Tag: "Fox News Channel"

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

| January 24, 2018

‘Rip City Radio’ Portland Begins Partnership with NBC Sports Northwest.  The content simulcast of KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” and NBC Sports Northwest began today (1/24).  This collaboration means the iHeartMedia sports talk station is re-branding to “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  The deal provides for nine hours of combined content with NBC Sports Northwest producing its own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  The rest of the lineup is: “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel”; “Dwight & Aaron” (with sports journalists Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress,); and “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad.”  KPOJ is also simulcasting NBC Sports Northwest’s “Outdoors GPS” program.  All shows will originate from a new, state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.   iHeartMedia president, Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all-in-one destination.”

FAIR Names Joe Gomez Press Secretary.  News/talk radio pro Joe Gomez joins the Federation for American Immigration Reform as the organization’s press secretary.  He was most recently serving with NBC News Radio as a Washington, DC-based correspondent.  During his career, he’s served with KTRH, Houston (covering the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexico border); KOA-Denver; KIRO-AM/FM, Seattle; and CBS Radio News based in Texas.  He says, “I’m very passionate about immigration reform.  I look forward to using my experience in radio to expand FAIR’s presence on news/talk stations across the country.”  His duties with FAIR include working directly with news/talk radio stations to provide FAIR’s expert voices on immigration issues and serving as an additional spokesperson.  He can be reached at: jgomez@fairus.org or phoned at 202-742-1843.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley as one of the two morning keynote speakers at Talkers 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  Beasley will be the other half of a one-on-one “fireside chat” double-header that will be conducted by Michael Harrison.  The other is Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star in the radio industry and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading going forward.  She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise.  Radio is in her DNA.  I am thrilled to personally have the opportunity to conduct one-on-ones with these two individuals – Hannity and Beasley – who are situated at the tip of the spear – as we kick off an amazing day.”   The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry, with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes.  For the 18th straight year, FOX Sports Radio is broadcasting from the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game.  As part of the network’s coverage, several programs will broadcast live from Minneapolis next week, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” and “J.T. The Brick,” who will broadcast live from the NFL Media Center at the Mall of America.  DIRECTV’s Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen will broadcast live from downtown Minneapolis, overlooking U.S. Bank Stadium…..Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) announces that the featured keynote speaker at his 10th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner Event – being held on Friday, April 6 at the Resorts Casino – Hotel – is FOX News Channel television and radio superstar Brian Kilmeade (right).  As part of the evening’s program, Kilmeade will be doing a book signing for his latest historical work, Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (2017, Sentinel).  Hurley tells TALKERS that his Harry Hurley Charity has raised more than $750,000 and written grants to hundreds of worthy not-for-profit organizations, including an annual grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America…..ABC News announces plans for coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the Democratic response on Tuesday, January 30.  For the radio side, ABC News Radio will provide a special, one-hour program titled, “Preview to the State of the Union,” at 8:06 pm, ET and live coverage of the president’s address with anchor Aaron Katersky and correspondents Karen Travers from the White House and Stephanie Ramos from the Capitol, as well as analysis by Rick Klein and contributors Steve Roberts and Alex Castellanos…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and the New England Patriots announce a multi-year extension of their agreement that includes broadcasting rights for “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that features Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Entercom is enthusiastic of and committed to its role as the nation’s premiere sports audio producer.  Continuing this winning combination of WEEI and the Patriots, one of Entercom’s over 40 professional team partnerships, is a strong sign of that commitment and passion to our listeners.”

Westwood One Is Exclusive Radio Partner for Super Bowl LII.  Syndicator and sales unit Westwood One is the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League and this year’s Super Bowl LII.  Parent company Cumulus Media reminds us that this is the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.  Calling the game are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason.  Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren will also contribute throughout the game broadcast.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for second straight year as sideline reporter, and this year will be joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder.  Jim Gray anchors the pre-game and halftime coverage.  Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will also contribute to the pregame show coverage.

Trump-Russia Probe, FBI Missing Texts, DACA Status/Border Wall, Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Torture House Case, Oscar Nominations, and Super Bowl LII Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; five months of missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; the battle between Democrats and President Trump over the Dreamer Act and a funding mechanism to build the Mexican border wall; a school shooting in Kentucky claims the lives of two students; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; the North Korean nuclear weapons threats; the case of the California couple charged with child abuse of their 13 children; the Academy Award nominations are revealed; and the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Patriots and the Eagles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Sacramento, Amanda Burd is the new midday personality and assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s contry KBEB.  She takes over for Michelle Buckles…..Sarah Lanieu is named director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay cluster that includes news/talk WFLA-AM, news/talk WHNZ “Impact Radio,” and sports talker WDAE, as well as CHR WFLA-FM and country WFUS “U.S. 103.5.”…..Programming and on-air pro Chris Ryan moves to Memphis to take on the morning show co-host role using the air name Ryan Anderson at Entercom’s hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100.”  He’s partnering up with current morning host Michelle Lewis.  He’s most recently been serving with Neuhoff Media’s hot AC WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois as PD and morning host.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. Information from the “Holiday” 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). More often than not, sharp December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.


1) New York – Over and above being on top for the fifth straight time and boasting a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” posts the largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (+4.3, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” however, drops seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM picked up two-tenths in December to 5.7 (6+), but “New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits eight-tenths in “Holiday 2017” (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. On November 9, Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through “Holiday” 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1; WBMP remains at #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in the last three sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from seventh to sixth. Down or flat for the seventh straight time for a combined loss of -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” (8.7 – 11.9, +3.2, 6+) is in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Off the past three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” hauls out a +.8 to 2.9, rocketing into the top ten (#20 to #8, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH “Radio Free 102.3” improves by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, #21, 6+) and reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1. Down or flat for the third month in a row, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+) is a collective -1.3 in that stretch and plummets from #10 all the way to #22; this is the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Cross-town competitor, 93.9 License KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” falters by six-tenths (2.0 – 1.4 #22 to #26, 6+). One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuted in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+) and now erodes by another seven-tenths to .5 (6+), freefalling from #28 to #36. Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (6+) since September, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” drops one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11).While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In the alternative tussle, Entercom’s KROQ drops two-tenths (2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and remains at #1, while iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is off four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, 6+), drifting from a #13 tie with KROQ to #19. With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.8 in five successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September.

3) Chicago – Not only is WLIT “93.9 My-FM” the first station in the market to reach double-figures since it did so exactly one year ago with a 13.7 (“Holiday” 2016, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned hot AC stays at #1 and is a remarkable +10.2 in three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Its format competitor, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” sputters by an overall two full-shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to fifth. “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). Following an increase of +2.0 in December, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” tacks on an additional +1.0 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from fifth to third. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling). Dropping by one-half share is co-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” down or flat for the third straight time for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off by -.5 as well is Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” which is -1.4 in three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, #10 to #15, 6+), and adult contemporary cluster-mate WSHE “100.3 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2K, and Today” (2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #18, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.5 (#20 to #15, 6+), Merlin Media alternative WKQX applies the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Similarly, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 3.2 (ninth to seventh 6+), ending four straight sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entercom-owned WSCR is a combined -2.8 in the last three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “670 The Score” is steady at #21; the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+).

4) San Francisco – By adding a +2.4 to December’s +2.3, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” occupies the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016. Ironically, it accomplishes the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016. With KOIT-FM advancing from second to first, it ends 12 successive times that KQED-FM (7.6, -.1, first to second, 6+) set the pace in San Francisco; the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet was off by nine-tenths in December to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Having picked up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR regressed by seven-tenths in December, but “The Sports Leader” bounces back with a one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2017 and returns to the top ten (2.4 – 2.9, #14 to #10, 6+). When KOIT-FM finished second in December 2017, it curtailed 11 straight months of Entercom all-news KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), but carries on at #3. October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined full-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), falling out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips by one-half share in consecutive sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #14 to #18, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is its Spanish adult hits sibling KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.0 – 2.5, #9 to #12, 6+).

5) Dallas – Doubling December 2017’s +1.0 with a +2.0 (4.2 – 5.2 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” takes sole possession of first place. Whereas 7.2 is KLUV’s highest 6+-share in two years (10.6 in “Holiday 2015”), November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). It shared the lead in December 2017 with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which dips to fourth (4.8, -.4, 6+), and ends at three a string of consecutive increases that netted seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that accounted for a +.9 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling, KDGE, is a combined +3.8 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 as “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” progresses from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Leaping back into the top twenty (#21 to #14), Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up eight-tenths (2.2 – 3.0, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since September’s 3.3. Tied in tenth-place are “Smooth R&B” urban contemporary cluster-mate KKDA-FM “K-104” (3.2 – 3.7, +.5, up from #11 in December, 6+) and Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (3.1 – 3.7, +.6, up from #12 in December, 6+). In addition to “K-104,” Entercom’s KVIL adds one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, #20 to #16, 6+). In recent years, once heritage adult contemporary KVIL has repositioned itself to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.5, as Cumulus Media’s KPLX “The Wolf” (fifth to sixth) suffers its fifth straight negative trend for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to a three-way tie at sixth, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “LA Grande 107.5” surrenders nine-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly, a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (unchanged at #5) curtails at three a streak of positive spikes that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). After six months in succession of being either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ drops four-tenths to 3.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, steady at #3, CHR sibling KHKS “Kiss” is up or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In 14 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#19 to #17) has been within a high of 2.5 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Houston – After back-to-back stays at #2 in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is now #1 in consecutive reports. An up/down pattern which saw “Sunny 99.1” gain eight-tenths in August; lose it all in September; pick up one-half share in October; surrender eight-tenths in November; and then log a +2.8 in December ends in “Holiday” 2017 as it racks up a +3.6 (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9 – 12.5, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station has reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Gaining one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” (4.6 – 5.1, fifth to third, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KEYH “La Ranchera” (.3 – .8, #25, 6+). Conversely, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KGLK “The Eagle” (5.3 – 4.3, third to sixth, 6+) and Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (3.1, #11 to #16, 6+) are each off by one full-share. “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” (7.5 – 6.9, steady in second-place, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Positive Hits” (1.6 – 1.0, #23, 6+). When “Majic” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. A collective -1.4 in four straight negative trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slides from #17 to #19.        Following three upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+) Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” slips by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), moving from sixth to ninth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December.

7) Atlanta – On the heels of a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” adds another +1.3 to 8.5 (6+) and carries on in second-place. A November decrease of one-tenth curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fish” trails Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM (-.5, 6+) by just one-tenth. Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WSB-AM is now a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the 25th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. On the flipside, co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” garners a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to sixth, 6+), thus erasing its -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Owing to a +.5 (1.5 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDA “Alt 105.7 – Atlanta’s Rock Alternative” reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.0 and cracks the top twenty at #19. The market’s urban AC takes a -2.1 hit as Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is -1.6 to 4.9 (third to fifth, 6+), while Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” is off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to the -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Following a November improvement of six-tenths, “Majic” is -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017; it was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Having returned November’s +.3 in December (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” coughs up another half-share to 2.9 (6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Steady at #9, CHR cluster-mate WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.1, -.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), which had posted three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Even though it lost the honor of largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets summarized here by one-tenth to iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW (see above), Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” claims bragging rights for highest 6+-share in these 12 metros (12.8 – 17.0, +4.2, 6+). Displaced from #1 in November, WBEB hung out a +5.0 in December to return to the top spot. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and has its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #15. Advancing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL picks up four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight declines for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+). A loss of one full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) drops Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” from third to fifth and below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. Included among those eroding by six-tenths from December 2017 are public news/talk WHYY (3.8 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+); Entercom news/talk WPHT (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), WISX returned one-third of that increase in December (-.5, 6+). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. The last time WPHT fell below a two-share (6+) was nearly two years ago (1.7, January 2016). It is déjà vu for Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.8 – 3.3, -.5, #eighth to #tenth, 6+), which registers its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (3.3, as well).

9) Long Island – As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has easily more than tripled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+) as New York City’s “106.7 Lite FM” progresses from fourth to second; “Lite” had a 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. More than four full-shares ahead of WLTW in Long Island though is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM, which is an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well as for the last three sweeps. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In ten (10) straight Long Island ratings periods without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), WWPR “Power 105.1” was off by a collective one-half share, but the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet recaptures the entire loss with a gain of six-tenths to 2.2 (#21 to #17, 6+). In the CHR arena, WWPR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” surrenders six-tenths and is down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (seventh to eighth) erodes for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WBLI, Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” (4.4 – 3.7, flat at #6, 6+); Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); and public news/talk WNYC-FM (1.8, #15 to #20, 6+) all slip by seven-tenths. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), “The Fan” relinquished all but four-tenths of that increase in December (4.4, -1.5, 6+). Prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, WNYC-FM had been up or flat the past four months, more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+). Forfeiting six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.3 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+), which had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 15 sweeps. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” has since faltered by three times as much as that (-1.5) in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 38th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) to progress from #18 to #14. Even though Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), it advances from #13 to #12.

10) Riverside – Applying the brakes to four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-2.3) of its 6+-share (4.2 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” improves by six-tenths to 2.5 (tenth to eighth, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gains one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+).  Logging a 1.5 in four of its last five survey periods (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” breaks out a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+) and carries on at #11. Notwithstanding that it remains at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +1.2 in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Setting the pace for the 27th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” slides by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After four straight monthlies without a decrease netting nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” returns one-half share (3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); December’s 4.1 was its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9.

11) San Jose – Six-tenths of a share separates the top three stations in San Jose’s “Holiday” 2017 report and there’s a new #1 in this Bay Area market. Registering an increase of two full-shares after December’s +1.6, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” advances from third to first (5.6 – 7.6, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (8.4 in “Holiday” 2016). Following five straight sweeps on top, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by six-tenths (8.1 – 7.5, 6+) and takes over at #2. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. It has a one-half share advantage over Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0 (6+); 7.0 represents its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. An improvement of six-tenths (1.2 – 1.8, #23, 6+) takes Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” to its best 6+-showing in San Jose since February’s 1.9. Freefalling by one full-share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.4 – 3.4, eighth to tenth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), but eroded by eight-tenths in December. Not only does iHeartMedia-owned KOSF slip by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, 6+), “iHeart80s @103.7” exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).

12) Middlesex – In three separate metros – New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” is a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Regarding its performance in this New Jersey market, “Lite-FM” spikes by +3.0 (8.5 – 11.5, 6+) and repeats at #1; WLTW logged an 8.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. Furthermore, this is its sixth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). Spiking by 20% of WLTW’s +3.0 is Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is an overall +1.5 in three consecutive progressive trends (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+). Posting gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing here since May’s 4.0. After dropping two-tenths in December to conclude three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM flounders by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” segues from fifth to seventh. In three declines in a row, Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” has lost more than 50% (-1.8) of 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, #22, 6+), which had recorded a 2.0 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods. This is the third downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.0 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

| December 12, 2017

Wisconsin Talk Host Admits to Sexual Misconduct.  What was so unusual about WHBY, Appleton talk host Josh Dukelow’s admission was that there was no accusation – Dukelow simply spoke on air about an incident in his past that made him realize he had sexually assaulted and harassed women, that he regrets his actions and hopes more men will come forward during this national conversation about sexual misconduct by men.  The Appleton Post-Crescent reports that he made the admission on Friday’s show and it caused quite a social media stir in the region over the weekend.  Woodward Communications has not fired Dukelow and, although he was off the air Monday, he’s expected back today.  The paper reports Woodward general manager Kelly Radandt released the following statement about Dukelow: “Following his comments Friday, we immediately began gathering information and have had several conversations with Josh.  As a company, we take sexual harassment very seriously and are diligent with incorporating employee training and policies.  We have never received any sexual harassment allegations against Josh.  At this time, given the details he has provided — both to us and now publicly — there will be no changes to his current employment with our station.”

Lenz to Co-Anchor Mornings on KOA, Denver.  Six months after KOA, Denver morning drive co-host Steffan Tubbs was let go after being charged with domestic violence (a charge that has subsequently been dropped), iHeartMedia announces that Marty Lenz will leave Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco to assume the morning host role at KOA, effective January 8.  Lenz will work alongside current KOA personality April Zesbaugh.  iHeartMedia Denver Region president Tim Hagar says, “Following an exhaustive nationwide search, it was clear that Marty Lenz is uniquely qualified to join KOA Newsradio.  Marty’s news prowess, engaging personality and Denver roots are sure to fuel the growth for ‘Colorado’s Morning News’ in 2018 and beyond.”

Ron Coomer Re-Ups with WSCR, Chicago for Cubs Broadcasts.  Chicago sports talker WSCR and the Chicago Cubs are announcing that radio color analyst Ken Coomer will return to “The Score” in that role alongside Cubs play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Ron is one of the most talented analysts in baseball and we are honored to have him on our team at ‘The Score.’  Ron brings the passion and success he had as former MLB All-Star to the airwaves of Cubs baseball and hits a homerun with Cubs fans.”  Coomer first joined the Cubs Radio Network in December of 2013 (succeeding Keith Moreland) on WGN.  He remained in the booth as games moved to then-CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM.

Salem Radio Network Presenting Alabama Special Election Coverage.  Today’s hotly contested U.S. Senate special election in Alabama is being covered by Salem Radio Network.  The company says that at the first sign of significant election results, SRN News will mount one-minute special reports on SNN left at :20-past and 40:00-past the hour.   They will have the latest trending results in SRN News top-of-hour broadcasts and SRN News half-hour updates.  Also, Salem Media Group Houston talk host Sam Malone is embedded at Republican candidate Roy Moore’s victory party in Montgomery and will provide perspective and analysis throughout the evening on both SRN News and TOWNHALL.com newscasts.

iHeartCommunications Files Intent to Sell CC Outdoor Stock.  The company doesn’t make clear in its brief filing with the Securities Exchange Commission what it would do with the money, but iHeartMedia parent iHeartCommunications, Inc. announces it’s “currently exploring a possible private capital-raising transaction supported by the value of some or all of the 100,000,000 shares of Class B common stock of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“CCOH”) held by its wholly-owned subsidiary Broader Media, LLC and the 10,726,917 shares of Class A common stock held by its wholly-owned subsidiary CC Finco, LLC. Such transaction, if agreed upon and consummated on the terms being explored, would result in the pledge of these shares for the benefit of the investors.”

TALKERS News Notes.  In Chicago, Robert Feder writes here that Mark Pinsky is assuming general manager duties at Newsweb‘s progressive talk station WCPT-AM.  Pinsky has been serving with the company managing its five time-brokered radio stations in the Chicagoland market…..New affiliates have signed onto Westwood One’s “Checkpoint Radio,” a show dedicated to the world of esports and gaming.  New stations include: KTCT-AM, San Francisco; KKFN-FM, Denver; WOKY-AM,Milwaukee; and WNSR-AM, Nashville.  The program is hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard and Joe Sloan…..United Stations Radio Networks and Bloomberg Radio are teaming up to produce and distribute an original series of “Tax Tips” to be broadcast during the height of the 2018 tax season.   The 30-second tips are being written and anchored by Bloomberg correspondent Peggy Collins and the full series is slated for broadcast starting on February 5, 2018…..SiriusXM unveils a new programming collaboration with news website Shareblue Media for the satcaster’s Progress channel.  Shareblue Media is owned by Media Matters founder David Brock.   SiriusXM director of progressive programming Zerlina Maxwell states, “The election of Donald Trump has energized the Progressive base like never before.  We’re proud to team up with Shareblue Media and share their crucial voice with SiriusXM’s vast audience.  Together we will provide fellow progressives with not only information, but marching orders on how to push back against the Trump administration’s agenda.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Takes Listeners on Tour of FOX News Channel.  Yesterday’s trip into New York City for WPGG, Atlantic City morning star Harry Hurley and his group of local listeners turned out to be even more eventful than they thought it would be.  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that his group arrived four blocks away from the terrorist pipe bombing at exactly the time the explosion rang out.  As for the tour, Hurley (left) says, “Brian Kilmeade (right), Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy, and Todd Starnes couldn’t have been nicer or more accommodating, especially considering the circumstances.  Giving listeners the opportunity to see how the national news is gathered and reported from the inside-out versus the outside-in is extraordinary.”

NYC Pipe Bomb Attack, Roy Moore Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Impropriety Cases, California Wildfires, Bitcoin Activity, Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation, Sanders vs Media, Sunday’s NFL Action and Attendance, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  Monday morning’s pipe bomb terrorist attack in New York; today’s special election in Alabama pitting embattled Republican Roy Moore against Democrat Doug Jones; the Republican-authored tax reform bill; the continuing allegations of sexual impropriety, including The New Yorker’s firing of journalist Ryan Lizza, and the NFL Network’s suspension of Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, and Heath Evans; the devastating wildfires in Southern California; the surging value of bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; yesterday’s verbal sparring between White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the press; Sunday’s NFL action and analysis of attendance figures; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS and Hillsdale College Co-Present Major Talk Radio Discussion/Debate on “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” TALKERS joined forces with Hillsdale College of Hillsdale, Michigan this past Tuesday (12/5) to present a conversation on the topic, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” The panel of seven diverse talk media hosts included (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, Hillsdale College Radio/WRFH; John Fredericks, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Janet Parshall, Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, TYT Radio Network. The panel was moderated by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The lively discussion covered a variety of issues ranging from the meaning and impact of “fake news” to the state of the First Amendment in 2017 exploring ethics in journalism, the impact of digital technology on the news, race relations in America, and the controversial demeanor of President Trump along the way. The event took place at Hillsdale College’s distinguished Washington, DC extension, the Alan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Reflecting on the event, Michael Harrison comments, “I knew it would be challenging keeping a discussion among such an opinionated, articulate group of talkers from going off the tracks considering the controversial and volatile nature of the topics at hand. However, I was delighted at the tremendous good spirit and collegiality displayed by all the participants. It was a productive and informative session. My thanks to all involved including our partners at Hillsdale.” To view the forum in its entirety, please click here.



PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on the adult hits format. He writes that although the number of stations airing adult hits is not large, as a format in the PPM markets, it’s performed well. “In fact, the adult hits format claims the strongest 6+ share (5.43) and best average 6+ rank (#6.47), easily outdistancing news/talk (3.80/#11.02) and the NBA flagships (2.63/#17.30) in those areas.” There are nine adult hits stations that ranked in the top five in their respective markets in November. Emmis’ KBPA, Austin “BOB FM 103.5” ranked #1; Entercom’s WSMW, Greensboro “98.7 Simon” ranked #2; and Saul Frischling’s WRRK, Pittsburgh “BOB FM 96.9” and Midwest Communications’ WCJK, Nashville “96.3 JACK FM” both ranked #3 in their markets. See the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Seattle country outlet KKWF, “100.7 The Wolf,” Ellen Tailor tells her listeners that she’s leaving the station this Thursday (12/14).  Tailor joined the Entercom station in 2011 as part of the morning show.  She moved to middays in September…..Yet another iHeartMedia alternative rock station adds Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” for the morning drive daypart.  This time it’s WTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3, Wichita’s Alternative Rock.”  WTHR will carry the show Monday through Saturday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

| November 29, 2017

Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President.  Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations.  We are thrilled to promote him into this new role.  As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.”  Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group.  Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear.  The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions.  In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions.  This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April.  The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe.  It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.

Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer.  The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows.  But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced.  Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal.  After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off.  He’s made it to the top in both radio and television.  He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.”  Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half.  Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”

Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists.  Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.

North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year.  Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates.  Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.

WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.

WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow.  Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man.  For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator.  His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King.  Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category.  For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Washington adult contemporary WASH-FM names Jill Kempton to the program director position.  Kempton moves from iHeartMedia’s AC WLTW, New York where she was APD, music director, and imaging director.  iHeartMedia Washington SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi comments, “There’s been a lot of momentum on WASH-FM this year and Jill has been a part of that remotely.  Now she gets to build on that here in Washington to dominate the very competitive AC format.”…..Service Broadcasting extends the contract of hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” morning personality DeDe McGuire for another four years.  McGuire was the co-host of the syndicated Doug Banks afternoon program before she exited in October of 2014 to join KKDA.  Her “K104” co-hosts include Lady Jade and Michael Shawn.  As part of the new deal, the company is exploring a syndication effort for McGuire’s program…..Radio pro Scott Miller returns to the business after most recently serving as a regional brand manager for Harley Davidson to program iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WRVF, Toledo “101.5 The River” and serve as afternoon drive personality at sister rock WIOT.  During his time with Harley Davidson, Miller had been doing fill-in work on the company’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland.

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.



New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”



John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

| November 7, 2017

Townsquare Media Reports Q3 Net Revenue Down 1%.  That 1% figure is also what Townsquare Media is down for the first nine months of 2017.  For the third quarter, the culprit wasn’t the Local Marketing Solutions segment (which includes radio).  That was up 1.7% (or 3% ex political).  The Entertainment segment (live events) was down 4.1%.  For the first nine months of the year, that segment is down 7%.  The company’s total third quarter net revenue was $164.1 million.  Co-CEO Bill Wilson states, “The highlight of Townsquare’s third quarter was, without a doubt, the strength of our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 1.7%, and 3% excluding political revenue.  However, challenges in our smaller business segment, Entertainment, offset these strong results, resulting in an overall decline to net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA of 1.0%, 9.9% and 11.1%, respectively.  Due to these challenges, we have begun a strategic review of our Entertainment business.”

Entercom Reveals New Management Structure.  Ahead of the closing of the EntercomCBS RADIO merger, a corporate memo from Entercom chief operating officer Weezie Kramer reveals the new management structure for the company.  First, in an effort to be consistent with the CBS management titles, Entercom market managers will hold the senior vice president titles and regional managers will carry the president title.  At the same time, Kramer announces that lineup of national regional presidents.  They are: Doug Abernethy for Miami, Orlando, Gainesville, Atlanta, Denver, Greensboro, Greenville, Charlotte, Houston, Austin, Richmond, and Norfolk; Susan Larkin for San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, and San Diego; Dave Alpert for Kansas City (where he remains market manager), St. Louis, Milwaukee, Madison, and Wichita; Mark Hannon for Washington, Buffalo, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (he’ll also be market manager for Boston); Brian Purdy for Las Vegas, New Orleans, Memphis and Chattanooga (he’ll remain Dallas market manager, as well); and president of sales operations and regional president Michael Doyle will oversee Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Rochester, and Seattle.  Newly appointed market managers include Jimmy deCastro for Chicago, Keriann Worley for Miami, Bennett Zier for Virginia, Jeff Federman for Los Angeles, John Fullam for Denver, Bob Bollinger for San Diego, Jack Hutchison for Seattle, Lance Richard for Sacramento, Dan Kearney for Las Vegas, and Phil Zachary for Hartford, Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts.

George Noory to Be Inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star George Noory is being inducted as part of the 2018 class of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.  The class includes “legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, ground-breaking filmmakers, and shapers of public opinion.”  The St. Louis Media History Foundation says that the new inductees were selected “for their significant contributions to print and broadcast journalism, digital media, advertising, and public relations.  Noory, of course is syndicated via Premiere Networks on the “Coast to Coast AM” program.  In St. Louis, he also was the news director at KSDK-TV and hosted the late-night show at news/talk KTRS.  The induction ceremony takes place at a gala on Saturday, March 17, at St. Louis City Center hotel.

WMAL Diner Tour — Former Virginia Governor George Allen (center) is pictured above with joins WMAL’s “Mornings on The Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter (left) and Vince Coglianese (right) during Friday’s WMAL Diner Tour in advance of today’s Virginia Gubernatorial Election.  In addition to several political candidates, Mary and Vince were joined at the Metro 29 Diner in Arlington Virginia by veteran commentator Cal Thomas and “Voice of The Redskins” Larry Michael.

ESPN Syracuse Adds Local Sports Talk Show with Actor Daniel Baldwin.  Syracuse sports talker WTLA “ESPN Syracuse” announces the creation of a new, daily one-hour sports talk show featuring actor Daniel Baldwin as host with co-host Josh GrosventGalaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine says, “The Daniel Baldwin Show does not fit into the typical sports show mold.  Although Daniel knows every bit of his Xs and Os, he will weave stories in around the scores.  The show has a spontaneous and fun feel.  Think of it as intermission to your day of sports talk.”  The show is simulcast on WTLA-AM and W249BC at 97.7 FM from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Grosvent is also the host of “The Show” that airs mornings on sister rock station WKRL/WKLL “K-Rock.”

Craig Carton Speaks to USA Today.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton has broken his two-month media silence since being arrested and charged with wire fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy in early September.  He spoke exclusively with USA Today and, for obvious reasons, does not talk specifically about the case, but reiterates his innocence.  In the piece, close friend and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stands up for Carton, saying he believes he is innocent.  Read the story here.

Texas Church Masssacre/Gun Control, Trump-Russia Investigation, Brazile Clinton Criticism, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Saudi Corruption Arrests, Bird-Flipping Cyclist Fired, Virginia and New Jersey Governor Races, Weinstein Assault Cases, Comcast Internet Outages, NFL Attendance, Protests and Sunday Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6).  The slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and the related issue of gun control; the Robert Mueller investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Donna Brazile’s criticism of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; President Trump’s trip to Asia and the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; the spate of arrests of princes in a crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia; woman who flips off the Trump motorcade is fired from her job; the battle between Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia and New Jersey governor races; the New Yorker story alleging Harvey Weinstein used spies to investigate actresses and reporters aware of his sexual predation; Monday’s widespread loss of internet among Comcast customers; shrinking attendance at NFL stadiums, anthem protests and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WPHT’s Rich Zeoli Broadcasts Philly Police Event — Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is pictured above with all of the Philadelphia police officers who’ve been honored by the “Barbera Backs the Badge” program over the past year.  Barbera on the Boulevard is a family-run Philadelphia auto dealership that has donated more than $15,000 to the FOP Survivors Fund.  WPHT has been involved with the honoring of the deserving officers.

Emily Barr Named 2018 Golden Mic Award Recipient.  Next spring, television executive Emily Barr will receive the 2018 Golden Mike Award from The Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The Graham Media Group president and CEO will be honored at the BFoA’s annual black-tie gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 5.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason comments, “Emily is a consummate broadcaster, whose leadership and service to the industry and the communities that the Graham stations serve are commendable.  We are proud to honor her and recognize her accomplishments.”



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Shawn Stevens is joining Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas operations to take on the program director position at country KYCE “102.7 The Coyote.”  Stevens has been with Cumulus Media’s country KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93” for the past 20 years, most recently as program director and air personality.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We searched for a very long time to find the perfect PD fit for KCYE.  Shawn’s total understanding of the format, his vision for KCYE-FM and his friendly attitude is tailor-made for the Beasley Las Vegas culture.  Shawn brings a wealth of knowledge and with his leadership abilities, ‘102.7 The Coyote’ will continue to grow to new heights.”…..On Friday (11/10), iHeartMedia presents its exclusive “iHeartRadio reputation Album Release Party with Taylor Swift.”  Beginning at 12:00 midnight ET on November 10, iHeartRadio’s CHR and hot AC stations across the country will play a new track off of reputation at the top of every hour leading up to the hour-long, on-air special at 8:00 pm local time.  iHM says, “Fans will have a chance to hear directly from Taylor Swift as she introduces songs and exclusively discusses never-before-heard details about the making of the year’s most anticipated album.”…..Cumulus Media classic rock station KQRS, Minneapolis is presenting a special broadcast this Saturday (11/11) in honor of Veterans Day.  KQ’s “Military Takeover” begins Saturday morning with a series of guests, including World War II veterans, Purple Heart recipients, along with members of the Freedom Alliance and The Real Warriors.  Additionally, KQRS will talk with representatives from the American Legion discussing their “Shop, Ship & Share” initiative where consumers can donate needed items to the troops and have them shipped overseas during the holidays.  Each “honorary guest DJ” will receive a digital download of their radio show as a keepsake and to share with friends, family and military colleagues…..Cumulus Media, Westwood One and the 2017 CMA Awards are official radio partners for “The 51st Annual CMA Awards” and they will present radio stations across the country with five full hours of programming and exclusive content.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One are offering the “Countdown to the 2017 CMA Awards” program, anchored by Elaina Smith; the live radio simulcast of ABC-TV’s broadcast of the awards; and “The 2017 CMA Awards Wrap Up Show,” co-hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith.  All Cumulus country “NASH Nights Live” affiliates and NASH Icon stations will air the special coverage of the 2017 CMA Awards.

Monday, October 16, 2017

| October 16, 2017

Former FCC Chairman Wheeler Criticizes Ajit Pai on Silence Regarding Trump License Revocation Comments. During an appearance on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program yesterday (10/15), former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler criticized current Chairman Ajit Pai, saying Pai’s silence regarding President Trump’s tweet about revoking broadcasters’ licenses makes him complicit in the president’s attempts to coerce the media.  Wheeler stated, “He is making himself complicit in the coercion that the president was engaging in when he was trying to send a message to broadcasters saying, ‘We’re watching, and we control your right to be alive.”’  Also on CNN, current Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel added, “History won’t be kind to silence.  It’s important for all the commissioners to make clear that they support the First Amendment, and that agency will not revoke a broadcast license simply because the president is dissatisfied with the licensee’s coverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Friday (10/13), Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham (pictured above at right) broadcast her program from Liberty University’s Convocation, which kicks off the school’s homecoming weekend.  Ingraham’s show was co-hosted by author and Eternal Word Television Network news director and lead anchor Raymond Arroyo (above, left).  Ingraham is also scheduled to begin her nightly FOX News Channel program, “The Ingraham Angle,” on October 30…..Bonneville’s Seattle talker “KIRO Radio 97.3 FM” announces the addition of a new, weekly lifestyle show called “Cask Club Radio” created with partner Heritage Distilling Company, Inc.  The program launched on Saturday (10/14) at 3:00 pm and focuses on the growing craft spirits, cocktail, beer and wine culture. It’s being hosted by Heritage co-founder and CEO Justin Stiefel, co-host Lydia Cruz, and producer Maura Dooley.  Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Heritage Distilling has earned its reputation as a big-thinking innovator.  With this new audio project, Heritage once again takes the broad view of how its products fit into the overall lifestyle and passions of people around the Pacific Northwest.  We’re proud to partner with Heritage, and to help them blaze another new trail as a forward-thinking marketer.”…..Media sales pro John Fitzgerald returns to the ESPN Audio team as vice president, ESPN Audio ad sales.  Fitzgerald, who has spent his entire 21-year career with The Walt Disney Company, will oversee all aspects of ESPN Radio national network ad sales, including talk programming, event play-by-play and Audio on Demand, which includes podcasts.  He will report to ESPN Audio SVP Traug Keller.

Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea Saber Rattling, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, Deadly California Wildfires, Kaepernick Files Suit, College Football, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs, Happy Death Day Film, Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The state of the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s intent not to certify compliance; the ongoing saber rattling between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal; the battle against California’s deadly wildfires; Colin Kaepernick files a suit against NFL team owners alleging collusion to keep him unsigned; Saturday’s college football games; the weekend’s NFL action; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the new horror film, Happy Death Day were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hyper-Local High School Football Play-By-Play.  It was a scene out of “Friday Night Lights” (10/13) as hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), serving Springfield and its surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts, launched its new sports department with live play-by-play coverage of high school football games.  Pictured above in the press box calling the PBP between the home team Longmeadow High School “Lancers” and visiting Chicopee Comprehensive High School “Colts” is TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (c) joined by color callers Eddie Garibian (l), a Longmeadow senior, and Graham Topor (r), a Chicopee junior.  TALKERS magazine is headquartered in Longmeadow, MA.  Pioneer Valley Radio was launched in 2015 by publisher Michael Harrison and former WHYN, Springfield morning personality Brad Shepard as an experiment in local “personality-oriented, hyper-local public affairs radio.”  Since then it has gained tremendous traction and become what Shepard describes as “a serious business and an important local media platform that is making a difference.”  The expressly non-partisan station has expanded its menu to include a wide variety of programs covering local politics, civics, business, education, public health and safety, arts and entertainment and now, sports. According to Casey, who heads up the new sports department, “One of the most satisfying aspects of this project is giving local high school students the opportunity to sit in the broadcast press box and call color on the radio.  These two great kids, Eddie and Graham, were fantastic!  We plan to expand our coverage beyond football to include basketball and other sports and get lots of kids from area schools involved in our broadcasts.”  All Pioneer Valley Radio live broadcasts are powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.

NOT TO BE MISSED: Alex Jones and Michael Harrison Engage in Candid Dialogue About the State of Media and the Talk Industry. Prolific conspiracy theorist and mega-successful independent broadcaster, Alex Jones is this week’s guest on the newly-posted (10/10) installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” During the fascinating, uninterrupted hour of fast-paced conversation, the two discuss Jones’ role as a pioneer in the rise of digital, spoken-word broadcasting touching upon the balance between news and entertainment, the corporate effect on broadcasting, the influence of Hollywood on popular culture, Jones’ relationship with Donald Trump, 21stcentury entrepreneurism, the value of direct marketing as a method of generating revenue and much more. Harrison states, “Like him or not, there is no denying the fact that Alex Jones is one of a select handful of the most influential and important talk broadcasters of the modern era and has been for years. I am glad to have the opportunity to present him to the media world from that perspective.” 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.



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At classic hits WRBQ, Tampa “Q105,” radio and television pro Rich Fields is named the new afternoon drive personality.  Beasley Broadcast Group says in announcing the addition that Fields most recently served as a meteorologist at KCBS-TV, Los Angeles.  His radio resume includes stops at KCBS-FM, Los Angeles; WCOF, Tampa; KODJ, Los Angeles; WFJO, Tampa; KNX-FM, Los Angeles; WYUU, Tampa; WSUN, Tampa, and KRTH, Los Angeles.  He also served as Bob Barker’s announcer on “The Price Is Right” for nearly a decade…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes today that Windy City radio personality Gary Spears did his last show on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK on Friday, taking calls from Chicago listeners and from fans across the country.  Spears is retiring from the station and plans to relocate to Florida.  Feder notes that Spears “was one of the original jocks when CBS RADIO turned WBBM FM 96.3 into a Top 40 station.  His first run there from 1982 to 1984 was followed by a second from 1990 to 1994.”…..Country station WCKN, Charleston, South Carolina “92.5 Kickin’ Country” names Jess Jennings program director.  She comes to the Charleston Radio Group station from her most recent gig at country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Group operations manager Stephen Crumbley says, “After an intense search, we are very happy to have Jess join our team here at CRG.  Her on-air talent and programming skills are a perfect fit…..Denver radio personality Kendall B is back on the air in the Mile High City at Max Media’s rhythmic AC KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5” in the morning drive daypart.  Kendall B had most recently been at Entercom’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Max Media Denver general manager Jeff Norman says, “Kendall B has been waking the Denver market for over 15 years and I couldn’t be prouder to have him apart of the Max Media and ‘Jammin’ 101.5’ family.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that iHeartMedia names Bo Money program director at hip hop WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3.”  Money is also hosting afternoons on the station and will serve as a regional urban programmer for the company…..Also from Indiana Radio Watch, the price tag for WKHL, West LaFayette that Woof Boom Radio is paying for the class A FM station is $608,000.  The seller is non-profit operator Educational Media FoundationIRW reports that “once the sale closes, Woof Boom Radio Lafayette will own 90% with managing partner Jim Ducey, a.k.a. Jim Stone, owning 10%.  Ducey will become GM of WKHL.”

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the September 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Comparing September performances to data from the August 2017 survey, Kinosian notes that “only one of every three eligible adult contemporary facilities in our sample (33%) improves between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+), while 57% are down; the remaining 10% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Going back to the September survey a year ago, “approximately four of every 10 stations (39%) on this particular adult contemporary sample improve year-to-year, while 56% regress; 5% of the panel is unchanged from September 2016.”  A total of seven AC-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the September survey: WLTW, New York; WBEB, Philadelphia; WNIC, Detroit; WDUV, Tampa; KSFI, Salt Lake City; WWLI, Providence; and WRCH, Hartford.  See the whole report here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

| October 13, 2017

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Laura Ingraham. Philly morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured above with conservative media figure Laura Ingraham (right) on stage at a live appearance last night (10/12).  Stigall hosts morning drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT.  Ingraham – a nationally syndicated talk radio host via Courtside Entertainment – is preparing to begin her new, 10:00 pm ET show on FOX News Channel.  She’s currently touring to promote her new book, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump (St. Martin’s Press).

Entercom Keeps Garcia at WFNZ, Charlotte. Midday personality Frank Garcia signs a new contract to continue hosting on Entercom’s Charlotte sports talker WFNZ “The Fan.”  The former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman co-hosts the “Garcia and Bailey Show” with Kyle Bailey from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon comments, “Frank Garcia brings over 10 years of professional broadcast experience to WFNZ.  He remains a valuable resource from his professional playing days and his overall knowledge of sports.  We are thrilled he’s committed to WFNZ and Entercom for the future.”

TALKERS News Notes. On Long Island, JVC Broadcasting’s “LI News Radio” – WRCN, Riverhead – is presenting a live, remote broadcast of Tom Schiliro’s “Your Island” show on Wednesday (10/18) from the Rockabilly Barbershop in Smithtown from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.   The station says the program will “allow customers to share their thoughts live on the radio while Vinny – the shop’s owner – does a razor skin fade or a hot shave…the barbershop is about more than just politicians and elections.  It brings humor, firsthand experience and candid interviews with the most knowledgeable political minds on Long Island.”  The station has invited a number of local politicians and political candidates to drop by the broadcast…..Duke University basketball coaching legend Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 13th season of his weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on Thursday, October 19.  The program features Coach K and co-host Dave Sims interviewing successful people from many different walks of life, including sports, pop culture, politics and more.

Covering California’s Wildfires. Pictured above reporting from the deadly wildfires in Santa Rosa, California is ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone.

Harvey Weinstein Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 9-13.  The allegations of sexual predation and rape against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talker TenTM.  At #2 this week was the political feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s attack on NBC and the threat to its broadcast licenses, followed by Trump’s executive order to change some of the rules of the Affordable Care Act at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday and Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio’s Ongoing Humanitarian Efforts.  The radio industry – via its close relationships with listeners and sponsors – continues to build creative avenues in which to help those in need.  This piece highlights some of the initiatives that are going on right now:  In Detroit, at Beasley Media’s rock WCSX, the “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” is working to help the men and women who serve our country find work when they come home through the “94.7 WCSX-FM Employment After Deployment” initiative.  Members of the military who have returned home from a recent deployment and are looking for a job are encouraged to go to “Employment After Deployment” for information at the station’s website or email to Big Jim O’Brien to share their job experience, skill set and type of position they’re looking for.  They’re also featuring one veteran selected from all submissions received each week on the morning show and will work to match the individual up with employers located throughout the Metro Detroit area. O’Brien says, “As a proud veteran of the U.S. Naval Submarine Service, I’ve always wanted to find ways to give back and support fellow veterans.”…..Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT, Boston “HOT 96.9” recently presented a free concert featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops while collecting donations for the people of Puerto Rico.  “HOT 96.9” personalities Ramiro, Pebbles, Melissa and Wiggy were all on-hand to help fill four trucks with items that included: water, flashlights with batteries, first aid kits, baby formula, food, clothing, pet supplies and more…..The National Association of Broadcasters sent 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico for distribution to residents affected by Hurricane Maria.  NAB, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and multiple U.S. broadcasters funded the initiative.  NAB is working with FEMA and local Puerto Rican authorities to ensure that the radios are properly distributed to those most in need. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “Time and again, broadcast radio has served as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.  Our fellow Americans in the Caribbean now face a once-in-a-generation humanitarian crisis and radio is one of the only communications resources available. We admire the resolve of our friends in Puerto Rico and are proud to undertake this effort with help from FEMA to keep citizens safe and informed.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning host Tom Joyner distributed $50,000 to 50 Houston-area families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The effort was one example of Joyner’s distribution of more than $500,000 raised to date for the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund supporting families, friends and those in the community that have taken in people impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma…..Pop star Ed Sheeran is partnering with (RED), Coke, Omaze and iHeartMedia to host a pizza party and love song serenade for lucky winners at the KIIS-FM, Los Angeles Jingle Ball 2017 on December 1 – World AIDS Day.  All donations are being matched up to $2 million dollars by Coca-Cola and will benefit (RED) for the fight to end AIDS.  iHeartMedia is promoting the experience across its more than 850 radio stations encouraging listeners to bid at Omaze.com/JingleBall for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and meet Ed Sheeran.



PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey.  Two previous reports focused on all-news and news/talk.  Today, he looks at classic hits-oldies.  As a format, there wasn’t much movement from the August survey to September’s.  Kinosian says, “Just over half the stations (52%) on our classic hits-oldies sample are down between August 2017 – September 2017 (6+) while 42% improve; the remaining 6% of the panel is flat (6+).”  It’s pretty much the same looking at year-over-year numbers.  “Nearly the same number of stations on this classic hits-oldies panel are up year-to-year (47%) as are down (44%), while the remaining 9% are flat.”  However, an impressive 30 classic hits-oldies stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in September and seven stations ranked #1. They are: KQQL, Minneapolis; KONO-FM, San Antonio; WWSW, Pittsburgh; KKLZ, Las Vegas; WMJI, Cleveland; WJJK, Indianapolis; WRIT, Milwaukee.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Urban radio morning star Rickey Smiley and Reach Media announce they’ve agreed to a multi-year contract extension to continue syndicating the “Rickey Smiley Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One Stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with Rickey Smiley.  He has established himself as a leader and entertaining communicator in his 10 years of syndication.  He continues to grow in audience, followers, affiliates, but most importantly, with an affinity with his listeners that’s unparalleled.”…..Premiere Networks says it has added nine new affiliate stations for “The Rendezvous with Simon and Angi,” that include: WNIC, Detroit; KMXP, Phoenix; KMIY, Tucson; and WRVE, Albany.  The program is hosted by Simon Marcel and Angi Taylor.  Premiere says, “‘The Rendezvous’ is a nightly radio experience filled with insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.  The two-hour show is available for air between 7:00 pm and 12:00 midnight…..iHeartMedia is re-branding CHR KOSY, Cedar Rapids with a new “HOT 95.7” handle and a revamped lineup that consists of Premiere Networks’ Elvis Duran for mornings, “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” in middays, Sean Strife in afternoon drive, and “Brady At Night.”…..Envision Networks is offering the 2017 updated edition of the award-winning “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” 10-hour radio countdown special hosted by television icon Wink Martindale.

Miranda Lambert Plays at Cumulus New York’s Stage 17.  On Wednesday evening, country superstar Miranda Lambert performed before an intimate group of country fans and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s Stage 17.  Lambert’s six-song set included her chart-topping single, “Heart Like Mine,” “Automatic,” and her latest radio single, “Tim Man.”  She’s pictured here with staff of WNSH.  From left to right: Crystal Dishmon, ShopKeeper Management; Dennis Reese, SVP/promotion, RCA Nashville; Lambert; John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media; Mike Allan, APD, “NASH FM 94.7”; and Randy Goodman, chairman/CEO, SONY Music Nashville.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

| October 10, 2017

New Kilmeade Book Released This Month.  Later this month (10/24), FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade releases his fifth book, this one titled, Andrew Jackson And The Miracle Of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel 2017).  The book addresses the role of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and the crucial Battle of New Orleans.  A press release says the book “makes history come alive and gives readers a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals – who later became one of our most controversial presidents.”  Kilmeade is available for interviews.  Contact Victoria@guestbooker.com.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right, Westwood One News vice president Kevin Delany accepts a 2017 RTDNA Edward R Murrow Award for the news organization for hard news reporting.  The gala awards presentation took place at New York City’s Gotham Hall last night (10/9)…..WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta talk show host Erick Erickson (who is also editor of The Resurgent) has published a new book titled, Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children (Hachette Books 2017).  Already dealing with his wife’s rare, genetic lung cancer, Erickson learned in 2016 he had blood clots in his lungs for which he’s been treated.  The brushes with mortality caused him to write a letter to his children titled, “If I Should Die Before You Wake,” that went viral.  Because of the popularity of the piece, Erickson decided to expand the idea and wrote a total of 10 letters that comprise the book that is described on Amazon.com as “featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual.”…..Former Premiere Networks talk show host and FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is joining the cast of ABC-TV’s “The View.”  Program senior executive producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin states, “Meghan is smart and well-informed, with passionate opinions that will create a new and exciting dynamic at the table.  She has a unique perspective and life experience that will bring a fresh, multi-generational voice to the show.  We know she’ll be a great addition to ‘The View.’”…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Mike Missanelli told his listeners that he’s been let go from his appearance on WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s “Sports Sunday” program after questioning the use of women as play-by-play announcers for sports.  Missanelli said he was trying to stimulate conversation relative to ESPN’s use of Beth Mowins as a play-by-play caller during an ESPN NFL broadcast.   The Philly sports site Crossing Broad reports the story here.

Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh Celebrates 10th Anniversary.  Triangle market sports talker WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is celebrating 10 years on air today (10/10).  When the station signed on back in 2007, it was the market’s first sports talk station.  A press release from WCMC reports that according to the latest Nielsen PPM ratings, the station ranks number one Men 25-54 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a 9.5 share.  It also boasts “the number one shows in morning and afternoon drive.”  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “While I’ve only been here four years at CBC, I can say this is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking sports radio stations I have ever been associated with over my 25 years in sports broadcasting.  While this isn’t one of the first sports stations in the country, we’ve proved it is definitely one of the best, thanks to a great lineup, but mostly in part to our loyal listeners in the Triangle.”

KKOB Balloon Flies Over New Mexico.  Yesterday (10/9) was the 46th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and pictured above is the KKOB balloon.  The festival attracts more than a million people from all over the world to Albuquerque each year.  The festival began in 1972 as a promotional celebration of KKOB’s 50th anniversary on air.  Now, it is the largest ballooning event in the  world.

Iran Nukes Deal, Corker vs Trump, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, NFL Protests/Jemele Hill Suspended, California Wildfires, Columbus Day/Indigenous Persons Day, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The likelihood that President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact and his expected declaration of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization; the inter-GOP feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the sexual predator allegations against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the national anthem protests at Sunday’s NFL games and ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill for Tweeting about them; the wildfires in California that have claimed at least 10 lives; the Columbus Day holiday and the Indigenous Persons holiday celebrated in several states; the Major League Baseball playoffs, Saturday’s college football games, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Worcester, Massachusetts hot AC WXLO has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Laura St. James to the position.  St. James was most recently program director at the company’s WLEV, Allentown and is currently heard on weekends on the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”…..iHeartMedia’s Allentown-Harrisburg Region makes several announcements regarding programming positions that consist of the expansion of programming roles for Newman, Dave Hovel, Derrick ‘DC’ Cole, Kathryn Alt and Jeff Hurley.  Newman is named program director for country WRBT, Harrisburg “BOB 94.9.”  Hovel adds duties as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Wilmington, Delaware.  He’ll continue his role as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Salisbury, Maryland.  In Allentown, Cole is named program director for CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO.  Alt adds program director duties for country WDSD, Dover, Delaware in addition to her PD duties at adult hits WRDX “92.9 Tom FM.”  And finally, Hurley adds PD duties for CHR WLAN, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He continues as Regional SVP of programming and program director for “93.3 KISS FM” in Harrisburg…..Programmer Greg Mozingo exits E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO and classic country KXBL in Tulsa to be closer to family in Memphis.

Friday, October 6, 2017

| October 6, 2017

Howard Stern Tops Forbes’ Highest-Paid Radio Hosts List.  It’s not surprising that SiriusXM superstar Howard Stern is sitting atop Forbes’ annual highest-paid radio star list.  The piece by Hayley Cuccinello reports Stern’s income from June of 2016 to June of this year at about $90 million, easily making him the top dog.  Premiere Networks’ superstar Rush Limbaugh placed second with Forbes estimating his salary at $84 million.  KIIS-FM, Los Angeles and fellow Premiere Networks star Ryan Seacrest lands in third place with a reported $58 million earned during the period.  Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity places fifth with a reported $36 million annual paycheck.  See the Forbes piece here.

Jim Philips Agrees to One More Year with WTKS-FM, Orlando.  Tweeting that he got “an offer I could not refuse,” WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” afternoon drive host Jim Philips says he’ll postpone his retirement from the station for at least another year.  Earlier this year, Philips announced he would step away from his “Philips Phile” radio show in January of 2018.  Now, he says he’ll continue hosting the show on the iHeartMedia-owned station Mondays through Thursdays.

iHeartRadio Integrated in Google Home.  The iHeartRadio app is now integrated with Google’s new assistant-enabled hardware: Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, and Google Pixel Buds.  iHeartMedia says that these integrations enable iHeartRadio users to use voice commands to request live radio stations and control playback.  At the same time, iHeartRadio is also now integrated with Android Wear 2.0, allowing Android smartwatch wearers to use iHeartRadio as well.

‘Today’s Homeowner’ Adds 100 New Affiliate Stations. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show “Today’s Homeowner,” with host Danny Lipford (left) and co-host Joe Truini (right), reports exploding popularity for the weekly two-hour program in the form of 100 new affiliate stations in the past 90 days.  The program is now heard on 240 stations across the country.  Today’s Homeowner Media president Danny Lipford states, “We’re hearing from a steady flow of industry professionals who are listening to our demos and wanting to learn more, including former affiliates of my recently departed friend, Glenn Haege, of ‘The Handyman Show.’  As soon as they hear how we approach home improvement radio, they immediately want to be a part of it and understand what my loyal audience has known from the beginning – that ‘Today’s Homeowner’ stands for quality, dynamic radio that is fun and delivers practical information they can use in their homes right now.”  In addition to the longform show, Today’s Homeowner Media is seeing weekly growth for the brand’s 90-second vignettes, titled, “Tips for Today’s Homeowner.”  The ‘Tips,’ perfect for both music and talk formats, currently air on 142 stations.

TALKERS News Notes.  At Chicago’s WSCR “670 The Score,” Pingree Grove, Illinois native Stephen Johnson is named the station’s “2017 Great Clips Fantasy Football Expert.”  He’s joining Joe Ostrowski’s “Fantasy Football Today” show that airs on the station on Sunday mornings from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “We are thrilled for Stephen to join the team and jump right in with advice and advantages for our listeners each week.  Each year, it is a pleasure to meet some of our most-dedicated listeners through this annual promotion.”  “The Score” held open auditions for Chicago’s next fantasy football expert at six local venues.  The top 10 candidates from all on-site applicants were invited to the station for a formal interview.  A panel of expert judges interviewed the top four finalists and selected the Great Clips Fantasy Football Expert during a finale event on September 27…..The NHL’s New Jersey Devils announce that former goaltender and fan favorite Glenn “Chico” Resch is joining the team to serve as a radio analyst and ambassador for the 2017‐2018 season.  Resch will partner with veteran play‐by‐play voice Matt Loughlin for Devils coverage on WFAN‐FM/AM, New York and The One Jersey Network via WFAN.com…..Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch reports that the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is renaming its circle drive Bob Chase Way in honor of the first Fort Wayne Komets voice.  The hockey club’s games have been mostly heard on Federated Media-owned news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Chase, who passed away at age 91 last Thanksgiving, handled play-by-play for the Komets for an astonishing 63 years…..CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” is doing a promotion that gives seven local high school football matchups the chance to have their Thanksgiving Day football game broadcast live on WIP.  The winner of “Turkey Bowl Live” will have WIP midday hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie doing play-by-play of the game with Howard Eskin as the sideline reporter.  Fan voting has begun and ends October 31.

Radio’s Pubic Service and Humanitarian Efforts Continue in Aftermath of Natural Disasters and Deadly Violence. With the recent hurricanes affecting the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the deadly earthquake that hit Mexico City and the horrific shooting in Las Vegas, radio stations across the country are flexing their humanitarian muscles to help those in need.  The following are just some of the actions broadcasters are taking.  Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s radio stations are hosting a Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive on Wednesday (10/11) at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia.  News/talk WMAL-AM/FM program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery, and this is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way.  We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us Wednesday in this effort.”…..Earlier this week (10/3), iHeartMedia’s Nashville-based Bobby Bones show broadcast an entire show dedicated to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting with live, in-studio performances from country music stars.  The theme of the show was “Love > Hate” and saw Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, Chris Janson, and LoCash perform on the show.  As a fundraiser, Bones announced that all #PimpinJoy and limited-edition “Love > Hate” apparel will benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund…..The four Entercom San Francisco radio stations – rhythmic oldies KRBQ, adult contemporary KOIT, rock KFOX, and sports talk KGME – are partnering with the Latino Community Foundation to raise funds for those impacted by the recent earthquakes in Mexico City and surrounding areas.  The fundraising effort is a three-week campaign in which 100% of proceeds will go directly to local charities in areas of greatest need…..Beasley Media Group’s Community of Caring Initiative is helping those not local to the Las Vegas area donate to victims and their families.  Beasley says Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak have set up a GoFundMe page that will “provide relief and financial support to the victims and families.”  The current goal is set at $1,000,000…..Alpha Media Portland’s triple A KINK is changing its name to “101.9 PINK” for the month of October to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Throughout October, the station is giving a Hydro Flask to each person who donates $25 or more, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia is hosting the annual “Bid for Breast Cancer,” a fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research, the world’s first and largest cancer research organization, headquartered in Philadelphia. The fundraiser will include an auction in which listeners can place bids on items such as a signed guitar from Green Day, a Coach bag signed by Selena Gomez and boxing gloves signed by Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

TALKERS Podcasting News. The new podcast from FiveThirtyEight titled “The Lab” has debuted.  The weekly NBA podcast is hosted by general editor and senior sportswriter Neil Paine, senior sportswriter Kyle Wagner, and senior sportswriter Chris Herring.  Each episode tackles the trends in the league from an analytics angle, seeking to answer such questions as: Are there enough possessions to go around for Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook on the Oklahoma City Thunder? Why are pull-up threes now all the rage in the league? What makes Gregg Popovich such a good coach?…..According to a report by sports media news and opinion site Awful Announcing, Barstool Sports is close to a deal with ESPN to create a video version of its “Pardon My Take” podcast and air it as a weekly, late-night show on ESPN2.  AA says, “It’s believed the television show would not affect the podcast, which would continue on as normal.  It’s unclear what night and how long the episodes would be, but we’re told it would definitely air on ESPN2 and at a late night/early morning hour.”  As AA points out, if this happens, it would be a very interesting turnaround for the two sides since ESPN issued a cease and desist to Barstool for “Pardon My Take,” alleging that the podcast’s name infringed on trademarks for “Pardon the Interruption” and “First Take.”  Barstool didn’t cave and the podcast has garnered a loyal audience.  “Pardon My Take” stars PFTCommenter and Dan “Big Cat” Katz.

Las Vegas Concert Massacre/Gun Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 2-6.  The mass shooting that killed 59 and wounded hundreds at a concert festival in Las Vegas and the resulting debate over gun control issues was the most talked about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the reportedly strained relationship between President Trump and Secretay of State Rex Tillerson.  Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s threats of war against the U.S., followed by the special counsel’s investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s relationships with Russian agents at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Holland Cooke Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Cooke was recently named the successor to Thom Hartmann as host of the RT America program, “The Big Picture,” set to debut this Friday, October 6 as a half-hour weekend show.  Harrison and Cooke engage in a spirited and illuminating discussion about the latest trends in radio, television and internet talk broadcasting dipping into the experience gathered in their long careers and speculating on things yet to come in media and popular culture.  And guess what?  They even talk about the impact of Donald Trump on talk radio. This podcast is not to be missed by today’s spoken work media practitioners as well as newcomers looking to break into the business.  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.



More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Hubbard Radio’s St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” morning drive personality Spencer Graves inks a multi-year deal to continue hosting the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” program.  Graves arrived at the station two years ago from WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware.  He currently works on air with co-hosts Cassiday Proctor and Brandon “Brando” Luttman.  Program director Scott Roddy comments, “‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ has enjoyed impressive growth in the two years it has been on ‘106.5 The Arch.’ Spencer’s dedication to our community across the bi-state region and his ‘on-air’ neighborhood – including co-hosts Cassiday and Brando – is unmatched.  I’m thrilled to have a topical, interactive, genuine, fresh and fun personality like Spencer leading the on-air ‘Arch Allies.’”…..Radio pro Patrick Knight is named music director at Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver.  Knight produces the morning drive program.  Program director John E. Kage comments, “I arrived at KYGO one year ago and Patrick quickly showed himself to be a multi-tool player that I could depend on.  In addition to producing the KYGO morning show and handling a part of our imaging, he proved to be a valuable asset in the music.  He understands the country lifestyle, the timing of records as it pertains to the audience, the history of artists, and having helped me with interviews and backstage events he also has earned the respect of the labels for his professionalism.”…..Morning duo Jeff Pope and Marla Davies exit Alpha Media’s hot AC simulcast KEZR, Gilroy/KBAY, San Jose.  Pope made the announcement via Facebook, writing: “Dear San Jose: Thank you for an AWESOME 3 1/2 years! Earlier today, Marla Davies and I were let go from ‘Mix 106.’  From the time I arrived from Southern California, you treated me with love and kindness – even when my L.A. Kings came back from that 3-0 hole against your Sharks??  Thank you for letting us be a part of your mornings, and now I’m REALLY glad I didn’t buy a house!”…..Southern Wisconsin’s Big Radio announces it is flipping a trio of signals to a 90s music format.  Two translators – W255CZ, Janesville at 98.9 and W222AU, Beloit at 92.3 – fed by WBEL-AM will make the switch on Monday (10/9) and will collectively be branded “The Beat 92.3 and 98.9 FM.”  Big Radio says the core artists will include: Alanis Morissette, Backstreet Boys, Sugar Ray, No Doubt, TLC, Boys II Men, Gin Blossoms, and Nirvana.  On-air talent will consist of Micki Morgret in mornings, Paul Michaels in middays, Liz Rudolph hosting afternoons, and Wayne “Grizzly” Adams handling nights…..Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for its December 5 “Deck the Hall Ball ’17” at the Key Arena.  It includes: The Killers, The Lumineers, Odesza, Joywave, Portugal. The Man, J. Roddy Walston and the Business, and J Grgry.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

| October 5, 2017

Rush Limbaugh to Host Fourth Hour Online.  Telling listeners that there’s just too much stuff to talk about that he can’t get to it all in the three hours of his daily program, Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh is going to do another hour – or possibly more – for “Rush 24/7” digital subscribers today (10/5).  Yesterday he said, “Folks, I’ve decided there’s only one way to do this.  After the program tomorrow I’m gonna keep going on the internet.  Subscribers at RushLimbaugh.com will be able to hear what we call the fourth hour.  No commercials.  I just keep going until I’m ready to quit.  It’s the only reason I’m gonna be able to get this stuff in there.”  It would be interesting to learn how many new subscribers sign up for the premium content as a result of this.

Hannity’s FOX News Channel Show Pulling Ahead of Competition.  A report from AdWeek based on Nielsen ratings of this Tuesday’s cable news/talk performances indicates that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is grabbing markedly more viewers than his 9:00 pm ET competition.  On Tuesday, Hannity beat CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in the 25-54 demo 1.07 million to 721,000 and 468,000, respectively.  In the Total Viewers demographic, Hannity led all FNC shows with 3.8 million, to Maddow’s 2.04 million and Cooper’s 1.8 million.  Taking a look at Total Day, FNC leads the pack with 2.1 million (Total Viewers) and 545,000 (25-54). Hannity recently moved from the 10:00 pm ET hour to 9:00 pm.  See the report here.

Can Public News/Talk Outlets Outperform Commercial News/Talk Stations in All PPM Markets?  That’s what NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn says the goal is for NPR-affiliated news/talk stations.  In a piece by Ken Mills at Spark News, Mohn is very happy with Nevada Public Radio director of programming Dave Becker’s research that indicates NPR-affiliated stations topped all commercial news/talk stations in 20 of the almost 50 Nielsen PPM markets in the September 2017 survey.  As Mills notes, he agrees with Becker that a generation ago, this was not even close to the case.  Mohn did his own research and told Mills that, when looking at Persons 25-54 in weekly drive times he saw that NPR news/talk stations are reaching more listeners than “big” commercial news/talkers in 26 of the PPM markets during “Morning Edition” and in 28 markets during “All Things Considered.”  Read Mills’ piece here.

Does Play-By-Play Have a Future on AM/FM Radio?  That’s the question asked by Cookeville, Tennessee-based Stonecom Radio president and general manager Larry Stone.  In a piece published today (10/5), Stone clearly believes that sports play-by-play does have a future on AM/FM, but he believes that the way it is often presented is damaging its popularity with sports fans.  Among its issues, Stone says, are too many commercials, an insensitivity to local fans’ allegiances, and a move by the talent away from “painting the picture of the game.”  Read Stone’s story here.

Las Vegas Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Tillerson Relationship, Iran Nukes Deal, 20-Week Abortion Ban, Puerto Rico Devastation, Catalonia-Spain Split, Cam Newton Female Reporter Flap, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4). The search for answers to the motive behind Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas and the related visit by President Trump; reports of the tense relationship between President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement that the U.S. should stand by the Iran nuclear deal; the House-passed bill making abortion illegal after 20 weeks and the report of anti-abortion Congressman Tim Murphy asking his mistress to get an abortion; hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico; the vote by Catalans to split from Spain and possible repercussions on the European Union; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton takes heat for demeaning female reporter; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WestStar Announces Availability of Mannheim Steamroller’s ‘An American Christmas.’  This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Mannheim Steamroller “An American Christmas” program, being made available to stations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day via WestStar Multimedia Entertainment.  The 12 to 24-hour marathon program is hosted by Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis and WestStar says, “Each stand-alone hour contains the rich legends and stories surrounding the holiday; all keyed to today’s most popular and well-tested traditional Christmas selections.  The program has been specifically designed for AC, news, news/talk, and sports talk stations to maintain a very high and engaging level of top-quality programming.”  The program is offered via barter on a market-exclusive basis.  However, multiple stations in market ownership clusters are welcome to carry the program simultaneously.  WestStar president and CEO Barry Young says, “We’ve retained the best-loved legends about the traditions of Christmas, along with primary host…all music has been updated, adding a new music rotation that reflects the best and most popular holiday music receiving airplay this season.”



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Moving from Hartford, where he was morning drive personality at iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” to Pittsburgh to handle the morning show at CBS RADIO’s country WDSY “Y108” is Broadway.  The “Broadway’s Backyard” program launches on “Y108” on Monday (10/9), but he’ll be getting out to meet “Y108” listeners – and buy the first 750 attendees a Miller Lite – at tonight’s “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert at Rivers Casino.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson states, “Broadway brings the total package to ‘Y108.’  He’s dynamic and engaging with a fresh approach to morning radio.  His ‘Broadway’s Backyard’ will bring an entirely new and unique option to our current and prospective future listeners in Pittsburgh!”…..Gone from Red Wolf Broadcasting’s alternative WMRQ, Hartford “RADIO 104.1” is morning personality and assistant PD David Fisch.  He’d been co-host of the wake-up show with Amy Grey and Fisch’s departure prompts the move of afternoon personality Holden into the morning drive co-host chair.  Program director Brian Ram is searching for his new afternoon drive jock…..Numerous Tom Petty specials are planned for this weekend after the rocker’s untimely death over the last weekend at age 66.  Among them are Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Flashback,” hosted by rock insider Matt Pinfield, that will feature a full, one-hour tribute to Petty.  This special “Flashback” edition will highlight some of Petty’s biggest hits, his collaborations with other artists like Stevie Nicks and the Traveling Wilburys, and will also include past interview clips of Petty talking about his musical influences.  Another Petty tribute program available this weekend is “Off the Record” with Joe Benson. Compass Media Networks is offering the one-hour special to stations in available markets commercial free…..SiriusXM announces the Eagles will perform a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM listeners at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Sunday, October 29.  The legendary band is on tour with the lineup of longtime Eagles members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, plus late founding member Glenn Frey’s son Deacon Frey and Grand Ole Opry member Vince Gill.  This performance will be the group’s first ever at the Grand Ole Opry…..iHeartMedia announces the return of its annual “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour 2017 Presented by Capital One.”  The tour will feature performances by some of the year’s biggest recording artists.  The full artist lineup will be announced on October 10, but the company teases that Liam Payne and Camila Cabello will perform at select stops throughout the tour.



Round Four of September PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13. View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.


1) Austin – By adding six-tenths to August’s +.4, University of Texas at Austin news/talk KUT (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) progresses from a third-place tie to the runner-up slot with its highest 6+-share since 7.6 in March. After plummeting by eight-tenths in August, iHeartMedia-owned KASE recaptures 75% of it (4.2 – 4.8, +.6, eighth to seventh, 6+). “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posted three straight 4.6-showings (6+) before dropping one-tenth in June and then picking up one-half share in July. Co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites,” however, follows August’s +.6 with a dip of two-tenths (6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). The market’s other FM country outlet – “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is without a loss for the seventh straight time for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4, #17 to #16, 6+); 2.5 is its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (2.5, September 2016, 6+). Up for the fifth straight sweep for an overall gain of one full-share (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” climbs from #15 to #14. In addition to ending at 19 its successive streak of being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), KGSR has its best 6+-stat since 3.1 in February 2016. An overall +1.3 via three consecutive up or flat moves (7.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.7, 6+), adult hits sibling KBPA is off one-tenth to 8.6 (6+), but “Bob” remains #1 for the eighth successive month. KBPA was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. With the exception of October and the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Bob” held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. The urban AC HD3 channel of Entercom’s KKMJ, which hadn’t had an increase in five sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), disappears from print. Meanwhile, adult contemporary KKMJ-FM “Majic 95.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” forfeits roughly half of July and August’s combined +1.1 (6.5 – 5.9, -.6, 6+), slipping from a third-place tie to fourth; August’s 6.5 was its best 6+-share since February’s 8.0. Surrendering six-tenths as well are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin,” which returns in its entirety August’s +.6 (3.2 -3.8 – 3.2, #11 to #13, 6+) and Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (3.0 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+). A collective -1.1 via three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+), “101-X” bounced back in August, while “Spirit” – which had been trending 3.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.7 (6+) – was -.7 in August and has its softest 6+-share since August 2016 (2.4, as well).

2) Raleigh – After being off by nearly two full-shares in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC is a combined +1.0 in August and September (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), progressing from third to second. Over and above being #1 for the fourth straight month, Radio One urban AC WFXC is +2.4 in six straight improvements (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+) and “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” has its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Gaining one-half share as well (August 2017 – September 2017) are co-owned gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (4.0 – 4.5, #11 to #10, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 – #1 For New Country” (3.8 – 4.3, #12 to #11, 6+), which posts its best 6+-stat since October 2014 (4.3, as well). Having registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” relinquishes eight-tenths to 5.6 (6+), dipping from fifth to sixth. A May increase of six-tenths curtailed three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 FM – Stay Connected” (5.5 – 5.0, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative WDCG-HD2 (2.0 – 1.5, #16 to #18, 6+). Following four straight down or flat monthlies for an overall -1.7 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+) WTKK responded in August with a +1.2. Even with its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013’s 5.0 and an overall -1.7 in three straight monthlies without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+), CHR WDCG-FM “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” climbs from eighth to seventh. On top for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is down or flat for the seventh successive sweep for a combined -2.4 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+) and slips from fourth to fifth.

3) Indianapolis – After five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -2.8 (7.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM gained six-tenths in July only to plummet by nine-tenths in August. “Indy’s R&B Leader” rebounds in September though with a gain of seven-tenths (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Also experiencing a wild ride is Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; and now +.5 in September (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+), jumping from fifth to second. The last time WFMS reached the seven-share level (6+) was in December (7.0). Stuck on 4.7 (6+) in July and August, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 – Indy’s News Center” improves by one-half share (5.2, ninth to eighth, 6+). Adding one-half share as well is Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WGNR-FM, which crosses the one-share threshold for the first time since May 2015 (.7 – 1.2, +.5, #20). Marching from sixth to third with a one-half share gain is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA “Air 1 Positive Hits,” however, regresses by seven-tenths to .9 (#17 to #22, 6+), ending four consecutive up or flat trends that doubled its highest 6+-share since it began appearing in print last December (.8 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6, 6+). Tacking on four-tenths to August’s +.9 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK advances from second to first with its highest 6+-share since 7.7 in February. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Exiting the #1 slot after its first time there in the PPM-era and tumbling to fourth is iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks,” which is down nine tenths to 6.7 (6+), halting at eight a string of improvements that netted three full-shares (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.6, 6+). The 7.6 that “Q-95” achieved in August is its highest-ever (6+) PPM stat. Simultaneous with Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” regaining approximately half of the nine-tenths it turned over in August (3.1 – 3.6, +.5, unchanged at #13, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WZPL is an overall -2.1 as the result of three consecutive losses (8.2 – 7.7 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+) and drops from fourth to seventh. The -.9 in August by “Radio Now” halted three consecutive increases which netted seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). Returning in total the eight-tenths it achieved in August (4.9 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slips from eighth to ninth. By losing one-tenth in July, “The Mix” snapped at five its string of up or flat trends that produced a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+).

4) Milwaukee – An increase of six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, fourth to second, 6+) takes iHeartMedia-owned WISN “1130 Milwaukee’s News/Talk Station” to its best 6+-showing since 7.5 in May. Putting an end to its (6+) 4.6 – 4.9 – 4.6 June – July – August trending, Saga Communications classic rock WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” picks up one-half share to 5.1 (6+), inching up from ninth to eighth. Replicating August’s one-half share increase, co-owned WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” cruises from seventh to fourth (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and has its highest 6+-stat since January’s 6.1. Prior to a -.6 in July, “The Hog” posted a 5.5 (6+) in three of the previous four survey periods. Continuing a down/up pattern, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 30th consecutive time (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+). The modest September 2017 gain of two-tenths is in stark contrast to recent “Big” month-to-month moves, which include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); +2.5 (March); -1.2 (May); +.8 (July); and -1.1 in August. After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a net gain of +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” falters by eight-tenths to 5.7 (6+) and drifts from second to sixth. Prior to the August ratings period, the last time WMIL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) was in July 2016 with a 6.3. Cross-town rival – Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” – is off by three-tenths to 4.5 (eighth to tenth, 6+), snapping its winning streak as well. WKTI had posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Displaying identical 4.3 – 3.7 (-.6, flat at #11, 6+) profiles are Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative and adult contemporary siblings WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” and WLDB “B-93 The 80’s to Today.” Regressing by one-half each are co-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” (1.7, steady at #16, 6+); Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (6.3 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” (sixth to seventh, 6+). In five straight increases between March and August, WZTI nearly quadrupled its 6+-share (.6 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Up eight-tenths in August, “Mix” had its highest 6+-stat since last September’s 6.5. As the result of three straight declines, “V-100.7” erodes by two full-shares (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). Without going higher than 1.5 or lower than 1.1 over the course of the last 20 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through September 2017, Milwaukee Public Schools’ triple A WYMS “88 Nine” (flat at #18) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3.

5) Nashville – Not only does iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT bust out a whopping +1.5 to 8.5, its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4, “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” marches from third to first. Its gain of four-tenths in August curtailed three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Occupying the top spot in July and August, Midwest Communications’ adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” drops six-tenths and segues to third-place (7.7 – 7.1, 6+). In July, “Jack” doubled June’s gain of six-tenths with a +1.2 (7.1 – 8.3, 6+), but returned exactly half that increase in August. Prior to a -.7 in May, Nashville’s “Jack” was up or flat the previous four months gaining +1.9 (5.3 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). The market’s (6+) CHR share swells by +1.6 as WCJK cluster-mate WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” improves by six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, steady at #15, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” gains one full-share to 7.5 (6+). “The River” pulls the plug on three straight dips that accounted for a -1.2 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+) and progresses from fourth to second. The station it knocks out of the runner-up slot is cluster-mate WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock,” which erodes by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6, 6+) and drifts to fifth, with its lowest 6+-share since 6.4 in March. Regressing six-tenths in July (3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX bounces back in August and September with a combined +1.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+) – “104.5 The Zone” jumps from #14 to #11. In June, WGFX returned in full May’s one-half share increase. Prior to May’s +.5, “The Zone” plummeted by more than four full-shares in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Conversely, co-owned WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN,” which was up one full-share via three straight gains (4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+), hands over 80% of that addition (4.9, .8, seventh to ninth, 6+); August’s 5.7 was its strongest 6+-stat since 5.8 in January. A one-half share improvement by WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (5.2 – 5.7, ninth to sixth, 6+) enables the Nashville Public Radio outlet to record its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, passing the 5.6 it established just two months ago (July 2017). Within 1.0 – 1.8 territory (July 2016 through August 2017, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” breaks that particular string by reaching the two-share level in its third straight increase doubling its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #16. Immediately after all three Nashville FM country outlets were up (a collective +1.0) July 2017 – August 2017, ironically, they are all down (an overall -1.3) August 2017 – September 2017. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, Cumulus Media’s WKDF surrenders all of it – plus one-tenth more (4.3 – 3.7, -.6, 6+) as “103.3 Nash FM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12) with its lowest 6+-share since 3.3 in February. Co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is off two-tenths (4.5 – 4.3, 6+) but remains at #10. By declining one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, flat at #8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” has its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, 6+), classic country WSIX-HD2 exits the top twenty (#18 to #21). This marks the third consecutive survey period that Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM is unlisted; in June, “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” had a 1.8 (#16, 6+).

6) Providence – In addition to being #1 for the 24th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a cumulative +1.6 via three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. “Lite Rock” dropped six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WWLI was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) and then up seven-tenths in April. In the runner-up slot for the third time in the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” logs a one-half share increase (8.5 – 9.0, 6+). Unchanged at #5, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus stifling five straight increases that netted a cumulative nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). A positive spike of two tenths to 5.3 (6+) by hot AC cluster-mate WSNE pulls the plug on four straight decreases for an overall loss of -1.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+) as “Coast 93.3” climbs from #6 to tie “B-101” at #5; August’s 5.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Coast” since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Although it remains in eighth-place, Entercom sports talk WVEI (which was locked on 2.9 in April and May) is without a loss for the third straight sweep (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). Down in each of the last four survey periods by an overall -2.0 (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” slips from third to fourth with its weakest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.7. Immediately before the May ratings period, WPRO-FM had been trending 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 8.3 (6+); 9.8 was its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8). As a result of losing one-tenth (to 3.2, flat at #7, 6+), co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM concludes an up/down pattern that began in February (3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920” has more than doubled its 6+-share in five successive up or flat trends (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+) and carries on at #12, while Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” improves by an overall four-tenths in five consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7, 6+) and remains at #14.

7) Norfolk – Trending 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 7.4 (April through August, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” explodes with a +1.4 to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (10.4, 6+, September 2015), and moves from third to second. More than five full shares ahead of WOWI is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which posts its third straight uptick for an overall +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+) and is #1 for the ninth time in a row, after an earlier tenure of 55 consecutive ratings periods on top. WVKL registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 17th time in the last 18 ratings periods. Furthermore, its current 14.2 is the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station ever in the PPM-era. Co-owned adult contemporary WWDE “2WD” adds three-tenths (4.6, steady at #5, 6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight months without an increase for a collective -1.7 since March (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, hot AC WPTE wipes out August’s -.4 with a gain of seven-tenths (3.7 – 4.4, 6+) with “94.9 The Point” inching up from seventh to sixth. Its consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall increase of +1.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+) ended at seven in August. As the result of four straight downward moves (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2, 6+) in which it has lost approximately 57% of its 12+-share (-1.6), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following four straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” drops one-tenth to 6.4 (6+) but carries on in fourth-place; August’s 6.5 was the strongest 6+-share for WAFX in more than seven years (6.6, July 2010).

8) Greensboro – In addition to being #1 for the fourth straight time and posting double-digits (6+) for the tenth sweep in a row, Entercom urban AC WQMG matches June’s mammoth +1.5 (11.2 – 12.7, 6+); “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” was -.7 in July. Up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods accounting for a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March and has occupied the top spot each month this calendar year except April and May. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +1.4 in three consecutive increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2, 6+). This marks the third consecutive increase for iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” for an overall +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+); WPTI was 4.7 in April. As co-owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” improves by seven-tenths to jump from sixth to third (7.1 – 7.8, 6+), its rival – Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – surrenders one-half share to 7.2 (6+) and remains in fourth-place. This is the most potent 6+-share for WTQR since 7.9 in January 2016. A July loss of three-tenths by “Q-104.1” halted six consecutive up or flat trends that yielded a +2.5 (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.2, 6+). “The Wolf” replicated July’s +.7 in August (6.3 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+). It was a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+); -.7 in March; bounced back with a combined +1.0 in April and May; and lost three-tenths in June. August’s 7.7 was the highest 6+-share for Greensboro’s “Wolf” since its 9.0 nearly three years ago (September 2014). An overall -1.5 in four decreases in succession (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” regains one-third of that loss (3.2, +.5, 6+) and inches up from tenth to ninth; August’s 2.7 represents the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Massive ups and downs seem to be a recurring theme for Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH, which notched three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), only to follow with five successive losses accounting for a collective -3.9 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6 – 8.6 – 6.8, 6+), with “102 Jamz” fading from third to sixth. Its current -1.8 is the largest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 decrease by any station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 electronically-measured markets. Over the course of the last 15 survey periods (August 2016 – September 2017), “Jamz” has been in double-digits (6+) 10 times, missing out this year in January, February, July, August, and September. A combined +1.5 in three straight additions (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+) immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” forfeits two-tenths in September to 7.0 (6+) but carries on in fifth-place; 7.2 in August was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2.

9) West Palm Beach – Six positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia’s WKGR have accounted for an overall +2.2 (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+) and “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” finishes in the runner-up position for the fourth time in a row. Moreover, its 7.0 is the station’s best 6+-performance in more than four years (7.1, 6+, August 2013). Following a July – August mini-slide that led to a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real WAY-FM” makes up all but one-tenth of it (5.0, +.8, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. An overall -1.6 in June and July (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI regains six-tenths in August and September (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7, 6+) and climbs from eighth to sixth. Just prior to June, “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” was a collective +1.3 in three straight increases (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+). While the loss of one-tenth to 10.8 (6+) by WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” pulls the plug on four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+), the Alpha Media hot AC ranks first for the ninth consecutive month. Its 10.9 in August 2017 was the strongest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015’s 11.3. Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Owing to a gain of one-tenth to .8 (unchanged at #16, 6+), JVC Media adult contemporary WSVU “South Florida’s 95.9 – The Palm” halts at five a string of down or flat monthlies that accounted for an approximately 50% loss of its 6+-share since March (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .7 – .7, 6+). The market’s other two ACs though are a combined -1.6, with iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (third to seventh) eroding by one full-share to 4.2, its lowest 6+ share since 3.9 in July 2011, while Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (fifth to eighth) falters for the fourth time in a row for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). The 5.2 in August by “KOOL” was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.9. Following three successive months without a gain in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), WOLL was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since its 3.1 in January 2014. Having doubled its 6+share between May and August (1.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” surrenders one-half share to 2.7, but remains in ninth-place (6+).

10) Jacksonville – As noted in the above introduction, the September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13, so ratings stats in Florida (PPM) markets Miami, Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville may have been impacted by hurricane Irma. Having spiraled by a combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” roars back with a +1.3 in September to 11.7 (6+) and is on top for the ninth straight time. A January +2.1 to 12.8 produced its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. It isn’t the only station in this Florida market to notch an increase of +1.3 though as Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” (steady at #2) does so as well (8.4 – 9.7, 6+), reaching the nine-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 9.3. When WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” dropped four-tenths in August to 7.5, it ended a March through July (6+) trending of 7.6 – 7.9 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 7.9. The Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary staggers by -1.4 to 6.1 in September, slipping from third to fourth and falls below a seven-share (6+) for the first time since re-appearing in print in May 2014. After three straight sweeps without a decrease for an overall gain of six tenths (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.2, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5” slumps by four-tenths to 2.8 but stays at #13; August’s 3.2 was its strongest 6+-share since December’s 3.4. No station in any of PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets had a higher (6+) July 2017August 2017 increase greater than the +1.9 by iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK, but “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” returns eight-tenths of that bounty (5.7 – 4.9, 6+), segueing from sixth to eighth; August’s 5.7 was its best 6+stat since June 2016 (5.7, also). Slumping by eight-tenths as well and dropping from fourth to fifth (5.8, 6+) is Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 – Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had been up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is off by more than three full-shares in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+) yet actually jumps from fifth to third. The bulk of its -3.3 came in August via a -2.7, the largest July 2017 – August 2017 freefall by any station in the 48 PPM-markets; “The Eagle” was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June.

11) Memphis – While the top two finishers in August were separated by just one-tenth, Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” is in a flat-footed tie in September with iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101,” as WRBO gains seven-tenths (9.3 – 10.0, 6+) and KJMS improves by eight-tenths (9.2 – 10.0, 6+). March through August, WRBO trended a very consistent 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+) and advanced to #1 this time last month. “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” succeeded “V-101,” which had been #1 the previous six survey periods but shifted to the runner-up slot. Off by one full-share in August (10.2 – 9.2, 6+), KJMS curtailed seven straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 10.2, 6+). “V-101” previously had a ten-month tenure on top before relocating to #2 in “Holiday” 2016. Cratering by -1.7 is gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (6.3 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Not only is this the lowest 6+-share for “Halleluiah” in its PPM-history, it’s the first time WHAL has even fallen under a five-share (6+). While it continues in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River Continuous Soft Rock” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (6+), bringing to a halt three successive positive upticks that netted a cumulative +1.8 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+) and produced its best 6+-stat (7.5) since February’s 7.7. In addition to adding one-tenth and progressing from seventh to fifth (5.7 – 5.8, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix” applies the brakes to three successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.3 (7.0 – 6.2- 6.2 – 5.7, 6+). After a combined -1.4 in June and July (3.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erased that loss in August with a +.7 only to surrender that seven-tenths in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+), sliding from #12 to #14. Just about equally responsible for the country format’s combined August 2017 – September 2017 -1.5 are Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” (-.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” (-.7, #10 to #12, 6+). Following back-to-back increases that produced a gain of one full-share (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “Kix” was -.4 in July, but bounced back with a +.8 in August (5.5 – 6.3, 6+) with its highest 6+-stat since February’s 6.6. “The Wolf” concludes three straight increases and was +1.1 in that stretch (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+).

12) Hartford – Boasting the highest (6+) August 2017 – September 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets listed here is Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR (4.7 – 6.3, +1.6, 6+), which marches from eighth to fifth. Furthermore, WNPR reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time under PPM methodology. Advancing by one-half share is CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM (4.9, steady at #9, 6+), which applies the brakes on seven straight decreases in which its 6+-share was carved exactly in half since January (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). August’s 4.4 was the softest 6+-share in WTIC-AM’s PPM-history. CHR sibling WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” has netted nine-tenths in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+) and progresses from fifth to fourth. Flat at 10.2 (6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” is the market pacesetter for the 13th successive ratings period. Prior to July, “Lite” – which was up by a cumulative nine-tenths in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), but then down by an overall -1.4 in April and May (11.1 – 10.0 – 9.7, 6+) – had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August, but returns in September with (again) a .5 (#15, 6+). Rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” though is jolted with a -1.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.6, and drifts from fourth to eighth. Down or flat in each of the last four sweeps for an overall -1.2 (2.7 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Red Wolf Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 picks up one-tenth to 1.6 (6+) and climbs from #12 to #11. After gaining one full-share in June; dropping one-half share in July; and being flat in August – iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” regresses by one-half share (8.3 – 7.8, 6+), slipping from the runner-up slot to third-place.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

| October 3, 2017

Handling Coverage of the Vegas Concert Massacre at KXNT.  Stations across the country, as well as local Las Vegas stations, have been covering the deadly shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival since Sunday night.  CBS RADIO news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas station personality Alan Stock tells TALKERS how they covered it in the immediate 12 hours after the shooting took place.  The shooting started at 10:08 pm on Sunday night.  Stock says, “I was broadcasting from 11:00 that night through 9:00 am Monday.”  After going home to take a quick shower, Stock returned to the air from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Monday.  He says they pre-empted the Rush Limbaugh program and the Todd Schnitt show to cover the story wall-to-wall, taking a lot of calls from listeners who needed to talk about what had happened.  “Program director Andy Vierra and my producer Mark Bonilla were with me the entire time.  I could not be prouder than I am with how the station covered this the right way.”  Stock says other staffers who were indispensable during their coverage were producers Mark Thomas and Tony Valdez, news anchor Fred Halstead, and sports staffer Conrad Company.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Confirmed by Senate. On a 52-41 vote of the U.S. Senate yesterday, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai was confirmed to a second five-year term as chairman.  Broadcasters are thrilled that Pai will continue as chairman because he’s extremely sympathetic to their needs – far more so than previous Chairman Tom Wheeler.  Democrats, however, aren’t so hot on Pai’s goal of wrestling authority for Net Neutrality away from the FCC.   One of Wheeler’s legacy accomplishments was instituting the Commission’s Title II authority over the Internet.

Cox Ups Babin to Regional VP.  This promotion of Cox Media Group Miami VP/general manager Rob Babin to regional vice president for radio puts him in oversight of the Miami, Houston, Long Island, San Antonio and Tampa radio markets.  Cox EVP Bill Hendrich states, “During his career, Rob has been a strong leader for CMG in Orlando, Atlanta and Miami.  He has grown in leadership roles through his ability to hire and develop talented team members, create world-class work environments and deliver results.  We are fortunate to have many talented leaders at CMG to consider for critical roles like this.  Rob’s understanding of the opportunities ahead, his ability to make positive connections with people and his track record of delivering results equip him to do a fantastic job as our regional VP.”

Limbaugh’s Two-Part Appearance on Hannity’s FNC Show Tops Cable News Ratings.  Last week, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity aired a two-part interview with fellow Premiere star Rush Limbaugh on his FNC program, and the Thursday and Friday Hannity programs “drew impressive ratings,” reports Premiere.  You can hear Thursday’s segment here and Friday’s segment here.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Show to Air on The Blaze Radio Network.  The program, co-hosted by Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci is produced by Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings and the company inks a deal for its “The Conservative Cartel” show to air on The Blaze Radio Network on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET, starting this Saturday (10/7).   A press release states that Locke and Stucci “along with their executive producer and show owner Ron Phillips, will give The Blaze Radio Network listeners a full-throttle show and will share their thoughts and opinions regarding the political landscape of this great country.”

Tim Hill Named PD at WNKT, Columbia.  Sports media pro Tim Hill is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina sports talk WNKT “107.5 The Game.”  Hill co-hosts the station’s AM drive program – “The Early Game” – with co-host Bill Gunter.  His experience in the sports world includes more than 13 years leading sports coverage at WOLO-TV, Columbia.  Cumulus Columbia operations manager Brent Johnson comments, “I am a big Tim Hill fan, dating back to when he was sports director for a Columbia TV station. Since coming on board, he has really grown his morning show with Bill Gunter.  He has such a huge knowledge of the South Carolina sports scene and so many great ideas.”

Kramer Joins Florida Talk Stations as Programmer.  On-air pro Keith Kramer is heading to Florida to serve as program director for Magic Broadcasting’s Florida talk duo WYOO, Panama City “Talk Radio 101” and WVFT, Tallahassee “Freedom 93.3.”  Kramer has most recently been host of the afternoon program at iHeartMedia’s rock WIOT, Toledo “Rock 104.7.”  Kramer will also take over the morning drive duties at WYOO, replacing Derrell Day.

Las Vegas Concert Massacre, NFL Anthem Protests, Puerto Rico Devastation/Trump-Cruz Feud, Trump-Russia Investigation, Tom Petty Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  The deaths of some 59 concertgoers in Las Vegas and the wounding of hundreds of others by a gunman, along with the gun/political issues surrounding the crime; Sunday’s NFL anthem protests; the post-Maria Puerto Rico devastation and President Trump’s Twitter feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz; the investigation into Trump operative relationships with Russia agents; rocker Tom Petty dies of a heart attack at 66; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



The CW Postpones iHeartRadio Music Festival Programming.  According to Variety, television network The CW is postponing the airing of two nights of footage from the recent iHeartRadio Music Festival “out of respect to the victims” of Sunday’s massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.  The iHeartRadio Music Festival took place in Las Vegas on September 22-23.  Although all the footage to be aired in the specials was shot at the T-mobile Arena, Variety reports that portions of the festival itself took place at the same location where Sunday’s concert was being held.  The shows were scheduled to air tomorrow night and Thursday night.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  WCVS-FM, Springfield, Illinois flips formats from classic rock to adult hits using the Envision Networks and Kroeger Media BOB FM format.  Neuhoff Media vice president of programming Mike Shamus says, “We shopped around for the best adult hits format for WCVS.  It became very clear that working with Envision Networks’ BOB-FM was going to be the easiest to use, the best branding and, overall the best product out there.”…..Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned triple A WLUM, Milwaukee “FM 102/1” announces the lineup for its three-night “Big Snow Show.”  The event takes place at the Eagles Ballroom on 11/30, 12/1 and 12/2.  On November 30, the progam is being co-headlined by Walk the Moon and Foster the People with supporting act AJR.  December 1 will see Paramore headlining with Dashboard Confessional and The Wrecks supporting.  Finally, on December 2, Phoenix is headliner with Cold War Kids, Lord Huron, and Welshly Arms supporting…..This Friday is College Radio Day across America and the rest of the world.  It’s the day the non-profit College Radio Foundation sets aside each year to encourage those who may not have listened to college radio to give it a try.  More than 400 college radio stations are uniting to contribute content for a special, one-hour simulcast to be played across the country at 2:00 pm EDT.  Radio industry pros lending their voices in support of college radio include: Elvis Duran, Glenn Beck, Little Steven Van Zandt, Jim Kerr, Ross Brittain, Shelley Wade, TJ Taormina, and more.  College Radio Day founder Rob Quicke – chair of the Communications Department at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey – says, “We firmly believe that college radio is one of the last remaining bastions of creative radio programming, free from the constrictions of having to be commercially viable, and a place that is closely tied to the local community, on and off campus.  Only on college radio will you hear music and programming you just can’t find anywhere else, and it’s the place where the future broadcast journalists of tomorrow start their careers.”



Round Two of September PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of September 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens September 2017 survey period covered August 17 – September 13. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.


1) Washington, D.C. – Illustrative of how spoken-word stations dominate September happenings in the Nation’s Capital, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL, which had been trending 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 (June – July – August, 6+), hangs out a +1.1 to 4.3 (6+), zooming from a three-way tie at #11 to #6. It is the best 6+-showing for WMAL since February’s 4.5. On the strength of a one-half share increase (8.9 – 9.4, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP marches from second – where it had been from January through August – to first. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). Whereas 9.4 represents the station’s best 6+-stat since March (9.9), July’s 8.2 was its softest since “Holiday” 2015’s 7.5. Exiting the top spot after spending the past eight months there and dropping to second-place is American University-owned WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium.” A combined -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. In four straight increases, CBS Radio Spanish tropical WLZL has more than tripled its 6+-share (.7 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.2, #19 to #18, 6+); “El Zol 107.9” last reached the two-share level (6+) in December (2.0). Occupying third-place for the ninth time in a row, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR is unchanged at 7.1 (6+), after dropping one full-share in August, ending at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). July’s 8.1 (6+) represents the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. Meanwhile, following a -1.1 in August, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” falters by seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+), sliding from fifth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 as the result of five consecutive negative sweeps (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March. Trending 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.8 (6+) between March and July, gospel cluster-mate WPRS gained one-half share in August, but (like WMMJ) “Praise 104.1” surrenders seven-tenths as well (4.3 – 3.6, 6+), dipping from seventh to ninth. As a result of a loss of four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), WPGC-FM ends at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+) and the CBS Radio rhythmic CHR departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Tied with WPGC at #11 (down from #10 in August) is iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country,” whose very consistent February through September 6+-line is 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4. Format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” remains at #20 but is without an increase for the seventh straight sweep and has lost approximately half its 6+-share in that stretch (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+).

2) Boston – Over and above erasing August’s one-half share decline by racking up a robust +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2 – iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” moves from the runner-up slot to #1. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Flat at #13, CBS Radio’s similarly formatted WODS “Amp 103.3” drops two-tenths to 2.8 (6+). In August, it halted three successive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) that immediately followed four successive positive monthlies which netted four-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). On top the past eight months but falling to #2 in September is Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+). The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December, WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; -.8 in April; -.6 in June; and -.5 in August. It is another successful sweep for the flagships of the Boston Red Sox (Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM) and the New England Patriots (CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub”) as both improve by one-half share. Having bounced back from May’s -.1 with a June gain of three-tenths, WEEI-FM dropped seven-tenths in July but has its second straight one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) to move from sixth to fourth. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined loss of -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), but is now a collective +1.1 in August and September (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), advancing from tenth to eighth. In addition to the two sports talk rivals, Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT posts a gain of one-half share as well and “Hot 96.9” is a collective +.9 in three successive increases (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, #12 to #11, 6+). Flat at #7, co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” gains one-tenth to 4.6 (6+), ending at three a consecutive string of down and flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Following four successive increases that netted six-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” drops one-tenth to 2.6 (6+), slipping from #14 #15. Owing to an improvement of three-tenths to 5.2 (6+), WBZ-AM applies the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in an overall loss of nine-tenths (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), but the CBS Radio news-talk hybrid backslides from fifth to sixth. A loss of one-half share by Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR ends three straight sweeps without a decrease and wipes out the +.5 it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+). While it remains at #18, Northeast Broadcasting Company triple A WXRV “92.5 The River – Boston’s Independent Radio” surrenders two-tenths to 1.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight sweeps without a decrease that netted one-half share (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+).

3) Miami – By chalking up a gain of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Z-92.3” notches its highest 6+-share since November’s 5.5 and inches up from sixth to fifth. Conversely, after posting a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” sputters for the third straight time for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), but continues at #3. Its Spanish news/talk sibling WAQI is without an increase for the sixth straight time (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) and is down 33% since March. As the result of a +.2 to 3.7 (#11 to #10, 6+), CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” halts three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the fifth straight time, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” picks up six-tenths to 7.7, its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. Progressing by one-half share each are urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz Miami’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (4.2 – 4.7, ninth to sixth, 6+) and iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU Tu 94.9 FM – Donde Viven Tus Hits” (3.5, #15 to #12, 6+). WEDR had been up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), before dropping six-tenths in August. Meanwhile, the +.5 for WZTU curtails four straight sweeps without an increase for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+); August’s 3.0 was its softest 6+-share since last October’s 2.9. Following three consecutive positive trends for an overall +1.3 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach – More Music, More Fun” declines by four-tenths to 4.6 (6+), segueing from fifth to seventh. Steady at #4, adult contemporary cluster-mate WLYF “Lite FM” has been trending 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 (6+) since March, while Cox Media Group-owned/similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93” remains in second-place despite a one-half share dip (6.7 – 6.2, 6+); “Easy” was a very consistent 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.7 (6+) between May and August. It is still an extremely tight race between the market’s two CHR competitors, but WFEZ sibling WFLC “Hits 97.3” (4.4 – 4.5, +.1, seventh to eighth, 6+) has a six-tenths advantage over iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 3.9, -.4, eighth to ninth, 6+). They were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August, as “Hits 97.3” picked up three-tenths and “Y-100” added two-tenths. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

4) Detroit – After registering three straight decreases for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WJR regains half that loss with a +.7 to 4.1 and carries on at #12 (6+). In August, WJR fell below a four-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (3.7, July 2015, 6+). Not only does hot AC cluster-mate WDVD progress from ninth to seventh, “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” reaches the five-share level (6+) and notches its fourth straight up or flat trend for a cumulative +1.4 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+). Off a combined one-half share in July and August (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC answers with a +.6 to 3.9, its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.3, but “105.1 The Bounce” remains at #13 (6+). The three stations locked at #2 in August were just one-tenth away from the top spot. Included in that scrum at #2 is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which gains four-tenths (6.0 – 6.4, 6+) to advance to the penthouse for the first time since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it logged a 13.7 (6+); this is the highest 6+-share for WNIC since then. One-tenth behind WNIC is CBS Radio sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (6.0 – 6.3, +.3, 6+), which was off one full-share via three straight downward moves (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+) before gaining seven-tenths in August. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. The station it dislodges from #1 – CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOMC – drops three-tenths and slips to third (6.1 – 5.8, 6+). As a result of August’s one-tenth loss, WOMC ended three straight gains that generated a collective eight-tenths (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+). A combined mammoth +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” is -2.1 in three subsequent decreases and departs the top ten (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3, #8 to #11, 6+). A decrease of seven-tenths to 4.6 (seventh to eighth, 6+) erases the +.6 that Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” recorded in three successive up or flat trends (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). In the market’s country tussle, CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (fifth to sixth) is down for the third time in a row for an overall -1.1 and records its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.9 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (#18 to #17) hasn’t had an increase since May and is -.6 in that stretch (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia CHR WKQI is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a collective -.7 (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” manages to move from tenth to ninth.

5) Seattle – Up by one-tenth in each of the last three ratings periods (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” explodes with a +1.1 to 4.9 – its highest 6+-share since February’s 5.1 – to soar from #11 all the way to #5. One Emerald City country outlet – CBS Radio’s KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” – gains one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3, steady at #7, 6+) as another – Entercom-owned KKWF “100.7 Seattle’s Fresh Country The Wolf” – drops one-tenth (3.3 – 3.2, unchanged at #14, 6+). KMPS is rebounding from August’s, while 3.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since last September’s 4.1. There is minimal August 2017 – September 2017 movement as well regarding the two CHRs as Hubbard’s KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – All the Hits” (flat at #3) and iHeartMedia-owned KPWK “Power 93.3 – Seattle’s New #1 For Hit Music” (3.0 – 2.9, #17 to #19) are both down one-tenth. This represents the fourth time in a row that “MOViN” hasn’t had an increase for an overall -2.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+). It slipped from first to third in August, following a seven-month run at #1. Owing to a gain of four-tenths to 4.9 (6+), KZOK curtails at five a string of down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+) and the CBS Radio classic rocker remains in fifth-place. Flat at 6.2 (6+), Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW, which improved by one-half share in August, repeats at #1. Its +.5 this time last month pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Locked on 6.1 (6+) in July and August, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” regresses by six-tenths to 5.5 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot.  A combined +1.0 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” surrenders four-tenths to 3.6 (6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13); 4.0 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.5. The remarkably consistent May 2017 – September 2017 6+-profile of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – More Music, More Variety” is 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 (steady at #14, 6+). The third station (along with aforementioned KKWF and KBKS) in September’s three-way tie at #14 (up from #18 in August) is Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS “Spirit 105.3,” which posts its fourth consecutive increase for a collective +.8 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths virtually cuts in half the 6+-share of iHeartMedia-owned KFOO “Alt 102.9 – Tacoma’s Rock Alternative” (1.5 – .8, #26, 6+).

6) Phoenix – Massive winning ways continue for Hubbard’s KDKB, which gains an overall three full-shares in ten straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Not only does “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” advance from sixth to fourth, it crosses the five-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPMhistory. Moreover, it had never reached a four-share until this time last month. An addition of seven-tenths enables co-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” to reach the six-share level and progress from third to second (5.3 – 6.0, 6+). Ahead of it by 1.7 shares (6+) and on top for the fifth straight month is yet another Hubbard property – KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (7.9 – 7.7, -.2, 6+) – which was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August. “Classic Rock 100.7” was down a combined one-half share in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). After trending a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM sputtered by one-half share in August, but “98.7 Arizona Sports” rebounds with a gain nearly twice that margin (1.5 – 2.4, +.9, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#23 to #17). News/talk cluster-mate KTAR-FM not only registers an increase of four-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus applying the brakes to six straight decreases for a collective -1.3 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), it is back in the top ten (#12 to #9).  Four straight downward trends eroded KFYI’s 6+-share by more than 55% (3.0 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), however, the iHeartMedia news/talker picks up three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and climbs from #25 to #23. Jumping by one-half share each are Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ (3.0 – 3.5, #16 to #11, 6+), which was up eight-tenths in August, and Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI (1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #17, 6+). The 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.8 (June – July – August, 6+) sequence by KESZ is stymied by a loss of one full-share to 5.8 (second to third), the lowest 6+-share for the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility in nearly three years (4.6, 6+, November 2014). A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KOOL is now an overall -1.7 in August and September (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7, third to sixth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). After being an overall +1.2 in six straight (modest) increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), Maricopa County Community College classical KBAQ forfeits three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) as “K-Bach” drops from #13 to #15. Down seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Its lead over iHeartMedia’s KNIX is down to one-tenth as “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” gains one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, 6+) to climb from #14 to #13.

7) Minneapolis – Via three consecutive increases (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” is up one full-share and advances from ninth to fifth. A combined -.9 in July and August, KMNB “Buz’n” @ 102.9” regains one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, #12 to #11, 6+). In July, the CBS Radio country-formatted outlet curtailed at three a string of consecutive gains that yielded a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). Format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” – erodes by one full-share as the result of its third straight dip (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+) and segues from eighth to ninth. Stuck on 4.7 (6+) in July and August after June’s 5.6, American Public Media Group news/talk KNOW improves by one-half share as well to 5.2 (6+) and remains in tenth-place. Swapping places at the top are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” (second to first) and CHR sibling KDWB “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (first to second). This represents the seventh successive up or flat trend for “Kool 108” which is +1.8 since February (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 –  6.8 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling seven-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), but is 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 (-.5, 6+) in August and September. After finishing first in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July. Rallying from July’s half-share loss, hot AC sibling KTCZ responded with a +.4 in August, but “Cities 97” falters by eight-tenths in September (4.2 – 3.4, 6+), slipping from #11 to #13. A cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), “Cities 97” was +1.3 in January, only to follow it with four consecutive negative trends that produced a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+); it added four-tenths in June. Flat at #3, Hubbard-owned/similarly formatted KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” posts a 6.6 for the fourth time in the last five sweeps (6.6 – 6.6 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to July’s +1.0, KSTP-FM was without an increase the previous five sweeps for a -1.1 (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+). Back-to-back increases by KXXR in July and August produced a +.4 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), but the Cumulus Media rocker surrenders six-tenths in September to 5.4 and “93-X” drops from fifth to seventh. Following five (modestly) up or flat moves in a row netting three-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Hubbard-owned KTMY “My Talk 107.1” regresses by one-half share to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+).

8) San Diego – By picking up six-tenths to 4.4 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KGB: cracks the top ten (#11 to #8); ends three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 –   3.8, 6+); and gives “101 San Diego’s Classic Rock” its best 6+ performance since February 2015’s 4.6. Flat at 6.2 (6+), after August’s eight-tenths’ improvement, KPBS repeats at #1. Between January and July, the San Diego State University news/talk facility was in 5.0 – 5.5 range (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+) and hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. Three-tenths behind it and continuing at #2 is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KOGO, which is a collective +.6 in three straight up or flat monthlies (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Up four-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+), Midwest Television news/talk KFMB-AM climbs from #20 to #19. Within 3.1 – 3.3 (6+) range in each of the last seven ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), rock cluster-mate KFMB-FM improves by one-half share to 3.7, its highest 6+-share since April 2016’s 3.7; “100.7 KFM – BFM” continues at #12 (6+). Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” – is steady at 2.5 (#17, to #16, 6+). In a spirited three-way CHR battle, XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (4.1 – 4.2, +.1, tenth to ninth, 6+) overtakes iHeartMedia’s KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, seventh to tenth, 6+), while CBS Radio-owned KEGY “Energy 103.7,” whose last six trends are 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 –  2.4 (6+), is flat at #18. Dropping from fourth to fifth, Entercom’s KSON-FM is an overall -1.1 as the result of three consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “New Country” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. Co-owned adult contemporary KXSN is off for the third straight time as well (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+) for an overall loss of one full-share but “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” stays in third-place. Following three successive months of downward moves for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), KYXY responded with a +.9 in August. The CBS Radio adult contemporary-turned-hot AC returns one-half share in September (4.3 – 3.8, 6+) though and again departs the top ten (#9 to #11).

9) Denver – It continues to be a wild ride for Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” which enters the top ten (#14 to #9). Its ten most recent shifts are -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and now +.9 in September (3.4 – 4.3, 6+). A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” recoups 75% of that decrease with a +.6 to 4.1 (#12 to #11, 6+). The combined one-half share that Entercom’s similarly-programmed KALC picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+) and “Alice 105.9” adds another four-tenths to 3.8 to remain at #14. Locked on 4.6 (6+) in July and August, iHeartMedia news/talk KOA posts a one-half share increase to 5.1, progressing from sixth to fourth. September 2017’s two top finishers are KOA’s triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” and Bonneville country outlet KYGO. No longer though are they tied for the lead, as KBCO is up two-tenths, while KYGO (which had sole possession of first-place in June and July) forfeits three-tenths (6.4 – 6.1, 6+), segueing from a first-place tie with “World Class Rock” to #2. Not to be lost in the shuffle is the fact that KBCO has its tenth successive increase nearly doubling its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). After three straight months at #1, KYGO slipped to #2 in May. Within one-tenth of KYGO in July, Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a whopping -1.9 in August and September (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5, 6+), drifting from fourth to seventh. By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May; KQMT improved by one-half share in July. After being down or flat in each of the last seven survey periods for a collective loss of -2.8 (7.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” adds three-tenths to 4.6 (6+), progressing from tenth to sixth. Off one-half share in June, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR responds with a collective +1.9 in the subsequent three sweeps (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), repeating at #3 and reaching the five-share level (6+) for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Both iHeartMedia classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” (4.6 – 4.1, #6 to #11, 6+) and Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” erode by one-half share (3.3 – 2.8, flat at #16, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “The Fox” since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As it entered the July sweep, “The Fox” was within 4.1 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the previous eight survey periods. It gained seven-tenths in July only to relinquish six-tenths in August.      

10) Tampa – Dusting itself off after an August -1.2 (10.5 – 9.3, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV is up tenth to 9.4 (6+) as “Lite Favorites” finishes on top for a staggering 60th successive ratings period. In advance of the August decline, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). In July, “Lite Favorites” registered its most potent 6+-stat (10.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. While co-owned classic hits-oldies WXGL is in the runner-up slot for the eleventh straight time, “The Eagle” erodes by an overall -2.2 via four straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive sweeps for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. It is seven-tenths ahead of Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105,” which is flat from August in both 6+-AQH share (5.2) and market rank (#4). Following four consecutive negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), “Q-105” answered with a +1.1 in August. Slow and steady guides Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” to its third straight gain of one-tenth (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, #13 to #12, 6+). Not only does iHeartMedia’s WUSF sputter by seven-tenths to drop out of the top ten (4.5 – 3.8, #9 to #11, 6+), “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” has its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Conversely, its direct competitor – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – notches its third progressive monthly in a row for an overall +.5 and moves from seventh to sixth (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Without a decrease the past four ratings periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP dips by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+), but “95.7 The Beat – Tampa Bay’s Hip-Hop and R&B” continues in third-place. Hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7” is without an increase for the sixth month in succession (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+) and has lost one full-share in that timeframe. Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD2 channel though picks up one-tenth to .8 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive skein of down or flat trends for a collective -1.2 (1.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .7, 6+). By dropping two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” concludes four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, fifth to seventh, 6+); July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for “Joy FM” since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well).

11) Baltimore – Boasting the largest 6+ August 2017 – September 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets analyzed here, CBS Radio’s WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” trots out a +1.3 (4.3 – 5.6, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5 and jumps from seventh to fifth. With a +.9 to 4.7 (ninth to sixth, 6+), hot AC-turned-CHR sibling WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” pulls the plug on three straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). A similar streak is broken in the format, given that iHeartMedia’s WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds one-half share to 3.7 (#13 to #10, 6+), thus ending four successive sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). It is a #1/#2 finish for Radio One properties as urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams,” which was a collective -1.5 in July and August (8.7 – 8.0 – 7.2, 6+) slipping to third-place, registers a gain of six-tenths to 7.8 (6+) and catches urban AC sibling WWIN “Magic 95.9” at #1. Off six-tenths in July, “Magic” records a 7.8 (6+) for the third straight month. Its gain of four-tenths in June curtailed at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. With a gain of one-half share in May (7.5 – 8.0, 6+), “Q-92” tied “Magic” at #1, but the tie was broken in June when “Q-92” gained seven-tenths to 8.7 (6+). Showing a net loss of eight-tenths as a result of being down or flat for the fifth month in a row (8.0 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” shifts from second to third. The May – June – July – August up/down sequence by CBS Radio-owned adult hits WQSR of +1.2 in May; -.5 in June; +.9 in July; and -.3 in August (4.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+) concludes as “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want for Baltimore” surrenders one full-share to 4.7 (6+) and slips from fifth to sixth; July’s 6.0 was the best 6+-performance for “Jack” since 6.1 in March 2015. On the heels of its August +.6, independent news/talk WCBM relinquishes nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.5, #11 to #14, 6+); 3.4 was its highest 6+-share since 3.5 in March. The six most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 (steady at #11, 6+). Co-owned WIYY, however, regresses by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-stat since August 2016’s 4.4; even so, “98 Rock” stays at #6. After dialing up a one-half share increase in August to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 7.1, CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” returns it in its entirety (6.4, 6+) and is unchanged at #4. More than doubling its 6+-share in four straight improvements between April and August (.6 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), CBS Radio-owned/Bloomberg-operated business news WDCH is off one-tenth to 1.2 but remains at #15 (6+).

12) St. Louis – The third consecutive gain by CBS Radio KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” propels the heritage news/talk outlet, which is a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+), from second to first. Displaced from the lead position after a three-month stay there and relocating to the runner-up slot is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU (8.5 – 7.7, -.8, 6+). Following three consecutive sweeps on top, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April. Not only does Radio One urban contemporary WHHL return to the top ten (#14 to #10), “Hot 104.1” is up one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight down or flat sweeps that generated a collective -1.4 (5.0 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Ups/downs continue for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; but is -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, fourth to fifth, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. In four consecutive improvements, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KMJM “100.3 The Beat” has gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, flat at #17, 6+). Unchanged at #7, CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK is up or flat for the fourth sweep in succession and is a collective +.6 since May (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Conversely, hot AC cluster-mate KYKY “Y-98” is without an increase for the eighth month in a row for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), falling from eighth to tenth. Part of a four-way tie at #12 are iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, flat at #12, 6+) and Emmis’ similarly-formatted KNOU “Now 96.3” (3.5, -.2, up from #13 in August, 6+). “Now” had been up in each of the past three sweeps for an overall +.6 (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+). Modestly down or flat in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), news/talk sibling KFTK slips from #15 to #16. Although remaining in third-place, co-owned rocker KSHE is off by one full-share via three straight downward moves (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Unlisted for the ninth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

| September 27, 2017

EMF Acquires Entercom Stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Wilkes-Barre. After much speculation about which Los Angeles property Entercom would spin in order to close its pending merger with CBS RADIO, we have learned the answer: It is Entercom’s own classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” which will be acquired by Educational Media Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles’ “Sound,” Rocklin (California)-based contemporary Christian broadcaster EMF is also obtaining Entercom stations in San Diego (KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country”) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy”). This three-station deal marks the first required divestitures in the company’s mega union with CBS Radio. According to Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field, “We have made great progress toward the completion of our merger with CBS Radio and this agreement with EMF brings us one step closer to the finish line. We remain on-track to close the CBS Radio transaction later this year and confident in the value-creating opportunities presented by this transformational combination.” Educational Media Foundation chief executive officer Mike Novak remarks, “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, ‘Positive & Encouraging K-Love at 100.3 FM.’ The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.” Eight months ago, Entercom agreed to combine with CBS Radio in an all-stock transaction. After the deal, Entercom will own 240 stations; non-profit EMF currently owns/operates Christian music networks “K-Love” and “Air1,” as well as approximately 770 FM stations and translators. For the third time in the last six Nielsen Audio ratings sweeps, KSWD “The Sound” registers a 2.4 (PPM, August 2017, 6+) and finishes at #18; its 2.9 (6+) in May 2017 placed it at #11. Stations that will be under Entercom’s Los Angeles banner include smooth AC KTWV “The Wave”; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; and alternative KROQ. All six are presently owned by CBS Radio. Its San Diego cluster will include KSON-FM; adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1”; and KBZT “94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative”; as well as current CBS Radio-owned hot AC KYXY and CHR KEGY “Energy 103.7.” In addition to WGGY, Entercom’s remaining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations are spring 2017 market leader (CHR) WKRZ “98.5 Today’s Best Music” (10.0, 6+); news/talkers WILK-AM, WILK-FM, WBZU, and WKZN; classic rock WMQX “Max 102”; and WKRF (which simulcasts WKRZ).

Sandy Buttweiler Exits WDAY-AM, Fargo.  Fargo market talk radio pro Sandy Buttweiler has retired from Forum Communications’ news/talk WDAY-AM and is moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis to be closer to family.  Buttweiler worked in the Fargo market in numerous iterations: at KFGO from 1982 to 1987, 1992 to 2004, and 2006 through 2014.  She hosted programs on WDAY in 2005, and most recently from 2014 through her retirement yesterday (9/26).  During her career she co-hosted several times with well-known Fargo talk pro Jack Sunday and worked on air with WDAY program director Mike Kapel during this last gig.  InForum.com reports Buttweiler saying, “I’ve been here 35 years and it’s time for me to live five minutes from my sister and my aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Talent Shift at WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that “News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB” program director Pete Spriggs is flipping the show times of Eric Von Haessler’s “Von Haessler Doctrine” and the Herman Cain show.  Beginning October 2, Cain assumes the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour and Von Haessler moves to the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  In January of this year, Von Haessler was promoted from his weekend show to the daily, one-hour program.  See Ho’s column here.

KNSS, Wichita’s Steve and Ted Do 5,000th Broadcast.  This morning (9/27), KNSS, Wichita morning duo Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward performed their 5,000th morning show together.  News/talk KNSS program director Tony Duesing states, “One of the reasons I’m always excited to go to work each day is that Steve and Ted are on KNSS mornings.  They have an exciting show that matters to listeners.”  During their time together on the Entercom station, Steve and Ted have won multiple awards from the Associated Press, Kansas Association of Broadcasters, RTNDA, and a Marconi from the National Association of BroadcastersJad Chambers serves as producer for the program.

Hollywood Reporter: Hannity Trumps Maddow in Head-to-Head Debut.  According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity bested MSNBC rival Rachel Maddow on Monday night (9/25), the first night the two personalities aired head-to-head at 9:00 pm ET.  Hannity moved to the timeslot as part of changes that include the imminent debut of Laura Ingraham’s new 10:00 pm ET show.  Maddow has been the cable news/talk ratings leader for much of this year.  The story notes that although FNC continues to be the Total Day and Prime Time winner of Nielsen’s cable news/talk ratings – topping CNN and MSNBC – Maddow has been the most-watched show in both Total Viewers and 25-54 during the past quarter.  But on Monday, Hannity beat Maddow by 610,000 Total Viewers and 75,000 25-54 viewers.  Read the story here.

Trump vs the NFL, Alabama Senate Primary Race, North Korea Threats/Sanctions, ObamaCare Repeal, Tax Reform, Puerto Rico Devastation, Trump-Russia Probe, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The controversy over President Trump’s calling for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Republicans Luther Strange and Roy Moore; North Korea’s military threats against the U.S. and the most recent sanctions levied on the hermit kingdom; the GOP’s attempt to get enough Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Graham-Cassidy plan; the GOP’s plans to craft a tax reform bill; the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria; the investigation into former Paul Manafort’s and Michael Flynn’s Russia connections; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Gary Fries Memorial Fund. In honor of recently deceased Radio Advertising Bureau executive Gary Fries, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is establishing the Gary Fries Memorial Fund.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Gary was very passionate about radio and the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues in need.  He loved the radio profession, supported it, talked about it, and had many dear friends in our business.”  Fries, who died in Scottsdale, Arizona last Friday, was a longtime director of the Broadcasters Foundation.  Those wishing to donate in Fries’ honor may visit the Broadcasters Foundation’s website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.



JohnJay Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation Featured in People.  Pictured backstage at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas at last weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival are pop star Miley Cyrus (left) and JohnJay Van Es (right) of Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Johnjay & Rich” show.  They are surrounded by rescue puppies from Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation that he was promoting at the festival.  People magazine did a piece on the #LovePup Foundation.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Cool local props for CHR WNTQ, Syracuse “93Q” and morning personalities Ted Long and Amy Robbins – both winners in the Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” reader’s poll.  Cumulus Media’s “93Q” was named Top Radio Station, and Ted and Amy were honored with the Favorite Radio Personalities crown.  The ever-popular on-air duo has won in the category more than 20 times in the last 25 years…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s WDSY “Y108” is presenting the fifth annual “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert, this year starring RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery.  It takes place on October 5 at Rivers Casino.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Y108’s ‘Girls With Guitars’ has become one of the ‘gotta-have-it’ tickets in a very busy country concert marketplace.  We are excited to present RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery to our listeners while also introducing the newest member of ‘Y108’ all in support of Glimmer of Hope and the great work they do.  Set against the backdrop of the Rivers Casino, this free show is a great night out for Pittsburgh residents.”  Glimmer of Hope funds breast cancer research and programs.  Glimmer of Hope will be onsite during the event conducting various fundraising activities, including a silent auction…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee is presenting the inaugural, “Let’s Brunch MKE,” a community food sampling event.  It takes place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 28.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Kerry Wolfe says, “Brunch is huge in Milwaukee.  We’re excited to bring our listeners and the community together with both some of their local favorites and restaurants they may be experiencing for the first time.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

| September 19, 2017

It’s Official: Laura Ingraham to Host FOX News Channel Show.  As has been previously reported but now confirmed by FOX News Channel, conservative media figure Laura Ingraham will begin hosting the 10:00 pm ET hour on FOX News Channel with a new show called, “The Ingraham Angle,” beginning October 30.  Beginning Monday (9/25), Sean Hannity moves to the 9:00 pm ET hour (putting him up against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow).  That means “The Five” returns to its original 5:00 pm ET start (that hour opened up with the dismissal of Eric Bolling and the cancellation of “The Specialists”).  The Los Angeles Times reports that Ingraham has been making about $2 million per year as a contributor to FNC and her full-time salary will be much higher than that.  The question left unanswered for now is whether or not Ingraham will continue to host her Courtside Entertainment-distributed, daily national radio talk show.

Dave Ramsey to Emcee NRHoF Induction Ceremony.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is hosting the 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony and celebration on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re honored to have Dave, a world-class speaker who regularly addresses audiences of 10,000 at his live events, serve as our master of ceremonies.”  The 2017 inductees include: Tom Barnard, Bobby Bones, Joseph M. Field, Bill Handel, Sean Hannity, John Records Landecker, Robin Quivers and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers.

TALKERS News Notes. With the sudden departure of conservative Jedidiah Bila from ABC-TV’s “The View,” CNN is reporting that former Premiere Networks radio host and former FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is in talks to join the daytime TV talk show.  McCain recently exited FNC and the “Outnumbered” program she co-hosted there…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-news KNX shifts some of its talent into different dayparts.  The morning drive daypart is still hosted by Dick Helton and Vicky Moore.  New to middays is Brian Ping, who leaves the nights and overnights he’s been working for the past six years to handle the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  The one-hour “KNX In Depth” show with Charles Feldman and Mike Simpson airs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  Simpson and Chris Sedens handle the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart and Diane Thomson hosts the 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Evening News.”…..TuneIn is debuting “First Play,” what it calls “a first-of-its kind podcast program offering early releases of new episodes from new and popular podcasts from networks like WNYC Studios, Gimlet Media, HowStuffWorks, Wondery, Feral Audio and StarTalk.”  New episodes will be available early, up to one week before they’re available on other platforms, and they will be free to all TuneIn users.  The company says, “With the launch of First Play, TuneIn enables podcast super fans to hear episodes early from a selection of more than 30 podcasts, produced by the most popular podcast creators.  Participating shows will debut their early releases throughout the initial run of the program, concluding December 31st.”…..Entercom sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “The Fan” and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets renew their partnership for the station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play.  Entercom Charlotte market manager Matt Hanlon says, “The Hornets are an outstanding organization in a great sports town. It makes so much sense for WFNZ to be the flagship station for the Hornets’ radio network.”

TalkersRadio Marks its Fourth Anniversary.  This Fall marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of TALKERS magazine’s experimental platform, TalkersRadio.  The station serves as both a workshop and industry showcase for new ideas in talk programing.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes it as “a vehicle for broadcasters to try out new concepts for talk shows, both long and short form, that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be exposed to industry decision-makers, as well as real listeners, at this moment in time.”  Commenting on the milestone, TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein states, “This has been one of the most exciting projects in which I’ve ever been involved as a programmer and manager.  As we begin our fifth year, I am pleased to say we have a fascinating line-up of shows and talent with more in the pipeline about to debut.”  Bernstein adds, “The system at TalkersRadio keeps shows up and running for as short or long a time as they need development or receive enough feedback to know what their next steps should be.  We’ve had some major properties get their start in this ‘experimental theater.’  For example, ‘American Family Farmer’ hosted by noted talk host Doug Stephan began on TalkersRadio as a laboratory project in which Doug – an independent farmer in addition to being a talk host – created a new forum in which he could act as an advocate for the beleaguered independent, small farmers across America.  Today, the show is a terrestrial radio weekend smash heard on about 150 stations around the country.”  The late Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel was working on a project titled “Healed Planet” – an exploration into the human consciousness movement and significant departure from his usual news/talk style – that was about to find a home on terrestrial radio at the time of his unexpected passing. (“Healed Planet” is still available for listening in the TalkersRadio archive section.)  The husband/wife chat show “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) found a home on terrestrial radio shortly after launching on TalkersRadio when it was picked up by WPG, Atlantic City and GCN.   Current shows include “London Calling” – a weekly magazine hour hosted by internationally-known British broadcaster Graham Mack connecting popular culture in Great Britain and the United States that has developed a worldwide audience.  Veteran radio and TV star Claire Carter is heard discussing a variety of eclectic issues ranging from politics to health to changing cultural patterns in her feature called, “Good For You Radio.”  This week, she kicks off a new series of short form commentaries with a powerful warning about national security titled, “The Importance of Protecting the Grid.”  The aforementioned Meg McDonald has a new short form feature in which she discusses her observations of the common “everyday” situations of life titled “MEG!”  Michael Harrison describes McDonald as a female version of the late Andy Rooney.  This week also marks the debut of “The Animals’ Voice” hosted by animal rights activist and award-winning Voice of America and NPR news reporter, Lori Lundin.  World-renowned record producer Robbie Stevens is set to launch his new radio show titled “I Don’t Do Radio” in October.  For more information about TalkersRadio contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Renewed ObamaCare Repeal Move, Trump’s UN Speech, Hillary Clinton Book/Election Challenge, California Sanctuary State Bill, Climate Change Debate, Hurricane Maria Threatens Caribbean, Georgia Tech Student Killed/Protests, Rolling Stone for Sale, Toys ‘R’ Us Files Bankruptcy, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18).  The GOP revives its move to repeal and replace ObamaCare with the Cassidy-Graham Plan; anticipation of President Trump’s Tuesday address before the UN General Assembly; Hillary Clinton’s book tour supporting What Happened and her statement she’d consider challenging the election results; California’s legislature passes bill making California a sanctuary state; the renewed debate over climate change; Hurricane Maria hits the Caribbean and threatens Puerto Rico; the shooting death of a Georgia Tech student and the resulting protests; iconic magazine Rolling Stone is up for sale; retailer Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy protection; the Major League Baseball playoff push, and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Chris Randolph is named afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s country WFMS, Indianapolis, effective October 2.  Randolph comes to WFMS from his recent position with Alpha Media hosting morning drive at hot AC WXMA, Louisville.  He’d also served with iHeartMedia at crosstown WMXL, Louisville.  WFMS program director Stephen Giuttari comments, “We’re very excited to have Chris join the team here in Indy. He’s one of the top talents in our industry and I’m confident that he will be a great addition to our team at WFMS and that ‘Indy Country’ listeners will love him!”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch tips us that Sound Management, LLC has sold three signals to Artistic Media Partners for $3.4 million.  The Indiana stations are: CHR WNDV, South Bend; rock WYXX, Goshen; and 80s-pop WYET, New Carlisle (102.3fm, New Carlisle)…..In Atlanta, morning show personality C.J. Lusk has exited Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where he’d been part of the “Cadillac Jack and Ali Mac Morning Show.”…..Rowdy Yates has left E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa where he co-hosted the morning drive show with Sunny Leigh…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is releasing volume nine of its “Radio 104.5 Studio Sessions” albums, sponsored by Blue Moon.  The annual benefit album features the best live-recorded studio sessions from Radio 104.5’s Performance Theater.  The project will benefit Delaware Valley hunger relief organization Philabundance.  Artists on this year’s CD include: Vance Joy, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Weezer, AWOLNATION, alt-J, Kaleo, Grouplove and more.

Radio One Sues Former Jock and Twitter; Alleges Hijacking of Twitter Account.  In a case filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Radio One is suing former WCDX, Richmond “iPower 92.1” air personality Amir Shabazz, alleging that he, immediately after being let go from the station, illegally used its @iPowerRichmond Twitter handle to promote his own business ventures, Tweeted pornographic images, and changed passwords.  Saying that the Twitter account is a valuable business tool for the station – by some standards worth $2.50 for each follower – it values the account as being worth more than $31,000 per month.  The complaint says Shabazz, who went by the air name Henny Hardaway, is taking these actions willfully and maliciously.  It’s suing Twitter, alleging that the company has taken no action to stop Shabazz.  Radio One is asking the court to stop Shabazz from “squatting” on the @iPowerRichmond account and is seeking unspecified damages, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

| September 12, 2017

Report: Laura Ingraham Set to Host Prime Time FNC Show.  According to a CNN Money report, talk radio host and conservative media figure Laura Ingraham is joining FOX News Channel for a prime-time show.  The report cites sources who requested anonymity because the deal is not official just yet.  But, the story says Ingraham will take over the 10:00 pm ET slot and the Sean Hannity show will move to 9:00 pm ET.  The program “The Five” moves back to the 5:00 pm hour, replacing the “FOX News Specialists” – the show that was canceled with the exit of Eric Bolling from the network last Friday.  FNC told CNN Money there is no deal in place, but that’s standard operating procedure prior to an official announcement.  Ingraham, who has hosted a nationally syndicated talk radio program for almost two decades, is a regular contributor to FOX News Channel.

WLW, Cincinnati Lets Tracy Jones Go. It appears that this is another budget-related move on the part of iHeartMedia management as former Cincinnati Reds player Tracy Jones was fired from his WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive gig alongside Eddie Fingers on Friday (9/8).  WVXU’s John Kiesewetter reports that early afternoon personality Bill Cunningham told his listeners yesterday (9/11) that it was a corporate decision and was not a reflection of Tracy Jones’ performance.  Jones started with WLW hosting the “Extra Innings” post-game show after weekend Reds games.  In 2008, he was partnered with Eddie Fingers (who moved over from sister rock station WEBN) to host afternoons, replacing the retired Gary Burbank.

Entercom Debuts Newell Normand Show on WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans.  Yesterday (9/11) was the official debut of the Newell Normand show on Entercom’s New Orleans news/talk WWL-AM/FM.  The program features retired Jefferson Parish sheriff Newell Normand and airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Normand takes over the daypart from Garland Robinette, who recently retired from the station.  Entercom New Orleans VP/market manager Chris Wegmann comments, “Today marks a historic day for WWL.  Newell commands the respect needed to host middays on WWL.  He was a popular and powerful leader in politics who wants to continue to be a positive influence on our community.  We have every belief that Newell will be an opinion leader, and his legacy of excellence will grow on the most powerful station in the Gulf South.”

Nielsen Announces Delay in Ratings Reports.  With its headquarters in the Tampa area affected by Hurricane Irma, Nielsen issued the following statement about the issuance of ratings reports: “Our first priority and thoughts are for the safety of our clients, Nielsen associates, and communities in which we operate and serve.  The team that reports ratings has evacuated the Tampa Bay area due to Hurricane Irma.  Therefore, our ratings will be delayed in the near term. We are actively monitoring the situation in Florida and will provide another update as soon as we know more.”

Beasley Florida Stations in Good Shape.  Based on Monday morning’s report from Beasley Media Group, it sounded as though the Fort Myers studios had sustained some serious flood damage, but today the company is reporting that the studio building “has some minor damage, but is in good condition otherwise.”  Although both CHR WXKB “B103.9” and sports talk WWCN-FM “99.3 ESPN” are both off the air.  The company says the engineering team will be installing a new transmitter in Fort Myers this morning.  Beasley’s Tampa stations are all on the air.

iHeartRadio to Broadcast Fundraiser for Harvey Relief.  The program was initiated by Houston rapper Bun B and SB Projects founder Scooter Braun.  It’s called “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief” and it will air on 150 iHeartMedia stations as well as the iHeartRadio “Hit Nation” channel at both 8:00 pm ET and a re-broadcast at 8:00 pm PT.  The one-hour special takes place in Los Angeles, with remote stages in New York and Nashville, and will include appearances, performances and taped messages from: several dozen A-list actors, musicians and entertainment industry personalities.  Proceeds will be donated to United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief USA.

Dave Ramsey Presence on SiriusXM Expands.  The Dave Ramsey Network grows on SiriusXM with the addition of new programming on the satcaster’s Triumph Channel.  Daily from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET, Ramsey programming now includes, in addition to the Dave Ramsey show (heard on SiriusXM for the past year), Ramsey personalities Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Chris Brown and Ken Coleman, plus the popular EntreLeadership podcast.  EntreLeadership, hosted by Ken Coleman, features discussion and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business, including Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.  Chris Hogan is the best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number and host of the “Retire Inspired Podcast.”  Christy Wright is the author of the best-selling book, Business Boutique, and host of the “Business Boutique” podcast.  Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide.  He hosts the “Life, Money and Hope Podcast.”

Cumulus Appeals NASDAQ De-Listing.  With its current share price (as of closing on 9/11) of 39 cents per share and a market cap of less than $12 million, Cumulus Media is in danger of being tossed from the NASDAQ.  But, CEO Mary Berner has filed another appeal of the company’s failure to meet the minimum stockholders equity requirement.  Theoretically, the company has until October 2 to get its share price above $1 dollar, but there are other avenues that Berner and CFO John Abbot can explore.

TALKERS News Notes.  Ahead of this year’s Veterans Day (11/11), CBS RADIO’s ConnectingVets.com is celebrating the holiday through its first ever “Veterans Community Showcase” – a three month, two-part program focused on honoring Veterans for everything they do both during and after military service.  During the first phase of the program, ConnectingVets.com will accept public nominations of local veterans online.  An internal programming committee will then select and profile one veteran each weekday from November 1 to Veterans Day. The profiles will be posted on ConnectingVets.com and Facebook.  The sites will also feature sponsored editorial content giving companies with dedicated veterans’ initiatives a unique chance to share the good work they do and praise their own employees, many of whom are veterans themselves.  University of Maryland University College and United Rentals will sponsor the inaugural “Veterans Showcase” alongside ConnectingVets.com sponsor Freedom Mortgage…..Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker and devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk join the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel.  Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on “MMA Today,” an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET.

Irma Aftermath/Harvey Recovery, Climate Change Controversy, New Sanctions on North Korea, Hillary Clinton Book, Bannon ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Retiring Congressional Republicans, IT Movie, NFL Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the recovery from Hurricane Harvey; the renewed debate over man-made climate change; the U.N. Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea and the hermit kingdom’s threat against the U.S.; Hillary Clinton’s new book detailing her loss to Donald Trump; former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon’s Sunday evening interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes”; the growing list of Republican Senators and U.S. Reps announcing they will not run for re-election; the Stephen King film IT smashes box-office expectations; the NFL’s 2017 opening weekend; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Programming pro Tim Maranville is exiting Curtis Media’s adult hits WBBB, Raleigh to join Cornerstone Church-owned KGGN, San Jacinto, California as president and general manager.  Maranville says, “I would like to thank my team at WBBB for an extraordinary run from worst to best in Raleigh, a true blessing.  Looking to the future, I could not be happier to be working with Cornerstone to bring the Gospel to the San Jacinto valley through a local radio presence.”…..The Johnjay and Rich #LoveUp Foundation presented the American Red Cross with a check for $50,000 to benefit the hurricane relief effort.  Last week, the hosts of the popular Premiere Networks-syndicated show invited listeners nationally to “love up” and purchase #LoveUp T-shirts with all proceeds benefitting victims of the recent hurricanes.  In just eight days, thousands of shirts were sold.  The #LoveUp Foundation also contributed additional funds to achieve the $50,000 total donation.  Rich Berra says, “We couldn’t do this without the giving hearts and loyal followers of the #LoveUp movement.”…..The local Nashville country band Radio Romance won the “NASH Next 2017 Country Challenge Showcase” live country music talent competition held on September 7, 2017 at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville.  The band was one of 10 that made it past the challenge round in the Cumulus Media-sponsored competition.  Radio Romance won over the judges and crowd with their performance of “Cheap Beer Years” and will advance as a semi-finalist to the national NASH Next 2017 video competition, to be held this fall.  Cumulus Media VP of country programming Charlie Cook says, “What a great night showcasing fantastic talent from Nashville!  The crowd went crazy when we announced Radio Romance as the winners for the night.  I can hear their song ‘Cheap Beer Years’ on our stations.”

Thursday, August 31, 2017

| August 31, 2017

WW1: Advertiser Interest in Podcasting Rising Dramatically.  Syndicator Westwood One releases new data from its Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report.  The company says that the report “provides an in-depth look at listening behaviors and demographics of the podcast consumer, plus insight into how marketers and agencies view podcast advertising.”  In looking at advertiser perceptions of podcasting, the report indicates, “The proportion of advertisers and agencies who have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investments has soared from 41% in September of 2015 to 68% in May of 2017.”  Additionally, “The marketers and agencies who say they will definitely advertise in podcasts in the coming six months has increased threefold (10% to 27%) since September, 2015.”  WW1 president and Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We knew that advertiser sentiment for podcast advertising was growing, as we have seen a significant increase in advertising spend on the Westwood One podcast network.  The Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report quantifies the conversation, consideration, and intention among marketers to place their brands in the expansive podcast programming environment.  It’s great news for all of us in the fast-tracking on-demand space.”  The report includes data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and “Infinite Dial” studies, IPSOS, and Advertiser Perceptions.  See more from the study here.

Radio Continues Fundraising Efforts for Harvey Relief. The fundraising efforts for Harvey relief by radio stations and radio companies continue with Beasley Media Group announcing Naples-Fort Myers stations CHR WXKB “B103.9,” WRXK “96KRock,” and AC WJPT “Sunny 106.3” are partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to collect donations during today’s “MUSIC THON.  The morning air personalities from all three stations will stay on the air to play special song requests for donations…..Disney/ABC is launching a network-wide telethon and call-to-action today (including sports talk radio network ESPN Radio).  Disney Media Networks co-chairman/president Ben Sherwood said, “With this ‘Day of Giving’ across all our networks and platforms, the men and women of Disney/ABC, ESPN and the A+E Networks are answering the call to stand up and support the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey.  In 2012, we rallied to support relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, helping raise more than $18 million dollars. Now, we stand alongside the residents of Texas and the Gulf states who are battling the floods and devastation of Harvey.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois radio stations are partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting’s local TV stations to raise funds and supplies for victims of Harvey.  Tomorrow (9/1), both broadcasting groups will stage a daylong event at a local Walmart taking donations – with an emphasis on monetary donations – to the Salvation Army.  Sinclair is promising to match those donations up to $100,000.  Mid-West Family Springfield GM Harvey Wells comments, “While we are a locally owned and locally focused broadcasting company, we have an obligation to use our reach to help in times of national crisis.”

Paul Curran Named CMG Orlando Market Manager.  Media sales and management pro Paul Curran is promoted to market vice president for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster that includes news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando,” classic hits WMMO, urban contemporary WCFB, hip hop WPYO, “Power 95.3,” and Spanish “107.3 Solo Exitos,” plus television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV in what CMG calls this “converged market.”  Curran has been serving as VP and general manager of the two TV stations.  He says, “The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one.  No other media company can match our combined TV, radio, and digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless.  I can’t wait to get started.”

WSJS, Winston-Salem Transitioning to Sports Talk.  According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, Crescent Media Group is going all sports talk on WSJS, Winston-Salem, eliminating the news and non-sports talk.  Morning drive personality J.R. Snider and news anchor Ed Skurka are exiting the station after today’s broadcast and the sports programming schedule takes effect tomorrow (9/1).  Station GM Al Bunch tells the paper the decision was about serving sports fans.  “They crave a place to talk about sports and listen to sports being discussed, and we feel that’s being underserved in the Triad.  We’re going to give them what they’ve been asking for.”  The station will air ESPN Radio content until 12:00 noon when it carries the Raleigh-based David Glenn program.  The afternoon drive show will be the local “One on One With The Schass,” with host Kyle Schassburger.

PodcastOne Launches Sports Division. Podcast platform PodcastOne is launching a new lineup of original sports programming under the banner of PodcastOne Sports.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This new network demonstrates PodcastOne’s interest in dramatically expanding our already successful portfolio of sports-related programming to build a singular hub for sports fans and brands.  I can think of no better way to launch our new network than with coach Jim Harbaugh.  Jim represents an established, well-respected voice in sports, and his vision for this show is certain to become a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.”  PodcastOne Sports debuts September 5 with the launch of “Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast,” hosted by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh.  Other personalities joining the lineup with original programs will include legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports radio and television host Rich Eisen, sports broadcaster Suzy Schuster, football analyst Dave Dameshek with top podcaster Adam Carolla, popular sports personality Lilian Garcia, sports host and comedian Jay Mohr, and top sports writers from around the nation.

NAB Defends AM/FM Radio from NYU Scholar’s White Paper.  The NAB’s response is quick to point out up front that the white paper – Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital by New York University’s Larry S. Miller, director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program – is backed by digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, which NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says is “bankrolled in part by giant record labels pushing a radio ‘performance tax.’”  The bulk of Miller’s paper is dedicated to analyzing the effect digital availability of music is having on the radio industry and Wharton challenges his arguments.  Specifically, Wharton takes aim at Miller’s contention that young people are turning away from AM/FM radio as a source of music discovery.  Wharton cites Nielsen data that suggests “millennials are listening in greater numbers than ever before, not just to over-the-air programming, but also to local radio on digital platforms…87.9% of Americans aged 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio.  Even when they use streaming services to find new songs, younger generations continue tuning in to radio to listen to their favorite music.”  Interestingly, Miller notes early in his paper that the issue of whether radio actually provides adequate promotion for the sale of records in exchange for free air play – as the NAB has argued for decades defending radio’s exemption from the performance fee – is not within the scope of his paper.  But then he goes on to mention the matter several more times.  You can see Miller’s paper here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Just a couple of months after a contentious public divorce from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, popular conservative Internet personality Tomi Lahren joins FOX News Channel as a contributor.  The Associated Press reports the story and says that “Lahren will have a ‘signature role’ on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming.  Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity’s show, where she was to debut on Wednesday.”…..InsiderNJ.com recently published its 2017 “Insider 100 Media Power List” in which it, as the title suggests, ranks the 100 most powerful media personalities in New Jersey.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley ranked #17 on this year’s list.  Hurley’s entry on the list states, “You like breaking news from Atlantic City and South Jersey?  Then you must be familiar with the well-connected, well-sourced and popular Hurley who breaks most (or at least many) of the dock-front political stories – and has a must-read column with Shore News Today.”  See the whole list here…..Changes come to the nationally syndicated evening talk radio show “Connections” as host and co-founder Al “Blackjack” Spry leaves the program.  This comes as the show is dropped from the schedule at iHeartMedia’s talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1.”  The program continues to air on its other affiliates with hosts Melissa Foxx and Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy…..CFRA, Ottawa’s Evan Solomon is going national as Bell Media syndicates his daily talk show across other company news/talk stations, effective September 5.  The program will be heard on CFRB-AM, Toronto; CJAD-AM, Montreal; CKFR-AM, Kelona, BC; CFAX-AM, Victoria; CKLW-AM, Windsor, CJBK-AM, London, Ontario, and CKTB-AM, St. Catharines.  Solomon comments, “I’m very excited to launch this new, national forum for thought-provoking debate and discussion, highlighting compelling people who are making a difference in Canada.  There’s nothing more important to a free society than public opinion, and this show will be a platform for Canadians to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues of the day, at home and around the world.”

Harvey Devastation/Relief Efforts, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Antifa Violence, FOX News Poll Results, U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Texas Sanctuary Cities Ban Blocked, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30).  The devastating flooding in Texas and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, including analysis of President Trump’s handling of the disaster; Trump begins promoting his tax reform plan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russian agents; criticism of violence against conservatives by “antifa” agents; the results of a new FOX News poll showing poor marks for Congress and President Trump; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; a judge’s temporary blocking of a Texas law banning sanctuary cities; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Local singer and entertainer – and famed season 7 “The Voice” contestant Chris Jamison – is joining CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as a weekend and holiday personality on hot AC WBZZ “100.7 The Star.”  Jamison will be heard Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on holidays.  Jamison first got to know the staff at WBZZ back in 2014 when the morning drive “Bubba Show” became his official hometown cheerleaders.  He appeared at station events, including its “O Starry Night” concert.”  WBZZ program director Dave Anderson says, “Chris is a talented, standout entertainer with rich local ties.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow with him as he takes this next step as part of the ‘100.7 Star’ team.”…..Beasley Media Group announces two new “BOUNCE” ambassadors.  Air personalities Cortney Hicks and A.P., a.k.a. The Absolute Princess, join the air staff of hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The BOUNCE.”  Hicks will host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays and A.P. takes to the air at 7:00 pm on both weekend evenings.  WMGC program director Al Payne comments, “Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best hip hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music.  That’s why all of our announcers are known as ambassadors.  Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”…..As part of International Overdose Awareness Day (8/31), Premiere Networks host Nikki Sixx will dedicate four hours of “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” to raising awareness of the U.S. opioid crisis.  Sixx, who detailed his near-fatal drug addiction in the best-selling book The Heroin Diaries, will welcome Dr. Oz,  Louisville Courier-Journal writer Beth Warren, and Erik Gunn, a former drug addict and dealer who recently shared his story with Warren for a Courier-Journal series on addiction and recovery…..Cumulus Media announces country WNSH, New York’s “Boots on the Boardwalk” end-of-summer bash, giving “NASH FM 94.7” listeners a chance to party one last time this summer season!  This free event, featuring performances by Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill, and Elizabeth Lyons, takes place at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey tomorrow (9/1) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..In Detroit, classic rocker WCSX and morning host Big Jim are trying to raise at least $10,000 for Holy Cross Children’s Services via the Big Jim’s House Million Penny Roof Sit, taking place at the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak this weekend.  The station is asking listeners and patrons of the festival to donate their pocket change to change the lives of children in need.  Big Jim says, “We are excited to be working with Holy Cross Children’s Services to raise money for kids in need.  The kids receiving care from Holy Cross deserve to have opportunities to be successful in life, and every penny can help.”…..According to a story in the Boston Herald, rock WAAF, Boston “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill is considering a run for congress for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.  Hill’s spokesman is local attorney Lawrence Army Jr., who tells the paper, “Greg is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat.”  Citing Hill’s philanthropic efforts via the Greg Hill Foundation, Army adds, “Public service would be a logical next step for Greg.  He is considering whether it would be the best way to give back to a community that’s given him so much.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

| August 30, 2017

Radio Coming to Aid of Harvey Victims in Form of Fundraisers.  Radio stations and radio companies are concentrating their efforts to assist those in Texas affected by Harvey by raising money on-air, mostly for the American Red Cross.  Today at 4:29 pm, more than 30 Chicago area radio stations will simultaneously air a spot for the Red Cross urging Chicagoans to contribute to relief efforts.  The move was orchestrated by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland.  Chairman Matt Scarano says, “We are using the power of radio in both English and Spanish to help out those in need.  In a time of crisis, Chicago radio is willing to help in any way we can.”  Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Bobby Bones country morning show kicked off its fourth annual Joy Week celebration on Monday, and has raised more than $150,000 to benefit the Hurricane Harvey relief effort through the sale of #PimpinJoy apparel, (as well as more than $50,000 benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital).  Country stars Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge have appeared on the show encouraging listeners to choose joy, spread happiness and do good things for others.  Limited-edition neon #PimpinJoy apparel was made available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Harvey victims.  Summit Media’s classic rock WBPT, Birmingham “106.9 The Eagle” is airing a “Pay to Play” on-air donation drive today from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The station is asking listeners to call and make a $25 minimum donation to the American Red Cross along with their song request. No matter the request or genre, if the station can find the songs, they will play the music. E.W. Scripps’ Springfield, Missouri cluster – country KTTS, news/talk KSGF, CHR KSPW, and adult hits KRVI – raised $7,151 for Harvey victims after a three-hour event today (8/30) at the Battlefield Mall.  Money raised will go to Convoy of Hope.

CBS RADIO Houston FMs in Constant Storm Mode. In order to provide information about storm updates, evacuation info, and disaster relief, CBS RADIO’s Houston stations have been in storm/disaster mode since Saturday.  The company says the cluster is running a four-station, commercial-free simulcast of long-form coverage across KILT-FM/AM, KHMX-FM and KKHH-FM.  Meanwhile, sports talk KIKK is airing a continuous loop of evacuation information, routes and shelters.  KIKK was granted Special Temporary Authority by the FCC to run for 24 hours during this emergency period.  Also, Spanish-language station KLOL-FM is airing a commercial-free simulcast of Telemundo until further notice.  CBS RADIO Houston SVP/market manager Sarah Frazier states, “Our employees are 100% dedicated to broadcasting the latest information to help evacuate Houston residents, keep them safe and connected to loved ones. This is a difficult time for everyone in the area but we are all working together to get through it. In emergency situations such as this, the power of local radio is undisputed, unparalleled and reaches everyone in the community. We are all proudly #HoustonStrong.”  At Cumulus Media Houston, CHR KRBE program director Leslie Whittle reports that her station’s live, local coverage continues.  “The whole crew is at the station, so Kevin Quinn, Freddy Cruz, Corinna Delgado and Phoenix (who have all been on the air since Sunday morning), are finally able to get some rest.  At one time, we had over 600 reported areas of significant high water around the city, so of course one of the biggest services we continue to provide are road closure/high water updates at least twice an hour.  We remain focused on keeping our listeners safe and informed, and I couldn’t be more proud of the job the entire KRBE team has done serving our great community.”

Harvey’s Devastation, Trump Visits Texas, Tax Reform Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Transgender Troops Issue, Feinstein’s Trump Comments, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The devastation caused by Harvey and the storm’s second landfall that’s bringing more rain to the region; analysis of President Trump’s visit to Texas; the Trump tax reform plan to be promoted today in Missouri; North Korea’s continued threats against the U.S.; the Trump edict preventing transgender citizens from serving in the military and the responses by U.S. military leaders; Diane Feinstein astonishes San Francisco crowd by saying Trump could be a “good president”; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

August Cable News/Talk Ratings Out; FOX News Channel and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Winners. That may seem like a contradiction, but the upshot of the August Nielsen ratings for the cable news/talk channels is that MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow was the most-watched cable talk host in both total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic.  She was just ahead of FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity in total viewers for the month – 2.783 million to 2.679 million.  But FOX News Channel was still the most-watched network in total viewers in prime time, averaging 2.2 million.  That continues FNC’s 14-month streak as the most-watched cable news/talk network in prime time and its 188-month streak as most-watched in total day and prime time.  Back to the individual shows, after Maddow and Hannity in the top two slots for total viewers, FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was third with 2.483 million, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell finished fourth with 2.352 million and FOX News Channel’s “The Five” followed with 2.351 million.  Tallying the prime time numbers for the 25-54 demographic, FOX News Channel was in first place with a 466,000 (average over the month), CNN came in second with 418,000, and MSNBC was close behind with 410,000.

Former WBSM, New Bedford Personality Stan Lipp Passes. New Bedford, Massachusetts radio legend Stan Lipp died on Monday (8/28) in Florida at the age of 89.  Lipp is remembered in the area for hosting the WBSM talk show “Open Line” from 1964 through 2001.

Radio Veteran Bob Shannon Releases Updated Edition of His 2009 Classic, Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) as an eBook.  The book that Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most important books ever written about music radio of the second half of the 20th century” has just been released (in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley) as an updated eBook.  Radio veteran Bob Shannon’s Turn It Up!  American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) features in-depth stories about 58 great radio talent and programming figures.  The full list includes: Lee Abrams, Jack Armstrong, Dick Biondi, Chuck Blore, Jerry Boulding, Scotty Brink, Kent Burkhardt, Al Casey, Ron Chapman, Dick Clark, Frank Cody, Larry Daniels, Rick Dees, Tom Donahue, Ken Dow, Bill Drake, Paul Drew, Chuck Dunaway, Bill FigenshuAlan Freed, Jack Gale, Les Garland, Bob Henabery, Dan Ingram, Ron Jacobs, Tom Joyner, Casey Kasem, Murry the K, Art Laboe, Larry Lujack, Bill Mack, Gordon McLendon, John McRea, Ruth Meyer, Robert W. MorgonBruce Morrow, Pat O’Day, Gary Owens, Dewey Phillips, Dick Purtan, Bobby Rich, Steve Rivers, Art Roberts, John Rook, Dr. Don Rose, Tom Rounds, Ed SalamonJohn Sebastian, Scott Shannon, Rick Sklar, Michael Spears, Gary Stevens, Todd Storz, Charlie Tuna, Rusty Walker, Todd WallaceFred Winston, and Wolfman Jack.  In addition to updated information, the book features a forward by RAB president/CEO Erica Farber.  Shannon tells TALKERS, “The book is a compilation of columns I wrote for Radio & Records (“Legends with Bob Shannon”) and allaccess.com (“All Them Big Dogs”) between 2001 and 2008.  Secretly, I always thought of it as a public service to radio folks who weren’t familiar with our history, the second golden age of radio when top 40 was king, and FM was about to ascend to the throne.  As for why I decided to release an eBook this year, it’s pretty simple – since the book came out in 2009, 13 of the people I wrote about have died.”  Shannon adds, “The stories in Turn It Up! don’t focus on industry wide initiatives. Instead, they offer a behind-the-scenes look at the folks on the front line, the men and the women who created the radio stations that inspired so many to, as Paul Harvey once said, ‘run away and join the radio.’  Between the lines, a picture emerges of a time gone by, one that will never be repeated, when radio was an important part of American life, disc jockeys were stars, and their listeners cared about them.”  Shannon concludes, “I believe that media in the 21st century offers unlimited possibilities, but I also believe that it would be sad to forget, or worse yet, to never know what came before, and how and why it set the stage for the future.”  Shannon can be reached via email at bobshannonworks@gmail.com.  For more information about the book, please click here.



Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio management pro Mark Thomas is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Saginaw, Michigan cluster that includes news/talk WSGW-AM/FM, urban contemporary WTLZ, hot AC WGER, and country WCEN.  Thomas has served with iHeartMedia in the Riverside, California market and with Regent Communications and Townsquare Media in Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Alpha EVP of the Midwest Region George Pelletier says, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager.  He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”…..SAG-AFTRA and Spanish Broadcasting System are at odds over alleged labor law violations.  The union held an event at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to draw attention to what it says is SBS’ disregard for its staffers.  SAG-AFTRA says some SBS employees at KLAX “La Raza 97.9 FM” and KXOL “MEGA 96.3 FM” were unlawfully terminated after a 2016 majority vote to unionize.  The union also says SBS has “failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages.”  SAG-AFTRA delivered a letter to California Labor Commissioner Julie Su requesting her department “vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS.  Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board.  It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA.”…..In Denver, Entercom promotes part-timer Rosa Jad to full-time evening personality on rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.”  Jad has been with the station for four years and says, “I’m super excited to be the new night show host for ‘KS107.5!’  It’s been a dream of mine for years!  I’m looking forward to putting on an entertaining show for the city!”…..SiriusXM announces today The National will perform a special, intimate show exclusively for SiriusXM on Friday, September 8, to celebrate the release of their new album, Sleep Well Beast.  The performance live from the Bowery Ballroom in New York City will air on the SiriusXMU channel.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

| August 2, 2017

CBS News Radio and Skyview Partner.  Another big network news deal for Skyview Networks after the company announced its renewed deal with ABC Radio last week.  This partnership with CBS News Radio for distribution, inventory management and sales begins on January 1 of 2018.  A press statement says, “The new exclusive multi-year agreement will enable CBS News Radio to further strengthen its direct relationship with its prominent family of affiliated stations and control its affiliate relations, marketing, sales, distribution and best-in-class technology in-house.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele says, “We are proud to forge a new partnership with CBS News Radio.  This agreement powers CBS News Radio on sales and broadcast distribution operations to provide the finest and most accessible experience for affiliates, listeners and advertisers.”  CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis adds, “Our new agreement with Skyview Networks will strengthen our distribution and advertising sales efforts.  This collaboration will assure our 30 million weekly listeners that they will continue to get the highest level of quality journalism they are accustomed to, while also providing for new opportunities for growth.”  CBS News Radio is currently distributed by Westwood One.

Urban One Q2 Net Revenue Down 4.1%.  Citing net revenue of $117.6 million during the second quarter of 2017, Urban One – formerly Radio One – reports that figure represents a decrease of 4.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down, the company says broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $41.8 million, a decrease of 14.6% from the same period in 2016.  Operating income was approximately $12.1 million for the quarter, compared to $27.7 million for the same period in 2016.  Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III, says, “Our radio broadcasting revenues improved sequentially from Q1, and also within the quarter itself with June being up 2.3% vs 2017.  According to Miller Kaplan, we outperformed our markets by 190Bps in June, which is encouraging.  This sequential improvement looks likely to continue for Q3, which is currently pacing (–2.9%).  Reach Media continued to experience a soft marketplace for multi-cultural network advertising spend, which was somewhat offset by the success of their Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise.  TV One experienced soft ratings, which resulted in a 5.9% decline in net advertising revenues for the quarter. We still believe that TV One will achieve the Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $82-84 million provided on the last earnings call, driven by improved affiliate revenues projected for H2.  Our digital segment revenues benefitted from the acquisition of the Bossip and Madame Noire brands, and we have continued to invest in short-form video and data analytics which should help drive long-term growth for our digital businesses.”

WFLA, Tampa Morning Co-Host Tedd Webb Recovering from Heart Attack.  Officials at iHeartMedia Tampa are not saying how long they expect morning personality Tedd Webb to be away from the microphone but station manager David Bell tells the Tampa Bay Times, “We want him to do what is best for him.”  Webb – who co-hosts the AM drive show on news/talk WFLA-AM with Jack Harris – has a history of heart issues.  He had a quadruple bypass in 1999 and has since battled congestive heart failure, according to the Times piece.  Read it here.

Dean Canter Named SVP of National Sales for PodcastOne. Media sales pro Dean Canter joins PodcastOne as SVP of national sales.  Canter will “oversee all regional sales offices for the company, in addition to developing strategic initiatives, innovating new advertiser opportunities, and driving industry trends in the rapidly growing podcast market.”  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “It’s rare to find someone with an extensive radio background who understands podcasting as well as Dean does.  Working with Kit Gray, Greg Batusic, and our existing management team and sales force, Dean brings history and an uncanny appreciation of the medium that fits perfectly with our expansion.”

Entercom New Orleans Market Manager Chris Claus to Retire.  Thirty-five-year broadcasting pro Chris Claus will retire from his current position as vice president and market manager for Entercom’s New Orleans cluster on August 31.  Claus has been in this position with Entercom since 2007.  Entercom president of sales Deborah Kane says, “Chris championed New Orleans during the critical post-Katrina period, during Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and throughout the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil spill in 2010.  Chris’ engaging style of management, his unwavering professionalism and his heart has made an indelible imprint on Entercom employees and the community at large.”  Claus says, “I am grateful for these 10 years in the New Orleans cluster working with exceptional colleagues and being a part of this great community.  I had a wonderful experience and now I look forward to spending time with my family.”

TALKERS News Notes. TVNewser reports the July ratings for the cable news/talk channels and notes that MSNBC “finished No. 1 across cable news in weekday prime time among viewers from the ad-friendly A25-54 demographic as well as in the younger A18-49 demo.”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow finished the month #1 across all demos – A18-49, A25-54, and total viewers.  Although MSNBC was tops A25-54 in prime time (8:00 pm to 11:00 pm) for the month, Fox News Channel maintained its #1 standing among all viewers…..In Denver, former college and pro football star Mike Pritchard joins the KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” staff as a contributor.  Pritchard will also co-host the “Pritchard and Cecil” program alongside Cecil Lammey weekdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, starting August 16.  Pritchard most recently co-hosted a show on Lotus Broadcasting’s KWWN, Las Vegas “1100 ESPN.”  He’s also been doing color commentary for UNLV football…..American Urban Radio Networks elevates Lenore Williams to SVP/affiliate operations and compliance.  Williams began her career as traffic manager with one of AURN’s owned-and-operated stations.  Since 2006, she’s been VP of affiliate operations and compliance…..Yesterday (8/1), Ken Lormand celebrated his 18th year with Salem Radio Network as managing editor and Washington bureau chief.

Congressional Health Care Hearings, Trump West Wing Changes, North Korea Nuke Threats, Sessions Opioid Crisis Speech, Maduro’s Venezuelan Dictatorship, Seth Rich Story Lawsuit, Peanut Butter Jailbreak, MLB Action, and NFL Training Camps Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The Senate agrees to hold bi-partisan health care hearings on fate of Affordable Care Act; the various changes in the Trump Administration’s West Wing, including the exit of Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus and the arrival of new Chief of Staff John Kelly; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S.’ military options; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ scheduled speech in Ohio today addressing the nation’s opioid crisis; the U.S.’s response to Nicolas Maduro’s ruling of Venezuela; Fox News and the White House alleged to conspire in creating Seth Rich-Wikileaks connection in private investigator’s lawsuit; Alabama cons escape prison using peanut butter; Major League Baseball action; and NFL training camps underway among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (8/2) with luncheon address by Salem Radio Network host Joe Walsh (with introduction by Phil Boyce).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          Three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtimeTALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

–          Presentation of the 2017 “Woman of the Year” award to Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (8/2) we post the special luncheon greeting by Salem Radio Network syndicated host Joe Walsh (with introduction by SRN VP Phil Boyce).

Within the following days, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.



Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates is the new program director at Cumulus Media’s San Francisco triple A KFOG.  Most recently Bates was with Pandora as head of programming – rock formats.  He’d also served with Rdio as global head of music and curation; as senior manager/radio programming with Slacker; and at KXTE, Las Vegas; XETRA, San Diego and more.  Cumulus Media San Francisco vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Mat Bates is poised to take the Bay Area’s most indelible rock brand – KFOG – into the future with his unique professional background and successes marrying broadcast radio with digital platforms.  He lives the format, is well connected in the Bay Area, and brings a new mindset to KFOG.  Mat will work with the KFOG team to bring rock’s past and future together in a powerful alchemy that listeners and advertisers will respond to in a big way.”  Bates adds, “I’ve spent the last decade applying the best parts of broadcast radio to emerging digital platforms.  I’m really excited to now take the things that music tech does well and apply those to such a legendary and beloved radio station.  KFOG already has all the necessary pieces; it’s up to us to assemble them correctly now.”…..In Milwaukee, market radio pro Wes McKane is let go by Entercom where he was co-hosting the morning drive program with Elizabeth Kay on hot AC WMYX.  McKane wrote on Facebook, “Today I close a long chapter in my life.  After almost 16 years at ‘103.7 KISS FM’ and ‘99.1 The Mix’ I am no longer with the company.  I accept that my former management had to make a difficult decision.  I got a chance to work with some of the best radio personalities in the industry with Rahny, Riggs, Elizabeth Kay, David Stein, other personalities, sales staff, promotions, business office and management.”…..It’s official in Atlanta as Cox Media Group CHR WSB-FM “B98.5” names Charly Morgan midday personality.  CMG Atlanta director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “I’ve been listening to Charly on WNGC for years – her sound, personality and style are a perfect fit for ‘B98.5.’  She’s warm, friendly, and fun on the air and off, a great addition to our Atlanta team.”…..CBS RADIO adult contemporary outlet KYKY, San Diego announces the addition of the “AJ Mornings” program – featuring AJ Machado and Sara Perry – starting August 7.  KYKY program director Chris Patyk comments, “We’re super excited about this new morning show and have been looking forward to making this announcement.  AJ’s been waking up San Diego for 17 years and counting.  The addition of Sara – who has logged nearly the same amount of time on the air – will make the new KYKY morning show an exciting and fresh way for our listeners to start their day.”…..The “Sunday Night Blues Room,” featuring long time radio veteran Steve Pringle, returns to the Portland airwaves on Entercom’s classic rock KGON.  Program director Chris Crowley says of the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show, “The ‘Sunday Night Blues Room’ began on KGON and it’s only fitting that we host it once again.  The addition of the show and host Steve Pringle only serve to prove that KGON is committed to our community and committed to playing the greatest music ever recorded.”

Thursday, June 29, 2017

| June 29, 2017

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Day 1. Pictured above is KHTE, Little Rock “96.5 The Answer” afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (left) speaking with Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson (right) during the first day of broadcasts from the radio row at Federation for America Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.  This 10th edition of the Washington, DC radio row consists of a record 62 talk show hosts discussing U.S. immigration policy with legislators and experts on the issue.

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts FNC’s Eric Bolling. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (left) is pictured here on stage at the Zlock Performing Arts Center at Bucks County Community College outside of Philly last night (6/28) where he hosted Fox News Channel host and author Eric Bolling (right) before a sold-out crowd.  Bolling is on tour promoting his new book The Swamp: Washington’s Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It (St. Martin’s Press 2017).  The event was recorded by “C-SPAN Book TV” and will be aired on C-SPAN at a later date.

Brendan Carr to Be Nominated for FCC Commissioner. It appears that sooner rather than later the FCC will have a five-member board of commissioners.  Following on the recent re-nomination of Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel, Republican Brendan Carr is being nominated for the remaining GOP commission seat.  Carr has been serving the FCC in the office of the General Counsel.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (6/29).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, its sessions have begun being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor and the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke. Today (6/29), the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity has been posted.  Closing out the week tomorrow, (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted.  Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. New York market sports talk icons Chris Russo and Mike Francesa will reunite at SiriusXM’s studios on July 6 for a special Town Hall broadcast.  The duo – once famously paired on CBS RADIO’s WFAN – will field questions from host Chazz Palminteri and an intimate in-studio audience.  They’ll talk about their on-air partnership that made the “Mike & the Mad Dog” show one of the most successful radio shows in sports talk history.  It’ll air at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel…..The “Morning Sports Page” AM show at Cumulus Media’s KTLT, Abilene, Texas “98.1 The Ticket” is wrapping after the Friday morning program.  The two-year-old show features Trace Michaels and Matt McGraw.  Michaels is leaving the radio station for a career outside the business…..According to a report in LARadio.com, KFI, Los Angeles reporter/anchor Jo Kwon is leaving the iHeartMedia station to take on a multi-media journalist position with CBS’ KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV.  Kwon has been with KFI since 2012…..Despite the photo at right, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro has no immediate plans to join the Trump Administration’s communications department.  DePetro is in Washington, DC for the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row and had the opportunity to snap a photo of himself in the White House press room.  DePetro’s program is heard on WADK, Newport and WNRI, Woonsocket.

BFoA Releases Radio PSA. A new 30-second public service announcement is available for radio stations from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  This is part of the charity’s outreach and awareness campaign that launched earlier this spring. The BFoA provides financial assistance to broadcasters in acute need due to critical illness, accident, or other serious misfortune.  BFoA says the goal of the outreach campaign and the PSA is to ensure that broadcasters know about its mission of granting hope so that those in need can apply for aid.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “It is unacceptable that a broadcaster in need may not know that the Broadcasters Foundation is here to provide assistance.  We are reaching out aggressively, across every avenue, to get our message of granting hope heard.”  Radio stations interested in airing the PSA may download it by clicking on “News” from the homepage of the website at broadcastersfoundation.org, or contact the Foundation at 212-373-8250 or info@thebfoa.org.

Status of GOP Health Care Bill, Illegal Immigration Legislation, Trump Travel Ban, U.S. North Korea Policy, CNN’s Yanked Russia Story, Palin NYT Suit, Global Malware Attack, Trump’s Irish Reporter Compliment, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/28). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on the GOP health care bill and its status going forward; today’s votes in the House on the “Kate’s Law” and “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” bills; tonight’s implementation of the Trump travel ban; the Trump Administration’s plans to get tough on North Korea and China; the aftermath of the Anthony Scaramucci-Russia story that CNN retracted; Sarah Palin sues The New York Times over its implication her PAC’s actions led to then-Congresswoman Gabby Gifford’s shooting; the global malware attack and concerns about future similar attacks; chatter about President Trump’s compliment about an Irish reporter’s smile; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.



Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rising from his general sales manager position at iHeartMedia Chicago to vice president of sales for the Chicago Region is Joel Kelly.  He joined the company in Chicago in 2014 as GSM after serving as a senior account executive at CBS RADIO’s crosstown country WUSN…..In the Peoria market, Advanced Media Partners announces that Jonathan Steele is named program director for CHR WPIA “98.5 Kiss FM.”  Steele comes to Peoria from his most recent PD gig with Martz Communications Group in Upstate New York.  He’s no stranger to Peoria, having been on air at crosstown WNGY…..Entercom renews the “BJ and Jamie Morning Show” at hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” starring BJ Harris and Jamie White for a five-year term…..iHeartMedia and Turner announce they will again work together to broadcast the former’s iHeartRadio Music Awards live from the “Fabulous” Forum in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 11, 2018.  The event will once again be simulcast live on Turner’s TBS, TNT and truTV as well as on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on iHeartRadio.  Next year’s awards show will be the fifth annual presentation…..Entercom’s CHR WNVZ, Norfolk “Z104” is presenting its annual Summer Shaggfest all-day music festival on Saturday (7/1) featuring Grammy-nominated recording artist Fetty Wap, ASAP Ferg, Aaron Carter, Aminé, Ashanti, Kyle and more than 20 local artists.  Z104 PD Natalia Soniak says, “We’ve got an amazing show this year, Fetty Wap has never performed in Hampton Roads before.  We’re gearing up for what is sure to be a successful event.”

iHeartMedia Flips WISX, Philly to Classic Hip Hop and R&B. The new format of former hot AC WISX bears the brand “Real 106.1, Philly’s Real No. 1 for Throwbacks.”  Core artists for the format that will focus on rhythmic music from the late 90s and early 2000s include: Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kanye West.  Morning personality Chio remains with the station hosting the AM program.  iHeartMedia Philadelphia SVP of programming Brian Check states, “We’re thrilled to launch a station that really represents Philly.  We hear from our listeners all the time that this music is fun, infectious and timeless, so we can’t wait to bring these songs back to the airwaves.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

| June 19, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Touts New Operation; Promises ‘Grisly’ News About His Fox Ouster. At a performance at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury (Long Island) on Saturday, former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly told attendees, “In the weeks to come, there will be a bunch of news stories that will explain what happened and why it happened,” regarding his exit from FNC.  “It’s pretty grisly.  It’s pretty nasty.  It has to do with far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree, including the president.”  This is according to CNN, which covered his “The Spin Stops Here Tour” that includes former Westwood One talk host (and ‘SNL’ alum) Dennis MillerNewsday also covered the event and reports O’Reilly promoted the efforts of his eponymous website.  “But I am starting my own operation.  We are going to do that.”  He says they will being airing a new, half-hour newscast “where we will go into a studio and it will look like ‘The Factor.’  It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service.  That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form.  But I suspect there will be another network maybe merging with us.  There will be a network that rises up because the numbers for Fox are going down.”  However, the CNN report also indicates he’s not exactly predicting the death of FNC, answering a question from the audience about starting a TV network to compete with Fox, “Don’t underestimate it.  The Fox brand is very strong.  They have a lot of talent.  But if you want to get into that game, you need about $200 million.”

KBME, Houston Moves Josh Innes to AM Drive in Schedule ShuffleWith the impending departure of Lance Zierlein from the station at the end of his contract, “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” morning drive show will disappear and current afternoon personality Josh Innes will move to mornings, effective July 17. Zierlein’s co-host Matt Thomas moves to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” moves up an hour to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and “The Bottom Line” moves from middays to afternoon drive. Joining “Bottom Line” hosts Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will be Jayson Braddock. iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson states, “We’ve received a lot of great feedback since Josh joined ‘SportsTalk 790.’ Love him or hate him, he’s one of the most passionate guys on the radio right now and that resonates with sports fans.”

Reynolds Appointed Marketing/Promotions Director for iHM Portland. Radio pro Susan Reynolds joins the Portland operations of iHeartMedia as marketing/promotions director.  The cluster includes news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190,” sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Radio,” country K279BO “103.7 The Legend,” rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew,” hip hop KXJM “JAM’N 107.5,” classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” CHR KKRZ “Z100,” and adult contemporary KKCW “K103.”  Reynolds’ experience includes time spent as a freelance publicist for various lifestyle clients; talk show producer at CJAD-AM, Montreal; director of marketing and promotion for Alpha Media Portland; and marketing and promotions director for KSOL, San Francisco.

Second Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Begins at Central Washington University. Today begins the second annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.  Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris leads the opening session of the 10-day institute.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president Drew Horowitz will close the institute with his session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking like a Pro.”  Students from various universities in the state and region accepted into the program will learn from radio pros from Hubbard, Bonneville, Alpha Media, Entercom, Townsquare Media, and others.  Each student will be certified as a Radio Marketing Professional by RAB.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective today, KSOO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota moves Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade from the delayed evening broadcast to a live airing from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT…..Fred Weinberg is the new CEO of USA Radio’s parent company, Anthem Broadcasting LLC.  He announces in a press release that Corrie Creasman is now news director for the network and that USA content is being distributed digitally via VPN…..This year’s NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show, taking place on September 7 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin, is being emceed by Reach Media-syndicated personality Rickey Smiley…..Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio announce that Robin Roberts’ podcast series “Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something” returns on Wednesday (6/21).  The 10-episode series will continue to feature aspirational, positive and intimate discussions that ABC says resonated so deeply with listeners in season one.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones comments, “After a debut season filled with candid and uplifting conversations, we are thrilled to have Robin return with 10 new emotionally satisfying episodes for listeners.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Iran Attacks Syrian ISIS Targets, USS Fitzgerald Collision, Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview, GOP Baseball Shooting, Kaepernick Police Comments, U.S. Open, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The special counsel investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and debate over whether President Donald Trump himself is being investigated; Iran launches missiles into Syria at ISIS targets in response to Tehran terror attacks; the deaths of seven sailors in the collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a merchant marine vessel; the controversy over Megyn Kelly’s Sunday broadcast of her interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones; the status of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and the attack on the GOP baseball practice; Colin Kaepernick’s comments that police are comparable to runaway slave patrols after the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the case against officer Jeronimo Yanez; Brooks Koepka wins the U.S. Open; 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.

KGO’s Ethan Bearman on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Specialists.’  The screen capture above is from KGO, San Francisco midday talk host Ethan Bearman’s recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “The Specialists” program.  The show makes regular use of radio talk show hosts.




Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Aimee Montgomery shifts from Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” to adult contemporary W268CS “Lite 101.5” as midday host, effective July 5.  Montgomery joined “Star 107.9” in 2015 and most recently served as a co-host of the morning show and worked as local on-air liaison/producer for the “Brooke and Jubal” program.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We have witnessed Aimee’s great attitude, effort, and dedication.  We look forward to her applying these same skills across the hall on ‘Lite FM.’”…..Programming pro Joshua Raiford, a.k.a. J1, moves from Urban One’s Indianapolis cluster where he was PD of hip hop WHHH “Hot 96.3” and CHR W275BD “Boom 102.9” to Washington to program the company’s hip hop WKYS.  Raiford comments, “I’m humbled, honored and excited about this great opportunity.  I thank God first and foremost, and I would also like to thank Jay Stevens, Jeff Wilson, and Kashon Powell for selecting me for this tremendous responsibility.”…..Longtime triple A WXRT, Chicago personality Wendy Rice is leaving the station.  She’s been the host of “Saturday Morning Flashback” for more than 30 years.  Rice married then-station PD Norm Winer in 1987 and works full time as a middle school teacher.  Taking over her duties will be WXRT’s Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars who will rotate as host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program…..There are three moves to report from CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster from VP of music programming Shelly EastonMark Radziewicz (a.k.a. Razz) of country WXTU, Nicky G. of classic hits WOGL, and Michael Bennett of adult contemporary WTDY all add assistant program director to their titles.  All three remain music directors for their stations…..Brian Fisher is upped to operations manager at Curtis Media Group’s Boone, North Carolina cluster.   Fisher will continue to host the 11:00 am to 2:00 ppm show on country duo WMMY/WWMY “Highway 106.1 and 102.3” and handle operations at news/talk WATA-AM/W243DH and Gospel WECR…..Beasley Media Group launches a “Southern”-based format on W234BY, Charlotte branded “94.7 Smoke.”  Beasley says “the core of the playlist will be Southern rock, however, ‘94.7 Smoke’ will also play anything it deems ‘Southern,’ including both local and new artists.  In addition, the station will focus all things deemed ‘Southern,’ including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, pick-up trucks, cold beer, horseshoes, great BBQ, Myrtle Beach, The Smokies, NASCAR and more!”

CBS RADIO’s KNCI, Sacramento Forced to Apologize for Artist Snub. This is one that CBS RADIO’s country KNCI, Sacramento would like to have back.  Up-and-coming artist Lindsay Ell was scheduled to be part of a station appearance at KNCI by country artists in town on Brad Paisley’s “Weekend Warrior World Tour.”  But, Lindsay happens to be dating air personality Bobby Bones and his show airs on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”  So, the station “uninvited” her.  She tweeted about the incident, apologizing to her fans.  Meanwhile, “The Bull” took the bull by the horns and declared it Lindsay Ell Day and played her single, “Waiting on You,” every hour on the hour.  Realizing its error, KNCI subsequently tweeted out the following, “Lindsay is an amazingly talented, up-and-coming artist and today we regrettably made a bad decision to cancel her show.  We only hope that she — and our listeners — will forgive us, and that Lindsay and her team will allow us to reschedule the show.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

| May 31, 2017

Crabtree: Hannity’s Battle Is Our Battle. Atlanta conservative media figure and talk show host Bryan Crabtree writes today, in a piece for TALKERS magazine, that talk show hosts of all stripes should be concerned about the targeting of Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity’s advertisers by activist organization Media Matters.  “For the sake of our first amendment rights, we cannot sit idly while fellow hosts are destroyed because of their success and influence.  Moreover, the talk radio industry needs to do a better job of conveying what advertising actually is. It is not an endorsement of a program, station, channel or host. Advertising is simply reaching a specific number of people of certain demographics likely to buy an advertisers’ product or service.”  Read Crabtree’s entire piece here.

WVON, Chicago News Anchor Steps Away.  Morning drive news anchor Dometi Pongo is exiting his daily role with Midway Broadcasting Corporation-operated progressive talk station WVON, Chicago “to devote more time to freelance projects and digital media via dometipongo.com.”  Pongo’s last day will be Friday (6/2).  Annette Flournoy will fill the AM drive news role until a permanent replacement is found.  The station notes that Pongo joined the WVON news team in November 2013, following his internship at the station and that he became a popular fixture as a member of WVON’s morning team, offering a Millennial voice to the news and various topics of the day.

Another Reminder for AMC-8 Users. The folks at Westwood One remind you that after June 30, you will no longer receive service from satellite AMC-8 and you must re-aim your satellite from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18. This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies.

Sound Advice and Encouragement from a Talk Media-Friendly Shrink.  These are exciting but extremely challenging times for news/talk media hosts dealing with the figurative mine field of political correctness and the ominous specter of advertiser boycotts hanging over their heads.  Noted forensic psychiatrist and prolific talk show guest, Dr. Renee Kohanski, writes an insightful article posted today (5/31) in TALKERS to encourage talk talent to weather the storm and not give up.  To read the piece, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York sports talk star Mike Francesa is being credited by a Yonkers man for saving his life.  In a story in the New York Post, “Mike from Yonkers” called in to Francesa’s afternoon drive show to relate how a previous call to the program when he was suicidal saved him. The caller explained he was in the throes of opioid addiction when his call to Francesa helped take his mind off a suicidal urge.  Francesa downplayed his role, telling the man he didn’t owe him any thanks…..Today (5/31), Edison Research unveils its “Share of Ear: Canada,” that provides the “same comprehensive look at the total audio space as has been available since Edison first conducted ‘Share of Ear’ research in the U.S. study in 2014.” “Share of Ear: Canada” was commissioned by Radio Connects, which promotes and markets radio to Canadian advertisers and agencies. The presentation will be unveiled today in Toronto as part of an event for the advertising community sponsored by Numeris, Canada’s broadcast ratings cooperative. Highlights will be available after noon from Radio Connects and at EdisonResearch.com.

Trump/Kushner-Russia Investigation, Trump-Merkel Relationship, WH Communications Director Resigns, North Korean Missile Program, Kathy Griffin Trump Photo, Tiger Woods DUI, and MLB Action and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/30). The investigations into possible Russian connections between Trump campaign operatives and Jared Kushner; President Donald Trump’s relationship with Germany’s Angela Merkel; White House Communications Director Mike Dubke resigns post; North Korea’s expanding missile program and the U.S.’s missile defense tests; comic Kathy Griffin takes heat for photo with Trump ‘severed head’; golf great Tiger Woods’ DUI arrest; and MLB action and the NBA and NHL finals 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. The new, permanent morning drive show at Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS1075” is made up of afternoon personality Tony V, plus DJ Chonz and Mercedes “Cedes” Howard.  They take over after the March departure of longtime morning duo Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J…..Alpha Media announces that JD Garfield is the new program director and afternoon host at CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”  The 20-year radio pro was most recently with Impact Radio Group’s hip hop KWYD in Boise, Idaho.  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “I’ve been a fan of JD’s brands for some time.  I’ve enjoyed watching him in some very competitive radio battles and I look forward to fighting alongside him.”…..At Pamal Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat,” Kevin Richards moves from middays to mornings to partner with Dana Race.  Sliding into the midday slot is Pete Kelly…..The national launch of “The Men’s Room,” featuring show hosts Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith (along with producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk) takes place on June 5.  Westwood One is syndicating the program in cooperation with Entercom and flagship station KISW, Seattle and reports it will debut on WAAF, Boston; KUFX, San Jose; KRXQ, Sacramento; KGON, Portland; KQRC, Kansas City, and more…..Alternative KKDO, Sacramento “RADIO 94.7” breaks the news that the lineup at its “City of Trees 2017” concert on September 24 will include: New Politics, The Greeting Committee, Bishop Briggs, Dreamcar, and Blink 182.

Brophey to Retire as WKLB, Boston PD; David Corey Named as Replacement.  Two WKLB, Boston programmers are leaving the Beasley Media Group station.  The company announces Mike Brophey has decided to retire as program director of WKLB “Country 102.5,” and his wife, longtime assistant program director/music director Ginny Rogers has also decided to step down and enjoy the summer with her family.   Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “They both have been instrumental to the evolution of the station over the years.  We are very grateful to Mike and Ginny for everything they have done and wish them the very best in the next chapter of their lives.”  With Brophy’s retirement, the company brings David Corey aboard to serve as program director.  Corey most recently served as vice president of radio programming at Toronto-based Bell Media.  He comments, “I am excited to have the opportunity to return home to Boston to work at WKLB-FM.  It’s an amazing station with an incredible history in country radio.  I look forward to working with Justin Chase, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack and the entire team at the station!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps this month’s analyses of station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey with a look at the urban AC format.  In analyzing 6+ data from subscribing stations, Kinosian reports that, month-to-month, “One of every two stations (50%) on this urban AC sample improves between March 2017 and April 2017 (6+); 31% are down; and the remaining 19% are steady.”  Leaders were Cumulus Media’s WQQL, Nashville (up 1.2 shares) and Howard University’s WHUR (up 1 share).  Year-over-year, Urban One’s WFUN, St. Louis jumped 2.1 shares and jumped from its 2016 #11 rank to #4 in 2017.  See all the data here.

Hubbard’s ‘New Country 92.3’ Helps with Flood Relief Fundraiser. Missouri country artist Trent Tomlinson and Illinois country artist Drew Baldridge helped out Hubbard Radio’s WIL, St. Louis “New Country 92.3” and the St. Louis Cardinals by performing before a recent Cards-Dodgers game.  The effort raised more than $18,000 for Salvation Army Flood Relief to benefit Missourians still recovering from this year’s floods.  Pictured above are (from l-r): station personalities and staffers Bud Ford, Danny Montana, Fredbird, Baldridge, Rachel Cook, DJ JT, Scott Roddy, and Jerry Broadway.

Monday, May 22, 2017

| May 22, 2017

Brian Wilson Exits WMAL, Washington’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’  Announcing via Twitter on Friday, DC talk radio personality Brian Wilson says he’s exited Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Wilson wrote, “Today is the last day of a wonderful 6 year ride @WMALDC.  Thanks everyone!  I stand ready for the next great adventure.  I’ll miss the awesome folks @WMALDC: B Hess, Larry, Chris, Mary, Heather H & M McKay.  But won’t miss the 2:30 AM alarm!!!!  More soon!”  In the meantime, WMAL program director – and Cumulus news/talk VP – Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese is sitting in as interim co-host while the station seeks a permanent partner for Mary Walter on the program.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City adds Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” starring Brian Kilmeade in the late morning daypart, replacing Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck…..In Chicago, Matt Abbatacola leaves CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR where he’s been serving for the past 16 years as a producer, personality and sports update anchor.  He was a longtime producer of the Boers & Bernstein show with the now-retired Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein (who’s now partnered with Jason Goff).  Robert Feder reports that “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “I wish him nothing but the best.”  Read Feder’s column here…..More changes are taking place at Fox News Channel.  According to report by CNN, Fox News Channel has let “The Five” personality Bob Beckel go “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”  This move is apparently connected to what is being termed a “growing racial discrimination” lawsuit filed by a number of current and former Fox News Channel staffers.  The story says Beckel allegedly told a black IT department employee that he would leave the room while the staffer worked on his computer because the employee is black.  It further says that when the person filed a complaint, Beckel tried to intimidate the worker to withdraw it.  The suit is being handled by attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen…..If you missed it, former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly wrote an op-ed piece published by USA Today on the passing of his former boss Roger Ailes.  In the piece, O’Reilly says, “We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective.  The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters.  Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him.  That is the truth.”  Read the piece here…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, via his Red Zebra Broadcasting, is agreeing to sell sports talk WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland to the new corporation AM 570 LLC – co-owned by Salem Media Group founders Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson.  The $2.1 million deal includes 58 acres of land.  The towers also carry the diplexed signal of WMAL-AM on a lease.

Trump Visits Saudi Arabia, Russia Investigation/Comey Firing, China Kills U.S. Spies, Weiner Guilty Plea/Abedin Files for Divorce, More North Korean Missile Tests, Iranian Elections, O’Reilly’s USA Today Column, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump makes his first stop in Saudi Arabia on an international tour, receiving a gold medal from the nation and signing a $110 billion arms deal; ongoing talk of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign figures and Russia and the related firing of FBI Director James Comey; the report that an intelligence breakdown led to China killing and imprisoning numerous U.S. spies; Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in the case of his sexting with a minor and the news former Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin will divorce him; North Korea conducts more missile tests; Iran holds elections, re-electing President Hassan Rouhani; former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly pens a USA Today op-ed stating Roger Ailes died from the “hatred” cast at him by critics; 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.  Taking over the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” is Kannon.  He was most recently working in the Dallas market at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL as part of the morning show.  KDMX program director Jay Shannon says, “Kannon is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth for several years and he understands how to connect with listeners, as well as what it takes to be successful in this market.”  He also previously served in the market as morning show host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the reports that Federated Media active rock WBYR, Fort Wayne “98.9 The Bear” parts ways with evening personality Barry Thickk.  The station replaces him with the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated “Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL” at night…..SiriusXM announces that David Letterman and his former TV band leader Paul Shaffer will be guests on Elizabeth Cook’s “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country on Wednesday (5/24).  Letterman, a big fan of American roots music, will bring along a playlist of his own hand-picked performances that aired on his network television show over the years.

Adam Bomb and DNCE at the Billboard Music Awards. Yesterday (5/21) in Las Vegas, Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs took place at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena.  The backstage radio row included more than 20 stations interviewing artists and celebrities.  Republic Records recording artists DNCE performed at the event.  Pictured here is Westwood One syndicated host Adam Bomb (left) with members of DNCE.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

| May 18, 2017

Fox News Channel Architect Roger Ailes Dead at 77.  The family of former Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes announces that he died early today at the age of 77.  The cause is unknown at this time.  His widow Elizabeth says in a statement, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.  Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.  He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back.”  Ailes began building Fox News Channel in 1996 and its rise changed the landscape of cable news/talk.  Ailes recently exited Fox in the wake of a growing number of complaints by current and former FNC female staffers – most notably, former anchor Gretchen Carlson – of sexual harassment.  Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity tweets, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”

Report: SiriusXM in Talks to Acquire Pandora. The report is published in the New York Post and indicates that Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM has restarted talks with digital pure play Pandora’s creditors to acquire the company.  The story notes that Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei has previously indicated that he thinks Pandora is worth about $10 per share.  Yesterday (5/17), Pandora closed at $8.93 per share.  Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren has publicly maintained that he wants to keep Pandora operating as a stand-alone company, but the Post story says activist investors Matrix Capital Management and Corvex Management are pushing for a sale.  Although Pandora has roughly 76 million active users, the company has yet to turn a profit.  Read the Post story here.

Alex Jones Apologizes to Chobani.  Talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones and Twin Falls, Idaho-based yogurt maker Chobani have come to a settlement in the company’s suit against Jones.  If you recall, Chobani filed a defamation suit against Jones after he posted a story on Infowars headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”  The story noted Chobani’s policy of hiring refugees but then reported on a Twin Falls case involving refugee boys who admitted to assaulting a five-year-old girl, attempting to draw a connection.  Local authorities say there was none.  The lawsuit said, “The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products.”  As part of the settlement, Jones agreed to retract the story, which he did with the following statement: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars, Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong.  The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted.  On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

WYAY, Atlanta Loses Three from News Department.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s