Tag: "Fox News Channel"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

| April 19, 2017

FOX Confirms: Bill O’Reilly Leaves FNC.  It’s been confirmed in an internal memo to staff that Fox News Channel parent company 21st Century Fox and Bill O’Reilly have agreed to part company.  21st Century Fox co-chairmen Lachlan and James Murdoch and News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch wrote in the memo, in part, “After a thoughtful and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Mr. O’Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel.  This follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.  By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news.  In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable.  Fox has demonstrated again and again the strength of its bench.  We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news.  Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”

WTIC, Hartford Names Todd Feinburg PM Drive Host. Hartford news/talker WTIC returns to issues talk in the afternoons as CBS RADIO announces “the next era of afternoon drive on WTIC-AM NewsTalk1080” with the launch of “Afternoons with Todd Feinburg,” beginning April 24.  The 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show had been a sports talk program for the past two years featuring Joe D’Ambrosio and Andy Gresh.  CBS RADIO Hartford operations manager Steve Salhany states, “Todd is a familiar voice on ‘NewsTalk 1080,’ having filled in on the station across the schedule, so we are excited to officially welcome him to the WTIC family.  Our listeners enjoyed Todd’s fresh perspective and energizing personality and now they will get to tune-in to him every weekday afternoon.”  Feinburg’s talk host career has led him to gigs in Boston, Providence, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  For five years, he co-hosted the morning show on WRKO, Boston.  Feinburg states, “Filling in for Jim [Vicevich] and Ray [Dunaway], I have had a chance to learn for myself what a special station WTIC is, what a wonderful audience it has, and what a central role it plays in the political culture of the state.  I can’t wait to get started!”

TALKERS News Notes.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio play-by-play will continue to be based at iHeartMedia Tampa Bay as the two sides agree to a multi-year renewal.  iHeartMedia says that this year, the team’s games will be heard over the air on rock WXTB “98Rock” as well as online at Buccaneers.com and on the Buccaneers mobile app…..At this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas (4/22-27), Wheatstone will be featuring on-air radio pro Kaden experimenting with its new VoxPro 7 recorder/editor for live radio.  Wheatstone says Kaden will “demonstrate the latest VoxPro features and his rapid editing abilities.”  Kaden comments, “If you do this for a while, you get very fast.  When I’m on-air, my eyes are on the screen and my fingers do all the work, making the call as tight and entertaining as possible.  In my opinion, it’s the easiest and fastest editor, anywhere.  I wouldn’t be able to do a full show without a VoxPro.”  Wheatstone will also have booth at the TALKERS 2017: A New Era conference in New York City on Friday, June 2.  See more about the TALKERS conference here…..E.W. Scripps and Milwaukee Business Journal expand their multi-media partnership to include Scripps’ television outlet WTMJ-TV “TODAY’S TMJ4.”  The Milwaukee Business Journal has an existing content partnership with WTMJ Radio, on which the publication’s reporters can be heard regularly.  WTMJ and WKTI VP and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “This partnership demonstrates the unique power of Scripps in Milwaukee.  The opportunity to feature content on radio, TV, digital and print better serves and informs the community.”…..Public news/talk station WBUR announces that its “On Point with Tom Ashbrook” program has been added to the programming schedule at NPR member stations WHYY, Philadelphia and KALW, San Francisco.  On a related note, the program is on a national tour called “Listening to America” and is broadcasting from Wisconsin Public Radio tomorrow (4/20).

Trump ‘Armada’ Controversy/North Korea Threats, Georgia House Race, Deadly Fresno Shootings, Erdogan Power Increases in Turkey, FOX News Channel’s O’Reilly Situation, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18). Ongoing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear program and the controversy over the misinformation about the whereabouts of U.S. Navy ships; the hotly contested race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat; police suggest a hate crime in the shooting deaths of three white men by a black man in Fresno; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s contested national vote that gives him much more power and questions about President Donald Trump’s call to congratulate him; speculation about the fate of FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly in the wake of exploding sexual harassment allegations; 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. Country radio programmer John Shomby adds program director duties for Cumulus Media’s WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” to his responsibilities.  Shomby also serves as NASH director of programming, a position he’s held for the past year-and-a-half.  Charlie Cook is the VP/country music for Cumulus and he comments, “John has done a superb job of managing the launch of morning show ‘Ty, Kelly and Chuck’ on the NASH brand, as well as overseeing the nationally syndicated shows ‘NASH Nights Live’ and ‘The Blair Garner Show.’  This new position is a logical next step as we continue to grow our country platform.”…..iHeartMedia announces the promotion of Russell Rush to program director for CHR KXXM, San Antonio “Mix 96.1.”  Rush continues hosting his afternoon air shift.  iHeartMedia Central Texas Region president Matt Martin says, “Russell embodies the CHR lifestyle and is tuned into the San Antonio market.  It’s hard to imagine anyone more passionate about this station and its listeners!”…..Hubbard Radio Seattle adds the USRN-syndicated Billy Madison show to its morning drive daypart on rock KVRQ “ROCK 98.9.”   Hubbard Radio VP/market manager Marc Kaye says, “The first time I met Billy, Derek and Nard, I knew the Billy Madison show was going to be a part of ‘Rock 98.9’ and a huge part indeed.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Brittany Tully program director for country WYNK, Baton Rouge.  Regional SVP for programming Bob Murphy states, “Brittany is a South Louisiana native who understands the community, its listeners, the media market and the uniqueness of the brand.  I’m excited to bring her leadership and passion to our team.”…..CBS RADIO’s “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) event has expanded to two music-filled nights with Linkin Park kicking off the festivities on Friday, May 19 at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  The following night, the party moves poolside when DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone perform at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan.

 

 

Round One of March PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” climbs from third to a second-place tie. It is locked there with CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -.2, 6+). Up seven-tenths in February (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), WCBS-FM advanced from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the previous seven sweeps prior to February, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasted its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. As for “Z-100,” its competitor, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” is again at #19 and without an increase for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). The rhythmic CHR format in the top market picks up one-half share as iHeartMedia’s WKTU regains the two-tenths it lost in February (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.1, unchanged at #8, 6+), while Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” adds three-tenths to February’s +.4 (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). Off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. In the intramural all-news contest, WINS (unchanged at #4) registers its third straight gain for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), while co-owned WCBS-AM is up or flat for the third consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), but backslides from #13 to #14. Flat at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” is frozen on 3.6 for the third successive sweep. Although #1 for the ninth straight time, co-owned adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” drops nine-tenths (7.1 – 6.2, 6+). This is the weakest 6+-performance for “Lite” since a 6.1 last August. Down three-tenths to 2.9 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (flat at #11) has its consecutive string of up or flat monthlies (which produced a +.9) end at four (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WPLJ drops one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, #16 to #17). After three straight uptrends resulting in a +1.3 (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths in back-to-back monthlies (5.1 – 4.4, 6+) and slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – For the second time in the last three ratings periods, CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV (up seven-tenths from February) crosses the five-share threshold (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5, 6+), progressing from a third-place tie to second. “The Wave” is just two-tenths behind the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which improves by one-half share (5.2 – 5.7, 6+). February’s one-tenth gain (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was sufficient for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, dislodging its adult contemporary sibling KOST, which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Off by nearly 60% since the “Holiday” report, “Coast 103.5” – which carries on at #5 – has its third straight decline (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight gains accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Increasing by three-tenths is the market’s (6+) CHR share, with KOST sibling KIIS “Kiss FM” up one-tenth (4.8 – 4.9, steady at #3, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KAMP “Amp” +.2 (2.6, #16 to #14, 6+). The gain of two-tenths by “Amp” curtails six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). There is virtually zero (6+) February – March movement in the alternative format in the City of Angels, as iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” drops one-tenth (3.2 – 3.1, 6+) but actually moves from #11 to #10. At the same time, CBS Radio-owned KROQ (#20 to #19) is up or flat for the third consecutive monthly for a +.3 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1). Unlisted in January, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA returned in February by logging a 3.4 (6+), but “Zona Mx 101.9” regresses by six-tenths to 2.8 and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). Its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Flat at #11, Spanish adult hits cluster-mate KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has been the model of consistency over the last ten ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+).

3) Chicago – The steady climb continues for Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE, which is up for the third straight time for a combined +.8 (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+) to bump up from ninth to eighth. At this time last year, WSHE was at #15 (2.6, 6+). When WSHE added three-tenths in February to 3.1 (6+), it ended 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Carrying on at #4, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” making it three consecutive sweeps with a gain for a cumulative +.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). Conversely, after four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WBBM-FM “Chicago’s B-96” is off by three-tenths to 3.2 (6+), slipping from seventh to eighth. In a three-way tie at #12, WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) for a collective +.4, while co-owned WKQX is up or flat for the fifth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), yet actually falls from #17 to #19. While flat at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is nonetheless up or flat for the seventh consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Albeit down four-tenths to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” repeats at #1. Fifteen (15) Chicago outlets from #10 through #24 are separated by just one-share. Within that congestion are the market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” (2.7 – 2.6, -.1, flat at #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5,” unchanged at #21 with a 2.2 (6+) for the third successive sweep. Both made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. In the Windy City’s hot AC contest, Hubbard’s WTMX “Mix 101.9” drops one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WLIT “93.9 My-FM” picks up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+); “Mix” and “My-FM” remain at #3 and #6, respectively. For the third straight month, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

4) San Francisco – Similar genres happen to be clumped together at the top of March’s Bay Area ratings board, as Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM (7.7 – 7.3, -.4, 6+) and CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM (6.8 – 6.2, -.6, 6+) repeat at #1 and #2, respectively. Adult contemporary facilities then take over, with Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths (4.9 – 5.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” down one-tenth (4.5 – 4.4, 6+), maintaining their #3 and #4 slots. They are followed by two hot AC rivals – iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.7 – 4.1, +.4, seventh to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.8 – 3.9, +.1, fifth to sixth). A pair of contemporary hit radio facilities round out the top eight: CBS Radio-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” (flat at 3.8, fifth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.5 – 3.4, -.1, unchanged at #8, 6+). Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” enters the top twenty in a three-way tie at #19. Meanwhile, flat at #9, Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is off by two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), thus ending its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern (6+). Co-owned news/talk KGO (steady at #14) has its third straight increase for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco,” which posts its third consecutive gain as well (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Even though the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nevertheless is without a gain for the fifth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but stays at #18. After four straight up or flat sweeps (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), CBS Radio’s KITS “Live 105 – The Bay Area’s Alternative” slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) and drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #22).

5) Dallas – Locked on 2.8 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” improves by one-half share to 3.3 (6+), jumping from #16 to #10. The station jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016, rocketing from tenth all the way to first. As recently as November 2016, KDGE was at #21. This marks the fifth successive ratings period in which Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a combined +.8 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+); “K-104” inches up from #12 to #11. In a similar vein, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (flat at #13) is without a decline for the fourth straight time for a net gain of one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). The combination of a two-tenths loss by February’s frontrunner – Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) – and a four-tenths pickup by iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (5.6 – 6.0, second in February, 6+) results in a first-place tie. KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” is without a decrease for the fourth successive sweep (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+) for a collective +1.1 and remains in fifth-place. After five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” adds one-tenth to 1.5 (6+), climbing from #28 to #27. Long an adult contemporary powerhouse, co-owned KVIL “Amp 103.7” has transitioned in recent years to hot AC and most recently to CHR. Down six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), “Amp” skids from #13 to #18, while its former format foe – iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” – drops three-tenths (4.1 – 3.8, 6+) to slip from seventh to eighth. In three consecutive decreases (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV is -2.1 as it drops from third to fourth. Meanwhile, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (unchanged at #6) is -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Having posted a 0.5 (6+) in January and February, Southwestern Adventist University contemporary Christian KJRN “88.3 The Journey” disappears from print.

6) Houston – Not only does Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ boast top honors for loftiest 6+ February 2017 to March 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Tuesday (4.2 – 5.8, +1.6, 6+), “The New 93-Q” rockets ten rankers (#12 to #2). It is the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” repeats at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Despite being up or flat for the sixth straight time for a net gain of +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), CBS Radio’s adult hits “95.7 The Spot” actually backslides from sixth to seventh. KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay in the penthouse though for the Univision Radio regional Mexican outlet, which surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. Now, KLTN drops one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4, and slides to fifth. Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+) and drops another half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. In addition to KLTN and KSBJ, iHeartMedia alternative KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz” (4.5 – 4.0, #7 to #11, 6+) and news/talk sibling KTRH (4.4 – 3.9, #9 to #12, 6+) sputter by one-half share as well. Owing to a +.3 to 3.1 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE (unchanged at #16) applies the brakes to three straight downward trends that accounted for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+).

7) Atlanta – Registering its ninth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from seventh to sixth. Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+) and the news/talk outlet registers a +.8 in March to 3.8 (#12, 6+). In addition to WABE, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WSRV “97.1 The River” improves by eight-tenths as well and posts its third straight increase for a collective +1.5 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) to advance from fifth to third. Notching half-share increases are Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (4.9 – 5.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#16 to #14, 6+), up for the third consecutive time for a collective +.8 (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). Notwithstanding being a combined -1.2 in consecutive sweeps (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the fifteenth straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. After improving by one-half share in February (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” forfeits all of it plus two-tenths (4.6, -.7, 6+) to slip from fourth to seventh. In advance of February’s +.5, WSB-FM was consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the previous 12 ratings periods; “B-98.5” had its best 6+-showing in one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Off by a collective one-half share as a result of three straight negative trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (steady at #3) picks up four-tenths to 6.9 (6+). At the same time, Radio One’s similarly-programmed WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” drops three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4, 6+), but stays at #13. Over the course of the last seven ratings periods, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” (#9 to a three-way tie at #8) has been the definition of steadiness (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+). In print in only the last four sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “K-LOVE” dials up a +.6 to 3.0, climbing from #17 to #16. Recapturing all but one-tenth of February’ -.6, Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+) climbs from #20 to #18. “The Fanatic” added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Meanwhile, cross-town format rival – CBS Radio’s WIP – picks up two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), thus halting at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); WIP moves from #12 back to the top ten (a three-way tie at #8). On the heels of registering a +1.3 in January and a one-half share gain in February, classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL is flat (5.5 – 6.8 – 7.3 – 7.3, 6+), yet manages to push forward from second to first. There, it displaces Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” (7.9 – 7.0, -.9, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past seven sweeps. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The culprit for one-third of WBEB’s -.9 would appear to be CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” (#15 to #16, 6+), which picks up three-tenths and notches its third straight (modest) gain for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+). It flipped to adult contemporary from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Up a combined +1.1 since the “Holiday” report (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WPHT regresses by one-half share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

9) Long Island – Nowhere nearly as pronounced as the situation in San Francisco (see above), there are several Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) instances of tight format races. For example, finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are CBS Radio news siblings WINS (flat at 3.9, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, 6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January. Separated by two-tenths are two news/talk outlets – Cumulus Media’s WABC (2.8 – 3.0, +.2, #14 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WOR (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #10 to #13, 6+). WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied at 2.2 (#20, 6+) meanwhile are hot AC rivals, CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (-.1, #21 in February, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ (-.4, #15 in February, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1; repeated at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9; and remains at #1 with a +.2 to 6.1 (6+). A full-share loss (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) causes Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” to spiral from fourth to seventh. After posting four straight Long Island increases for a collective +1.5 (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (steady in the runner-up slot) falters by four-tenths to 4.9 (6+). This marks the 28th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#15 to #16) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.6 – 2.5, -.1, 6+).

10) Riverside – While Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA dips by six-tenths in Los Angeles (see above), “Zona Mx 101.9” ironically improves by that exact margin (4.6 – 5.2, +.6, 6+) in the Inland Empire of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario to advance from fourth to second. Having lost one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptured six-tenths in February and tacks on an additional one-half share in March (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. This is the strongest 6+-performance for “Old School 104.7” since last June (also 3.3, 6+). Although unchanged at #13, KATY picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+), the first time the All-Pro adult contemporary has crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” lost two-tenths in February (6+) and now sputters by an additional six-tenths (9.2 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the seventeenth consecutive ratings period. Logging a 5.7 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI slumps by eight-tenths (5.4 – 4.6, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. In the runner-up slot is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA (5.6 – 5.2, -.4, 6+). The -.4 is more than slightly noteworthy, in that, it ends at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. At #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA is at #2 for the third successive sweep. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ piles on nine-tenths more to 4.1 as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults into the top ten (#14 to #8, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1. The Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeated in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+) in February, and while off by one-tenth in March (7.5, 6+), it continues to stay on top. A combined +1.9 in January and February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders -1.2 to 3.6, plummeting from fourth to tenth. Its -1.2 is the largest 6+ February 2017 to March 2017 decline by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Tuesday. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; February’s 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). Although steady at #3, this represents the third straight drop for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+) for a collective -.9 and first time it has been under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). With a -.2 to 2.1 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ not only has its consecutive streak of upward moves – which netted a +1.3 – stop at three (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), “93.3 La Raza” departs the top twenty (#17 to #21). Having been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) the past 19 sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, 6+), falling from #15 to #17.

12) Middlesex – The rollercoaster ride continues for Univision Radio’s Spanish tropical WXNY. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), “X-96.3” was -.9 in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; slipped by -.6 in February; and is +.5 in March (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+); WXNY moves from a five-way logjam at #13 to #10. Via three straight gains (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 and elevates from eighth to seventh. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#18 – #17) – is up or flat for the fourth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) in that period. Despite a loss of one-half share (7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third straight sweep. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (when it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Just as it did in January, WHTZ “Z-100” registered a one-half share gain in February (4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but the iHeartMedia New York City CHR relinquishes nine-tenths (4.5, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Flat at #10, CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the seventh straight time and has lost one full-share in that stretch (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

| April 11, 2017

O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster.  The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.”  Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events.  iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others.  Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.”  He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.

Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim.  In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.”  Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages.  Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame.  Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality.  He joined the station in 1990.  WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.”  Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte.  He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.”  He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years.  Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte.  His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996.  Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.

‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room.  Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6.  The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.

KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly.  Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles.  She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.”  She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room.  Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX.  After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended.  FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings.  Read the Washington Post account here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.”  The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey.  Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships.  These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before.  I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel.  Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others.  Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.”  WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.”  This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com.  Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college.  Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach.  Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about.  We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.”  See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida.  The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country.  Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; 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.  Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats.  The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha.  The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000.  St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

| March 29, 2017

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of sports talk stations based on data from the February 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  The period of time between the Super Bowl and the start of the MLB season is traditionally soft for sports talkers.  The NHL, NBA and college hoops haven’t historically provided the same level of fan attraction to sports talk radio as have football and baseball.  This year seems no different.  Kinosian notes that “roughly three of every four stations (76%) on this sports panel are down January 2017 – February 2017; only 16% are up; and the remaining 8% of the sample is flat (6+).”  However, comparing February of 2016 to February of this year, “just over six of 10 stations from our eligible sports sample are down year-to-year (62%, 6+) while 27% improve; the remaining 11% are steady.”  See the entire analysis here.

Lyons Joins Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh.  At its five-station cluster in the Appleton-Oshkosh, Wisconsin market, Cumulus Media names Jeff Lyons promotions/marketing director.  Lyons comes to Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Modesto, California station group where he held a similar position.  Cumulus Appleton-Oshkosh operations manager Guy Dark comments, “Jeff’s experience in various markets made him an easy choice to fill our promotions slot.  Coming from California, he’ll need to invest in some Badgers and Packers winter gear!”  In the market, Cumulus operates news/talk WOSH-AM, classic hits WVBO, alternative WWWX “96.9 The Fox,” country WPKR “NASH 99.5,” and standards WNAM.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former alternative KBZT, San Diego morning personality Chris Cantore is launching his podcasting career after being let go from the Entercom station – along with former partner Steven Woods.  Via his new company YEW Media, Cantore and co-owner Chris Cote are seeking funding as they continue to produce podcasts.  You can read a piece about his plans to grow from a local, San Diego platform to a national one in the San Diego Union Tribune here…..TVWeek is reporting that Fox News Channel made cable news history in the first quarter of 2017.  “Delivering its most-watched quarter ever in total day viewers, FNC averaged 1.7 million viewers (up 27%) and 359,000 (up 32%) in the 25-54 demo.  In primetime, FNC marked its second highest-rated quarter with 2.8 million total viewers (up 20%) and 576,000 (up 19%) in the 25-54 demo.  For the quarter, FNC dominated cable news competition in both primetime and total day combined in total viewers.  This quarter, FNC claimed 13 of the top 15 cable news programs in total viewers and eight out of the top 10 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, all FNC programs were up double-digits in both viewers and demo compared to the same quarter last year.  Read more about it here.

Philly Talk Radio Legend Mary Mason’s Grandson to Be Arraigned on Charges Related to Theft of Her Estate.  Longtime WHAT, Philadelphia talk show host Mary Mason – a legend to the city’s urban radio audience – is currently wheelchair-bound and battling dementia.  Now, the 86-year-old’s grandson, Calvin Steven Turner IV, is being charged with theft relative to the disappearance of her estate.  Philly.com reports that authorities are alleging that Turner squandered $843,000 of Mason’s savings and investments.  David A. Jaskowiak, the lawyer appointed last year to handle Mason’s finances, tells Philly.com, “Suffice it to say that had she had the resources she had when she retired without any dissipation by her grandson, she would have more than ample resources to afford her good care for the rest of her life.”  Jaskowiak was able to recover $62,000 of Mason’s money.  Read Jenice Armstrong’s column here.

GOP to Try Again on Health Care Bill, Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, O’Reilly’s Maxine Waters Comment, Trump Reverses Obama Energy Policies, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Congress Nixes Internet Privacy Regs, and NFL League Meetings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  Reports that the GOP will begin working on a new health care bill sooner rather than later; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign personnel and Russian agents; Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly apologizes for criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters’ appearance; President Trump announces his directive reversing Obama Administration energy policies; speculation about whether the Democrats will filibuster the Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS nomination; claims that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have been causing civilian casualties; Congress votes to eliminate FCC regulations that limit Internet providers’ abilities to share users habits and personal information; and this week’s NFL league meetings in Phoenix were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Reform Party Forum at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17.  Pictured here at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 at 2 Penn Plaza in New York City in Monday (3/27) is WABC, New York personality Curtis Sliwa (on stage, far left) hosting the Reform Party Mayoral Candidate Forum.  On stage (from l-r) are NYC mayoral hopefuls Sal Albanese, Michael Faulkner, Rocky De La Fuente, Mike Tolkin, Kevin Coenen, and Bo Dietl.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Our Stage 17 space above Madison Square Garden takes these important conversations and makes them must-see events.  Curtis got the NYC Mayoral Election heated up like no one else can.” Photo: Dan Hirshl

WGN, Chicago Names 2017 ‘Walk of Fame’ Honorees.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is announcing this year’s honorees who will join its “Walk of Fame.”  They are: late, legendary WGN sportscasters Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, current overnight personality Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield.  The Walk of Fame honors WGN staffers both past and present with bronze plaques in front of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  This year’s ceremony takes place live on WGN at 10:00 am on May 25.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1” announces it is bringing Leigh Ann Adam aboard to host the morning drive program, effective April 3.  The morning radio pro most recently was with CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL, serving for 11 years.  About her new gig with iHeartMedia, Adam says, “I love what I do and I’m so excited to wake up with ‘Star 102.1’ and the DFW community.  Having the opportunity to host mornings is amazing and I can’t wait to put on my new headphones and get started!”  During her career, Adam worked at KBIG, Los Angeles co-hosting mornings with Charlie Tuna…..Wilkes-Barre/Scranton alternative WFUZ tweaks its format – adding more new alternative music and trimming the gold from its library – and re-brands from the old “Fuzz 92.1” to “ALT 92.1.”  The Times-Shamrock alt rock station first launched in 2010…..Townsquare Media’s country KATP, Amarillo, Texas re-brands, dropping its “BLAKE FM” moniker and adopting the “101.9 The Bull” handle.  Program director and afternoon personality Braden Smith is adding Premiere’s Bobby Bones as the morning show…..WKTU, New York unveils the lineup of its annual ultimate summer dance party concert event, “KTUphoria 2017.”  The June 3 show at Jones Beach Theater will feature: Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Nicky Jam, Jason Derulo, Shaggy, Daya, and Craig David.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

| March 28, 2017

BIA/Kelsey: Radio’s Digital Revenue Rises 14%; OTA Revenue Flat.  The first quarter edition of BIA/Kelsey’s 2017 Investing In Radio Market Report indicates the bright spot for radio revenue is on the digital side where, looking back on the year 2016, digital revenue for radio companies rose 14%, while over-the-air revenue was relatively flat.  Looking ahead to 2017, BIA/Kelsey projects that the local ad market in the U.S. will be $148.8 billion, with radio – both digital and OTA – getting about $14.9 billion of that.  Direct mail continues to lead BIA/Kelsey’s projections for 2017, expected to garner 24.9% of that ad market.  OTA television is in second place with 13.3%.  Online/Interactive follows with 12.5%, mobile is right behind with 10.8%, and radio OTA will be in fifth place with 9.6% of the U.S. local ad market.  For those keeping score, the top radio biller in 2016 was Bonneville’s all-news WTOP, Washington, DC, taking in $67.5 million.  See the chart below for the rest of the U.S. top 10 for 2016.

Mike Carruthers to End Radio Syndication of ‘Something You Should Know.’  After 37 years and close to 10,000 episodes, Mike Carruthers announces he’s ending the radio syndication of the “Something You Should Know” daily feature.  Carruthers will continue the program as a podcast, but he says changes in the network radio business are forcing his hand.  “It’s going to feel weird to NOT do something I have been doing every day since 1979.  But it has been a good run and it is time to go.  I am very proud of the work I have done on the radio.  The fact that it ran successfully for so long makes me feel great.”  The feature launched on WFTQ-AM, Worcester in December of 1979 and will wrap on May 26 of this year.

TALKERS News Notes.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported that Denver talk radio host Steve Curtis had been charged with voter fraud after allegedly using his ex-wife’s mail-in voter form during the 2016 general election.  Curtis, who hosted two programs on Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver, resigned from the station the day after the news broke.  At one time, Curtis served as the chairman of the Colorado GOP…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that veteran journalist and Chicago Reader political writer Ben Joravsky is the new afternoon host on Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk station WCPT.  Joravsky assumes the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot formerly hosted by Wayne Besen…..Today (3/28), ESPN Radio and espnW are collaborating on a three-hour program, “The Trifecta: Women Making History Special,” which will air from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on ESPN Radio and simulcast on ESPN3.  The special, honoring Women’s History Month, is being hosted by The Trifecta’s Kate Fagan, Jane McManus and Sarah Spain and will delve into the impact female athletes have had on the sports landscape.  Scheduled to join the show are current WNBA (and former UConn) stars Sue Bird and Stefanie Dolson, espnW commentator Julie Foudy, “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill, “ESPN Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Jessica Mendoza and Olympic beach volleyball bronze medalist April Ross…..Boston-based sports media personality Danny Picard’s twice-weekly podcast is now available on the PodcastOne platform.  Picard calls his show “an entertaining and informative sports talk podcast with a Boston edge.”  New episodes every Monday and Thursday.  Check it out here.

Trump Campaign-Russia Connection Investigation/Call for Nunes Recusal, GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Sessions’ Sanctuary City Strategy, Russian Protests, Koppel-Hannity Exchange, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Raiders Move to Las Vegas, and the Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27).  The investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents, tied with the call for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation; the GOP’s decision not to vote on its health care bill and what it means for the Trump Administration; Attorney General Jeff Sessions moves to penalize cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants; the weekend’s protests of Russian corruption resulting in hundreds of arrests; chatter about talk host Sean Hannity’s appearance on CBS News in which Ted Koppel told Hannity he’s bad for America; the aftermath of the London terror attack; the NFL’s Raiders wooed to relocate to Las Vegas; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament’s Final Four were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

2017 Radio Gracie Winners Announced.  The winners of this year’s 2017 Radio Gracie Awards have been announced by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, June 6 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York.  AWMF chair Sarah Foss states, “If we learned one thing this year, it is that the strength, courage and contributions of women are crucial and necessary components in moving the world forward.  As we look to honor women in media, we take pause and recognize the millions of women who are not able to use their voice and creativity to share their message with the world.  We hear you.  We are you.  And we stand beside you.  We look forward to another great year and congratulations to the 2017 Gracie Award honorees.”  Radio Gala Winners include: A Date with the First Lady (“Cafe Mocha Radio”), Special, Miles Ahead Broadcasting; Adell Coleman (SiriusXM Urban View), Producer, SiriusXM Radio; Cheree Carter, Host/Personality, Cumulus Media; “GMA After Hours,” Talk Show, ABC Radio; Kelly Ford (Ty, Kelly and Chuck), Co-host, Cumulus Media; McVay Minute and J:30, Public Service Announcement, Dawson McAllister Association; and Sandyland: On the M Train, Interview Feature, SiriusXM Radio.  Radio Luncheon Winners: A League of Our Own – How Social Media Affects Women (Juliana Spano), Talk Show – Student, Radio Hofstra University; A League of Our Own – Women In Prison Project (Juliana Spano), Public Affairs – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Boyfriends Killing Boys (Megan Cloherty), Hard News Feature – Local, WTOP Radio; Decision 2016 (Kelly Green, Alyssa Compa, & Geneva Gerwitz), News Feature – Student, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM; Erin O’Malley (WBMX Boston Middays), Host/Anchor – Local, CBS Radio; Jillian Kempton (WLTW 106.7 Lite FM), Imaging – Local, iHeartMedia; Juliana Spano, Producer – Student, Radio Hofstra University; Laurel Lee (Pulse Roundtable Broadcast), Producer – Local, Cox Media Group; New York Primary Day – Election Central with Rita Cosby, Interview Feature – Local, WABC Radio/Cumulus Media; Orlando Pulse Tragedy Roundtable, Crisis Coverage – Local, Cox Media Group; Pavlina Osta (Toni Tennille – Surviving Muskrat Love), Host/Personality – Student, The Pavlina Show; Shelli Sonstein (The Jim Kerr Rock ‘n Roll Morning Show – Q104.3), Co-host – Local, iHeartMedia; Sonstein Sunday (Q104.3), Public Affairs – Local, iHeartMedia; The New 93Q Cares For Kids Radiothon, Public Service Announcement – Local, Cox Media Group; and Then You Stand (Exceptional Women – MAGIC 106.7), Soft News Feature – Local, Beasley Media Group.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Sacramento hot AC KZZO “NOW 100.5” brings Mark S. Allen back to the air staff to host the morning drive show.  Allen worked afternoons at the station for five years, exiting in 2015.  In addition to his new gig with the CBS RADIO station, Allen continues his role with KXTV-TV, Sacramento’s “Morning Blend” program…..Press Communications announces the new air staff for its WWZY, Long Branch, New Jersey “107.1 The BOSS” branded as “classic rock of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and More.”  The AM drive show “The Morning Kickstart” features Rob Acampora and Wendy McClure, Michele Amabile is the midday host and station VP of programming Jeff Rafter is hosting the afternoon drive program…..iHeartMedia is reporting that its iHeartRadio digital audio service has surpassed the 100 million registered user mark.  iHeartRadio president Darren Davis comments, “100 million registered users is an amazing milestone and we are thrilled to see such great momentum and traction for iHeartRadio.  We are committed to continuing to provide an exceptional listening experience for our millions of fans and listeners, and with the official launch of our new on-demand services, we are able to offer even more iHeartRadio features for our listeners who want to enhance their radio experience.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin on May 6.  The free daytime event will feature live performances by Jon Pardi, Lindsay Ell, Kane Brown, Tucker Beathard, Chris Janson and Kip Moore.  The Daytime Village will also feature fan zones and interactive experiences by iHeartRadio’s brand partners…..Cumulus Media’s consumer survey series, NASH Country Pulse Poll, announces the results of its first poll.  Ahead of the Academy of Country Music Awards, the poll asked country fans a number of questions, and the results included Luke Bryan and Keith Urban in a dead heat for “Entertainer of the Year” with both stars tied at 26%; Tim McGraw’s 27th #1 country hit “Humble and Kind” was voted most likely to win “Song of the Year,” with 29% of the votes; and 57% of respondents expect Carrie Underwood to make a grand entrance at the awards show.

Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party.  Nationally syndicated urban morning host Tom Joyner visited affiliate WNBM, New York “Radio 103.9” and Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 for the “Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cast Off Party” at which one lucky listener was invited to join Joyner on the April cruise.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: WNBM personality Marc Clarke, Tom Joyner, cruise winner Osborne Bryant, and WNBM personality La Loca.

Monday, March 27, 2017

| March 27, 2017

Hannity and Koppel Clash on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio and television talk star Sean Hannity is calling for CBS News to release the raw, 45-minute video of his conversation with CBS correspondent Ted Koppel, from which a highly charged segment on news/talk media was culled for a piece that aired on the “CBS Sunday Morning” program.  In the report, which also featured White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, Koppel expresses his view that news/talk shows like Hannity’s are widening the divide among Americans.  At one point, Hannity asks Koppel, “You think I’m bad for America?”  And Koppel responds, “Yeah…You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.”  Hannity told Koppel he was not giving Americans credit for being able to discern between an opinion show and a news show.  After the show aired, Hannity Tweeted complaints about the editing of the program.  “Fake ‘edited’ news. I gave a example after example of why I say ‘journalism is dead’. I also gave many examples of how liberalism has failed.”  Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full, 45-minute video “so people can see the BS games you play in the edit room. I dare you!” See the CBS story and link to the program segment here.

Zito to Host ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ on SiriusXM.  A joint production of the Washington Examiner and SiriusXM is presenting the new, weekly show, “Main Street Meets the Beltway,” Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on the satcaster’s non-partisan POTUS channel.  The program is being hosted by Washington Examiner reporter Salena Zito.  She’s been with the Examiner since 2016 as a Pittsburgh-based columnist and reporter.  She is also a columnist at the New York Post and serves as a contributor for CNN.  She spent much of the last 12 years with the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as both a reporter and columnist covering national politics.  On the radio show, “Zito will prioritize the stories and opinions of Americans across the country over politicians and bureaucracy.  Having travelled across the heartland extensively throughout the 2016 campaign, Zito gathered countless stories from people of all backgrounds, leading her to correctly predict President Trump’s victory in November.  ‘Main Street Meets The Beltway’ will focus on these individuals – their needs, concerns, and hopes for their futures – and what their expectations are from both local and federal government.”  Zito will host the new weekly program live from the studios of Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

‘AM1280 The Patriot’ in Twin Cities to Presents Trump 100 Days Event.   Twin Cities news/talk outlet WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” along with Salem Media Group’s fellow Minneapolis-St. Paul stations – business talk KYCR-AM “Twin Cities Business Radio 1440” religious KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” and talk KDIZ “Twin Cities Wellness Radio 1570” – are co-presenting the live event, “President Trump: The First 100 Days” on Sunday, May 21.  It features Salem Radio Network hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager with moderator Ed Morrissey from HotAir.com.  The event is one of 18 that will be taking place in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, and Philadelphia.

Cooke: Radio’s Biggest Star Is Back.  No, not Orson Welles…baseball!  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that the evidence of how beneficial baseball play-by-play is to radio is overwhelming.  But, now the games are available in numerous other places.  So, “stations need to play defense to exploit the franchise.”  Read Cooke’s advice here.

WGN, Chicago’s Steve Cochran Returns to the Air After Being Treated for Blood Clots.  WGN, Chicago morning drive personality Steve Cochran returned to the air this morning after spending two days in the hospital being treated for blood clots in his lungs.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes that Cochran had been under care for bronchitis and shortness of breath.  Feder reports that the source of the clot was behind Cochran’s left knee.  Cochran is quoted saying, “Serena Williams, Regis Philbin and me — what do we have in common?  Not much…but we’ve all had blood clots.  DVT (deep vein thrombosis), PE (pulmonary embolism) — all quite serious, but I’m lucky as mine are meds controlled.”

GOP Health Care Bill Failure, Trump-Ryan Relationship, Gorsuch Nomination, London Terror Attack Aftermath, Russia Anti-Corruption Protests, Cincinnati Nightclub Shootings, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The failure of the GOP-authored health care plan designed to replace the Affordable Care Act and speculation about what it means for the Trump Administration; chatter about the working relationship between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan; the status of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the Supreme Court; the aftermath of last week’s London terror attack that killed five and injured 50; Russia cracks down on anti-Putin and anti-corruption protesters, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and other Western nations; the slaying of one and injuring of numerous others after a gun battle at a Cincinnati night club; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Diane Look, Wife of WFHR PD and AM Host Bob Look Slain in Wisconsin Shootings.  The shootings in Wausau, Wisconsin last week that stemmed from a marital dispute claimed the life of Diane Look, the wife of Bob Look, the program director and morning host at Seehafer Broadcasting’s news/talk WFHR, Wisconsin Rapids.  Diane Look, a staffer at Marathon Savings Bank, died along with fellow bank worker Karen Barclay after Nengmy Vang showed up at the bank looking for his estranged wife, Naly Vang, who was not injured in the attack.  Nengmy Vang also killed Naly Vang’s divorce attorney, Sara Quirt Sann, at her office, and police officer Jason Weiland after barricading himself in his apartment.

Covering the White House Health Care Issue.  Pictured above in the Oval Office on Friday (3/24) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugton (standing, second from left) covering the president’s remarks after the decision not to put the GOP health care bill to a vote in the House.  Clugton was in the Oval Office as part of the White House radio pool and was one of only four reporters to question President Trump directly.

KIDO, Boise Morning Host Kevin Miller Guests on Harrison Podcast.  This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the hard-working morning host and brand manager of Townsquare Media’s 580 KIDO, Boise – Kevin Miller.  Miller is a seasoned veteran who paid his dues in the trenches of local radio in such markets as Pittsburgh, Nashville, Raleigh, Birmingham, Nashua and more before landing in Idaho’s Treasure Valley where he has dug deep and meaningful roots into the community for the better part of a decade.  Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of doing local radio with all its many challenges and rewards in the era of Donald Trump…and then some.  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.

Roasting to Benefit the American Diabetes Association.  KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (standing) is pictured above emceeing the 20th Los Angeles Political Roast at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last Thursday (3/23).  The “roastee” for this year’s event was Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell.  Pictured with McIntyre here is Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Busciano.  The event was expected to raise $500,000 for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

 

 

Drew Bland to Lead Programming at Entercom’s ‘Wolfe’ in Seattle.  Country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” has a new program director as Entercom announces Drew Bland assumes the role, effective April 12.  Entercom Seattle VP of programming and operations Dave Richards states, “After a nationwide search, it was very clear that Drew was the right person for the job.  ‘The Wolf’ is one of America’s great country stations and it deserves a great leader like Drew.”  Bland comes to Entercom from Cox Media Group where he was director of programming and branding for country WWKA, Orlando “K92.3 FM.”

WZAT, Savannah Flips to Hot AC.  On Friday afternoon (3/24), Cumulus Media flipped WZAT-FM, Savannah from classic country as “NASH Icon 102.1” to hot AC, rebranding the station “102.1 The Sound.”  The station is using syndicated morning program “The Bert Show” with Bert Weiss.  Cumulus Media Savannah vice president/market manager Eric Mastel says, “We are all very excited to debut Savannah’s newest radio station, ‘102.1 The Sound.’ After extensive market research, it was overwhelmingly evident that Savannah was asking for a radio station they could call their own. ‘102.1 The Sound’ is not only named for the music, but also for the beauty of our home and the water that surrounds us.  With artists like Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd and Lorde, and featuring ‘The Bert Show’ in the morning, we have given Savannah exactly what they asked for ‘102.1 The Sound!’”

Echo Chamber: Mad About Maddow

| March 22, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Seen the flames?  Seen the numbers?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow scored the biggest ratings in the history of her show as she displayed a copy of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, anonymously mailed to a reporter.  Although many radio talkers – and some radio gurus – were quick to shrug it off as unsustainable, new news since is that Maddow has now beat rival Fox News Channel for a second straight week 25-54.

Admittedly, radio folk tend to do cartwheels when WE spike, and to diss other guys when THEY do.  Still, the social media backlash – from media people — was discouraging.  The unison damned Maddow for sustaining viewers’ attention for two whole quarter hours…as though that’s not how we too get paid.  “Big hype!  Big letdown!  Only two pages!”

Read More

Monday, February 27, 2017

| February 27, 2017

iHeartRadio Names Michael Berry News/Talk Personality of the Year.  This award for best news/talk personality is a first and the competition was open only to talk hosts who work for iHeartMedia stations.  KTRH, Houston-based, independently syndicated talk personality Michael Berry is named the iHeartRadio News/Talk Personality of the Year.  Berry says, “We’re on live for five hours a day, so our approach is not to be the loudest screamer in the political market.  Our listeners seem to enjoy talking about parenting, food, culture, with a mix of politics as well.  It’s entertainment, and hopefully it’s engaging.  That’s the goal, rather than getting pigeonholed into ‘political talk.’”  Speaking about his show’s success, Berry says, “First, we draw back the curtain and let the listener join us in our lives.  We open up, we share our medical ailments, we brag on our kids, we discuss our fears and worries, we are usually the butt of our own jokes.   Relatability is key.  They can identify with what we’re going through, because it’s what they are going through.  The second factor is that we are a team, rather than just one guy talking.  We draw material and parodies from our board ops, show producers, and even a few listeners, to look more like the ‘SNL’ writing team than an AM talk show.  It makes for a show that dares to be funny, which makes for better entertainment.”

WUTQ, Utica Flips to Talk.  After a weekend of stunting, Roser Communications Network-owned WUTQ-FM changes formats from adult contemporary to news/talk.  The station keeps its “Talk of the Town” morning show with personalities Dave Coombs, Jay Aiello, and Beth Coombs.  It had also been simulcasting three hour-long newscasts from NBC affiliate WKTV-TV, and continues to air those at 5:00 am, 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm.   Joining the program lineup are: Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Dave Ramsey from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Premiere’s Buck Sexton from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and “Red Eye Radio” for overnights.

Cumulus Re-Fi Plan Shot Down by Manhattan Judge.  On Friday, Cumulus Media got bad news from U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla who ruled that Cumulus cannot use a revolving credit line from JPMorgan Chase to help reduce a portion of its debt.  In December, a majority of the holders of $610 million in unsecured senior notes voted to approve the plan that would have reduced that debt to $305 million and granted them a portion of the equity.  JPMorgan Chase disagreed that the revolver could be used for this purpose and the judge agreed.  Cumulus issued the following statement after receiving the news.  “While we are certainly disappointed by the court’s decision, we will continue to review all available options to address our balance sheet issues.  We are making solid progress in our turnaround and remain focused on exploring strategies that would give us the runway needed to fully execute our plan.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Orlando hot talk outlet WTKS “Real Radio 104.1” adds the evening syndicated relationships show “CONNECTIONS” to its programming schedule.  The program is hosted by Al “Blackjack” Spry, Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy, and Melissa Foxx.  WTKS program director Jack Bradshaw comments, “For nearly quarter of a century, ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has been at the forefront of live entertainment talk radio and we are happy to welcome ‘CONNECTIONS’ to our evening lineup, marking the return of live late-night talk radio to the airwaves of Central Florida.”  “CONNECTIONS” is consulted by Sabo Media…..Focus 360 and Envision Networks renew their deal for the latter to continue serving as affiliate sales representative for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” Networks.  Focus 360 uses Jelli’s cloud-based ad platform to transform broadcast radio into a real-time medium by providing national advertisers with increased accountability and campaign analytics on par with the latest digital platforms.  Envision Networks president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “The successful partnership between Focus 360 and Envision Networks has delivered exceptional results to affiliated radio stations.  Focus 360 affiliates are reaping revenue-generating benefits and relieving the stress on their traffic departments.  We are delighted to continue offering this opportunity to radio stations.”

Trump vs News Media, Muhammad Ali Jr. Detained at Airport, Kansas Bar Slaying, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, Actor Bill Paxton Dies, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s ongoing battle with the news media and last week’s shutting out of several news organizations by the White House press office; the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali is detained by authorities at a Florida airport for having an “Arabic-sounding” name; an Indian man is slain at a Kansas bar; the build-up to Sunday’s Oscar Awards show; actor Bill Paxton dies at age 61; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando. Pictured above at this morning’s opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters 2017 convention in Orlando are Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (left) with Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity (right) as the two discuss politics, last night’s Oscars, and the new film Let There Be Light (for which Hannity served as executive producer).  Also broadcasting this week from the NRB are SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

 

 

Snell Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Augusta, Georgia.  At its Augusta, Georgia cluster, iHeartMedia names Tim Snell, a.k.a. Minnesota Fattz, senior vice president of programming.  He’s one half of the “Fattz and Cher Morning Show” on urban AC WKSP “96.3 Kiss FM.”  He also is PD for the station and sister hip hop outlet WPRW “Power 107.”  In this role, Snell will also be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations of the cluster’s four other stations – adult contemporary WBBQ, classic rock WEKL “Eagle 102.3,” country WLUB “105.7 The Bull,” country WLUB-HD/W292EE.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in personality Cody Whistler is promoted to full-time jock handling the evening show at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End.”  Whistler began his career with the station in the promotions department and started his on-air work three years ago…..iHeartMedia promotes Rob Scorpio to regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets.  Scorpio has been serving as SVP of programming for the Riverside cluster and program director for hip hop KSSX, San Diego “Jam’n 95.7.”  He takes over for John Peake, who recently became PD for KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles…..Also at iHeartMedia, Kid Jay is promoted from his music director role at KGGI, Riverside to program director for the station.  Kid Jay also hosts the evening air shift at the rhythmic CHR station…..WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina morning host Jim Mantel is being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.   Mantel has worked in radio for 35 years, beginning in West Texas at KNFM, KRYS, and KKBQ.  He spent 18-plus years hosting the morning show at WGAR, Cleveland. During his career, he’s won the CMA Personality of the Year award and is an inductee in the Ohio Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame…..Milwaukee non-commercial triple A celebrated its 10th anniversary as “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” on Sunday (2/26).  The self-supporting, non-profit station acknowledged that it has become “recognized for its unique mix of new and Milwaukee music; its ‘community stories’ features; and for fostering community engagement and positive change.  It announced a number of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary including: an all-day free street concert outside its studios on June 24; the unveiling of April 14 as “414 Day,” a new feature to connect Milwaukee music to listeners everywhere; plus a new narrative audio and video series, “In The Wings: Bringing Our Community to Center Stage,” that each month this year will highlight the positive work of Milwaukee individuals in a variety of categories.

 

 

Round Four of January PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s January 2017 PPM survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Down by one share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KASE “101 FM Today’s Country” answers with a +1.6 (4.9 – 3.9 – 5.5, 6+) as it leaps from ninth to a fourth-place tie with co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, unchanged at #4, 6+). The latter is coming back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Back at #1 after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 from the top spot it held in November and December, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” rings up a +1.1 (7.7 – 8.8, 6+). KBPA had been in the lead each month in calendar year 2016, before seguing to second in October. By gaining four-tenths in June, “Bob” halted three successive downward trends that produced a combined -1.3 (9.4 – 9.1 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+). “Bob” regressed by -.5 in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; and declined -.8 in September. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5” (12.6 – 7.4, -5.2, 6+), which drops to #3. Over the course of five straight up or flat trends, “Majic 95.5” nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, with the 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM stat (previously 11.4). Powered by a +1.2, KUT (6.4 – 7.6, 6+) bumps up from third to second. The University of Texas at Austin outlet was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” (9.0 – 7.4 – 6.4, 6+), falling from the runner-up slot it occupied the previous five ratings periods. Significant month-to-month swings are common for KUT, which was +1.2 (December 2015); -.1.0 (April 2016); +.7 (July); +1.3 (August); -.9 (September); +1.3 (October); -1.6 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2016); and now +1.2 in January 2017. Prior to August, the last time KUT crossed the eight-share barrier (6+) was February 2011 when it reached 8.5. With a +.9 (1.3 – 2.2, 6+), Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” (#22 to #17) reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2016 (2.3), while co-owned regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” picks up seven-tenths to 3.9, halting three straight downward trends (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+) as it enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Adding one-half share are Emmis’ KROX “101-X Alternative Austin” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #10, 6+) and triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (2.0 – 2.5, #17 to #16, 6+). Remaining in that Emmis cluster, while talk KLBJ-AM is up by six-tenths (3.6, 6+), KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” and their regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.4 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+) drop one-half share. This marks the eighth straight sweep without an increase for “The Rock of Austin” which is -2.1 in that stretch (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Meanwhile, KLBJ-AM ends three consecutive downward moves that accounted for a -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+); KLBJ-AM and KLBJ-FM are tied at #11.

2) Milwaukee – Having regressed by a combined -1.6 in four straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” recaptures all of it and another one-tenth to spare (5.7, +1.4, 6+), jumping from #12 to a three-way tie at #6. Talk cluster-mate WISN rebounds from a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016 to a +1.2 (5.5 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), as it zooms from ninth to fifth. Elsewhere in the talk arena, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee-owned WUWM is up seven-tenths (2.6 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #15 to #13. Locked on 5.9 (6+) in October 2016 and November, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” gained two tenths in December; stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016; and now breaks out a +.8 (6.1 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+) to climb from seventh to that three-way logjam at #6. Advancing in December 2016 by one-half share to 6.3 for its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2015’s 6.5, Saga Communications-owned WKLH returned all of that +.5 in “Holiday” 2016 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.8 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+); “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” jumps from fourth to second. More than two full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits,” which – despite a -2.4 (11.2 – 8.8, 6+) – is #1 for the 22nd consecutive sweep. Recent (6+) fluctuations for “Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” 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); and January 2017’s -2.4. After four straight progressive trends that netted a +4.6 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 8.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary-turned hot AC-turned adult contemporary (again) WLDB “B-93.3 The 80s to Today” forfeits roughly 80% of that gain (4.6, -3.7, 6+) and freefalls from #2 out of the top ten (#11). The third member of the aforementioned three-way tie at #6 is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” (down from #5), which is without an increase in four consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of one share (6.7 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Eight-tenths of a share separates the top six Indy stations in this survey period (6+). Unlisted for nearly five years (March 2012), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “K-LOVE” returns in dramatic fashion with a +1.7 (5.6 – 7.3, 6+) to land in third-place. Dusting itself off from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom’s WZPL responds with a +1.3 (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) leaping from fourth to a first-place tie. Its running-mate at #1 is Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which had its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+) end in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.4. “Classic Hits 104.5,” regains all but three-tenths of that deficit (7.8 – 6.4 – 7.5, +1.1, 6+), moving from third to that penthouse tie. After six successive positive trends for a collective +1.7 (5.3 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+), co-owned WFMS was off by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “95.5 The Country Station” recaptures all but one-tenth of that loss (70 – 5.9 – 6.9, 6+) and carries on at #5. December’s 7.0 was the highest 6+share for WFMS in more than three years (7.6, 6+, November 2013). A December drop of two-tenths by Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “97.1 Hank” concluded three straight sweeps without a decline for a combined +.6 (4.7 – 4.7 – – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). “Hank” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 and rebounds with a +1.1 (5.1 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. When it added one-tenth in October, “Hank” ended four successive down or flat sweeps for a combined May through September -1.6 (6.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Exiting the top spot after back-to-back sweeps and seguing to #6 is adult contemporary sibling WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (17.7 – 6.7, -11.0, 6+). Its loss of 11 shares comes after a +.9 in “Holiday” 2016. “B-105.7” improved in three straight sweeps (August – September – October) for a cumulative +1.1 (6.4 – 6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+), before declining by one-half share in November. Still staying in that Emmis cluster, talk WIBC (3.7 – 4.7, steady at #10, 6+) and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.3 – 2.8, #13 to #14, 6+) improve by one share and one-half share, respectively. Steady between 5.4 – 5.7 (6+) for five straight sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” sputtered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 to 4.6 only to bounce back with a +.7 in January 2017 (5.3, flat at #7, 6+). Within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, including 2.1 (#14) in “Holiday” 2016, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting’s WFYI disappears from print.

4) Providence – Albeit flat at #5, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erases its “Holiday” 2016 -.8 with an increase twice that magnitude (4.6 – 6.2, +1.6, 6+). Floundering by one share in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO FM” reels it all back with a +1.0 (8.7 – 7.7 – 8.7, 6+) and remains in the runner-up position. Jumping by nine-tenths each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (6.6 – 7.5, unchanged at #4, 6+) and Entercom sports outlet WVEI (3.7, 6+), which advances from eighth to seventh. “Cat Country” was off by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, while WVEI recaptures the nine-tenths it has lost since November (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to an increase of seven-tenths (to 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” applies the brakes to four straight declines that yielded a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. A collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” erodes by -7.3 (10.7, 6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth successive ratings period. “Lite Rock 105” registered three straight progressive trends (July – August – September) netting one-half share (9.4 – 9.6 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+) and was a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Unchanged at #9, rhythmic CHR sibling WWKX “Hot 106” records a +.3 (to 2.3, 6+), thus curtailing three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for the loss of one share (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

5) Raleigh – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range the past six monthlies, but it floundered by nine-tenths. Not only does the public outlet more than double the size of that loss with an increase in January 2017 (6.8 – 8.7, +1.9, 6+), it marches from third to first. Displaced from the lead and shifting to the runner-up slot is Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” whose 15 recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; and now a -5.3 in January 2017. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, “Mix 101.5” was in sole possession of first-place eight times and shared top honors three times. Locked on 5.7 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia talker WTKK dipped by -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 but wipes out that loss with a +1.9 (4.4 – 6.3, 6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. A -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 by Curtis Media Group’s WQDR ended at five its streak of consecutive progressive trends which netted a +1.5 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 7.1, 6+). “94.7 Today’s Best Country,” however, bounces back with a +.9 (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) and moves from sixth to fourth. Gaining seven-tenths each are adult hits sibling WBBB “Radio 96.1” (4.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.4 – 6.1, steady at #7, 6+). “Radio 96.1” halts three straight declines that produced a -1.0 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Spiking by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are its classic hits-oldies and CHR cluster-mates WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.0, flat at #11, 6+) and WPLW “Pulse FM” (2.8 – 3.3, #14 to 313, 6+). The +.6 by “Kix 102.9” ends three consecutive negative trends that produced a -.8 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Conversely, owing to a -1.5 to 5.1 (6+), Radio One gospel WNNL (fourth to eighth) sees its successive string of up or flat trends conclude at seven (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+); “103.9 The Light” netted a cumulative +2.8 in that stretch.

6) Norfolk –Over and above marching from fifth to third by notching its third consecutive increase netting a combined +1.7 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its history as a PPM subscriber. On the strength of a +1.2 to 5.5 – its best 6+-share since July 2016’s 5.9 – classic rock cluster-mate WAFX “106.9 The Fox” advances from sixth to fifth. After being #1 for 55 straight ratings periods, Entercom urban AC sibling WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” was bumped to second in “Holiday” 2016 by adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD.” It’s time for them to switch places in January 2017 though as WVKL registers a +.7 (11.0 – 11.7, second to first, 6+), while “2WD” (+7.1 in “Holiday” 2016) erodes by -6.4 (13.4 – 7.0, first to second, 6+). This is the ninth time in the last ten sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range. In fact, the last time WVKL was not in double-digits (6+) was when it registered a 9.8 three years ago – January 2014. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before slumping by eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-share since June 2015’s 4.4. Off eight-tenths via three successive (slight) negative moves (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNOH “Now 105” regains six-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and inches up from tenth to eighth. It is tied there with rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV “MOViN 107.7,” which sputters by roughly 70% (7.4 – 2.2, -5.2, 6+) and drops from third. Its combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.9 – 4.0 – 7.4, 6+) curtailed three straight downward trends resulting in a loss of eight-tenths (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+).          

7) Nashville – The top six January 2017 finishers are separated by nine-tenths of a share (6+). Just as WVKL, Norfolk was unseated in “Holiday” 2016 by a cluster-mate after more than 50 consecutive ratings periods at #1 (see above), the same fate happens this sweep in “Music City USA.” Specifically, the successive reign at the top spot ends at 59 for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9,” which has its 6+-share basically slivered in half and shifts to third (13.1 – 6.6, -6.5, 6+). “Mix” was up four shares in “Holiday” 2016 and returned to double-digits for the first time since February 2016. A +.2 back in August 2016 stymied seven straight downward trends that yielded a net loss since the “Holiday” 2015 report of -7.4 (15.6 – 10.7 – 10.2 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). Knocking “Mix” from first – and vaulting from sixth – is co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want.” Its +1.6 to 6.9 (6+) stops at three WCJK’s consecutive string of down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in exactly one year (7.1, January 2016). After sputtering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive and Encouraging K-LOVE” turns around with an approximately 80% increase (1.9 – 3.4, +1.5, #16 to #13, 6+). Posting a one-share gain, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” (eighth to sixth) extends its streak of up or flat trends to four and a net +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One of its country rivals – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM – improves by eight-tenths (5.6, 6+). “95.5 Nash Icon” moves from tenth to eighth and ends three consecutive downward moves (6.0 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), which accounted for a -1.2. In addition to “Nash Icon,” urban AC cluster-mate WQQK “92-Q” (5.6 – 6.4, flat at #5, 6+) and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (5.9 – 6.7, third to second, 6+) are up by eight-tenths as well. Prior to a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, “92-Q” was without a decrease in the previous five sweeps for a cumulative +.9 (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+). By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” (which was up one-share in “Holiday” 2016) broke an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). A string of three consecutive progressive trends by Cumulus Media’s WWTN produced a combined +.8 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “Super Talk 99.7” (flat at #7) forfeited that eight-tenths entirely in “Holiday” 2016 but rebounds in January 2017 with a +.6 (5.2 – 5.8, 6+). After each declined by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN (4.9, unchanged at #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WLAC (1.7, #19 to a three-way tie at #16, 6+) improve by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WPLN returned December’s +.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to “Holiday” 2016’s -.5, WLAC had been up the previous three ratings periods (.8 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+) for a combined +.9. Up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (0.5 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.6 – 0.9 – 1.6, 6+), Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” has more than tripled its 6+-share since September and cracks the top 20 (#19). Not only does Cumulus Media’s WGFX plummet from third to tenth, sports “104.5 The Zone” has its third straight decrease for a combined -2.3 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Roaring back from a -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” dials up a two-share increase (8.3 – 10.3, 6+) to jump from fourth to second. Moreover, “Simon” registers its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Four-tenths ahead of “Simon” is co-owned urban AC “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which records its second straight +.4 (9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+), moving from third to first with its best 6+-share since May 2016’s 10.7. Departing the top spot and seguing to fourth-place is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG (6.2, 6+), which ends three consecutive upward moves which netted a +8.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 9.7 – 15.2, 6+). Its most recent 12 (6+) fluctuations are -.9 (March); +.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.3 (June); -.7 (July); -.5 (August); +.7 (September); -.6 (October); +.4 (November), +2.4 (December); +5.5 in “Holiday” 2016; and now -9.0 (January 2017). Over and above inflating the format’s (6+) share by +1.8, the market’s two country FMs swap positions: WMAG cluster-mate WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a cumulative loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Forfeiting the +1.1 it gained in October and November (3.9 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+) with a -1.1 in December and “Holiday” (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+) iHeartMedia talker WPTI gains nine-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays at #8. Inching up from fifth to fourth, CHR sibling WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM” is a collective +1.3 via three consecutive increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). Following four successive sweeps in the lead, WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” dropped to second in “Holiday” 2016. Now in three straight declines (12.4 – 11.7 10.5 – 9.5, 6+), the Entercom rhythmic CHR is -2.9 and falls to third. A -.7 in December halted five straight increases that generated a collective +3.8 since June (8.6 – 9.8 – 10.0 – 10.1 – 10.6 – 12.4, 6+); 12.4 in November 2016 was the best-ever (6+) showing for “102 Jamz” in its PPM-history. This is the 18th successive sweep that Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is in two-share range (2.7 – 2.9, +.2, flat at #10, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WLRN racked up ten consecutive up or flat trends netting a +1.0 (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The public station (Dade County School Board) lost one-half share but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.0 (2.8 – 2.3 – 3.3, 6+) and remains in ninth-place. Steady at #4, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” gains six-tenths and is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a combined +1.3 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+).  Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC sibling WRMF (7.7 – 8.3, 6+), which returns to the top spot from #2. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. A collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1; September 2016’s 9.1 was its strongest 6+-stat since February 2016’s 9.3. Adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” surrenders its +2.7 (and two-months more) from “Holiday” 2016 (9.1 – 6.2, -2.9, 6+) and trades places with WRMF. December’s +.4 by “Sunny” curtailed a three-month slide for a cumulative -1.9 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). Off by seven-tenths and steady at #3 (5.9, 6+) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which had been up the past three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2016 increase of one-half share, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF relinquishes more than twice that gain (4.8 – 3.7, -1.1, 6+), sliding from sixth to eighth.

10) Jacksonville – The combination of a +2.1 by iHeartMedia’s WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” (10.7 – 12. 8, 6+) and a -.6.6 by Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” (14.7 – 8.1, 6+) eventuates in WQIK advancing from second to first and WEJZ sliding from first to third. This is the best-ever 6+-performance by WQIK in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). On the strength of a +.8 to 5.6 (eighth to seventh, 6+), its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” – wipes out its recent combined -.7 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). A +.5.8 in “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 14.7, 6+) returned AC cluster-mate WEJZ to double-digits (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 10.2. Sandwiched between WQIK and WEJZ in the runner-up slot (up from #5 in “Holiday” 2016) is Cox Media Group talker WOKV, which posts a +1.7 (to 8.3, 6+). That follows a collective -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 8.1 – 6.6, 6+). November 2016’s 8.9 was the highest 6+-stat for WOKV since November 2012 (9.9). With a one-half share improvement to 6.6 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (sixth to fifth) has its best 6+-showing since October’s 7.0. In four successive declines (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -3.2, tumbling from third to sixth. Co-owned WJGL “Eagle 96.9 Jacksonville’s Classic Hits” falters by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9, 6+) and slips from third to fourth. By gaining three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” pulled the plug on three consecutive monthlies without an increase that produced a -2.2 (9.3 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.1, 6+).

11) Memphis – Down a cumulative -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” breaks loose with a +1.9 to 5.8 (6+), climbing from ninth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends by “Kix 106” that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Even though co-owned WXMX improves by six-tenths (4.8, 6+) to halt three successive sweeps without an increase that produced the loss of one share (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), “98.1 Max FM Maximum Rock” actually backslides from eighth to ninth. On the flipside, a one-tenth decline notwithstanding (9.1 – 9.0, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WRBO “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B,” which was up one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, advances from third to first. “Soul Classics & Today’s R&B” had been in the runner-up spot for seven successive survey periods prior to “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back modest declines in August and September produced a combined loss of seven-tenths (8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), but WRBO wiped that out with a one-half share gain in October and a +.8 in November. It was just a one ratings period residence at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which segues to third-place. “104.5 The River” surrenders in its entirety the five shares it gained in “Holiday” 2016 (7.1 – 12.1 – 7.1, 6+). When “The River” added one share in December, it ended three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.6 (7.7 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Sputtering by -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia talker WREC responds with a +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) and carries on at #10. WREC was off by one-tenth in November, ending four consecutive progressive trends which netted a +.9 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) but was then +.8 in December. A gain of one-half share to 5.5 (6+) by urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” pulls the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a +.9 (5.9 – .9 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Elsewhere though in that iHeartMedia cluster, urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” (7.3 – 6.5, flat at #4, 6+) and urban AC KJMS “V-101” regress by eight-tenths and one-half share, respectively. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” is without an increase for the ninth consecutive time and is -3.7 since May 2016 (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+).

12) Hartford – Going into the “Holiday” 2016 report with six straight increases netting a +2.7 (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting‘s WNPR wound up forfeiting approximately half that increase (4.4, -1.4, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues as the public outlet dials up a +1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and moves from eighth to seventh. Bouncing back from a one-half share dip in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All the Hits” is +1.1 (5.2 – 4.7 – 5.8, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. As a result of December’s +.2, “Kiss” curtailed five successive down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.5 since June (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Posting a gain of one-half share in December, co-owned classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 but bounces back with a +1.0 (6.6 – 7.6, 6+ (6+) and climbs from fifth to third. The -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 completely erased the cumulative +1.5 that “The River” picked up in four straight improvements (6.6 – 7.3 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+). After slipping by six-tenths the HD2 channel of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WMRQ improves by nine-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 2.8, #11 to #9). Even though it gains back one-half of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5, +.7), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92-5” backslides from fourth to fifth. After three straight regressions producing a collective -2.3 and the station’s lowest 6+-share since March (10.1 – 9.7 – 9.2 – 7.8, 6+), “Country 92-5” picked up four-tenths in December. Albeit that is off by more than eight shares (18.4 – 10.2, -8.2, 6+), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the fifth consecutive ratings period. “Lite 100.5” had been up September through “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3). In November, “Lite 100.5” returned to double-digits (6+) after a two-month hiatus. It had been in double-digits (6+) for 13 straight ratings periods before posting a 9.3 in September and a 9.6 in October; 9.3 was its lowest 6+-showing since August 2015, when “Lite” recorded an 8.7. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24 but it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. A gain of three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX pulled the plug on four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a loss of nearly three shares (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 4.8, 6+), but “Hot 93.7” regresses by one-half share to 4.6 (6+, sixth to eighth). Gone from print are Connoisseur Media WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (#9 in “Holiday” 2016), which was without an increase for the past seven straight sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) and co-owned talk WDRC-AM (.7, #13 in “Holiday” 2016).

We Dialed Up AC for Hot Topics

| February 24, 2017

Remembering Alan Colmes

 

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

NEW YORK — Easily accessible and always highly informative, Alan Colmes was an automatic “go-to” guy for a juicy news item quote, long-form industry piece, or as a convention panelist.  Quick wit he displayed was rooted in his days as a standup comedian and Alan Colmes was indeed a “standup” individual.

Bright, friendly, and entertaining barely scratch the surface in describing this progressive voice who competed – and succeeded – in a largely conservative talk radio world.

Sadly, that distinctive voice and message was silenced yesterday (Thursday, 2/23) as Colmes died at the age of 66.

Numerous times over the last roughly 30 years, he graciously chatted with me on- and off-the-record. The following is an edited version from my long-form personality profile of Alan when I was Inside Radio’s special features editor.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

stephanie-colombini

Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average 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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

| November 29, 2016

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMulti-Media Communications Artist Jay Mohr Guests This Week on Harrison Podcast.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes nationally-syndicated Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr as a “remarkably diverse and original multi-media communications artist” and welcomes him as his guest this week on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  In addition to being heard daily as a sports talker on more than 160 stations, Mohr is an acclaimed stand-up comic (one of the “100 Greatest of All Time” according to Comedy Central) and an accomplished actor who has starred or appeared in more than 25 movies (including “Jerry McGuire” and “Picture Perfect”) and 50 television shows (including “Gary Unmarried” and “Ghost Whisperer”).  Between 1993 and 1995, he served as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.”  He’s beenmohrjay nominated for an Emmy and a Grammy.  He is the author of two best-sellers, Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live (Hachett, 2004) and No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad (Simon & Schuster, 2010).  He also hosts a weekly PodcastOne series, “Mohr Stories.”  Harrison and Mohr talk about comedy, radio (and really rip apart the PPM), and sports as well as philosophy, space and time.  Harrison says, “Mohr is startlingly candid and thoughtfully provocative.  Our audience of ‘media freaks’ around the world will love this one.”  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 and RadioInfo.com.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Four of November 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Report: Conservative Media Personality Monica Crowley Possibly Up for Trump Administrationcrowleymonica Post.  Current Fox News Channel analyst and Washington Times columnist (and former, longtime radio talk show host) Monica Crowley is reportedly being considered for a position on the Trump Administration’s communications team.  The New York Post reports that it’s unclear if Crowley is being considered for Press Secretary or another position in the West Wing.

NBA Great Elvin Hayes to Host Weekly Show on SB Nation Radio.  Basketball legend – and NBA Hall-of-Famer Elvin Hayes is debuting a new, weekly radio show on SB Nation Radio, starting this sbnationSaturday (12/3) at 12:00 midnight ET.  The show, “In the Post,” will include co-host Joe George and will “provide interviews and analysis from all the biggest newsmakers in college and pro basketball.”  SB Nation PD/COO Craig Larson states, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Elvin Hayes on the network.  There are very few athletes who have made an impact on a particular city more than Elvin has for Houston.  His combination of grace and charm are as present on radio as they have always been on the hardwood.”

Odds & Sods. Effective in the New Year, Westwood One will no longer be offering the weekend “Best of John Batchelor” program.  His nightly program on the network continues to air…..In Pittsburgh, Shelley Duffy has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KDKA, Pittsburgh where she was a personality on the afternoon drive “KDKA Afternoon News” with Robert Mangino.

Jill Stein Recount Effort/Trump ‘Voter Fraud’ Charge, Trump Transition, ‘Fake News’ Phenomenon, Ohio State Knife Attacker, Castro Death Aftermath, Holocaust Ice Dance Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  The controversy over Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s efforts to force recounts in hope that Hillary Clinton will be declared winner of the presidential race, tied with Donald Trump’s claims that millions voted fraudulently; the Trump transition and the ongoing filling of cabinet positions; talk about “fake news” and the role it played in the election; the attacks on students at Ohio State by a knife-wielding student; the death of Fidel Castro and criticism of various heads of state for praising the Cuban dictator; the bizarre holocaust-themed ice dance performed by the wife of a high-level aid to Vladimir Putin; 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.

mackquatroGraham Mack Interviews All-Girl Band Pioneer Suzi Quatro on TalkersRadio’s ‘London Calling.’  In one of the latest episodes of “London Calling,” host Graham Mack talks to Suzi Quatro in the kitchen of her Elizabethan mansion in Essex.  Suzi shares stories about life on the road in an all-girl band touring the USA before she moved to Britain, how her life changed when she met British record producer Mickie Most, and how at the age of 18 and pregnant by a married man she made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy.  She tells Mack, “I carry the stigma of that forever.”  “London Calling with Graham Mack” is a weekly show produced in the UK specifically for TalkersRadio, TALKERS magazine’s special online radio experimental workshop and program showcase.  Suzi Quatro (r) is pictured with Graham Mack (l).  To listen to the entire episode of “London Calling” please click here.

CMG’s Bill Hoffman to Receive BFoA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The third Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Broadcasters Foundation of America will go to Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman.  He will be honored during the Golden Mike Award dinner on Monday, February 27, 2017, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The gala is a major fundraiser for the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need.  Hoffman states, “I am honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation ofhoffmanbill America.  I have always been proud of our industry for the generous donations from individual broadcasters, stations, and groups across the country.  It is only with that kind of support that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to help those in our business who need it most.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason comments, “Bill is a respected leader in broadcasting, and we are proud to recognize his accomplishments at Cox and his contributions to our industry.  As a member of our Board for several years, Bill has helped us advance our mission of helping every broadcaster who qualifies for help.”  The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy.  Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund.  Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.  For more information, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

| November 15, 2016

TRN Suit Against Cumulus’ Westwood One and Others Partially Dismissed.  Oregon federal Judge Ann L. Aiken ruled yesterday (11/14) in agreement with a September recommendation by an Oregon magistrate judge to dismiss the antitrust suit filed by Talk Radio Network Enterprises LLC against Cumulus Media and other trn-logodefendants.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, TRNE filed suit against Cumulus’ Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, LLC; Compass Media Marketing; WYD Management LLC; WYM Management LLC; Lewis Dickey; and Charles Steinhauer in 2012, and amended in 2013, alleging antitrust and unfair competition violations – that the defendants had conspired to and effectively did create a monopoly in the national radio ad sales sector.  What portions of that suit that weren’t dismissed were settled in 2014.  But, TRNE filed a very similar suit again in April of this year claiming that the illegal practices were ongoing by the defendants and that TRNE had suffered new injury.  Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Ann L. Aiken dismissed seven of the allegations with prejudice and the other seven without prejudice and granted the plaintiff the leave to replead (within 30 days).  The overriding reason for dismissal cited by Judge Aiken was that, “While Plaintiffs are correct that new antitrust violations may be alleged after dates covering a prior judgment, Plaintiffs have failed to show new antitrust conduct, thus necessitating dismissal of their claims.”

CBS Names Matthew Siegel CFO of CBS RADIO.  President Andre Fernandez says that as CBS RADIO prepares to be separated from parent CBS Corp, it is putting officers in place that will help the company succeed.siegelmatthew  It names Matthew Siegel as its chief financial officer.  New York-based Siegel will “oversee all financial functions of the business, including treasury, investor relations, financial planning, corporate accounting and risk management.”  Fernandez says, “Matt’s broad financial experience serving top media organizations will help position us for continued success.”  Most recently he served as the co-CFO and treasurer of Time Warner Cable through the merger period with Charter Communications.  Prior to that, he was the senior vice president and treasurer of TWC since just prior to TWC’s separation from Time Warner.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmall53rd Anniversary of the JFK Assassination Coming Up – Investigator Mark Shaw Guests on Harrison Podcast Connecting Mysterious Death of Dorothy Kilgallen to Murder of President.  With the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination coming up on November 22, noted investigative reporter and author Mark Shaw guests on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Shaw is the author of the soon-to-be-released book The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster, 2016)Was the “What’s My Line” TV star, media icon, gossip columnist and crack investigative reporter/journalist Dorothy Kilgallen murdered for writing a tell-all book about the JFKshawmark assassination?  If so, is the main suspect in her death still at large?  These questions and more are effectively tackled in former CNN, ESPN and USA TODAY legal analyst Mark Shaw’s forthcoming book.  On interviewing the former radio talk show host and prolific author of 25 books, Harrison states, “Mark Shaw is the real deal when it comes to investigative journalism – as was Dorothy Kilgallen – one of the most important multi-media icons of the 20th century.  I loved doing this interview for two reasons.  First, as the years go by it is becoming increasingly evident that there is more to the story of JFK’s death than the official history would indicate.  Second, I take every opportunity I can to expose new generations of media practitioners to the late Dorothy Kilgallen – hands down the most important woman ever to appear on radio, television and in print in the mid-20th century… and perhaps, ever!”  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 and RadioInfo.com.

Meghan McCain Upped to Permanent Show Position at Fox News Channel.  Nationally syndicated,mccainmeghan Premiere Networks radio talk host and Fox News Channel contributor Meghan McCain is promoted by FNC to permanent co-host on the daily panel show “Outnumbered.”  The daily 12:00 noon ET show also regularly features Harris Faulkner and Sandra Smith.  McCain hosts the nightly “America Now” radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. FNC notes that McCain has served as the host of Pivot Network’s ‘TakePart Live,’ has contributed to multiple publications, including The Daily Beast, Newsweek and Time.

Odds & Sods.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America unveils its new logo (pictured here), as well as itsbfoa-logo16 redesigned website.  The charity also launched new social media sites as part of a rebranding campaign that makes it easier for broadcasters to find help and give back.  The new logo, with images of the American flag and a microphone, reinforce that the Foundation is a nationwide charity that helps broadcasters across the country.  The more user-friendly and intuitive website makes navigation to the get-help and give-back pages easier, and the new social media sites generate broader awareness among broadcasters.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Over the past few months, we’ve received more requests than ever before, within a similar timeframe.  As we get ready for our year-end donation drive, it’s important that our process is seamless and that every broadcaster knows where and how to ask for help or give back.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he spent 30 minutes uninterrupted interviewing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on his hurleyharrychristie16program this morning (11/15).  Hurley (pictured here, right, with Christie, left) says the two discussed topics including: the new state-appointed Atlantic City CEO – former U.S. Senator and former New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa – regarding the state takeover; Governor Christie’s run for president; Christie endorsing Donald Trump early on; the effect “Bridgegate” had on his presidential run; whether Christie expects to join the Trump cabinet; and the impact that “Bridgegate” has had on Christie and his family…..This change doesn’t take effect until February 28, 2017, but after 19 years in the position, Steve Fisher is leaving as EVP/chief financial officer at Entercom.  The company is seeking Fisher’s replacement and has enlisted the services of executive search firm Spencer Stuart…..New York State radio operator Galaxy Communications announces it has a new national ad sales rep firm.  Gen Media Partners is now serving as Galaxy’s exclusive national ad sales rep.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine comments, “We are very pleased to move Galaxy’s national business to the leading independent rep firm in radio.  I will sleep better at night knowing that I’m not relying on my direct competitor to oversee my national business any longer.  Gen Media’s independent standing aligns with Galaxy’s, and their experienced team knows how to increase national revenue for the independent broadcaster.”

The Trump Transition, Priebus and Bannon Appointments, Trump Protests, Sanctuary Cities/Immigration Policy, Battle for Mosul, and the Weekend’s NFL Games Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  Talk about the transition of President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration and the legacy of the Barack Obama Administration; Trump’s appointments of Reince Priebus at Chief of Staff and Steven K. Bannon as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor; the anti-Trump protests taking place in cities across the country; the several city mayors who’ve promised their towns will remain “sanctuary cities” and speculation over the Trump Administration’s eventual immigration/deportation policies; the battle to re-take Mosul from Islamic State; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

| September 6, 2016

cookehollandMillennials Schmillennials!  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents what he calls an “instant sales meeting” for managers and AEs charged with marketing talk radio.  It’s titled, “Grey Is Gold,” and offers some eye-popping facts about the value of upper-end Baby Boomers to retailers.  Cooke notes that recent studies indicate fully one-third of 18-34-year-olds have no AM/FM radio at home and that radio’s most habitual users are Baby Boomers.  Watch this video and see Cooke’s list of data points that can arm radio reps to pitch this demographic with a ton of disposable income.  Then, share it with your sales staff.  View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this page or click here.

Trey Radel Returns to Mornings on ‘92.5 Fox News’ in Naples-Fort Myers.  Prior to running for congress – and winning – Trey Radel worked in radio and television in the Naples-Fort Myers market.  In fact, he left theradeltrey morning show gig at Sun Broadcast Group’s WSFX “92.5 Fox News” to run for office.  But once in Washington, Radel had a run-in with the law, getting busted buying cocaine.  He gave up his seat, cleaned up and started a media consulting firm.  The opportunity to get back into radio came up when WSFX morning host Drew Steele resigned to take a position with KSL-TV, Salt Lake City.  Radel did fill-in work this summer before being officially named the new morning host last week.  Read the Naples Daily News account here.

GCN to Continue Providing Affiliates with Dr. Joy Browne Show Until Replacement is Set – Special Series of Tribute Shows Begins this Friday (9/9).   Because of the “timeless” nature of most of her shows, Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has announced that it will continue providing the large roster of the late Dr. Joy Browne’s affiliates with re-runs and “best of” programs from the iconic talk show host’s extensive archives for the next two weeks, punctuated by a series of three live “tribute” shows.  The tribute shows will begcn logo hosted and organized by her close friend, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The Dr. Joy Browne program airs weekdays between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET.  The special tribute shows will run live on Friday, September 9 through Tuesday, September 13 presenting a combination of radio industry guests and listener calls discussing the life, career and work of the legendary broadcaster.  Between Wednesday, September 14 and Friday, September 16, GCN will provide the affiliates with more archival Dr. Joy Browne content.  After that, beginning Monday, September 19, the time slot will indefinitely be hosted live by Michael Harrison until a permanent replacement is named.  Upon agreeing to keep the seat warm, Harrison states, “It is an honor to serve as interim host of Joy’s program.  I deeply believe in her mission and the importance of keeping generalist, non-specifically political talk programming alive within the context of ‘news/talk’ during the daytime hours.  I will do my best to provide her wonderful affiliates and audience with a meaningful listening experience within that time-honored radio tradition.”  Harrison says he has cleared his schedule during that time slot for at least the rest of 2016 but will step out during that time frame if and when “a permanent replacement is named.”  Simultaneously, GCN will be continuing to offer Dr. Joy Browne’s radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide on a separate channel.

GCN Head Ted Anderson Expresses Deep Sentiments About the Passing of Dr. Joy Browne.  In a statement to TALKERS, GCN founder and CEO Ted Anderson says, “I started listening to talk radio in the 1980s. Over my tenure I became a fan of Click & Clack [Tom and Ray Magliozzi], Bill Nye, and of course the beloved Dr. Joy Browne. As a business entrepreneur, it was natural for me to market my wares over the platform of talkbrownejoy radio. Developing the Genesis Communications Network became the best solution for a long term sustainable platform to reach a very loyal listening audience. As a radio fan iconic figures like Dr. Joy Browne were larger than life. Though Dr. Joy’s work and ethics far exceeded all expectations, having the chance to know her personally, I found a very down to earth non-egotistical, emotionally secure and may I add sexy woman. One could say that there are milestones business owners can refer to referencing success. Having the honor of producing the Dr. Joy Browne show will always be on the top of my list of accomplishments.  My staff always found it to be a pleasure to work with Dr. Joy and we all are heartbroken from her sudden departure.  In Dr. Joy’s honor, gcnlive.com will be continuing to offer her radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide.  Dr. Joy, I’ll always miss you.”  Dr Joy Browne’s radio program was the longest running of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country.  Her show offered millions of devoted listeners compassionate, practical and substantive advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage, finance, work and career.  Dr. Joy has won numerous awards for her work including the American Psychological Association’s President’s Award, the TALKERS magazine award for Best Female Talk Show Host (two years in a row), #10 on the list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, and she has been named one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (The Heavy Hundred) every year since that list’s inception the early 1990s.

Fox News Settles with Gretchen Carlson; Issues Apology.  Numerous media reports are indicating that Fox News has settled the sexual harassment suit brought against its former chief Roger Ailes by on-air personalitycarlsongretchen Gretchen Carlson for the sum of $20 million.  The organization also issued an apology via a statement that reads, in part, “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism.  She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans.  We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team.  We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”  Meanwhile, another former Fox News personality – Andrea Tantaros – is suing the organization for sexual harassment, as well.  However, Fox News attorneys filed to move the Tantaros suit to arbitration and, in doing so, called her an opportunist who is using the Carlson suit to obscure her alleged breach of contract.

Greta Van Susteren Abruptly Exits Fox News Channel.  This morning’s surprise announcement by Fox News that 14-year Fox News Channel fixture Greta Van Susteren has exited the organization immediately comes vansusterengretaas a shock to the public and industry insiders alike.  In a press release, Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy praised Van Susteren for her contributions to the network.  Separately, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz is reporting that after Roger Ailes was ousted as Fox investigated allegations of sexual harassment against him, Van Susteren asked to renegotiate her contract and, when that didn’t happen, she exercised the “key man” clause in her contract that allowed her to leave if Ailes left.  Brit Hume is assuming the hosting of the 7:00 pm ET “On the Record” program.

herskovitzalThe Joy of Bundling.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about a prescription for making those well-produced but oft-neglected weekend specialty shows profitable for the producers.  Sure, they serve the stations well enough.  They provide quality weekend programming that address lifestyle topics.  But, too often the producers have to scrape just to get by.  Enter: bundling.  Read Al’s piece here.

The Presidential Race, The Labor Day Holiday, G20 Summit, Philippines’ Duterte Assaults Obama, Ongoing Kaepernick ‘Anthem’ Protest Issue, Saudi Arabia-Russia Oil Agreement, Merkel Party Defeat, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Labor Day holiday; the G20 Summit meeting in Hangzhou, China, including President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin regarding Syria; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal assault on President Obama; the ongoing controversy over Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protests; the agreement between Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia to stabilize oil prices; Germany’s Angela Merkel suffers defeat as her party loses in weekend elections and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  It’s football season again and Westwood One celebrating its 30th season as the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League.  It’s providing play-by-play coverage of the NFL’s national regular season package of primetime games and all postseason games, including Super Bowl LI.  WW1 says that in addition to those 70 contests, it will broadcast 17 Sunday afternoon doubleheaders, resulting in a record-high 104 total NFL game broadcasts this season.  The season kicks off this Thursday with the Panthers at the Broncos…..Satcaster SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the 2016 NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game, plus in-depth NFL talk on its NFL Radio channel.  SiriusXM’s NFL schedule will also include multiple Spanish-language broadcasts on SiriusXM channel 157 each week, including all primetime games on Sunday and Monday nights, the Thursday Night Kickoff game, Thanksgiving Day games, and select Sunday afternoon games during the regular season.  Listeners will also get Spanish-language broadcasts for every playoff game.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

| July 6, 2016

cbsradio logoReport: CBS RADIO IPO Coming by End of the Month.  That’s the story from Bloomberg News after it became aware of a prospectus for senior notes for CBS RADIO due in 2020.  The piece notes that this is an indication it does not have a qualified buyer interested in the 177-station group valued at approximately $2.9 billion.  Industry watchers did not expect a single buyer to appear and the sell-off was widely anticipated, but now we know it’s happening soon.  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Weekend Terror Attacks in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, Battle Against Islamic State, Rio Olympics Troubles and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5).  The FBI’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the aftermath of weekend terror attacks in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh; the efforts to stop Islamic State forces in the Middle East and to prevent IS-inspired terror attacks abroad; the reported troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games; 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.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallEntercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary Joins Michael Harrison This Week on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In what Michael Harrison describes as “an amazing conversation” about radio, music, politics, sports, media and the generational divide, he and Entercom Communications VP/Boston market manager Phil Zachary engage in a candid, illuminating dialogue on this week’s episode of the PodcastOne award-winning show, “Up Close and Far Out.”  As market manager of Entercom’s Boston properties, Zachary oversees tremendously important and influential properties including legendary rock emporium, WAAF-FM; heritagezacharyphil news/talker WRKO-AM; groundbreaking hyper-local sports talk giant WEEI-FM; ESPN Radio 850 AM; and the Boston Red Sox Radio Network.  Harrison says, “I am particularly delighted to have Phil Zachary as my guest on this program.  He is a seasoned 43-year veteran of many formats of radio who has served as a programmer, manager and executive with such major operations as CBS, iHeart, Curtis and now Entercom.  Phil is clearly one of the smartest people in the business and really has the opportunity to expound deeply on a wide variety of topics within the format of this podcast.  This conversation is a ‘media freak’s delight!”  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Former Fox News Personality Gretchen Carlson Files Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Suit Against Roger Ailes.  Eleven-year Fox News Channel personality Gretchen Carlson exited the network on June 23 and today is announcing she’s filing a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Fox News chairman and CEOcarlsongretchen Roger Ailes.  Carlson was part of the three-person morning show “Fox & Friends” from 2005 through foxnewschannel2013.  Since leaving that program she’d been hosting “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily  Among the allegations Carlson levels against Ailes is that after complaining about workplace inequality, Ailes made sexual advances toward her – which she rebuffed – and as a result was “fired” from the “Fox & Friends” show and moved to the less-watched afternoon daypart.  The suit is filed in Superior Court in New Jersey and details a list of allegations of sexually-charged comments and other wrongful behavior by Ailes.  Ailes and Fox News have not publicly responded to the suit.

William J. Kelly Hosts Middays at WCGO, Chicago; Adds Sales Manager Duties.  At the Kovas Family GST Trust-owned talk station WCGO, Chicago, William J. Kelly’s “The Citizen Kelly Show” program moves into wcgo logothe midday slot and Kelly adds station sales manager duties to his responsibilities.  Kelly comments, “I’m thrilled to be moving to middays at WCGO.  To me, this move represents an opportunity to make Chicago radio great again.  Great like it once was but isn’t now.  With ‘The Citizen Kelly Show,’ first, we will capture the hearts and minds of people throughout Chicagoland and then…the world.”

Odds & Sods.  The Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that WVEE, Atlanta “V103” morningcameronryan personality Ryan Cameron is joining Mike Conti on sister sports talker WZGC “92.9 The Game” for Atlanta Falcons pre-game shows this fall.  Ho reports the urban contemporary personality has been making recent appearances on WZGC shows to talk sports.  Cameron will work from the Georgia Dome for home games and from the WZGC studios for away games…..Former WLW, Cincinnati personality Marc Amazon is launching a podcast titled, “Surviving the Startup.”  In describing the show, Amazon says, “Think ‘Shark Tank’ minus the investing part.”  Each show will feature Amazon, along with a successful entrepreneur co-host, hearing pitches for startups.  The co-hosts will rotate with each episode.  The podcast will be available via iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.

Monday, June 27, 2016

| June 27, 2016

WGN, Chicago Renews Steve Cochran Through 2020.  This is the latest in a series of contract renewals at Tribune’s news/talker WGN Radio.  Morning drive host Steve Cochran’s pact with the station is extended through 2020.  Station VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Steve makes it look easy with hiscochransteve affable brand of intelligence, but nobody works harder to gather and share the stories Chicagoans care about.  He’s got the raw talent and work ethic we need for many years to come.”  The Cochran morning show team includes co-anchor and reporter Andrea Darlas, news by Steve Grzanich, sports by Dave Eanet and traffic by Mary Van De Velde.  Last week, the station made public new deals for afternoon drive star Roe Conn and, on Friday, an extension for programmer Manley.  Cochran worked at WGN from 2000 through 2010 when he was let go.  He rejoined WGN in 2013.  In a story this morning by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cochran speaks glowingly about the new regime at WGN – and rather frankly about the one that fired him.  You can read Feder’s piece here.

Melissa Harrison Named AM Co-Anchor at KRLD, Dallas.  News pro Melissa Harrison becomes part ofkrld logo the KRLD Morning News alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, beginning Friday, July 1.  harrisonmelissaHarrison has most recently been working as a freelance reporter for KXAS-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.  She formerly worked as a television news reporter in New York, Birmingham, Jackson, Waco, and Abilene.  KRLD director of news and programming Paul Mann says, “Melissa’s extensive journalism experience will further strengthen the award-winning KRLD news team.  As with co-anchors Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, Melissa’s roots run deep in North Texas and she is passionate about our community.”

‘Brexit’ Vote/Financial Markets Activity, The Presidential Race, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, Coming SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, Sacramento Rally Violence, and MLB Action and Copa America Final Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton plus the hiring of former Trump aid Corey Lewandowski by CNN; the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling halting President Obama’s immigration executive orders; this week’s expected ruling by the Supreme Court on Texas’ abortion laws; the violent clash of protestors at a ‘white power’ rally in Sacramento; and MLB action and the Copa America soccer final were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Radio personality Anthony Cumia has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor  charges – third-degreecumiaanthony assault and a charge of blocking someone’s breathing – related to an incident with his then-girlfriend in December of 2015.  Cumia – former partner of Gregg “Opie” Hughes on both SiriusXM and AM/FM radio – currently hosts an internet talk program.  Newsday is reporting that Cumia must complete six tradupfeder16months of outpatient alcohol abuse treatment and a six-month batterer’s intervention program.  Upon completion of those programs, he can get the charges reduced to non-criminal harassment counts…..Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tips TALKERS magazine that Chicago media writer Robert Feder is celebrating his 36th year in the business of covering radio and television in the Windy City.  Tradup and Feder recently shared a lunch in Chicago where Tradup was once president and general manager of news/talk WLS-AM…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive live coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 beginning today through the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10.  The broadcasts are airing courtesy of rightsholder ESPN Audio…..Audio content aggregator TuneIn is now offering Scripps-owned Newsy’s daily news reporting.  TuneIn premium subscribers can access two weekly podcasts focused on politics — “Newsy Politics” — and culture — “Givin’ Takes” – plus three daily podcasts focused on U.S. and world news; tech, science and health; and current events…..Alpha Media’s Salina, Kansas news/talker KSAL-AM “NewsRadio 1150” collects two honors in the 2016ksal Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  KSAL was named “Favorite Radio Station.”  KSAL personality Clarke Sanders was chosen “Favorite Radio Host.”  Fellow staffers Rich Alexander and Mike Hammett were finalists in the host category.  Alpha Salina market manager Bob Protzman says, “We’re very proud of Alpha Media’s representation in the 2016 Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  Once again, ‘News Radio 1150’ KSAL takes ‘Favorite Radio Station’ showing that AM radio is alive and well – all it takes is quality local programming.”

biakelseyBIA Kelsey Releases State of Radio Industry Report.  As part of its state of the radio industry report, BIA Kelsey releases “The Position of Local Radio Stations: Trends for 2016 & Beyond.”  Using data from Nielsen Audio, Edison Research, Miller Kaplan, and more, the study looks at AM/FM radio’s reach and revenue over the past five years and projects where radio is likely to be five years down the road.  It notes recent industry-wide dips in local station revenue.  “We believe local radio stations will be able to turn around this negative over-the-air revenue growth slightly.  As long as the economy maintains moderate growth in the next few years, we expect total radio advertising to grow in the 1.0 % to 1.25 % CAGR range.”  The BIA Kelsey study also points to digital and live events as pieces of the radio revenue pie that have helped AM/FM survive spot sales declines that will continue to be crucial to radio’s bottom line in the years ahead.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

| June 16, 2016

iheartmedia logo smallDan Mason Named Senior Advisor for Broadcast Relations at iHeartMedia.  Longtime CBS RADIO president Dan Mason – a year after retiring from that position – is joining iHeartMedia in the newly created position senior advisor for broadcast relations.  Mason will report to iHeartMedia CEO and chairman Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler.  In a press release, iHeartMedia describes Mason’s role this way: “Mason will advise Pittman and Bressler on current and developing issues important to iHeartMedia and themasondan broadcast radio industry; additionally, he will focus most of his attention and time on important issues affecting the broadcast industry, working with other broadcasters, vendors, government relations and important industry associations, including the National Association of Broadcasters.”  Pittman is quoted saying, “I’ve known and deeply respected Dan for decades.  Given his long and deep relationships with the broadcast industry, we feel he is ideally suited to establishing deeper and more constant communications with everyone associated with the radio industry on an ongoing and timely basis.  We look forward to Dan’s wise counsel on important broadcast issues.”  Mason very recently spoke in-depth with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on Harrison’s PodcastOne show, “Up Close and Far Out.” Listen to that here.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Names Dan Mason Chairperson.  It’s a big news day for Dan Mason as this election to chairperson of the Broadcasters Foundation of America position comes at the same time as his joining iHeartMedia.  Mason has served as co-vice-chairperson of the BFoA since June of last year, following his retirement as president and chief executive officer of CBS RADIO.  He assumes this chairmanship role from Phil Lombardo, chief executive officer of Citadel Communications, who is retiring from the position after 13 years and who is being recognized for his service with the title of chair emeritus.  Also retiring from the board are George Beasley and David Barrett.  Named to the board at yesterday’s elections in New York City are: Caroline Beasley, interim chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group; Perry Sook, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group; and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television.  In addition, Bill Hoffman, president of Cox Media Group, will now serve as co-vice chair with Richard A. Foreman, president and chief executive officer of Richard A. Foreman Associates, and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group, will take over as treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Gun Control Filibuster, The Presidential Race, Disney Toddler Gator Death, Iran-Boeing Deal, ‘Brexit’ Issue, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15).  The aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre; the filibuster by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to force votes on gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president; the death of a toddler attacked in a lake at Disney World; the deal in which Iran will buy airplanes from Boeing; the ‘campaigning’ ahead of next week’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

boersterryBoers to Be Off ‘The Score’ in Chicago for Medical Leave.  Chicago sports talk figure Terry Boers is taking about two months off of the WSCR afternoon show “Boers & Bernstein” to deal with an unspecified medical issue.  Boers told “Score” listeners his surgery is one that has to be done, but said little more about it.  ChicagoRadioandMedia reports that the station will be using a rotating cast of fill-in hosts alongside Dan Bernstein during Boers’ absence.  The Chicago media news site also reports the 66-year-old Boers is considering full or semi-retirement from his almost-25-year sports talk career.

engvallbillBill Engvall Show Joins PodcastOne Lineup.  Comic Bill Engvall is the first to enter the on-demand audio world from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour team.  PodcastOne says his “My Two Cents with Bill Engvall” brings that same humor, along with celebrity interviews, personal stories and, of course, his “two cents” on current events.   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bill is hilarious and a great addition to our comedy lineup.  Plus, he’s squeaky clean for those big brands out there looking for mass audience in a safe setting.  It’s really cool for people who have felt a personal connection to him with his relatable work thus far, to be able to step into this new world.”

Odds & Sods.  Washington all-news WTOP-FM was recognized in seven out of eight categories at Tuesday’s DCwtop logo NEW 1-15 Society of Professional Journalists Dateline awards.  The WTOP staff won as a whole for its coverage of the Metro smoke incident in the “Breaking News” category, and for the visit of Pope Francis in the “Non-Breaking News” category.  Individual accolades were presented to WTOP’s Jamie Forzato, Noah Frank, Andrew Mollenbeck, Chris Core and Paula Wolfson…..New Orleans Saints great Deuce McAllister is joining the radio broadcast booth for Saints games his year.  Entercom’s news/talk WWL, New Orleans is the team’s flagship station and McAllister will work in the booth alongside Saints Radio Network play-by-play announcer Jim Henderson.  McAllister takes over for the late Hokie Gajan…..iHeartMedia’s country outlet WDSD, Wilmington re-ups with University of Delaware Athletics cookeRakovan16and Blue Hens IMG Sports Marketing for a multi-year deal to broadcast Delaware football and men’s basketball game broadcasts…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting coverage of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft on next Thursday (6/23).  FSR weekend personality and former NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos, FS1 NBA Insider Bill Reiter and FOXSports.com/FS1 College Basketball Insider Reid Forgrave will lead the network’s live coverage of the draft beginning at 7:00 pm ET…..At this week’s convention in Champaign, the Illinois Broadcasters Association awarded its fourth-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to recently retired Radio Advertising Bureau SVP Dick Rakovan, pictured above at right with consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke at left, who worked for Rakovan on three separate occasions.

kilmeadeFLAKilmeade on the Scene in Orlando with Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM.  In this week’s aftermath of the Orlando club massacre, news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando and FOX News Radio have been working more closely.  The station has been airing the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends” show, pre-empting its other programming.  The Brian Kilmeade-hosted show originated from WDBO’s studios on Monday and Tuesday, and WDBO-FM morning host Joe Kelley has been appearing on Kilmeade’s program providing insight.  FNR says notable guests on the show this week have included:  Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as well as Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton.  Kilmeade is pictured here interviewing two women who attended a vigil for the victims at the Dr. Philips Center in Downtown Orlando.

New Affiliates for WYM Media Management Shows.  The WYM Media Management staff has been busymillerstephanie securing new affiliates for its talk shows.  Some of the new deals include the Herman Cain show adding WEEB-AM, Raleigh-Durham; KTMS-AM, Santa Barbara; WQSC-AM/WJQB-AM, Charleston, South Carolina; WDXZ-AM, Mobile-Pensacola; and WHEE-AM Roanoke-Lynchburg; the Thom Hartmann show now airing on WCAP, Lowell and the Stephanie Miller show joining KKSF, San Francisco.

holdtheirfeet16Burning Issue of Immigration Policy to Be Front and Center at Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2016.  The annual Washington, DC radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform takes place next Wednesday and Thursday at the Phoenix Park Hotel from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm each day.  Fifty talk show hosts will be broadcasting live from the radio row and will be speaking with leading members of congress, sheriffs, ICE officials, police union officials and more.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “This event provides the public with insight, clarity, choices, and solutions that emerge during the dialogue between our public officials and talk radio hosts.  More importantly, it is about holding our elected leaders accountable for securing the borders, enforcing immigration laws, and reforming our policies so that America’s broad national interests are properly served.”

harrisonBoldGold16soloFreedom of Speech Major Topic at Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Dinner — Harrison Warns Challenging Times Ahead for Free Speech Under Hillary or Trump.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation held its second annual fundraising dinner on Tuesday evening (6/14) at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The foundation was launched two years ago by Bold Gold Broadcast Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto to provide education and training support, as well as funding, to educational institutions and organizations that are preparing America’s future communicators.  Two of the main speakers of the evening were keynoter James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel and special remarks presenter Michael Harrison (top left) of TALKERS magazine.  Rosen discussed his ongoing battles against government censorship and personal harassment at the hands of the US Department of Justice and the US Department of State as well as his latest book, Cheney One on One: A Candid Conversation with America’s Most Controversial Statesman (Regnery 2016).  Harrison delivered a dynamic overview of the importance of the First Amendment as the “very foundation of everything that we believe America symbolizes and what it truly means from the perspective of day-to-day reality.”  Harrison, a charter member of the foundation’s board of directors, warned,harrisonBoldGold16group “Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is elected the next president, based on the track records and character of each, we can be sure it will be a challenging four or eight years for those who are charged with supporting the tenets of free speech in America.  We must remain vigilant or these will be truly dark times ahead!”  Since its founding, the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation has provided funds to build a college radio station on the campus of Hillsdale College in Michigan and a sister facility at the highly regarded school’s Kirby Center in Washington, DC.   Pictured at right are (from l-r): Vince Benedetto, James Rosen and Michael Harrison.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

| June 9, 2016

wscr logoCBS RADIO’s WSCR, Chicago Latest to Be Charged with Violating Texting Laws; Class Action Suit Seeks $1,500 Per Violation.  About a week after iHeartMedia settled a similar suit for allegedly violating a tenet of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, CBS RADIO’s Chicago sports talker WSCR is being sued in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin in a class action by a woman alleging the station sent, using an auto-dialer, numerous texts to her TracFone without her permission.  Her TracFone contract required she be charged for every call or text sent or received.  It’s unknown if others will join the class action and it’s likely the case will ultimately be settled out of court.  Lead plaintiff Elaine Bonin is asking for treble damages for each violation — $1,500 per – and attorney’s fees.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

hewitthughTrump Adviser Wants Hugh Hewitt Banned from RNC.  In a tweet responding to comments made by Salem Radio Network syndicate talk host Hugh Hewitt, Trump campaign adviser Dan Scavino suggests that if Hewitt continues his opposition to Donald Trump as the GOP nominee for president, the Republican National Committee should ban him from the convention.  Hewitt said on his radio show he believes the RNC should take steps to change the rules at the convention so that delegates will be free to vote for whomever they like.  At the same time, former SRN morning drive personality Bill Bennett told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly that he disagrees with his former colleague and doesn’t believe there’s a chance the RNC will change the convention rules.

The Presidential Race, Trump University Case, Battle Against Islamic State, Retail Job Cuts, Stanford Rape Case Aftermath, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8).  The activities of the candidates for president, including Hillary Clinton’s California primary victory and Bernie Sanders’ scheduled meeting with President Obama and Harry Reid; the court case against the defunct Trump University and the controversy over Donald Trump’s statements about the judge in the case; the battle against Islamic State for control of Fallujah and reports the organization is purging alleged spies; the recent report of widespread job cuts in the retail sector; the aftermath of the sentencing phase of the Stanford rape case; 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.

wralsportsfanCapitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh Sports Talkers to Video Stream Local Shows.  There are now 10 hours of local sports talk programming available to Raleigh fans via video now that Capitol Broadcasting is offering the service via WRALsportsfan.com and the WRALsportsfan app.  The company’s two sports talkers – WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “Buzz Sports Radio” – are the homes of local shows “The Morning Show w/Mike, Lauren & Demetri,” “The Sports Shop w/Reese & Kmac,” and “Adam & Joe.”  Operations manager and program director Dennis Glasgow says, “This is just another fantastic opportunity for our listeners and users to consume sports radio in Raleigh.  People have been able to listen via the web to our local shows for years, but there are only a handful of stations that can offer the ability to watch their local programming, and we’re proud to bring that as another option to our loyal audience.”

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new five-year deal that will put Texas A&M play-by-play on Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “97.5 ESPN Houston” and KGOW “Yahoo! Sports Radio” in Houston.  The deal begins with this fall’s football games and includes men’s basketball and the associated coaches’ shows…..Chicago news/talk radio producer Bryan Biggs is joining Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM to produce the Big John Howell morning show.  Biggs produced Howell’s program when the two worked together at Salem Media’s crosstown news/talk WIND…..Fort Wayne’s legendary WOWO announces it has all seven of the audio segments documenting its illustrious history available via the station’s website.  Federated Media’s WOWO celebrated 90 years of service last year and now the entire audio history – a full two-and-a-half hours of content – is available for download…..FOX Sports Radio will be on-site at the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania next week with coverage of the championship by radio personalities Jay Mohr, Steve Gorman and JT the Brick.  Over the weekend, national anchor Dan Beyer will provide updates to affiliates.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

| March 29, 2016

pagliarulojoeGrowing Joe Pags Show Hits 50-Affiliate Mark.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo and syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is in expansion mode and recently hit the 50-affiliate mark with the addition of E.W. Scripps’ KQTH, Tucson and Bicoastal Media Licenses’ KMED, Medford, Oregon to its roster of stations.  Joe Pags tells TALKERS magazine that his team had the goal of adding 50 stations in a year and has accomplished the feat in just eight months.  He also says he’s pleased to announce they have a number of station additions “in the hopper” and hope to announce confirmed additions soon.  Besides his daily program, Pagliarulo is also heard across the country on more than 200 affiliate stations on Saturdays hosting the Premiere Networks program “The Weekend.”  For more about the Joe Pags show, click here.

wrightnickNick Wright Exiting KILT-AM, Houston for Fox Sports One Gig.  The KILT-AM, Houston “Sports Radio 610” morning drive co-host is not specific in his farewell to listeners but says he’s pursuing “a dream come true” with his move to Los Angeles to host a national cable TV show on FOX Sports’ FS1 channel.  Nick Wright joined CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM in 2012 after working at KCSP, Kansas City.  He’s been co-hosting the morning show with John Lopez.  He says he’ll announce more about what he’ll be doing at FS1 “within the coming days and weeks.”

rosenjamesFox News Journalist Rosen Supports Bold Gold Foundation.  Journalist James Rosen addressed a private audience of Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation supporters in Honesdale, Pennsylvania on Saturday (3/26).  The Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent (and host of the online show “The Foxhole”) spoke about a number topics, including the important work the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation is undertaking to help educate and train tomorrow’s broadcast and communications leaders.  Regular TALKERS readers may be aware that the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation helped Hillsdale College build its first radio station and broadcast program on its main campus in Hillsdale, Michigan, as well as its state-of-the-art studio at the school’s Kirby Center forboldgoldfounation Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.  Speaking about his appearance, Rosen stated, “Every single student I met there was just the kind of young person that you pray America will keep producing to stay America, and by establishing a student radio station to help that student population explore and understand media, that’s real service the Bold Gold Foundation is providing.”  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto comments, “James sets a very high bar for journalistic excellence and, as such, is an outstanding and inspirational example to young people everywhere who seek a future in broadcast media.  We’re grateful for his interest in, and support of, our Foundation’s efforts.”  At Saturday’s event it was announced that Rosen will be coming back to Northeast Pennsylvania to be the keynote speaker at the Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre on June 14.  For more information about how you can be a part of this annual event featuring Mr. Rosen, visit:  www.BoldGold.org.

hurleykelliHurley Upped to VP of Digital Sales for Westwood One. Media sales pro Kelli Hurley is promoted from her VP, national partnerships and digital activation, Midwest position with Westwood One to vice president, digital sales for the entire network. In this role, Hurley will oversee all sales efforts for the company’s portfolio of digital products — including streaming audio, on demand, and podcasting — and will continue to develop new content partnerships. Chicago-based Hurley will report directly to Westwood One president Steve Shaw. During her career, Hurley has served with Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks, and TargetSpot.

Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)WTMJ, Milwaukee to Air Special Coverage of Tonight’s GOP Town Hall.  This evening’s GOP Town Hall meeting at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee will feature remaining Republican contenders Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John KasichE.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee announces it will present special coverage of the event, including carrying the audio simulcast from CNN’s telecast.  WTMJ will add one hour of special coverage with a special focus on local issues in advance of the three-hour event.  WTMJ president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “When news is made in Milwaukee, WTMJ is there to cover it.  We are ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ and that means delivering live and local coverage on which our listeners can depend.”

Odds & Sods.  Tomorrow (3/30), sports talk personality Marc James is sitting in for Jim Rome on hisjamesmarc nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio Network program.  James most recently was morning drive co-host at CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”…..Ratings results for the Fall 2015 period (September 10 – December 2) based on Nielsen Audio data are being reported by ESPN Radio and the network says its quarter-hour impressions (Monday – Sunday, 6a-6p) were up 18% over the same period in 2014.  Additionally, the company says ESPN Streaming is up 28% over last year…..Pubcasters Chicago Public Media and Window to the World Communications are literally linking their newsrooms in a cooperative venture.  The operators of WBEZ-FM and WTTW-TV, respectively, are linking the newsrooms in order to share reporters and correspondents for WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” and WBEZ’s news programming.  A robotic camera is being installed at WBEZ and an audio link will allow WTTW reporters to appear on WBEZ shows…..At public radio news/talk WFPL, Louisville, Bill Burton is the new local host and producer of NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  Also, Kathi Lincoln joins the station as midday host and producer.

berniernapolitano16Here Comes the Judge.  Pictured here on the stage at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University are Fox News senior legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano (left) and WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon drive personality Marc Bernier (right).  Bernier notes that with an FBI investigation looming over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and an opening on the Supreme Court, there was plenty to discuss before the audience at the university-sponsored event, “An Evening with Fox News Sr. Legal Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.”  Photo: Jack H. Taylor

The Presidential Race, the Aftermath of the Brussels Terror Attacks, Taliban Targets Christians in Pakistan Terror Bombings, FBI Accesses San Bernardino Attacker’s iPhone, Battle Against Islamic State-Crucifixion of Priest, ‘Convention of States’ Movement, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  The activities of the candidates for president; the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels; the deadly targeting of Christians in Pakistan by Taliban terrorists on Easter Sunday; the FBI calls off its legal action against Apple after gaining access to an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and the organization’s execution of a Catholic priest via crucifixion; the “convention of states” movement to circumvent congress feels momentum; and the Final Four were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

| March 3, 2016

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Named TALKERS 2016 Humanitarian of the Year.  Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2016 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The annual honor, also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award, is presented to a radio talk show host who has performed noteworthy charitable or public service initiatives on behalf of his or her listeners and community.  For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations.  For example, on the third Friday in June each year, Hurley hosts a blow-out massive charity golf tournament.  This year’s installment will take place on June 17, 2016 at the Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.  Hurley’s eighth annual dinner scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2016 at Congress Hall,hurleycongresshallevent (America’s seaside resort), co-headlined this year with Joe Piscopo of WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer,” is also a highly successful charity silent auction fundraising event. In making the announcement of Hurley being this year’s choice for the prestigious award, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This award has special significance to the Harrison family, the TALKERS organization and everyone who knew Sharon personally because it represents the absolute best that the radio industry can be on a fundamental human level.  The recipients of this honor stand tall as role models for what the radio industry should be. Harry Hurley is the quintessential positive morning personality and shines as a beacon of hope for radio and humanity.  The people of Atlantic City are blessed to have him as a staple of their airwaves.  He is a true natural resource like their wonderful beaches and shoreline.”  Harry Hurley will be presented the honor during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20, 2016 at Hofstra University. For more conference details see stories below.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh to Appear Live on Fox News Channel.  As much as the players in Washington pay attention to what talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh says on his show, Limbaugh himself rarely appears on other programs.  One of those rare appearances takes place on Sunday as the Premiere Networks star will speak with Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace on the “FOX News Sunday” program.  During the live interview, Limbaugh will talk with Wallace about 2016 presidential elections, frontrunner Donald Trump, Super Tuesday results and tonight’s GOP presidential debate taking place on Fox News Channel.

Presidential Race/Super Tuesday Results, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Apple vs FBI, Russian Air Strikes in Syria, and U.S. Immigration Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/2).  The aftermath of the Super Tuesday primary elections; former Hillary Clinton staffer Bryan Pagliano gets immunity in the private email server investigation; the debate over whether Apple should help the FBI get into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; Russia’s continued air strikes in Syria during the “cease fire” period; and the future of America’s immigration policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Two new shows are added at Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN.” First, thewxos logo station’s Dan Bettlach partners with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford to co-host “St. Louis Hockey Central” every Wednesday evening at 7:00.  Also, the “Barclays Premier League Now” soccer talk show will air on Saturdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am…..This Sunday evening’s Democratic presidential debate from Flint, Michigan on CNN will be simulcast for radio by Westwood One.  It will air at 8:00 pm and be moderated by Anderson Cooper…..Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine begins a special six-week series of talk shows on SiriusXM.  The program is called “The Mayor,” and will feature Levine – newly elected mayor of one of America’s most diverse cities – to speak with fellow elected officials about important issues facing the country’s cities and states, with topics ranging from crime to the environment to the underreported challenges of improving lazerbroadcasting logoinfrastructure around the country…..Spanish-language broadcaster Lazer Broadcasting Corporation – owner of more than 20 stations – has been selected Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ “2015 Hispanic Radio Station of the Year.”  Radio personalities Salvador Prieto and Jessica Calvario, co-hosts of the morning show, “El Show del Prieto,” accepted the award at a recent ceremony in Orlando.  Representatives from the charity’s 170 member hospitals gathered with corporate and media partners to honor those who raise critical funds and awareness for children’s hospitals across North America.  Lazer Broadcasting Corporation has donated more than $4.3 million since its participation six years ago.

smithkennyPodcastOneKenny Smith Podcast Launches on PodcastOne.  The latest in a series of NBA-themed podcasts launches on PodcastOne with NBA great Kenny Smith’s new show.  Smith – a two-time NBA champ and current TNT personality, kicked off his new show with a Houston Rockets championship team reunion featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Horry, Clyde Drexler and Sam CassellCharles Barkley and Reggie Miller also join the show with some conversation from the recent NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto.  The show will also feature Smith’s wife, Gwen Osborne-Smith (pictured here with Smith), who joins the show each week for “60-seconds with Gwen,” a five-question rapid fire with players and celebrities.  New episodes will be available every Wednesday.

rabRAB: Radio’s Off-Air and Digital Segments Extending Medium’s ‘Umatched Reach.’  Using data from Miller Kaplan Arase comparing 2015 revenue data to the same from 2014, the Radio Advertising Bureau states that “radio boasts the broadest mass reach among all media while simultaneously affording narrow targeting capabilities through numerous program formats and networks.”  Ending 2015 basically flat at -1% from an industry-wide revenue standpoint, the radio sector enjoyed growth in off-air revenue of 11% ($2.04 billion) and a rise in digital revenue of 5% ($1.02 billion).  Spot revenue was down 3% from 2014 to 2015.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “More and more advertisers are extending the unmatched reach of broadcast radio by taking advantage of radio’s off-air and digital options.  By using radio stations’ digital and off-air platforms, advertisers are extending the scope and reach of their messaging – and because more and more consumers are enjoying experiential events or spending time on devices, off-air opportunities can build on the strength of broadcast radio and provide the ability to reach them effectively and efficiently.”

Friday, February 12, 2016

| February 12, 2016

johnsonchrisJohnson Joins WTEM as PD. More accurately, as of next Monday (2/15), Chris Johnson will again occupy the programming chair at Red Zebra Broadcasting sports outlet WTEM “ESPN 980,” Washington, DC – just as he did from 2005 to 2008. Red Zebra Broadcasting chairman Terry Bateman states, “We are excited to have someone with Chris’ experience and skill to help us build and grow ‘ESPN 980.’ We have a great lineup of talent and great content. We look forward to putting it all together to give our listeners the best sports talk radio in the Washington, DC market.” Most recently, Johnson covered MLB‘s Washington Nationals as a reporter for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He previously was a producer of NFL and NCAA games for Westwood One; Johnson’s prior connection with WTEM lasted from 1996 – 2008. Down for the third straight ratings period (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 -1.6, 6+), “ESPN 980” finishes #20 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, while its format challenger – CBS Radio-owned WJFK-FM “The Fan” – also off for the third successive sweep (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 -1.9, 6+) – is #18. The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH (5.9 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 12.0, 6+).

careytrevorTrevor Carey Promoted to Afternoons at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno.  Radio pro Trevor Carey had been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s sister “PowerTalk” brand in the Stockton-Modesto market – “PowerTalk 1360” on KFIV and KWSX – in addition to hosting the 6:00 pm hour on “PowerTalk 96.7” (KALZ-FM and KRZR-AM in Fresno-Visalia).  Now, with Christopher Gabriel’s recent exit from the PM drive slot, Carey takes over the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  He’ll also host the 6:00 pm hour on the Stockton-Modesto duo.

talkersten logoNew Hampshire Primary/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 8-12.  Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the recent financial markets activity and related concerns about a recession followed by the effects of the Syrian civil war at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and it is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

hannitySean Hannity to Speak and Host Breakfast at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become an annual talk media industry tradition, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will host “Breakfast with Hannity” and preside over the opening keynote discussion at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the field’s largest, longest-running and most important national convention.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Sean’s contributions to this storied event, as well as to the industry in general, are incalculable.  He has spearheaded discussions about crucial issues attendant to the ratings, consolidation, lowering the demos and free speech, just to scratch the surface.  He has provided inspiration and encouragement to new generations of broadcasters coming into the field.  When Sean walks in the door at this event, all politics are left outside and he becomes a true statesman of the business offering insight, experience and intelligence about the many issues and challenges we face in common.  We are delighted that he will again play such an important role in this conference – especially considering its forward-motion theme of bridging the generations.”  Over 60 outstanding speakers will participate in TALKERS 2016, set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group 2015 Q4 Net Revenue Up 6.2%.  That figure is based on Beasley’s reporting of combined operations – both continuing and discontinued operations – and that’s relative to the 2014 Q4 asset swap with CBS RADIO that saw Beasley exchange five radio stations in the Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets for 14 CBS stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia markets.  Net revenue of combined operations for the wholebeasleygeorge of 2015 was $105.9 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2014.  Beasley CEO and chairman George Beasley states, “Throughout 2015 we implemented a broad range of operating, programming, sales and local strategies intended to extract operating and financial synergies from the stations acquired in the 2014 Asset Exchange.  I am pleased to report that we achieved our goal of our clusters outperforming the markets that report to Miller Kaplan for the first time in December 2015 and expect this trend to continue in 2016.  Success with our integration and profitability initiatives is also reflected in fourth quarter 2015 station operating income of $9 million and an SOI margin of 31.7%, as well as net income of $3.3 million or $0.14 per diluted share.”

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Revenue Dips 5%.  Radio is not the primary focus of CBS Corp. but new CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves has always said he likes the radio business – especially its cash flow.  Radio is lumped in with CBS Television Stations to make up the Local Broadcasting category, but the company breaks the two apart in these reports and radio’s revenue was down 5% on “continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.”  The television sector was down 11% compared to the same Q4 period in 2014 – a period that benefitted from mid-term election political spending.

Odds & Sods.  WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” spoke on the radio with GOPbermanschnitt presidential candidate and fellow New Yorker Donald Trump yesterday morning (2/11).  Responding to criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, Trump told the WOR audience, “as we get closer, you will be shocked at how presidential I will carrollbillbe.”…..Talk host Bill Carroll had been doing an afternoon talk show for Corus-owned news/talk CFMJ, Toronto from Los Angeles while he was still working at iHeartMedia’s KFI (a gig he exited in early January).  Now, he’s also leaving the CFMJ show with rumors he’s soon to land at a new station in Canada…..A special edition of the Joan Hamburg show will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York this weekend as the Big Apple radio host covers New York’s annual Fashion Week.  For the second year, Hamburg speakshamburgjoan with New York’s fashion elite in “The Business of Fashion Week” airing on Saturday (2/13) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ( a special replay will air Sunday night at 9:00 pm).  Hamburg speaks with New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Countess Luann de Lesseps, New York style icon Nick Wooster, Harpers Bazaar editor Avril Graham, and Ben Stiller, director and star of the Zoolander films…..AccuWeather appoints Sarah Katt vice president of product development and operations for the AccuWeather Network.  She’ll report to John Dokes, general manager of the AccuWeather Network and chief marketing officer of AccuWeather.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

| January 27, 2016

savagemichaelWestwood One’s Michael Savage and Mark Levin Playing Roles in GOP Primary.  The primary battle between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is gettinglevinmark heated and two Westwood One-syndicated talk show hosts recently played a role in the tensions.  First, Trump appeared on Tuesday’s “Savage Nation” program with Michael Savage during which Savage expressed his hope that Trump would skip Thursday’s Fox News Channel-produced debate.  Trump later announced that he would, indeed, skip the debate.  As for Cruz, he appeared on the networks’ Mark Levin program to announce he’s challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate that would not include a moderator.  Cruz included the no-moderator stipulation because of Trump’s issues with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly.

bensonchadChad Benson Scores Hal Linden Interview After News of Abe Vigoda’s Death.  Tuesday’s news of the passing of beloved actor Abe Vigoda brought many talk hosts to talk of the late actor’s work in The Godfather and in the iconic TV series “Barney Miller.”  But Radio America-syndicated talk personality Chad Benson scored an interview with Hal Linden, who played the title character on the television cop comedy and was a friend of Vigoda’s.  Benson and Linden reminisced about how Vigoda was constantly refuting reports of his demise after People magazine published a mistaken report of his death in 1982.  You can hear Benson’s interview with Vigoda here.

The Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Oscars Boycott, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Eastern Blizzard Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26).  Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in tomorrow’s GOP debate, the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Town Hall, and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the indictment of two involved in videotaping Planned Parenthood representatives discussing human tissue sales; the ongoing debate over the boycott of the Academy Awards by some black film industry people due to a lack of black nominees; languishing oil prices and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; and the effects of the blizzard that hit much of the East Coast over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kayemarkKaye: Social Media – You’re Doing it Wrong.  Jacksonville-based talk show host Mark Kaye writes, in a piece published in TALKERS today, that too many talk show hosts are only getting a little benefit out of what social media has to offer.  Kaye says, “Most of us look at Facebook and Snapchat and Periscope and Instagram as new and exciting ways to tell people what we do, what we think, and what we know.  Instead, as talk show hosts, we should be using those same platforms to ask our audiences, ‘Hey, what do you do? What do you think? What do you know?’”  Kaye says today’s audiences don’t use the phone to answer these questions the way they used to.  “They use Snapchat, and Periscope, and Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.  The phone has simply become a mini-access point to their favorite social media application.  They use it for one-way, non-verbal communication.  They use it to tweet, text, record video (and audio!) and briefly promote their own thoughts and opinions.”  Read more from Mark Kaye here.

Odds & Sods.  After almost 25 years at KCSJ, Pueblo, Colorado, sports director Tony Wright exits as iHeartMedia eliminates the sports director position.  Wright tells the Pueblo Chieftain that it was a business decision and he plans to continue working in sports radio elsewhere…..ESPN Radio’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby are getting a TV show that highlights the best segments from their daily radio program.  “Jalen & Jacoby” will debut on ESPN2 at 2:00 am ET on Thursday (1/28).  An audio version of the program launched as a podcast in 2011.  The “Jalen & Jacoby” radio show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET…..Daytona Beach-based Digital Sound & Video announces Greg Fadick joins the company as a producer.  The company says Fadick is a seasoned imaging pro who’s worked for both radio stations and production companies.  Fadick has imaged at WAAF, Boston; WIOD/WFLC/WHQT, Miami; Brown Bag Productions (Premiere Networks), and Download HDFX, among others.

nab logoNAB Producing Podcast Series Serving Broadcasters on ‘Timely and Relevant Issues.’  The  new, bi-weekly podcast focused on public policy issues, new technologies and proven business strategies for radio broadcasters debuts from National Association of Broadcasters.  NAB says “The NAB Podcast will feature new segments released every other Tuesday.  Each episode is 15 minutes long and is available publicly for two weeks.  At the end of that time, episodes will be archived for NAB members-only access at nab.org/podcasts.  Each podcast is dedicated to covering timely and relevant issues impacting America’s radio broadcasters.  NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “It is our hope that ‘The NAB Podcast’ will serve as a resource for broadcast professionals to help them navigate an increasingly complicated radio landscape.  The new podcast is an innovative way to reach our members and a broader audience with vital information on important issues affecting broadcasters.”

Friday, November 6, 2015

| November 6, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 5.  Today (11/6), TALKERS magazine concludes its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we sum up the opinions and philosophies and ask what does it all really mean?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says management often makes the mistake of trying to duplicate a successful artistic product – whether it is movies, television shows, books, or, in this case, radio programming – by approaching it formulaically… a mindset that totally misses the point.  “When Rush Limbaugh became a phenomenon by talking conservative politics, corporate focused on the conservative aspect of his stunning success as the magic formula and a whole slew of talent-challenged Rush wannabes spewing conservative talking points just for the sake of ‘being conservative’ were unleashed upon the airwaves.  Only a relative handful of them who were truly ‘talented’ have withstood the test of time.”  And so it is with women on talk radio.  The problem is not so much an equal opportunity “employment” issue as it is the larger question of where “news/talk radio” is willing to go to increase its audience, broaden its demos and insure its viability to survive in the years ahead in what is clearly becoming a brave new world… while remaining an “issues-oriented” medium.  One answer may be to find “magnetic” women and see what they can do in news/talk radio versus laying out the formula for a news/talk show and filling the job with a woman.  Read the entire piece here.

wtop logo NEW 1-15Rumors of Cuts at Hubbard’s WTOP and WFED in Washington.  TALKERS sources in the Washington market tell us that budget-related cuts are taking place today at Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP and its sister station WFED.  Some of the staffers reported to be exiting are traffic reporter Ari Ashe, digital manager John Myer, and WFED afternoon personality Francis RoseTALKERS is also hearing that the company will not fill the role vacated recently by reporter Andrew Mollenbeck and that there may be an unnamed sales staffer who is also out.

entercomEntercom Q3 Report: Up 3% on Same-Station Basis.  This quarter’s financial report from Entercom reflects the new income from its deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville International that saw Entercom add stations in major and large markets — Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego.  As a result, the company posts a net revenue increase of 15% on $114.7 million compared to the same period a year ago.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report anfielddavid outstanding quarter for Entercom driven by strong organic revenue growth across our station group and the seamless integration of our new acquisitions in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver.  While we are delighted with our progress and opportunities at the new stations, we are particularly pleased by our strong market share gains in the rest of our markets which enabled us to post approximately 3% same-station revenue growth for the quarter, and just over 4% growth when excluding the impact of political advertising.  We also achieved strong double-digit growth in free cash flow and adjusted net income per share and believe we are very well positioned for continued strong performance in 2016 and beyond.”

cumulus logoNew Cumulus CEO Mary Berner Reports Q3 Financial Data: Net Revenue Dips 7.8%.  Chief executive officer Mary Berner has been on the job for less than a month after replacing Lew Dickey and her first quarterly report was full of financial challenges for the company; but as a board member since the spring, she knew all the figures.  Cumulus Media stock has been beaten up over the past year, and not without cause.  The 2015 Q3 net revenue was $289.4 million, that’s a 7.8% drop versus the same period a year ago.  For the first three quarters of the year, net revenue was $859.9 million, down 8% year-bernermaryover-year.  Cumulus also recorded an impairment against intangible assets and goodwill of $565.6 million.  For the quarter, broadcast advertising was down 4.3% while digital advertising sunk 35.4%.  Berner says, “Despite Cumulus’ recent challenges, my early experiences have reinforced my appreciation for the strength of the company’s aggregate assets, including its people.  I was hired by the company’s board of directors to maximize the value of those assets and I believe that, through focused execution, we will be able to capitalize on the operational leverage that appears to exist in the company.  While such efforts will not be easy nor, in many cases, immediate, I intend to institute a relentless commitment to improvement over the coming months to drive results for all stakeholders.”

ewscrippsE.W. Scripps Radio Segment Flat in Q3.  The Cincinnati-based company got into the radio business as a result of the merger with Journal Communications, acquiring its TV and radio properties (with Journal getting E.W. Scripps’ publication segment).  In this third quarter report, Scripps president and CEO Rich Boehne says the radio segment was flat.  “Radio revenue and expenses of $20.4 million and $16.3 million were essentially flat with the prior period.  Segment profit in the radio division was $4.1 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $4.5 million in the 2014 quarter.  The company is committed to its digital segment and recently acquired podcast platform Midroll earlier this year.  “Digital revenues were $10.9 million, up $3.7 million from the prior period.  Excluding Midroll, revenue increased 25%…Segment loss in the digital division was $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $5.6 million in the 2014 quarter.”

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Partners with FOX Business Network and FNC for GOP Debate Coverage.  The means that audio of the November 10 GOP primary debates in Milwaukee will air on 130foxbusiness iHeartMedia-owned news/talk stations.  FOX Business Network and FOX News Channel are producing the debate in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal.  The FBN primetime debate will be moderated by managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto and global markets editor Maria Bartiromo, along with WSJ’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker.  iHeartMedia says that radio stations broadcasting the event will also host debate parties highlighted by pre and post-event coverage from local personalities.

beckerKMBZObama15Radio Personalities Visit White House for ObamaCare Event.  The White House calls it the “latest installment of ‘Live from the White House’” with President Obama conducting a round of interviews with radio personalities on the topic of the Affordable Care Act and the importance of reducing the number of people without health insurance.  The radio news anchors spent Thursday, November 5 with Obama Administration advisors and the president himself.  Taking part were: Mary Shedden of non-commercial WUSF, Tampa; Alice Rios of news/talk KRLD, Dallas; E.J. Becker of news/talk KMBZ, Kansas City; Dave Ross of news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle; and Ryan Cameron of urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V103.”  Pictured here is KMBZ’s E.J. Becker (left) interviewing President Obama (right) in the Oval Office.  Becker says, “It’s not every day that you get a call from the White House, asking if you can be in Washington the next day.  With the current political landscape, the importance of so many issues affecting Kansas Citians, along with the honor of interviewing a sitting President, who could say no!”

bobandtomBob Kevoian Announces Retirement at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  One half of the Bob & Tom Show morning team took the opportunity of last night’s induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame to announce his retirement from the business.  Bob Kevoian told the gathering in Chicago that he will retire from the nationally syndicated radio program by year’s end.  Kevoin said, “I always thought you had to die or be retired for five years to be considered for any hall of fame.  Thank God I’m not dead, but I am going to retire at the end of this year and walk away from the mic.”  Partner Tom Griswold commented, “It was a huge thrill to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame with my partner Bob.  He will always be a part of the Bob & Tom Show, and his presence will continue to be felt as we broadcast the show for many years to come.”

ramseyCruzeHoF15Dave Ramsey Inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last night (11/5).  Although Dave himself was unable to make it to Chicago for the ceremony, his daughter, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Cruze (pictured), was there to accept the award on his behalf.

2016 Presidential Race and Trump’s ‘SNL’ Appearance Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the controversy over Republican hopeful Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on “Saturday Night Live” tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the crash/possible bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.  Coming in at #3 was the military relationship between Russia and Syria followed by the UC-Merced stabbings 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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

| October 30, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Media Group Q3 Financial Data Shows Mixed Results.  Last December’s asset swap with CBS RADIO – in which it exchanged five stations in Philly and Miami for 14 CBS stations in Tampa, Charlotte and Philly – makes this third quarter financial report from Beasley Media Group a bit more complex.  It’s required to report the five stations CBS received under discontinued operations for the 2014 third quarter, despite having operated them through November 2014.  Therefore, on a combined basis, third quarter top-line revenue was up 7%, but on a pro forma basis third quarter net revenue decreased 4.5% while station operating income declined 12.2%.  The company says, “The decline in pro forma revenue largely reflects weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Fayetteville and Wilmington, which reduced operating leverage and impacted SOI.  However, we continue to make progress with the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Charlotte integration initiatives and reduced combined station operating expenses in these markets by approximately $700,000, while company-wide cost reductions led to a 1.5% reduction in third quarter station operating expenses.  We are now approximately 11 months into our integration and transition plan related to the asset exchange and despite it being more difficult and time consuming than expected, we believe our success in expense management combined with our ratings strength should lead to financial benefits from the swap in late 2016.  In the meantime, we continue to make progress in reducing debt, while returning capital to shareholders.  During the third quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $3 million, reduced borrowings to $90.2 million at September 30, 2015 and declared our eighth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”  In issuing its forward looking statements, Beasley says it remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their markets revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet.  We believe our ratings and programming are in great shape and look forward to benefiting from the integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes put in place over the last year.”

hannityLA15Sean Hannity Packs iHeartRadio Theatre in Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity appeared in Los Angeles recently to a standing room only house at the iHeartRadio Theatre.  Hannity is heard on iHeartMedia’s KEIB, Los Angeles and the station reports that listeners were treated to breakfast and more than an hour of political conversation, jokes, personal stories and Q&A with the Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel personality.  Pictured here backstage at the iHeartRadio Theatre are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Los Angeles market president Kevin LeGrett, Hannity, and KEIB and KFI program director Robin Bertolucci.

wmgc sportslogoSmall‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ Adds Two Personalities to Revamped Lineup.  With the recent exit of longtime Detroit radio personality Drew Lane from the PM drive daypart lastsharpdrew week, Greater Media’s sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1,” adds two new personalities to its new lineup.  Drew Sharp joins Matt Dery for the new afternoon program and Sean Baligian is now part of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Tom Mazawey baligianseanand Marc Fellhauer.  Baligian has been hosting the afternoon show on iHeartMedia’s Grand Rapids sports talk WMAX “96.1 FM ESPN.”  He also works for USA Hockey and is in his seventh year as the voice of Wayne State Football.  Drew Sharp is a 30-plus year Detroit Free Press columnist.  Program director Dave Shore says, “This new lineup is very exciting and we will continue bringing Detroit the most knowledgeable and most thought-provoking talent in sports radio.”

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Ratings Released.  The fourth and final round of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here.  The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.

brownejoycircus15Bringing Joy to the Visually and Hearing Impaired.  Hardly a week goes by when past-recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award, GCN-syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne is not involved in a high-profile charitable initiative.  This past Wednesday (10/28) America’s leading relationships talker performed the role of honorary ring master at the Big Apple Circus presentation of “Circus of the Senses” – a specially adapted performance of “The Grand Tour” – at New York’s Lincoln Center for children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and other disabilities allowing them to experience the joy and wonder of the circus. Dr. Browne (l) is pictured in full ringmaster regalia with Big Apple Circus regular ringmaster John Kennedy Kane (r).  Browne tells TALKERS, “It was a wonderful experience introducing the show.  Through the use of audio headsets, Braille descriptive programs, American Sign Language interpreters, and a special ‘touch session’ after the show, anyone and everyone could experience and enjoy the extravaganza!”

talkersten logoGOP Debate and 2016 Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of October 26-30.  Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate and the 2016 presidential race tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was Paul Ryan’s ascension to the Speaker of the House.  Coming in at #3 was the congressional budget deal followed by the U.S.-Russian military skirmishes 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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

2015nyc_575

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

| August 5, 2015

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Announces Intent to Purchase Digity Radio Stations.  This deal has been rumored for some time so it’s not a big surprise.  The proposed acquisition of Digity LLC’s 116 stations in 26 markets, after approval from the DOJ and the FCC, will bring Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media’s station total to 251 in 54 markets.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson says, “We aredigity extremely pleased to be acquiring from exceptional operators and management who truly understand radio.  Dean [Goodman] and his team have done a tremendous job with these stations.  They will be a great addition to our live-and-local vision across the country.”  Digity CEO Dean Goodman comments, “Larry Wilson and I have a shared vision for the radio renaissance in progress now.  Radio is live, local media enhanced by digital delivery and community focused events.  Our success is the result of an employee environment of collaboration, transparency and innovation.  I am honored to have worked with the great broadcasters at Digity and the dynamic growth they’ve created.  Digity and Alpha are a perfect match.”  Digity has focused on medium and small market operations.  The largest of its 26 markets are Palm Beach, San Jose, Canton, and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  It also operates 11 outlets in suburban Chicago markets.  For a complete station list, click here.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q2 Up 10.6% Powered by Live Events.  The company went public just last summer – on July 24 – and financial data from the second quarter of 2015 indicates Townsquare Media’s 10.6% net revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago, comes on the strength of its live events sector.  Live events net revenue was up 50.4% while localpricesteven advertising revenue rose just 0.6% (1.5% ex political).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our second quarter net revenue growth of 10.6% highlights the strength of our diversified revenue strategy.  We saw growth in each of our operating segments in the second quarter, particularly within our live events segment, which grew over 50% over the prior year.  Local advertising net revenue increased primarily as a result of an increase in non-political local advertising net revenue of $1.2 million, which was partially offset by decreases in political local advertising net revenue of $0.7 million.  Live events net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases in attendance and revenue per attendee of our live events, including three new music festivals.  Other media and entertainment net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases within our digital marketing services offering.”

vertical bridge logoTownsquare to Sell 43 Towers to Vertical Bridge.  At the same time as it reports its 2015 Q2 numbers, Townsquare Media announces it has entered into an agreement to sell 43 towers to a subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC for approximately $22.8 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments (the Tower Sale).  Townsquare will retain ownership of more than 250 towers following this sale.  The towers being divested are located on 41 sites in 28 markets and not only house the company’s radio station antenna but are rented by third parties for similar uses.  Townsquare has a 35-year deal (an initial term of 20 years and three optional five-year renewal periods) during which it will pay $41 of rent per annum ($1 per site per annum) to Vertical Bridge for the right to house its existing antenna on the divested towers.  Townsquare has also entered into an agreement with Vertical Bridge for Vertical Bridge to serve as the exclusive marketing agent for the towers retained by the company.

giroccodawnDawn Girocco New LA Market Manager for Cumulus Media.  Longtime Los Angeles radio sales pro Dawn Girocco has worked for iHeartMedia as GSM and CBS RADIO as VP/director of sales in the City of Angels.  Now she crosses the street to serve as vice president and market manager for Cumuluskabclogo Media’s classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC.  Cumulus Media SVP of operations Tom Schurr says, “I’ve known and respected Dawn for years.  We competed in Houston and worked together at Clear Channel, and I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with her again. She’s going to be a great leader for Cumulus LA.”  Girocco comments, “I appreciate the opportunity to step up to the role of market manager for Cumulus in Los Angeles and the confidence that Tom and Lew [Dickey] have placed in me to drive results with these incredible properties.”

scottdrewDrew Scott Named Executive Producer of Bubba the Love Sponge Show.  The Bubba the Love Sponge program officially announces that Drew Scott is the new executive producer of the Tampa-based, syndicated program.  “The revered morning show is looking to make some changes, and they feel Scott’s well-rounded radio career, experience working with affiliates, and contacts make him a perfect fit.”  He’s been in the position since June 17.  Scott is a Central Florida native who’s been working for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, Michigan at rock WIRX “Rock 107.”  Scott says, “This opportunity would not have been possible without the management and staff at ‘Rock 107.’  I have grown as a programmer and professional during my time in Michigan and I am grateful to my on-air teams – Dave Doetsch, Gayle Olsen, Jim Gifford, Paul Layendecker, Tom Walker, Randy Hawke, and Tim Moore – for allowing me express my creativity on and off the air.”

stapletonjasonUSA Radio Network Adds Jason Stapleton to Weekend Programming.  He founded his eponymous talk show that’s been available via YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher Radio but now USA Radio Networks adds the Jason Stapleton program to its weekend lineup, airing live Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET, effective August 15.  Stapleton is a former force reconnaissance Marine, entrepreneur, speaker andusaRadioNetworks investor who has been a professional trader for over a decade.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Jason’s perspective and background are unique and impactful to listening audiences everywhere which makes him an excellent addition to our ever growing lineup of shows.”  USA says that Stapleton’s “experience has led Jason to become a highly sought after authority on everything from military strategy and politics to economics. This makes him a rare expert whose unconventional insights offer a perspective not heard in mainstream political and economic discourse.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

hubbardradio logoHubbard Radio Signs Up for Shazam for Radio.  The Shazam for Radio service is described by Shazam and radio partner Sun Broadcast Group as “the first-ever interactive radio service designed for every station’s unique content.”  The deal between Hubbard Radio and SBG means Shazam for Radio is being deployed on 19 stations in all seven Hubbard markets.  Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz says, “All of us here at Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be partnering with the great team at Sun Broadcast Group and Shazam for Radio.  As we continue to look to the future and new ways of connecting our great brands and the advertisers we serve with millions of our loyal listeners, we believe Shazam for Radio is a game changer.”  SBG COO Julio Aponte says, “We are so pleased to be working with Hubbard Radio in bringing another level of interactivity to their great radio properties.  Shazam For Radio will allow them to engage directly with their audience by giving them real-time access to all their content, personalities, promotions and advertisers.  We look forward to working with Drew Horowitz and his great team of programmers and sales people.”

Odds & Sods.  On Thursday (8/6), Salem Radio Networks personality Hugh Hewitt will host a special two-hewitthughhour program titled, “SRN Presidential Debate Special,” airing from 11:06 pm to 1:00 am ET.  SRN says Hewitt will provide analysis of both the “undercard” debate on FOX News Channel — featuring candidates who polled outside of the “Top 10”— as well as the “main event” debate featuring the “Top 10” contenders as determined by public opinion polls.  Guests expected to appear on the show include: GOP presidential contenders Carly Fiorina (R-CA) and Dr. Ben Carson (R-MD); Dan Balz of The Washington Post; Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard; Guy Benson, news editor of Townhall.com; Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post; Eliana Johnson of National Review; Mary Katherine Ham, editor-at-large of HotAir.com; and others…..The Denver operations of iHeartMedia announce Crystalyn Portwood is named director of sports sales.  The cluster serves as the flagship for play-by-play for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies and the University of Colorado Buffalos…..FOX Sports Radio’s “Jay Mohr Sports” hits the road for a series of three remotes from NFL training camps.  Mohr’s show visits the Denver Broncos on Friday (8/7); the San Diego Chargers on Monday, August 17; and the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 20.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Donald Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Immigration Policy Debate, Battle Against ISIS and al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The activities of the candidates for president, Thursday’s GOP debate and criticism of Donald Trump; the ongoing controversy over the Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors discussing the price of tissue from aborted fetuses; the debate over America’s immigration policy; the military efforts to combat ISIS and al Qaeda; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; and the devastating wildfires in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 27, 2015

| February 27, 2015

brandmeierjonathonWestwood One Announces: Here’s Johnny! Bona fide Chicago radio cult legend Jonathon Brandmeier takes to the national stage next month when Westwood One commences syndicating his daily three-hour eponymous show-gram. Executive vice president of content and programming for Westwood One’s parent company – Cumulus Media John Dickey comments, “Jonathon is one of the most versatile performers in radio today. We know audiences will enjoy his lively humor and take on each day’s topics. We are thrilled to add ‘Johnny B’ to the Westwood One roster of relevant and relatable talkmillerdennis programming.” Remarking this is an “extremely exciting” time for all those associated with his show-gram, Brandmeier – who has achieved industry success in Los Angeles (on talk KLSX) and Phoenix (on KZZP) as westwood one NEWwell as in Chicago – notes, “We look forward to continuing to entertain audiences in Chicago and expanding our reach nationwide.  Fasten your seatbelts – it is going to be a wild ride.” Simultaneous with Brandmeier’s addition to the Westwood One roster is the departure from it by the program hosted by Dennis Miller. The former “SNL” cast member states that he is “stepping aside from radio at the moment” and that, “it has been a great run. I have had a phenomenal time interacting with my guests and audience, but with so many other commitments, it is hard to maintain a daily talk show. It is time to pass the torch as I move on to explore other opportunities – I wish ‘Johnny B’ lots of luck.” Three top-five market Cumulus-owned AM stations (KABC, Los Angeles, WLS-AM, Chicago, and KLIF-AM, Dallas) have already cleared Brandmeier’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (ET) program. In addition, there are affiliates in Salt Lake City (KKAT), Providence (WPRV), and Albuquerque (KTBL) – all are Cumulus Media AM properties.

mccoysteveSteve McCoy to Host Mornings on ‘News Radio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  The Cumulus Media news station is changing morning shows, bringing aboard Atlanta market pro Steve McCoy, effective Monday, March 1.  McCoy worked at the old WZGC “Z93” in AM drive where he was the longest-running morningwyay logo new personality in the station’s history.  He also worked at “Power 99,” WSTR “Star 94” and WSB-FM “B98.5.”  WYAY “News Radio 106.7” program director Greg Tantum says, “Steve has had a personal relationship with millions of Atlanta radio listeners for years.  Steve’s deep roots in the community bring a one-of-a-kind perspective and understanding to the daily lives of Atlanta residents.  Most important, Steve has proven he is the best at entertaining listeners and making them feel good – even in Atlanta traffic.”

weismanstevenWeisman: The Battle Over Net Neutrality.  With yesterday’s passage of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility and regulate it, the battle may have just begun.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, in a timely column examining the matter, writes that this is sure to bring about court challenges by the ISPs. Weisman notes that even though there was support in both the Democrat and Republican parties for preventing ISPs from creating multi-tiered delivery services, there are other issues that Republicans say are problematic.  “Opponents of the FCC’s classifying the Internet as a utility are concerned that, by doing so, the FCC would have increased authority to regulate rates and take other actions that they believe would stifle investment by Internet Service Providers and slow innovation.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he is cognizant of the power that classifying the Internet as a utility would provide the FCC, but that he expects to use a ‘light touch’ in regulating the Internet and would ignore powers that the FCC had that did not relate to broadband.  The devil is often in the details and it will be important to see whether a ‘light touch’ is reflected in the specific regulations to implement the vote which will not be published for a few days and will not become effective for a few months.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

2015 NYC 150Today Is the Last Day to Receive the Early Bird Discount for Talkers New York 2015.  Registrations are already being booked at a rapid pace as Talkers New York 2015 is heading toward being an early sell-out. The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET this afternoon.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced next week.

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Emcee Awards Ceremony at Talkers New York 2015.  Talk radio great Jim Bohannon will reprise his stellar performance as Emcee of the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday, June 12.  The veteran Westwood One syndicated personality (a past recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award) will preside over the presentation of the honors which include awards for:  Freedom of Speech, Lifetime Achievement, Woman of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.   Stay tuned for the names of the award recipients as well as those who will be making the presentations.

rogersleeRogers Upped to News Director for Entercom Upstate.  Morning news personality Lee Rogers is promoted to news director for Entercom’s Upstate South Carolina station group.  Rogers anchors the morning news on news/talk WYRD, Greenville “106.3 WORD” during “The Tara Show.”  Entercom Upstate OM Mark Hendrix comments, “Lee brings a wealth of news experience and Upstate knowledge.  I look forward to Lee expanding 106.3 WORD’s position as the Upstate’s breaking news leader.  Listeners will hear more proprietary content on the news that matters most to them.”

Odds & Sods.  With the signing of Jonathon Brandmeier to the Westwood One network and the show being picked up by Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago, the station cuts ties with John Kass and Lauren Cohn, who were co-hosting the late morning daypart, although Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports the station is auditioning Lauren Cohn for work on the morning show hosted by Big John Howell.  Filling in on the late morning program until Brandmeier starts is talk radio pro Tom Becka, who’s on the air there today through March 6…..American political satirist – and five-time Emmy nominee – Will Durst joins the regular panel of humorous pundits on the weekly podcast “The Koz Effect,” which streams live at 7:00 am ET Saturdays via the Radio Titans podcast network…..San Antonio news/talk KTSA is now heard on the FM dial in the market as Alpha Media begins simulcasting the station on translator K296GK at 107.1 FM…..Powell Broadcasting’s news/talk KSCJ, Sioux City, Iowa begins simulcasting its programming on translator K235CA, Sioux City at 94.9 FM…..ABC and PodcastOne are debuting a new, original podcast series which takes an in-depth look at the new television drama “American Crime.”  The weekly podcast will be hosted by film critic and radio personality Elvis Mitchell.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Joining Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey, who will air in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  His show is also being added to theramseydave evening program schedule at CBS RADIO’s news WNEW-FM, Baltimore/Washington…..The “Good Day” show with host Doug Stephan adds 11 new affiliate stations, including: WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; stephandougWPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; and KFTL, Gilbert Arizona…..The “Business Rockstars” show with Ken Rutkowski is added to the program schedule at 18 Rocking M Media outlets in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma…..“The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong and Kim Carrigan joins the program lineup at WXTK-FM, Cape Cod…..WCGO, Chicago adds Bruce DuMont’s “Beyond the Beltway” to its weekend lineup…..BizTalkRadio clears several shows, including the Ray Lucia program, on new business talk outlet WHFS-AM, Tampa and the 11-station “SuperTalk” chain in Mississippi…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” featuring Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete joins the program lineup at WRKO, Boston.

hannityStigallCPAC15Hannity Visits Chris Stigall Show at CPAC Radio Row.  In this photo, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity (right, standing at mic) makes an impromptu stop at the WPHT, Philadelphia booth on the radio row at the CPAC conference.  He appeared on the morning show hosted by Chris Stigall (far left, seated).  During the broadcast Stigall spoke with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, her daughter Bristol, and potential 2016 candidate Senator Ted Cruz.

ramseysacramento15Dave Ramsey’s ‘Smart Money’ Takes Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated radio talk star Dave Ramsey’s “Smart Money” live event tour continued last night (2/26) in Sacramento as he presented his program about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future at Adventure Church.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate KSTE helped promote the event.  KSTE program director Bill White comments, “Dave Ramsey touches, inspires, and helps people every day.  He not only provides a healthy perspective in regards to personal and professional finances but has an overall ‘LIFE’ philosophy that resonates with his audience far and wide.  His show isn’t just about money; it’s about life.  We’re proud to have Dave on “Talk 650” KSTE, a radio show that’s important and matters to listeners and our clients.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): KSTE’s Joel Mordhorst, account executive; Darren Mounts, general sales manager; Ramsey; Michelle Alfano, account executive; Jeff Bussani, account executive; and White.

ramseydave logoCool Job Opportunity.  Media Advertising & Sponsorship Sales, Ramsey Solutions – The Dave Ramsey Show.  This is not a normal job-posting… because this is not a job!  We have “one” incredible opportunity available, that will change your life.  The only question is “Are you that person?”  Ramsey Solutions has an opening for the right person who possesses as a minimum: Proven track-record of closing million dollar deals; Ability to deliver results for your client because you care enough to put together the right solution; Personal integrity that allows your to rise above your competition; Aptitude to hear the word ‘No’ as an opportunity; Fortitude to manage the resources of Radio, Video, Digital, Print, and Event Sponsorships to create unlimited earning potential; Strong working knowledge of what we do and “Why” it works so well every time!  This position provides the ability to represent: The Dave Ramsey Show — 3rd Largest Nationally Syndicated Talk Radio Show in the nation; 558 Radio Affiliates nationwide – 8.5 million weekly listeners; 2009 Marconi Award Winner; 2013 NAB Hall of Fame Inductee. Digital Footprint – 1.6 million weekly impressions; Podcast; Online Video Channel/App; Online Audio Stream; iHeartRadio Dedicated Channel.  Print Exposure — Two (2) Newsletters with more than 1 million subscribers combined.  Live Event Sponsorship — (20) Events each year reaching more than 75,000 in attendance.  The opportunity to prove what you can do begins now!  If you have what it takes to fill this “one” position then it’s your assignment to get our attention.  When we find this person we will commit to providing an incredible work environment, un-paralleled resources with a brand that delivers results, and the ability to control your own earning potential with no corporate imposed ceiling.  Apply online at www.daveramsey.com/careers.

Department of Homeland Security Funding Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 23-27.  The battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was President Obama’s amnesty order tied with the controversial comments made by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  Coming in at #3 was the brutality of ISIS tied with the Iran nuclear weapons program, and following at #4 was the allegation of Bill O’Reilly’s violating the journalistic ethics code.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and it published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

| January 13, 2015

wabcwnbm duoCumulus New York to Address Race Relations in ‘Radio Summit’ Simulcast.  News/talk WABC and urban contemporary WNBM “Radio 103.9” – both Cumulus Media properties – will present a historic radio summit “and simulcast covering some of the most pressing issues of our time.”  In the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision, the Eric Garner case and the tensions between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, both stations will produce a 60-minute, commercial-free discussion focused on the New York City community.  The company says, “This broadcast will include substantial, heartfelt conversation discussing the issues facing the city, recounting events and proposing proactive solutions on how the city and its people can move forward.” Taking part in the discussion will be 77 WABC’s Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, ‘Radio 103.9’ host DL Hughley and Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeastcumulus logo Regional Director of the National Action Network.  It will air tomorrow (1/14) at 12:00 noon ET and will also stream on each station’s website.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Ultimately, our stations are here to serve the community and this historic simulcast demonstrates our commitment to our audiences in an honest, compelling way.”  WNBM programmer Ken Johnson adds, “We are happy to be a part of this extremely timely dialogue.  If we can set an example for a civil discussion and spark discourse nationally, then we have accomplished our mission.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was quick to react when learning of this development, stating, “What a powerful, productive idea and use of the enormous potential of radio as a medium of healing and education within the community it serves.  What is especially appealing about this initiative is the coming together of a heritage news/talk AM facility with a hip FM culture/music station for the purpose of aggressively and positively addressing highest-common denominator concerns.  This type of programming harnesses the inherent positive energy of consolidation.  When I hear about this kind of project it stokes my optimism about the future of radio.  Yes!”

mcconnellspudEntercom Replaces ‘Spud’ McConnell with Syndicated Show at New Orleans Sports Talker.  A longtime talk host on Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans, John “Spud” McConnell moved across the hall in 2013 to host the afternoon drive show on sports talker WWWL “3WL.”  Now, management says it’s being forced to make cuts and McConnell’s show drew the short straw.  Entercom New Orleans vice president and general manager Chris Claus tells the Times-Picayune’s David Lee Simmons that “I love Spud.  He’s a great entertainer, he’s a great host, he’s a great actor, he’s great in theater, he’s great in TV, and he’s great in the movies.  But, unfortunately, we had a position to eliminate and his was the one.”  The station will carry NBC Sports Radio Network’s “Under Center” with Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone.  Claus also told the paper he’d consider bringing McConnell back to news/talk WWL but there’s no opening for a host there right now.

felgermassarottiCBS RADIO Extends ‘Felger & Mazz Show’ at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Afternoon drive sports talkers Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti have re-signed with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” on a multi-year deal.   As part of the new deal, Massarotti will write two columns per week for www.cbsboston.com and will host “The Baseball Reporters Show,” weeknights during the baseball season from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  CBS states in a press release that the duo “have consistently been the number-one show in afternoon drive with Men 25-54 for almost four years and running.”

bryantkimBryant Rejoins Westwood One as Executive VP of West Coast Sales.  Relocating to Los Angeles, Kim Bryant departs as Cumulus Media New York City market manager to become executive vice president of west coast sales for Cumulus-owned Westwood One. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Kim is a superb seller and a born leader. She will enhance the quality of our leadership team as we build the industry’s foremost sales organization.” Bryant remarks, “The opportunity to work with Steve Shaw and Westwood One is a dream. The New York Cumulus experience – including the people I have worked with over the last few years – has been terrific. It was a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am thrilled to continue to work for Cumulus in this different capacity and I look forward to having/building success in the west.” Several years ago (2009 – 2011), Bryant was Westwood One’s regional vice president of western ad sales. Her previous background includes being president and market manager for San Francisco stations owned by Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), and executive vice president of marketing and sales for international cable channel CineMoi. An announcement is reportedly forthcoming regarding Bryant’s replacement in New York City.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications to Flip WQTX, Lansing to Sports Talk.  The station will leave its country format behind and become “The Ticket 92.1 FM,” effective Monday, January 19.  Midwest Communications is working with program producer Spotlight Media Marketing Production and WQTX will continue to air non-sports morning show “Michigan’s Big Show” with host Michael Patrick Shiels, as  well as adding “Michigan’s Business Rap,” the “Griff & Grinz Show” with hosts Mike Griffith and Steve Grinczel, “The Drive” with Jack Ebling (who’s moving across town from Townsquare Media’s sports talk WVFN “The Game”), plus programming from Fox Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  From a report in the Alaska Dispatch News, Australian national Catie Quinn is being ordered to leave the country – and her gig as news director at Radio Kenai-owned news/talk KSRM, Kenai, Alaska.  Quinn’s E-3 work visa is expiring and her field is not specialized enough to allow her to stay under the E-3 conditions…..According to ESPN, consumption of its digital audio content was up in 2014.  The company says the download of its podcasts – ESPN On Demand – totaled more than 302 million last year and streaming of ESPN Audio content generated more than 7.8 billion total listening minutes, an increase of 8% over 2013…..Steve Holman is named the 2015 Georgia Sportscaster of thewtop logo NEW 1-15 Year.  Holman calls Atlanta Hawks games on CBS RADIO O&O WZGC, Atlanta “FM 92.9 The Game.”  He’s called almost 2,500 games without an absence during his almost three decades on the job…..Hubbard Washington, DC news outlet WTOP announces the release of a new mobile-optimized website as well as an interactive mobile app.  WTOP says the new site uses a “responsive” technology that formats the website appearance to match whatever device the user is on.  Other new features include expanded Living, Sports, Technology and Entertainment sections, an enhanced weather section, more photos and a “cleaner and more modern look.”

120px-WJZ-FMWJZ-FM Back as Birds’ Flagship. After Hearst Corporation talker WBAL had carried its games the past several years, the Baltimore Orioles are switching flagships to CBS Radio sports outlet WJZ-FM “The Fan.” The multi-year deal takes effect this season, with WJZ-FM being the key station across the seven-state, 34-station Orioles radio network. Baltimore’s “Fan” held rights to the team’s game from 2007 – 2010. CBS Radio Baltimore senior vice president Bob Philips declares, “This partnership with the Orioles is a great addition to our market leading #1 sports brand and platform in Baltimore.” Orioles’ vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader comments that “The Fan” is “the ideal flagship home for the Orioles radio network. Partnering with the region’s premiere radio destination for sports fans allows us to effectively reach our diverse fan base on a daily basis and to develop valuable multiplatform marketing opportunities for our sponsors.” Joe Angel and Fred Manfra return for their twelfth season calling the team’s games.

knxonyourcornerKNX to Corner Beautiful Downtown Burbank. The 10-hour (9:00 am – 7:00 pm) visit later this month (Friday, 1/30) is part of CBS Radio-owned all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “On Your Corner” series on local communities. Team coverage will focus on issues, events, and interesting places in Burbank – frequently referred to as the media capital of the world. “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will do his 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm broadcast from well-known Burbank eatery The Castaway, and he will be followed by Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson anchoring the afternoon news (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). In 2013, “KNX On Your Corner” received the “Best Feature – News” Golden Mike Award from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

milianolouFormer CBS Radio Newsman Miliano Passes. A 40-year national and local reporter, Lou Miliano, 67, died yesterday (Monday, 1/12) in a Pinellas Park, Florida hospice. Miliano was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago. CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler comments, “Lou was one of the unique, wonderful individuals in our business – and he was an extraordinary broadcaster. His use of sound and ability to transport the listener to the scene of the story set the standard in our industry, one that has been emulated by other broadcasters nationwide. He was expert in incorporating natural sound, vivid descriptions and visual references laced with the voices of those making or affected by news events. More than that, Lou was a joy to be around.” After beginning his career in 1967 at South Lake Tahoe, California’s KOWL, Miliano spent 12 years as a reporter, anchor, and news director at several stations around the country. Based in London as the European bureau chief for the RKO Radio Networks (1983-1989), Miliano did two tours with the Pentagon pool in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War and he covered the U.S. – Soviet summits in Geneva, Reykjavik, and Moscow. Miliano covered an array of stories for WCBS-AM, New York where he won Associated Press awards for “Best Continuing Coverage” for his work on the crash of TWA flight 800 and “Best Investigative Reporting.” He joined the CBS Radio Network in 1998 and retired in 2007. The Jersey City, New Jersey native attended colleges in Florida, California, and Colorado. He is survived by four daughters and three sons – there are no plans for a public funeral or memorial.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Unity Rally, ISIS Hacks Pentagon Social Media, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and the Golden Globe Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12).  The state of terror threats after last week’s massacre at Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the criticism against the Obama administration for not sending a high-level official to Paris unity rally; the hacking of the Pentagon’s social media network by ISIS; Mitt Romney’s possible run for president in 2016 and Paul Ryan’s statement he will not run; the continued sinking of oil prices and their effect on the world’s financial markets; and Sunday’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 5, 2015

| January 5, 2015

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Returns to Tampa on WHFS-FM.  Via an official press statement issued today (1/5), Beasley Broadcasting confirms the news a local advertiser spilled on Friday about the return of Bubba the Love Sponge to the market on the company’s newly-acquired Tampa signal WHFS-FM.  The former FM sports talk outlet will make public its new format at some point in the future but after signing on this morning at 6:00 am, Bubba the Love Sponge announced the station would air his program continuously for the next few weeks or so before debuting WHFS-FM’s new format.  Bubba aired in the market on Cox Media’s crosstown WHPT “102.5 FM The Bone” before being ousted from the station in August and replaced by then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  The move pits former station-mates Calta and Bubba against each other in mornings.  Last week, Ker’s WingHouse debuted Bubba Style Wings and announced Bubba’s return to the market on WHFS-FM.  Beasley says listeners are still voting for their format choice at the station’s website — thenew98.7.com — and the new format is expected to be announced within weeks.

carrhowieHowie Carr’s New England Regional Juggernaut Keeps Gaining Steam – New Stations Signed and GSM Brought Aboard.  The independent talk radio network recently launched by Boston-based, multi-media icon Howie Carr continues to gather major affiliates throughout the six New England states and sets a shiningly optimistic model for what can be created and accomplished in the often-tenuous arena of regional spoken-word syndication.  The latest stations joining the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) include WCAP, Lowell, MA (which started last week); WBEC, Pittsfield, MA (which starts tomorrow 1/6); and WFEA, Manchester, NH (which begins on 1/19), bringing the total number of affiliates to 19.  Also, HCRN VP of sales & marketing, Kathy Carr announces the hiring of sales heavyweight Ross Holt as the company’s new general sales manager.  Holt, who is moving back to his home in New England, was most recently part of the sales team at CBS O&O WINS, New York and has sold Carr in the past while at WGAN, Portland.  The sheer power of the loyal-listener-generating Carr program in market after market across the Northeast segment of the US has proven to be a strong advertising lure for such regional blue chip sponsors as Subaru of New England and a long list of others.  Commenting on the growth and impact of the Howie Carr show in its independent regional incarnation (since the host left Entercom’s WRKO, Boston this fall and replaced it as his flagship with Beantown’s reconstituted WMEX) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is not easy doing what Howie and Kathy Carr are accomplishing with this network – and that is creating a pertinent local flavor that resonates with listeners across a very large and diverse expanse of markets and works in terms of both ratings and revenue.  There are lessons for the industry to learn from this extremely interesting endeavor.  Of course, you must have the right host to pull this off and this guy is a true rarity.  If New England were to suddenly declare itself a single state, Howie Carr would be elected its first governor.”

cohenshattuckBoston Herald Radio and WMEX, Boston Share New Morning Show.  The morning drive show on the Boston Herald’s digital platform – Boston Herald Radio – is now hosted by Adriana Cohen and Tom Shattuck (pictured here).  The program airs from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and is also being heard on Blackstrap Broadcasting-owned and Wallis Communications-operated WMEX.  Shattuck, who also serves as executive producer of Boston Herald Radio, says in the compay’s paper, “We’ve always been straight with our audience.  This is the city of Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and David Brudnoy.  We are lucky enough now to have an opportunity to be custodians of those same airwaves and we will do it humbly, tirelessly and with the utmost respect for the listener.”  WMEX grabbed longtime Boston afternoon personality Howie Carr after his contract with Entercom’s crosstown WRKO expired in November.

proftdanWLS-AM, Chicago Breaks Up Proft and Wolf Morning Show.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the morning show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago will be hosted by Bruce Wolf solo after the company parted ways with Dan Proft.  Wolf and Proft had worked together at the station, first in middays, before moving to mornings after longtime duo Don Wade and Roma exited due to Don Wade’s health issues.  (Wade later died from complications from a brain tumor.)

dealgordonNEWbannerFormer WSJRN Programming Evolves and Continues as Compass Media Networks Content.  As TALKERS reported last month, Compass Media Networks is advancing the business news radio programming abandoned by the Wall Street Journal after the latter chose to get out of the radio business at the end of 2014.  Today, Compass debuts breaking business and money news under the “Your Money Now” brand.  The one-minute reports are fed to affiliate stations twice per hour at :20 and :50 from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  Anchors for the reports are former WSJRN morning drive anchor Jennifer Kushinka, former CEO Radio, WSJRN and BusinessWeek Radio anchor Ray Hoffman in middays, and former WSJRN evening anchor Bruce Vale in afternoon drive.  Also, Compass is continuing the morning drive program hosted by Gordon Deal for the WSJRN as the show is renamed “This Morning, America’s First News with Gordon Deal.”  Compass says the show continues to air on some 250 affiliate stations as well as on numerous digital platforms.

salemcommunicationsSeven Salem News/Talkers Assume ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Adding to the number of Salem Communications news/talk stations already using “The Answer” brand are seven more of the company’s like-programmed outlets, including:  KCBQ-AM, San Diego; KLFE, Seattle; KZNT, Colorado Springs; WGKA, Atlanta; WGUL, Tampa; WGTK, Louisville; and WLSS, Sarasota. WNYM, New York began using the “Answer” brand in 2012.  Salem SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce comments, “We discovered that our listeners are information seekers, always craving the answer to every possible question, from why am I stuck in traffic to who won the November election.  This branding allows our stations to cut through in markets where they are competing with more established stations that only need their call letters as a brand.  We needed something more, and this works.”

union edge logo‘The Union Edge’ Radio Show Releases New App.  Pittsburgh-based radio talk show “The Union Edge,” hosted by Charles Showalter with executive producer and co-host Angela Baughman and co-host/communications director Brittany Sheets, unveils its new app created with partner Jack of Trade Apps.  The new app allows listeners to stream the daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program live as well as listen to podcasts on demand and “demonstrate some serious solidarity by sending in photos showing their everyday union actions.”  Listeners can also use the “speak out” voice recorder function to react to the show and expand on their thoughts and feelings about issues that impact their lives.  Jack of Trade Apps president Andrew Davis says, “What this app does is allow union families to organize in a way that surrounds this already great programming that heralds issues that directly impact them.  We are excited to be able to give them such a valuable tool, to help them achieve their growth and spread their message in a new way.”

Odds & Sods.  Former Arkansas governor and one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee gives up his weekend talk program at Fox News Channel.  Huckabee – still heard on the radio via his “Mike Huckabee Report” dailyhuckabeemike commentaries now distributed by WYD Media – says he’ll make an announcement about whether he intends to run for president in 2016 sometime in the first part of this year…..Salem Communications expands the “Cats Roundtable” program heard on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  The Sunday morning show, hosted by New York City businessman John Catsimatidis is now heard from 8:30 am to 10:00 am…..KBGG, Des Moines sports talk host Larry Cotlar exits the station as it transitions from “The Zone” to “The Champ.”  Cotlar’s show is being replaced by CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gotleib…..Dr. Frank Wright exits Salem Communications where the former National Religious Broadcasters chief served as president and chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will receive his salary in the form of severance for the next six months…..Beasley Broadcasting’s WHFS-AM, Tampa drops the CBS Sports Radio Network-programming on the station and flips the station to business talk using programming from the company’s WSBR, Boca Raton, Florida.  Beasley acquired the station from CBS RADIO in a swap.

St. Joseph, Missouri’s KFEQ Joins “Market Rally”Affiliate Network. The daily analysis of farm commodity markets airs 4:06 pm – 5:00 pm on the Eagle Communications-owned talker. KFEQ general manager Gary Exline comments, “Ever since Farm Journal launched ‘Market Rally’ [in March 2014], we have taken a wait-and-see attitude [but] when farmers in our region started asking for it – we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. ‘Market Rally’ is the perfect programming solution as we set out to reboot our afternoon drive lineup.” According to Farm Journal Radio vice president and general manager Mark DePrez, “Market Rally” host Chip Flory “already has more than 6,500 Twitter followers, a clear signal that farmers and ranchers are highly engaged in his entertaining and educational approach to the markets.” When Illinois outlets WRHL, Rochelle and WAIK, Galesburg begin carrying the program early this year, “Market Rally” will be heard on 42 affiliates in nine states.

cookeholland

2015 International CES; What Next?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the huge 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  As Cooke notes, video and pictures are paramount to viral media.  “Major recent news stories demonstrate how profoundly technology impacts our lives.  More pictures and video are now shot with smartphones than cameras.  When Eric Garner’s take-down for selling untaxed cigarettes turned fatal, bystander video turned an already painful national conversation about race even more-painful.  When video of North Korea’s hack attack against Sony Pictures spooked movie theaters, The Interview was released on YouTube.”  Read more here.

sabowalterSabo: Biggest Trends Affecting Radio.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a piece published in TALKERS today (1/5), writes about seven trends in media that have been influential over the past year and will continue to be so through 2015.  From NextRadio to sports talk on FM to online audio platforms, Sabo suggests avenues radio practitioners can explore to build new and profitable content ventures.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

Station Snapshot:
WMAL, Washington, DC

| December 11, 2014

Cumulus talk outlet regaining prominence in nation’s Capital Region

 

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianWMAL LogoLOS ANGELESEven if not somewhat excusably misused, “heritage” is among the buzzwords many broadcasters hyperbolically invoke when proudly discussing their station and/or a particular on-air talent.

Not limited to a particular genre, it could apply to any format, although scores within the industry still choose to link “heritage” to dominant, institutional, full-service stations with larger-than-life personalities.

In the nation’s capital, for instance, the mighty morning team of “Harden & Weaver,” who beginning in 1960, prevailed in DC for approximately three decades, reinforced WMAL as “heritage” calls there.

Simultaneous with “Harden & Weaver” solidifying their own place in radio history (Frank Harden is now 92 — Jacksonjacksonandweaver Weaver passed away in 1992), they were largely aiding to foster the station’s legacy — the Cumulus Media-owned talker is flourishing in 2014.

Morning mall entertainment

Overseeing then Citadel-owned WMAL from Chicago, where he programmed sister talker WLS-AM, Drew Hayes in August 2010 brought in former Air America programming honcho Bill Hess as assistant program director. Approximately one year later, Cumulus acquired Citadel and Hess was elevated to program director.

Read More

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

| October 14, 2014

bridgeratings logoNews/Talk Radio and the Oversaturated News Cycle – Study Reveals Listener Fatigue.  Highly respected media research firm Bridge Ratings has been annually monitoring the consumption patterns of news/talk radio and has just released its latest findings which shed light on the perceived softening of listenership to this format that remains one of the most popular broadcast radio formats among Americans.  The study, which analyzed perceptions and behavior from a national news/talk listener panel, uncovered a significant level of listener FATIGUE – not only with the format but with news coverage; more specifically, talk radio topics related to politics and the frequency with which they air.  To read the entire report on the study and how a general national news coverage malaise has affected American radio listening, please click here.

kogo-am logoKOGO, San Diego Gets Newsier.  The programming at iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego was tweaked on Monday to reflect its “commitment to news programming,” according to program director Brian Long.  To accomplish that, the station shuffles some of the talk shows to different dayparts and moves talent accordingly.  LaDona Harvey leaves her midday talk show and is paired up with Ted Garcia to host “San Diego’s Morning News.”  Moving out of morning drive is Chris Merrill who is now heard from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  In afternoon drive, Bob “Sully” Sullivan vacates that daypart and is now heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Ernie Brown and Marilyn Hyder are hosting “KOGO’s Afternoon News.”  Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh remains in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Finally, former longtime program director Cliff Albert is back at the station hosting the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm “KOGO’s News at Noon” program.  Brian Long comments, “We have assembled a fantastic lineup that will keep our audience informed on-air, online and through social media platforms.”

tantarosandreaTantaros and Talk Radio Network Settle.  The terms of the settlement will remain confidential as they almost always do in cases such as these, but a US District Court in New Jersey has dismissed the suit brought by Fox News Channel personality Andrea Tantaros against Talk Radio Network with prejudice after the two sides settled the matter.  Tantaros had claimed in her suit that Talk Radio Network had breached its contract with her and that it had misrepresented its operations – including its ability to market her radio talk show – and that it had neglected to make her aware of its suit against ad rep firms working with it when it wooed her to begin hosting a nationally syndicated program.  Tantaros is a host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel.

hancockjohnWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Videos Bold Look at Legal Pot.  The experience of WBT, Charlotte talk show host John Hancock buying weed at a legal marijuana shop in Colorado while on vacation has been chronicled on video and the Greater Media news/talk outlet posted the video on its site here.  TALKERS asked Hancock, who does a tremendous job walking the viewer through the process of buying legal pot and asking questions of the proprietor in the video, how his decidedly conservative audience has responded to his posting a video of himself buying marijuana to consume.  He says, “My older demo is either ‘disappointed’ in me, or vowing to quit listening.  The majority seem intrigued by the process of buying weed legally.  Many wonder how I enjoyed ‘experimenting’ again!  Bill Clinton may have never inhaled, I still haven’t exhaled…”  Hancock laughs when he tells TALKERS that a listener called in to say, “Can’t wait for the video of your trip to Nevada,” joking about exploring legal prostitution!

missanellimikeOdds & Sods.  At the Toledo operations of Cumulus Media, Norm Wamer exits his positions as host of “The Front Row with Norm Wamer” heard on sports talker WLQR-FM, and as program director for sister news/talk WLQR-AM, the latter a post he’d held for the past 14 years…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia host Mike Missanelli is catching flak from the media, football fans and more after his Tweet following the season-ending knee injury of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.  Missanelli Tweeted, “Hey Giants Fans: Victor Cruz is over.  Dance to that.”  Missanellli removed the Tweet minutes later and apologized claiming he thought Cruz just dropped the ball and that he was unaware Cruz was injured on the play.

U.S. Ebola Cases/Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Financial Markets Activity, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects, Oregon ‘First Fiancee’ Scandal, NFL and MLB Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/13).  The heightened concern over the CDC’s and U.S. hospitals’ ability to combat Ebola in America; the battle against ISIS and the Obama Administration’s ability to build a coalition of nations in the region to fight the organization; the dipping U.S. stock market and the state of the global financial markets; the looming mid-term elections tied with the prospects for the 2016 presidential race; the scandal plaguing Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancée; and the weekend’s NFL and MLB playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

| August 5, 2014

hannityTelAvivstudioSean Hannity Broadcasts from Israel.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar (and Fox News Channel prime time personality) Sean Hannity broadcasts his PremierehannityIsraelbulldozer Networks-syndicated radio program from a radio station in Tel Aviv (left) while touring Israel to report on the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  Hannity will host his show from Israel again today (8/5) before returning to the United States.  Premiere reports that on his program Hannity has been reporting on numerous aspects of the conflict including “the Iron Dome anti-missile technology protecting the country from militant rockets, the Hamas tunnels used to capture and kill Israelis, what life is like there under constant threat, and more.”  At right, Hannity (center, in denim) is pictured standing on a military-style bulldozer interviewing Israeli troops near the Gaza border.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Returns to the Air in NYC.  Formerly based at crosstown WOR, New York (and syndicated from Buckley Broadcasting’s old WOR Radio Network for many years), Dr. Joy Browne is now heard in New York again via Salem Communications WNYM, “AM 970 The Answer.”  WNYM VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “Joy is a consummate radio pro.  Her show was consistently one of the most talked about shows on WOR.  Her voice was prematurely silenced across the street, as was Johnwnymlogo Gambling’s, and it is my pleasure to allow her many fans to find her again.”  Browne’s show is currently syndicated via Radio America.  She comments, “I am beyond thrilled to be back on the air in New York and working with John Gambling and Jerry Crowley and Lou Dobbs again makes it feel like coming home.  We have been besieged by listeners who wanted to know where I went and how to find me, and now they will know.”  Salem Communications market VP Phil Boyce adds, “The talk radio format is nothing without superstars who have built that unique bond with their audience.  Not all stations understand that anymore, so we are able to make that happen on our New York stations.  The addition of Joy Browne proves that.”

trimmeraaronTrimmer to Program WRVA and WRNL, Richmond.  Moving from Clear Channel’s Rochester, New York cluster where he programmed news/talk WHAM and sports talker WHTK “Sports 1280,” is Aaron Trimmer who heads south to the company’s Richmond, Virginia station group to serve as director of programming for news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL-AM.  Trimmer – a Richmond native – takes over for PD Jimmy Barrett who now focuses on his WRVA morning drive hosting responsibilities.

entercomEntercom Q2 Revenue Dips 1%.  Considering the recent Q2 financial reports by some other broadcasters, the 1% drop in net revenue could be considered a plus.  Entercom’s revenue was $100.2 million during the second quarter of 2014.  The company reported that fielddavidfree cash flow decreased 21% to $15 million.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Revenue declined 1% from the prior year as results were impacted by sluggish business conditions during the quarter. Operationally, we continue to focus on developing our powerful local brands, content and digital capabilities and building our new SmartReach Digital division.  These efforts are enhancing our value to listeners and customers and raising our growth potential.  Broadcast radio fundamentals are strong with growing, massive audience reach and a superior ROI to competitive forms of media.”  Entercom reduced its outstanding debt by $4.1 million (net of cash) during the quarter. As of June 30, 2014, the company had $7.1 million in cash and $489.8 million of senior debt and senior notes.

pandoralogoPandora Eyeing Talk and Sports Formats.  In an interview with Sonali Basak for Bloomberg, Pandora CFO Michael Herring hints the company is planning to add talk and sports talk content to its service, though the type of content and when it might appear on Pandora is not known at this time.  Herring points to the popularity of talk and sports by commuters in autos as the reason for his company’s interest in the formats.  “Music’s an important piece of radio listening in the car, but if there’s a place where spoken word is also equally, and more important really, it’s in the car…As the car becomes more important, thinking about other types of content that are important for the car becomes more critical.  That’s why Sirius spends so much money on Howard Stern, sports and news.”  Basak reports that Pandora is currently available in about 33% of cars while SiriusXM can be accessed in about 71% of autos.  Usage by Pandora listeners in cars rose from about 2.5 million people during the second quarter of 2013 to about 7 million during the second quarter of 2014.  Read the entire Bloomberg piece here.

wrhu logoHofstra University’s WRHU Named College Station of the Year.  The student-operated station WRHU, Hempstead, New York “88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University” has been named the best college station in the country, according to The Princeton Review.  The publication rates colleges in America and, as part of that, also ranks college radio stations.  Hofstra University’s WRHU came in #1 this year after being ranked #5 last year.  The station is the flagship radio outlet for the NHL’s New York Islanders since 2010 and is the first and only college radio station to have an exclusive broadcasting agreement with a professional sports team.  WRHU is a finalist for a prestigious 2014 Marconi Radio Award from the NAB as the top non-commercial station in the country.  The station’s reporters have won top honors from the New York Associated Press Association, the Press Club of Long Island, the Society of Professional Journalists and New York Women in CommunicationsTALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison, who began his illustrious radio career on WRHU (when it was still using the call letters WVHC) and is a charter inductee of the WRHU Hall of Fame, states, “I am so proud of this great radio station’s progress and accomplishments over the years since I first broadcast there in 1967.  This ranking is a tribute to the fantastic faculty staff running the operation and to the entire Communications Department at Hofstra which, in my opinion, is second to none in American academia.”  Harrison sits on the Hofstra University Department of Communication advisory board.

krantzgaryKMG Networks’ Krantz to Work with Sun Broadcast Group.  A new partnership struck by Sun Broadcast Group and Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks will have KMG president and CEO Gary Krantz joining SBG as strategic advisor.  The companies say that sunbroadcastgrouplogo“together, Sun and KMG will focus on new initiatives in content, digital, and services to superserve media partners in the audio entertainment sector.  These exciting new opportunities will be separate initiatives from existing and planned partnerships that Sun and KMG are involved with, respectively.”  SBG CEO Jason Bailey adds, “Gary and I have known each other for years and have always shared the same exciting vision for this industry.  With all that’s going on in the network radio space there are countless opportunities to make a real difference with amazing program partners who share our passion for change.  I’m stoked to work more closely with KMG on a professional basis in advancing our mission to make radio an experience for a whole new generation.”

nielsen logoRound One of July PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of July 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was June 19 through July 16.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

deanbradleeOdds & Sods.  Talk radio personality Bradlee Dean, host of the “Sons of Liberty” syndicated radio series, has been honored with the Education Liberty Award from the Education Liberty Coalition for his appearances on their behalf at some 350 high schools in 24 states nationwide. Among the goals which Dean has been promoting is ELC’s campaign for students to study at their own instructional level and for parents to make school choices for their children.  Dean’s most recent stop was in Marietta, Georgia…..Genesis Communications‘ sports platform – Sports Talk Florida – is providing “exclusive coverage” of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp complete with live practice updates, video interviews, and behind-the-scenes developments with reporters Jenna Laine and Amanda Borges.  Genesis says that its digital platform, along with the affiliated radio stations WHOO, Orlando and WHBO, Tampa, are keeping Bucs fans informed.  The company says, “With a plethora of exclusive photos, written articles and video content covering the Buccaneers, Sports Talk Florida leads the way in merging radio, web-based media, mobile sharing and social media.”

Israel-Hamas Violence, ISIS Iraq Campaign, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform/Southwest Border Crisis, Russian Ukraine Aggression, and James Brady Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip; the continuing campaign by ISIS to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria; the threat of the Ebola virus as a possible pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016; the battle in Washington over immigration policies and the border crisis in the Southwest; Russia’s support of Ukrainian rebels and the probe of the downing of Flight 17; and the death of Reagan Administration Press Secretary and anti-gun crusader James Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

| June 17, 2014

crowleymonicaRadio Host and Conservative Media Figure Monica Crowley Joins The Washington Times.  Conservative talk media figure Monica Crowley is named online opinion editor for The Washington Times.  Crowley, who has hosted a regular talk radio program syndicated by Talk Radio Network and is a longtime contributor to Fox News Channel, begins her work for The Washington Times on June 23.  Her duties will include overseeing all opinion content online, ranging from the weekly columns of Dr. Ben Carson and Tammy Bruce to the online “Communities” portals of such opinion contributors as Christine O’Donnell, Tom DeLay, Ernest Istook and Steve Deace.  Crowley will remain as a Fox News contributor and plans to write for The Washington Times.  The paper’s president and CEO, Larry Beasley, says, “We’re thrilled to have Monica join The Washington Times.  With her extensive background, talent and education, Monica will enhance our online offerings from around the country and the world.”

kroegerchrisCBS Radio’s WFNZ, Charlotte Names Chris Kroeger Afternoon Host.   Taking over for WFNZ, Charlotte sports talk host Marc James, who moved to the company’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” to partner with Chad Dukes, is Chris Kroeger – new host of “Prime Time with Chris Kroeger.  In a statement, program director DJ Stout says, “Like the Charlotte Hornets we too are bringing our legendary brand ‘Prime Time’ back.  We’re excited for Chris to take on this opportunity.  He is a top-notch talent and we look forward to him bringing his fresh approach to ‘Prime Time.’”  Kroeger is a Charlotte native who’s been coveringwfnz Appalachian State football.  He appeared weekly on WFNZ to talk App football.  He’s spent the last three years anchoring coverage of the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, AAC & Big East for IMG College.  The station says Kroeger will rotate two different co-hosts each day on the show including local and national writers, former athletes and team owners alongside the show’s other members: The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  The station announces another addition to the lineup: “The Call Up with Colin and Nate” (airing weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) featuring on air/producer for the WFNZ “Mac Attack Morning Show” Colin Hoggard and Nate Conley, executive producer of the WFNZ midday show “Bustin’ Loose with Frank Garcia and Mark Yarbro.”  WFNZ says fan favorites Colin and Nate are joining forces on this caller intensive show bringing a fresh perspective to sports radio.  DJ Stoud adds, “We’ve taken our time in putting the right shows and the right people in place.  All three of these guys know the city and know the station and bring a passion for sports as well as different perspectives for WFNZ and sports radio in the Carolinas.”

delcollianojerryWhat Would Jerry Del Colliano Do if He Owned a Radio Station Now?  Inside Music Media publisher and longtime industry observer/analyst Jerry Del Colliano candidly shares the 17 things he would do if he were in the situation of owning and operating a commercial radio station for profit today.  In a provocative piece posted today (6/17) in TALKERS and RadioInfo, Del Colliano addresses: sales department size, sales commission structure, commercial price structuring, handling (or not handling) eight-minute stop sets, appealing to a generation obsessed with video games, and strategizing the digital component as it relates to radio.  He also introduces a radical new way of dealing with hits and music discovery and much more.  To read Jerry Del Colliano’s entire article, please click here.  Also meet Jerry Del Colliano at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday of this week (6/20).

iheartradio newClear Channel Updates iHeartRadio App.  The newest version of the app for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital music and talk service is being released.  The 5.0 verion for iOS and Android is being touted by the company to bring “iHeartRadio users an even more personalized listening experience with enhanced algorithms.  Among the new algorithm updates to the digital radio service is the ‘For You’ feature, which adds a genre selection tool for improved, more tailored station recommendations.  iHeartRadio 5.0 will also include a sleeker, more beautiful and intuitive UI, improved search and simplified controls.”  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp comments, “iHeartRadio 5.0 features a significant upgrade to the way we serve our listeners.  We’ve been working diligently to personalize iHeartRadio and give our listeners more of the artists, the music and the kind of listening experience they want.  iHeartRadio 5.0 accomplishes that by introducing recommendations, more intelligent design and a better user experience overall.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s RADAR June 2014 Quarterly Report Released.  The quarterly RADAR radio network ratings report from Nielsen for June 2014 has been released and, once again, the report concludes that network radio listening remains consistent from a cume standpoint.  Some data from the report includes an estimate of national audience listening – the national audience that heard a network radio commercial during an average week stands at 181.3 million Americans aged 12+.  Nielsen goes on to say, “That’s nearly 70% (68.0) of all Americans aged 12+ who heard a network radio commercial during an average week.”  It also reports that, in the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached more than 94 million listeners, more than 70% of the 12+ population in those markets; and that more than 70% of Americans aged 25-54 listened to network radio each week.   Nielsen notes the data here reflects listening to subscribing networks and does not include all network radio listening.

wilburkirbyNational Journalism Center Plays Supportive Role with Talk Media’s Youth – Organization to Showcase Internship Program at Talkers New York 2014.  In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own.  Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest as a talk show host on KVI for 16 years.  From 1993 to 2009, Kirby was a staple on the Seattle airwaves and also as a fill-in host for Sean Hannity.  After being cut loose from KVI, Wilbur became chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.  During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate.  However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.  About a year ago, Wilbur and his wife left the Pacific Northwest for Washington, DC, where he became executive director of the conservative-based National Journalism Center.  His new career may not place him behind the microphone, but it does allow him to help groom the next generation of future radio reporters, talk show hosts, writers and members of the media.  “The Young America’s Foundation is a project of the National Journalism Center.  Its mission is to train and work with journalism students (conservative and otherwise) who aspire to careers in the field and encourage them through internships and academic programs.  The program’s alumni include a stellar roster of well-known media and journalism figures.  To read the entire story written by TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay posted today (6/17) please click here.

joycebrianOdds & Sods.  WGOW, Chattanooga, Tennessee “102.3 The Talk Monster” mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce is filling in on Cumulus Media’s Atlanta news/talk WYAY “Newsradio 106.7” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm tomorrow evening (6/18)…..At Entercom’s Sacramento operations, Lance Richard is named vice president of sales for the six-station group that includes sports talk KCTC “ESPN 1320.”…..HLN personality Vinnie Politan is exiting the cable news channel to take a position with WXIA-TV, Atlanta.  Politan hosted the afternoon “HLN Now: On the Case” program.

schramkenPublic Memorial for Seattle Broadcaster Ken Schram Planned for June 22.  Longtime Seattle radio and television newsman and personality Ken Schram passed away on May 29 at the age of 66 after a long illness.  Schram worked for years for Fisher Communications on all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news/talk KVI as well as on the company’s KOMO-TV.  He also worked for Bonneville at KIRO-FM.  A public memorial is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.

millerdennis grandrapids“Live from Grand Rapids…”  Nationally syndicated WestwoodOne talk show host Dennis Miller did his June 6 program from the Cumulus Grand Rapids studios ahead of his appearance at the city’s DeVos Performance Hall for a show with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  Miller (left) took a moment to pose for a photo with WJRW and WBBL program director Dave Jaconette (right).

Iraq Turmoil, Primary Results/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal-Lerner Emails Status, Child Illegals Influx, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, World Cup Action, and NHL-NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/16).  The instability in Iraq due to the infiltration of a radical Islamic militant forces’ occupation of parts of the country; discussion about the state of the Republican party after this spring’s primary contests; the controversy over the status of Lois Lerner’s emails relative to the IRS scandal; the continuing influx of child illegal immigrants in the Southwest; Hillary Clinton’s book tour for her latest memoir; the World Cup action in Brazil and the U.S.’s victory over Ghana; and the Spurs’ and Kings’ victories in the NBA’s and NHL’s finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

| February 13, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%.  While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame.  The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012.  Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, localmoonvesles programming, which is leading to bigger audiences.  During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago.  Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.  In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January.  I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business.  Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole conference call here.

nielsen logoNielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013.  Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012.  For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012.  The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012.  The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012.  Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off.  The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.

krld logoCBS RADIO Dallas Ups Paul Mann to KRLD-AM PD.  At CBS RADIO’s Dallas cluster, news director Paul Mann is promoted to program director for KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080 KRLD” and the Texas Statemannpaul Networks (TSN), effective immediately.  Mann has served as news director for KRLD-AM and TSN since June 2006 and in this new role he will be primarily responsible for all programming and talent and will report to Gavin Spittle, vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth.  Spittle comments, “Paul has shown tremendous leadership as news director with the sole focus on serving the North Texas community.  He’s helped put together a tremendous team which shares a great pride in this heritage station.”  Under Mann’s leadership, KRLD-AM has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2008 (spot news) and 2013 (newscast).

kuiperspradostellaStella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles.  The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles.  Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company!  My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company!  I’m sooooo excited!”  Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.

wctc logoProgramming Changes at WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A shuffle in afternoons at Greater Media-owned news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey sees current 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Tommy G move to the afternoon drive slot replacing Newsmax-syndicated host Stevetommyg Malzberg.  Into the early afternoon slot goes WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller program.  WCTC program director Bert Baron states, “We’re excited to welcome Dennis Miller to the WCTC weekday lineup.  He’ll have Central Jersey laughing, thinking, and engaged on a daily basis.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have doing PM drive on WCTC than Tommy G, one of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever known.  This is a BIG WIN for WCTC and for Central Jersey.”

delcollianojerryIs Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences?  Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so.  Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week.  This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom stronglynielsen logo suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.”  Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.”  He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.”  Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it.  Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.

harrisonmichaelSpeaking of Jerry Del Colliano…  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-