Tag: "Forever Communications"

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

| August 12, 2020

Sumner Redstone Has Died. According to a statement from ViacomCBS, its chair emeritus and chief executive officer of controlling shareholder National Amusements, Sumner Redstone, has died. Redstone served as Viacom CEO from 1996 – 2005, and was executive chair of the Viacom and CBS boards from 2005 – 2016. He since was chair emeritus for both companies. A statement reads, “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator, and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today.” Sumner Redstone was 97 years old.

Beasley Study: Boston Consumers Optimistic. Results of Beasley Media Group Boston-commissioned/ Strategic Solutions Research-conducted polling indicate the majority of Boston-area consumers remain optimistic even during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, a large percentage feel their spending is – or will soon be – back to normal. Beasley Media Group Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna comments, “The company’s study is meant to help guide marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state-of-mind and planned future behaviors. It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients. People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows true ‘Boston Strong’ grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners – nine of ten – support wearing a mask, and they expect others to do so as well.” Strategic Solutions Research partner Hal Rood notes that, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, “It does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.” The survey was conducted July 6 – 16 among 1,532 listeners of Beasley Media Group Boston’s five radio stations: sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”; classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 ’80s & More”; WKLB “Country 102.5”; WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9”; and rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.”

Local Ad Revenue Estimates Lowered. Continuing economic fallout owing to the coronavirus crisis has led BIA Advisory Services to adjust its estimate for 2020’s total local advertising market to $140.4 billion, which is down from April’s $144.3 billion. Albeit with this year’s anticipated strong political advertising, BIA’s updated forecast estimate represents a 6.1% decline from 2019. BIA’s senior vice president/chief economist Mark Fratrik explains that, “To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals. We believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that, after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive, but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.” As political campaigns continue to drift to online rallies and events, presidential and down-ballot candidates are spending significant dollars in local broadcast and digital advertising. Ever since its April prediction, BIA increased the expected political ad spend from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion. Distributed share to different media includes $5 million to terrestrial radio; $138 million to over-the-air TV; $40 million to cable TV; and $26 million to online/digital.

COVID-19 Concerns Cause BFA Golf Tourney Cancellation. Owing to coronavirus-related safety fears, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has scrubbed its celebrity golf tournament fundraiser. Another big BFA money driver – the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament traditionally held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas – was cancelled as well a few months ago. Broadcasters Foundation chair Scott Herman remarks, “Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help. This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.” Broadcasters Foundation president Jim Thompson adds, “We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them. Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America.” The two golf fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. In hopes of negating the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation is launching a plea for donations. Personal contributions can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate offerings are accepted through the Angel Initiative, while bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Mr. Master Marks Milestone: Million Spots Per Week. The company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) – Mr. Master – has processed and provided compliance for one million network spots per week nationwide. This coincides with Mr. Master announcing new AIM agreements with Neuhoff Communications (five markets/20 stations) and Forever Communications (three markets/26 stations). It has AIM renewal contracts with Entercom (44 markets/453 stations); Alpha Media (46 markets/226 stations); SummitMedia (nine markets/51 stations); and Forever Media (16 markets/63 stations). Mr. Master president Stu Jacobs states, “We are very proud that AIM has become such a widely accepted, and useful tool that helps networks, stations, and advertisers to quickly get the accurate information they need, whether they are working in-office or remotely. One million national network spots a week – 52 million spots a year – is a huge milestone for our company. We couldn’t have done it without our first-class team and the amazing clients who trust us with their accountability.”

Albuquerque’s KQTM Aligns With Cage Side Seat MMA Media. The multi-layered broadcast relationship between Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” and Cage Side Seat MMA Media includes weekly Jim “Gries” Grieshaber-hosted longform programming; daily UFC/MMA commentaries/features; and weekly guest appearances on live programming. KQTM president Joe O’Neill comments, “It’s great to work with Jim. He’s a national-level talent connected to the pulse of UFC/MMA. We look forward to bringing “Gries” to New Mexico.” Grieshaber adds, “We’re so pumped to partner with our friends at ‘The Team’ and the great MMA fans of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is hallowed ground in our sport. It is home of the mecca of MMA gyms Jackson-Wink MMA, the GOAT Jon Jones, and legends like Holly Holm, Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. We’re coming strong with the best in MMA/UFC sports talk programming.”

Key Networks And Virtual Jock Partnering. In the barter basis arrangement, New Generation Radio product Virtual Jock will provide syndication company Key Networks access to its on-air talent and programming services. Virtual Jock founder/president/chief executive officer Jason Kidd explains that right before launching Virtual Jock five years ago, “Many stations were downsizing and losing strong local talent in the process. Fast forward to now and the need is greater than ever before. Teaming up with Key Networks will allow us to take things to an even higher level, expanding and offering our major market talent roster to radio stations across all formats. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.” Key Networks president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins comments, “The ongoing disruption from COVID-19 has severely impacted every radio company. All have eliminated some on-air positions and daypart shifts as cost-cutting moves in order to retain financial stability. Virtual Jock can now assist these groups and others by offering a no-cost barter option to fill some of these numerous holes and to also reconnect with those disenfranchised listeners. We want to work closely with stations to fill this void as radio is beginning to rebound.” Chief revenue officer Dennis Green notes, “Jason [Kidd] and his team have developed a concept that offers stations a chance to bring top-notch talent across all formats to markets from coast-to-coast. Key Networks is delighted to partner with Virtual Jock to provide a marketing opportunity that is cost-effective for stations both large and small to have dynamic and proven talent on their air.” In addition to 24/7 formats, Virtual Jock currently offers 40 full-time/in-house voice talents, as well as fully-produced audio programs and imaging. New York and Orlando-based Key Networks is a Sun & Fun Media-affiliated company.

Shondaland Audio, iHeartMedia Release Original Podcasts. As part of an arrangement between iHeartRadio and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland Audio, three podcasts will debut this month: “You Down?”; “Criminalia”; and “Go Ask Ali.” Future podcasts will include “#Matter,” “American Coup,” and “Black Girl Lost.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Shonda Rhimes is an absolute creative powerhouse. Developing these first few shows together has indicated what a strong partnership iHeartMedia and Shondaland have formed with Shondaland Audio. The breadth and depth of content that’s in progress as part of this partnership is unparalleled. We’re thrilled to work beside the Shondaland team to bring Shonda’s unique storytelling magic to podcast listeners everywhere.” Shondaland Audio chief design and digital media officer Sandie Bailey states, “Podcasts allow for innovative and intimate storytelling and that’s exactly what this slate offers – deeply human stories through a range of genres and formats aimed to engage the varied and ever- growing podcast listenership. iHeartMedia has been an incredible partner in forming Shondaland Audio. I’m thrilled that audiences will soon hear more from our collaboration with this new offering of shows.” Rhimes oversees development of the slate; Bailey manages day-to-day operations. Previously launched “Katie’s Crib,” a bi-weekly podcast following “Scandal” and “Waitress” actress Katie Lowes joined the slate three months ago. It releases a new episode tomorrow (Thursday, 8/13) that features actress Gabrielle Union.

Veritone One Signs On With Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Audio advertising and media agency Veritone One is now subscribing to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Veritone One senior vice president of strategy and investment Conor Doyle comments, “As one of the largest podcast advertising agencies serving over 100 active clients across 15,000 podcasts, Nielsen’s research will help us refine our current placements and unlock market opportunities for new advertisers wanting to enter the medium. Access to consumption and audience data will attract brand advertisers who have been previously hesitant to enter the largely direct-to-consumer space. Integrating Nielsen’s unique insights along with our proprietary AI-based analytics and decades of experience will enable us to set a new industry standard in podcast advertising.” Nielsen Global Media executive vice president/managing director David Hohman notes, “Veritone One is an agency that is on the cutting-edge of advertising. We are excited to empower them as they turn their data into actionable intelligence with real-time campaign optimization. With more brand advertisers coming into the podcast medium, and Nielsen’s ability to analyze over 150 podcasts, Veritone One will be able to reach even greater success as an innovative industry leader.”

TALKERS News Notes. “Women To Watch” joins the lineup of Red Apple Media New York’s WABC “Talk Radio 77” this Saturday (8/15) at 8:30 am. It will commence as a 30-minute show, expanding to 60 minutes three weeks later (9/5) at a yet-to-be-determined time. The show’s founder/host Susan Rocco remarks, “I always wanted ‘Women to Watch’ to be the go-to media network for all stories related to women’s leadership and success. We are building a woman-owned, women-run media company to amplify the voices of women who are leading across all industries.” WABC’s senior vice president of programming Dave LaBrozzi notes his station, “is proud to support strong women by bringing this lively and inspiring weekly show to the NYC market.” The first guest featured on WABC will be The Weiss Agency executive vice president Heather Cohen, who comments, “‘Women To Watch’ is the place to go to hear inspiring stories by inspiring women. Susan [Rocco] is the consummate professional and her interviews are spot-on.  I’m honored to be the first guest in the NY market.” Rocco states, “Heather Cohen is an exciting first guest for our new market. She’s a New Yorker, has worked in the industry and was recently elected chair of The Alliance For Women in Media.” Originated and still heard on Entercom Philadelphia’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Women To Watch has expanded to a national podcast and digital platform … Separate from his duties as 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm host on Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM, Erick Erickson today (Wednesday, 8/12) celebrates the one-year anniversary of doing self-syndication. His first affiliate was in Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Twelve months later, Erickson is on more than a dozen Georgia news/talk outlets. A one-man band, he does affiliate relations, and ad sales. Describing the experience as rewarding, Erickson explains, “Georgia’s swing state status makes a statewide program focused on the state a unique selling point. I try to be upfront, though, that I want to stretch outside the state after the election and keep growing nationwide.”  … As noted yesterday (TALKERS, 8/11), president Trump chatted on-air with Salem Media Networks host Hugh Hewitt. That wasn’t yesterday’s only radio stop for the chief executive though as he visited with Fox Sports Radio’s (6:00 am – 9:00 am, ET) “Outkick The Coverage” host Clay Travis. Regarding college football and the coronavirus, Trump told Travis, “People don’t realize it’s a tiny percentage of people that get sick and they’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with bad hearts, diabetes, some kind of a physical problem or a weight problem. These football players are very young, strong people. Physically, they’re in extraordinary shape, so they’re not going to have a problem. You’re not going to see people dying. You can’t have empty seats. I’m not sure college football can do it, but we’ll have to see.” On the return of the NFL and the NBA, he commented, “Well, they want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government. I would say this – if they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open. Other than that, I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible to get them open. They can protest in other ways. I don’t think they should protest our flag or our country. Basketball ratings are down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re going up for the shot. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in big trouble — bigger trouble than they understand.” … Taking the place of annual in-person tours that SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio” channel usually conducts, it will present 32 virtual NFL training camp shows – one for each NFL franchise. Starting today (Wednesday, 8/12), “NFL Radio” channel hosts will interview players, coaches, and team executives via video conferencing. SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen states, “Like all NFL fans, we look excitedly ahead to the 2020 NFL season. Even amid these very unique circumstances in which teams are reporting to camp, we remain dedicated to giving our listeners the most in-depth and comprehensive preseason preview of their favorite teams. Our experts include some of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people covering the game today. They will deliver a level of analysis on teams and players that you can’t get anywhere else.” …  Numerous lineup changes next Monday (8/17) at Disney-owned/Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk WMVP will find “ESPN 1000 Chicago” airing two hours (5:00 am – 7:00 am) of ESPN Radio’s new national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti. Shifting from 6:00 am – 9:00 am to 7:00 am – 10:00 am is David Kaplan. He will partner with Jonathan  Hood, who segues from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Meanwhile, Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic transition from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm to 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, as ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg-hosted “Greeny” takes over the vacated 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm slot. Weekend hosts Chris Bleck and Adam Abdalla advance to 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, while Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman remain in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) … Citing pandemic-caused budget issues, Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” parts ways with morning host Jim Villanucci and producer/host Sam Hauser. The station’s afternoon program – “Team Talk” – is being handled by a revolving set of hosts. Formerly an on-air talent at Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM, Villanucci joined KQTM two years ago. He previously worked at news/talk stations in Portland (KXL) and Las Vegas (KXNT). Before coming to “The Team” last year, Hauser served as sports director in Austin, Minnesota at KAUS and was a producer/board op in Miami at sports talk WAXY “790 The Ticket.”

Kamala Harris Receives VP Nod, Mail-In Voting Debate, School Opening Struggles, and Chicago Unrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11).  The selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as Joe Biden’s running-mate topped the TALKERS list of most-discussed stories on news/talk radio across America yesterday (8/11).  It was followed by the debates over mail-in voting and the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other major topics included Chicago unrest, Russia’s vaccine, stimulus relief, and the cancellation of Big 10 and Pac-12 college football according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With Ryan Seacrest’s television partner Kelly Ripa taking yesterday (Tuesday, 8/10) and today (Wednesday, 8/11) off, his “Live With Kelly & Ryan” co-host those two days is Sisanie, his radio partner. The two work together  on Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” heard around the country from iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR flagship KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM.” Sisanie has filled in for Ripa several times the past few years … Last summer, Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” asked David Rush, the world’s fastest juggler and breaker of over 150 Guinness World Records, to attempt shattering the record for most balloons popped in one minute using chopsticks. Rush established that mark in 2018 with 28 balloons, but that feat was subsequently broken. Rush set out to regain the title this past Sunday (8/9) – this time using hand pump-inflated, COVID-free balloon targets bearing “The Bob & Tom Show” logo. Halfway into the attempt, Rush recounts that he was “just barely on pace to beat the record,” but began throwing the chopsticks a little faster to pop 40 balloons in 60 seconds – a new world record. A big promoter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, Rush dedicates all his world records to that cause … WBVX “Classic Rock 92.1” names Dennis “Dead Air” Dillon program director/afternoon personality of the LM Communications Lexington (Kentucky) outlet. LM Communications owner/president Lynn Martin remarks, “We are pleased to welcome Dennis Dillon, who has a long history of presenting the very best classic rock music and now can present it to the best classic rock audience in Lexington. By introducing him to our locally-owned and operated radio group, we once again show that being a local voice rather than just a cog in a national wheel lets us provide something truly unique to the classic rock audience in Lexington. Dillon notes, “In a time when big corporations are moving away from local DJ’s in the community, I’m ecstatic to have found a home in the city I love with a locally-owned and operated company. I’ve always loved this genre and I’m already discovering that the ‘Classic Rock 92.1’ fans share that same passion.” Dillon previously worked in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chattanooga … Former MusicMaster vice president of sales Jerry Butler joins Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala as local sales manager for a cluster that includes alternative WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz”; country WPLL; rhythmic CHR WTGM “Magic 101.3”; classic hits-oldies WXJZ; and contemporary Christian WTMN & WRZN. Marc Radio general manager Dave Cobb comments, “Jerry brings the perfect mix of leadership, marketing, on-air personality, and programming savvy. He knows the radio industry inside and out. He is great at advising clients and introducing them to new products. He’s a great asset to our team.” Butler adds, “Our goal is to guide the local advertising community on how best to earn impressive returns on their investments in any, or all, of our radio station formats.” … After stunting by playing a weekend of all-Christmas music, Zimmer Midwest Communications Springfield, Missouri flips sports talk KWTO “The Jock” to adult contemporary “98.7 The Dove.” ZMC co-owner John Zimmer remarks, “It’s a great day for our company to enter the greater Springfield market with stations featuring the most powerful signals and largest coverage areas to serve the Ozark region. The greater Springfield region has been a great driver of growth in Missouri – we are proud to be of part of the expansion. We look forward to making a positive impact and difference for the community and businesses with our local solutions and stations to promote the economy of the Springfield region.” Kevin Howard and Liz Delany (“Kevin & Liz”) debut in morning drive next Monday (8/17). Core artists on “Lite Rock Favorites The Dove” include Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, and Sting.

Friday, July 19, 2019

| July 19, 2019

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” Panel.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/19) post presents the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra University; Sid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session is moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Posted yesterday (7/18): discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.   Already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Aftershocks of Le Batard’s POTUS Bashing. Those “send her back” chants aimed at Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar at Wednesday’s Donald Trump rally in Greenville, North Carolina were just too much for ESPN host Dan Le Batard to take. On yesterday’s show (Thursday, 7/18), Le Batard – whose parents are from Cuba – said what happened in North Carolina “felt un-American. It was deeply offensive to me as somebody whose parents have made all the sacrifices to get to this country.” Without specifically invoking the president’s name, Le Batard said, “You’ve had every privilege afforded to you, every privilege. And now, what you do with that power? You go after brown people and black people and minorities?” Opining that a racial division exists in this country, he commented, “It’s not the America my parents aimed to get for us, for exiles, for brown people.” Taking his own network as well as the president to task, Le Batard stated, the polarization is “being instigated by the president; we here at ESPN haven’t had the stomach for that fight. Around here, we won’t talk about it, unless Russell Wilson is saying something about it on his Instagram. Nobody talks politics on anything unless they use one of these sports figures as a meat shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects. We don’t talk about what is happening unless there’s some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through when sports has always been the place where this stuff changes.” Earlier today, the president denounced the “crazed media coverage” of his rally, wishing “the disgusting statements” progressive lawmakers make got as much attention. Meanwhile, an ESPN memo circulated today reminded employees about policies concerning talking “pure politics” on-air, basically saying “don’t do it.” Jemile Hill was suspended in 2017 for violating ESPN’s social media policy multiple times, including one instance where she called the president a “white supremacist.” Hill no longer works for ESPN but applauded Batard via Twitter today. Disciplinary action toward Le Batard is unclear. Today’s show began without him for the first hour – but – he later joined.

Houston’s KILT-AM Resets Lineup. As longtime afternoon host Rich Lord departs KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” the Entercom Houston outlet and radio flagship of the Houston Texans adjusts its on-air roster. Next Monday (7/22), co-host Sean Pendergrast segues to morning drive with Seth Payne. Taking over the 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm slot vacated by Lord and Pendergrast are KILT-AM weekly contributor/swing talent Clint Stoerner and Rick Kamla, who joins from similarly-formatted Atlanta sibling WZGC “92.9 The Game,” where he did middays. According to Entercom Houston senior vice president/market manager Sarah Frazier, “Rich did an incredible job for nearly two-and-a-half decades on [KILT-AM]. As one of the first announcers on Houston’s first sports talk station, he has played an instrumental role in building this heritage station and will always be an integral part of its legacy. We are thankful for his work ethic and contributions over the years and wish him the best. He will always be a treasured player of ‘Sports Radio 610.’” Regarding “Clint and Kamla” – the station’s new afternoon drive team – she states, “They are the perfect pair to bring informative and clear-cut opinions to the Houston listener. As a native Houstonian, Clint has a natural connection with the audience and a distinct delivery and southern charm. Rick brings to the station a national platform with instant recognition from his years at NBA TV. His passion for sports will be evident instantly. We are equally as excited to provide the Houston sports community with a revamped weekday lineup that they can connect with to and from work on a daily basis.” Lord comments, “My time at [KILT-AM] has been the most rewarding, fulfilling, and satisfying experience of my professional life. I’ll forever be grateful to Dickie Rosenfeld for bringing me aboard in 1995. My time here has meant so much to me and my family that the biggest emotion that I feel right now is gratitude.” Born and raised in Houston, Stoerner maintains that, “Football is in my DNA. ‘Sports Radio 610′ is the king of Houston sports radio, so talking sports daily to my people in south Texas is a dream come true.” Kamla adds, “I am grateful for the opportunity to co-host afternoon drive with Clint and to be part of the new lineup on ‘Sports Radio 610.’ My family and I are very excited for this adventure in an amazing city.” KILT-AM’s adjusted on-air lineup is “Payne and Pendergast” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In The Loop” (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); “Clint and Kamla” (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “Texans All Access” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “The Six-Pack with Matthew Jarecki” (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Matthew Jarecki (9:00 pm – 11:00 pm).

TALKERS News Notes. Heard guest-hosting on Westwood One’s 10:00 pm – 1:00 am “Jim Bohannon Show” last night (Thursday, 7/18) was Walter Sterling ….. At month’s end, Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting Casper (Wyoming) general manager/program director Kevin Barrett will leave the five-station cluster. Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting owner Jan Charles Gray remarks, “Kevin has done an outstanding job. He will continue to work with us as a consultant for our ten stations in Wyoming and South Dakota.” Barrett notes, “It has been a great experience and we’ve made a lot of progress. I’m most interested in returning to news/talk or sports talk as a program director or operations manager.” The company’s five Casper outlets are news/talk KVOC “AM 1230 – The Voice of Casper”; classic hits-oldies KMLD “Melody 94.5”; adult contemporary KHOC “Heart 102.5”; KQLT “103.7 Casper’s Original Country Station”; and KASS “Kick 107 The Rock Station.” Barrett joined Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting roughly ten months ago. His previous programming credits include KTRB, San Francisco; KTRS, St. Louis; KSEQ, Fresno; KABZ, Little Rock; KEEL, Shreveport (Louisiana); and KWXY, Palm Springs (California). Other Mt. Rushmore properties are located in Rawlins, Wyoming; Hot Springs, South Dakota; and Custer, South Dakota ….. Rob Carson filled in yesterday (Thursday, 7/18) on the 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm “Conservative Circus” on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI “News Talk 550” and is scheduled to do so again today (Friday, 7/19) ….. Owing to a just-announced partnership, Cadence13 has exclusive representative for motivational speaker, author, and “lifestyle influencer” Rachel Hollis’ Rise podcasts – “Rise” and “Rise Together.” In addition it will develop a Rise podcast network that will focus on personal growth, lifestyle, and wellness. Hollis – who wrote the best-selling “Girl, Wash Your Face” – comments, “I love being able to share my life experiences and what I’ve learned on my ever-evolving journey with listeners around the world. Joining a leading podcast company like Caence13 to help build and develop our network is incredibly exciting.” Cadence 13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran contends, “Rachel Hollis is nothing less than a phenomenon. Rachel’s authenticity has inspired millions. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with her and support her vision.” The 36-year-old Hollis hosts the “Rise” interview series, and co-hosts “Rise Together” with her husband, Dave Hollis, who is chief executive officer of The Hollis Company.

KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute Set To Get Underway. Beginning next Monday (7/22), Kentucky Broadcasters Association president Chris Winkle will welcome students from five universities as the seventh annual “KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute” begins on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. “Winkle stresses, “We cannot stand on the sidelines wondering where the next generation of broadcasters will come from. We have to be proactive and intentional in our efforts to assist students on their journey into broadcasting, culminating with job placement.” Instant Sales Training’s Chris Lytle, who authored “The Accidental Salesperson” and “The Accidental Sales Manager,” takes on the opening session. Among those slated to lead sales and management panels are NAB executive vice president Steve Newberry; CapCity Communications Kentucky/Seven Mountains Media Pennsylvania chief executive officer Kristin Cantrell; Forever Communications Bowling Green president Christine Hillard; Forcht Broadcasting Somerset (Kentucky) president/chief executive officer Mike Tarter; Heritage Media Leitchfield (Kentucky) president/chief executive officer Mark Buckles; Commonwealth Communications Bowling Green chief operating officer Dale Thornhill; and Commonwealth Communications chief revenue officer/Swagger Institute president Derron Steenbergen. Next Friday (7/26), Alpha Media Louisville CHR WDJX “99.7 DJX – All the Hits” morning drive talents Ben Davis & Kelly K will broadcast from the institute with the students as the studio audience. Cromwell Radio Group Nashville president Bud Walters will do the closing session and the students will get certification as RAB radio marketing professionals.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” Now Posted.  The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by TALKERS that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media, has been posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeart Media’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “Is the President a Racist?” looks back at the week of July 15-19, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steve Weisman, law professor, Bentley University, Boston; and Peter King, correspondent, CBS News Radio, Kennedy Space Center.  The show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week in review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available to terrestrial news/talk stations on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and its complete archives), please click here.

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. June 2019 ratings information has been released for West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all four of these PPM-markets.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing its positive run, iHeartMedia-owned WJNO is a collective +1.1 in four successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+) and repeats at #9. This is the first time “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” reaches the three-share level (3.1, 6+) since December 2017’s 3.3. The March 2019 through June 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is: 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 (#12 to #13, 6+). It is part of a three-way #13 tie with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL, which regains 75% of May’s -.4 (1.7 – 2.0, +.3, #15 to #13, 6+); “News Talk 850” improved by eight-tenths in April. While flat at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talker WIOD “610 News Radio” picks up two-tenths (.6 to .8, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) in August 2018 but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent 11 sweeps.

Returning the one-tenth it picked up in May (2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN slips from eighth to tenth.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – In six straight upticks, iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” is +1.6 (2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.1, fifth to fourth, 6+) and reaches the four-share level (4.1) for the first time since August 2018 (4.0). Not only does Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX explode with a +1.2 (2.0 – 3.2, 6+), “Mia 92.1” vaults into the top ten (#13 to #8). This (3.2) more than doubles (+1.7) where WRLX was this time last year (1.5, 6+, June 2018). Albeit a combined -3.0 in its third successive decrease (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF is #1 the sixth month in a row. “Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +2.0 in March to 11.2, its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). This (8.2), however, is its lowest since “Holiday” 2017 (8.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. Urban AC sibling WMBX “X-102.3” sputters by nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.9 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. An April gain of six-tenths took WMBX to 5.9, its highest 6+-share since May 2018’s 6.2. Following three successive West Palm Beach increases for a collective +1.0 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100” is down one-tenth to 2.3 (6+) and carries on at #11. Off a combined eight-tenths in May/June (2.7 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting – Upbeat – Real” drifts from the top ten (#10 to #16). At the same time iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” substitutes May’s loss of one-tenth with a June increase of two-tenths (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” is an overall -1.7 via three straight decreases (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Whereas 7.2 is the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5, “Sunny” has its softest 6+-stat (6.5) since 5.0 in November 2018. The two AC rivals – WOLL and WEAT-FM – continue at second and third, respectively.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive down or flat trends by iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” account for a collective -1.2 (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). This immediately follows January/February’s +1.4 (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

The March 2019 through June 2019 topline for Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is: .9 – .8 – .9 – .9 (#15 to #16, 6+),

Anchored at #13 for the 14th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” answers April’s loss of seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+) with back-to-back (May and June) increases of two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+). Repeating at #17, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC logs a .8 (6+) for the third time in the last four reports (.8 – .5 – .8 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – In addition to cracking the top ten (#11 to #9), iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ nets +1.6 in three upticks in a row (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+) and “105.7 – Man Up” reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2018 (4.0). Over and above recording a June improvement of one-half share (9.3 – 9.8, 6+), Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” marches from second to first. Its six most recent fluctuations are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); and +.5 (June). Prior to its March-only stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). In tandem with “Simon” picking up one-half share and shifting from second to first, co-owned urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” falters by one-half share (9.8 – 9.3, 6+) and segues from first to second. An April increase of six-tenths pulled the plug on five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). On top in January and February, WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. Replicating May’s loss of seven-tenths (4.6 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Heading into the May sweep, “Kiss” was a collective +1.8 via four consecutive upticks (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+). In April (2019), it reached the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since April 2018’s 4.1. Within 5.1 – 5.7 range the fifth straight report (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+), Dick Broadcasting’s WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to eighth. Deadlocked in sixth place are Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” (flat at 5.3, seventh to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” (5.7 – 5.3, -.4, unchanged at #6, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” cancelled out January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Over the course of the last 14 sweeps (June 2018 through June 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW nine times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and May); WPAW has come out on top four times (December 2018, February 2019, March, and April; and the two are tied in June 2019 (5.3, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though iHeartMedia news/talk WREC picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” backslides from eighth to ninth.

In five straight reports without an increase, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has lost six-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), yet climbs from #12 to #11. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; but logs a .1 (6+) for the fourth straight time (flat at #18, 6+). It is again tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase the 12th straight time (including ten consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Five straight upticks by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK, including June’s +1.0, result in a +2.7 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+) as “K-97.1” advances from third to second. In addition, WHRK reaches the nine-share level (9.5, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 9.4. Logging its fourth consecutive increase, gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” nets +1.6 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1 – 7.4, steady at #4, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (7.4) since August 2015’s 7.5. Three streaks are in-play at co-owned urban AC KJMS. On the plus side, it is #1 the eighth time in a row. A loss of six-tenths though means “V-101” is down or flat the fourth straight time for a collective -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Prior to June’s 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) in each of the last 14 ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Suffering a May 2019 – June 2019 (6+) erosion twice that of “V-101” is Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” (8.7 – 7.5, -1.2, second to third, 6+). The last time WRBO (7.5) fell below an eight-share (6+) was February 2018’s 7.7. While unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia classic rock WEGR “Rock 102.7,” whose consecutive trio of improvements yielded nine-tenths (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), forfeits three-tenths to 4.9 (6+). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is -2.1 in five successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share improves by two-tenths, equally divided between Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” (6.5 – 6.6, +.1, steady at #5, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (.9 – 1.0, +.1, unchanged at #16, 6+). “The River” had been an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+) and while “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6), May’s 6.5 is its lowest since June 2017’s 6.0. Seven recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); and -1.2 (May). Meanwhile, “The Bridge” squandered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, 6+) and had its lowest 6+-stat (.9, May 2019) since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Trending 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 7.4 (March 2019 through June 2019, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” inches up from third to second. By gaining two-tenths to 1.0 (6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM pulls the plug on four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a one-half share loss (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+). “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” finished at #14 in January, February, and March, and then #15 in April, May, and June. In a true mark of consistency, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#19 to #17, 6+) the 13th report in a row; it was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Stuck on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” follows with a combined May/June loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, flat at #12, 6+).

A collective -1.1 in three straight drops (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” remains at #9. Returning 80% of April/May’s +.5 (1.6 – 1.2, -.4, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” slips from #12 to #13.

Hartford Music Formats – Vaulting from eighth to third, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” is a combined +1.9 in May/June (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (7.2) since May 2018’s 7.7. Three straight negative trends by CHR sibling WKSS produced a loss of eight-tenths (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), but “Kiss 95.7” erases that deficit completely with a combined May/June gain of eight-tenths (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Having surrendered -1.9 via three drops in a row (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” ends the slide by gaining one-tenth to 6.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The just-concluded streak directly followed January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). On top the 36th consecutive time, adult contemporary sibling WRCH falters by four-tenths (10.8 – 10.4, 6+). Recent “Lite 100.5” fluctuations include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); and +1.0 (May). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM,” which was up nine-tenths in April, erodes by a combined -2.0 in May/June  (8.5 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), dipping from second to sixth. This is the fifth straight time that Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” is without an increase for a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Segueing from fourth to fifth, iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is a cumulative -1.0 in five consecutive negative or neutral reports (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+). After three straight increases yielded a +1.1 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” slips by one-tenth to 6.3 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Meruelo Media Los Angeles’ KXOS Becomes “Cali 93.9.” Exactly as Meruelo Media president Otto Padron foreshadowed in this space yesterday (Thursday, 7/18), changes would be forthcoming at newly-acquired Los Angeles property, regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” With a bi-lingual presentation, speculation became reality yesterday at frequency-related 9:39 am when KXOS transitioned to Latin urban “Cali 93.9 – #1 for Reggaeton and More.” Padron promises that “Cali 93.9” will be “the most Caliente station in Cali – not just because the music transcends language as it has exploded into mainstream popularity, but because we will place this format on one of the most powerful radio signals in Los Angeles.” Interim program director DJ E-Man notes that “Cali 93.9” will feature “the best up-tempo hit music by today’s Latin superstars [such as] Cardi B, J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Maluma. These artists are mass appeal; ‘Cali 93.9’ is the sound of Southern Cali.” General manager of Meruelo Media Los Angeles’ KWHY-TV, Irma Barrios, adds similar “Cali 93.9” duties, while the company’s vice president of marketing, Dianna Jason, takes over “Cali 93.9” marketing responsibilities. Air  talent and other department heads will be named shortly and the station will switch call letters from KXOS to KLLI. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 report for Los Angeles, KXOS picks up three-tenths (.9 – 1.2, 6+) and finishes at #30.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The program director/brand manager for KVGS “Star 107.9” and KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7 – Kris Fisher – exits the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas hot AC and urban AC stations ….. The next installment of Country Radio Broadcasters’ CRS360 webinar series will be next Thursday (7/25) at 12:00 noon. The episode is “Country Radio 2019: Mid-Year Ratings and State of The Format Report,” and will feature KILT-FM, Houston program director Chris Huff and KNCI, Sacramento program director Joey Tack. Senior vice president of promotion for MCA Nashville, Katie Dean, will be the moderator. CRS executive director RJ Curtis notes that this episode will examine “national shares in key demos, comparing PPM and diary-measured markets, and highlight success stories in certain markets, and, at specific stations. The July session will include a broader ‘state of the format’ discussion, with a goal of identifying potentially strong music trends, emerging artists, and how country radio can better compete with other platforms exposing country music. The purpose of our monthly CRS360 webinar is to provide valuable, timely information and actionable takeaways which help our constituents better serve their respective communities, and broaden the appeal of country music.” Viewing CRS360 is free, but those interested should pre-register ….Former one-year morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5,” Ali Mac, arrives for morning drive duty on Cox Media Group Jacksonville adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 102.9.” WEZI operations manager/program director Todd Shannon notes that Mac is “an amazing talent with so much energy, passion and enthusiasm.” She had been part of the “Kicks” wakeup show with Cadillac Jack before exiting this past January ….. Recent University of Illinois graduate Gavin Granstrom joins contemporary Christian WAY Media as producer/digital media specialist on “The Wally Show.” He replaces Zach Boehm, who was promoted to director/digital content. According to network program director Todd Stach, “Gavin has lived up to everything we saw and loved about him in the interview process. He’s a great culture fit and I can’t wait to see him grow in his role.” Host of WAY-FM’s “The Wally Show,” “Wally,” notes, “It isn’t easy to replace Zach’s 12 years of history, experience, and chemistry; however, Gavin has a great attitude and a servant’s heart. He understands professional excellence and strives for that. He also understands the importance of kindness and treating people well, which are skills you cannot teach.” Granstrom comments, “It’s such an honor to join and serve alongside this incredibly talented team. I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to share life with WAY-FM listeners, and I can’t wait to be part of how God continues to work through the ministry.”

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