant, North Korea Tensions, Cop Slays Texas Teen, French Presidential Race, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/3).  The GOP’s plans to put its American Health Care Act to a vote today; the controversy over FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about notifying Congress about new emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation just days before the election; Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour; the flap over Stephen Colbert’s use of sexual language in his anti-Trump rant; North Korea’s jab at China and its threats against the U.S.; the slaying of a 15-year-old black boy by a Balch Springs, Texas cop; the French presidential race between far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and moderate Emmanuel Macron; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Former “Saturday Night Live” star and current WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” morning personality Joe Piscopo announces he will not be running for Governor of New Jersey, after all.  Piscopo had been entertaining running as a Republican but now says he’ll back current Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno…..Anthem Broadcasting LLC, the parent of USA Radio Networks, announces a “$1.25 million investment” in the company by Florida based Innerself Marketing.  Anthem Broadcasting LLC was formed by Liftable Media Inc in 2015 to acquire the assets of USA Radio.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “We have experienced and amazing turnaround at USA Radio since the fall of 2015.  But it is about to get better.  Innerself Marketing is the perfect partner to strengthen and build USA Radio Networks.  Innerself is a marketing dynamo, and the combination of an outstanding radio platform and an advertising powerhouse will lead to even greater success.”…..NPR sports commentator Frank Deford announces that he’s retiring from his gig on the “Morning Edition” program.  Deford was working for Sports Illustrated when he began doing commentaries for NPR back in 1980…..The real-life couple Kate Fagan and Kathryn Budig are launching a new podcast called “Free Cookies” from espnW and ESPN Audio.  Fagan writes for espnW and makes appearances on “SportsCenter.”  Budig is a best-selling author and yoga expert.  In the premiere episode, the two speak to soccer star Abby Wambach…..The “America Outdoors Radio” program that focuses on fishing, hunting and shooting sports, announces it signs up new affiliate stations  KBRV, Soda Springs, Idaho; KNYN, Evanston, Wyoming; and KELA, Centralia, Washington.  “America Outdoors Radio” is hosted and produced by John Kruse and is sponsored by Media Index Publishing…..This Saturday is the 143rd running of the Kenturcky Derby and Westwood One is presenting national radio and audio streaming coverage of the race in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna is serving as anchor.  Derby coverage is also being presented on SiriusXM.

Dave Ramsey Celebrating 25th Anniversary of Radio Show. This year, Dave Ramsey is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his nationally syndicated radio program.  He begins today by including special anniversary segments on the show.  Ramsey’s show launched in 1992 and the Ramsey Solutions company says that “no one could have predicted the show’s longevity or its continued growth.”  Dave Ramsey says, “The radio show happened by accident.  I lost everything because I was stupid and borrowed too much money.  When I discovered and applied common-sense financial principles in my own life and began teaching them, a friend invited me on a little brokered radio station to help people with their money problems.  I’m sure our delivery was horrendous, but we offered truth, instruction and hope.  We’ve refined that over the years, because that’s what people need.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit morning show Dave & Chuck – Dave Hunter and Chuck “The Freak” Urquhart with co-host Lisa Way – are re-upped for four years by Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their program on rock WRIF.   The show launched at WRIF in 2013 and has since added co-host Andy Green, producer James Campbell and video editor Jason Watson. Beasley Detroit market manager Mac Edwards says, “Of course, we extended their contracts!  Dave and Chuck have crushed the competition and dominated Detroit’s morning radio for men and women, ranking #1 in every key demo including 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54!  We value their amazing talent and are fortunate to work with them.”…..Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV, Chicago “The Drive” announces it has hired Chicago media pro Jill Egan to serve as producer for the “Sherman & Tingle” morning show, featuring Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle.  Egan says, “Producing a radio show is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding, position I’ve held in my broadcast career.  Sherman and Tingle are both extraordinarily talented, hilarious, hard-working, and genuine guys.  I share the same drive to succeed as they do.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Kathy Hart – one half of the WTMX morning show team with Eric Ferguson – has been off the show since April 27 with little explanation from management.  Feder writes that Hubbard Radio Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England is simply saying, “Kathy is taking some time off.”  Co-host Ferguson is apparently also in the dark as to what’s going on.  Read Feder’s column here.

CBS RADIO Creates MusicTown Venue in Detroit. A new multi-use space called MusicTown is being constructed by CBS RADIO Detroit, in association with Olympia Entertainment.  It’s designed to “host and celebrate music, culture and entertainment in the city of Detroit.”  It will be located inside Hockeytown Café, within the 50-block, mixed-use sports and entertainment development known as The District Detroit.  MusicTown will consist of a new broadcast studio, recording studio and performance space.  CBS says it will “support artists, educate children of all ages and celebrate the Detroit community and its visitors through lifestyle, collaboration and entertainment.”  CBS RADIO Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are strongly committed to continuing Detroit’s tradition as a great ‘Music City.’  By identifying new talent and sharing the many music stories that Detroit has inspired, this initiative will help celebrate a once-booming industry in our great city, stimulating significant economic growth in the region along the way.”