Tag: "Fox News Radio"

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

| March 25, 2020

‘New Jersey 101.5’ to Hold 2nd Coronavirus Town Hall. The Townsquare Media news/talk station announces it will present its second Town Hall broadcast addressing the COVID-019 pandemic, focusing on health and medical issues Thursday (3/26) at 7:00 pm.  WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” says special projects director and morning news anchor Eric Scott “leads the news and digital departments in linking a statewide audience with New Jersey’s top doctors fighting the pandemic, in a listener-driven, call-in format.”  Scott – who will anchor live from the New Jersey 101.5 studios with guests joining by phone – will speak with: Dr. Margaret Fisher, infectious disease specialist at RWJBarnabas Health (also the medical director at Unterberg Children’s Hospital and chair, Department of Pediatrics, Monmouth Medical Center); Dr. Manisha Parulekar, program director and chief of the Division of Geriatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center; and Dr. Kevin Slavin, director of quality for Hackensack Meridian Health Children’s Services, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases.  The station is streaming the program on Facebook Live and via NJ1015.com.

Triton Digital: News/Talk Gets COVID-19 Streaming Bump. According to data from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics service, listening to streams of news/talk-formatted radio stations increased 4% from the week of March 2-6 to the week of March 13-19.  The format’s streaming share grew from 29% to 33%, as news of the COVID-19 disruption hitting the U.S. took over the news cycle.  Triton says from the week of March 2-6 to the week of March 13-19, the share of streaming contributed by sports talk radio held constant at 8%, while music radio’s share of streaming declined from 64% to 59%.  The report adds that consumption patterns by device remain very stable, with streaming on mobile devices increasing from 49% to 51% of the total. The share of streaming on desktops/laptops decreased slightly from 27% to 25%, while smart speaker’s share of consumption held stable at 21%.  Triton Digital president of marketing development John Rosso says, “Radio in every form – broadcast, streaming audio, and podcasts – remains a trusted and relied upon medium for news and entertainment in the United States.  Despite the dislocation of many workers, this data shows the remarkable stability of the medium, as well as the importance of radio in delivering information in a time of crisis.”

Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw’s Open Letter to the Industry: “We are in the midst of a crisis. It’s incredibly painful to our business, as it is to countless other industries. Our communities are reeling.  This crisis is going to end.  But radio’s troubles didn’t start a few weeks ago, when the coronavirus began its attack on our country. Competition for our audiences has never been fiercer. National revenue had hit a rough patch. Public radio companies were trading at their lows. Deal-making had ground to a standstill. It was harder than ever to grow our radio revenues. Certainly, there are bright spots and pockets of opportunity, and our industry is doing a terrific job tirelessly serving our communities during this unprecedented time. That having been said, I don’t think many of us were looking fondly at the halcyon days of Q4 2019.  As difficult as this crisis is, we have an opportunity to turn this disease into a cure.  Our logs are wide open. What we allow to happen to our product once things return to ‘normal’ is entirely up to us. Although our company has tried to maintain reasonable commercial loads, we can do much better. Let’s take this opportunity to clean up our clocks, maintain lower spot loads, stop incessant bonus commercials, reduce endless promos. Demonstrate integrity for the value of our products and give our listeners more of what they crave.  The universe is doing for us what we would not and could not do for ourselves. We have the opportunity to emerge from this dark time with a brighter flame than we have seen for years. What we do from here may make all the difference.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM is producing a daily podcast addressing the COVID-19 pandemic titled, “COVID-19: Seattle Podcast.”  Longtime station personality Dave Ross and ‘KIRO Radio’ reporter Aaron Granillo will “condense the most important updates of the day into a short podcast format for the benefit of our community.  Together they will follow government officials, healthcare workers, business leaders, and local residents who are making crucial, early decisions … decisions that will soon guide, or warn, the rest of the country.”  It will be released each afternoon.  Station program director Bryan Buckalew says, “I think Dave Ross, with his decades of news experience, and Aaron Granillo, with his reporter’s sensibility, are uniquely capable of examining the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as it expands in Washington state and across the nation.”…..FOX News Radio launches a new weekday evening edition of the daily podcast “The FOX News Rundown” dedicated to the latest developments of the coronavirus pandemic.  The newly re-titled program “The FOX News Rundown Podcast: Global Pandemic” is being hosted by FNC foreign correspondent Trey Yingst and debuts on March 30.  On the program, Jerusalem-based Yingst will be joined by medical experts and fellow reporters to discuss the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 around the world…..The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that Entercom sports talker WFAN, New York is giving weekend show hosting responsibilities to its daily stars in lieu of the usual weekend hosts, presumably to save some payroll expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says that “Boomer & Gio,” “Moose & Maggie,” and “Joe & Evan” are hosting Saturday and Sunday programs and Mike Francesa – currently only hosting the 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm show on WFAN – is doing a 9:00 am to 1:00 pm show on Sundays.  However, longtime WFAN weekend host Richard Neer will be heard hosting the Sunday night 10:00 pm to 2:00 am show via CBS Sports Radio Network on “The Fan.”…..Cadence13 – a division of RADIO.COM – is unveiling the second season of the podcast “Gangster Capitalism” that it says “offers an unflinching look at white collar corruption and the dark side of the American dream”  This season explores the NRA.  Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “As we further develop and expand our C13Originals slate, we’re prioritizing impactful and ambitious documentaries geared around culture, business, moments in time, music and more.  Our objective is about finding the right stories, and how we tell and express them, so that the audience can immerse itself in what we believe will create conversation and engagement.”…..AdLarge Media signs a deal with Remote News Service (RNS) to serve as its exclusive ad sales representative.  Remote News Service is owned and led by senior anchor Lesley Lotto…..Pictured below is Westwood One News White House correspondent Bob Costantini in the radio pool seat in the newly re-designed social distancing briefing room awaiting yesterday’s coronavirus task force news conference.  The pink sticker on his lapel is confirmation that the White House took his temperature and it is normal.

Coronavirus Status in U.S., Stimulus Package Debate, Global Stocks Surge, U.S.-China Relations, India Locks Down Entire Country, and Olympics Postponed Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/24). The latest numbers on confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S.; the negotiations in the U.S. Senate to craft a coronavirus stimulus package; global stocks surge on news that the Senate is close to a stimulus package; relations between the U.S. and China as the COVID-19 blame game ramps up; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi orders lock down of 1.3 billion citizens; and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are postponed among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NEED CONTENT TO FILL SPORTS GAPS?  ‘Our American Stories’ Reaches Out to Sports Talk Stations with Programming to Temporarily Fill Holes in Their Schedules.  The producers of the highly popular syndicated spoken-word program “Our American Stories” tell TALKERS, “We are pleased to announce we are making ‘Our American Stories’ available to sports stations on a temporary basis with no contract to fill holes in their schedule resulting from the shut downs in the sports industry due to Covid-19.  No strings attached.”  The statement continues, “We have had several sports stations reach out to us and ask if they could use our content temporarily to fill holes in their lineup as so many sporting events have been cancelled.”  A number of the episodes in the archives of the program directly address sports-oriented themes including: “The Heart of Kobe Bryant’s Memorial Service,” “He Made A Wood Bat For His Son… Now He Outsells Louisville Slugger,” “The Bird and Magic Story: Love, Friendship, and Basketball” and “I Shall Not Fail Those With Whom I Serve.”  “Our American Stories” host and founder Lee Habeeb adds, “At this time in our country, Americans need to be encouraged and reminded that our nation is one that has persevered through tumultuous times and have hope that we will again prevail. We can help with that encouragement through the power of storytelling.”  Interested stations should click here or contact Bryan Dawson at 720-737-2950 or bdawson@oanetwork.org.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  February is not traditionally a good month for the sports talk format, but the February 2020 PPM survey was especially bad as only two stations in our panel showed any weekly, 6+ AQH share gain from January 2020.  And even there Entercom’s WMC-AM, Memphis (0.1 to 0.3) and iHeartMedia’s WYGM-AM, Orlando (1.1 to 1.2) showed increases that were essentially meaningless.  Year-over-year, about as many stations shows ratings increases (45%) as saw decreases (42%), with big gainers including iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis “The Fan” (+2.4), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh (+1.3), and Entercom’s KGMZ-FM, San Jose (+1.1) leading the pack.  The highest-ranking sports talk station during the February survey was Entercom’s WFAN in the Long Island market, finishing the month at #3.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Hotwire Communications Adds Newsmax TV to Video Service. Southeastern U.S. telecom firm Hotwire Communications and Newsmax Media announce a new distribution deal to deliver Newsmax TV to basic tier video service in seven major Florida markets – Miami/Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce, Fort Myers/Naples, Jacksonville/Brunswick, Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota, Orlando/Daytona/Melbourne and Tallahassee/Thomasville – as well as the Atlanta and Savannah markets in Georgia, the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville and Charlotte markets in North Carolina, and the Greenville/Spartanburg/Ashville/Anderson markets in South Carolina.  Newsmax TV SVP of content distribution Andrew Biggers says, “Newsmax is excited to have Hotwire on board as our newest affiliate, and we look forward to working together to deliver what its customers have been asking for — an alternative voice within news media.  And with Hotwire’s reach throughout these markets, Newsmax will be exposed to a broad audience seeking news they can trust.”  Hotwire Communications is an all-fiber service provider that has been providing triple-play telecommunication services since 2000.  Hotwire offers a full suite of services to residential, commercial, hospitality, government, smart city, and educational customers in 14 states, primarily concentrated in the Southeast.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking place in Sunday’s 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET timeslot on FOX Television originally for the iHeartRadio Music Awards, iHeartMedia and FOX announce “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America” to provide entertainment relief and support for Americans to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic.  Hosted by Elton John, the event will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, and more, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras, and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved.  In addition to airing on FOX, the program will air across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as via the iHeartRadio app. The benefit special will be broadcast commercial-free and, in addition to the music, will pay tribute to the front-line health professionals, first responders, and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus.  It also will encourage viewers to support two of the many charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation…..On-air pro Jeff Lewis Neal joins the WHZT, Greenville, South Carolina-based “Dex & Barbie T Morning Show.”  SummitMedia also airs the program on rhythmic CHR WKHT “Hot 104.5” in Knoxville and rhythmic CHR KPHW, Honolulu “Power 104.3.”  SummitMedia Greenville operations manager Mike Klein says, “I’m excited to welcome Jeff Lewis Neal to ‘Dex & Barbie T Morning Show.’  He’s the missing piece of the puzzle to take us to the next level on air and online.”…..Music director Kendall Stewart is promoted to program director for Saga Communications triple A WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia.  She makes the jump after Jeff Sweatman resigned from the position.  Stewart says, “The last four-and-a-half years at ‘106.1 The Corner’ have been the most formative in my career so far and I can’t express how grateful I am to Jeff Sweatman for everything that he has taught me.  I love this station and the amazing music town that I get to live in – Charlottesville – has been through a lot in recent years, but the tragedy that we faced in 2017 has only made us stronger as a community.  I am honored to be a part of it and to have the opportunity to further serve the people of this city and I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

| March 10, 2020

More on Talk Radio Covering the Coronavirus Challenge. On Monday (3/9) TALKERS magazine reported on how radio stations and media companies are addressing the coronavirus epidemic.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison wrote, “Fears and near panic have infiltrated the beleaguered heath care systems of our communities, the stock market, and a number of inter-connected industries and public events.  Add to that discourse about the problem in our politically oriented media have included the ‘weaponization’ of issues per the troubling practice of each side tending to seek victory at the expense of truth.  Most talk media broadcasters tell TALKERS that this crisis provides radio both the mission and calling to provide a significant degree of comfort and helpful information to the public – thus showcasing its pertinence as a vital medium in the 21st century.”  On Thursday of this week (3/12), Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” will present a special Town Hall broadcast to confront the worldwide novel coronavirus crisis and how it affects New Jersey residents.  “New Jersey 101.5” special projects director and morning news anchor Eric Scott says, “As a corridor state and international arrival hub, the challenges of dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak are unique in New Jersey.  Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation being disseminated to the public. Our Town Hall broadcast will help New Jersey residents separate fact from fiction and allow them to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”  The program’s on-air expert panel will feature Dr. Lincoln Miller, infectious disease specialist with RWJBarnabas Health; Ken Kamen, president of Princeton-based Mercadien Asset Management; and a representative from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.  Scott and guests will answer live, call-in questions from listeners throughout the hour.  At the national level, ABC Audio today begins producing the daily program, “COVID-19: What You Need to Know,” as a podcast.  It’s being hosted by anchor and correspondent Aaron Katersky and features the latest headlines and updates on the coronavirus outbreak as well as chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton answering questions from social media.  Back at the local level, KSCO, Santa Cruz, California general manager Michael Olson says the epidemic is affecting listeners’ lives.  “The situation in our broadcast area (South San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas) is rapidly evolving.  Santa Clara County is now a community spread hotspot, Stanford University has closed its classrooms, and Santa Cruz County now has three confirmed cases.  One of the area’s big fears is the possible consequence of when and if the virus hits the homeless community, which is extensive and vulnerable.”  Olson says from a station operations standpoint, they have taken the following steps to protect the staff so KSCO can continue to serve the public.  “To protect ourselves, we have established a to-the-extent-possible ‘no touch’ policy throughout the station and set up cleaning stations at each broadcast station so hosts can clean their surfaces before use.  We are also reducing the number of people who actually come into the studios – 89 voices at last count – and are employing a remote studio adjacent to the main broadcast facility.  To continue broadcasting should the virus take hold and we are quarantined, we have agreed to establish an ad-hoc KSCO broadcast staff of those able to stay at the station and continue broadcasting.”

Lee Abrams Re-Launches Consultancy. Consultant and media executive Lee Abrams announces he’s relaunching his consulting business under the name MediaVisions.  Abrams has been consulting and working as an executive in the media industry for more than 40 years.  During that time, he’s worked with hundreds of radio stations, major networks, and leading corporate clients.  Abrams says the focus of the firm will be: a new radio format; complete reimagination of video content, news and information; creative driven 40+ music innovation for entertainment and media leaders; innovative podcasting; and working with companies looking for creative direction and new ways to prosper.  MediaVisions’ goal is to generate revenue for what’s on the horizon for media and entertainment entities.  Abrams says, “Not data driven, very creative driven.  I don’t do research, I interpret it…news and information is what is steering our 21st century world – the equivalent of what rock ‘n’ roll was 40 years ago.  MediaVisions will merge this passion for information, knowledge, and insight with the revolution in technology.  We are positioned to help companies navigate and prosper in traditional media, today’s digital landscape, and evolving disruptive technologies.”

Bill O’Reilly Visits Affiliate WCBM, Baltimore. Pictured above is Bill O’Reilly, host of the Key Networks-syndicated program “The O’Reilly Update” (left) along with some of the staff of affiliate station WCBM, Baltimore as they enjoy a private dinner at the Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center in Ellicott City, Maryland.  Seated with O’Reilly are (from l-r):  WCBM morning co-host Bruce Elliott, his wife Vivian Elliott, WCBM midday host Derek Hunter, Robyn Casey, and her husband WCBM morning co-host (and station PD) Sean Casey.

Coronavirus Epidemic/Trump Chief of Staff Self-Quarantines, Financial Markets Sell-Off, Trump Payroll Tax Cut Proposal, Oil Price War, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/9). The status of the coronavirus epidemic and incoming chief of staff Mark Meadows self-quarantines; Monday’s stock market sell-off brings Dow down 7%; President Trump’s proposal of a payroll tax cut to help U.S. businesses; Saudi Arabia launches an oil price war putting oil stocks at the top of the sell-off; and the Democratic primary battle between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. There are more primary elections taking place across the country today (3/10) and FOX News Radio is providing hourly updates in addition to a two hour “Democracy 2020” special tonight from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET anchored by FNR national correspondent Jared Halpern.  Joining him will be political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR correspondents around the country.  FOX News Podcasts is offering a special edition of the daily morning podcast, “The FOX News Rundown,” as well as new episodes of Brett Baier’s “The Campaign” and “I’ll Tell You What,” hosted by Dana Perino and FNC politics editor Chris Stirewalt…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that DuPage Radio’s WCKG-AM is dropping its FOX Sports Radio affiliation and will re-brand the station as “Sportsbook Radio,” although there’s no word yet on what programming will fill the airwaves.  WCKG station manager Matt Dubiel says, “We’re planning to develop long-form and short-form ‘Sportsbook Radio’ content on WCKG, with local casino and media partners to be announced.  That work is underway, but rather than have sports personalities cover gambling, we’d prefer to have gambling experts on air. Ultimately, we will see our studio inside a Chicago-area sportsbook to get as close to the action as possible.”  Also from Robert Feder, radio news pro John Dempsey is moving to afternoons on WLS-AM for the Big John Howell show.  As a result, anchor Lauren Cohn is moving to the midday slot…..The NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers are sticking with iHeartMedia for their radio play-by-play this season but games will air on alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7” instead of news/talk KFI, where they aired last season.  Some games will be simulcast on the company’s sports talk KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new adult contemporary outlet debuts in the Shreveport, Louisiana market as Cumulus Media flips KRMD-AM and translator K264AS to “Lite Rock 100.7.”  Cumulus Shreveport VP and market manager Aaron Criswell says, “We’re excited to launch a fresh at-work listening station in the Shreveport metro.  Since he has arrived, operations manager Jay Michaels has done a great job increasing audience levels with our top 40 station KQHN-FM.  With this format flip from sports to the lite rock format, I am anticipating similar results.”…..Yesterday (3/9), TALKERS reported that Brian Zepp is returning to Cumulus Media’s rock KQRS, Minneapolis as a member of the “KQ Morning Show” with Tom Barnard.  Now, we learn that Zepp is filling the role that co-host Michele Tafoya held for the past four years.  Tafoya is exiting the show and tells the Star-Tribune she’s in talks with NBC about more work for the network in addition to her NFL sideline reporting…..On-air pro Kimmie Caruba joins Pacific Media Group to co-host mornings with Keola Lui-Kwan on CHR KDDB, Honolulu “102.7 Da Bomb.”  Caruba was most recently evening personality at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99.”…..Programming pro Casey Daniels is named operations manager for Adams Radio’s Tallahassee station group and program director for country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf.”  Daniels was most recently on-air at WSBT-TV, South Bend, Indiana.

Friday, March 6, 2020

| March 6, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “This is No Gaffing Matter!” looks back at this past week of March 2-6, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVictoria Jones; executive director, DC Radio Company; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaJoshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch Times; and Bali Samra, human resources consultant/commentator, Pioneer Valley Radio. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD “Freedom 93.7”, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

FOX News Radio Names Jimmy Failla Host of ‘FOX Across America.’ The new, permanent host of FOX News Radio’s midday “FOX Across America” show is comedian Jimmy Failla, who takes over on Monday (3/9).  “FOX Across America” has been airing in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart with a rotating cast of hosts since Todd Starnes – host of “FOX News and Commentary” – exited FNR back in the fall of 2019.  FNR says, “Based in FNR’s New York City studio, ‘FOX Across America with Jimmy Failla’ will feature guests from across the political spectrum for lively discussions on the day’s leading headlines.  A standup comedian and former head writer for FOX Business Network’s “Kennedy” (weekdays 9:00 pm ET), Failla will also utilize his comedic talents to help navigate the partisan divide, providing an honest look at the important issues that affect every American.”  In addition to airing weekdays on FNR, the show will also be available for download via FOX News Podcast Network, with full video recordings of each airing streaming exclusively on FOX Nation, FNC’s online subscription-based streaming service.

Denver’s ‘The Fan’ Celebrates 25th Anniversary. Denver sports talk outlet KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” turns 25 today and the Bonneville station is launching a campaign that will culminate in a 25th anniversary celebration in June.  As part of the celebration, ‘The Fan’ will welcome back influential figures from the station’s history for a reunion broadcast that will allow Denver listeners to reconnect with talent from the past.  Bonneville Denver SVP and market manager Bob Call says, “Twenty-five years ago, we launched Denver’s first 24-hour, all-sports radio station.  Over the years, ‘The Fan’ has featured some of Denver’s most-loved personalities, starting with Doug Moe and Tom Green – who signed the station on the air – to legendary personalities like Irv Brown, Joe Williams, and Sandy Clough, who continues to entertain Denver sports fans today.  Through the years, ‘The Fan’ has been built on great live and local talent.  We are grateful for our many listeners and business partners who have been a part of this remarkable legacy.”

Westwood One to End NBC Sports Radio Distribution. Affiliates of the Westwood One-distributed NBC Sports Radio network are being notified that WWO will discontinue its distribution of the network at the end of this month. Westwood One also handles distribution for the CBS Sports Radio network and affiliates are being offered the option to take that network’s programming.  NBC Sports Radio had been offering 24/7 content but reduced that in January of last year but continued to offer sports talk shows such as “ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio” and “The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison and Dan Schwartzman.”  Those shows will continue to be available on various digital platforms.

Lyndsay Keith Named Co-Host of ‘Spicer & Co.’ Pictured above on the set of the Newsmax TV show “Spicer & Co.” is co-host Lyndsay Keith (left) and host (former White House Press Secretary) Sean Spicer (right).  “Spicer & Co.” debuted Tuesday (3/3) and airs weekdays at 6 pm ET.  Prior to joining Newsmax, Keith worked at Google as a brand strategist.  She has also served as deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee.  She also served as an adviser to the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

TALKERS News Notes. The 8th Annual Contact in the Desert event takes place at Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, California May 29 through June 1 and one of the participants will be Premiere Networks late-night host George Noory.  The event is described as “an epic adventure weekend into the science of UFOs, communication with non-human intelligence, ancient astronauts, human origins, crop circles, military sightings, government disclosure, artificial intelligence, downed craft technology, the evolution of consciousness, forbidden archaeology, cosmic teachings, contact experiences, interplanetary living, and much more.”  The host of “Coast to Coast AM” is one of 70 “experts, scientists, researchers, and military insiders.”…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR, New York and LaborPress.org are presenting a panel discussion called “The Future of Healthcare” on March 19 at The Cutting Room in New York City.  The 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm event will feature opening remarks by NYS Building & Construction Trades Council president James Cahill and is being moderated by filmmaker Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos, The Matrix) who also produced and directed the documentary film that addresses mental illness titled, No Kidding! Me 2!!…..Comedian and talk host Dennis Miller begins hosting a twice-weekly show on RT America called, “Dennis Miller +1.”  The interview show airs live at 9:00 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Miller says, “What do I like in an interview?  I like it when the host asks a question and then listens to the guest’s answer and then reacts to that answer with an amplification through the next question.  I promise you, I will not sit here finding myself overly precious and thinking only about my next query.  I’m going to have a conversation!”  Miller talks to actor and comedian Jeff Dunham on the first episode…..The Washington Examiner is launching a weekly podcast called, “Mag Men,” that offers analysis and commentary of the week’s news and what stories the editors are working on for the week ahead.  It’s being hosted by executive editor Seth Mandel, managing editor Jay Caruso, Life and Arts editor Park MacDougal and deputy editor J. Grant Addison.  The show is on the Ricochet platform that also hosts other Washington Examiner podcasts, including the “Hashing it Out,” a weekly podcast hosted by Siraj Hashmi, “The Byron York Show,” hosted by Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York, and “Examining Politics, “a daily podcast hosted by Cumulus Media and WMAL-FM, Washington talk-show host Larry O’Connor…..Happy 61st birthday to talk host Lars Larson, who also celebrates 45 years on the radio this month.  Larson, who hosts his daily KXL-FM, Portland-based Pacific Northwest show as well as his Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated show, says, “Forty-five years ago this month, I landed my first paid job in radio spinnin’ records and reading news from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight Monday thru Friday on the “Mighty 1590” KTIL from a cinderblock building in a cow pasture outside Tillamook, Oregon.  Forty years ago next week, I came to work at KXL.  This month, I mark 23 years of Radio Northwest Network syndication in Oregon, Washington and Idaho… I did my 20 years in the liberal gulag of TV news, but I never stopped doing radio.  When a kind-hearted TV management informed me I had a ‘face for radio’ and demanded that I choose – TV or radio – it wasn’t hard at all.  My first love, radio… God blessed me with Tina, my wonderful wife, who puts up with the weird hours and strange demands of this business.  I have looked forward to each and every day I get to open a mic and talk with folks.  My personal goal is to stay behind the mic as long as my hero Paul Harvey did.”

RTDNF Honors Journalists at 30th Annual First Amendment Awards. Last night (3/5), the Radio Television Digital News Foundation honored journalism professionals dedicated to defending the First Amendment and the public’s right to know at the 30th Annual First Amendment Awards in Washington, D.C.  The evening’s program began with RTDNA/RTDNF executive director Dan Shelley’s call to action, “Your viewers and listeners in the cities and towns you serve need the refreshing drink of water and the pleasant fragrance of a blossoming local news product that reflect an even stronger commitment to serving them – to empowering them to make positive changes in their communities… By joining forces, we can place America’s dust bowls of journalism into the dustbin of history.”  This year’s honorees were: David Muir of ABC News; “60 Minutes” produced by CBS News; Robert Horner of NBC News; Barbara Maushard of Hearst Television; Lori Montenegro of Telemundo; Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT); and Steve Andrews of WFLA-TV, Tampa.

Presidential Race/Super Tuesday Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 2-6. The race for the Democratic nomination, the Super Tuesday elections, and the candidates who dropped out were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the coronavirus pandemic. Coming in at #3 was the financial markets activity and the Fed’s interest rate cut, followed by health care reform, climate change, and race relations tied 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.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer John Candelaria is leaving his position with Beasley Media Group as PD of rhythmic AC WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” and urban AC WDMK “Kiss 105.9” in Detroit and national brand manager for urban and rhythmic AC to relocate to his home town of Albuquerque…..“The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” co-host J-Si Chavez and contributor Jenna Owens are launching their new podcast, “Fitish,” and the first episode reached the top 50 on the Apple Podcasts chart.  Owens, who recently announced that she is taking a step back from day-to-day co-hosting at “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” states, “I’m thrilled to be able to talk more openly about things I haven’t been able to discuss on the morning show and do it all with my favorite radio partner and occasionally our real-life partners as well!”…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) and rock legend Roger Daltrey (right) aboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for the sold out Rock Legends Cruise VIII.  Cirrincione helped entertain passengers by hosting Q&A sessions with three Daltrey, The DoorsRobby Krieger and Heart’s Nancy Wilson.  The annual cruise benefits the Native American Heritage Association, a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to helping Native American families in need who live on Reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Friday, February 28, 2020

| February 28, 2020

iHeartMedia Posts Flat 2019 Q4 Revenue Figure; Full Year Revenue Up 2%. The financial data for iHeartMedia is a bit complex as the result of the company exiting bankruptcy protection in May of 2019.  But revenue of $1.03 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, while flat compared to Q4 2018, was up 4.3% excluding political ad dollars.  For the full year of 2019, revenue was $3.7 billion, up 2.0% year-over-year and up 4.2%, excluding political revenue.  The company reports that digital revenue in the fourth quarter was $112.5 million – up 33.6% from the fourth quarter of 2018.  For the full year, digital revenue was $376 million, an increase of 32.2% over the full year of 2018.  iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “Our financial performance in 2019 was underpinned by the reach and resilience of our traditional business, profitable growth in our other platforms – including our digital businesses and proactive improvement of our capital structure.  Through our innovation and thought leadership in areas like podcasting and our SmartAudio suite of targeting, analysis and attribution services for advertisers, we are at the forefront of driving the audio revolution.  We will continue to work to build long-term shareholder value by maximizing our free cash flow and de-leveraging our balance sheet.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on all-news.  Coming off the Holiday 2019 survey 88% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up.  Top performers here included Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+1.4) and KCBS-AM, San Francisco (+0.7).  However, comparing January 2019 to January 2020, 70% of all-news stations were down, with Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit leading that group and absorbing a hit of -3.2 shares and dropping from the #1 rank in the market in January 2019 to #11 this year.  On the positive side, the company’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco was up 1.4 shares to post an 8.4 share and regain the #1 rank in the market.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston was 0.7 shares better than the year before and rose to claim the #3 rank in January.  KCBS-AM, San Francisco was the only all-news station to rank #1 in January.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington ranked #2 in the January 2020 survey, despite falling three full shares from January 2019.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled “Brother, Can You Spare a Face Mask?” looks back at this past week of February 24-28, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Tom Sullivan; talk show host, KFBK, Sacramento/Talk Media NetworkKen Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; Lee Abrams, consultant, MediaVisionDeborah Norville, anchor, “Inside Edition;” Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/webmaster, Scamicide.com; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. See the full story below.

‘The Michael Harrison Wrap’ Now Available in Syndication via Talk Media Network.  TALKERS is pleased to announce it has entered a strategic partnership with independent broadcasting firm Talk Media Network for the syndication and distribution of its weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap.”  The show, hosted by Michael Harrison, was launched in May 2019 on iHeartRadio’s WONK-FM in Washington, DC where it airs Fridays at 6:00 pm.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is a fast-paced roundup of the hottest news/talk media stories tracked by TALKERS and is described as “a weekly overview of the national conversation.”  Each installment features Harrison in conversation with several talk media hosts, pundits and experts from around the country representing a variety of popular ideologies. The show opens with a riveting countdown of the week’s most-discussed items with TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey.  Since its launch, several proactive radio stations around the country inquired about the show’s availability to which TALKERS complied – as best it could – on a market exclusive basis. According to Harrison, “We’re delighted that, in addition to our flagship WONK, excellent facilities such as WRKO, KSCO, WVOX, KFNX, KBDT, KQSP, KBKW, WIQO, WGMN, and the Virginia Talk Radio Network among others showed enough interest in the program during its developmental phase to request it for their rosters before it was even officially available for national distribution.”  Harrison continues, “However, we are not a syndication company, nor have any intention of becoming one, and it just became too unwieldy to service more stations efficiently, so we began looking for an appropriate network partner. Talk Media Network is a perfect fit.  TMN is moderately sized, independent, and run by one of the brightest young executives in the network business, Josh Leng.”  Leng states, “We’re honored TALKERS has entrusted the syndication and growth of ‘The Michael Harrison Wrap’ with Talk Media Network.  It is a pleasure to be working with a professional of Michael’s stature who has dedicated so much of his career to the betterment of the radio industry.”  Leng continues, “What program directors will notice immediately when they listen to ‘The Michael Harrison Wrap,’ is the amount of preparation that goes into each and every episode.  It is amazing how much compelling content is packed into one hour!  Combine that with the ‘best in the business’ talk radio hosts who contribute to Michael’s timely and topical news discussions, and you have an on-air product that features a great group of broadcasters who bring their ‘A’ game for the audience to enjoy.”  Stations interested in affiliating with “The Michael Harrison Wrap” should visit talkmedianetwork.com for more information, and can call Talk Media Network at (616) 884-8616.

TALKERS News Notes. On Super Tuesday (3/4), FOX News Radio is offering affiliates live national network coverage beginning at 7:00 pm ET anchored by national correspondent Jared Halpern, with key insights from FNR political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR reporters around the country.  FNR is also offering hourly “Democracy 2020” updates on Amazon’s smart speaker.  FOX News Podcasts is presenting special editions of the daily morning podcast “FOX News Rundown,” as well as new episodes of Bret Baier’s “The Campaign” and “I’ll Tell You What” with Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt.  Additionally, FOXNews.com will carry multiple livestreams from candidate headquarters across the country…..iHeartMedia’s NBC News Radio brings talk and news radio pro Michael Castner aboard to serve as national news anchor.  Castner was most recently morning drive personality at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas…..iHeartMedia announces it is presenting a new companion podcast for the three-part Hulu series “Your Attention Please” that celebrates the achievements and creativity of Black visionaries.  The “Your Attention Please” podcast is using this medium to continue the conversation past Black History Month, diving deeper into the stories that were highlighted in the show.  The first guests in the series are Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, founders of MAI (Movement Art Is).

The Coronavirus, the Stock Market, and the Economy Top News/Talk Stories for the Week of February 24-28. The status of the coronavirus epidemic, its effect on the world’s financial markets and the global economy came together to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race and this week’s Democratic debate in Charleston, SC.  Coming in at #3 was healthcare reform, climate change, and race relations, followed by the deadly Milwaukee brewery shooting and gun control 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Happy Retirement to Pete Spriggs. Current and former Cox Media Group Atlanta staffers gathered last night (2/27) for a retirement bash for WSB-AM/WSBB-FM program director Pete Spriggs who is leaving the company after 27 years with Cox and 19 years at WSB.  Above right is a group shot that includes such guests as Cox Media Group CEO Kim Guthrie, WSB VP/market manager Rob Babin, WSB legend Neal Boortz, syndicated star Clark Howard, and Cox DC bureau reporter Jamie Dupree.  Above left is (from l-r) Spriggs, consultant and former WSB PD Greg Moceri, and incoming program director Drew Anderssen.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A surprise move in national syndication as Ty Bentli leaves his eponymous, Westwood One morning country radio show for an unnamed gig outside of the radio biz.  For now, co-hosts Chuck Wicks and Tricia “TJ” Jenkins will handle hosting duties.  The Nashville-based show has undergone numerous changes over the past few years.  Blair Garner was the original host when it was called “America’s Morning Show.”  Then it was “Ty, Kelly, and Chuck” with Kelly Ford in the mix and, after her departure in late 2018 (she’s now hosting AMs on Entercom‘s WNSH, New York), was renamed the “Ty Bentli Show.”  TJ joined the program last spring…..A big shakeup at Entercom’s Los Angeles cluster as longtime alternative KROQ program director (and SVP of programming) Kevin Weatherly exits.  Taking over at KROQ is Mike Kaplan, who adds brand manager duties at the station in addition to his alternative format captain position and brand manager post at WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”  At the same time, Ralph Stewart is handed the brand manager keys for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  He’s been operations manager for the station in addition to his brand manager role at urban contemporary KTWV “94.7 The Wave.”  Finally, KRTH “K-Earth 101” brand manager Chris Ebbott and CHR KAMP-FM music director and afternoon host Yesi Ortiz will serve as interim programming leaders for “97.1 AMP Radio” while a national search is conducted.  Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “Mike’s name is synonymous with alternative music and I’m delighted to welcome him back to Los Angeles.  Along with Ralph, Chris, and Yesi, this dynamic team will usher in the future of our brands in this important music market.  I’d like to thank Kevin for his years of dedicated contributions to our premier collection of brands and our company.  He has certainly made his mark here and we wish him the absolute best in his new role.”…..Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo has entered into a strategic alliance with Burlington, Ontario-based Byrnes Communications “to serve radio listeners in Buffalo and Southern Ontario.”  Shula says, “I am very excited to add ‘MORE 101.1FM’ (adult hits CFLZ, Fort Erie) and ‘105.1FM THE RIVER’ (hot AC CJED, Niagara Falls) to our radio station portfolio. ‘MORE 101.1FM’ has a very large 50,000-watt regional signal that barrels though Buffalo and Southern Ontario.  The music on the station are the ‘biggest hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s’ which target listeners in the 35-64-year-old age group.  ‘105.1FM THE RIVER’ plays ‘Todays Best Hits.’ aiming to please women 25-54 years old… With this cluster of radio stations, it increases our potential to reach listeners of every age group and attract more advertisers who can pick and choose which station is appropriate for their advertising needs.”…..Pictured below is the new “Nikki and Laura” morning show at NRG Media’s hot AC KQKQ, Omaha “Sweet 98.5” on its first live remote at Le Peep restaurant.  From left to right are: Nikki Oswald, station program director Jay Michaels, and Laura Blenkush.

Friday, February 21, 2020

| February 21, 2020

Pete Mundo Upped to Program Director for KCMO-AM.  Programming and on-air pro Pete Mundo is promoted from APD to program director for Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City.  Mundo is also host of the station’s morning show.  Before joining Cumulus Kansas City, Mundo served as a host/anchor for FOX News Radio, CBS Sports Radio, Sports Illustrated’s daily platforms, and WFAN, New York.  Cumulus Kansas City RVP and market manager Donna Baker says, “One of the most fulfilling rewards as a leader is seeing the impact that someone as talented as Pete can make in just two years.  Growth of nearly 75% in audience since his arrival is the result of Pete’s daily focus, drive, passion, and hard work. This well-deserved promotion to program director is an opportunity to continue to expand the brand of KCMO Talk Radio for years to come.”

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled “Billions and Billions!” looks back at this past week of February 17-21, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TV; Howard Monroe, talk show host/owner, WKKX/WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Grace Curley, producer/co-host, the Howie Carr Show; Daliah Wachs, M.D., talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC Friday evenings between 6:00 pm-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Zaslow Re-Ups with ‘AM 790 The Ticket’ in Miami. Sports talk host Jonathan Zaslow and Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “AM 790 The Ticket” agree to a new, multiyear contract extension for him to remain host of the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, “Zaslow and Amber,” alongside Amber Wilson.  Zaslow will also continue to serve as pregame and postgame host for Miami Heat gameday broadcasts, as part of the station’s flagship coverage.  Zaslow joined “AM 790 The Ticket” in 2004 and has served as an on-air personality for the station for the last 13 years. This year marks Zaslow’s 10th as a part of the station’s Heat gameday broadcasts.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Jonathan Zaslow is a true Miami sports talent and an original employee of ‘790 The Ticket.’  We are thrilled to have him back for more passionate sports talk and lock him into our impressive weekday programming.”

Cumulus 2019 Q4 Net Revenue Down 7.7%; Same Station Net Revenue Dips 1.7%.  Financial data for the full year and the fourth quarter of 2019 is reported by Cumulus Media.  Net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $285.5 million, a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2018.  However, on a same station basis, net revenue was down just 1.7%.  For the full year of 2019, net revenue was $1.1 billion, down 2.4% from 2018.  On a same station basis, net revenue – excluding political – of $1,103.2 million was up 1.4% from 2018.  Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “I am very proud of the company’s 2019 results. On a same station basis, our team has now delivered the second year in a row of revenue growth and, excluding the impact of political, the third year in a row of Adjusted EBITDA growth. This performance was driven in large part by the industry-leading growth of our digital businesses and active cost management across our platforms.  Additionally, we made strong progress against our financial goals during the year, paying down $220 million of debt with cash from operations and highly accretive divestitures, reducing net leverage to 4.7x.  This year’s results reflect the success of our consistent focus on key strategies to create value for our investors.  Despite a choppy environment and an expected political headwind, fourth quarter revenue finished in-line with the pacing we shared during our last earnings call, and, with some slight favorability on expenses, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA that was somewhat better than we had indicated. As we move into the new year, we are further expanding our delivery of compelling audio experiences and digital offerings that connect and support our advertisers and listeners.  And, we are optimistic about 2020 and our continuing ability to drive strong operating and financial performance while aggressively reducing net leverage to below 4.0x.”

Round Three of January PPM’s Released.  The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  Nielsen’s January 2020 survey period covered January 2 – 29.  Some of the spoken-word stations that performed well in January (weekly, 6+ AQH share) coming off the challenging Holiday survey were: Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland, which racked up a half share increase to finish the January survey with a 5.1 share and the #5 market rank.  Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte adds 1.4 shares to post a 4.9 share and the #8 rank.  iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio adds four-tenths to finish the month at a 5.7 share and standing steady at the #3 rank.  In Sacramento, iHeartMedia’s KFBK gains an amazing 2.7 shares to leap into a tie for the #1 rank in the market with an 8.6 share.  Bonneville’s KSL-FM, Salt Lake City adds a full share to end the survey with a 5.0 share and the #7 rank in the market.  You can see all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, check out TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Wednesday’s Democratic Debate and the Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of February 17-21. The Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas and the presidential race tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s post-impeachment pardons and appointments.  Coming in at #3 was the Department of Justice turmoil and the related Roger Stone sentencing, followed by the covid-19 pandemic, U.S.-China relations, and the deadly flu season tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discusses 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.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Diana Boyce Completes Disney Princess 5K. Pictured above left is Diana Boyce, wife of Salem Radio Network SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce, braving the chilly temps and drizzle in Orlando this morning (2/21) while finishing the annual Disney Princess 5K race.  The race is part of Disney Half Marathon Weekend that benefits some 17 charities. Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher cheering Diana on.

AWM/F Announce 2020 Board. The Alliance for Women in Media and its Foundation (AWM/F) announce their 2020 National Board of Directors.  Joining the AWM Board are: Katina Arnold, vice president, corporate communications, ESPN; Abby Auerbach, executive vice president, chief communications officer, TVB; Michelle Ray, executive director, The Walter Kaitz Foundation; Sandra Rice, senior vice president, outreach and strategic partnerships, Center for Talent Innovation; and Esther Mireya Tejeda, senior vice president, head of corporate communications & PR, Entercom.  Officers of the board have been announced as Keisha Sutton-James, chair, vice president & CEO, Sutton Button Productions LLC, serving as chair; Heather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency, serving as incoming chair; Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group, serving as immediate past chair; Josie Thomas, CBS, serving as treasurer; and Annie Howell, co-founder and managing partner, The Punch Point Group, serving as incoming treasurer.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWM: Joyce Fitch, legal consultant; Abby Greensfelder, founder & CEO, Everywoman Studios; Brenda Hetrick, chief revenue officer, Matrix Solutions; Jinny Laderer, co-founder & CEO, vCreative; Meg LaVigne, president, LaVIGNE MEDIA; Kelly Perdomo, vice president, content, sports, entertainment, and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; and Katherine Wolfgang, head of public relations, CBC.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large of AWMF: Deborah Parenti, publisher, RadioInk, RBR and TVBR; Rob Stoddard, SVP program network policy, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; and Kristen Welch, chief financial officer, Illustrative Mathematics.  AWM executive director Becky Brooks says, “The role of the AWM and Foundation boards is to lead our organizations and industry as we recognize, connect and educate women in radio, television and interactive media.  We have a true working board.  This year’s new directors have voiced their dedication to donating time and resources to take these organizations to the next level. We are thrilled to have these talented, accomplished women joining our leadership for the next two years.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Columbia, South Carolina market, programming pro Chris Connors joins Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC-FM “Kiss 103.1” as program director.  Connors was most recently with Alpha Media’s Columbia cluster as operations manager.  He says, “We’ve already made ratings history in Columbia, and I’m very fortunate and extremely thankful to have the opportunity to do it again.  Big thanks to John Dimick, Kenny Smoov, and Tammy O’Dell for entrusting me to lead the Columbia team.  No need to pack or move; we’re ready on day one.”…..Nationally syndicated and WBLS-FM, New York afternoon drive host Deja Vu wraps up a month of celebration with the special, “The Deja Vu Show: Black History in Forward Motion,” being syndicated by ABC Audio.  The commercial free, two-hour special celebrates the importance of African American representation in a variety of fields, including Broadway, film, TV and law.  It features Deja Vu sitting down with iconic celebrities, artists, and influencers including: Will Packer, David Alan Grier, Celia Rose Gooding, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Isaac Wright Jr…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One syndicated radio host Lon Helton was honored with the Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award at the Country Radio Seminar.  This award – named for Tom Rivers, former WQYK PD and host of Westwood One holiday specials in the 1990s – recognizes an individual in the country radio industry who has given back to the community.  Helton is one of the founders and advocates of the legendary country radiothon program, Country Cares For St. Jude Kids, that has raised almost $1 billion for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital…..iHeartMedia announces that country star Blake Shelton is joining the lineup for the 2020 iHeartCountry Festival Presented by Capital One on Saturday, May 2 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  The seventh annual event will also feature performances from Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Dustin Lynch, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Jon Pardi, and Chase Rice, plus Hot Country Knights, Bobby Bones, and more.  The event will livestream exclusively on livexlive.com and broadcast live across iHeartMedia’s country radio stations in their local markets and at iHeartRadio.com.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

| February 12, 2020

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Stars Dennis & Judi Announce ‘UnPLUGGED’ Performance. WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” midday personalities Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco are performing a live stage show titled, “Dennis & Judi: UnPLUGGED,” at Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at The Count Basie Center in Red Bank, New Jersey on Saturday, May 2.  The station says that the live show “will feature many of the elements that make ‘Dennis & Judi’ popular among the station’s audience, including live music, audience interaction, and special guests.”  Ron de Castro is market president for Townsquare Media and he adds, “We’re excited to offer this very special night with New Jersey 101.5’s top-rated midday show hosts. Dennis and Judi’s 20 plus-year-long friendship has a special chemistry that transcends multiple media every day, and now we’re pleased to add the dimension of a live stage show to their already substantial brand.”

Covering the New Hampshire Primary. News networks and some talk radio hosts were in New Hampshire on Tuesday covering the state’s Democratic primary election.  CBS News Radio was headquartered in Manchester for the New Hampshire primary with reporter Steve Dorsey there, Steven Portnoy with Pete Buttigieg, WCBS-AM reporter Steve Burns with Bernie Sanders, and Jim Krasula with former Vice President Joe Biden in Columbia, South Carolina.  Pictured at right is Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) with Steve Burns.   FOX News Radio offered live coverage of the returns with FOX News national correspondent Jared Halpern anchoring plus political analyst Josh Kraushaar and FNR reporters Tonya J. Powers and Jessica Rosenthal.  In addition, FNR produced a number of podcasts focused on the race, including “The Campaign with Bret Baier” and the latest from anchor Dana Perino and FOX News politics editor Chris Stirewalt’s “I’ll Tell You What.”  Plus, FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show is broadcasting live from Manchester throughout the week.  Pictured at left is WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk host John DePetro, who took his radio program to New Hampshire to cover the primary.  Westwood One News‘ coverage of the primary included correspondent Bob Costantini (right) at the Bernie Sanders victory celebration at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

iHeartMedia Unveils iHeartPodcast AdSuite. Today (2/12) at Podfront LA 2020, iHeartMedia unveiled its iHeartPodcast AdSuite – a package of tools designed to help marketers drive results via “iHeartMedia’s unmatched podcast offerings, distribution and listener reach.” iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “As the podcast industry continues to evolve and capture massive consumer attention, advertisers and brands are looking for tools and products to capture and measure the impact.  They are often left without a system for quantitatively monitoring the success, impact. and reach of podcast advertising.  As the leader in the space of both audio and podcasting, we are meeting this challenge head on, offering a new suite of cutting-edge podcast ad products – from better targeting to boosted reach across broadcast radio – as well as pulling together performance and insights across the multiple platforms where we reach audiences.”  The company says the iHeartPodcast AdSuite provides advertisers “with diverse ad formats and customization tools.  Through these products, iHeartMedia has created a dynamic range of options for advertisers and brands to reach their audiences with targetability and scale without sacrificing the listener experience.”

Allgeier to Lead Leighton Broadcasting in Winona. Sales and management pro Jim Allgeier is appointed general manager for Leighton Broadcasting’s Winona, Minnesota station group that includes news/talk KWNO and four music brands.  He was most recently market manager for Federated Media’s Fort Wayne, Indiana operations.  Leighton vice president of sales and marketing Stephanie Theisen says, “Jim is an accomplished media expert with experience in radio and beyond.  The addition of a radio veteran like Allgeier, with over 19 consecutive years in the business, will provide the direction and leadership we have been seeking for our Winona market.”

Presidential Race-NH Primary, Wuhan Coronavirus, Roger Stone Case, Trump Budget-Deficit Concerns, Weinstein Trial, and Jussie Smollett Indicted Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. The Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November and Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary; the status of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the effect on China’s economy; four prosecutors resign as the Justice Department reduces the sentencing of convicted Trump attorney Roger Stone; the Trump administration’s fiscal 2021 budget and the Fed’s concerns about the soaring deficit; the sexual assault trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; and actor Jussie Smollett’s indictment on disorderly conduct charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Raleigh CHR WDCG-FM “G105” adds air personality Danny Meyers to “The Showgram” alongside Erica, Ben, and AshleyhiHeartMedia Raleigh SVP of programming Trevor Morini says, “I am incredibly excited to welcome Danny to ‘The Showgram.’  Danny’s extensive track record of morning show success and experience coupled with the other talented hosts make this the perfect fit for ‘G105.’”  Meyers joins the Raleigh market from iHeartMedia Norfolk, where he most recently served as the morning show host on hot AC WMVN “MOViN 107.7.”…..Cumulus Media names Brian Roberts program director for hot AC KEHK-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Star 102.3” and adult contemporary KSCR-AM/FM.  Roberts moves to Eugene from his most recent position with Cumulus programming adult contemporary WPEZ-FM, Macon, Georgia “Z93.7.”…..Air personality Greg Rivers leaves Alpha Media’s news/talk WHBC, Canton, Ohio to join iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMXY, Youngstown, Ohio as morning show host…..Estrella Media, Inc. appoints Eddie León executive vice president, radio programming.  In this position, León will be responsible for overseeing programming at Estrella Media’s 17 owned-and-operated radio stations across the U.S., including the Don Cheto Radio Network…..Matt Stockman is the new director of programming for Pillar of Fire’s contemporary Christian WAWZ-FM, New York “Star 99.1.”  He was most recently a program director with K-Love.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

| February 4, 2020

Joyce Kaufman Reduces Show to One Hour in New WFTL, West Palm Beach Schedule. Longtime South Florida talk show host Joyce Kaufman is moving to a new start time and will host a one-hour show as Hubbard Radio reveals “News/Talk 850” WFTL’s new program schedule.  Kaufman says, “I am definitely not being pushed out.  In fact, I wanted to retire, and the station management said you can’t leave completely.  So, I am very grateful that they have been so gracious and accommodating.”  The new lineup is as follows: “The South Florida Morning Show with Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams” from 5:30 to 10:00 am; FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Joyce Kaufman from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Radio America’s “The Dana Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Westwood One’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.   Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Joyce Kaufman has been an important piece to 850 WFTL for nearly 30 years.  We are happy she remains part of our very exciting new lineup.”

Former KRLD-FM, Dallas Duo ‘Ben & Skin’ Land at Classic Rock ‘97.1 The Eagle.’ Sports talk duo “Ben & Skin” left Entercom’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “The Fan” in October saying they had a new gig lined up.  Now, we learn that the duo is the new afternoon show at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle,” effective Monday (2/10).  Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade will be on the air from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Kevin “KT” Turner will handle news duties and Krystina Ray will serve as producer.  Rogers says, “We’re beyond excited to reconnect with listeners.  They’ve always been the fuel for our rocket ship, and we think they’re absolutely going to love this no-holds-barred version of our show.  We’ll have complete freedom to combine everything we’re passionate about into three hours of unfiltered comedy, pop culture and sports talk. We plan to explore it all in the funniest and most entertaining ways possible.”  Wade adds, “When we were offered the opportunity to be on a station that we grew up listening to, it got our creative juices flowing in a way that we hadn’t felt in a long time.  This is huge for us.”

FOX Nation’s Abby Hornacek Debuts ‘Getting Schooled’ Podcast. A new podcast from FOX News Radio launches, hosted by FOX Nation travel, lifestyle and sports personality Abby Hornacek, titled “Getting Schooled.”  FNR says, “With a new episode released every Monday, Hornacek will be joined by guests and experts in the field to uncover the origins behind popular buzz words and phrases.  Episode one features FOX News Channel’s politics editor Chris Stirewalt as he dives into the definition of ‘caucus’ and why Iowa is the first in the nation to cast their vote and more.”  Hornacek is the host of three series on FOX Nation: “PARK’D,” in which  Hornacek takes viewers behind-the-scenes of United States national parks; “Ride to Work,” in which she conducts light-hearted interviews with various FOX Nation hosts and FNC personalities as she drives them to work; and “American Arenas,” in which she embraces her passion for sports and travels to the country’s most beloved fields and sporting venues.

Julie Landry Named VP of Consumer Engagement for ‘New Jersey 101.5.’ Marketing and sales pro Julie Landry is named vice president for consumer engagement for Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  In this role, Landry will lead Townsquare Accelerate, that works with key local and regional clients to develop creative approaches that will address their business needs.  ‘NJ 101.5’ president and chief revenue officer Ron deCastro says, “Julie has a long track record of working across diverse client industries at several NYC advertising agencies and is a leading voice in the influencer marketing and branded content field.  She will be leading the process to develop breakthrough, cross-channel programs that deliver results for our key clients.”  Prior to joining Townsquare, she co-founded Wellness Amplified, an influencer marketing agency in New York, and was VP group account director at the Integer Group and VP account director at Wunderman in New York.  Landry will work with Kristin Roderick, recently named vice president of partnership sales, “in order to help local and regional clients unlock great results, using the full range of Townsquare’s multiplatform marketing offerings.”  She says, “I’m looking forward to partnering with Ron, Kristin, and the Townsquare ‘New Jersey 101.5’ sales team to bring Townsquare’s innovative broadcast and digital capabilities to life, to engage consumers and deliver superior business results for our local customers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Broadcast executive and podcast pioneer Gary Leland joins BizTalkRadio as executive vice president, a move the company says “recognizes the need to increase the digital footprint and marketing of the brand.  Company COO Scott Miller says, “BizTalkRadio has been a strong option for business and lifestyle content.  We continue to grow our radio footprint, but to support our affiliates we felt we needed a stronger digital and social media focus.  Gary is well known in the radio podcasting space and is a marketer by nature.”…..Former WOR, New York; WRKO, Boston; and WTKK-FM, Boston talk host Jay Severin comes out of retirement to host a weekly, Sunday evening show throughout the 2020 election cycle on Westport Communications’ WBOQ-FM, Gloucester, Massachusetts.  The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program will be available as a podcast after broadcast via North of Boston Podcast Services…..The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that University of Kentucky football and men’s basketball radio play-by-play announcer Tom Leach is brokering the three-hour Sunday morning block on iHeartMedia’s WLAP-AM, Lexington in order to continue the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show that was cancelled as part of iHeartMedia’s recent workforce reduction.  Leach brought back two of the three hosts – Larry Vaught and Anthony White – as Mark Buerger elected not to return.  Instead, show producer Curtis Burch is joining Vaught and White.  Leach already brokers his daily, one-hour “The Leach Report” show on WLAP-AM and WKJK, Louisville…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WSCR, Chicago morning drive personality Brian Hanley has joined Good Karma Brands-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” to serve as a weekend and fill-in host.  He’ll also co-host the weekly “ESPN 1000 Hockey Show.”  Hanley co-hosted AMs on “The Score” before exiting 18 months ago…..MLB’s Minnesota Twins sign a multi-year partnership with Skyview Networks to use the company’s Skyview Networks’ AdView inventory management and live read capture software.  This allows the process of scheduling ads and reporting them for billing to be fully controlled by the franchise’s broadcast team and front office.  Twins senior broadcast manager Andrew Halverson says, “After thoroughly researching the market, it is clear that Skyview Networks’ industry-leading AdView software is best suited to enhance our day-to-day broadcast operations, while also driving greatly-improved efficiencies in our reporting processes.  We are eager to partner with Skyview’s team to maximize their resources for the betterment of our broadcasts and our advertisers alike.”

Sun Broadcast Group Acquires Envision Networks. Cleveland-based Envision Networks is being acquired by Sun Broadcast Group, a Gen Media Partners company.  SBG says that this acquisition increases its national footprint with an additional 1,300 affiliates in both general market and Hispanic.  It also adds to SBG’s portfolio of programming and services “Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock,” BOB FM, MeTV FM, “The Rooster,” and more.  As part of the transaction, Envision co-founders Danno Wolkoff and Laura Orkin become stockholders in the expanded SBG.  They also join the executive team with Wolkoff serving as SBG’s chief development officer and Orkin accepting the position of vice president of business operations.

Iowa Caucus Problems/Presidential Race, Impeachment Trial, Coronavirus Concerns/Financial Markets Reactions, State of the Union Address, Rush Limbaugh Cancer Revelation, and Super Bowl LIV Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3). The issues affecting the results of the Iowa Caucuses; the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a possible coronavirus pandemic and the financial markets’ reactions to it; tonight’s State of the Union address to Congress; the talk radio and political world’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s announcement of his lung cancer diagnosis; and reaction to the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  Needless to say, the Holiday book is generally huge for AC stations that flip to Christmas music.  Which AC station made the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share jump from the December 2019 survey?  Check out the report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Cumulus Media’s WFYR, Peoria announces it has re-branded as “97.3 River Country” from its previous “97.3 NASH FM.”  The station’s new weekday lineup is: “The Ty Bentli Show” in mornings, Wes from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Cathy Taylor from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Doc Watson from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Biscuit from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Brian from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

| January 21, 2020

Beasley Ups Justin Chase to Chief Content Officer. Programming pro Justin Chase is promoted from his EVP of programming position to chief content officer for Beasley Media Group.  The company says that in his new role, Chase “will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of on-air content and digital on behalf of the company.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Justin has done an incredible job overseeing our company’s on-air brands.  I look forward to him enhancing and expanding our content on all of our on-air and digital platforms across the company.”  Chase comments, “I am so grateful to the Beasley family and the entire corporate staff for their support and confidence in me taking on this new role within the company.  The programming and digital teams at Beasley are first class and I feel lucky to be surrounded by the best of the best every day.”

Lori Burgess Rises to Chief Operating Officer for Beasley Esports. Another executive promotion at Beasley Media Group has Lori Burgess moving from her chief digital content officer post to chief operating officer at Beasley Esports.  Prior to joining Beasley in her previous position, she consulted for the company on integrated marketing strategy.  Speaking about her new role leading Beasley Esports, Burgess says, “The esports industry is on the verge of going mainstream.  Our timing and expansion into this space will firmly poise Beasley Media Group to own and influence the next generation of consumers.  The company’s ability to provide compelling esports content, leverage strategic partnerships, and compete at the most elite levels will ensure our foundation as this sector begins to dominate the media and sports-market/entertainment conversation and commands more sponsorship partnerships.”  Burgess served for more than two decades in the publishing industry with brands including: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Crossover Media Group to Partner with Just the News for Podcasts and Video.  In yesterday’s edition of TALKERS, we wrote about the coming launch of the news organization, Just the News – a multi-platform news operation founded by award-winning investigative journalist and commentator John Solomon.  Today, it’s being announced that Crossover Media Group – a cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales firm – is entering into a partnership with Just the News to produce, sell, and distribute its audio and video programming.  CMG will handle advertising sales and distribution of the video and audio content and assist in production of programming that will be found at JustTheNews.com.  Among the inaugural audio programs will be: “John Solomon Reports,” a twice-weekly podcast featuring the veteran investigative reporter and editor in chief of Just the News; “David Brody’s Pods Honest Truth,” hosted by longtime CBN correspondent and Just the News senior contributing editor David Brody; and “The Sharyl Attkisson Podcast,” featuring the Emmy-Award winning investigative television correspondent.  The first “John Solomon Reports” podcast drops today at 3:00 pm ET and offers listeners new information regarding the discussion around the Ukraine matter at the center of the presidential impeachment trial.  Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum says, “Over the course of more than three decades reporting from the nation’s capital, John’s award-winning work has propelled him to senior positions at The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the Center for Public Integrity, among other prominent organizations.  His gutsy, contrarian, enterprise journalism has unearthed insights that have helped drive the national conversation, stirred controversy, and withstood scrutiny.”  Solomon adds, “Ron and I have worked on projects for many years and his command of the audio/video marketplace, his relationships and his visionary insights are priceless.  We are excited by the extraordinary capabilities of Crossover Media Group and can’t wait to get started.  There’s an incredible opportunity to cut through the noise in Washington with exclusive reporting and analysis.”

Beasley and Bonneville Officers Co-Chair Media Financial Management Summit. The 2020 CFO Summit takes place March 5-6 at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale presented by The Media Financial Management AssociationBeasley Media Group CFO Marie Tedesco and Bonneville International CFO Kent Nate – along with E.W. Scripps SVP, controller and treasurer Doug Lyons – will serve as co-chairs for the conference.  This 14th edition of the annual summit “provides an exclusive forum with real solutions to the challenges that CFOs face every day.”  Topics include an update from the Federal Reserve; an equity analyst’s look at cybersecurity concerns for media businesses; the future of media; local advertising; podcasting; political advertising issues and outlook; leadership; and a CFO roundtable.

Impeachment, Presidential Race, Putin Power Grab, Honduran Migrant Caravan, Chinese Coronavirus, Virginia Gun Rally, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20). The process for handling the articles of impeachment against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Vladimir Putin’s push for constitutional changes in Russia that would extend his rule; a migrant caravan headed from Honduras to the U.S. is stopped at the Guatemala-Mexico border; fears of a global pandemic as China deals with the fast-spreading Coronavirus; the gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia; and Sunday’s NFL Conference Championship Games 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. At Hubbard Radio’s Chicago hot AC WTMX “The Mix,” afternoon drive co-host Jennifer Roberts, a.k.a. Jennifer Ashrafi, is leaving her role with the station to take a new corporate communications position.  Roberts, who co-hosted the show with Koz, a.k.a. Kevin Koske, announced the move in a social media post: “A lot of people get prematurely put ‘on the beach’ in this business and I’m thrilled that I’m making my exit completely on my terms.  There was no threat on the horizon, just a calling in my soul for something better.”…..In West Palm Beach, Hubbard Radio announces that programming pro Randi West joins the cluster as the new program director of hot AC WRMF and CHR WMBX-HD2/W242CI “Party 96.3.”  West was previously program director for iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa.  Hubbard West Palm Beach operations manager Bruce Logan says, “WRMF is a one-of-a-kind radio station – huge heritage call letters, remarkably successful in ratings, and revenue with one of the best morning shows in the entire industry in ‘KVJ.’  We knew we needed a one-of-a-kind program director to match.  Randi’s passion and vision for the future as well as her energy made her the right fit.  I am thrilled to welcome Randi to the team and cannot wait to get out of her way and let her make WRMF even better.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

| January 8, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

| December 10, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Compared to the October survey, 37% of news/talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share go up, 34% were down and 29% were flat.  A year-over-year comparison indicates 53% of news/talk stations were down, with 39% seeing a ratings increase.  Just two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the November survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati ranked #2 in November, as did Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Impeachment Proceedings, Inspector General’s Report, Afghanistan Report, Czech Hospital Slayings, Golden Globe Nominations, and New Zealand Volcano Eruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9). The Democrats’ plans to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump today; the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation; the report detailing the opinions of numerous government and military officials kept from the American people that the Afghanistan war was unwinnable; the deadly rampage of a gunman in a Czech hospital that took the lives of six patients; the Golden Globe nominations and the controversy over the absence of female director nominees; and the eruption of a volcano in New Zealand that killed at least six tourists were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Brendan Walsh Joins Cumulus Media and Westwood One in New Sales Role. Sales pro Brendan Walsh joins Cumulus Media to serve in the newly created role of SVP, feature sales and marketing, in which he’ll manage Cumulus’ local and national features and Westwood One’s FYI Network.  Walsh has served with iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic Weather Network, Charter Media, and KPLR-TV, St. Louis.  He’ll be based in St. Louis.  Cumulus/WWO president, national and network sales Bryan Forbes says, “Brendan is the perfect fit for this revenue growth initiative.  He has a stellar track record of revenue generation, understanding a customer’s needs, building solutions that deliver ROI, and knows what it takes to win in a competitive marketplace.”  Walsh comments, “I am honored to join the team and am excited for the opportunity to build a mass scale business at an organization as dynamic as Cumulus Media and its 428 radio stations and Westwood One, the largest audio network in the US.”

Westwood One to Distribute and Rep Associated Press Podcasts. A deal between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and The Associated Press will see the former exclusively distributing and handling ad representation for three of the AP’s podcasts.  The three programs are: “The All New Ground Game” with AP Washington bureau chief Julie Pace that explores the top issues in American politics; “AP’s Top 25 College Football” with host Ralph Russo; and “AP’s Get Outta Here” with Warren Levinson designed for the causal or veteran traveler.  Cumulus EVP marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “The Associated Press is an incredibly strong brand, showcasing talented hosts with a fresh point-of-view.  From Julie’s energetic and engaging news coverage, to Ralph’s experience, and Warren’s amazingly creative way with words, these shows will drive discussions and discovery in politics, sports, and travel today.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports a couple of notes TALKERS readers may find interesting.  First, Feder says Chicago broadcaster Bob Sirott – who, along with his wife Marianne Murciano, exited Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM two years ago – is in talks with Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago for a possible role there.  Second, Feder reports on the dual remote broadcast taking place Friday morning with WSCR, Chicago and WSSP, Milwaukee personalities at The Brat Stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin in advance of Sunday’s Packers-Bears game in Green Bay.  Entercom programmer Mitch Rosen, who serves as program director for both stations, is calling it “Brat Bowl 1.”…..The Desert Sun reports that KNWQ-AM/K232CX, Palm Springs, California “K-News 94.3 FM” morning personality Bill Feingold returned to the air yesterday (12/9) after taking a medical leave in August to battle stage four liver cancer.  Feingold re-joined co-host Kevin Holmes and told his listeners he’s still undergoing chemotherapy.  “For the time being, I’ve really beaten down the cancer, but it’s still there and active.  I have a whole new outlook.  My outlook is that I have cancer and as long as I can do the show, I’m going to do the show.  It keeps me going.”…..The podcast “22 Hours: An American Nightmare” – a collaboration from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington and PodcastOne – scored the #2 rank on The Associated Press’ Top 10 Podcasts of the Year list.  The show is reported, written, and produced by award-winning WTOP journalists Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore and recounts the brutal torture and murder of three family members and their housekeeper in Washington, D.C. in 2015.  The victims were held hostage inside the family’s home for 22 hours before they were murdered and the house set on fire.  The Associated Press called the podcast “superior” and said it made its list because it “carefully, respectfully, and responsibly reported about a horrific crime and sets an example for how true crime should be handled.”…..WABC, New York “TALKRADIO 77” personalities Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” show and Curtis Sliwa and Juliet Huddy from the midday “Curtis & Juliet” show will host a holiday “Radiothon for the Kids” live from Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York on Friday, December 13.  Funds raised during the radiothon will be used to improve life-saving patient care and equipment, pediatric research, Child Life services and charitable cases.  All money raised during the radiothon will go directly to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and will be used to benefit the children and families of their community…..Radio software firm Mr. Master announces it is promoting Maria Laing to senior vice president and Roger Nadel joins the company as executive director of affiliate sales.  In these newly created positions, Laing will play a key role in Mr. Master’s overall growth, driving innovative initiatives and business opportunities for the company, while Nadel will be responsible for enhancing the affiliation strategy for Mr. Master’s Automation Import Manager software and servicing its 3500 affiliates…..WBUR, Boston launches its new podcast, “Food, We Need To Talk,” on Monday, December 23.  In this 10-part series, show host Juna Gjata undertakes a journey toward redefining her relationship with food. She’s guided by noted Harvard Medical School lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Eddie Phillips, using solid science, clinical knowledge, and common sense.  Along with her, listeners learn how to eat better, and most importantly, how to feel better about their food choices.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Legendary radio personality Tom Joyner is celebrating 25 years as a leader in the entertainment industry as he prepares to retire from broadcasting this Friday (12/13).  All week long, Joyner is being joined by surprise guests calling in that include: Arsenio Hall, Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson, Emmitt Smith, April Ryan, and Lionel Richie…..Cox Media Group announces that Reach Media nationally syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will replace “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  Smiley’s show will air on all of CMG’s urban AC brands in Florida – including the Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets.  CMG vice president of content and audience Tim Clarke says, “We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with Reach Media to bring Rickey Smiley’s new show to listeners in Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets.  Rickey has been a fantastic partner to Cox Media Group for many years and we are so excited to see him begin this new chapter.”…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces Jeff Dubow is named the new executive producer for the “Brooke & Jubal in The Morning” show on KQMV “MOViN 92.”  Dubow has been with the station for nine years and moved into the assistant producer position seven years ago.  He says, “I am extremely grateful to everyone at Hubbard to be given this incredible opportunity with the ‘Brooke & Jubal’ morning show.  It’s an honor to be able to work alongside such a talented group of unique and dynamic personalities, both on the air and behind the scenes. We will continue to push ourselves to find new and creative ways to make our listeners laugh, and bring a little wackiness and entertainment to the mornings.”…..iHeartMedia announces that adult contemporary KKCW, Portland “K103” morning personalities John Erickson and Bruce Murdock are retiring as on-air hosts of the “K103 Morning Show,” effective December 20.  In celebration of their last day on the air, ‘K103’ will air a special live Christmas themed broadcast from the iHeartRadio Theater in Portland on December 20.  The event will feature a live studio audience and an array of special guests.  Murdock has hosted the “K103 Morning Show” since 2004 and Erickson has been delivering news and information to Portland radio listeners on K103 since 1985…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality Delilah returned to the Dr. Oz television show on Friday (12/6).  During the program, Delilah and Dr. Oz (pictured below) shared a powerful conversation about life, love, loss, faith, and resilience, including how Delilah found the strength to carry on after the tragic loss of two sons.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

| December 5, 2019

San Francisco 49ers Suspend Ryan For “Dark Skin” Comments. The radio analyst for the San Francisco 49ers Tim Ryan – has been suspended by the NFL team for statements he made earlier this week on Cumulus Media San Francisco flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader.” During his weekly appearance on KNBR’s “Murph & Mac” morning show, Ryan remarked of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, “When you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that [fake]. I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point. If you’re a half-step slow on him, in terms of your vision, forget about it – he’s out of the gate.” A 49ers-issued statement reads, “We are disappointed in Tim Ryan’s comments. We hold Tim to a high standard as a representative of our organization and he must be more thoughtful with his words. Tim has expressed remorse in a public statement and has also done so with us privately. We know Tim as a man of high integrity and are confident he will grow and learn from this experience. We have reached out to the Baltimore Ravens organization to extend our apologies and assure them the matter is not being taken lightly.” Ryan’s statement notes, “I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.” Ryan, a former University of Southern California and Chicago Bears lineman, will be kept out of the San Francisco radio booth for this Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

SB Nation Radio’s “Above It All” Set To Debut Next Month. The weekday three-hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) sports talk “Above it All with Candace Cooper and Tiffany Marshall” program will launch in January and succeeds Brian Barrett’s “The Break.” According to SB Nation Radio chief operating officer/program director Craig Larson, “After listening to the demo shows, I was absolutely blown away. I’m proud to be a part of a company that is always at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. This show will be groundbreaking on several levels and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.” Raleigh sportscaster/former University of North Carolina swimmer Cooper remarks, “I am elated to be joining SB Nation Radio and [having] the opportunity to be working with Tiffany. The time is now for strong, female- driven shows; I’m eager to begin this new adventure.” Marshall, who has worked in sports management and marketing, most recently with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, comments, “ Candace and I are thrilled to be able to represent women in the sports radio industry. We are ready to break down barriers.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at performances in the all-news format. Two all-news outlets ranked on top (6+) in their respective markets in the November sweep – Entercom Chicago’s WBBM-AM and its San Francisco sibling, KCBS-AM. While 72% of all-news stations improved from October to November (6+), precisely half as many (36%) showed year-to-year (November 2018 – November 2019) gains. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Frontado Joins KUT as Executive Editor. It is a newly-created position at University of Texas at Austin news/talk KUT and it will be filled next month by Teresa Frontado, who most recently was digital director for Miami news/talk WLRN-FM. KUT general manager and public media executive director Debbie Hiott states, “Teresa is going to be a dynamic leader for the newsroom as we increase our coverage. She is a proven innovator in digital strategy, a tough journalist, and someone who is well-attuned to what it takes to cover a community and state undergoing major growth and demographic change.” Frontado notes, “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the KUT newsroom to find new ways to inform and engage with communities in central Texas. Through distinctive coverage of the city of Austin, or serving the whole state with Texas Standard, the journalists in this newsroom are committed to inspire dialogue and understanding indispensable for a strong, civil society.” Frontado previously worked for Univision and the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald.

Fox News Radio Content To Become Available on RADIO.COM. The digital partnership between Fox News Radio and RADIO.COM is an extension of the existing broadcast agreement which includes FNR affiliates on Entercom news/talk stations in St. Louis (KFTK “News Talk 97.1”); Charlotte (WBT); Greenville-Spartanburg (WYRD “Word 106.3”); Wichita (KNSS), and Gainesville (WSKY “News Talk 97.3 – The Sky”). Entercom vice president of business development Corey Podolsky remarks, “Fox News Radio is an essential source of information and entertainment for audiences nationwide and we are pleased to extend our broadcast partnership to our digital platform. RADIO.COM continues to build its library of premium live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music, and sports content and we are proud to have Fox News Radio included among our roster of industry-leading streaming and on-demand content providers.” The network features five-minute, hourly newscasts, along with one-minute newscasts, business updates, breaking-news coverage, and on-demand original podcasts. Fox News Talk provides weekday programs hosted by Brian Kilmeade and Guy Benson.

TALKERS News Notes. Former associate dean of External Relations at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, Carla Wohl, is appointed senior vice president of development for Southern California Public Radio, which includes Los Angeles news/talk outlet KPCC. Prior to her decade in development at USC, Wohl was assistant dean of External Affairs at the UCLA School of Public Health; a west coast correspondent for ABC News; and was a news reporter for Los Angeles’ KCBS-TV …. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Tampa, Jason Fulmino, transfers to iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana as regional vice president of automotive sales. Regional senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana Kristy Beebe remarks, “We are so excited to welcome Jason to iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana. We trust that a marketing veteran like Jason will eagerly share his years of automotive sales knowledge with those in the Louisville, Indianapolis, Lexington, and Somerset markets.” Fulmino notes that, “iHeartMedia continues to create exciting new assets and tools in automotive radio advertising. I look forward to using these assets with a talented team of professionals to present opportunities for the automotive industry in Kentucky and Indiana.” Twenty-seven (27) news/talk and music-intensive stations comprise iHeartMedia Kentucky-Indiana ….. Effective January 21, Jess Clark will join Louisville Public Media news/talk WFPL as education reporter. WFPL director of news and programming Erica Peterson notes, “Jess is an experienced education reporter and also has first-hand experience with Jefferson County public schools. She has a track record of telling deeply-reported stories about students, teachers, and educational systems. I’m really excited for her to do that work at WFPL.” Clark previously had similar responsibilities at University of New Orleans news/talk WWNO ….. As part of Salem Radio Network’s “Stand with Israel Tour,” SRN host Mike Gallagher (right) is doing his show from Jerusalem. Joining Gallagher all this week are 615 SRN listeners.

Viacom-CBS Merger Is Now Complete. Fourteen years ago, Viacom and CBS Corp. went their separate ways, but they are officially back together. After three years of on-again/off-again talks, the all-stock merger between the companies has been completed, with the result being ViacomCBS Inc. The new company will have more than $28 billion in revenue and 4.3 billion cumulative TV subscribers. The combined company’s stock starts trading today (Thursday, 12/5) on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbols, “VIAC” and VIACA.” Viacom chief executive officer Bob Bakish leads the merged company as president/chief executive officer, while CBS Corp. acting CEO Joe Ianniello is now chairman/CEO of CBS, overseeing all CBS-branded assets. According to Bakish, “This is an historic moment that brings together two iconic companies to form one of the world’s most important content producers and providers. Through the combination of complementary assets, capabilities, and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally. I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees, while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.” The deal brings Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and cable channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and BET together with the CBS broadcast network, Showtime, 28 owned and operated television stations, CBS All Access, and Simon & Schuster.

WABC, New York Morning Show Co-host Sid Rosenberg Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.   One of the most colorful radio talk show hosts in America, “Heavy Hundred” member Sid Rosenberg, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Rosenberg is co-host with Bernard McGuirk of “The Bernie & Sid Show” – soon to mark its fourth anniversary in mornings on WABC, New York.  In addition to the daily news/talk show, Rosenberg hosts a weekend sports/talk show on WABC, tapping into his years of experience in that genre.  Harrison and Rosenberg discuss politics, sports, pop culture, and the state of radio as well as the inspirational progress the talk show host continues to make in his winning struggle with addiction issues.  According to Harrison, “Sid is one of the most authentic voices in American media today and living proof that a human being can overcome their demons.  We’re both a couple of Brooklyn boys who speak the Kings English (Kings County, that is).  The section of this podcast that depicts Rosenberg’s New York City street-level view of ‘local’ billionaires Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg is worth the price of admission alone – must-listening for talk show broadcasters around the country.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Job Opening. There is an immediate opening for an afternoon drive host at Entercom Charlotte news/talk WBT AM & FM. The station is looking for someone with a media brand with national reach and a passion to have a local impact; an experienced, authentic storyteller on-air and in the digital space. The candidate should be able to deliver news and lifestyle topics with a strong point-of-view, while always entertaining the listener. All candidates should have three years of hosting experience; possess producer and content creation skills; strong organizational, audio editing, writing, and social media proficiency; and, preferably, a college degree. A candidate must be an “all-in” team player with a positive attitude and an excellent work ethic. To apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Recently voted one of the world’s eleven best soccer players, 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion U.S. women’s national soccer team midfielder Julie Ertz will be honored as “Remarkable Woman of the Year” at Entercom Philadelphia classic hits-oldies WOGL’s annual luncheon. The station’s morning host, Marilyn Russell, will emcee next Tuesday’s (12/10) 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm event. Ertz, who plays midfield for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), will be honored for her soccer accomplishments, as well as her charitable efforts with the Ertz Family Foundation. She comments, “I am extremely honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of the 100-plus women in the Philadelphia community who have been featured this year on Marilyn Russell’s ‘Remarkable Woman’ program on WOGL. There are so many amazing women doing remarkable things in our community. [My husband, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, and I]  are proud to call Philadelphia our community. I have to thank all the volunteers and donors of the Ertz Family Foundation. It is their commitment that makes it possible to make an impact in Philadelphia – we are just getting started here.” Russell notes, “What an honor and privilege it is to showcase truly remarkable women each and every week. From physicians to cancer survivors, to artists, authors, teachers, moms and everyone in-between, each woman has a fascinating story whose contributions to the world invariably moves us. Julie Ertz is the embodiment of a remarkable woman [and] we’re thrilled to celebrate her accomplishments.” ….. Los Angeles city officials honored LBI Media’s Don Cheto yesterday (Wednesday, 12/4) by proclaiming “Don Cheto Day” for his work in supporting the Latino immigrant community. The syndicated “Don Cheto Al Aire” morning show originates from Liberman Broadcasting Los Angeles regional Mexican KBUE “La Que Buena 105.5/94.3.” LBI Media chief executive officer Peter Markham comments, “We are extremely proud to have Don Cheto as an essential member of our LBI Media family. His unique sense of humor and cultural connection to the U.S. Latino population is second to none. His standing as a leading voice in immigration advocacy and his prowess in addressing and bringing attention to pressing issues that affect the Latino community using his multimedia platforms is the essence of LBI Media’s ‘community first’ approach.” Ceto states, “I am honored to receive this recognition from the City of Los Angeles, a city that my family and I call home and where I have been fortunate enough to do what I love. For me, it’s an honor to be the voice of our hard working Latino community and also represent our cultural heritage and pride.” Fourteenth district city councilman Jose Huizar presented Cheto with a proclamation at the Los Angeles city council’s chamber. Huizar celebrated Cheto’s contributions to the city’s Latino immigrant population and his work in providing education and resources through his morning radio show, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. In addition to his daily radio show, Michoacan, Mexico native Cheto is a celebrity judge on EstrellaTV’s “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento.” ….. Performances by Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Blanco Brown, Runaway June, Gone West and Matt Stell highlighted last night’s (Wednesday, 12/4) annual country music concert “Stars and Strings,” which benefitted the American Cancer Society. Entercom New York’s WNSH “Country 94.7” hosted the show at Barclays Center. Entercom senior vice president of programming and music initiatives Michael Martin remarks, “It was amazing to have this level of star power on stage. We are thankful to the artists for an unforgettable evening. There is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than with great music and by supporting American Cancer Society’s mission of helping those affected by cancer.” ….. With the immediate goal of raising money to support families in town to receive care for a sick child, Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI will hold its annual Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver radiothon today (Thursday, 10/5). The station will broadcast from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm from the Ronald McDonald House. Vice president/market manager Bob Call states, “The Ronald McDonald House relieves the worry and stress of where to stay so moms and dads can focus on the best medicine of all – the love and care of their child. I know KOSI listeners will once again step up to support this year’s ‘Light The House’ radiothon.” KOSI program director Jim Lawson notes, “We are very proud to partner again this year and join our incredibly generous listeners to help assist families with housing while they focus on the health of their child.” …..  Six-year iHeartMedia McAllen on-air talent Lauren Campbell exits to start a Rio Grande Valley-based social media consultancy, Top-of-Mind RGV … Earlier this week (Tuesday, 12/3), Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach (Florida) country outlet WYZB “105.5 Nash FM” afternoon personality Skip Davis lost his fight against cancer. During his time at the station, Davis was program director, midday host, and the cluster’s production director. Per a posting on the station’s Facebook page, “With hearts full of sadness, we have lost a son. Skip Davis passed away in his sleep. He moved on in peace and without any distress. Skip has been a radio presence on the Gulf Coast for decades. We ask that you keep Skip’s wife, his family, and friends in your hearts.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

| November 12, 2019

Cumulus Media Q3 Net Revenue Dips Slightly; Up on Same Station Basis. The third quarter financial report for Cumulus Media Inc. shows net revenue was $280.8 million, a decrease of 0.5% over the same period in 2018.  Adjusted EBITDA decreased 5.5%.  However, on a Same Station basis, net revenue was up 3.9% (excluding political).  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “In the third quarter, the Company turned in another strong performance with same station revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 3.9% and 2.2%, respectively, on an ex-political basis.  Our operating plan has continued to deliver industry-leading digital revenue growth and continuing growth in our national and network channels.  We also made great progress in the quarter on our balance sheet as our free cash flow generation allowed us to fund a voluntary debt prepayment of approximately $29 million, which reduced net leverage to 4.5x.  Additionally, we completed a $525 million term loan refinancing that extended our debt maturity and reduced future interest expense.”  Breaking down the company’s report a little bit shows spot revenue for the third quarter of 2019 was $161 million, down 4.4% compared to the same period in 2018.  Network revenue was $78.4 million – up 3.6% over the same period a year ago.  Looking at digital revenue, Cumulus tallied almost $20 million, an increase of more than 48%.

Key Networks Offers O’Reilly Thanksgiving Weekend Special Interview with President Trump.  A one-hour, Thanksgiving week special is being made available to affiliates of Key Networks’ “The O’Reilly Update”, hosted by Bill O’ Reilly.  The program is an exclusive one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump that Key Networks says will provide listeners with insights from the president on the latest issues impacting the country as 2020 quickly approaches.  It comes on the heels of the release of O’Reilly’s new book, The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America (2019, Henry Holt and Co.).  O’Reilly’s 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” is currently syndicated to nearly 200 radio stations across the U.S.  This special is the first in a series of specials and exclusive content to be created especially for affiliates of “The O’Reilly Update” throughout the 2020 election season.  The program can air beginning Wednesday, November 27 and throughout Thanksgiving weekend.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “Key Networks is honored to provide Bill O’Reilly’s one-on-one interview with President Trump to stations around the country.  The affiliates of ‘The O’Reilly Update’ continue to get the best news and commentary for their listeners and access to O’Reilly’s no-spin analysis.  If your station wants to win in 2020, they need to make O’Reilly a part of their lineup!”

TALKERS News Notes. Holiday programming for the Thanksgiving weekend is available from FOX News Radio.  FNR is providing to affiliates two, one-hour specials, available for download on the affiliate website on Friday, November 22.  The shows are: “The Dean’s List Thanksgiving Special” with FOX’s senior meteorologist and Mostly Sunny author Janice Dean, in which she shares stories of ordinary people taking time to be kind spreading sunshine to others; and “The Campaign” with host Bret Baier, in which he discusses the state of the democratic presidential race, highlights the candidates who are making headlines, and debates with a selection of political guests, who will ultimately rise to challenge President Trump for the presidency next November…..Tomorrow (11/13), ABC News Radio begins providing extensive coverage of the impeachment inquiry hearings with live, anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky in Washington with reporting by multi-platform reporter Ines de La Cuetara at the Capitol.  It will also provide four one-minute Status Reports each hour.  Also, tomorrow ABC News Radio will debut a new feature called “Impeachment in a Minute,” hosted by correspondent Kyra Phillips.  Finally, on Wednesday evening Katersky will anchor an hour-long special at 7:06 pm ET looking back at the first day of public hearings…..Similarly, CBS News Radio is covering the impeachment inquiry hearings.  CBS will provide gavel-to-gavel coverage on Wednesday, beginning at 10:00 am with correspondents Bill Rehkopf, Steve Dorsey, and Steven Portnoy from the Hill.  Also, CBS will provide coverage of the TrumpErdogan presidential news conference beginning at 3:10 pm…..Yesterday (11/11), WABC, New York midday hosts Bernard McGuirk (right) and Sid Rosenberg (left) are pictured below, broadcasting live from 27th Street and 5thAvenue on the route of the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.

SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter Hosts Race Discussion Before Town Hall Audience. Talk show host, journalist, and college professor Karen Hunter recently presented a town hall discussion at SiriusXM’s New York studios before a live audience.  Hunter hosts the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  The program centered on race in America, including the wealth gap between African Americans and Caucasians, The New York Times’ 1619 Project, a powerful initiative that explores the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery and its ongoing impact on our society.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Hunter, New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee, and OneUnited Bank president Teri Williams. Photo: Maro Hagopian for SiriusXM

Nominees Announced for 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. The second annual iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will take place at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on Friday, January 17 at 8:00 pm PT.  The iHeartMedia event will honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of 2019 and will span 30 categories, celebrating the incredible talent and wide variety of leaders across the booming podcasting industry.  Podcasts nominated for Best Podcast of the Year include: “The Daily,” “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Stuff You Should Know,” “My Favorite Murder,” “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend,” “Revisionist History,” “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” “The Dropout,” “The Shrink Next Door,” and “The Read.”  See all the nominations in all the categories here.

Impeachment Process/Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race/Biden on CNN Town Hall, DACA Before SCOTUS, Cold and Snow Hit Northern U.S., and Hong Kong Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11). The impeachment process against President Trump and the investigation into the Ukraine affair; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election and Joe Biden’s appearance on CNN’s “Town Hall” on Monday evening; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of the Trump administration’s desire to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act; the cold and snow affecting much of the northern U.S. this week and the related issue of climate change; and the ongoing violence in Hong Kong were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The morning drive team of Roula Christie, Ryan Chase, Eric Rowe, and Kevin England – “The Roula and Ryan Show” – at Cumulus Media’s CHR KRBE-FM, Houston inks a multi-year agreement to continue its role there.   Station PD Leslie Whittle comments, “Each day our listeners wake up to laughter, will learn something, and could shed a tear or two, but one thing you can count on is that Roula, Ryan, Eric and Special K are never boring.  They have experienced many personal milestones the past 13 years, which I’ve been proud to witness.  ‘The Roula and Ryan Show’ has also celebrated our beloved city’s accomplishments and milestones and has gotten Houston through some tragedies as well.  I’m honored to be able to work with this great team for another five years!”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personalities Charlamagne Tha God, Delilah, and Elvis Duran appeared together on the Dr. Oz TV show (pictured at left) on Friday (11/8) to discuss their use of their national platforms to change the conversation surrounding mental health.  The radio hosts shared their personal stories and tips for handling challenging mental health issues, including dealing with social media; finding self-love within, not online; and why it’s important to discuss difficult subjects like depression, anxiety, and suicide…..The Premiere Networks syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” is giving away thousands of turkeys as part of the show’s Annual Turkey Give.  Affiliates of the show will provide 8,000 turkeys to help those less fortunate celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  Since the Turkey Give was launched in 2009, nearly 80,000 turkeys have been given to those in need.  Harvey recently told his listeners, “We consider it an honor and a privilege to help those who are less fortunate during the holiday season.  On behalf of the entire Steve Harvey Morning Show, Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you all.”…..TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of Emmons “Skip” Woolwine, a founding member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, who passed away on November 7 from a heart-related illness.  The TRHoF says, “He was passionate about our group and even though he wasn’t a board member, he continually mentored those of us who are on the board.  He was always willing to help, to lend advice and just offer friendship.”

Monday, November 4, 2019

| November 4, 2019

Monday Memo: Do You Copy? If you were the advertiser, how would you feel about being #5 in a 6-spot stopset?  It’s a problem that now seems baked-into radio’s business model.  But good commercials get results.  And REAL good ones are actually welcome.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke shares tips from the experts, and actual phrases that got results for his client stations’ advertisers.  Read it here.

Impeachment Process, 2020 Presidential Race, California Wildfires, McDonald’s CEO Fired, Hong Kong Violence, and Kanye West’s Sunday Service Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment process against President Trump and speculation about who will be called to testify; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the status of the California wildfires; McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is fired for having a relationship with an employee; the violent clashes between protesters and police in Hong Kong; and rapper Kanye West’s Louisiana “Sunday Service” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Todd Starnes Launches New, Three-Hour Talk Show Today. Author, award-winning journalist, and former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes begins hosting his new, daily talk show today (11/4).  “The Todd Starnes Show” airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET and is premiering on more than 25 radio stations via syndication through Hamilton Strategies.  Starnes says the program is a caller-driven format and weaves his unique, down-home humor with interviews featuring major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He also covers breaking news and stories from across America.  “I don’t spend three hours yelling at folks,” he adds.  “Sure, I get riled up, but we also share plenty of laughs with our listeners. Callers are an important part of our program.  Conservative or liberal, we give folks a fair shake.”  In addition to the new show, Starnes also produces the daily, short-form feature, “Todd Starnes News & Commentary,” that includes unique, one-minute stories covering politics, culture, and heartland headlines.  Starnes says, “I believe in taking care of our affiliates, taking care of our sponsors, and taking care of our listeners.  I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.”  Interested stations can contact Hamilton Strategies via: Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or (610) 584-1096, ext. 101.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Fires Seth Dunlap. WVUE-TV, New Orleans reports that Entercom news/talk WWL-AM/FM has fired evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap, almost two months after he took a leave from the station in the aftermath of the posting of a homophobic slur directed at him on the station’s Twitter account.  The case is still in the hands of the New Orleans Police Department after Entercom requested it get involved following its own investigation.  The station says it appears Dunlap posted the tweet himself, but his attorney says that, not only did Dunlap not have access to the station’s password for the Twitter account, he passed a polygraph test pointing to his innocence.  Early last month the NOPD obtained a warrant for information from Dunlap’s cell phone.  At the same time, according to a previous New Orleans Times Picayune story, Entercom alleged Dunlap is engaging in extortion after seeking a $1.85 million settlement.  Dunlap’s attorney, Megan Keifer, alleges Entercom is not complying with requests for documents to “substantiate their defamatory claims” and also has not produced documentation for the NOPD.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is the focus of a piece in the Los Angeles Sentinel the centers around his belief that ordinary citizens can make a difference in their government.  The story also reveals that the SiriusXM Urban View host’s program was targeted by Russian trolls during the 2016 election.  Madison tells the paper’s Nadine Matthews that after getting calls to the program from Blacks encouraging other Blacks not to vote, he discovered his show was being targeted.  “We found out that the Russians had actually hired African Americans to target social media and Black news/talk programs.”  Read the story here…..Sports talk host Josh Innes – formerly of WIP, Philadelphia and KILT-AM and KBME-AM in Houston – is filling in on the afternoon drive show on Gow Media’s KFNC-FM, Houston “ESPN 97.5”  today (11/4).  Innes has been off the AM/FM airwaves and has been focusing on his eponymous podcast since exiting KBME eight months ago…..Salem Media Group’s WNTP, Philadelphia re-brands the station as “Philadelphia’s AM 990 The Answer.”  Salem Philly general manager Lorenzo Caldara says, “The change to ‘Philadelphia’s AM 990 The Answer’ more accurately reflects what we have always desired to be as a radio station – one that always went deeper into issues that matter to all of us, one that provides answers to the many questions we all have.  With the addition of Chris Stigall in the mornings, we now have the added dimension to focus on local issues just as closely as we can on national issues.  We’re proud of this city, and it’s time to serve it better than ever before.”…..Toledo’s “Talk Radio 100.7” is gone as Cumulus Media replaces the format with rock “100.7 The Zone” on WQQO-HD2/W264AK.  The signals became the home of the news/talk format three years ago after the company moved the programming from WTOD-AM and turned in the station’s license…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is doing double duty, filling in all this week on iHeartMedia’s sister news/talk WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio WFLA” in morning drive for “Good Morning Orlando” host Bud Hedinger in addition to his own program…..Envision Networks is offering stations 24 segments of its new “60 Seconds of Service” feature to air once per hour on Veterans Day (11/11).  Stations are invited to broadcast “60 Seconds of Service” throughout the entire day, with each segment spotlighting men, women and even animals in uniform who have served their country and their communities.  Program host Randy Miller says, “Veterans Day should be every day in the United States.  We should never forget the sacrifice of the men and women who wear the uniform and give their all to protect our way of life. We do 60 Seconds of Service to remind everyone about the continuous commitment of the less than 1 percent who serve our country each and every day.”…..Pictured below is WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and WMCA “The Mission” talk show host Kevin McCullough with some of the guests that appeared on his Salem Media Group program that broadcast live from Bobby Vans “The Original” in the historic Helmsley Building in New York City.  McCullough says more than 300 listeners packed the place for his 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm broadcast.  Guests on the program included: Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, and congressional candidates Mike Ghassali, Chele Farley, Nicole Malliotakis, and Fernando Cabrera.

Marianne Williamson Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  2020 presidential candidate and prolific best-selling author Marianne Williamson guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Criticism of today’s media and journalism is not the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump.  Nor is the observation that the national party committees are above putting their thumbs on the scale to help certain candidates of their own choosing.  In a candid conversation conducted shortly after the most recent televised Democratic Party debate, Williamson tells Harrison that both today’s media journalism and political party machinery can use improvement when it comes to honesty, integrity, and competency.  When asked what she has learned thus far from the experience of running for president, she states, “I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I feared and that the people of the United States are even more wonderful than I hoped.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

BFoA to Honor George Beasley with Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 4, 2020, Beasley Media Group founder and chairman George Beasley will be honored with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The annual fundraising gala takes place at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “George is one of the forward-thinking pioneers of radio and a longtime supporter of our charitable mission.  Starting off with radio stations in small market America and expanding to major cities, George built the company that bears his name with ingenuity, integrity, and innovation.  We are delighted to recognize his leadership in our industry.”  George Beasley comments, “I fell in love with radio early in my career, and I have been fortunate to be a part of this wonderful business as it has grown and expanded.  Giving back is an important tradition in our family, and it is an honor to support the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help those in our industry who need it most.”

 

 

News Gigs at FOX News.  There are three positions that FOX News Radio and FOX News are seeking to fill.  The first is an Overnight Freelance Anchor for Fox News Radio that includes on-air duties for FOX News Radio and the FOX News Headlines 24/7 channel on SiriusXM.  See that job description here.  The second is a Freelance Writer for Fox News Headlines 24/7 that involves writing news for the national news network, conceptualizing, writing, compiling enterprise stories, fact checking, and building show content newscasts for FOX News Headlines 24/7.  See that job description here.  The third position is a Freelance Producer/News Editor in which the successful candidate will supervise the staff for the FOX network radio news operation, FOX News Headlines 24/7.  See that job description here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Killabrew returns to Indianapolis to serve as SVP of programming and PD of classic rock WFBQ “Q95” and alternative WOLT “Alt 1033” for iHeartMedia, effective January 1.  Killabrew had been SVP of programming in Indy until leaving for the company’s Washington, DC cluster to serve as program director for classic rock WBIG “Big 101” and alternative WWDC “DC101” earlier this year…..In March of this year, “Kevin & Bean” show co-host Gene “Bean” Baxter announced he would leave the program at KROQ, Los Angeles to re-locate to Great Britain.  Now, we know that his last show will be this Thursday (11/07).  The duo has been hosting the successful program on Entercom’s KROQ for the past 30 years. Kevin Ryder will continue to host the morning show on the alternative rock station…..At country KMNB, Minneapolis “102.9 The Wolf,” Lucas Phelan exits the station and the program director position he’s held for the past 18 months.  Phelan was also the afternoon drive personality…..Program director and PM drive jock Mike Miller exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WZFT-FM, Baltimore “Z104.3” and embarks on a new career on the sales side of the business with the company’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania cluster as an account executive…..Premiere Networks’ “Brooke & Jubal in the Morning” – co-hosted by Brooke Fox and Jubal Fresh – are this year’s recipients of the Radio Hall of Fame’s “One to Watch” award.  The honor was created last year in honor of radio legend and 2012 RHOF inductee Art Laboe.  Each year, the RHOF nominating committee selects a promising radio personality or team who has demonstrated ratings success, audience growth, and impact on one or more radio stations and their communities.  RHOF chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Brooke and Jubal exemplify the inspiration behind this award.  While they’ve made ‘Movin’ 92.5,’ KQMV-FM their home in Seattle, the magic they create on the air continues to win audiences far beyond.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

| October 30, 2019

Round Two of October PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of October 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The October 2019 rating period covered September 12 to October 9.  Some (6+) ratings gains of note from these markets include: Entercom’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington rises 0.8 to a 4.3 share and a #8 ranking in the market; both Boston sports talkers see positive movement as Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs 1.1 to a 6.1 share and #4 in the market while Entercom’s WEEI goes up 0.7  to 4.4 share and #7 in the market; Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR, Detroit climbs 0.6 to a 2.9 share; Bonneville’s KMVP, Phoenix “98.7 Arizona Sports” gains 0.7 to a 3.1 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego ranked #5 in the market after a 0.7 increase to a 5.0 share; and recent programming changes at iHeartMedia’s KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7” push it up a full share to a 2.1 and #18 in the market.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, as he does each month, presents his “Takeaways” from the performances of each market’s spoken-word and music stations. See his “Takeaways” from this second round here.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (10/31), C-SPAN2 will air a one-hour special television program about the new book by nationally syndicated radio host Todd Starnes titled, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press).  Former longtime FOX News Radio host Starnes is launching a new, three-hour talk show on Monday (11/4).  Interested stations can inquire about the program by emailing: media@hamiltonstrategies.com…..The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that WIP, Philadelphia overnight on-air personality Big Daddy Graham is dealing with a setback in his health situation that began with a spinal cord injury back in July.  His daughter Ava Graham, who works on the Angelo Cataldi morning show on the station, told listeners her father is back in the hospital suffering with double pneumonia, an inflamed kidney, and a necrotic femur.  He spent 88 days in the hospital recovering from the spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed from the waist down…..Tomorrow night (10/31), Premiere Networks personality George Noory will continue his traditional “Ghost to Ghost AM” version of the “Coast to Coast AM” show.  It will feature ghost stories, open-line callers, and a Halloween greeting from actor Bill Mumy (“Lost in Space” and “Babylon 5”), as well as a deceased guest.  He’ll also welcome special guests, including The Haunted Housewives – Theresa Argie and Cathi Weber…..WSCO-AM, Appleton, Wisconsin “The Score” morning personality Brian Butch is adding duties with the Big Ten Network this season as a game and studio analyst.  The former University of Wisconsin basketball star says, “I’m excited for this opportunity and for a chance to get back to my Big Ten roots.  I look forward to continuing my growth as a broadcaster and sharing my knowledge of basketball with the viewers.”  Butch co-hosts the “BJ and the Bear” program on the Woodward Radio Group sports talk outlet.  He’s also filled in on FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen show…..Premiere Networks and Dr. Dave Creative Entertainment announce the launch of the “Legit Check” podcast, hosted by Yeezy Busta.  The program is “a journey through the evolving and influential world of sneaker culture.  Each week, Yeezy Busta will invite celebrities, musicians, comedians, athletes, and other sneaker enthusiasts to discuss the state of sneaker culture –where it’s going, the people who influence it, the latest trends, its effect on music, and much more.”

Westwood One: Boomers Are a Demographic Brands Shouldn’t Ignore. In its weekly blog post, Westwood One states that while so many advertisers are focusing on targeting Millennials, “Boomers account for 54% of all disposable income, making them an important demographic brands can’t afford to ignore.  Using AM/FM radio, they can reach and influence this desirable consumer group.” Some of the data points in the report include: Boomers 50+ spend nearly $550 billion annually on their home and personal retail. Boomers have a more active lifestyle than Millennials, spending 56% more time doing leisure activities and sports and 22% more time shopping than Millennials 25-34, according to the Video Advertising Bureau; Weekly, persons 50-64 spend an average of 14 hours and 35 minutes with AM/FM radio.  Daily, they are clocking an average of 2 hours and 5 minutes with AM/FM radio; and Boomers especially connect with classic rock, the music of their formative years, as well as news/talk and sports format stations.  See the blog here.

Impeachment Inquiry Testimony, California Wildfires, 2020 Presidential Race, Boeing CEO Testimony, Rising Sea Levels/Global Warming, and Brexit Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). Tuesday’s testimony from National Security Council member Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman before the House Intelligence Committee about President Trump’s plea to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden; the California wildfires that have some 25 million people on edge and the PG&E power blackouts; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the latest report on climate change and rising sea levels; and Britain’s December 12 elections in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to gain conservative PMs to push his Brexit plan through were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Nominations Open for 2020 NAB Technology Awards. The National Association of Broadcasters announces it is opening nominations for the 2020 Technology Awards to be presented at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Radio and Television Engineering Achievement Awards are presented to individuals for their outstanding accomplishments in the radio or television broadcast industry and include the following honors: Radio Engineering Achievement Award; Television Engineering Achievement Award; Technology Innovation Award; and Best Paper Award.  NAB executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny says, “It is an annual highlight to present these awards to deserving individuals and organizations in celebration of our industry’s technical and engineering achievements.  I look forward to again recognizing the successes that foster progress in broadcast technology and broadcaster innovation at the 2020 NAB Show.”  The deadline for nominations is January 13, 2020. Nomination forms and detailed award rules are available at nab.org/events/awards.asp, along with listings of past recipients.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSC, Chicago “103.5 KISS FM” promotes overnight and weekend personality JRDN to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “He brings a level of energy to events that no one can match.  Through his charisma and passion for both music and radio, JRND creates inviting and exciting experiences for listeners on the air and in person.”…..Eight-year iHeartMedia New York engineer Tony Peiffer returns to Lewistown, Pennsylvania to take on the market manager role at Mifflin County Communications/Nittany Media where he’ll be in charge of active rock WCHX-FM, country WVNW-FM “Star Country 96.7,” and classic hits WKVA-AM/W262DO “Big 100.3.”  He says, “This is sort of a homecoming, as I had worked with this company prior to my move to the Big Apple.  I’m looking forward to rejoining and now leading the team in Lewistown.  I’d like to thank Ann Hain, Jon Hain, and the entire leadership team at Nittany Media for putting their faith in me to rebuild their hometown heritage stations and brands.”…..Entercom announces the lineups and dates for the “Stars and Strings” concerts in New York (12/4), Detroit (12/6), and Chicago (12/8).  Entercom SVP of programming and music initiatives Michael Martin says, “‘Stars and Strings’ has been consistently sold out in Chicago every year since its inception and sold out in under 30 minutes in its debut in Detroit.  We look forward to expanding the show to additional cities to reflect the strength and mass appeal reach of country music.”  The Detroit lineup includes: Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Jon Pardi, Brett Young and Ryan Hurd and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Folds of Honor – a charity that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.  To date, Entercom has raised more than $250,000 for Folds of Honor.  The New York show will feature: Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Blanco Brown, Runaway June, Gone West, and Matt Stell.  The Chicago event will feature: Kane BrownChris Janson, Scotty McCreery, Lindsay Ell, and Seaforth…..Google and SiriusXM announce that SiriusXM will be available on Google Nest smart speakers and displays via the Google Assistant.  Rolling out over the next week, users will see SiriusXM’s extensive lineup of programming in the Google Home app, available on iOS and Android devices…..Last night (10/29), Big Sean took the stage at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for iHeartRadio LIVE.  He performed hits including” “Bezerk,” “Single Again,” and “Bounce Back,” as well as some of his earlier hits.  Pictured backstage at the Apollo are (from l-r): iHeartMedia EVP of programming Thea Mitchem; iHeartMedia manager, artist relations, urban programs Newal Dehan; Big Sean; iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes; and iHeartMedia artist operations and production Natasha Lees. Photo: Rachel Kaplan.

Monday, October 28, 2019

| October 28, 2019

WCBM, Baltimore Announces Programming Changes. Charm City news/talk outlet WCBM “Talk Radio 680” announces a number of coming programming changes.  Starting in morning drive, longtime newsman and co-host Frank Luber exits the show but will stay with the station to help with special projects and to continue to serve as a spokesman for some of its major advertisers.  WCBM says that Luber and Nicholas Mangione were “instrumental in establishing WCBM as a major news/talk presence in Baltimore.”  Beginning November 4, late morning talk host Bruce Elliott joins Sean Casey (who continues to serve as the station’s PD) for “The Morning Drive with Casey & Elliott.”  Stepping into the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host role is Derek Hunter, who returns to Baltimore after having served in recent years with the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, and as managing editor at The Daily Caller.  The station also adds “The FOX News Rundown” for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour and Key Networks’ “The O’Reilly Update” with Bill O’Reilly to air from 11:45 am to 12:00 noon.

Monday Memo: Pronouncers for Announcers. How-you-say what-you-say makes a difference, and (obvious) former high school English teacher Holland Cooke explains in this week’s column.  Read it here.

ISIS Leader Dead, Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Rep. Katie Hill Resigns, California Wildfires/Power Blackouts, and Brexit Extension Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is reported by President Trump; the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related allegations of illegal actions against Trump, and Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to the Ukraine; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) resigns her seat after being accused of improper relations with a campaign staffer; the wildfires in California and PG&E’s shutting off electricity to almost 1 million customers; and Boris Johnson gets an extension to January 31 for Britain’s exit from the EU were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Newsmax TV Presents Presidential Town Hall. In conjunction with the League of United Latin American CitizensNewsmax TV presented a two-hour Presidential Town Hall with top Democratic candidates last Thursday (10/24). Taking part in the Newsmax Town Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines were candidates Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, and Julian Castro.  The live Newsmax TV production reached 70 million cable homes.

FOX News Radio Makes ‘Rundown’ Available for Radio Stations. “The FOX News Rundown” launched in 2017 as a podcast hosted by Dave Anthony, Lisa Brady, and Jessica Rosenthal.  Now, FOX News Radio is making the program available as an early morning weekday news hour “perfect for setting the stage for your local morning show.”  FNR says, “‘The Rundown’ takes a deeper dive into the stories that are important to you and your listeners.  Hosted by the anchors of FOX News Radio, the ‘Rundown’ also features voices from FOX News Channel, FOX Business Channel and the world of politics and entertainment.”

Ben & Skin Exit ‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas. The midday duo Ben & Skin – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – have resigned their positions with Entercom’s sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas for an opportunity elsewhere.  They are being replaced in the station lineup by evening duo Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors.  It’s not known if this is a permanent move or not.  Regardless, morning drive co-host Shan Shariff tweeted that the duo was not fired and was moving on to another opportunity.

TALKERS News Notes. Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Todd Starnes Faith and Freedom Celebration to be held at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Georgia on April 18, 2020.  The annual event has raised more than $300,000 in scholarship money for students at the Christian school.  Starnes says, “I can’t say enough great things about Sarah.  Our media company is committed to super-serving the communities that broadcast my programs and bringing nationally known speakers to our event is a part of that effort.”…..WODS, Boston morning drive personality TJ Taormina has launched a podcast on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform called, “Meet My Wife.”  Taormina tells TALKERS, “It was an opportunity for me to step up to a blank canvas and create something from scratch.  It starts in a music recording studio with a full band and travels from grocery store parking lots, to the middle of Boston Common, to my home living room.  I wanted to take a unique approach to the rapidly growing podcast arena and make it something that could complement my daily live radio show.”…..Entercom’s board of directors have approved a clawback policy for five of its highest-paid executives.  A clawback is a provision in an employment contract that states money paid to an employee may have to be returned.  It’s usually for highly compensated executives and is intended as a sign of goodwill toward investors.  In Entercom’s case, stock ownership guidelines were included with this move and require president and CEO David Field to hold Entercom shares equal to at least six times his base salary.  It requires CFO Rich Schmaeling, COO Weezie Kramer, chief revenue officer Robert Philips, and EVP/general counsel Andrew Sutor to hold shares of at least two times their base salaries…..Boston public radio news/talk WGBH-FM is adding the NPR-distributed program “1A” to its lineup, airing from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The program is hosted by Joshua Johnson and focuses on First Amendment issues “related to policy, politics, technology, pop culture, sports, and humor.”  The program’s goal is to “act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.”

WHAT IS REAL? Former WWE Champion Mick Foley Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most theatrical professional wrestlers of the modern era who blurred the line between reality and fiction as much as anyone who ever played the game, Mick Foley, guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Foley created several of wrestling’s most memorable characters, including Cactus Jack and Mankind, participating in physically damaging stunts that took his body past the limits of safety and protection. Although he played brutish, psychotic characters, Foley went on to become a best-selling author, public speaker, and articulate supporter of a variety of charities and social causes. In a fascinating one-on-one conversation, Harrison and Foley discuss the nature of reality TV and the role it plays in today’s political circus citing Donald Trump’s participation in the WWE prior to his presidency as an early example of the Commander in Chief’s penchant for mixing over-the-top theatrics with the semblance of real life storylines. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Steve Hoffman is named program director for Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS-FM and assistant program director for sister urban contemporary KOAS, effective October 14.  Hoffman has been consulting for the past few years.  He was previously on air at KSWD, Los Angeles and programmed KCAL, Riverside for 15 years.  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Peter Burton states, “We have been interested in bringing Steve into the fold for quite some time.  I had the pleasure of working with him in Los Angeles for five years.  Hiring Steve allows us to continue to surround ourselves with the best in the industry.”…..At Entercom’s CHR KAMP, Los Angeles, Chris Booker shifts from the afternoon drive show to AM drive where he’ll work with co-host Chelsea Briggs and Krystal Bee.  The new show replaces Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo.  He’d been paired with Brian Moote and Briggs.  Briggs exited the station in August.  Taking over Booker’s afternoon drive show is midday personality Yesi Ortiz.  Moving to middays from weekends is Christen…..iHeartMedia names Adam Rivers program director for its four-station cluster in New Haven.  He’d been serving as APD and music director at CHRs WKCI “KC101” and WKSS “KISS 95-7.”  He’s now also programming news/talk WELI and sports talk WAVZ “ESPN 1300.”   iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb says, “Over the past several years, Adam has truly been the backbone here at ‘KC101’ and a staple in Connecticut radio.  Adam’s years of experience and the way he engages with his listeners go far beyond his afternoon drive show and we couldn’t be happier to see him evolve into this new role here in New Haven, Connecticut.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

| October 8, 2019

Mike Thomas Exits Boston’s ‘Sports Hub’ for WMVP, Chicago Market Manager Role. This move means a program director role at one of the top-performing sports talk radio stations in America is open.  Beasley Media Group announces that it is “looking for the Bill Belichick of sports radio” as it seeks a PD for WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Mike Thomas, who also serves as Beasley Media Group’s national spoken word and podcast brand manager, announces he’s leaving Boston to accept a new position in Chicago – market manager for Good Karma-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” – in order to be closer to his family and fulfill a career goal of becoming a market manager.   Beasley says he will continue to remain as a consultant to the station and actively participate in the search process.  Thomas says, “This was an incredibly difficult decision.  This radio station is a once-in-a-career station, with a once-in-a-career staff.  I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack, and Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with!  I also want to thank every single ‘Sports Hub’ employee for 10 years of winning!  I know our relationships won’t end here.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade and wish him continued success in his next chapter.  They’re big shoes to fill and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”

Ex-FOX News Radio Personality Todd Starnes Launches Syndicated Commentary.  Former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes – who exited the company last week – announces he’s unveiling a syndicated commentary that “more than 750 radio stations have signed on to carry.”  The “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” short-form program is produced by his Starnes Media Group and syndicated by Hamilton Strategies.  Additionally, a three-hour, caller-driven radio talk show will debut on November 4.  Starnes says that program will feature major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He says, “I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.  We are also deeply committed to super-serving our radio affiliates with first class service.”  The commentaries are broadcasting on Bott Radio Network, American Family Radio, CSN Network, and a number of commercial radio stations.  For information about broadcasting Starnes’ commentaries or his talk show, contact Deborah Hamilton at Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Tammy O’Dell Assumes VP/Market Manager Role at Cumulus Columbia. Sales and management pro Tammy O’Dell is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina cluster.  This is a return to Cumulus after serving most recently as local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Cary, North Carolina.  She was formerly Cumulus’ VP/MM in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Columbia cluster includes sports talk duo WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” and WISW-AM “1320 The Fan” and three music brands.    Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker says, “We are excited to welcome Tammy back to the Cumulus family in Columbia.  Her passion for the Carolina region and her success in building a winning sales culture make her a great addition to the team in Columbia.”

SiriusXM Woos Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade. Marketing pro Denise Karkos is joining SiriusXM as the new chief marketing officer, a position in which she’ll be responsible for brand and digital marketing of both the SiriusXM and Pandora brands and helping support and drive the growth of SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners.   Karkos was most recently CMO at TD Ameritrade where she was named 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age.  SiriusXM president, sales, marketing and operations Jennifer Witz says, “Denise is exceptionally innovative and forward thinking and we are very pleased and excited that she will be leading our marketing efforts as we continue to grow the SiriusXM and Pandora brands.  She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social, and mobile marketing.”

FOX Sports Radio Reports Digital Audience Gains. Citing data from August and September of this year, FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – is announcing audience growth “across several digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming and www.FOXSportsRadio.com.”  FOX Sports Radio says it set a new record for total monthly podcast listens in September, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.  It also notes total podcast listens have grown nearly 60% since January.  FSR says it experienced its third-highest streaming audience in the history of the network with the streaming numbers growing 8% from August of 2018 to August 2019 and a 25% increase over August 2017.

Cumulus CEO Mary Berner to Receive Gracies Leadership Award. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner with a 2019 Gracies Leadership Award.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are presented annually to women executives who have made a significant impact on the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening other female leaders.  The award will be presented to Berner and five other female media executives at the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, November 21, 2019.  AFWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to showcase female executives for their extraordinary accomplishments and deep contributions across the media landscape.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are one way AWM recognizes and connects women who serve in all areas of the media and entertainment industry.  By honoring these outstanding women, including Mary Berner, we are empowering all women, at every level, to take that next step in elevating their careers and their contributions.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Denver, Bonneville brings former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus aboard as co-host of “The Drive” on sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  Polumbus joins hosts Darren “DMac” McKee and Nick Ferguson on the afternoon drive show.  He takes over for Tom Nalen who exits the station for personal reasons…..A “Free Talk Live” co-host is making news as he takes on two other candidates for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire.  But there’s more to the story.  In August, Rich Paul filed in New Hampshire probate court to change his name to Nobody.  Today’s ballot gives voters three choices for mayor: Mitchell “Mitch” Greenwald, George S. Hansel, and Nobody.  “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman tells TALKERS magazine Nobody’s mayoral campaign is just the beginning.  He’s already announced his 2020 campaign to take on New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and is even considering a presidential run in a few more years.  Check out his campaign website: ElectNobody.com…..Edison Research is making three of its presentations originally delivered at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas available to the industry at its website. Available for your perusal are: “The Top 10 Findings from Edison Research in 2019 (so far)”; “The Secret to Longer TSL”; and “What Does it Mean for Radio to Be Local.” Check them out here…..In Northern Michigan, an application is filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of eight stations from Sovereign Communications, LLC to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC.  The stations are: news/talk WMIQ-AM, classic rock WIMK-FM, and hot AC WZNL-FM in the Iron Mountain/Escanaba area and news/talk WDMJ-AM and WIAN-AM, country WJPD-FM, classic rock WUPK-FM, and oldies WNGE-FM in the Marquette area.  Sovereign Communications is headed by Bill Gleich.  AMC Partners Escanaba is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Terry Shockley and Chris BernierKALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The University of San Francisco and Cumulus Media San Francisco announce a multi-year agreement for KTCT-AM “KNBR 1050 The Sports Leader” to serve as flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball games.  Pat Olson will serve as play-by-play voice for broadcasts of the USF Dons games.

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film 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. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM.  Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco.  Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area.  It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14.  Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!”  Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible.  We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it.  Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.”  Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm.  His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”

Thursday, October 3, 2019

| October 3, 2019

Starnes and FOX News Part Company After Speculation About Democrats Worshipping Demons.  A source with knowledge of the situation said that it was in the works well in advance of Monday.  But Todd Starnes’ departure from the FOX News organization came immediately after Monday’s radio show broadcast in which show guest Robert Jeffress suggested that Democrats worship the Canaanite god Moloch (who required child sacrifice) because of their support for abortion rights.  Starnes agreed with Jeffress that he believes Democrats are coming after Christians.  Starnes said via Twitter, “I’m proud to call myself a gun-toting, Bible-clinging, Deplorable Trump supporter.  I am a rock-solid conservative and I do not compromise my beliefs. Period.”  Starnes hosted a daily, three-hour radio show on FOX News Radio as well as “Starnes Country” on the FOX Nation platform.  His radio show is being replaced with a rotating series of hosts for “FOX Across America” for now.

KLBJ-AM, Austin Afternoon Host Jeff Ward Exits.  For the past 22 years, Jeff Ward has hosted the afternoon drive show on news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin.  That gig ended on October 1 when the station announced new afternoon programming, stating, “Sometimes, it’s just time for a change – and NewsRadio KLBJ keeps reinventing itself with live local shows and the best national programming.”  Emmis Communications sold its 51% stake in the Austin station group that included KLBJ-AM and five music brands to minority partner Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million.  Last week the FCC waived its ownership cap for Sinclair, allowing the company to keep all six stations in Austin.  Via social media, Ward says, “I’m honored to have given every ounce of intellectual honesty I have for the past 20 years. To anyone who appreciates that, I appreciate you.  Whether I made you laugh or scream, every day I thought about how to make that barstool the most entertaining place you could be. It’s all I ever wanted to do. That part of the job was fun. Thank you for letting me in. I admire you, and I hope you admire me.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with my kids.”  Ward’s co-host Ed Clements remains with the station.  The new afternoon programming at KLBJ-AM is as follows: Ed Clements with Mark Caesar and Melynda Brant from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Ed Clements with sports talk personality Jason Dick from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Premiere NetworksBuck Sexton show starting at 6:00 pm.

Philippi to Replace Retiring Gade at Alpha Media Lincoln. Longtime Alpha Media Lincoln general manager Julie Gade retires after a 42-year career in the radio business.  Cluster sales manager Katie Philippi is taking over the GM position.  Reflecting on the business, Gade says, “Radio, our websites, and digital advertising products have been evolving, but one thing that has not changed is the family bond you feel with broadcasters anywhere in the country.  They seem to all have a common desire to help, educate, and entertain their listeners and viewers.  I will miss that energy, their intelligence, and insatiable need for humor on a daily basis.”  Philippi has been serving with the Lincoln station group since 2006.  She states, “Over the past 11 years, my day-to-day role as a sales manager has changed often.  This is part of the reason I am still so invigorated by the career.”

Andy Stuart Exits Cumulus Toledo Market Manager Role. According to a piece in the Toledo Blade by Kirk Baird, media executive Andy Stuart has left Cumulus Media and his role with the company as regional vice president and market manager for the Toledo station group that includes sports talk WTOD-FM “The Ticket” and seven music brands.  According to the Blade, Cumulus has not announced its plans for replacing Stuart.  He joined Cumulus in 2014.  He also served with iHeartMedia (then-Clear Channel) in the Toledo market from 2002 through 2012.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on the new program being launched by Windy City broadcasters Hannah Stanley, Fred Weintraub, and Justin Kulovsek. The weekly radio program is being called, “Gabby Road with Hannah, Fred and Justin,” and will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sundays on GAB Radio Network’s WCGO, Evanston.  Stanley has worked on air at WGN and ESPN Radio.  Weintraub is an executive producer at Weigel Broadcasting, and Kulovsek is vice president of innovation at the Museum of Broadcast Communications…..SiriusXM and producer, TV, and radio host Andy Cohen agree to terms on a three-year contract extension for Cohen to continue as content curator of SiriusXM’s Radio Andy channel.  He’ll also continue to host his twice-weekly show “Andy Cohen Live.”  Cohen says, “I love the freedom of radio, especially long form, uncensored interviews, and the immediate connection with my audience.  Building this channel into a platform to discuss everything from politics with Dan Rather to pop culture with Jeff Lewis has been an incredibly satisfying creative experience.  I’m grateful to have three more years to continue expressing the breadth of my passion and one channel up the dial from my radio hero, Howard Stern.”…..Chicago Public Media’s public radio news/talk WBEZ announces its new midday talk show will be titled, “Reset with Jenn White,” and will air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, effective October 14.  White moves from “The Morning Shift” program that is being cancelled along with the “Worldview” program hosted by Jerome McDonnell…..Alpha Media’s Brookings, South Dakota cluster was honored with a visit from FCC chairman Ajit Pai and FCC special counsel Preston Wise on September 17.  The two were in Brookings to visit the Precision Ag Center at South State University.  While there, they took a tour of the stations and met the staff.  Pictured below is Pai (right) with Alpha news director Perry Miller (left).

KMG and iHeartMedia Official Podcast Partners of ‘Politicon 2019.’ When Politicon 2019 gets underway at the Music City Center in Nashville on October 26, Krantz Media Group Networks will be on hand to launch an exclusive “Politicon 2019” audio activation strategy that includes a live 24/7 audio channel – “real time podcasts” – and live audio coverage.  KMG is also partnering with iHeartMedia as official podcast partners of Politicon 2019.   The “Politicon on iHeartRadio” channel will feature in-depth coverage of the convention.  Additionally, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC, Nashville will broadcast live from the convention’s radio row on October 26 and 27.

Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Probe, 2020 Presidential Race, Dallas Cop Sentencing Controversy, Immigration Policy, Joker Film, and Hartford B-17 Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related investigation into the dealings of Hunter Biden in the Ukraine and Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the sentencing of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger and the controversy surrounding the hug she received from the judge; the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including a report it intends to collect DNA samples from immigrants to enter into a criminal database; controversy surrounding the new Joker film; and the crash of a WWII-era B-17 bomber in Hartford that left seven dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC; Video Posted for On Demand Viewing.  A powerful panel discussion titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations,” took place in New York City yesterday morning (10/1) that was described by one of its media industry attendees as “a 90-minute PhD on the subject.”  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  According to Harrison, “We produced this event to serve as a serious informational workshop for talk media hosts to absorb the basics of a topic that will be of enormous importance in world events over the coming years.”  Harrison adds, “Based on the response we have received to its live streaming and subsequent on-demand rebroadcasts on NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) and Talkers.com, we seem to have succeeded in achieving that goal.  The panelists were magnificent.” See the video of  event here.

High Profile Book Publisher and Media Figure Judith Regan is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.   One of the most successful and bold women in contemporary multi-platform media, Judith Regan, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  She’s a book publisher aptly described as a “publishing powerhouse” having run her own imprint Regan Books with HarperCollins for a number of years and today heading the dynamic firm, ReganArts.  Regan is not afraid to be politically incorrect – especially in matters that involve supporting the rights of controversial figures to write and speak in the public marketplace of ideas. Some of her best-selling books include Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked, which went on to become a world famous musical, Wally Lamb‘s I Know This Much is True, soon to be an HBO series and books by a wide range of authors including Sean Hannity, Howard Stern, Michael Moore, Francis Ford Coppola, Khloe Kardashian as well as cookbooks, design books and hundreds of other award-winning titles. She has hosted talk shows on Fox News Channel and SiriusXM Satellite Radio and produced and hosted the two-hour O.J. Simpson “confession” on Fox which aired last year based on the highly controversial book she published titled, If I Did It.   She also produced the Netflix show The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell.   Her latest book publication – also extremely controversial due to the tarnished reputation of its author –  is How to Beat Trump by former news executive and correspondent Mark Halperin, whose career at mainstream media outlets recently came to a crashing end due to being the focus of a number of high-profile #MeToo accusations. Harrison and Regan candidly discuss her career, controversy, free speech, the #MeToo movement and political correctness.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Ft. Myers market, Lil Brownie, a.k.a. Amanda Pizana, is named co-host of the “Big Mama & the Wild Bunch” morning show on Beasley Media Group’s CHR WXKB- FM, effective October 7.  She was most recently the evening personality at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM, Dallas.  She says, “I am super excited to be working with ‘Big Mama and The Wild Bunch’ and to start living my best life in Florida.”…..Alpha Media Fredericksburg announces the addition of on-air pro Scott Paulsen to mornings on WWUZ “96.9 The Rock.”  Paulsen has worked at rock WDVE in Pittsburgh during the 1980s and 1990s.  He’s also done voiceover work for Nickelodeon’s “Action League Now!”  Alpha Media Fredericksburg OM and content director Bill West comments, “Having the chance to add someone with Scott’s experience to the ‘96.9 The Rock’ team is very exciting.  His attention to detail with his stories on the morning show, added to his love for the music marks a huge step up for the station.”  Paulsen takes over for Andy Welch who moves to the midday show.

September 2019 PPM Data – September 2019 ratings information has been released for the second round of 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from nine PPM markets below.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats. Dropping from #21 to #22, Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO is in a June 2019 through September 2019 pattern of 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 1.7 (6+). July 2019’s 1.7 marked the first time KSFO fell below a two-share for the first time since July 2017’s 1.8. Ironically, cluster-mate KGO records a similar repetitive June 2019 through September 2019 sequence: 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 (#24 to #25, 6+). KGO was down one-tenth in June (1.7 – 1.6, 6+), so this is actually the fourth straight time it has had a month-to-month shift of one-tenth. After logging a .2 (6+) in seven of the last eight sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” gains one-tenth to .3 (#35 to #34, 6+).

Three straight up or flat sweeps by Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR-AM (Giants, 49ers) yielded a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+) but “The Sports Leader” forfeits seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+), falling from third to seventh. Less than a week before the September ratings period concluded (9/6), co-owned triple A KFOG jettisoned its longtime music format and became sports talk KNBR-FM (1.0 – .9, -.1, #28, 6+). By gaining one-tenth to 1.6 (#26 to #24, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” halts three consecutive declines that accounted for a -1.8 (3.3 – 3.0 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+). KGMZ nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Even though KGMZ all-news sibling KCBS-AM (Raiders) drops one-tenth (6.5 – 6.4, 6+), it moves from the runner-up slot to a first-place tie. KCBS-AM last reached #1 in May.

KCBS-AM is deadlocked at the top with Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED, which spirals seven-tenths to 6.4 (#1 the fourth time in a row, 6+), thus almost completely erasing its +.8 in three consecutive improvements (6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). August’s 7.1 was its best 6+-stat since 7.3 in March. San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is trending -1.0 – .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .9 – .7 (April – May – June – July – August – September, #28 to #31, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Not only does Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN tack on a whopping +1.7 to August’s increase of four-tenths (2.7 – 3.1 – 4.8, 6+), “107.7 The Bone” rockets from tenth to third. KSAN was a combined -1.3 in June/July (4.0 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths via three straight down or flat moves (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” responds with a September increase of nine-tenths to 4.7 (seventh to fourth, 6+). Similarly-formatted/iHeartMedia-owned KIOI “Star 101.3” notches its sixth report in a row without a decrease and has earned six-tenths in that stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). Despite being up an overall six-tenths via three successive modest increases (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) and having its best 6+-stat (4.2) since April’s 4.4, adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” backslides from fourth to fifth. August’s gain of seven-tenths by co-owned rhythmic CHR KYLD vanishes as “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Entering the August sweep, KYLD lost eight-tenths as a result of four successive down or flat trends (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+). A dip of one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) sends Entercom-owned KITS “Alt 105.3 The Bay Area’s Alternative” from #13 to #19. Albeit down three-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3, eighth to tenth, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range the 15th time in a row. April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. After logging five straight reports without a loss for a net gain of seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has dropped a cumulative three-tenths in four consecutive down or flat trends (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7, unchanged at #22, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Entering the July sweep, Cumulus Media’s WBAP had been positive or flat six successive survey periods for a +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). “News Talk 820” has since been -.6 (July); +.4 (August); and now -.3 in September (3.9 – 3.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Four successive up or neutral sweeps by Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM result in a gain of two-tenths (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5, 6+) as “570 News & Information” remains at #36. It is one-tenth ahead of Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which repeats August’s .4 and #37 rank (6+).

After a June/July +.8 (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM (Rangers, Cowboys) lost two-tenths in August but “105.3 The Fan” rebounds with a +.3 in September (2.1 – 2.4, #20 to #19, 6+). Owing to six reports in succession without an increase, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” has lost nearly half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.4, flat at #25, 6+). Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas,” which had a month-to-month fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (.8 – .9, 6+); (.9 – .8, 6+); (.8 – .7, 6+); and (.7 – .8, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#31 to #30, 6+).         

With a July – August – September topline of 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” carries on at #23.

August’s increase of three-tenths by KERA curtailed four straight negative or neutral moves that resulted in a collective -1.0 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+); the North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (3.2) and market rank (#11).

Dallas Music Formats – Posting a gain of seven-tenths to 3.3 (6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK halts three straight downward moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). Moreover, “La Grande 107.5” vaults from #16 to #9. Locked on 3.9 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media’s country-formatted KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” hangs out a one-half share improvement to 4.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+). At the same time, co-owned/similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3” is without an increase the third straight time for a cumulative loss of six-tenths (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Setting the pace the ninth month in a row is iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” (6.7 – 6.5, -.2, 6+). An August increase of nine-tenths wiped away the collective nine-tenths “Kiss” lost as a result of three straight negative or neutral moves (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Its May dip of four-tenths brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 was KHKS’ best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” is an overall +1.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). KLTY was stymied on 4.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping to 4.0 (6+) in June. Ups/downs continue for WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real,” which was -1.2 in March; a combined +1.2 in April/May (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+); -1.4 in June; +.2 in July; -.5 in August; and now +.4 in September (.6 – 1.0, #32 to #30, 6+). A combined +.8 in July/August (1.2 – 1.6 – 2.0, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting triple A KKXT “91 KXT” falters by six-tenths to 1.4 (#25, 6+). Tied with KKXT is Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KNOR “La Raza 93.7,” which forfeits in its entirety August’s half-share increase (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four reports for a net loss of one-half share (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to 3.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December 2018 (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned KPRC lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH-share in five straight sweeps without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+) but “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” picks up one-tenth to .3 (#31 to #29, 6+).

Cluster-mate KBME “Sports Talk 790” (Astros) returns the three-tenths it acquired in August (1.1 – 1.4 – 1.1, 6+) but continues at #22. Catching KBME is Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (Texans), which has an April 2019 through September 2019 topline of: 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 (#24 to #22, 6+). For the eighth straight time, Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” is without an increase for a net loss of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, flat at #26, 6+).

After relinquishing one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF is up six-tenths to 2.9 (#19 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing in nearly a year (3.0, October 2018).

Houston Music Formats – In addition to being a combined +1.2 in August/September (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK “The Eagle” soars from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (6.5) in exactly two years (6.7, September 2017). This time last month, Radio One urban AC KMJQ advanced from second to first. “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” not only repeats at #1, it chalks up an increase of nine-tenths to 7.1 (6+) and is a combined +1.3 in August/September (5.8 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). KMJQ last crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) in May 2018 (7.2). A collective +.7 in three straight bumps (4.9 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” inches up from fifth to fourth. A September increase of two-tenths by Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.5 to 4.7, eighth to seventh, 6+) suspends five consecutive negative or neutral trends that led to an overall decline of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Three straight up or neutral moves by Entercom hot AC KHMX accounted for a +1.7 (3.0 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+) but September’s loss of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+) knocks “Mix 96.5” out of the top ten (#7 to #12). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101 FM” is a combined -1.0 in August/September (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.2, #13 to #15, 6+). This is the sixth time in the last seven survey periods that adult hits sibling KKHH “95.7 The Spot” posts a 6+ AQH share between 5.0 – 5.7 (5.1 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.5, third to fifth, 6+). Dropping from second to third, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA has lost roughly 51% (-6.2) of its 6+ AQH share in nine straight months without an increase (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). “Sunny 99.1” was at #1 16 sweeps in a row before segueing to #2 in August. Immediately in advance of this spiral, KODA was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). It had been more than two years since KODA slipped below a six-share (June 2017, 5.8, 6+). Urban contemporary cluster-mate KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” which was off an overall eight-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), pulls the plug with a +.2 to 3.8 (#14 to #12, 6+). As Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New Country 93-Q” gains one-tenth to 4.6 (steady at #8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” drops one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) yet improves from tenth to ninth. KKBQ is trending 4.8 – 4.7- 4.5 – 4.6 (June – July – August – September, 6+).  Before losing two-tenths in March, KILT-FM had been +1.7 via three bumps in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+). July’s increase of nine-tenths halted three successive March through June declines that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+); March’s 6.8 represents its best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 14th sweep in succession.

Following three consecutive reports of a 3.4 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM (Nationals) adds one-tenth to 3.5 (#12 to #11, 6+). In June, “106.7 The Fan” recaptured almost half (three-tenths) the eight-tenths lost in May. Replacing July/August’s combined -.3 with a September +.3 (.9 – .7 – .6 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” moves from #23 to #21. Cumulus Media suspended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM on July 1, with the former becoming sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” WSBN checked in with a .1 (#29, July, 6+); was unlisted in August; and resurfaces in September (.1, #30, 6+).

Notwithstanding that it drops one-half share (8.0 – 7.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP-FM jumps from third to first. Prior to gaining one-tenth in August, WTOP-FM was an overall -2.5 in six successive down or flat sweeps (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). It shifted to the runner-up slot in July after six straight months at #1. More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ stat through four consecutive up or flat moves (.4 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .9, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH progresses from #23 to a four-way tie at #21.

Tied for the top spot in August, American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” sputters by eight-tenths in September and slips to a second-place tie (8.2 – 7.4, 6+). July’s boost of four-tenths suspended three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Three upticks in succession by Atlantic Gateway Communications contemporary Christian WGTS have produced a +2.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) as “91.9 Christian Music Radio” leaps from seventh to fourth. Drifting from the top ten (#9 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 Today’s Best Country,” which falters by -1.0 (3.7 – 2.7, 6+) and falls below a three-share (2.7, 6+) for the first time since February (2.8). This time last month, Radio One urban AC WMMJ “Majic” and public radio news/talk WAMU were deadlocked at #1. They are still tied in September but not at #1 as both suffer an identical loss of eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, first to second, 6+). When WMMJ added two-tenths in July, it interrupted three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR is off an overall seven-tenths in four monthlies in succession without an increase (6.5 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). After finishing in fourth-place the past four sweeps, WHUR shifts to fifth. Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Its March loss of one-tenth stymied three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). An overall -1.2 as a result of three consecutive down or neutral reports (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” exits the top ten (#9 to #12) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.4) since March (3.2). Anchored in ninth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC notches a 3.7 the third time in the last four sweeps (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Classic hits-oldies sibling WIAD “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” is off a cumulative eight-tenths in three downward trends in a row (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.3 via three straight up or flat trends (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.6 – 7.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM repeats at #1. Following three consecutive months on top, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” doubles its 6+ stat in three successive reports without a loss (.2 – .2 – .3 – .4, #29 to #27, 6+). In a tie just below WAOK are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2, -.1 flat at #29, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640.” The latter had lost three-tenths via twelve straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) but picks up one-tenth .2 (#33 to #29, 6+).

Piling on nine-tenths to August’s +.6 (2.8 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” (Falcons) cruises into the top ten (#11 to #8), reaching the four-share level (4.3, 6+) for the first time since February (4.0). Before August’s increase, “The Game” was an overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN (Braves) makes it seven consecutive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), as “Sports Radio The Fan” climbs from #17 to #16.

Within 3.3 – 3.7 range the seventh sweep in a row (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE slips from #11 to #12. Georgia State University news/talk WRAS gains a total of two-tenths via four successive up or flat moves (.5 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .7, unchanged at #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only does Radio One gospel WPZE fully obliterate the nine-tenths lost in four straight down or flat trends (3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) with an increase of nine-tenths to 3.7 (6+), “Praise 102.5 Atlanta’s Inspiration Station” zooms into the top ten (#16 to #10). Conversely, an August 2019 – September 2019 fluctuation of nine-tenths is unlucky for iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), which departs the top ten (#9 to #14). “Power” gained seven-tenths in March and six-tenths in May. Answering August’s half-share loss with a September boost of three-tenths is WWPW’s format rival, Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits,” which leapfrogs “Power” (3.1 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+).  In July, “Q-100” returned the four-tenths it gained the previous sweep. It logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+). Anchored at #8 the past three months, iHeartMedia’s country-formatted WUBL “94.9 The Bull” pushes up to #7 and gains an overall nine-tenths via its third successive positive spike (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+). WUBL’s April 2019 through July 2019 topline was 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” is a collective +.4 in August/September (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+). August’s increase of four-tenths by “Kicks” halted three straight dips that accounted for a net loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Off three-tenths in March, “Kicks” later faltered by four-tenths in May. Following four upticks in a row that yielded a +1.2 (5.2 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 Atlanta’s R&B” relinquishes half that bounty with a -.6 to 5.8 (second to fifth, 6+). Three straight setbacks by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” have resulted in an approximately 52% erosion (-4.6) of its 6+ AQH share (8.8 – 8.5 – 4.7 – 4.2, seventh to ninth, 6+). WFSH had been at #1 four straight months before shifting to seventh in August. When “The Fish” lost three-tenths in July, it halted at five a consecutive string of bumps that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM sputters by two-tenths to 5.8 (6+) but inches up from sixth to a fifth-place tie. In August, “B-98.5” reached the six-share level (6.0, 6+) for the first time in more than four years (May 2015, 6.1, 6+). Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” is down a collective seven-tenths in three straight negative or neutral sweeps (3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.7, #14 to #16, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Off three-tenths (1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” once again departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” repeats August’s .8 (#25 to #24, 6+).

Even though Entercom sports talk WIP (Phillies, Eagles) surrenders one-tenth (6.7 – 6.6, 6+), “Sports Radio 94.1” marches from second to a first-place tie; WIP gained eight-tenths in August. In three straight sweeps without a loss, Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” nets three-tenths (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4, #18 to #17, 6+). June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.     

An overall -1.6 in eight sweeps in succession without an increase (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is locked at #10.  

While public radio news/talk WHYY is up a cumulative four-tenths in three straight up or neutral reports (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), it slips from a four-way tie at #12 to #14.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99,” which netted eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+); surrendered six-tenths in July/August (4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); and now posts a robust +1.1 (5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). September’s 5.0 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.6, July 2017). A combined +.6 in August/September (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WBEB “B-101.1 More Music/More Variety” jumps from sixth to fourth. Over and above being +1.3 via three upticks in a row (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” progresses from third to a first-place tie with Entercom sports talk WIP (see above). Prior to July, WDAS-FM lost a collective eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). The station ousted at #1 by WIP and WDAS-FM, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK, falters by four-tenths (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) and segues to third. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, WMGK gained four-tenths in July to 7.0, its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1, but lost one-tenth in August. Dropping from fourth to fifth, co-owned WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” has squandered four-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). So far in 2019, Entercom sports talk WIP was on top in January; its classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” was #1 in February; AC cluster-mate WBEB was #1 in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; WMGK returned to #1 in July and August; and now WIP and WDAS-FM are tied for the lead in September. In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WIOQ “Q-102” fails to show an increase the sixth time in a row and is down six-tenths in that stretch (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, #12 to #15, 6+). Flat at #16, Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is up one-tenth in consecutive reports (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). WTDY was -1.0 in four straight March 2019 through July 2019 decreases and its profile in that timeframe was very similar to WIOQ’s (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Six straight sweeps without a loss netted University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), but “88.5 Vinyl At Heart” is now -.8 in three straight down or flat moves (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21). After logging a .5 in back-to-back sweeps (July and August, 6+), Forever Media country WXCY is unlisted.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – There just doesn’t seem to be any stopping iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston,” which is +1.8 via nine positive or neutral trends in succession (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #8, 6+). Co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200,” which added one-tenth three months in a row (.4 – .5 – .6 – .7, 6+), forfeits that collective three-tenths (.4, #25 to #29, 6+).

Three setbacks in succession by Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM (Patriots, Celtics, Bruins) resulted in a roughly 47% loss (-3.3) of its 6+ AQH-share (7.0 – 5.6 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). In September though, “98.5 The Sports Hub” roars back with a +1.3 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Seven recent shifts for “The Sports Hub” include: -1.0 (December 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); -1.4 (June); -1.8 (July); and +1.3 (September). WBZ-FM bypasses Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM (Red Sox), which is flat at 3.7 but backslides from eighth to ninth. Seven sample shifts for WEEI-FM include: -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); +.6 (April); and -.6 (July).

Unchanged at #5, iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM returns 40% of August’s half-share increase (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). Prior to that +.5, “News Radio 1030” was stuck on 5.0 (6+) five months in a row.

Trending 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.4 (June – July – August – September, 6+), Boston University news/talk WBUR falls from seventh to tenth. WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH nets eight-tenths in three consecutive up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (3.0, 6+) the first time in nearly a year (3.4, October 2018).

Boston Music Formats – A combined -1.2 in August/September (8.8 – 7.7 – 7.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” is nonetheless #1 the sixth month in a row. The July/August decrease completely eliminates back-to-back (June and July) increases of six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+). When WROR dropped two-tenths in May, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that delivered a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Cluster-mate WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9 Rocks” is up eight-tenths in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.2 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (January, 7.3, and February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March and April, 7.8 – both times, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); and WROR (June, 8.2; July, 8.8; August, 7.7; and September, 7.6, 6+). In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia’s aforementioned WXKS-FM is an overall -1.3 in four consecutive negative or neutral moves (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+) but “Kiss 108” retains the runner-up slot the fourth straight month. A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is without an increase the eighth consecutive time for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). In addition to dropping from third to fourth, Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.1 in three dips in succession (6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). “Magic” was a combined +.8 in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), with June’s 6.9 the highest 6+-stat for WMJX since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. The April 2019 through September 2019 (6+) profiles of Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9” and Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1” remain similar. “Hot,” which was -1.0 in four straight down or flat moves (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 3.4 (#11 to #10, 6+), while “Mix” is -.9 in five consecutive months without an increase (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0, #11 to #13, 6+).

Miami

Spoken-Word Formats – The April 2019 through September 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 (#17 to #18, 6+).

Doubling its 6+ AQH share as a result of three straight spikes (.5 – 6 – .7 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe,” (Dolphins) elevates from #28 to #25. Conversely, co-owned WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is down 67% (-.6) in three setbacks in succession (.9 – .8 – .6 – .3, #29 to #30, 6+).

Off seven-tenths in July/August (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN answers with a half-share increase to 2.1 (steady at #21, 6+).

While we usually limit our spoken-word coverage to English-language stations, it’s worth noting that Grupo Latino de Radio- GLR Spanish news/talk WSUA Radio Caracol 1260,” which posted a .8 (6+) in July but was unlisted in August, reappears in September with a .8 (#28, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” jumps from fifth to third. Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (4.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WZTU “Tu 94.9 FM – Joven Como Tu” advances from tenth to eighth. Tied at #12 are mainstream CHR rivals iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (flat at 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, #13 to #12, 6+). “Y-100” gained three-tenths in August, while “Hits 97.3” lost three-tenths the same sweep. On top the ninth consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” drops six-tenths and has a June 2019 through September 2019 topline of 7.6 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.0 (6+). “Easy” was down eight-tenths in February; up by that same magnitude in March; and notched an improvement of … eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” was up one-tenth in July/August (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), but forfeits two-tenths in September to 5.3 (fourth to fifth, 6+). July’s one-tenth increase curtailed four straight down or flat sweeps that led to an overall -1.2 (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). “Lite” was in third-place March, April, May, and June. Despite being down or flat the fourth time in succession for a net loss of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” climbs from #16 to #15. Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” is an overall -1.4 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+) and carries on in ninth-place.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though KIRO-FM drops one-tenth (5.1 – 5.0, 6+), the Bonneville news/talk facility progresses from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (1.5) and market rank (#22). When Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI picked up two-tenths in August, it halted five successive negative or neutral reports that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, 6+); “Talk Radio 570” is off one-tenth in September (.9 – .8, #25 to #26, 6+).

Rebounding from a collective -1.3 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” (Mariners, Seahawks) logs an increase of seven-tenths to 3.7 (6+) and jumps from #17 to #12. Adding one-half share to August’s +.3 (.5 – .8 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” improves from #28 to #23.

Returning 75% of August’s increase of four-tenths (3.2 – 2.9, -.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO drops from #13 to #15; August’s 3.2 was its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 3.4.

As a result of four consecutive decreases (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW is a collective -1.6 and drifts from fourth to ninth.

Seattle Music Formats – An uptick of one-half share to 2.4 (6+) by Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM pulls the plug on five setbacks in succession that resulted in an overall -1.4 (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) and returns “Spirit 105.3” to the top twenty (#21 to #18). There’s another tie at #1 and it’s a familiar scenario with the Seattle stations involved. The incumbent – Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” – drops four-tenths (6.4 – 6.0, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is flat at 6.0 (6+) but moves from second to a first-place tie. June’s first-place deadlock between these same two outlets was emphatically broken in July when KZOK gained nine-tenths while KQMV spiraled by eight-tenths. The roles were reversed in August as “MOViN’ 92.5” logged a +1.1 (5.3 – 6.4, third to first, 6+) while “Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” eroded by -1.0 (7.0 – 6.0, first to second, 6+). An overall -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV ended the slump in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. As a result of August’s -1.0, KZOK snapped its consecutive string of eight straight positive spikes that produced a +3.3 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of that particular run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Repeating in third-place, Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” is a combined +1.1 in August/September (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.5, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” is up six-tenths in the comparable period (4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9, sixth to fifth, 6+). “The Sound” and “Warm” were separated by one-tenth in May (4.5 – 4.3, 6+); June (also 4.5 – 4.4, 6+); and July (4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Prior to plummeting by -1.1 in April, “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Tight as well is the country battle between Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” (4.3 – 4.6, +.3, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KNUC “New Country 98.9 The Bull” (4.2 – 4.4, +.2, #12 to #10, 6+). “The Wolf” erased May’s +.9 with June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, KKWF was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, after more than doubling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “The Bull” surrendered one-tenth in August. Spiraling by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #17, 6+); Classic Radio’s KING “Classical Radio 98.1” (#18 to #19); and Bustos Media regional Mexican KDDS “La Grand 99.3” (.9 – .4, #28, 6+).This (2.7) is the lowest 6+-stat for “Kiss” since February’s 2.3. KING is now -1.0 in three straight decreases (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2) and has its weakest 6+-showing since January (2.0).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

| September 17, 2019

Key Networks Launches Audio Ad Sales Division. Two radio sales executives join Key Networks as the division of Sun & Fun Media begins providing audio advertising sales to producers and service/program providers.  Jim Higgins joins Key Networks as president and chief operating officer and Rich Baum comes aboard as executive vice president, advertising sales.  Higgins, previously president and COO at United Stations Radio Networks will be based in New York City and Baum, formerly EVP of sales at USRN, will be based in Chicago. Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun and Key Networks CEO, says, “We are excited to now be a full-service network company for our existing as well as new clients, with the addition of advertising sales capabilities and an experienced and knowledgeable senior executive team.  Our goal when we started Key Networks was to be best-in-class, from the talent we represent, the producers we work with and the professionals on our team.  Both Jim and Rich fit that description perfectly. Their contacts in the ad sales and marketing world run deep and they are highly respected in the industry.  We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jim and Rich to help build Key Networks into a successful full-service network audio company.”

FCC Approves Tribune-Nexstar Deal; Fate of WGN-AM Up in the Air. The Federal Communications Commission approved Nexstar Media’s acquisition of Tribune Media, a deal that will create the largest television station company in the country.  After closing, Nexstar will own almost 200 stations in 115 markets – plus a lone radio station: WGN-AM, Chicago.  Nexstar is a television company and it has not specifically addressed what it will or will not do with WGN-AM.  It wouldn’t be unique for a TV operator to also dabble in radio – Sinclair Broadcast Group operates four radio stations in addition to its large television holdings.  It’s certainly possible Nexstar continues to operate WGN-AM.  However, recent deals for heritage signals in the top markets – think WABC, New York and the several FM stations in New York and Los Angeles – indicate that the value of stations like these is on a steady decline and Nexstar may be better off selling WGN-AM before its value declines even more.

Learning from Entercom’s Ransomware AttackTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in his column that the alleged ransom Entercom was facing is “much higher than most ransomware demands.  According to security company Coveware, the average demand this year is $12,762 — double the average demand in 2018.”  Though Entercom is reportedly not paying the ransom, Weisman says “the cost of repairing the damage will exceed the cost of paying the ransom.  Radio One paid $500,000 to repair the damage when it was victimized by a ransomware attack, which also resulted in a large amount of lost advertising revenue.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

Bortnick Promoted to Region SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia. Sales pro Danny Bortnick is promoted from senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to region senior vice president of sales for the Washington D.C./Baltimore markets.  iHeartMedia Washington/Baltimore region president Aaron Hyland says, “Danny has made a tremendous impact on the day-to-day operations of our sales organization since day one.  I am excited to see Danny take on this new leadership position and look forward to his continued success in developing and managing a best-in-class sales team for the region.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bortnick served as the vice president of sales for Entercom, vice president of sales for CBS Radio and general sales manager for WNEW-FM.

Saudi Oil Attack, Kavanaugh Allegations/NYTimes Criticism, 2020 Presidential Race, Another Vaping-Related Death, and ‘SNL’ Fires Comic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16). The attack on a Saudi oil facility, accusations Iran is responsible, and President Trump’s military threats against Iran; the allegation of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the related criticism of The New York Times; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the dangers of vaping after another person succumbs to respiratory ailments; and the firing of Shane Gillis from “SNL” after bigoted comments came to light were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Kansas City sports talk outlet KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and the MLB’s Kansas City Royals announce a five-year extension to their deal for the Entercom station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play broadcasts.  In addition to airing all 162 regular season games, KCSP will also broadcast all weeknight and weekend Cactus League Spring Training games from Arizona.  The weekly “Royals Hot Stove” show returns in January, and dates and times of the spring broadcasts and “Royals Hot Stove” show will be announced at a later date…..The New York Post and cabana announce the upcoming launch of “We Hear: A Page Six Podcast.”  The first episode of this new podcast dropped yesterday with Page Six editors Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr serving as hosts.  They bring insider stories and knowledge straight from the newsroom to the podcasts…..TALKERS founder Michael Harrison made a guest appearance this past weekend on the longtime nationally syndicated radio show “The Art of Living and the Science of Life” hosted by Danielle Lin that has generated quite a buzz in the metaphysics community.  The program deals with consciousness and anesthesiology – two subjects that are peripheral to Harrison’s usual beat of media and society, but he effectively ties them into his general theme of “rewiring the human nervous system” in the digital era.  To listen to the entire show, please click 

      here
.

‘SuperTalk Mississippi’ Broadcaster Kipp Greggory Dies. Talk host, programmer, and WOSM, Biloxi “SuperTalk Mississippi” station manager Kipp Greggory died on Saturday (9/14).  Specifics of his passing were not made public but his final message to family and friends, passed on by his wife, alluded to an illness. “Well.. it got the best [of] me. So long my Biloxi Family. I hope they have Bacon in heaven and I can get the Saints channel.”  Station owner Telesouth Communications wrote in a tweet: “All of us at Telesouth Communications and ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ send heartfelt condolences to the family of our colleague and friend, Kipp Greggory.  Kipp’s passion was radio.  For many years, he could be heard daily on WOSM ‘Supertalk Mississippi Gulf Coast’ and often heard statewide on the ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ network.  He loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast and worked diligently each day to bring Coast residents the news and issues important to them.  Kipp also used his platform to highlight causes close to his heart and give back to the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jo and their daughters. Kipp loved them deeply.”

PPM Analysis: CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing data from the July 2019 survey and the August 2019 survey shows about as many stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up (43%) as saw it go down (39%), with 18% unchanged.  Year-over-year, slightly more are down (51%) than up (42%).  Two CHR-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: iHeartMedia’s KHKS-FM, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM” and Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Mike James announces he’s retiring from his position at Hall Communications’ Lakeland, Florida station group – and the radio biz – effective at the end of the year.  James has been program director at WPCV, Lakeland “97 Country” since 2004, and operations manager for the four-station cluster since 2006.  He says, “My first radio job was in 1979, and I can remember thinking how great it was to be able to entertain people and get paid for it at the same time.  Forty years later, it’s still great, but I’m finally ready to kick back, relax, and spend more quality time at Anna Maria Island.  I want to thank Hall Communications owners Art and Bonnie Rowbotham for giving me the opportunity to work for one of the most respected radio groups in America.”…..The “Jagger & Kristi” morning show at Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic oldies XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5” announces that Samantha DeJesus is its new producer.  She has been serving as interim producer since the departure of Sheryl Love in July.  DeJesus says, “I cannot fully express the amount of gratitude I have to be given such an amazing opportunity.  Along with the rest of the city, I grew up listening to ‘Jagger & Kristi,’ so I feel like I’ve known them all my life. To be working alongside such an iconic radio duo, who are legends to the San Diego community, I am thrilled to learn and grow with the best in the business.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

| September 10, 2019

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Talk Host Chris Daniel ‘Semi-Retires’ from Station.  The afternoon drive host had been on extended leave from the Cumulus Media station but now announces that he’s leaving the station at which he’s worked for the past 10 years.  Chris Daniel states in a letter to listeners: “Hi, everybody.  It’s been a while.  I thought it would be best for me to let you know what’s going on.  Sorry to leave everybody guessing, but it was the best way to go.  Now, it’s time to let my friends and colleagues off the hook with the many questions they have had to field.  Thanks to them for doing it and to you for caring enough to ask.  First of all, I am ok. Truly.  Stop worrying.  I was simply looking hard at some things I have been contemplating for a while now and I wanted to be certain that I was doing the right thing.  So, I took this extended leave I’ve been on to make sure.  Now, I am. For the past couple of years, I had been considering leaving my position at KMJ, for various reasons, none of which have to do with the people I work with and/or for, or the wonderful people who take the time to listen to the show.  Now, I have decided to do so.  I have resigned my position at KMJ and am moving on to some other things that I’d like to do.  I am not going to another station. I guess you could say that I have semi-retired.” KMPH-TV, Fresno reports that Philip Teresi will take over as PM drive host.

Dan Sileo Off the Air at KGME-AM, Phoenix. There’s been no official statement from iHeartMedia, and TALKERS has reached out to sports talk host Dan Sileo for comment, but a week after starting his position as afternoon drive host on sports talk KGME-AM, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910,” Dan Sileo is off the radio.  His information has been scrubbed from the station’s website and the program schedule lists FOX Sports Radio’s “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  It appears that the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes put pressure on the station to oust Sileo.  The Athletic was first to report that the club – which just inked a deal to air its games on KGME – was unhappy with Sileo’s history of making “sexist and racist” social media comments.  The club’s statement was: “When we became aware that Fox Sports 910 had hired Dan Sileo, we immediately reached out to the station’s management to express our deep concern regarding Mr. Sileo’s abhorrent comments.  Our promotion of inclusivity is deeply rooted into the fabric of who we are as an organization and we have no tolerance for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discriminatory behavior.”

Neil Larrimore Leaves News/Talk WPRO, Providence. After two years in the program director role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM in Providence, Neil Larrimore exits the station.  Prior to joining WPRO, Larrimore served with iHeartMedia, serving as program director for the company’s talk outlets in Phoenix and Tucson.  He’s also programmed KMBZ-AM and FM in Kansas City during his career.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on its strategy to fill the program director role.

WRAW, Reading Flips to News/Talk. Gone from the Reading, Pennsylvania AM station is the Spanish music “Rumba 1340” format and in is news/talk.  iHeartMedia flips the station to talk as “Newsradio 1340 WRAW.”  The program lineup includes a number of Premiere Networks programs, including Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Buck Sexton, as well as a simulcast of the WHP, Harrisburg morning program, “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading with the launch of ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW.’ We’re confident that ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW’ will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.”  RJ Harris adds, “WRAW is where I got my start in radio at 16 years old, so I’m excited to contribute to the re-launch of an all-new talk station with some of the biggest names in the format.”

‘ESPN 630’ Washington to Air Kornheiser Podcast. DC sports talk outlet WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” is adding the “The Tony Kornheiser Show” podcast to its on-air schedule in the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot. Kornheiser co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN with Michael Wilbon.  He’s a former Washington Post sports columnist and former DC market sports talk radio host.  Cumulus Media programmer Bill Hess says, “Tony is a legend on sports radio in DC and we’re thrilled to be his new home.  With Tony at noon, followed by ESPN’s ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’ at 1:00pm, ‘ESPN 630’ has the best one-two midday punch in town!”  The podcast is an exclusive partnership between Cadence13 and Tony Kornheiser.

TALKERS News Notes. A news podcast titled, “Modern Ruhles,” – hosted by MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle – debuts today as an iHeartRadio Original podcast.  A press release states that the show addresses some of today’s most pressing issues and features “conversations between Ruhle and influential guests, who help dissect the sensitive and often complex social topics that impact the state of the world today.”  Some of the first guests include actress and writer Amber Tamblyn, actor and comedian Terry Crews, musician Amir “Questlove” Thompson and more…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks, and Cadence13 announce the launch of season three of the podcast, “What Really Happened?”  The program, written and hosted by award-winning documentarian Andrew Jenks, kicks off the season with a special two-part episode exploring the life and death of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein…..FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes’ new book, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press) is published today (9/10).  The presser for the book says, “America is on the verge of another Civil War.  Socialism is on the rise. Free Speech is under assault. People of Faith are facing persecution. Gun owners are in the crosshairs. Our public schools have been turned into indoctrination centers.  A leftist mob made up of socialist politicians, academic elites, raging feminists, and effete Pajama Boys has partnered with Antifa, illegal aliens, and other radical groups to finish what President Obama started—a fundamental transformation of our nation. Can America be saved?  Political columnist, commentator, author, and radio host Todd Starnes addresses this issue and more in Culture Jihad. He believes that if good-hearted patriots rise up together, we can stop the jihad. It is possible to keep America great.”

Katz Unveils Programmatic Sales Division. The new division, called Audiology by Katz, and operating under Katz Digital, “was built with the mission to help advertisers and agencies utilize the power of audio to connect with consumers.  The service offers access to a scalable, premium and brand-safe digital audio marketplace with programmatic inventory across 120-plus connected devices and smart speakers.”  Katz says the new sales division will be led by David Krulewich, who also serves as SVP/programmatic sales for Katz Digital.  Katz Media Group CEO Mark Gray adds, “The addition of Audiology is part of Katz’s ever-expanding position in the digital marketplace.  This new digital audio programmatic sales division enables us to continue to invest even more time and resources into evangelizing audio on behalf of our partners in the rapidly expanding programmatic space.”

Bahamas Refugees, NOAA-Alabama Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, CNN-Russia Spy Report, Gun Control Legislation, and Antonio Brown Antics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). The U.S. position on Bahamian refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian; the controversy over allegations NOAA staffers were threatened not to contradict President Trump’s statement Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama; the Democrats and Republicans hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the CNN report that the U.S. had to extract a Russian spy from Moscow due to the Trump Administration’s mishandling of classified intelligence; current gun legislation that would expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers; and wide receiver Antonio Brown signs with the Patriots after orchestrating a messy exit from Oakland were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $250,000 yesterday (9/9) to help broadcasters in need during its 2019 Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York.  More than 175 broadcasters and celebrities took part in the event that has, since its inception, raised more than $5 million for financially afflicted broadcasters and their families.  Celebrity golfers in attendance were: John Anderson, ESPN; Bruce Beck, NBC TV Sports; Dick Brennan, CBS News; Scott Brunner, New York Giants; Scott Burrell, University of Southern Connecticut; Bobby Carpenter, NHL Stanley Cup Champ; Chad Cascadden, New York Jets; Rick Cerone, MLB great; Ron Claiborne, ABC News; Jon Crispin, UCLA-Big Ten Network; Maurice DuBois, CBS News; Mike Eruzione, 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Team & Captain; Rachel Grant, actress-model; Harold Green, Atlanta Falcons; Brian Leonard, NFL great; Ann Liguori, WFAN, New York; Otis Livingston, CBS Sports; Rob Marciano, ABC News; Donny Marshall, FOX Sports; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Bill Neil, New York Giants; Karl Nelson, New York Giants; CJ Papa, SNY Sports; Sterling Sharpe; Lee Saltz, New England Patriots; Jeremy Schaap, ESPN; Taylor Twellman, ESPN; Tim Welsh, Providence Friars; Bob Wischusen, ESPN; Chris Wragge, CBS News; Larry Roth, MSG Network; plus, Sarah Stone and Liz Caron, LPGA Pros.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Kobi Kearney exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WNRW-FM “Radio Now 98.9” where he was program director and afternoon drive personality.  Kearney announced his exit via Facebook saying: “I guess it’s ironic that I’m celebrating 20 years in radio this month and all of a sudden I am no longer on the radio.  Thanks to everyone in Louisville and Southern Indiana who has showed me love and support for last four years.  I am a believer in the old saying everything happens for a reason, so hopefully the universe has something dope in store for me.”…..WWKA, Orlando “K92.3” afternoon drive personality AJ Maguire exited the station last Friday (9/6) after seven years with the Cox Media Group station.  He’s expected to announce a new gig in the near future…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago announces the lineup for its annual Christmas shows, “The Nights We Stole Christmas.”  The series of five shows is being held at Chicago’s Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom December 11-15, 2019.  The lineup by date includes: 12/11 – Cage The Elephant, Angles & Airwaves, The Federal Empire; 12/12 – The 1975, Bob Moses, Allan Rayman; 12/13 – Twenty One Pilots, IDKHBTFM; 12/14 – Mumford & Sons, Local Natives; and 12/15 – 311, Highly Suspect, The Glorious Sons.

Monday, September 9, 2019

| September 9, 2019

NewsTalk 99.7 & AM 630 WPRO to Present Opioid Crisis Special. This Friday (9/13), Cumulus Media’s “NewsTalk 99.7 FM & AM 630 WPRO” in Providence is presenting a day of broadcasts “aimed at confronting the opioid crisis and how it affects Rhode Island and Southern New England.” Titled, “Enough: WPRO’s Opioid Awareness Day,” all of the station’s programs – “The News with Gene Valicenti,” “The Tara Granahan Show,” “The Matt Allen Show,” “The Dan Yorke Show,” and “The Gresh Show” will “bring listeners personal stories of addiction and recovery, information about city and state programs designed to help, and the physical and physiological effects of opioids which lead to the addiction.”  Cumulus Media Providence market manager Holly Paras says, “As the opioid crisis continues to threaten the state of Rhode Island, WPRO understands that we have a responsibility to use our voice and our platform to discuss this terrifying epidemic. I am proud to be part of a station that understands this responsibility and is bringing this difficult but critically important conversation to the community.”  Guests will include former Boston Celtics player Chris Herren, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and First Gentleman Andy Moffit, mental health advocate and former congressman Patrick Kennedy, recovery advocate John Tassoni, leaders from industries affected by the crisis, first responders, and more.

Monday Memo: Happy Birthday, Walkman. Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo recognized the 40th birthday of the Sony Walkman.  He writes that, yes, “cassettes seem ancient now, but Sony saw the future 40 years ago.  And today, smart broadcasters are cashing-in.”  The Walkman allowed personal, isolated listening (via headphones) to go mobile and that paved the way for today’s podcasts.  Read more here.

FOX News Radio Signs with Triton Digital for Audio Advertising Technology. This deal between FOX News Radio and Triton Digital allows FNR to the global technology and service leader in the digital audio and podcast industry.  The new deal will “leverage the comprehensive suite of audio advertising serving technology to allow insertion of targeted ads into FNR’s original podcasts.  The network will also utilize Triton’s podcast management system for enhanced distribution across multiple podcast listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Stitcher.  Additionally, the partnership will enable listeners access to daily FNR programs, such as “The Brian Kilmeade Show” and “The Guy Benson Show,” as ad supported full-length podcasts.

Trump Cancels Afghanistan Peace Talks, 2020 Presidential Race, Hurricane Dorian/Bahamas Relief, U.S.-China Relations/Hong Kong Protests, Dems Trump Impeachment Strategy, and NFL Opening Weekend Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The news that President Trump canceled previously secret negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government; the Democrats and Republicans challenging President Trump in 2020; Hurricane Dorian’s weekend track and the devastation left in the Bahamas; U.S.-China trade relations and the continuing Democracy protests in Hong Kong; the Democrats’ strategy for building an impeachment case against President Trump; and the NFL’s opening weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WTAM, Cleveland Presenting Geraldo Rivera-Hosted 2020 Election Event. Tomorrow (9/10), iHeartMedia’s Cleveland news/talk outlet “Newsradio WTAM 1100” is presenting, “Ohio: The Heart of 2020,” a live event hosted by FOX News correspondent-at-large and WTAM air personality Geraldo Rivera. The program will take place from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will feature a panel including: Shontel Brown, chairperson for the Democratic Party of Cuyahoga County; Rob Frost, chairman for the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County; Ohio Lieutenant Governor (and former Ohio Secretary of State) Jon Husted; Bill Wills, co-host of “Cleveland’s Morning News with Wills and Snyder” on WTAM 1100; and Tom Beres, former WKYC-TV, Cleveland senior political correspondent. Listeners are being given chances to attend the invite-only event by listening to the daily, 9:00 am to 10:00 am “Geraldo in Cleveland” program.

Joey Brooks Named SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Connecticut. Programming pro Joey Brooks moves from his position at iHeartMedia’s Miami cluster – PD for hot AC WMIA and APD for CHR WHYI – to Connecticut to serve as senior vice president of programming for the Hartford and New Haven markets that include news/talk stations WPOP-AM and WELI-AM and sports talkers WUCS-FM and WAVZ-AM.  iHeartMedia Hartford region president Steve Honeycomb says, “Joey’s experience of leadership, drive, and passion for radio will be an amazing addition to our iHeartMedia teams in Hartford and New Haven.   There is no doubt that Joey will take our nine market-leading radio brands to the next level as we continue to provide the best entertainment for our listeners.”

Former MLB Player and WXOS-FM, St. Louis Host Chris Duncan Passes at 38.  He left Hubbard Radio’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis “101 ESPN” back in January to focus on his health.  On Friday (9/6), Chris Duncan died after a seven-year battle with brain cancer. Duncan came up into the big leagues in 2005 and was an integral part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2006 World Series Championship.  After leaving baseball, he began his career as a sports talk radio host on “101 ESPN.” He was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and underwent treatment.  He made progress and returned to the air as a co-host of the midday show, “The Turn,” until leaving earlier this year.

TALKERS News Notes. Today (9/9), the new “Florida Man Radio” talk format debuts on JVC Media’s WDYZ-AM, Altamonte Springs and W288CJ, Oviedo in the Orlando market. The station features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive, followed by Scott Ledger in middays and Shannon Burke in afternoon drive…..When the Texas Radio Hall of Fame inducts its class of 2019, George Gimarc, producer of Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated 24/7 comedy format, “Today’s Comedy,” will among its members.  The induction celebration takes place on November 2 at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications.  Gimarc is recognized for his work at KZEW-FM, KDGE-FM, and KRQX-FM in Dallas.  Gimarc is credited with being instrumental in the birth of the classic rock and alternative formats…..Art Bell fans are being treated to classic “Coast to Coast AM” programs as  Premiere Networks makes the Art Bell Vault – content from the years Art Bell hosted “Coast to Coast AM” – available online to Coast Insider subscribers.  Premiere says, “As part of our initial 20 shows launching the Art Bell Vault, we’re showcasing some truly iconic episodes like the 1995 appearance of aspiring time traveler ‘Mad Man Marcum,’ who detailed his attempts to build a machine to journey into the past.  Coast Insiders can also hear Mel Waters discuss a bottomless hole said to be in his backyard and a man named ‘Bugs,’ who purportedly shot a Bigfoot.  In addition to that, subscribers can hear Art Bell’s first conversations with Father Malachi Martin as well as Dr. Michio Kaku.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KOAS-FM, Las Vegas “Jammin’ 105.7” afternoon drive personality Paco Lopez is promoted to program director of the Beasley Media Group hip hop station.  He’ll continue his on-air role with the station. Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Peter Burton says, “We are lucky to have such a seasoned and successful professional from the format on our team.  Having been on the air and programmed in format successfully in markets like Washington DC, New York, Houston, and Miami, we consider ourselves lucky to have Paco on staff here in Las Vegas.  He’s also an incredibly positive influence in the building. We are looking forward to him having great success with us here in Las Vegas.”…..Phoenix CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” adds the YEA Networks-syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program to its schedule for the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  Station PD Mat Mitchell says, “My dream to have one of the best top 40 on-air personalities and influencers in the country join our program lineup has come true.  Tino, Raquel and Nicasio are among the most driven people I’ve met in the industry and I cannot wait for their new night show to start in Phoenix while they continue to expand their syndication profile.”…..Pictured below at the WJMN, Boston “Summer Jam” event yesterday (9/8) is rapper Megan Thee Stallion (center) with WJMN personalities. Megan sat down for an interview with morning host Ashlee in which she said she believes Nikki Minaj will record again, contrary to her recent surprise retirement announcement.  Seen with Megan are (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Ashlee, Santi, and DJ 4eignPhoto: Bethany Anna

 

 

August 2019 PPM Data. August 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 survey period covered July 18 – August 14. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – News/talk KLBJ-AM is a collective +2.0 via three straight upticks (2.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) and leaps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance (4.8) in more than six years (5.0, June 2013).

Up three-tenths in both July and August (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” progresses from #18 to #16. Even though iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM nearly doubles (+.3) its 6+ AQH-share in three straight up or flat moves (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), “1300 AM The Zone” backslides from #24 to #25.

Notwithstanding a strong August +1.2 to 7.9, its highest 6+-performance since 9.5 in March, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT remains in the runner-up slot. KUT’s eight shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -.1 (May); -1.6 (June); +.9 (July); and +1.2 (August). June’s 5.8 was its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).

Austin Music Formats – Piling on a +1.1 to July’s increase of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1 – 4.2, 6+), CRISTA Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” zooms into the top ten (#13 to #9), reaching the four-share level (4.2, 6+) for the first time since February’s 4.6. In five successive reports without a loss, alternative KROX “101-X” nets a +1.3 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #10) with its best 6+-showing (3.9) since September 2018’s 4.0. A collective -2.7 in four straight decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+), directly following March’s +1.2, regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” ends the slide with a +.3 to 4.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+). More than doubling (+.8) its 6+ AQH-share in July/August (.7 – .8 – 1.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” cracks the top twenty with its best 6+-stat (1.5, #20, 6+) since 1.6 in January. Despite being a combined -.6 in July/August (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.7, 6+), adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” is #1 the fifth month in a row. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to this past April, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). Dropping from fourth to seventh, Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is -1.8 in July/August (6.4 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+), directly following May/June’s combined +1.1 (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+). In the market’s three-way country contest, iHeartMedia-owned KASE improves by one-tenth (4.8 – 4.9, 6+) and one ranker (fifth to fourth). “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was a combined -1.0 in June/July (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), immediately after +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). It plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. The other two country combatants, however, aren’t as lucky as KASE in August: Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” surrenders eight-tenths (1.8, #16 to #17, 6+), while KASE’s sibling, KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin Texas Original,” erodes by -1.2 and fades from the top ten (#7 to #13). For KOKE-FM, it ends four straight sweeps without a loss that netted six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+); July’s 2.6 was its best 6+-stat since February’s 2.7. Meanwhile, KVET-FM is an overall -2.5 in three successive downturns (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 3.3, 6+), following May’s +.9. “The Austin Texas Original” was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+) and hadn’t been below a four-share (6+) in more than six years (3.1, February 2013). Adult contemporary KGSR is an overall +.8 in three consecutive positive or neutral trends (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7,  6+) and progresses from #15 to #14. Its current 2.7 represents the best 6+-showing for “97.1 Austin City Limits Radio” ever since it flipped from triple A to AC this past March (2019). Even though Entercom’s similarly-formatted KKMJ is a combined -1.4 in July/August, “Majic 95.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” remains in third-place. Completely erasing July’s +.6 (4.4 – 3.8, -.6, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). July’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (4.7, June 2017). Off six-tenths as well in August is University of Texas at Austin triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” (2.2 – 1.6, #16 to #19, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall -1.8 in four straight downturns (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” ends the slide with a half-share increase to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” records a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9 the 21st time in a row but is off one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, flat at #16, 6+).

In five straight down or flat moves, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC has lost three tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” finishes at #15 the fifth time in a row. Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through August 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1  (#24 to #26, 6+).

Up eight-tenths in June but down three-tenths in July, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” posts an August +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+), marching from second to first. WUNC, which was +1.0 in January and -.6 in February, has its best 6+-stat (8.5) in exactly one year (8.8, August 2018).

Raleigh Music Formats – As a result of seven consecutive positive or neutral moves, Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9 – The Triangle’s Inspiration Station” is a collective +1.5 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) and jumps from tenth to eighth. This is its strongest 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.2, as well). Following 12 consecutive survey periods at #1, urban AC cluster-mate WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” segues to #2. Ironically, “Foxy” backslides after picking up two-tenths to 8.4 (6+), thus snapping six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -2.8 (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Six of its recent (6+) fluctuations include: +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.1 (February); and -.6 (July). January’s +1.1 took WFXC to 11.0, its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL gained two-tenths in July, it suspended four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a -2.1 (8.6 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.5, 6+). “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good,” however, forfeits six-tenths in August (6.7 – 6.1, 6+) and shifts from third to sixth. This (6.1) is the lowest 6+- showing for WRAL since October 2018’s 5.3. Off one-half share in August, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to tenth. “G-105” was a combined -.9 in March/April  (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+); +1.1 in May/June (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+); and is now -1.1 in July/August (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+). Dropping by one-half share as well are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “KIX 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.5 – 3.0, flat at #12, 6+) and Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 FM The Classical Station” (2.9 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). After being an overall +1.8 in six straight sweeps without a loss (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life/Your Music” drops two-tenths to 6.4 (6+) but remains in fifth-place. It is a similar scenario for co-owned WPLW “Pulse FM,” which forfeits one-tenth to 4.4 (steady at #11, 6+), thus interrupting three successive up or flat trends which netted a +1.3 (3.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+). July’s 4.5 was its best 6+-showing in over two years (4.9, June 2017). As a result of eight down or flat Raleigh reports in succession (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY has had its 6+ AQH share sliced by roughly 59% (-1.9); “La Ley 101.1” continues at #17.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Eleven of the 13 most recent (6+) fluctuations for Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” are: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); +.9 (June); and +.5 in August (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #5, 6+).

Although unchanged at #16, Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” has lost seven-tenths via three straight drops (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). In six successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia’s WNDE dropped eight-tenths (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), but “Indy’s Sports Station” ends the slump with a +.1 to 1.1 (flat at #18, 6+). Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” repeats July’s .1 (#22 to #21, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in June (4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI rebounds with a combined +1.4 in July/August (3.9 – 4.9 – 5.3, steady at #8, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Having regressed by -1.3 in June/July (7.2 – 6.7 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” answers with an August increase of one-half share to 6.4 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to July’s 5.9, “Q-95” hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since March 2017’s 5.8. Improving by one-half share in August 2019 as well is University of Indianapolis-owned jazz-classical WICR (.6 – 1.1, #20 to #18, 6+), which passes the one-share level (1.1, 6+) for the first time since March, when it reached 1.2 (6+). On top the eighth consecutive month, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” follows July’s massive +1.4 with a -1.1 (11.1 – 10.0, 6+). July’s 11.1 is the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing April’s 10.2. Among WJJK’s 2019 (6+) shifts are: +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); +1.7 (April); +1.4 (July); and -1.1 (August). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. Having logged a May – June – July topline of 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.5 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (third to fourth) falters by six-tenths to 6.9, its lowest 6+-stat since 6.1 in “Holiday” 2018. Despite being down one-tenth, Emmis’ similarly-formatted WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank” (7.2 – 7.1, fourth to third, 6+) leapfrogs WFMS. Prior to July’s 7.2, “Hank” last reached the seven-share threshold in May 2018 (7.1); WLHK was a combined +1.1 in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+). The day after the June sweep commenced (5/24), WFMS’ CHR sibling WYRG “Energy 93.9” flipped to rock WNDX. In June and July, “93.9-X” responded by nearly tripling (+2.3) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 2.8 – 3.6, 6+, 6+), jumping from #18 (May) to #16 (June) to #12 (July). In August, however, WNDX relinquishes six-tenths to 3.0 (6+) but repeats at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Slipping from third to fourth, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (Brewers, Packers) is an overall -2.3 in three straight setbacks (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.1, 6+). This directly follows April/May’s +3.5 (5.9 – 8.8 – 9.4, 6+). Likewise, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is a collective -1.1 via three decreases in succession (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+), vaporizing the six-tenths gained in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+).

Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets combine for a 2.2 (August 6+), down from 2.3 (July, 6+) and 2.4 (June, 6+). After tripling its 6+-stat since April (.3 – .6 – .8 – 9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game” drops two-tenths to .7 (flat at #16, 6+). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). July’s .9 was the best 6+-stat on that frequency since 2.8 in December 2018. While flat at .7 (6+) Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” catches WRNW at #16. July’s +.1 ended three straight winless sweeps in which WKTI lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+ audience (1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .6, 6+). A collective -1.0 in five straight dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .6, – .4, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” ends the slide with a +.1 to .5 (#21 to #20, 6+). WRNW cluster-mate WOKY “The Big 920” posts a .2 (6+) the eighth time in the last ten sweeps (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, flat at #22, 6+). After popping on with a .5 (November 2018, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK disappeared from print in the next seven ratings periods. It returned in June with a .2; dropped one-tenth to .1 (6+) in July; and repeats that .1 in August (#28 to #26, 6+).

By gaining three-tenths to 3.3 (flat at #13, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM halts five straight negative or neutral moves that resulted in a collective -1.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). After logging five straight negative or neutral moves that led to a loss of one-half share (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.8, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD regains 60% of that shortfall (1.1, +.3, #17 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Answering July’s mammoth -1.6 with an August uptick of six-tenths (5.1 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” jumps from eighth to sixth; July’s 5.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2018’s 4.8. The May through August topline for Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Three spikes in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WMIL yield a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) as “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” progresses from fourth to third with its highest 6+-stat since January (7.5, as well). Notwithstanding it surrenders the three-tenths gained in July (9.4 – 9.7 – 9.4, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the third month in a row. A combined +1.1 in June/July (8.6 – 9.4 – 9.7, 6+), WRIT occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before segueing to #2 in May with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, “Big FM” shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Eight of its recent (6+) moves are: -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.8 (June). Despite posting five reports in a row without a loss for a +1.1 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” backslides from a fifth-place tie to seventh. Major (6+) ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -1.1 in four straight negative or flat moves (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+); a whopping +1.4 in July; but -.6 in August (8.4 – 7.8, unchanged at #2, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Up one-half share via three straight positive or neutral trends (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” advances from #12 to #11. Returning the four-tenths it added in July (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” remains at #17. July’s 1.8 was its best 6+-stat in nearly four years (2.0, October 2015).

Somewhat mirroring its news/talk cluster-mate WWTN (see above), Cumulus Media-owned sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (Tennessee Titans) gains a combined one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2, #14 to #12, 6+). Prior to June, the last time WGFX fell below a three-share (6+) was July 2017 (2.7, as well). In four straight down or flat moves Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” has lost nearly two-thirds (-1.2) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.9 – 1.1 – .8 – .8 – .7, #21 to #22, 6+).

Erasing July’s one-half share loss (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) with an August +1.1 to 6.2 (6+), Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from seventh to fourth. The news/talk/classical hybrid outlet was a combined +1.2 in May/June (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – In three consecutive negative or neutral sweeps, WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” was a collective -1.6 (8.4 – 7.6 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+); however, the Midwest Communications-owned adult hits outlet roars back with an August +1.2 to 8.0 (third to second, 6+). CHR cluster-mate WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” (#16 to #15) has logged a 1.9 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+) but erupts in August with a +1.0 to 2.9, its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (3.0, October 2017). Despite gaining two-tenths, its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” – backslides from sixth to seventh. “The River” has a March through August topline of: 5.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5. Not only is Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK an overall +1.3 in four upticks in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.5, ninth to seventh, 6+), “92-Q” reaches a five-share for the first time since “Holiday” 2018 (5.5, as well). An overall +1.6 in three successive upticks (8.2 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.8, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” relinquishes three-tenths to 9.5 (6+) but is #1 the fourth month in a row. Seven recent (6+) WJXA fluctuations include: +1.9 (December 2018); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); -.6 (April); and +1.0 (May). WJXA’s “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since its 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH “The Fish” is -1.3 in July/August (4.5 – 4.4 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+), directly following a collective +1.0 through four straight increases (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). In three reports in succession without an increase, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” is -1.2 (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 5.6, flat at #5, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share (5.6) since December 2016 (4.9). An impressive +2.7 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” forfeits six-tenths to 5.6 (fourth to fifth, 6+). It reached the six-share level (July 2019, 6.2, 6+) for the first time since April 2017’s 6.1. A combined -1.6 in three straight losses (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKDF pulls the plug with a +.2 to 4.9 (tenth to ninth, 6+). In advance of the aforementioned streak, “103.3 Nash FM” was a collective +2.2 in five straight gains (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which notched a 5.0 (6+) five times in the last six sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), sputters by three-tenths to 4.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of three-tenths to 3.4 (flat at #7, 6+) by Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” halts three consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). Despite being down or flat the sixth time in a row for a more than 50% reduction (-1.2) in its 6+-AQH share (2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” moves from #17 to a three-way tie at #16. Off four-tenths as a result of three successive declines (.7 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” repeats at #20.

Bouncing back from July’s half-share loss to 3.1, its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 2.8, Entercom sports talker WVEI notches a +.3 (3.4, flat at #7, 6+).

In four consecutive ratings periods without an increase, iHeartMedia Boston hybrid news – talk WBZ-AM has lost four-tenths (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+); “News Radio 1030” drops from #16 to the three-way scrum at #17.

After gaining six-tenths in July (1.6 – 2.2, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH returns one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) and is unchanged at #9. In four successive sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4, 6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH has lost a total of six-tenths and repeats at #11.

Providence Music Formats – Over and above being a collective +1.7 in three straight spikes (7.6 – 8.5 – 8.6 – 9.3, 6+), Hall Broadcasting country WCTK leaps from third to first. This (9.3) is the highest 6+-share for “Cat Country 98.1” in just over one year (10.1, July 2018) and first time at #1 since that same (July 2018) sweep. It succeeds iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which had been #1 the past three months. A combined -1.6 in July/August (10.2 – 9.8  – 8.6, 6+), WHJY segues to #2. An April loss of nine-tenths forced WHJY from the top spot after three straight months there. The decline halted four consecutive positive or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. A loss of six-tenths (9.1 – 8.5, second to third, 6+) sends Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” to its lowest 6+-share (8.5) in almost four years (7.2, October 2015). Seven recent (6+) shifts for iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WSNE include: -.9 (November 2018); -1.0 (Holiday” 2018); +.5 (March); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); +1.4 (July); and -.5 in August (5.7 – 5.2, flat at #6, 6+). July’s 5.7 was its best 6+-performance in just over two years (June 2017, 5.7, as well). Prior to June’s loss of seven-tenths, “Coast 93.3” was a collective +1.2 in three consecutive improvements (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+). In the CHR arena, Townsquare Media CHR WFHN, which had its 6+-stat shrink by two-thirds (-2.8) via six down or flat reports in succession (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.4, 6+), ends the slide with a +.4 to 1.8. Moreover, “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns to the top ten (#14 to #10). Immediately in advance of the just-mentioned streak, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-stat as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music 92 PRO-FM” is down seven-tenths in three straight negative or neutral trends (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Up a collective half-share as a result of five successive up or flat Providence moves (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia Boston CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” falters by two-tenths to 1.4 (6+) and shifts from #12 to a three-way tie at #11. Also part of that three-way logjam at #11 is Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106,” which is -1.0 in three losses in succession (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.4,  6+). Disappearing from print in July and August are Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3,” which posted a 1.2 in June (#16, 6+) and classic hits-oldies sibling WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies” (.8, #19, June 2019, 6+).

Norfolk

Spoken-Word Formats – After a hiatus of just over three years (July 2016), Max Broadcast Group Holdings outlets are listed again.

The only entry appearing in print under the spoken-word umbrella in this Virginia market is Max Broadcast Group sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1,” which has a July/August topline of 1.2 – 1.4 (#16 to #14, 6+); its internet stream, which notched a .1 in July (#19, 6+), disappears in August.

Norfolk Music Formats – Only one station in the 48 PPM-markets registers a (6+) July 2019 – August 2019 increase of at least two full-shares and that honor goes to … WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” (+2.1). In fact, the Saga Communications-owned facility hasn’t had a decrease the last five survey periods and is a stunning +3.0 in that timeframe (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 8.9, fourth to second, 6+). Moreover, “FM 99 Rocks” reaches the eight-share level (8.9, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 8.3 (6+). WNOR is now just two-tenths from the top spot. While Entercom urban AC WVKL is #1 the eighth consecutive month, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is a combined -2.3 in July/August (11.4 – 10.0 – 9.1, 6+). Prior to its present 9.1 (August 2019, 6+), WVKL last failed to log double-digits (6+) in January 2014 (9.8). WVKL was a combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+) and then added a +1.0 in May to 11.5 (6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been the market pacesetter 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. In the market’s tight adult contemporary battle, Max Broadcast Group’s WVBW “92.9 The Wave” logs an increase of eight-tenths (3.4 – 4.2, ninth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom’s WWDE “101.3 2WD” is up a combined six-tenths in July/August (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Repeating at #11, iHeartMedia alternative WNOH “Alt 105.3” has nearly tripled (+1.4) its 6+-stat in eight straight survey periods without a loss (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Eroding by -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” drops from fifth to eighth with its lowest 6+-stat (3.8) since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6. Although off seven-tenths (3.2 – 2.5, 6+), Max Broadcast Group-owned WVHT “Hot 100” repeats at  #10. An overall +1.2 in three consecutive up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.2, 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” falters by six-tenths to 4.0 (eighth to ninth, 6+). July’s 4.0 was the best 6+-showing for “The Point” since September 2017’s 4.4. Down by six-tenths as well in August is Max Broadcast Group’s country WGH-FM “97.3 The Eagle” (4.7 – 4.1, flat at #7, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Doubling July’s +.5 with an August +1.0 (7.5 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV-FM “104.5 Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective -2.9 (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.5, 6+). Tied for the top spot in May, WOKV-FM had sole possession of first-place in January, February, and April.

By adding three-tenths (.5, #20 to #19, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” applies the brakes to nine consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a net loss of 75% (-.6) of its 6+-stat (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3 -.3 – .2 – .2, 6+).

Down or flat the fifth consecutive time for a net loss of nine-tenths (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), public news/talk WJCT slips from #12 to #13. Immediately prior to April, “Your Community – Your World” was a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – Separated by nine-tenths of a share in July, the market’s two major adult contemporary outlets are now within six-tenths of each other. More to the point, in five consecutive upticks, Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is an overall +2.4 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) and rockets from seventh to third. A combined +1.1 in January/February, WEZI surrendered roughly half that increase with a March loss of six-tenths. This (6.9) represents the highest 6+-showing for “Easy” in its approximately four-year AC history. The station WEZI is chasing – Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” – notches a +.3 (7.2 – 7.5, 6+) and inches up from third to second. August’s increase curtails four decreases in a row that resulted in a collective -1.5 (8.7 – 8.3 – 7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 by adult contemporary WEJZ is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when it notched a 19.5 (6+). Segueing from second to fourth, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is -2.1 in three straight setbacks (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+). After a March-only stay at #1, “The Eagle” shifted to a second-place tie in April; progressed to a first-place tie in May; and had sole possession of first-place in June. WJGL’s April loss of six-tenths interrupted three upticks in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned urban contemporary WJGL-HD2 drops one-half share (2.1 – 1.6, #15 to #16, 6+). Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is a combined +1.2 in July/August (3.5 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+) and advances from ninth to eighth. This time last month, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country”; urban contemporary cluster-mate WJBT “93.3 The Beat”; and Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” were deadlocked in fourth-place (6.6, 6+). All three are down in August with WQIK taking the biggest hit, plummeting -1.2 to 5.4 (seventh), its lowest 6+-stat since April’s 4.5. Both WAPE and WJBT were up six-tenths in July but they each regress by seven-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and are tied again – this time at #5. Thus, they have identical (6.0 – 6.6 – 5.9, 6+) June – July – August profiles. In advance of the July sweep, WAPE had been an overall -1.3 in three straight down or flat moves (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.0, 6+) with June’s 6.0 its weakest 6+-stat since 5.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Meanwhile, “The Beat” – which was +1.4 in June – had its best showing (6.6, July 2019, 6+) since May 2017’s 7.2.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s another positive report for iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is an overall +2.0 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.0, steady at #6, 6+). June marked the first time WJNO reached the three-share level since December 2017’s 3.3. Repeating at #11, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is a cumulative +.9 in three spikes in a row (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 2.1 (#14 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” halts three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Miami news/talk sibling WIOD “610 News Radio” is up four-tenths in three modest bumps in succession (.6 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, #20 to #19, 6+).

Locked on .3 (6+) in June and July, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WMEN “Fox Sports 640 AM South Florida” picks up one-tenth to .4 (#22, 6+). After posting a .1 (6+) in August 2018, iHeartMedia-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” has been a “no-show” in the subsequent 13 ratings periods.

Returning the two-tenths it picked up in July (2.9 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN remains in tenth-place.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – This market’s first eight August 2019 finishers are either up or flat from July 2019, with each station in the top four gaining a minimum of one-half share (6+). Leading the way in that category is iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5,” which roars back from July’s -.8 with an August +1.0 (7.2 – 6.4 – 7.4, third to second, 6+). Whereas this (7.4, August 2019) is the best 6+-showing for “Kool” since July 2016’s 7.5, the 6.4 (6+) in July 2019 was its softest since March (6.4, as well). Meanwhile, Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” craters by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, second to third, 6+). When “Sunny” gained one-tenth in July, it suspended three straight decreases that accounted for an overall -1.7 (8.2 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its current 5.1 (6+), “Sunny” last fell below a six-share in November 2018 (5.0, 6+). A collective -2.2 in three straight decreases (5.9 – 5.0 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” answers with a +.8 to 4.5 (sixth to fourth, 6+). April’s +.6 took WMBX to 5.9, its highest 6+-share since May 2018’s 6.2. Up six-tenths and advancing from #12 to #11, iHeartMedia Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100” logs a (6+ West Palm Beach) share between 2.0 – 2.6 the fourth time in a row (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+). With an August +.5 to 8.3 (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WRMF pulls the plug on four successive downturns that led to a whopping -3.4 (11.2 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+). Furthermore, “Variety from the 90s and Now” is #1 the eighth time in a row. July’s 7.8 was its lowest 6+-share – and first time below an eight-share (6+) – since “Holiday” 2016 (7.7). Conversely, WRMF logged a +2.0 in March to 11.2, its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Three drops in succession by WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF led to a -1.0 (2.7 – 2.5 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+), but “WAY-FM Uplifting – Upbeat – Real” ends the slide with a one-tenth increase to 1.8 (#15 to #14, 6+). Without a loss the past three reports for a net gain of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR “GATER 98.7” (fourth to ninth) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.3, its lowest 6+-stat since February 2016 (3.3, as well). Despite being +1.7 via three straight up or flat trends (2.0 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX “Mia 92.1” backslides from sixth to seventh.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding one-half share to July’s +.6 (3.2 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” carries on at #10. This (4.3) is its best 6+-stat since February’s 4.4.

In four straight sweeps without a loss, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” nets two-tenths (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, steady at #14, 6+).

On one hand, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD is #13 the 16th consecutive ratings period, but “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” forfeits two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), thus snapping three straight increases that yielded nine-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH-share in four successive up or flat moves (.5 – .8 – .8 – .8 – 1.0, #15 to #14, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – The market’s two powerhouse country stations log strong (6+) July 2019 – August 2019 improvements – but – they swap places. After being without an increase the past three reports for an overall loss of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” erases the shortfall with a +.8 to 6.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). With a May through July topline of 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 (6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” follows with a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and continues at #7. In three straight sweeps without an increase, WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” cancelled out January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Over the course of the last 16 sweeps (June 2018 through August 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top five times (December 2018, February 2019, March, April, and August; and the two were tied in June 2019 (5.3, 6+). Five straight positive spikes by iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ have netted +2.3 (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.8, steady at #9, 6+). In June, “105.7 – Man Up” reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0. This marks the third time this calendar year (March, June, and now in August) that Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is #1 (8.8 – 9.5, +.7, second to first, 6+). Its eight (6+) fluctuations in 2019 are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); -1.0 (July); and +.7 (August). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Occupying the top spot the other five months in 2019 is co-owned urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which slips to second (9.5 – 9.3, -.2, 6+). April’s increase of six-tenths curtailed five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January; it has been within 9.1 – 9.9 (6+) range ever since. Even though iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG craters by -1.5 to 6.9 (6+), “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and Today” remains in third-place. A combined +.5 in June/July (7.9 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+) WMAG has its lowest 6+-stat (6.9) in exactly one year (6.8, 6+, August 2018. Off six-tenths (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #12, 6+), co-owned CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM – All The Hits” slips below a three-share (2.9, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.8.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Three straight jumps by iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” (steady at #8) have yielded seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+).

Albeit unchanged at #13, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is -1.7 in seven consecutive down or flat trends (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since July 2018 (2.3, as well). Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase the 14th straight time (including twelve consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #18 to #21, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – This Tennessee market’s (6+) adult contemporary share improved by two-tenths in June; was -1.1 in July; and balloons by +1.3 in August. Precisely obliterating July’s -.8 with a +.8 (6.6 – 5.8 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” progresses from fifth to fourth. In advance of June’s +.1, “The River” was an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). While “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6), July’s (5.8) was its lowest since May 2017’s 5.7. Nine recent (6+) WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); -1.2 (May); -.8 (July); and +.8 (August). While unchanged at #16, its adult contemporary rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” – picks up one-half share in August and is in an alternating down/up pattern: 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 – .7 – 1.2 (April through August, 6+). July’s .7, was its lowest 6+-stat since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. WKIM surrendered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Down or flat the past four reports for a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), cluster-mate WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” hangs out a +.7 to 4.1 and enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Despite returning the three-tenths it picked up in July (9.8 – 10.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 the tenth time in a row. July’s increase curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) in each of the previous 14 ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). North Mississippi Media Group’s WEBL “Country Legends 95.3 The Rebel” (1.2, 6+) and classic hits-oldies WOWW “Guess FM – Memphis’ Greatest Hits” (.6, 6+) pop on at #16 and #19, respectively. Following three straight bumps for a +1.2 (3.3 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” surrenders all but two-tenths of that increase (3.5, -1.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.5) since December 2018’s 3.0. July’s increase of two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) by iHeartMedia-owned WDIA halted five successive downturns that accounted for a -2.1 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). In August though, “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” falters by eight-tenths (2.6, #11 to #12, 6+). Its CHR sibling, KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM,” nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH in June/July (1.3 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+) with July’s 2.5 its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. “Kiss” relinquishes seven-tenths in August to 1.8 (6+) but remains at #14. Regressing by seven-tenths as well in August is Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B,” which is a collective -.2.7 via four successive setbacks (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 6.4, third to fifth, 6+). The last time WRBO fell below a seven-share (6+) was exactly four years ago (August 2015, 6.9, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – While it repeats at #7, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” follows July’s -1.1 with an August loss of one-tenth to 6.2, its lowest 6+-stat since February’s 5.9. Down one-half share in July, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is up one-tenth (.5 – .6, 6+) and gains one ranker (#15 to #14). After being a “no-show” in June 2018, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” has logged a .1 (6+) in each of the subsequent 15 survey periods (#18 to #16, 6+).

In four straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” has lost three-tenths (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, unchanged at #12, 6+).

In back-to-back sweeps, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” improves by one-tenth (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, steady in ninth place, 6+). July’s increase curtailed three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.1 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that its 6+ AQH share has been sliced exactly in half (-.8) via three drops in succession (1.6 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” advances from #14 to #13.

Hartford Music Formats – A collective -1.5 in six straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” applies the brakes with a +1.0 to 4.1 and continues in tenth-place. Co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2, which was without an increase the past survey periods and -1.0 in that stretch (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.6, 6+), improves by six-tenths to 2.2 (flat at #11, 6+). Prior to July, the last time WMRQ-HD2 fell below a two-share (6+) was May 2018 (1.9). A combined -.4 in June/July (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRC-FM (eighth to fourth) erupts with a +.9 to 6.9, the highest 6+-stat for “102.9 The Whale” since it flipped to classic rock in January 2015. The station’s previous best was in March 2014 (7.0, 6+), when WDRC-FM was classic hits-oldies. By gaining one-tenth to 9.5 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH ends a June/July slide that accounted for a -1.4 (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+). Moreover, “Lite 100.5” is #1 the 38th consecutive time. Nine of its recent (6+) shifts include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.0 (July). The +5.6 in “Holiday” 2018 was to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, “Lite” was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Following three straight reports without a loss that netted +1.9 (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” spirals by -1.1 to 6.1 (6+) and drifts from third to eighth. July’s 7.2 was its best 6+-showing since May 2018’s 7.7. On the heels of July’s +1.2 to 7.9, its highest 6+-share since August 2017’s 8.3, co-owned WWYZ surrenders more than half that bounty (7.2, -.7, 6+) but repeats in the runner-up slot. In advance of July’s increase, “Country 92.5” was an overall -1.0 in five consecutive negative or neutral sweeps (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+).

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

| September 3, 2019

Entercom Buys Francesa App; Folds it in to RADIO.com. The digital platform RADIO.com is now the place where WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa’s digital content can be found.  Entercom announces via the RADIO.com site that “that Francesa is taking his talents to RADIO.com, and he’s bringing all of his streaming content with him. Francesa’s ‘Mike’s On’ will close on Oct. 1, with his WFAN show; his podcasts and other branded media will migrate exclusively to the RADIO.com app.”  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “Mike Francesa is a legend and we are beyond thrilled to bring more Mike to RADIO.com.  Mike has some of the most loyal, engaged fans in all of sports, thanks to his unique ability to build a broad audience with must-listen, highly compelling audio content, always calling it like it is.  The ability to tap into Mike’s immediate, live reactions to the biggest moments in sports, combined with the vast library of audio and video content this deal brings to the platform, further cement RADIO.com as one of the leading digital audio platforms in the U.S. for creators, audiences, and advertisers alike.”  According to a report by Max Willens in Digiday about the move, the Mike’s On app never really hit the critical mass necessary to survive on its own. He writes, “Since its launch, Mike’s On has accumulated a small cluster of subscribers, though new downloads have slowed to a crawl over the past few months, with the app driving fewer than a thousand downloads a month in each of the past four months, according to Apptopia.  That audience pales in comparison to the Radio.com app audience, which has been averaging over 230,000 downloads per month over the same period, also per Apptopia.”

WGST, Atlanta Adds New Programming; Re-Brands as ‘640 FOX News Radio.’ New programs added to the lineup on iHeartMedia’s WGST-AM, Atlanta include the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro show and Mark Levin show, as well as the Key Networks-syndicated “Bill O’Reilly Update” as the station re-brands as “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.”  iHeartMedia says, “AM 640, Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio, will feature top national hosts including Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin, Buck Sexton, Michael Savage and George Noory. Listeners can tune in to hear the latest FOX News at the top and bottom of every hour, as well as frequent traffic/weather reports and local news updates from the Georgia News Network. “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” from Compass Media Networks, is airing in morning drive.  The station will also provide around-the-clock news coverage online on the station’s website as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook via @640FoxNewsATL.”  Station program director Dan Hunt adds, “We are ecstatic to welcome Bill O’Reilly, Ben Shapiro, Mark Levin and all the new voices to Atlanta’s Home of FOX News Radio.  With a massive 50,000 watt AM signal and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that AM 640 will establish itself as a successful news/talk brand in Atlanta”

Bustos Media Tweaks Lineup on KVOI, Tucson. News/talk KVOI, Tucson was acquired by Bustos Media from Doug and Mary Martin’s Good News Communications last fall. Now, the company announces some programming changes to “AM-1030 KVOI The Voice.”  Station operations manager Ray Ingegneri says, “When we sat down and looked at the lineup we wanted to keep the local component, but we also wanted to bring a mix of news, business and lifestyle shows, hoping to attract listeners who may be turned off by other offerings in the market.”  Syndicated additions to the KVOI lineup include: “America In The Morning”; Good Day Networks’ “On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The station expands its carriage of the Dave Ramsey show to 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  It adds Compass Media Networks’ “Lars Larson Show” to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot and adds American Private Radio’s “Our American Stories” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Late nights and over nights include GCN’s “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney, Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon show and Salem Radio NetworksHugh Hewitt show.  CBS News and Bloomberg Market Minute Updates are being added to the bottom of each hour.  Bustos Media president and CEO Amador Bustos adds, “With this programming change we strive to provide our Tucson audience the best possible talk format and most relevant local news coverage.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the July 2019 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Comparing weekly 6+ AQH share data from June to July, about the same number of news/talk stations saw their ratings go up as saw their numbers go down. Year-over-year, 51% of the stations on our panel were down while 36% improved, led by Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington (+1.6) and iHeartMedia’s WOAI, San Antonio (+1.5).  Two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) in July: Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” (6.9 share) and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (8.0 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Portland news/talk KEX adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Buck Sexton show in the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.  The show follows the local Mark Mason show and leads into the syndicated Michael Berry program…..As the NFL gets ready to begin its 100th season, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is kicking off its 33rd consecutive season as the league’s exclusive network radio partner.  The season begins with Thursday night’s Packers-Bears game and Westwood One Sports’ Monday night team of Kevin Harlan and Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner will call the action.  To commemorate the league’s 100th season, Westwood One is producing original programming, including a 100-part short-form series titled, “NFL 100,” that will air Monday through Friday each day throughout the season…..Entercom is presenting a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special called, “I’m Listening,” to raise awareness around mental health and mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.  As part of the company’s multiplatform, yearlong “I’m Listening” campaign, the progam will air nationwide on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 am across more than 235 stations and via each station’s livestream on RADIO.com in their respective time zones. Entercom chief programming officer Pat Paxton says, “Mental health and suicide prevention are year-round initiatives at Entercom and we are doing our part to end the stigma by encouraging people to talk. Like millions of others, my family has been impacted by mental health issues and the effect it has on friends and families is devastating.  ‘I’m Listening’ is when our vast network of radio stations and digital platforms unite on the same day, at the same time, to ultimately save lives.  If we help just one person, our time will have been well spent.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WMEN-AM, West Palm Beach re-brands, transitioning from the “640 The Hurricane” moniker to “FOX Sports South Florida.”…..GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs has been a force in helping to get the majority of governors in the U.S. to unite in declaring September 5 Blood Donation Day to help blood banks during National Blood Donation Week (September 2-9).

Hurricane Dorian, Immigration Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Dive Boat Fire, Brexit, and Kevin Hart Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Holiday Weekend. The status of Hurricane Dorian and the destruction it’s leveled on the Bahamas; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and treatment of children of migrants; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the California dive boat fire that killed 25; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; and comic Kevin Hart’s car accident were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KOZN, Omaha Broadcasts from Casino on First Day of Legal Sports Betting. Pictured above are “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” personalities John Bishop and Josh Peterson interviewing Caesars Entertainment VP and general manager Samir Mowad as KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” broadcast from Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa on the first day of legalized sports betting.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Columbia, South Carolina, Cumulus Media’s urban contemporary WLXC “KISS 103.1” is launching “The Chubb Rock Show with SiMan Baby” in afternoon drive.   The show is hosted by Chubb Rock and SiMan Baby.  Station program director Robyn Simone says, “Chubb Rock has the perfect star power ‘KISS 103.1’ listeners will love in afternoon drive.  Not over the top, but just enough that our listeners will appreciate not only his legendary hip hop status, but also his commitment to radio.  Chubb Rock reminds us why we fell in love with radio in the first place by entertaining, challenging those community issues, and bringing back the love for the music!”…..Beasley closes on its acquisition of urban contemporary WDMK, Detroit “105.9 Kiss FM.”  It bought the FM signal and three translators from Urban One for $13.5 million…..“The Ace & TJ Show” and its charity, Radio Family Charity, are beginning to solicit donations in anticipation of damage to the Eastern Seaboard from Hurricane Dorian.  The show says “the needs of Hurricane Dorian will last for months and we are seeking donations from radio audiences around the world.  Tax deductible donations will be accepted through AceTJ.com or RadioFamilyCharity.org.”

Thursday, August 8, 2019

| August 8, 2019

Cumulus Media Q2 Assessment: “Making Great Progress.”  According to second-quarter results, Cumulus Media’s net revenue fell 2% year-to-year to $279.6 million from $285.2 million in 2018. Net income was down to $42.9 million, owing mostly to a net corporate loss, offsetting gains on the radio group side. Adjusted EBITDA was down 6.8% to $61.8 million. President and chief executive officer Mary Berner comments, “We continued to make great progress against the goals we set when we emerged from bankruptcy a little over a year ago. We delivered a solid financial performance, with same-station revenue and Adjusted EBITDA up 1.8% and 3.7%, respectively, on an ex-political basis, driven by continued growth in national and network revenue, as well as industry-leading digital growth. We have now closed several strategic portfolio optimization transactions and announced one more. The $146.5 million of gross proceeds from the closed transactions, along with cash from operations, allowed us to prepay $165 million of debt since our last earnings announcement. [That reduces] our total post-bankruptcy debt by approximately $250 million. Given the results of the past year, I am more confident than ever that the company will continue to deliver significant value to our investors, employees, listeners, and advertisers.”

Media-Savvy McAfee Adds Daily Syndicated Radio Show. Definitively proving there is life in the media after being an eight-year Indianapolis Colts punter, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) analyst Pat McAfee will host a daily sports talk show syndicated by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and streamed on the DAZN video network. The program will air weekdays from 10:00 am -12:00 noon (ET), starting in just over four weeks (9/9). Among the 40 stations already clearing “The Pat McAfee Show” are Cumulus Media’s San Mateo-licensed KTCT, which simulcasts KNBR, San Francisco; and Cumulus Media Indianapolis’ WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM.” In addition, 2017 – 2018 Barstool podcaster McAfee recently signed a deal to serve as a college football analyst for ESPN. Last year, he did similar NFL duties at Fox Sports. As part of his DAZN arrangement, the 32-year old McAfee will appear on its nightly MLB “Changeup” show and will create football segments for the video network’s outlets in Canada and Germany.

Stayin’ Classy: “The Ron Burgundy Podcast” Returns. California Senator/Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is the guest on the season two opener of iHeartRadio’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” co-produced with Funny Or Die. Channeling his Ron Burgundy persona and remaining completely in character, Will Ferrell emphatically states, “My podcast, quite simply, can only be described as a raging success. I’ll admit that when I first started in this rodeo, it was my first rodeo, and I had no idea what a podcast even was. But through diligent research and persistence, I quickly climbed my way up to the top. Now, it is not my first rodeo – it is literally, my second rodeo. Word on the street is that I am already the best rodeo rider that has ever lived … and podcaster, too. This is a fact, folks.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “When Ron first started trying to force us to make this podcast with him, we resisted, as it’s clear he’s an unhinged man; however, people are actually listening. I have no idea why. Doubly baffling, and for reasons beyond my grasp, they actually want more. Seriously? We have to go through this whole thing again? Fine. Season two. Whatever.” The podcast’s initial season debuted with 12 episodes in December 2018. In addition to Senator Harris, Ron Burgundy’s guests this season will include actress Brooke Shields, historian/political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin, and feminist activist Gloria Steinem. Approximately 270 iHeartMedia broadcast stations in virtually every format are scheduling Sunday Night Podcasts, which begins this Sunday (8/11) with “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” Sunday Night Podcasts is part of iHeartMedia’s “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative that utilizes the company’s consumer reach to introduce the rapidly growing podcast sector to iHeartMedia’s quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners. A much more serious Byrne states, “We’re thrilled to bring some of the world’s best and most popular podcasts to our broadcast listeners every Sunday. We are uniquely able to provide the scale critical to introducing podcasts to the millions of Americans who aren’t yet familiar with them. Research shows that more than two-thirds of the population still are not dedicated podcast listeners – many have never even heard a podcast. Sunday Night Podcasts will help introduce different audio series from a variety of genres to a whole new audience.” In October 2017, Mark Ramsey’s “Inside Psycho” aired as a one-hour special on more than 70 iHeartMedia news/talk outlets. Episodes of “Family Secrets” and “Monster: The Zodiac Killer” aired on iHeartMedia stations before they were available anywhere else.

WFAN Splits Simulcast For Certain Yankees, Giants Games. When your station is the flagship of two major sports franchises, it helps to have two signals to accommodate scheduling conflicts. Entercom New York’s sports talk simulcast of WFAN-AM & WFAN-FM will take advantage of that situation three times this month and four times next month: WFAN is the flagship of both the (MLB) Yankees and (NFL) Giants. When both teams are playing on the same date, the Giants will shift to WFAN-AM (660), while the Yankees will continue on WFAN-FM (101.9). Senior vice president of Entercom New York Mark Chernoff explains, “August marks the beginning of another exciting start to football season and WFAN remains at the forefront of New York Giants coverage while remaining the home for New York Yankees baseball. Splitting the WFAN signal will allow the station to super serve fans of both iconic teams.” August dates involved for the simulcast split are tonight, Thursday, 8/8 (Giants-Jets/Yankees-Blue Jays); the 16th (Giants-Bears/Yankees-Indians); and the 22nd (Giants-Bengals/Yankees-A’s). In September, the simulcast will be suspended on the 8th (Giants-Cowboys/Yankees-Red Sox); 15th (Giants-Bills/Yankees-Blue Jays); 22nd (Giants-Buccaneers/Yankees-Blue Jays); and 29th (Giants-Redskins/Yankees-Rangers).

United Stations Names Janoff Chief Revenue Officer. In that role, Greg Janoff will oversee all of United Stations Radio Networks’ advertising sales efforts. USRN chair/chief executive officer Nick Verbitsky comments, “We are beyond thrilled that we now have Greg Janoff overseeing our revenue streams. Greg is passionate about our medium, knows radio inside and out, and will absolutely be a tremendous asset for our company. The next decade is around the corner and we have landed the right executive to lead our current successes forward into the future.” For the past 24 years, Janoff has held several upper management posts in New York City for Entercom and the former CBS Radio. His titles there have included vice president and general manager for all-news WINS; vice president and director of sales for WINS, co-owned all-news WCBS-AM and sports talk sibling WFAN “The Fan”; and station manager for WINS. As Townsquare Media’s regional vice president, Janoff was in charge of the company’s Michigan and New Jersey markets for three years, following two years as executive vice president of revenue for Merlin Media’s five stations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Janoff succeeds Jim Higgins, who exited USRN last week.

iHeart Set To Debut Podcasts in Native Languages. By the first quarter of next year, iHeartMedia will translate/distribute a number of its podcasts around the world, marking what it says is “a significant step in internationally available, regionally targeted content for the podcast industry.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Our goal is to deliver exceptional content to listeners anywhere and everywhere in the way they’d like to hear it. By expanding some of our most popular podcast content into new languages, we see a major opportunity to introduce podcast listening at scale to whole new audiences abroad. What has always set podcasting apart is the engagement of the audiences – the ‘superfans.’ It makes sense to engage international audiences further and to super-serve them with content in their own languages to build their relationship with the content.” In the first round, the iHeartPodcast Network will translate six podcasts series into the most- spoken languages in the world. To be made available in Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French, German and other languages will be “Stuff You Should Know,” “Stuff You Missed in History Class, “Stuff Mom Never Taught You,” “Stuff To Blow Your Mind,” “BrainStuff,” and “TeachStuff.” Through these new translations, iHeartPodcasts will be available in the native language of more than a billion people worldwide.

TALKERS News Notes. In a South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WGTK “94.5 The Answer,” Salem Media Group Greenville-Spartanburg appoints Pat Kelley general manager. Salem Media Group regional vice president Val Carolin comments, “I have known Pat for many, many years and am excited to have a person of such high character and ability leading the terrific team in ‘The Upstate.’ Pat is a strong leader, and a person of great integrity, creativity, and skill. He will drive our operation to greater success and will be a true asset to Salem as a whole.” Kelly, who began his new duties earlier this week, adds, “I am thrilled to be leading the charge in upstate South Carolina as part of Salem Media’s local market leadership team. Great things are ahead.” Kelley spent over 25 years in Chicago and has held management positions for iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media, and Viacom Media …..Affiliates of Fox News Radio’s five-minute news service will be able to download two, one-hour Labor Day weekend specials in three weeks (8/28). Jessica Rosenthal-hosted “Securing America: Cyber Threats,” looks at data theft and manipulation from personal information to elections, while “The Wise Guys: A Fox Nation Special” features Bill Bennett, Gordon Chang, Charles Hurt, Mark Penn, and Solomon Wisenberg in a multi-topic roundtable discussion.  

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran programmer Rob Roberts is named director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group San Antonio classic hits-oldies KONO “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” and hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music.” Cox Media Group San Antonio director of operations Jeff Garrison comments, “Rob is an experienced broadcast professional with a proven track record for achieving great success for high-performing brands. His vision and leadership will be key to the future of KONO and KSMG. We are excited to add his talents to the CMG San Antonio team and welcome him back to the great state of Texas.” Vice president of audience and content Tim Clarke notes, “Rob is one of the industry’s great programmers; I am so thrilled he is now on our San Antonio team. We will benefit greatly from his experience and leadership.” Roberts adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to become part of the Cox Media Group team in a city I love. It’s the job I’ve always wanted – programming two highly-rated legacy stations is a dream come true.” Most recently, Roberts was vice president of programming for Cumulus Media Washington, DC hot AC WRQX, which – on May 31 – flipped to contemporary Christian under new owners Educational Media Foundation. Elsewhere in his 27-year radio career, he has programmed Dallas hot AC KDMX; Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q-99.7”; Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100”; and Denver classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105.” ….. The nine-year tenure of Entercom Washington, DC vice president of programming Steve Davis will come to an end on October 4. That’s when he will leave the cluster where he programs rhythmic CHR WPGC and classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” ….. One week from today (Thursday, 8/15), Carrie Neuman will take over afternoon drive duties at Towson University triple A WTMD, Baltimore. WTMD general manager/program director Scott Mullins comments, “Carrie has a lifelong passion for music, and she brings the excitement and enthusiasm of a fan who can’t wait to share new music discoveries with her friends. She is energetic, knowledgeable, fun to listen to and will be a great asset to WTMD.” Neuman notes, “I am more than just thrilled to be coming to Baltimore. I humbly join a legendary, music-centric staff that prides itself on discovering and sharing an unprecedented array of music. I am honored for the opportunity to work at WTMD. It’s the musical heartbeat of the city I so love.” Neuman formerly did mid-days at Annapolis, Maryland’s similarly-formatted WRNR ….. Speaking of Empire Broadcasting System triple A WRNR, Jeff Boden is appointed president/general manager there. Empire president Steve Kingston states, “Jeff has an extensive background in station management and sales. He spent many years working for ABC, Citadel, and then Cumulus Media in positions ranging from sales manager, director of sales, and president/general manager of [Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk] WMAL and [its then hot AC cluster-mate] WRQX. He most recently was president of Delmarva Broadcasting, which owned stations in Wilmington [Delaware] and other markets in the region. Much to our benefit, Delmarva was recently sold to Forever Broadcasting, allowing Jeff to bring his vast knowledge and experience of the business, his winning track record, and winning strategies to WRNR.” ….. Elsewhere in Maryland, college student Hunter Landon joins Adams Radio Group of Delmarva (Salisbury-Ocean City) as news director. Adams Radio vice president and general manager Lisa Layne comments, “Once again, we have struck gold with the addition of Hunter Landon. The news format will be timely, local, and live across all our brands. I am thrilled to add Hunter to the ‘dream team.’” Landon adds, “As a lifelong Delmarva resident, it is a career highlight to be running the newsroom for a first-class radio operation like Adams Radio of Delmarva. I am ecstatic to be delivering the news to the people of Delmarva on radio and digital for the market’s best stations and launching a fresh and revamped news department focused on the local community.” Working on a degree in broadcast journalism, Landon formerly was a reporter for WGMD “News Radio,” Lewes (Delaware). Adams Radio Group of Delmarva is comprised of WGBG “Big 107.7 Delmarva’s Classic Rock”; CHR WOCQ “OC-104 Today’s Hits”; WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies”; WUSX “US-98.5 Everything Country”; and WZBH “93.5 The Beach – Delmarva’s Rock Station.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

Washington, DC

 Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for WMAL which chalks up a July +.9 to 5.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three successive March through June decreases that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+). Immediately before that streak, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet amassed three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 improvements for a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). March’s 6.8 was WMAL’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 12th sweep in succession.

Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (3.4) and market rank (#13). In June, the Nationals flagship recaptured nearly half (three-tenths) of the eight-tenths dissipated in May. After nearly doubling (+.4) its 6+ AQH share via four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” surrenders two-tenths to .7 and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21, 6+). Roughly halfway through the July 2019 sweep (7/1), Cumulus Media ended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM. WMAL-AM became sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol,” which checks in with a .1 (#29, 6+).

Following six straight months at #1, Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP segues to the runner-up slot. Moreover, it falters the sixth month in a row and is an overall -2.5 in that January 2019 through July 2019 stretch (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). January 2019’s 10.4 was its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). The March 2019 through July 2019 topline for Entercom business news WDCH is: .4 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .6 (flat at #24, 6+).

Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU post a gain of four-tenths to 8.4 (6+) thus curtailing three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” shifts from the runner-up slot to #1. It supplants WTOP (see above). Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – A positive spike of six-tenths to 2.7 (#18 to #17, 6+) by Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” all but erases its May/June loss of seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” logs its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a collective full-share gain (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WASH has its best 6+-performance (5.4) since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). On the final day of May (2019), Cumulus Media’s WRQX pulled the plug on its hot AC format. Under new owner Educational Media Foundation, “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” became contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” May 2019 marked the final sweep before the format transition and “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) to exit as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline was 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). In its new format, however, WLVW erodes by roughly 78% (-3.2) in June/July (4.1 – 2.2 – .9, 6+), plummeting from #8 (May) to #17 (June) to #19 (July). An overall +1.4 through three gains in succession (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.7 (sixth to tenth, 6+). June’s 4.6 was its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (4.6, as well in August 2017). There is a similar scenario for cluster-mate WMZQ, which was +1.3 through four consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+). In July, however, “98.7 Today’s Best Country” falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Up a cumulative seven-tenths via four straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC regresses by three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #13). There isn’t much movement in the market’s urban AC contest, although a gain of two-tenths to 7.7 (6+) by WMMJ “Majic” is enough to halt three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to the just-concluded skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Having dropped four-tenths in June (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR levels off at 6.1 (6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). WMMJ is anchored in third-place for the eighth time in a row while WHUR is has been in fourth-place in May, June, and July.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without an increase, WSB-AM was down an overall eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but the Cox Media Group news/talker bounces back with a +.3 to 6.6 (steady at #2, 6+). Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” is down or flat the third time in a row (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+) but climbs from #29 to #28. Tied at #32 are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2 – .1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” which has lost three-tenths via eleven straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #34 to #32, 6+).

Even though it is an overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” moves from #15 to #14. At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up a cumulative six-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #17.

Steady at #12, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up one-tenth (3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth as well is Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (.6, flat at #25, 6+), which suspends three down or flat moves in succession that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (.8 – .6 – .5 – .5, #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – After improving by two-tenths in May and then spiraling -1.1 in June (6.3 – 5.2, 6+), Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” answers with a July boost of six-tenths to 5.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but faltered by eight-tenths in April. Even though urban contemporary sibling WHTA is an overall -1.6 through five consecutive negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+) “Hot 107.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). One streak continues for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH but another ends. On the plus side, “104.7 The Fish” is #1 the fourth month in a row; however, it loses three-tenths to (8.5, 6+), snapping at five its consecutive string of upticks that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). Even though it falters by two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” advances from tenth and ninth and overtakes Cumulus Media-owned format rival, WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits.” The latter returns the four-tenths it gained in June (3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+) and shifts from eighth to tenth. Ironically, June’s +.4 enabled “Q-100” to leapfrog “Power,” which dropped three-tenths in June (4.2 – 3.9, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6. Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and dialed up a +.6 in May. The same two owners are involved in the market’s country tussle. As iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” stumbles by that same margin in consecutive sweeps and is actually off six-tenths through three straight dips (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). “The Bull” and “Kicks” continue at #8 and #16, respectively. When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). “Kicks” faltered by four-tenths in May, after being off three-tenths in March.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a mixed bag for Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” which is down a combined half-share in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-showing since June 2018 (1.7, as well) but climbs from #22 to #21. In five consecutive decreases, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has lost roughly half (-.8) its 6+ AQH-share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in May, Entercom sports talk/Phillies flagship WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” repeats June’s 6+ share (5.9) and market rank (fourth). Rebounding from June’s loss of six-tenths with an increase one-third that magnitude (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+) Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” advances from #20 to #17; June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.  

This marks the sixth sweep in succession that Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” hasn’t shown an increase for an overall -1.3 (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, flat at #10, 6+).

For the third time in the last five reports, public news/talk WHYY logs a 2.6 (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Four straight down or flat sweeps by Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL  produced a -1.2 (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” erases two-thirds of that deficit with a +.8 to 6.7 (fourth to second, 6+). WOGL was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which lost eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+), posts a half-share uptick to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Stuck on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK records an increase of four-tenths to 7.0 (6+), enabling it to march from second to first. This (7.0) is its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1. Owing to its July -1.5 (7.0 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is displaced from the top spot and drifts all the way to seventh. The last time “Today’s 101.1” fell below a six-share (6+) was more than four years ago (5.8, May 2015). WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Co-owned sports talk WIP was on top in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; and now WMGK is back at #1 in July. Four successive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL yielded eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), but “Power 99” surrenders one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. After nearly quadrupling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One-owned WPPZ “107.9 – Philly’s Classic R&B” falters by one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #12, 6+). WPPZ transitioned from gospel in mid-December 2018. Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is off the fourth time in a row for a collective full-share loss (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, unchanged at #17, 6+).

Talk Radio Pioneer Mike Siegel is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran conservative/libertarian talk radio personality Mike Siegel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Siegel, a former private practicing attorney and school teacher, currently syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN), was one of the early broadcasters to emerge in the late-eighties post-Fairness Doctrine period described by Harrison as “the modern era of talk radio.” During that period, Siegel – who hosted shows on such stations as KING and KVI in Seattle – was, according to Harrison, “the quintessential, local, muckraker aggressively holding local politicians, government and big corporations accountable for their actions.” Harrison and Siegel, whose latest book is titled Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (Page Publishing, 2016), informally chat about the changes talk radio has experienced through the years as it has evolved from the analog era into the digital age, not to mention the transitional state of journalism itself. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Monday, July 22, 2019

| July 22, 2019

Cumulus Makes $50 Million Debt Prepayment. This latest debt payment by Cumulus Media is in the amount of $50 million and was funded by the net proceeds from the previously announced sale of KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media that closed last week (7/17), plus cash on hand.  Cumulus says, “With this prepayment, the Company has reduced its debt by approximately $250 million since emerging from Chapter 11 on June 4, 2018, bringing the Company’s total debt to approximately $1.05 billion.”

Monday Memo: Say What? Part Deux. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about things you and your on-air talent should never say on the radio.  From expressions that are dated to common English-language snafus, HC lists some of the most-often-heard mistakes that broadcasters should never make.  See his column here.

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Adds Another Hour to ‘Hammer and Nigel’ Show.  The Indianapolis Business Journal published a big piece on WIBC-FM, Indianapolis’s afternoon drive program, “Hammer and Nigel,” hosted by Jason Hammer and Nigel Laskowski revealing the Emmis Communications news/talk station is adding the 3:00 pm hour to the show’s current 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm air time.  The reason for adding the hour is the show’s outstanding success has created such a demand for local advertising that the station wants more inventory.  Quoted in the piece is Kristine Warski, a media director for the local ad agency MKR, who says, “‘The Hammer and Nigel Show’ is a bit different from your traditional news/talk show.  They’ve fused news and entertainment and, by doing so, are attracting a younger audience than news-talk has traditionally.”  See the IBJ piece here.

The New Yorker Piece Looks at Allegations by KABC’s Leeann Tweeden The Brought Down Al Franken. A lengthy story by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the case of former U.S. Senator — and one-time Air America talk radio host — Al Franken, who resigned his senate seat after a photo showing him pretending to grab the breasts of KABC-AM, Los Angeles talk host Leeann Tweeden appeared in the media.  Now, more than 18 months after Franken left the senate, he’s interviewed for the story that addresses due process, the #MeToo movement, and whether Franken should have resigned at all.  (Spoiler alert: Franken regrets resigning his position.)  See the story here.

Is Talk Radio Responsible for the Tone of Today’s National Conversation?  Former longtime talk radio host Tom Becka (KMBZ and KCMO, Kansas City; KFAB and KOIL, Omaha) expresses his feelings about his responsibility as part of the talk radio industry for the polarized state of public discourse in America.  Becka, in an op-ed on KPTM-TV, Omaha “FOX 42,” says, “ I don’t think I personally contributed to what is going on, but I worked for stations with syndicated shows that did – shows that stoked fears about Muslims, stoked fears about minorities, shows that stoked fears about liberals and others that were different than them.”  See his entire commentary here.

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

Siegel: Talk Radio Can Impact Regime Change in Iran.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Siegel writes in a piece today about the efforts to foment regime change in Iran and what role talk radio hosts in America can play in helping achieve that goal.  Siegel says, “Now there is a real and tangible option being offered as a new government in Iran by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).  Led by Madame Maryam Rajavi, this organization has grown in stature and respect over the years and has offered an option of peaceful government living as a civilized neighbor to other countries in the Middle East.”  Read Siegel’s piece here.

WABC’s John Batchelor Broadcasts from Tokyo This Week.  WABC, New York’s late-night John Batchelor show is broadcasting live from the center of Tokyo all this week (7/22-26).  The broadcast is being sponsored by global digital technology company Scala Inc. in conjunction with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  All week long, Batchelor will travel widely to meet with and interview leaders from across Japanese culture, including: the Nippon Professional Baseball Association; the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 asteroid probe program; the celebrated Cherry Association maintaining the pantheon of Japanese cherry trees; Toyota’s Autonomous Vehicle development; and the Central Japan Railway’s MAGLEV project.  Also scheduled to appear on the show is Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano.

TALKERS News Notes. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Saga Communications’ news/talk WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts has named its studio the Barbara J. Kuschka WHMP studio in honor of station traffic manager Barbara Kuschka, who recently celebrated 50 years of service to the radio station.  The article says, “Since she began work in 1969, Kuschka has been a behind-the-scenes figure, who one person described as the glue that holds the station together in her work as traffic manager.”…..Entercom Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Athletics announce they’ve signed a new, multi-year extension of their broadcasting partnership.  As part of the deal, sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” will serve as flagship station for Panthers football and men’s basketball. Sister stations news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” hot AC WBZZ “100.7 Star,” and country WDSY “Y108” will provide coverage and promotional support.

Mueller Testimony, New Trump Impeachment Talk, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Alleges CIA Arrests, Immigration Reform/Border Wall, and Summer Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  This week’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller; House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” charge against Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claims it has arrested 17 CIA spies; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and the border wall status; and the weekend’s hot weather in much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Josh Wolff is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  This is an internal move for Wolff, who was most recently marketing director and APD at the company’s Phoenix station group for adult contemporary KKEZ and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  Wolff takes over for Derrick Cole, who accepted a role with the company’s National Programming Group as contemporary hit radio program director…..At non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” morning personality Dori Zori is named assistant program director. WYMS PD Jordan Lee comments, “Dori’s 20-plus years in non-commercial radio make her the perfect fit for the role.  Dori will also lead some new and exciting programming plans that are in the works at ‘Radio Milwaukee.’”

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

| June 26, 2019

WHB-AM, Kansas City Suspends Host Kevin Kietzman Over Controversial Comments. Sports talk WHB-AM, Kansas City owner Union Broadcasting is suspending longtime station talk host Kevin Kietzman indefinitely after comments he made on his show were deemed by some to be inappropriate.  During a discussion about the Kansas City Chiefs’ suspension of Tyreek Hill due to an incident involving his fiancé and three-year-old son that led to a child abuse investigation, Kietzman criticized head coach Andy Reid’s abilities “fixing [troubled] players.”  In doing so, Kietzman said Reid had the same troubles dealing with his sons Britt and Garrett.  Garrett died of a heroin overdose in 2012.  Awful Announcing first called Kietzman out on his comments and Kietzman replied to clarify his statements saying, “I never once mentioned anything about Andy Reid’s son’s death and never once had it on my mind.  A caller called in later and said something about the death and I quickly corrected him and pointed out that I was referencing two sons that were convicted drug dealers and drug addicts that he chose to try to fix by hiring them to work for his football teams.”  You can see that here.  But, Kietzman has issued a lengthy apology to the Reid family that you can read here. He maintains his intent was not to tie Reid’s son’s death to the team’s issues but says in his apology, “This is on me.  I’m paid as a broadcaster to be concise in what I say.  My words on Monday’s show left open way too many interpretations and I’m the only person responsible for that, and the only person to blame.  I’ll learn from this mistake and I’ll work hard to do better, and I hope to one day regain the trust of Coach Reid and the Chiefs organization.”

NPR and Edison Research Smart Speaker Study Reveals Security Concerns Hamper Potential Future Adopters. The data from the new research in “The Smart Audio Report” series from NPR and Edison Research gives insights into “how smart speaker user behavior and perceptions are evolving as owners ‘settle in’ with their devices and the market matures out of its introductory phase.”  This Spring 2019 survey indicates seven-in-10 smart speaker owners use their device daily despite common concerns around security and privacy, while those same factors are leading reasons non-owners have not acquired a device.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “We are starting to see more pragmatic usage of these devices.  The longer people have these devices, the less experimentation they do with them — but the more ingrained into everyday life these devices become.”  The study found that smart speaker owners who have owned the device for 2-plus years use an average seven skills per week, compared to an average 12 skills per week among those who have owned the device for less than three months.  But the report also finds there is a slowing of interest among non-owners in getting one and the two most-cited reasons are: 1) 63% are concerned that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information; and 2) 55% are bothered that smart speakers are always listening.  See more from the study here

Duff Lindsey Retiring from Beasley Boca Raton. Programmer Duff Lindsey is retiring from his operations manager position with Beasley Media Group’s Boca Raton, Florida cluster that includes talk WWNN, financial talk WSBR, and foreign language WHSR.  Taking over as operations manager for the cluster is station staffer A.J. Gunn.  Lindsey – who turns 70 on July 1 – says he’s spent more than 30 years of his 50-year career with Beasley.  His last day is June 30.

TALKERS News Notes. At public media firm KQED, San Francisco, Lesley Grossblatt joins to serve in the newly created role of chief product officer.  She’ll be in charge of KQED’s digital activities – including product management, user experience and design, software engineering, and the KQED Lab, the station’s in-house innovation incubator.  During her career she’s led product and technology initiatives at companies including: Netflix, Intuit, CreativeLive and theBoardlist, among others…..Krantz Media Group Networks announces its new partnership with “Politicon” – the annual bipartisan “UnconventionalPolitical Convention” that’s taking place in Nashville October 26 and 27.  The partnership will bring a wide array of audio programming to listeners around the world in the lead-up to event, as well as live-programming on site at the event. KMG says “The fifth annual ‘Politicon’ brings Republicans, Democrats, and people of all political stripes together to banter and spar over the most topical issues in smart and entertaining ways that often poke fun at both sides of the aisle.  Last year, more than 10,000 fans flocked to the 4th annual Politicon at the Los Angeles Convention Center, enjoying participants such as Kathy Griffin, Michael Avenatti, the Baby Trump Balloon, Adam Carolla, Carter Page, Ann CoulterDennis Rodman, Alyssa Milano, Tucker Carlson, Ana Kasparian, Ben Shapiro, Eddie Izzard, James Carville, Tomi Lahren, Henry Winkler, and more.”…..WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware talk show host Dan Gaffney had the opportunity to assist a listener whom he helped do a good deed more than 20 years ago. He says, “Twenty-three years ago, Ann Cox called ‘The Dan Gaffney Show’ for help giving away a mobile home. I put her on the air and helped her give the home away to a needy local family.  On June 4 of this year, that same woman – now disabled and caring for her five-year-old grandson – lost her home and all belongings in a fire.”  Last Friday, Gaffney appealed to his listeners for aid and – with the assistance of WXDE advertiser Jim Weller who agreed to match donations up to $5,000 – raised more than $11,000 to assist Cox and her grandson.  Gaffney adds, “The power of radio, the power of talk radio, the power of a connected community.”…..Pictured below is FOX News Radio talk host and FOX News Channel star Brian Kilmeade posing for a photo at affiliate KDWN, Las Vegas from where he recently broadcast his nationally syndicated program.  From left to right are: KDWN program director John Shaffer, Kilmeade and Beasley VP and market manager Peter Burton.

Former WLIB, New York Talk Host Kae Thompson Dies at 83. Former urban talk radio personality Kae Thompson died last Friday at age 83 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.  The New York Daily News reports that Thompson hosted the “Urban Notebook” and “Kae Thompson Payne Live” programs on WLIB-AM, New York during her 25-year career with the station.  WBLS-FM and WLIB-AM assistant program director Cynthia Smith tells the Daily News, “Kae Thompson was a true journalist [who] asked the hard questions but always with a smile.  Her guests couldn’t help but answer her.  Such a classy lady, teacher and true professional who I enjoyed working with on ‘The Kae Thompson Show’ on WLIB.  Her smile is permanently etched in my memory!  She will be missed tremendously.”

2020 Presidential Race/Democrat Debates, Iran Tensions, Southern Border Migrant Issues, Mueller to Testify, G20 Summit, and Trump-Kim Meeting Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 taking part in this week’s televised debates; the war of words between Tehran and Washington over the breakdown of the Iran nuclear deal and recent attacks on oil tankers and a U.S. drone; the conditions for detained migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and Trump administration policy; former special counsel Robert Mueller agrees to testify before a House Judiciary subcommittee in July; this weekend’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan; and the progress toward more talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Training the Next Generation of Talk Media Broadcasters: Hofstra University’s WRHU Interviews Talk Media Stars at TALKERS ConventionTALKERS recruited a video team from Long Island-based Hofstra University’s multi-award-winning radio station WRHU-FM/WRHU.org to record select one-on-one conversations with a variety of the talk media stars from both sides of the microphone who were in attendance at the recent Talkers 2019: Telling the Story convention in New York City (6/7). The team consisted of student broadcasters Eliorah Finkelson and Jon SanelliTALKERS founder (and Hofstra alumnus) Michael Harrison, a charter inductee in the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame and member of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board, says, “I am so proud of the widely recognized accomplishments being made by Hofstra in the field of radio and communications.  It is one of the preeminent schools in the nation in this arena and the number of outstanding professionals that it continues to produce is nothing short of remarkable.”  Hofstra Radio operations director John T. Mullen adds, ““WRHU has one mission – professional development of students so they can become productive members of the radio / media industry. The foundation for most of the on-air personality content on radio is talk. Whether it’s a music air personality talking about artists and culture, a political talk show host breaking down the news of the day, a newscaster delivering timely info, a sportscaster discussing games, or a love show host talking about romance and relationship advice. Therefore it makes sense that the leading college radio station (WRHU) would team up with the world’s most informative and innovative talk media conference in New York City for Talkers 2019.  WRHU and Talkers 2019 are telling the story of students learning from icons in the talk media industry.”  To view the video interviews recorded by the Hofstra team please click here.  Pictured below (l-r): Key Networks commentator Bill O’ Reilly being interviewed by WRHU’s Eliorah Finkelson and Jon Sanelli at the TALKERS convention.

Music Radio News and Career MovesFour-year KRRL-FM, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” air personality DJ Amen is promoted to music director at the iHeartMedia hip hop station. DJ Amen began working for iHeartMedia in 2006 on the turntables for the legendary 106 KMEL in San Francisco.  In 2015, he joined ‘REAL 92.3’ as a DJ, mixing daily for the newly launched station and in 2016, contributed to the launch of REAL 92.3’s top-rated show, “Young California Radio.”…..In Detroit, assistant program director Cheron Sanders is being promoted to PD for iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3.”  Sanders joined iHeartMedia in 2001 and has held various positions at sister hip hop station WJLB AND WMXD over the years, including traffic reporter and midday host…..At Cumulus Media’s alternative KFOG, San Francisco, Alicia Tyler exits the midday host/music director position she’s held since 2016.  Station program director Jacent Jackson takes on the music director duties and evening personality Dayna Keyes is promoted to the midday show.  Also promoted is Danica Lopez who moves from part-timer to evening personality and social media director…..In the Springfield, Illinois market, Neuhoff Media teams Taylor Brown up with John Spalding for the “John and Taylor in the Morning” program on country WFMB. Brown has been handling the midday duties on sister hot AC WXAJ-FM in addition to her director of promotions position with the stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that classic hits WLS-FM morning personality Dave Fogel was off the air for a couple of days for treatment for an aneurysm.  Fogel was treated for the same issue while working the afternoon show at crosstown hot AC WTMX in 2003…..Adams Radio appoints Nathan James director of marketing partnerships and promotions for the company’s five-station operation in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market. He was most recently director of marketing at iHeartMedia Philadelphia…..Pride Live and iHeartMedia New York announce the second annual Stonewall Day – a global campaign to elevate awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy and the continuing fight for full LGBTQ+ equality.  In observance of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Pride Live and iHeartMedia New York are bringing “multi-generational LGBTQ+ communities and allies together through the power of music at Pride Live’s Stonewall Day concert, presented by United Airlines.”  Taking place on Friday (6/28), it will be hosted by Elvis Duran.

Monday, June 10, 2019

| June 10, 2019

TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story Rocks New York City.  The 22nd edition of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/7) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing 400 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story conference featured more than 65 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, and networking/meal receptions.  The entire conference was recorded to video and in the days and weeks to come, most panels and speeches will be made available for viewing at Talkers.com.  Visit regularly for details. Pictured above, Sean Hannity (r) being interviewed by Michael Harrison (l) during the convention’s Keynote Fireside Chat.

Kilmeade Accepts Freedom of Speech Award. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the 2019 Freedom of Speech Award.

Bill O’Reilly Addresses Conference.  Just a little more than a month after the debut of his Key Networks-syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” program returned him to AM/FM radio, Bill O’Reilly addressed the attendees at Friday’s TALKERS conference.

Rome Delivers.  Sports talk radio star Jim Rome presented a keynote speech illustrating how he got into the sports talk radio business and how he’s adapted to the evolving talk media industry.

Woman of the Year.  Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (l) with Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber (r), who received the 2019 Woman of the Year Award.

Humanitarian of the Year.  Seen above accepting the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year honor from TALKERS magazine is Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.

A Legend Is Honored. Pictured above is SiriusXM disc jockey Cousin Brucie, a.k.a. Bruce Morrow, reading his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to the iconic radio personality.

Helping Our Own.  WPGG morning host Harry Hurley (r) donating $3,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America from the Hurley Morning Show Foundation – a yearly tradition at the Talkers Convention.  Renee Cassis (l) accepts the gift on behalf of the BFOA.

Emmis Agrees to Selling Controlling Interest in Austin Cluster to Sinclair Telecable Inc. for $39.3 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation has had a controlling interest in the six Austin, Texas radio stations since 2003. Now, it is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in the partnership to Sinclair Telecable, Inc., for $39.3 million. This is not the television company Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns KEYE-TV, Austin.  Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair and the company owns seven FMs, two AMs, and 2 FM translators in Norfolk, Virginia and in Sonoma County, California.  The stations and brands involved in this deal are: news/talk KLBJ-AM, classic rock KLBJ-FM, adult hits KBPA-FM “Bob FM,” adult contemporary KGSR-FM “Star 93.3,”  alternative KROX-FM “101X,” regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Zeta,” and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.”  The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture.  I can’t say enough great things about the performance of our incredible team in Austin. Our focus at Emmis now will be on transitioning to new areas of growth.  I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team.  The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.”  Moelis & Company LLC represented Emmis as exclusive financial advisor.

Monday Memo: Digital Diction. As listener attention and advertiser dollars drift digital, radio broadcasters’ tool box gets bigger; and consultant Holland Cooke continues his three-part series of tips from Internet professionals. This week’s Monday Memo focuses on writing for the web.  Cooke relays the advice, “Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that’s ideal for online reading…writing for digital is different than writing for print.  Text that works best on the Web is text that gets right to the point fast and that makes it easy for readers to pick out information.” Get some tips for accomplishing that goal here.

Business Talker Ray Lucia to Retire from Broadcasting. Financial talk pro Ray Lucia is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990.  The show was syndicated nationally in 2000 on Business Talk Radio Network, now known as BizTalkRadio.  In 2006, the TV version of The Ray Lucia Show debuted on BizTV.  Lucia says that after discussing it with his wife, they agreed the time is right.  “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.”  BizTV and BizTalkRadio COO Scott Miller says, “Very rarely does a radio and television program come along that both entertains and informs listeners and viewers.  There is no doubt in my mind that thousands of families have benefited from Ray’s wisdom on how to manage money.  He is from a generation of broadcasting that will be deeply missed.”

Radio Hall of Fame Names Nominees for Class of 2019. The 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 are named and voting begins today.  The nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  Then, beginning on July 15, listeners nationwide will have the opportunity to vote on the other two categories.  Inductees will be announced on August 5.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve.  We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.”  The inductees in the four categories voted by the industry are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Charles LaquidaraHarry Harrison, and Jack Harris. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Angie Martinez, Kevin and Bean, Preston and Steve, and Sarah and Vinnie.  Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Jim Rome, Robert Siegel, Sid Mark, and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!”  Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): George Noory, Glenn BeckJohn Tesh, Kim Komando.  The two categories voted by the public are: Music Format On-Air Personality: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, Mark & Brian Show, Ryan Seacrest.  Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.

Lis Wiehl Exits WOR. There’s no press statement from iHeartMedia about the change in the evening show on news/talk WOR, New York, but Lis Wiehl has left the “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” program that aired from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Wiehl and Concha were partnered for the show at the beginning of this year.  Concha now hosts the show solo, according to the station’s website.  Wiehl is an attorney, best-selling author, and has served as a legal analyst for several media platforms.

Sports KYAL-FM, Tulsa Names RJ Young Host of Midday Show. The station names RJ Young host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show, previously titled “The Sports Mix” that featured a rotating cast of hosts. The Tulsa World reports that Young came to the attention of KYAL-FM management after he posted more than 1,000 videos of his sports commentary to YouTube.  He tells the paper, “Unbelievable opportunity.  If you had told me a few months ago that I would have this platform, I would have kicked you in the shins. I would have laughed.  To do sports talk radio in such a great sports state — this is an amazing privilege and honor.”  At the same time, the station names market sports personality Erik Gee as co-host of the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Pat Jones.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway Today. Today the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins on the campus of Central Washington University.  Over the coming 10 days, students enrolled in the program will hear and meet radio pros from Hubbard, Alpha Media, Bonneville, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and others.  Each broadcaster teaches in his or her area of expertise, ranging from on-air, sports, news, sales, digital, podcasting, promotions, videography, engineering, and practically all aspects of the business. All sessions are on the CWU campus except for one day in Seattle when students are welcomed to Bonneville Seattle Media Group by VP/market manager David Pridemore, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and others, followed by a trip to KIRO-TV.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is the third of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, along with the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; Kellar Radio Talent Institute, Appalachian State University in North Carolina; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

Trump in England/D-Day Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Mexico Tariffs Averted, Hong Kong Protest, U.S.-China Relations, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and NHL/NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. and the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy; the Democrats vying to face Trump in 2020; the intensification of Democrats’ impeachment talk; Trump pulls back on Mexico tariffs threat; the massive Hong Kong protest against new extradition to China law; U.S. relations with China and Trump’s tariffs; the investigation into possible anti-trust practices by Big Tech firms; and the NHL and NBA finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tampa Bay, iHeartMedia names Nick Wize assistant program director and afternoon drive host at CHR WFLZ-FM. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I’ve known Nick for years and have seen his love for radio up close.  He’s creative, driven and has performed at a high level throughout his career.  I am excited to have Nick by my side as we continue to build on 93.3 FLZ’s incredible 30-year history!”  Wize comes to Tampa after having served iHeartMedia as APD and air talent at the company’s KRQQ, Tucson…..Sad news in the iHeartMedia family as WLLR, Quad Cities afternoon personality Bo J. Spates died in his sleep on Saturday night (6/8).  The station is paying tribute to Spates during his show today (6/10).

Friday, May 31, 2019

| May 31, 2019

SRN Places Full Lineup on KJJC, Salt Lake City. On Monday (6/3), KJJC Media Group is debuting the market’s new talk outlet, “The Place 1230 AM, KJJC, Common Sense Talk Radio.”  The lineup will include Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, and others.  The station’s brand – The Place – is a reference to Mormon leader Brigham Young’s comment he made upon settling in the region.  KJJC Media CEO Roger Lonnquist says, “There’s probably never been a time in our country’s history when the need for relevant talk radio programming has been so significant.  KJJC Media Group recognized the opportunity for serving listeners with high-quality programming that is not only entertaining, but also reflects the values of our communities in the greater Salt Lake region.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word formats Phil Boyce says, “Salt Lake City is home to the smartest and most engaged listeners to be found anywhere.  Our hosts look forward to engaging with the Salt Lake radio listeners on the issues that have an impact on all of us.”  Lonnquist says he plans to add an FM simulcast to the station’s signal by the end of summer.

FOX News Radio Names ‘Guy Benson Show’ Afternoon Program. The new “Guy Benson Show” replaces the “Tom Shillue Show” in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart on the FOX News Radio network, effective Monday (6/3).  Shillue remains host of “Quiz Show” (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation).  Benson previously hosted the “Benson & Harf” show with former FOX News contributor Marie Harf.  She left the company to take a position with the presidential campaign of Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).  The “Guy Benson Show” is based out of FOX’s Washington, D.C. operations.  Benson, who joined FOX in 2013 as a contributor, also serves as the political editor of Townhall.com.  Throughout his career, he has served as a Media Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks Double Down on ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show.  With the original co-host back on the show and a new, multi-year extension of the partnership for programming and syndication signed, Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks are moving full-steam ahead with the newly rebranded “Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show.”  Based at Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria and heard on more than 50 affiliate stations, the show features Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins.  Robbins was Markley’s original partner but a massive heart attack in 2015 forced him off the air.  He recently returned to the show as a contributor and is now a full-time member of the show.  Alpha and Compass say the addition of Scott Robbins accentuates the show’s focus on addressing topics from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, and a Millennial by having a host from each generation.  Alpha EVP of content Phil Becker says, “Markley, van Camp and Robbins have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor.  This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”  The show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Davis Media Expands ‘All-News 102’ on WBKQ-FM. In Eastern Virginia, Davis Media is dropping the classical music format on WBKQ-FM, West Point (southeast of Richmond) and will add it to the group of signals airing the “All-News 102” format.  That brand is based at WXTG-AM/FM (1490 AM and 102.1 FM), Portsmouth and is also heard on W270DA at 101.9 in Hampton.  Davis Media says, “The new format will be the historic district’s only all-news radio station powered by 10 journalists in the Southside, Hampton-Newport News region and Williamsburg.”  The multi-media company publishes local print brands Southside Daily, Hampton Newport News Daily, and Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.  It also has a content-sharing partnership with WVEC-TV, Hampton “13NewsNow.” Dee Patel, a former 10-year KYW, Philadelphia news director, serves as general manager and news director for “All-News 102.”

Four More to Enter WGN ‘Walk of Fame.’ The sixth class of inductees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame has been announced and “includes four native Chicagoans, two of whom are present-day voices, one who hosted a show for 60 consecutive years, and a behind-the-scenes staff member with 52 years of service to the station.”  The honorees are: Andrea Darlas, longtime WGN news director and now senior director of constituent engagement at the University of Illinois; 22-year WGN air personality and current midday host John Williams; “Tenpin Tattler” Sam Weinstein who hosted a bowling feature on the station for almost 30 years; and Marlene Wells, a member of the station’s marketing and sales team for more than 50 years.  See more about the inductees here.

Alexander Hamilton Descendant to Speak at Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation Event. At this year’s annual event presented by the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, Douglas Hamilton, the fifth-generation great grandson of Alexander Hamilton, will speak to attendees.  The Bold Gold Foundation’s 5th Annual Event – being held on June 12 in Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom – will celebrate the life of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the founding of America, which, in addition to remarks by Douglas Hamilton, will include a special keynote address by Dr. Stephen Knott.  Dr. Knott is a national security affairs professor at the Naval War College and is one of the nation’s leading scholars on Alexander Hamilton.  He’s also author of the best-selling book, Washington & Hamilton:  The Alliance That Forged America.  Attendees of this very unique event will receive a signed copy of Dr. Knott’s book and have an opportunity to take photos with Dr. Knott and Douglas Hamilton.  The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation assists students in preparing for careers in broadcasting and media and proceeds from this event directly support those efforts.  The organization was founded by Bold Gold Media president/CEO Vince Benedetto, who will be one of 67 industry speakers participating in a power-packed agenda at the sold out 22nd annual TALKERS convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story– next Friday, June 7 in New York City.   He will also be this year’s recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  For details about the convention, please click here.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” Now Posted.  The recently launched one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (May 27-31) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Mueller Speaks!”) features a lineup of guests that includes syndicated talk show hosts Howie Carr and Thom Hartmann along with Los Angeles Times columnist/podcaster and KPCC, Los Angeles host Patt Morrison; WFAN, New York host Richard NeerDC Radio Company executive director Victoria JonesTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and TalkersRadio general manager/Caldwell University, NJ professor David Bernstein.  The non-partisan program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It has just been picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm. According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, it is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this program as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeart picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and number of stations have inquired about its availability.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety here.

WABC’s Joan Hamburg Hosts Pre-Tony Luncheon.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Joan Hamburg (center) during her annual Pre-Tony luncheon at Arno Ristorante in New York with actor Santino Fontana (left) and Lilli Cooper (right), both nominated for Tony Awards for their roles in “Tootsie.”  The sold-out audience witnessed appearances by Broadway stars including: Jeff Daniels, Tony Award-winning actor and Tony nominee this year for his role as Atticus Finch in the smash Broadway play, “To Kill A Mockingbird”; “King Lear” actress Glenda Jackson, who won the Tony last year for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Three Tall Women”; Damon Daunno, Tony nominee for his work in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”; and Susie Essman of television’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  Highlights of the show will air on 77 WABC in two parts – on Saturday (6/1) and Saturday (6/8) at 1:00 pm.    Part 1 will air this Saturday, June 1st, at 1:00 pm, while Part 2 will air the following Saturday, June 8th at 1:00 pm. The 2019 Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 9th, at 8:00 pm ET, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Joan Hamburg’s Pre-Tony luncheon is a must-attend for Tony nominees.  The event is yet another example of the respect Joan has throughout New York’s theater community.  We are fortunate to bring the best of Broadway to 77 WABC and our listeners.”

‘SVP & Russillo’ Returns in Podcast Format. For six years, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo co-hosted the “SVP & Russillo” show on the ESPN Radio Network.  That show ended in 2015, but now ESPN is putting the two back together for a one-hour podcast on its digital platform.  The first program debuts on June 3.  After three monthly editions, in September the show will become bi-weekly. Van Pelt says, “We just figured, if we are going to talk on the phone for 45 minutes, we might as well record it and make it a podcast.  We enjoyed our time together on radio and it’s amazing the loyalty and appetite our listeners still have for us.  I couldn’t be more fired up.”  Russillo adds, “It’s been a few years since we stopped doing the show and I’ve always been amazed how many times people come up to me and say how much they still miss it.  It was a daily part of people’s lives.  Even people at ESPN who have different roles and positions today say how much they loved the show.  We both knew we would do something again.  I’m just happy it’s still with ESPN.”

Robert Mueller’s Justice Department Statements Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 27-31.  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference at the Justice Department in which he declined to say the president had not attempted to obstruct justice was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the intensification of impeachment talks among Democrats.  Coming in at #3 was the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade issues, followed by the new anti-abortion laws being passed in several states 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.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Edison Research Analyzes Social Media Use; What’s Up (or Down) with Facebook? Using data from its national telephone survey from the 2019 Infinite Dial study, its own national online survey, and its own in-person, in-depth interview survey, Edison Research presents “The Social Habit 2019” study.  Edison concludes that in the big picture, “there are now approximately 223 million social media users age 12+ in the U.S., and their original social media platform of choice, Facebook, is losing ground among users of all ages, for various reasons.”  Facebook reportedly has 15 million less users in the U.S. in 2019 than it did in 2017.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “Not only have millions of Americans stopped using Facebook entirely, nearly a third of Facebook users tell us they are using the service less.  While Facebook remains the leading social media brand in America, it is being wounded on multiple fronts, as every demographic has their own reasons for spending less time there.”  Some of the other findings are: 1) The “core users” of the different social media brands, (those who use that one ‘most often’) have different demographic profiles; 2) Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter have the highest composition of U.S. users age 12-34.  Facebook and Pinterest have the highest composition of U.S. users age 55+; 3) In qualitative interviews, Edison Research spoke with social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether.  Those users describe some of the reasons they are using Facebook less, including avoiding family members on Facebook, experiencing discomfort with some of the “attention-seeking” they see on social media, and gravitating to other, more photo-heavy platforms. Paradoxically, though, the same users articulate FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, as they scan social media platforms, and feel compelled to participate in social media.  See more here.

Legendary Music Radio Programmer John Sebastian Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He was one of the most prolific music radio PDs of the 70s, 80s and 90s – programming small-, medium- and large-market stations in the genres of top 40, AOR (album-oriented rock), classic rock, smooth jazz, and even country to notable success between Boston and Los Angeles.  Then as the 21st century unfolded, he did some consulting and eventually went on to a viable career as a voice actor.  But the itch to get back into music radio has prompted John Sebastian to go back to the drawing board and scratch out a brand-new music radio format targeting a familiar old segment of the population – the underserved 55-72 baby boomer demographic.  He calls it “The Wow Factor” and he’s out there talking it up to everyone and anyone who owns an FM stick.  Of course, today’s conventional wisdom in commercial radio is to follow the advertising agency money which is clearly aimed at the younger demos.  But Sebastian says it is foolish to leave all the revenue on the table that can be generated by serving the baby boomer demo which remains active, affluent, and grew up listening to radio.  Sebastian is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This podcast is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio history and would be fascinated by a deep-dive analysis of the modern-day industry’s frustrating logic of underserved demographics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured in the photo at right is Big Al Mack from the YEA Networks nationally syndicated morning radio program, “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” (center) with country star Blake Shelton (left) and Gwen Stefani (right).  Big Al was asked if he’d introduce Blake at the Memorial Day weekend Grand Opening of Shelton’s new live music venue, The Doghouse at Ole Red, in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  Shelton told Big Al the reason he asked him was because, “Every time I look on Twitter, you’re always saying something nice about me!”  Proceeds of more than $145,000 from the ticket sales went to benefit the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation…..In the photo below, Westwood One syndicated personality Blair Garner, host of “The Blair Garner Show,” poses at the private Center Point Road listening party for Thomas Rhett fans who won their way in to the special event at Cumulus Nashville’s country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” last week.  Listeners got to hear Rhett’s new album before its release and hear him speak about his life and career.  From left to right are: Valory Music’s Ashley Sidoti, Chris Palmer, Rhett, Garner, WKDF PD John Shomby, Tyler Reese, and Kelley Brock.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

| May 15, 2019

Atlanta Talker WYAY-FM’s Last Day Is May 31.  Like its hot AC sister in New York – WPLJ-FM – news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta will end its talk format on May 31 as the station will change hands, leaving the Cumulus Media fold and becoming carrier of Educational Media Foundation’s Christian music format “K-Love.”  The station’s talk personalities have been operating in a sort of limbo since the sale of the stations was announced in February. Talk hosts looking for new gigs include: Atlanta talk icon Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson, Shelley Wynter, Shannon Burke, and Mike Brooks.

Panama City Radio Stations to Broadcast Trump Speeches Daily Through 2020 Election. The trio of Panama City, Florida radio stations that Gulf Coast Media Inc. bought from Powell Broadcasting – classic rock WRBA-FM, country WKNK-FM, and adult hits WASJ-FM – will broadcast portions of speeches by President Trump each hour through the 2020 election, owner Samuel Rogatinsky says.  Powell sold the stations after Hurricane Michael damaged the facilities, knocking them off the air.  The president has promised to provide federal aid to the region and Rogatinsky says the company wants to thank him.  A statement from Gulf Coast Media explains, “Gulf Coast Media, Inc. senior management acknowledged that broadcasting the president’s speeches may not be consistent with conventional commercial FM radio, but we have taken this approach to show the community’s sincere appreciation for President Donald Trump’s work in Panama City and Bay County.”  The company says it will honor requests from other candidates to air time in order to comply with the FCC’s equal access rules.  Rogatinsky tells the Orlando Sentinel, “Really, we just want to have inspirational type things because the community is so down.  Nobody else is really promising or doing anything.  They want to hear what he has to say.”

TALKERS News NotesFOX News Radio is launching a new, weekly podcast featuring FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman, titled, “Everyone Talks to Liz Claman.”  The program debuts today (5/15) with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.  The program features “interviews with motivational figures and entrepreneurs and provides an inspirational look into the key factors that drive today’s business elite.”…..Chicago urban talk station WVON-AM announces that former Cook County Board president Todd Stroger is joining the Maze Jackson-hosted morning show.  The new program is called “The Maze Jackson Morning Show with Todd Stroger” and airs from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Midway Broadcasting chair Melody Spann Cooper states, “Todd joining the team is a no-brainer in a town where politics is a second sport.” Stroger had been guest hosting the program prior to being offered a full-time position…..Bubba the Love Sponge has filed an amended complaint against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning drive personality Mike Calta, stating that the company and Calta conspired to destroy his radio career by: falsely claiming Bubba’s ratings on then-WBRN-FM, Tampa were improving because of tampering; releasing the Hulk Hogan sex tape; pressuring Nielsen to remove PPM panelists with heavy Bubba listening; and more.  Bubba is requesting a jury trial and seeks damages to be determined at trial…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network talk host Sebastian Gorka (left) in the Oval Office with President Trump (right).  Gorka served as national security strategist for Trump’s 2016 campaign and was a White House adviser prior to launching his SRN show, “America First,” in January.  Photo: Tia Dufour.

Skyview Networks Unveils Summer Agency-Focused Events. Saying that this summer’s “star-studded, agency-focused, pre-upfronts events calendar” features big names in news and entertainment, including CBS Audio’s Jane Pauley and Jill Schlesinger, as well as one of the hottest events of the summer, ABC’s GMA Concert Series, Skyview Networks reveals its schedule “designed to give agencies access to premiere talent and high-profile brand opportunities that can drive future integration development.”  These events include: the GMA Concert Series (May-Sept); the Radio Disney Music Awards, June 6, Los Angeles; Carla Hall Dinner, June 12, New York; Jane Pauley Luncheon, June 13, New York; and CBS Television/CBS Audio, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Taping, TBD.

U.S.-China Trade War, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Anti-Abortion Legislation, Southern Border Migrant Issues, S.F. Facial Recognition Ban, U.S. Birthrate Hits 30-Year Low, and NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/14). The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats against U.S. interests; the recent anti-abortion legislation passed in Alabama and other states and the threat to Roe v Wade; the state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border; the city of San Francisco makes use of facial recognition technology illegal; the birth rate in the U.S. hits a 30-year low; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Traffic Reporter Opportunity. This gig is in Miami where iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network is seeking a traffic reporter to work on WIOD “NewsRadio 610.” TTWN says, “We are looking for an energetic on-air talent, that can deliver a conversational sound. Previous traffic reporting isn’t required. If you have a natural sound, previous audio experience, and are willing to put in the work and effort, we’ll show you the ropes!” For information and to apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Orlando alternative outlet WQMP “FM 101.9” has a new program director as Entercom names Matthew Malone to the position.  Malone previously served with Cumulus Media’s alternative KCJK, Kansas City “X105.1” as APD and music director.  He comments, “I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Entercom Orlando team and to be working with [SVP and market manager] Claudia [Menegus].  Being a part of a company that is actively embracing the alternative format, helping it grow, and under the guidance of a programmer that I have long respected – [SVP of programming] Mike Kaplan – I know that we can accomplish great things in Central Florida.”…..WDVE, Pittsburgh afternoon drive personality Sean McDowell announces he’s retiring from rock WDVE and the radio biz after 41 years in radio and 26 with WDVE.  McDowell broke the news on Randy Baumann’s morning drive program on the iHeartMedia station…..Twin Cities afternoon drive personality Moon, a.k.a. Larry Thompson, is leaving Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95” after 45 years in the radio business to focus on his health.  Moon, who co-hosts the afternoon show with Staci Matthews, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005.  Station PD Leighton Peck says, “We will all miss Moon’s incredible sense of humor and the fun he brings to the air and in the hallways.”…..Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters names Angie Fitzsimmons morning drive host at country KKGO, Los Angeles, “Go Country 105.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the April 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third successive month, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR surrenders one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+); even so, “710 The Voice of New York” continues at #22. Off one-tenth as well is Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC (1.3 -1.2, flat at #23, 6+). It is tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which has dropped a collective four-tenths in five straight down or flat sweeps (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+).

Obliterating its combined February/March loss of three-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) with an April spike of +1.2 to 4.2 (6+), Entercom sports talk/Yankees’ flagship WFAN rockets from #12 to #6. Conversely, WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York,” the key station of the Knicks, is off four-tenths (2.2 -1.8, #18 to #20, 6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.2, 6+).

While Entercom all-news WINS is unchanged from March in both 6+-share (3.7) and market rank (ninth), co-owned/similarly-programmed Mets flagship WCBS-AM forfeits one-half share (3.4 – 2.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #13). WINS was a combined -1.1 in February/March (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), while WCBS-AM gained three-tenths in March (3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Part of the three-way tie at #13 (which includes WCBS-AM) is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which gains three-tenths to 2.9 (#14 to #13, 6+), curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.0 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Having seen its 6+ share sliced in half (-.3) in February/March (.6 – .4 – .3, 6+), co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM picks up one-tenth to .4 (#33 to #31, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – With a January – February – March topline of 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6 (6+), Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7” busts out a gain of one-half share to 3.1 (#14 to #11, 6+). Although flat at #17, Cumulus Media’s similarly formatted WPLJ is without a loss for the fourth straight sweep (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a cumulative gain of one-half share. WPLJ is soon to become contemporary Christian when its sale to Educational Media Foundation is finalized. On the heels of posting a one-half share increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW forfeits seven-tenths (7.7 – 7.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 22nd consecutive ratings period. A January/February -5.3 (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WLTW was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It holds a one-half share lead over Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B,” which is down four-tenths to 6.5 (steady at #2, 6+). The loss suspends three straight gains that accounted for a collective +1.3 (5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). For the eighth time in a row, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” (unchanged at #11) is within 3.1 – 3.6 range ( 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.1 –