Tag: "Gordon Smith"

Thursday, September 10, 2020

| September 10, 2020

Backbone Serving Broadcasters in Work-from-Home Era. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of broadcasters to work from home beginning in the spring and many still are. Radio engineering departments scrambled to get equipment into the homes of hosts who required it. But Backbone has been busy providing high-quality audio connection to a number of broadcasters and educational institutions with its equipment-free service. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian talks with Backbone founder, president and CEO Richard Cerny in a piece that illustrates how the Backbone technology is being used. He tells TALKERS, “This is sort of the only way you can really revamp a station without having to buy all new equipment. Other than the tower and tower building, there is no brick and mortar here. Your bedroom is ‘the studio.’ You can have local hosts on the LUCIE (the pre-codex) that goes into New York. A producer working out of his house takes all the inputs; adds commercials; puts it back into the cloud; and [the final product] goes out to the tower. At the same time, it streams and makes podcasts – all of this stuff is automated. Unless you want to make edits, you just push a button to launch and publish a podcast wherever you want to send it.” Read the entire story here.

PPM Analysis: All-News. According to data from Nielsen Audio’s monthly PPM surveys, listening to news radio shot up in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores and although the 6+ AQH shares for news stations has bounced around a bit since March, 75% of all-news stations had higher AQH shares during the August 2020 survey than they did during the August 2019 survey. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian analyzes the format in today’s report. Comparing July 2020 and August 2020 data, exactly half of the news stations in PPM markets were down (6+ weekly AQH) and half were up. Looking at 6+ cume, although half of the news outlets were up during the August 2020 survey compared to the July 2020 survey, the average spike in cume was 67,244 while the average dip in cume was just 14,500. Check out Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

iHeartMedia to Acquire WWRL, New York; Black Information Network to Air on Station. As it continues to expand the reach of its newly created BIN: Black Information Network, iHeartMedia announces that the 24/7 comprehensive national audio news service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate, and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective will be heard on New York City’s WWRL-AM, effective November 2. That is when iHM begins operating the station under an LMA. The company has also entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with current owner NJ Broadcasting LLC.  BIN: Black Information Network president Tony Coles says, “We are excited to welcome WWRL AM as the newest member of the Black Information Network family. This station has a long history of service in New York City, and in the ‘60s was an important voice for change for the Black community. At BIN, we are proud to continue that legacy, and to once again make AM 1600 a trusted source for the news and information that impacts Black New Yorkers.” The station is currently airing “Radio Mirchi,” a Hindi format operated by Entertainment Network Limited.

Radio America to Syndicate ‘The Best of Ricochet.’ A new, one-hour weekly program is being syndicated by Radio America beginning Saturday, September 19. Radio America says “The Best of Ricochet” is a “fast-paced digest of the Ricochet Audio Network’s bright and informative podcast streams. No orthodoxy, no party-line rants – we have a multitude of smart, engaging, iconoclastic thinkers who span the center-right spectrum. You’ll find college law professors, moms, libertarians, pop-culture addicts, vets, and the occasional note from the road from a truck driver.” The program is hosted by James Lileks, the longtime co-host of the “Ricochet Podcast” (alongside Peter Robinson and Rob Long), the author of several books (including the now legendary Gallery of Regrettable Food) and has been the sole contributor to lileks.com since 1997. He’s a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

45th Gracies Awards Streams Tonight. The Alliance for Women in Media are reminding the industry that this year’s 45th Anniversary Gracies Awards is being streamed live on the AWMF Facebook page at 7:00 pm ET. This year’s program is being hosted by “This Is Us” star Susan Kelechi Watson and supports the AWMF’s many educational programs, charitable activities, public service, and scholarship campaigns that benefit women in media. The evening will include Malin Akerman, Sanjay Gupta, Angélica Vale, Cassie DiLaura, and more as presenters, and will honor such luminaries as Katy Perry, Danai Gurira, Michelle Williams, Gayle King, among many others.

TALKERS News Notes. The National Association of Broadcasters announces it is moving the NAB Show scheduled for April 11-14, 2021 to October 9-13, 2021 in Las Vegas. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says in making the announcement, “With a new date set for the 2021 NAB Show we are looking at the entirety of the calendar next year with fresh eyes. We plan to continue bringing the industry together in a number of ways. In the short-term, we are excited about the online events planned for next month – the Radio Show (October 5–9) and NAB’s Sales and Management Television Exchange (October 14–15). These signature events, combined with our virtual NAB Show New York (October 19–29), offer dynamic content and engagement opportunities all month long to bring the industry together to restart, reengage and refocus.”…..The American Uncensored News Network announces it is actively seeking conservative radio and television shows for its AUN-TV network, “The Uncensored News Network.” AUN-TV says its mission is to create “uncensored” news, talk, and documentary programming from independent media and grassroots production. Content is distributed via its AUN-TV Network and its sister website www.aun-tv.com. At the same time, AUN-TV founder Dana Allen announces that Rick Trader – producer and host of the “Conservative Commandos Radio Show” – is named president and CEO of AUN Network…..NPR and a group of 12 public radio stations across the country announce they are launching the first localized daily news podcast, one that blends national stories and local reporting. The podcast is titled, “Consider This,” and NPR senior director for on-demand programming Neal Carruth comments, “This project is truly the best reflection of the public radio mission. ‘Consider This’ is now a collaborative podcast that will know where users are and deliver them the news of the day from their community and beyond. It demonstrates what only the public radio network has the ability to do.” Participating stations include: WGBH and WBUR in Boston; WNYC, New York; WHYY, Philadelphia; WAMU, Washington, DC; WBEZ, Chicago; WMPR, Minneapolis; KERA, Dallas; KPCC and KCRW, Los Angeles; KQED, San Francisco; and KOPB, Portland…..Cadence13 – part of Entercom’s Podcast Network – and actor/comedian Will Arnett are partnering to produce “The Journey is Now,” a new weekly podcast in which Arnett explores “human perspective, growth, and awareness.” Arnett will be joined on each episode by a well-known guest for a deep-dive into their story, struggles, regrets, and the obstacles they’ve overcome…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston (right) conducting and exclusive one-on-one interview with Vice President Mike Pence (left). Clugston flew from D.C. to Pennsylvania with the vice president on Air Force 2 yesterday (9/9), then joined his bus tour across the region that included stops at a pro-life gathering, as well as an address to energy industry employees at PennEnergy Resources, LLC in Freedom, Pennsylvania.

ViacomCBS and iHeartMedia Enter into Podcast Deal. This three-year deal between ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group and iHeartMedia calls for iHM to “create dozens of original podcasts, both new and those that leverage iconic intellectual property and extend powerhouse franchises from the biggest and most beloved brands.” Those brands include: MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land and Logo. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “These are some of the most iconic brands in the world. First and foremost – as fans of these brands – we wanted to see them have a really strong presence in podcasting. So our plan is simple: We will swing all of our resources behind these incredible brands – with support from our production teams, our huge distribution and marketing muscle, and the biggest and best audio sales team in the country – to make sure they get the audience they deserve in this incredible new medium.”

IBA Partners with AdLarge for Network Ad Sales. The Independent Broadcasters Association enters into a network radio ad sales partnership with AdLarge Media to create two new independent radio station networks. The IBA says its board approved the membership offering on August 17 and says, “The membership fee is designed so that every radio station can afford to participate and benefit from all the deliverables underway. The cost of membership is $100 per station annually plus one :60 unit of advertising per week, Monday – Friday 6a-7p.”  AdLarge co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld comments, “We are thrilled to work with Ron and the independent radio stations across the country that are joining the IBA. This partnership comes at a most opportune time, giving independent radio groups and stations more power and prominence in network radio advertising. Ron’s [Stone] industry leadership in creating the IBA will help thousands of radio stations nationwide generate additional revenue and we are honored to be a part of it.”

Bob Woodward’s Rage Book, the Presidential Election/Vote-By-Mail, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, California Wildfires, Kansas City Chiefs’ Fan Rules Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9). The audio of tape of Bob Woodward’s interview with President Trump for his book Rage that reveals the president purposely downplayed the COVID-19 threat; the November presidential election and the controversy over voting by mail and the challenges facing the USPS; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and projections for future cases; the state of the California wildfires; and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs ban Native American garb at 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. Rock radio pro Steve Dent joins Cumulus Media as morning drive personality for alternative WNDX, Indianapolis “93.9X.” Dent was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Dayton cluster as program director for alternative WZDA and classic rock WTUE. WNDX program director Steven Lewis says, “‘93.9X’ has continued to grow and establish its brand since it launched last May. Steve Dent brings years of experience in the format, a passion for the music, strong on-air skills, and the tools to take mornings to the next level. I couldn’t be happier to have him on the station and part of our Cumulus Rock family.”…..Beasley Media Group promotes Dawn Santolucito to assistant program director and marketing director for WKLB-FM, Boston “Country 102.5.” She has been serving as music director and marketing director at the station since August 2017. She says, “‘Country 102.5’ is a special station, near and dear to my heart. I am excited to take on this new role and I am looking forward to all the things our incredible team will accomplish together.” At the same time, Jim Clerkin rises to music director and producer for the “Jonathan Weir and Ayla Brown Morning Show.”…..In Chicago, iHeartMedia gets FCC approval to change the call letters of country-turned-rock WEBG-FM to WCHI-FM.

Friday, August 7, 2020

| August 7, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of 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 in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled “Each Passing Tik of the Clok!” looks back at this past week of August 3-7, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMike Gallagher, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkPat McCrory, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte / former Governor of North Carolina; Howard Monroe, talk show host / station owner, WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Levi Browde, executive director, Falun Dafa Information Center; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, 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.

Salem Media Group Q2 Revenue Down 18.3%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2020, Salem Media Group says revenue for the quarter was $52.9 million, a decrease of 18.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Operating expenses decreased 9% during the quarter to $53.8 million from $59.1 million. After posting operating income of $5.6 million in Q2 of 2019, Salem reports an operating loss of $0.9 million. Breaking down the report by segment, net broadcast revenue decreased 19.6% to $39.5 million from $49.1 million; Station Operating Income (“SOI”) decreased 43.9% to $6.4 million from $11.4 million; and Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 17.4% to $38.7 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI decreased 43.9% to $6.5 million from $11.6 million. Salem’s digital media revenue decreased 5.2% to $9.4 million from $10.0 million; and digital media operating income decreased 22.6% to $1.8 million from $2.3 million. Publishing revenue was down 29.8% to $4 million from $5.6 million; and publishing operating loss increased to $1.6 million from $0.1 million.

Entercom’s Q2 2020 Revenue Decreases 54%. The second quarter 2020 financial report from Entercom reveals net revenue was $175.9 million, a decrease of 54% from the $380.7 million reported in Q2 of 2019. Spot revenue declined 65% on a year-over-year basis while digital revenue rose 19%. Entercom reports that reflecting its cost management initiatives implemented to address the pandemic and lower levels of advertising spending, station expenses for the quarter declined 32% to $188.9 million, compared to $277.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 while corporate expenses for the quarter declined 45% to $8.4 million, compared to $15.2 million in the second quarter of 2019. The company reported operating income of $64.8 million in Q2 of 2019, but this year reported an operating loss of $45.3 million (that included a non-cash impairment charge of $4.2 million). Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a loss of $20 million, compared to income of $87.6 million in the second quarter of 2019. Entercom president and CEO David J. Field says, “While Entercom generated significant revenue and EBITDA growth prior to the pandemic, second quarter results reflect the impact of the national economic challenges that quickly emerged as many advertisers closed businesses and significantly reduced their ad spend. Given our national leadership position in sports, second quarter top-line results were also significantly impacted by the cancellation of virtually all scheduled sporting events during the quarter. Excluding the impact of cancelled sports play-by-play, second quarter revenues declined 47%. However, after bottoming out in April, we have achieved significant sequential improvement every month through the summer with third quarter business on books already 30% greater than where the second quarter finished. The pandemic challenges accelerated our on-going transformation initiatives with a heightened focus on enhancing our business model, accelerating our growth opportunities, more fully integrating our powerful product offerings, and improving our service to both listeners and customers. In this regard, we implemented a range of company-wide initiatives, which lowered second quarter total cash operating expense by approximately $97 million, which exceeded our budget. In addition, we secured our strong liquidity position through an amendment to our credit facility and ended the second quarter with $208 million of cash, up from $189 million at the end of March. Looking ahead, as the country’s #1 creator of original, premium audio content with robust data, analytics and attribution capabilities, scaled audience reach and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market, including broadcasting, podcasting, digital, events, network, sports and news, Entercom is strategically well-positioned for future growth and performance. Improving revenue trends combined with enhancements to our business model and active management of our balance sheet will enable Entercom to emerge as an even stronger company and build meaningful shareholder value. I want to thank our team for their resilience, dedication, and exceptional work as they have gone above and beyond to serve our listeners, advertisers and communities under the most challenging of circumstances over the past several months.”

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Austin, Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM tacks on two-tenths for a 5.7 share and the #3 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM, Raleigh rises from the #6 rank to #3 after adding six-tenths and finishing the survey with a 6.8 share. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis inches up one-tenth to a 7.5 share, good for the #4 rank. In Milwaukee, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ holds steady at a 5.5 share but rises one spot to the #5 rank while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN dips four-tenths to a 6.8 share and the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.8 share good for the #9 rank. In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM continues in the #2 rank after dipping four-tenths and finishing with a 9.5 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

NAB’s Gordon Smith Averted Stroke. The report of NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s stroke yesterday (8/6) was premature, according to Smith himself. He issued a public statement that clarifies the original press release from the NAB and thanks people for the outpouring of support he’s received. He says, “Your prayers and kind words have meant the world to me and my family. I am delighted to tell you that after a very extensive MRI last night it was discovered that I did have a blood clot, but thanks to the quick medical intervention I received, an actual stroke was averted.”

Cumulus Media Announces New Employment Agreement with Exec Suzanne Grimes. A new employment agreement between Cumulus Media and Suzanne Grimes has been filed with the SEC. Grimes will continue to serve as executive vice president of corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One. The pact runs through December 2022 and includes provisions for automatic one-year extensions. Grimes’ base salary is $650,000 and she’s eligible for performance-based bonuses.

Shaffer Adds APD Duties at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. WGFX-FM, Nashville
“104.5 The Zone” morning show producer Jonathan Shaffer adds assistant program director duties to his responsibilities. Cumulus Media says the 14-year Nashville radio pro will continue in his role as morning show producer for the sports talk station. Station PD Paul Mason says, “Jonathan has demonstrated that he is ready for this challenge. He’s earned this opportunity and I look forward to working with him as we move forward toward reaching our goals at ‘104.5 The Zone.’” Shaffer comments, “I am proud and honored to be part of such a talented, committed team at ‘104.5 The Zone’. I am very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to contributing to The Zone’s continued success.”

iHeartMedia Names Tias Schuster SVP of Programming for West New York. Programming pro Tias Schuster moves from iHeartMedia’s Norfolk, Virginia operations where he was SVP of programming and PD for two of its music brands, to West New York to serve as SVP of programming for Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. In this new role, Schuster will oversee more than 19 stations in the Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton markets. He’ll report to iHeartMedia West New York president Robert Morgan. Schuster says, “It is great to be back with my iHeartRadio family in Upstate New York. I’m honored to work alongside the legendary personalities and management in these markets! I want to give a special thanks to iHeartMedia for the opportunity.”

WIP, Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin ‘Walks to Tampa’ for Charity. Philadelphia sports media figure Howard Eskin is almost three-quarters of the way to Tampa (figuratively speaking) as he continues his PDQ Signature Systems-sponsored, two-month charitable effort. “Howard Walks to Tampa” has the “SportsRadio 94WIP” air personality walking the virtual 1,103-mile distance between the Philadelphia Eagles’ home base of Lincoln Financial Field and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the location of Super Bowl LV, to raise money for fighting local hunger and animal welfare. Money raised from Eskin’s daily walks, which will run through September 13 prior to the start of the Eagles 2020 season, will benefit Philabundance, Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, and the Brandywine Valley SPCA, a nationally recognized leader in progressive and lifesaving initiatives in animal welfare. Eskin says, “It’s been a tough time in our country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any games or practices to attend, I needed an escape. So, I started walking. It’s been great for my physical and mental health and raising money for two great charities like Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA makes it even better.” To date, Eskin has walked 736 miles with only 367 miles to go before September 13 and has raised more than $10,000 for Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a documentary about the rise and fall of former WFAN, New York sports talk personality Craig Carton set to be released on October 7 from HBO Sports and StreetSmartVideo titled, “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth.” According to a story in the Rockland/Westchester Journal, the film will include Carton talking about his story in his own words. Carton was released early from his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for fraud in June and is finishing his sentence in home confinement. HBO Sports VP Peter Nelson says, “Craig Carton’s radio persona gained him a public following, while his private struggles lost him everything one casino run at a time. Many knew Carton, but never knew his secrets, as we learn from Carton himself in this documentary about success, self-destruction, lies and blackjack.”…..According to a report in Dmagazine, a documentary film about the life and career of Dallas sports talk radio legend Mike Rhyner is being produced. Dallas media pro Crystal Vasquez – who met the now-retired KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas personality while filling in as a traffic reporter on Rhyner’s “The Hardline” program – is heading up the documentary project. Vasquez tells Dmagazine, “It’s not a documentary on ‘The Ticket.’ That’s his identity to a certain extent, but it’s a story about Mike’s life.”…..The “Bubba the Love Sponge” program adds a new affiliate station in 1TV.Com Inc.’s classic rock KBSZ-AM/K247CF, Apache Junction, Arizona “97.3 The Rattler.”…..Entercom’s all-news 1010 WINS, New York is inviting listeners to a wedding on Sunday! The station reports, “Ashley Isaacs, who works at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and her fiancé Israel Reches (both pictured at left) will reunite for the first time in months at their own wedding after spending time apart due to the pandemic and Reches’ health. As Isaacs was working to save patients with COVID-19 this past spring, Reches was battling stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, forcing the couple to separate. With Reches in remission just in time for the big day, the two are set to marry on Sunday, August 9 in a small backyard ceremony, and 1010 WINS listeners are ‘invited’ to the festivities. The station will be onsite the day of the wedding, airing audio of the ceremony on air and streaming it in its entirety via Facebook Live.”

WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit Starts ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ Initiative. Detroit all-news WWJ “News Radio 950” unveils its two-part community programming initiative called “Breaking Down the Barriers” dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the city and its surrounding suburbs. The initiative includes two segments, “Voices of the Community” and “Black Business Minute,” both beginning August 10. “Voices of the Community” is hosted by WWJ traffic operations manager Lloyd Jackson and will profile community leaders, activists, and residents who are making a difference in their neighborhoods and throughout Detroit. “Black Business Minute” is hosted by WWJ city beat reporter Vickie Thomas and highlights local businesses in which Black business owners will discuss their companies, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are contributing to the success of Detroit. It will air five times daily each weekday. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “The diverse citizens of Detroit are an integral part of the fabric of this great city and we’re proud to use our platform to champion their stories. There are countless cases of business owners and leaders helping residents get through this crisis, and we look forward to employing this series as another way to shine the spotlight on them.”

95.5 WSB ‘Care-a-Thon’ Raises $1.5 Million for Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. This year’s 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon two-day radio event was the 20th annual produced by the Cox Media Group news/talk station and helped raise more than $1.5 million for research and programs at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This year, due to COVID-19, Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Brian Kilmeade and many other local radio personalities participated in the 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon by interviewing patients and their families virtually via video and phone calls. The team encouraged listeners to donate and purchase one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the special radio broadcast. WSB director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen says, “Our entire team is so thankful for the phenomenal support we have received from our loyal listeners who continue to give to the Care-a-Thon, and all of our community service efforts at 95.5 WSB, year after year. This year’s fundraiser is one we’ll never forget because of the incredible financial strain coronavirus presented to our community of donors. I’m tremendously proud of the teams at 95.5 WSB and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for their work adapting this year’s effort to become ‘virtual’ as a result of the pandemic.”

The Presidential Race, Politics and the Vote-By-Mail Debate Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 3-7. The November presidential election, politics, and the controversy over President Trump’s allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Tied at #2 this week was the interview with President Trump by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan and Deutsch Bank being subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in a Trump Organization investigation. Coming in at #3 was the debate over opening schools, followed by health care, medications and the mask debate 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Beasley Media Group announces the cancellation of WKML-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina’s 2020 Stars & Guitars concert. Beasley VP/GM Kent Dunn says, “Thank you to our amazing sponsor and fans throughout the years for supporting Stars & Guitars event. These are unprecedented times. The safety of our community, staff, and country artists is our number one priority. As a result, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s event. We’ll be back bigger and better than ever in 2021!” To help fill in the gap, WKML-FM has hosted a series of special Stars & Guitars at Home social media concert experiences with some of the top artists in country music on the station’s website as well as entertained listeners with the station’s special Superstar Mini Concert series.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

| August 6, 2020

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Declines 47%. In line with the other broadcast companies that have reported Q2 2020 data so far, iHeartMedia’s revenue of $488 million represents a 47% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. Breaking it down into segments, iHM reports that broadcast revenue declined 57% ($561 million to $244 million), networks revenue was down 38% ($156 million to $96 million), digital revenue increased 2% ($91 million to $93 million – led by a 103% increase in podcasting revenue), sponsorship and events declined 65% ($42 million to $15 million), and audio & media services dropped 33% ($59 million to $39 million). iHeartMedia is reporting an operating loss of $159 million in Q2 of 2020 compared to an operating income of $182 million in the second quarter of 2019. Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “The challenges that we have faced due to COVID-19 were unprecedented and had a severe, negative impact on our revenue in the second quarter. Despite those financial challenges, we retained our strong relationship with the consumer as the #1 audio company in America and the #1 media company in America by reach. As the advertising marketplace is recovering, we are working hard to ensure that we have the products and services to fully capitalize on the opportunity while proactively taking steps to fortify our balance sheet and our liquidity. Finally, I want to thank our employees for their commitment and creativity under such difficult and challenging circumstances.” Company president, CFO and COO Rich Bressler adds, “In response to COVID-driven market weakness, we acted rapidly and decisively to further streamline our cost structure and capital-spending programs, while continuing to implement pre-COVID cost savings programs through our modernization initiatives. These actions played an important role in minimizing the negative impact on our free cash flow results against the backdrop of the significant revenue declines we saw in the second quarter. We believe that these actions, in combination with our proactive capital structure management provides the company with sufficient liquidity to operate effectively even in an extended period of economic weakness.”

Round Three of July PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 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 July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM tacks on one-tenth to finish the July survey with a 6.5 share good for the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte dips one-tenth to a 5.9 share but rises one spot to the #3 rank. Despite losing a full share and finishing with a 5.5 share, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI, San Antonio remains ranked #2 in the market. In Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds three-tenths and wraps the survey with a 5.4 share good for the #4 rank. iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City jumps by half a share to claim the #5 rank with a 5.8 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers Without Buying Clicks.  Noted media consultant, TV talk show host, and TALKERS contributing columnist, Holland Cooke has written an informative new E-book titled, Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) that is now available to TALKERS readers. Cooke states,“With Spotify paying Joe Rogan a reported $100 million to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounced the former ‘Fear Factor’ host and MMA commentator ‘the new Mainstream Media.’ This is a whack-on-the-side-of-the-head to broadcasters, who marginalize podcasters as a shadow medium, or ‘the future.’ At these prices, the future is now.” Cooke advises radio broadcasters to step up their efforts in making podcasting an effectively monetized part of their expanding communications platform stating, “There are an estimated 260 million smartphones in the USA. With that many of us walking around with a device that can broadcast live video, instantly, worldwide – and with nearly a quarter billion of us on Facebook and nearly 50 million active Twitter users in the USA – We The People are now, measurably, ‘the Mainstream Media.’”  Cooke says one of the keys to broadcasters succeeding, where such a large percentage of the 850,000 active podcasters out there fail, is in their ability to promote TSL (time spent listening). In this new E-book, Cooke details the strategy to prompt listeners to share podcasts with friends by employing the fundamentals that are second nature to broadcasters, but often lacking in podcasts. To purchase Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) for $9.00 or get more information, please click here.

Giuliani Suggests Salem’s Hewitt and Elder Serve as Debate Moderators. On behalf of the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign, Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani submitted a list of potential presidential debate moderators to the Commission on Presidential Debates that includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated hosts Larry Elder and Hugh Hewitt. The list of moderators the campaign would find acceptable also includes David Muir of ABC News and Norah O’Donnell of CBS News. Salem Media Group SVP spoken word programming Phil Boyce says, “We are so proud to see Hugh Hewitt and Larry Elder mentioned as possible moderators of a presidential debate. Frankly all of our SRN national hosts are capable of doing this, and these two especially are. We hope they get the nod.” Hewitt served as co-moderator of four 2016 Republican Primary debates co-produced by CNN and the Salem Radio Network.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on some news from Nexstar’s WGN-AM, saying that the station is not talking with market legend Garry Meier about replacing Roe Conn in afternoon drive when his contract ends this year as previously reported. His sources say serious talks with Meier never got off the ground. In other WGN news, Feder says that if John Records Landecker’s fill-in stint for morning host Bob Sirott goes well next week, Landecker may be in line for the permanent evening show position…..Cadence13 – a part of Entercom’s podcast network – is partnering with NBA star Kevin Durant and entrepreneur Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures to create The Boardroom Podcast Network. The network will launch with two podcasts. In “The Boardroom: Out Of Office,” Kleiman hosts and digs deep into guests’ career trajectories, the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, and the stories they’ve gathered along the way. In September, Durant launches the monthly podcast “The Etc’s with Kevin Durant.” He says, “I’m really excited to be launching both of these podcasts and this partnership with Cadence13. We’re really invested in making both of these pods different than anything else out there, and I’m personally looking forward to having in-depth conversations about some of my favorite topics.”

NAB’s Gordon Smith Suffers Stroke. A statement from the National Association of Broadcasters reveals that its president and CEO Gordon Smith suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital. The statement adds, “He is responding well to treatment, is stable and alert, and is resting comfortably. His prognosis is good, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race, Portland Protests, TikTok Deal/U.S.-China Relations, Beirut Explosion, and Pro Sports Leagues’ Struggles Among Top News/Talk Story Yesterday (8/5). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the November presidential election and President Trump’s statements about the validity of mail-in ballots; the controversial BLM protests in Portland; the deal to allow Microsoft to acquire TikTok and the tenuous U.S.-China relations; the investigation into the ammonium nitrate-caused explosion that rocked Beirut; and pro sports leagues struggle with positive COVID-19 cases were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Venerable Multimedia Personality Shadoe Stevens Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Los Angeles-based radio and TV personality Shadoe Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens is an extraordinarily talented and creative individual who has succeeded to one degree or another in just about every phase of performance media in a career that has spanned five decades. He remains on the leading edge with the debut of a 12-part podcast series titled, “MentalRadio,” that pulls out the stops on imaginative writing, complex production, and audio theatrics. During the course of his career, Stevens has served as program director and/or air talent at legendary radio stations including LA’s KROQ and KMET. He was the first successor to Casey Kasem as the voice of “American Top 40” which he hosted for seven years. He’s been a television announcer and personality on such shows as “Hollywood Squares” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” He was also producer, writer, and talent on hundreds of successful radio and television commercial campaigns – highlighted by his celebrated creation and performance of the outrageous character, Fred Rated, for the Federated Group home appliance chain. As an actor, he appeared on such TV programs as “Baywatch,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Dave’s World,” “Max Monroe: Loose Cannon,” and he performed in the movie “TRAXX,” plus more. Harrison and Stevens recount their days in Los Angeles radio (both served as PD of KMET), the intricacies of Stevens’ colorful career, and the unlimited potential of modern podcasting as a platform for 21st century audio theater. Radio and media freaks will really enjoy this interview! 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio and music business legend Pat O’Day died on Tuesday (8/4) at age 85. As a DJ, O’Day was arguably the most popular air personality in the market in the mid-1960s when he was the afternoon jock on KJR-AM. He eventually became PD of the station, then general manager in 1968. O’Day ran a lucrative teen dance events business. He was also a concert promoter, founding the firm Concerts West. O’Day also eventually became a station owner. Read more about his colorful career here…..Rochester classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” announces its new afternoon drive show is “The Big Show,” hosted by Earl David Reed, Megan Carter, and Pat McMahon. Reed is a nationally recognized stand-up comedian. Carter most recently served as the afternoon host on iHeartMedia’s sister CHR “KISS 106.7.” McMahon has been with iHM Rochester for six years. Program director Joe Bonadonna says, “Earl, Megan and Pat clicked from the minute we put them together. They are the three friends you want with you when you’re getting a garbage plate, grabbing a Genny Light or spending the day at Seabreeze.”…..Entercom promotes Emily Ward to general sales manager for the Chattanooga station group that includes CHR WKXJ-FM “103.7 Kiss FM,” adult hits WLND-FM “98.1 The Lake,” WRXR “Rock 105,” country WUSY “U.S. 101,” and country WUSY-HD2 “Real 961.” Ward has been serving the cluster as local sales manager and digital sales manager.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

| July 29, 2020

DC Broadcasters Caucus Urges Support for Local Broadcasters. Two U.S. Representatives – Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) – via a letter to House and Senate leadership are asking that the next COVID-19 relief package provide funding dedicated to supporting local broadcasters experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic. Emmer says, “The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every American, but for those whose job it is to keep us informed – like our local radio and TV stations – this outbreak has been exceptionally difficult. They have been tasked with getting us up to date information during a time of high stress where the information they share could literally save lives. However, these outlets rely on advertising revenue to survive – a revenue source that has become less available due to the hardships businesses nationwide have experienced. The local radio and TV stations that give us the stories we need to know deserve our support and I am urging my colleagues show them that they are essential by ensuring they have what they need to weather this storm.” NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith comments, “During these unprecedented times, broadcasters have been hit hard by an unparalleled blow to the advertising revenue that funds local journalism and emergency news coverage. Ensuring that small broadcasters, including those that may be owned by station groups, have access to the Paycheck Protection Program will help them continue to serve their communities and provide lifeline information. NAB and America’s local radio and TV stations thank Reps. Emmer and Boyle for fighting to help broadcasters remain on the air and free to their local audiences.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to several news accounts, including at Variety, the Duplass brothers – Mark and Jay– are entering the podcasting realm via a deal with Spotify to produce scripted and unscripted podcasts. The brothers are indie filmmakers (Nexflix’s “Wild, Wild Country”), producers, and actors. Spotify head of network programming Liz Gateley says, “As Spotify continues to partner with unique and iconic storytellers, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Mark and Jay Duplass. They are so creatively versatile that we’re confident they’ll figure this podcasting thing out.”…..ESPN is announcing the debut of “America’s Caddie,” a streaming program available via ESPN+ that features “the quick wit and unique perspective of Michael Collins, the gregarious longtime caddie, comedian and ESPN golf analyst.”  ESPN adds, “Covering professional golf like fans have never seen it before, ‘America’s Caddie’ mixes feature segments and interviews with golf’s biggest stars, as the series follows Collins on his journeys across the country. Part travelogue, part golf history lesson, part celebrity hangout – ‘America’s Caddie’ combines it all into a magazine-style road show hosted by the one-of-a-kind Collins.”…..Pandora unveils “UNINTERRUPTED Radio,” a brand new and exclusive station that features music selected by top NBA and WNBA players. Pandora says, “With ‘UNINTERRUPTED,’ listeners get access to the very soundtracks that top athletes listen to on and off the court, including those curated and used by LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Trae Young, A’ja Wilson, Draymond Green, Lonzo Ball,Skylar Diggins-Smith, Tobias Harris, Angel McCoughtry and others. This is one of Pandora’s first curated stations to feature its Modes functionality, giving listeners even more control over their listening experience by offering selectable and thematic sub-stations curated by their favorite athletes with special audio drops throughout…..In conjunction with NBC Sports, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play action of the National Hockey League’s return to the ice. Westwood One/NBC Sports audio coverage will restart on Saturday (8/1) at 2:45 pm ET when the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers meet in the first game of their best-of-five qualifying series at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The network will also broadcast select games during the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, every game from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, as well as every game from the Stanley Cup Final.

Ruth Presslaff Named MIW National Spokeswoman. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group executive committee names Ruth Presslaff MIW national spokeswoman. Presslaff is founder of Presslaff Interactive and leader of Second Street Media Enterprise Sales. Denyse Smith Mesnik, who assumed the role in 2017, will continue serving as a member of the MIW Group executive committee. Presslaff says, “I’m humbled by this opportunity, eager to take on this challenge, and honored to work with a truly stellar executive committee of dedicated and powerful women. There is a great need to serve our industry by mentoring women broadcasters at this particularly difficult moment in time, and beyond.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Vaccine Trials, Russian Disinformation Campaign, Barr Before House Judiciary, BLM Protests/Portland Violence, Presidential Race, Uncertainty About Pro Sports Seasons, and Mystery Seeds Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28). The rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and other parts of the world, plus projections for future cases; the various COVID-19 vaccine trials taking place; U.S. intelligence allegations of a Russian disinformation campaign around the coronavirus pandemic; U.S. Attorney General William Barr spars with House Democrats at Tuesday’s hearing; the Black Lives Matter protests around the country and the violent encounters between protestors and federal agents; the November presidential election and speculation about who Joe Biden will pick for his running mate; the uncertainty about successfully continuing pro sports after outbreaks among MLB teams; and the mysterious seed packages – apparently from China – being mailed to Americans were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

| May 2, 2019

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency. The president’s idiosyncratic governing style, his social media habits, and his war on the media have made the Donald Trump presidency one of the most challenging for talk radio hosts – but they’ve also made his presidency a bonanza for hosts who handle it properly.  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, is featuring Phil Boyce, who is Salem Media Group SVP/spoken word format and VP/operations Salem Radio Network, as he delivers a presentation titled, “Navigating Year Three of the Trump Presidency.”  In this session, Boyce explains the programming strategies his Salem personalities use to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  There is still time to register but the conference is rapidly approaching sellout status.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

Changes Take Place at WICC, Bridgeport.  Programmer Mike Bellamy exits news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport, Connecticut as Connoisseur Media takes over operation of the station under an LMA.  Connoisseur is acquiring the station as part of a swap with Cumulus Media.  Bellamy, who’d been with the station for 12 years, announced his departure in a Facebook post.  Bellamy also co-hosted the morning drive show with Tony Reno.  He remains on board and air personality Melissa Sheketoff moves to the morning show as his co-host.

KYW, Philadelphia to Present ‘Jill on Money Live.’ Philadelphia all-news outlet KYW Newsradio is presenting “Jill on Money LIVE” – a local event featuring CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on May 22.  The live chat is in support of Schlesinger’s first book, The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs, and will focus on matters pertaining to retirement, college financing, insurance, real estate, and more.  Schlesinger’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session with audience members.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Joe Madison is being asked to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s 110th annual convention taking place in July in Detroit.  Madison hosts a daily morning show on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s being asked to address the Membership Luncheon on July 23…..The talk radio scene in Delaware gets a profile from Out & About magazine’s Ken Mammarella, who talks with staffers from WDEL, Wilmington and WXDE-FM, Lewes for the piece.  WDEL’s Rick Jensen, WXDE’s Dan Gaffney, WDEL programmer Chris Carl, and WDEL’s Allan Loudell, all talk with Mammarella for the story you can read here…..TMZ is reporting that Westwood One syndicated talk star and DailyWire founder Ben Shapiro and his family were the target of “serious death threats” and that the FBI has taken a suspect into custody in Kent, Washington.  The investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspect came after Shapiro filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WMVP “ESPN 1000” sports talk host David Kaplan has a new deal to remain in his other gig as a personality on NBC Sports Chicago.  He hosts the weeknight “SportsTalk Live” program on the cable channel and his new contract will allow him to take on new duties, including “creating ‘fan-focused content’ over a variety of platforms.”…..Political commentator and activist Charlie Kirk is launching a new podcast on PodcastOne.  “The Charlie Kirk Show” will feature “the inside scoop on the biggest news of the week and what’s really going on behind the headlines.” Kirk says he considers the new show “a report from the frontlines of the culture war, and what’s really going on from America’s college lecture halls to the halls of Congress.”  The debut episode features an unfiltered interview with Donald Trump, Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle…..SiriusXM is again offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  The satellite radio service has a deal with Horse Racing Radio Network to cover all Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  The wire-to-wire race broadcast of the Kentucky Derby is provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One.

WFDF, Detroit Adds Michael Baisden Show for PM Drive Time. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” is adding the Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Michael Baisden show for afternoon drive, airing from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, starting May 6.  The Baisden show is described as “four hours of music, engaging content, daily thought-provoking conversation, and is the premier destination for listeners to be entertained, inspired, and educated.”  WFDF CEO Kevin Adell says, “I’m excited to bring Michael Baisden back to the State of Michigan on ‘910AM Superstation,’ the full-power station with 50,000 watts, because we do a super job,”

Trish Johnson Promoted to CFO of NAB. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the promotion of Trish Johnson to chief financial officer and SVP of finance.  She rises from her previous SVP and controller, finance position.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “In her two years at NAB, Trish and her finance team have demonstrated consistency and keen professionalism in steering our organization’s finances.  NAB member stations are well served by Trish’s competence and leadership, and we are pleased to reward her with this well-deserved promotion.”  Prior to joining NAB in 2017, Trish worked for Public Broadcasting Service and public TV station WETA-TV, Washington DC.

Barr Hearings/Mueller Report Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Rising Anti-Semitism Statistics, Southern Border Crisis, Trump Tax Returns/Business Records, Venezuela Unrest, NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The testimony of Attorney General William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the wake of the release of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the global rise in anti-Semitism and the attack on the LA synagogue; the status of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts to get President Trump’s tax returns and his suit to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing his business’s records; the political instability in Venezuela; and the NBA playoffs 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 deal that transfers ownership of three Panama City, Florida stations – adult hits WASJ-FM, classic rock WRBA-FM and country WKNK-FM – from Powell Broadcasting to Gulf Coast Broadcasting closes.  Powell decided to sell the stations after suffering damages to the facilities and tower from Hurricane Michael in 2018.  Gulf Coast paid $375,000 for the stations.  Prior to the hurricane, Powell had sold WPFM-FM, Panama City to Educational Media Foundation for $472,000…..The Hollywood Reporter is premiering a new video conversation series titled, “Emerging Hollywood,” hosted by The Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne Tha God.  The weekly series will feature “on-the-rise voices in entertainment sharing their views on topics including inclusion, racial politics, gender, and body positivity.” The first guest is “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah.  Charlamagne says, “I don’t do interviews.  I do conversations.  I love conversations because through conversation, you hear people’s stories, and through people’s stories, you get information and inspiration.  That’s all I want people to get out of these conversations is information and inspiration.”

2019 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 9, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — 100,000+ of us from some 160 countries are swarming the mammoth Convention Center.  Clients I’m talking to here are upbeat.  If you’re in sessions I’m attending, I’m That Guy, in the back, typing feverishly.  Here’s what I’m hearing:

National Association of Broadcasters President & CEO Gordon Smith, opening the convention:

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

| April 9, 2019

Craig Carton Appears on WEPN’s Michael Kay Show After WFAN Decides to Pass.  Three days after receiving a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in a concert tickets re-sale Ponzi scheme, former WFAN morning personality Craig Carton made an appearance on WEPN “98.7 ESPN” on the afternoon drive Michael Kay show.  Carton talked about his sentence, his gambling addiction, and the sports talk battle between WFAN and WEPN.  The New York Post’s Greg Joyce reports that Carton’s former partner – WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason – told his listeners that Carton, contrary to internet chatter, had not “backstabbed” WFAN by going on the competition.  In fact, he offered to go on the “Boomer and Gio” show to talk, but Esiason felt uncomfortable with that.  He said, “At the end of the day, [WFAN vice president of programming Mark] Chernoff and I sat down, and I didn’t feel comfortable with it.  I really didn’t.  I don’t know necessarily if they talked to Mike [Francesa] about it, or whoever.  I know that he went on with Sid and Bernie [on WABC Radio].” Carton wrapped his appearance on the Michael Kay show by saying he “owes his audience an apology” and “he thanks those who believed in who he was and what he said on-air.”  He also advised people dealing with addiction or who are victims of sexual assault to seek help.

In the Halls at the NAB Show. Pictured above at the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas are (from l-r): NPR CEO Jarl Mohn, Geller Media International president Valerie Geller, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, and the NAB’s Josh Miley.

2019 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City. Consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the 2019 NAB Show covering the confab for TALKERS magazine.  Coverage from Monday includes his notes from the opening presentation by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith that included bestowing actor Alan Alda with the NAB’s Distinguished Service Award.  See his report here.

Trump’s Homeland Security Purge/U.S.-Mexico Border Battle, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Mueller Report Aftermath, College Admissions Scandal, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Netanyahu Re-Election Bid, NCAA Final, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The ouster of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the further purging of DHS officials and the related state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border; the attempts by the House Ways and Means Committee to get access to President Trump’s tax returns; the aftermath of the Mueller Report and Attorney General William Barr’s appearance before a House appropriations subcommittee; guilty pleas in the college admissions scandal; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid for re-election; Virginia beats Texas Tech for NCAA hoops crown; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Chris Daniel Celebrates 10 Years On-Air. Pictured above is KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno afternoon drive host Chris Daniel (wearing hat) at a special live event to celebrate his 10th anniversary in the position.  Standing with Daniel is Fresno Mayor Lee Brand who presented Daniel with a framed declaration marking “Chris Daniel Day” in the city.  Hundreds of Daniel’s loyal fans attended the event that featured music and comedy.  Daniel told the crowd, “Thanks for being there, thanks for listening, but most of all – thanks for the laughs!”

Beasley Media Group Partners with ConnectedTravel for HyperDrive Rewards Safety Promotion. As the result of an increase in fatal crashes in Nevada in 2018, the firm ConnectedTravel is expanding its HyperDrive Rewards mobile app to the Las Vegas market with the assistance of Beasley Media Groups local stations.  HyperDrive Rewards is a free app that gamifies everyday driving challenges, helps users to improve their driving habits on the road, and offers them points and rewards for success.  The app, available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, alerts Las Vegas drivers when and where they speed, how often they use their phone, how they accelerate, how they brake, and how much time they spend on the road and in traffic.  The multi-city rewards can be redeemed for cash and gift cards from over 50 local and online retail partners.  Beasley’s stations – including news/talk KDWN and its four music-formatted siblings – are promoting the app.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Christine Malovetz is promoted to assistant program director at Entercom’s alternative WNYL-FM, New York “ALT 92.3.” She’ll continue to host the station’s midday show.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan says, “Christine has been a huge contributor to the team.  She’s been my true partner-in-crime and I’m thrilled for her on this much-deserved promotion.  Christine has her finger on the pulse of alternative music in New York and we look forward to the station’s continued growth under the leadership of this team.”…..Programmer Curtis Johnson is named program director for Lotus Communications’ Fresno rock outlet KKBZ “105.1 The Blaze.”  Johnson takes over for Jon Ballard, who recently exited the station.  Johnson notes in his Facebook post he’s been out of radio since leaving One Putt Broadcasting in 2014.  “Today starts a new chapter in my career… My skills may be a little rusty, but I still have a face for radio.”…..WUSY, Chattanooga “U.S.101” morning show “Mo & StyckMan” (pictured at left) is honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Radio Award for “On-Air Personality of the Year – Medium Market.”  The show was recognized at the annual Radio Winners Reception in Las Vegas…..Through his entertainment company the Elvis Duran Group, New York-based radio star Elvis Duran is embarking on a nationwide talent search for documentaries, docu-series, reality and lifestyle shows.  EDG is working with NYC TV/film/digital production firm Atlas Media Corp to leverage Duran’s “10-plus million listeners to help find talent.”  The press release says, “This innovative nationwide casting initiative will deputize millions of eyes and ears to help find talent that Atlas Media and the Elvis Duran Group can develop into TV shows, documentaries, short-form webisodes, podcasts, and other content. Through verbal prompts on the top-rated Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, and related social media blasts, listeners and fans will be encouraged to submit their TV-friendly friends, family members, and interesting local personalities to a nationwide talent search on elvistvcasting.com. Atlas and EDG will review the submissions and offer development deals to the most promising talent. Resulting projects will be pitched to networks and SVOD platforms.”…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival taking place on Saturday, May 4 at Frank Erwin Center’s North Box Office Plaza in Austin.  The free, daytime event will feature live performances by: Russell Dickerson, Michael Ray, Lauren Alaina, LOCASH, and Morgan Wallen.

iHeartMedia Execs Honored by UJA-Federation of New York. Last week’s gathering of music and media executives at Freds at Barneys New York was a precursor to the June 11 UJA-Federation’s Music Visionary of the Year Award Luncheon at which iHeartMedia’s Bob PittmanRich Bressler, John Sykes, and Tom Poleman will be honored for their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements.  Pictured above from left to right are: Rob Stringer, Fred Davis, Julie Greenwald, John Sykes, Bob Pittman, Daniel Glass, Rich Bressler, Tom Poleman, Jessica Reif Ehrlich, Kevin Liles, Barry Weiss, and Avery Lipman.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

| June 14, 2017

Report: Cable News Numbers Soaring in Trump Era.  According to a story in Variety, Pew Research data indicates that the combined ratings for the three cable news/talkers – CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC – are up 33% for the first week of June over the same period a year ago.  The same Pew data notes that prime time viewership for the cable channels in the election year of 2016 was up 55%.  In past years, viewership would have come back down to earth following the election.  Fox News Channel chief political anchor Bret Baier says, “We’ve never seen a news cycle like this.  We’ve never seen an administration get this kind of reaction from the country.  Add to that breaking news of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, and you get a pretty frenetic pace…We are just working at a different pace now.  It’s not just this administration but our society.  People are now used to absorbing things in a nanosecond, and they expect their 24-hour cable news to be as fast as they are.”  Read the Brian Steinberg/Cynthia Littleton piece here.

Fox News Radio’s Mitch Davis to Retire.  Twenty-year Fox News manager Mitch Davis announces he’s retiring from his post as vice president at Fox News Radio, effective June 23.  He says, “I’m blessed – not only because of the great places I’ve been and stories I’ve covered – but by the chance to work with so many amazing people in this business.  I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and I thank everyone involved for making this wonderful ride.”  Prior to joining Fox News, Davis served for 24 years with ABC News.

NAB Supports Rosenworcel Return to FCC. The word is out that President Trump intends to nominate former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to return to her position with the agency.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB is delighted to hear that President Trump will renominate Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC. Commissioner Rosenworcel is supremely qualified for another FCC term, having demonstrated her public service credentials and full command of telecommunications issues during her Commission tenure.  NAB strongly supports her renomination and confirmation.”

RTDNA Responds to Senate Access Rule Changes. The U.S. Senate Rules Committee, responding to what it sees as increasing chaos and aggressiveness on the part of the media in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, is considering ending the longstanding practice of allowing the media to use video and audio recording equipment to interview senators in Capitol hallways.  The RTDNA says reporters who cover the U.S. Senate were told that new rules had been enacted to no longer allow reporters to interview senators in the hallways.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender states, “This is another attempt at obscuring transparency in Washington.  At a time when Senators are already doing too much business behind closed doors, such as on the health care overhaul, further limiting access to senators in the hallways of Congress represents just one more effort to keep the public’s business private.  It’s totally unacceptable!”  On its website, the RTDNA notes that Rules Committee Chairman Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) issued a statement saying that no rules change had occurred.  But the existing rules, while not currently enforced, do require advance permission for interviewing Senators outside of designated areas.  Should the Senate choose to enforce those rules, access to lawmakers would be considerably restricted.  Responding to concerns about overly aggressive reporting tactics, incoming RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “In no way does RTDNA condone an atmosphere in which someone might be hurt in the process of routine newsgathering.  However, today’s new restrictions appear to be an overreaction.  It is the duty of the Senate Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Capitol Police to protect everyone’s safety, but, in our view, not through such draconian means.”

TALKERS News Notes. Houston sport talk host Lance Zierlein announces via Facebook that he is leaving his role as morning drive personality on iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sportstalk 790.”  Zierlein says he’s exiting “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” program with co-host Matt Thomas when his contract is up to take a break from years of doing morning radio…..Alpha Media stations recently took home honors from the Missouri Broadcasters Association including first place for Complete Newscast for KTJJ-FM, Farmington; first place for Documentary/Public Affairs/Special Programming for KJPW-AM, Waynesville; and first place for News Series for KJFF-AM, Festus’ “Heroin.”  Also, Alpha Media Waynesville-Lebanon market manager Mike Edwards received the Distinguished Broadcaster Award.  He says, “I was surprised and honored by this award.  To be recognized by my peers is the highest compliment I have ever received.  I could not have survived 47 years in this business without the support of my wife and daughters who made sacrifices so that I could advance my career.  It’s gratifying to work for Alpha Media who still believes that radio should be live and local and be dedicated to serving the community.”

Nielsen Signs Up Westwood One for New Data Management Platform Service. Ratings giant Nielsen announces that Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is its charter client for its first-ever audio advanced data management platform – Nielsen DMP.  Nielsen says that its Marketing Cloud’s unique consumer insights capabilities will enable Westwood One to “easily provide its advertisers with detailed reports indexing all of its network station lineups, key programming (NFL and NCAA) and radio formats (such as ‘Alternative Rock,’ ‘Mainstream Country,’ or ‘News/Talk’) against their prospective customers’ demographics, personalities, TV viewing habits, digital behavior, credit card spending and specific product purchases.” WW1 EVP of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “Purchase-based marketing is now a long-awaited reality for our advertisers, and proudly a first-mover advantage for Westwood One.  Radio now offers specificity of audience alongside the biggest reach in media.  We are embracing Nielsen’s big data capabilities to enable our advertisers to identify and reach their best customers across every radio format we offer at an extremely high degree of accuracy.”  Nielsen EVP Damian Garbaccio states, “Never before have radio audiences been linked to such a rich source of actual purchase data across industries – something Nielsen is uniquely equipped to do.  The Nielsen DMP has the data, analytics and reporting advertisers need to understand and act on incredibly deep consumer insights.  This enables Westwood One to better demonstrate just how important its audience is and to win more advertising dollars in a very competitive cross-media marketing environment.”

Jeff Sessions Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Megyn Kelly Controversy, Rodman in North Korea, Virginia Governor Race, Warriors’ Take NBA Title, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13). Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee; the special counsel investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russia; the backlash NBC is facing over Megyn Kelly’s interview piece with Alex Jones; former NBA star Dennis Rodman visits North Korea; the primary races for governor of Virginia; the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Sean Hannity’s Freedom of Speech Award Presentation on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Talk radio and television star Sean Hannity received the 2017 Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2.  The award was presented within the context of a “fireside chat” between the Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel host and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison at the event.  This week, in advance of the posting of the videos of sessions at the convention on Talkers.com, the audio of that presentation is being played on the latest installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hannity and Harrison discuss the meaning of the First Amendment along with the dangers inherent in the ongoing practice of heavily organized, politically motivated advertiser boycotts used as an offensive weapon to shut down voices in the media with which certain groups and individuals disagree. (Hannity describes this latest effort to take him down as a “kill shot.”) Harrison opens the podcast with a detailed explanation of the events leading up to and following the selection of Hannity for this honor, as well as providing background about the meaning and history of the award – a tradition in the talk radio industry for almost three decades.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3 & 105.1” names Leah Rantz its new afternoon drive jock.  The Saga station had the opening after Pat Kelly was tapped to move from afternoons to the AM drive show to replace the departing Leslie.  Rantz comes to WLZX from her most recent gig at Adams Radio’s rock WZBH, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland “93.5 The Beach.”…..Country radio pro Don Brake joins West Virginia Radio’s WKKW, Morgantown to serve as afternoon drive personality.  He’d most recently served with iHeartMedia at country WFRE, Frederick, Maryland…..Bobby Bones show director of digital Nada Taha announces she’s leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated country morning show for a gig soon to be announced…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” hits the 100-affiliate mark.  Harvey comments, “This milestone has me beaming.  To be in the 100 club is so gratifying, and to have growth after all this time is a testament to my crew’s hard work and willingness to evolve.  We keep looking for ways to improve to give our listeners the best morning we can.”

 

 

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey period is released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audios May 2017 survey period covered April 27 – May 24. View the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhle, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Frozen on 2.8 (6+) in February, March, and April, Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” picks up one-tenth to 2.9, yet actually backslides from #15 to #16. A gain of two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) by CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” (#14 to #13) pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) that resulted in a combined full-share loss in that stretch. With its third straight gain (1.5 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), sports cluster-mate WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” doubles its 6+-stat since February, with the Washington Nationals’ flagship advancing from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, this is the fifth straight month that its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+), does not appear in print. Ups and downs in terms of 6+-share continue for American University‘s WAMU, but one constant is that “The Mind Is Our Medium” is the market leader for the fifth consecutive time. A combined -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounds in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+). Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+). February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Holding down the runner-up slot in each of the five successive sweeps that WAMU has finished first is Hubbard all-news operation WTOP (9.1 – 8.8, -.3, 6+). After posting a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), WHUR in April dialed up a full-share increase and follows in May with a one-half share gain (7.0 – 7.5, 6+), as the Howard University urban AC continues in third-place for the fifth straight month. A loss of one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+) drops format rival – Radio One’s WMMJ “Majic 102.3” – from fourth to fifth. Down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March. In 3.0 -3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods, co-owned urban contemporary WKYS sputters by six-tenths to 2.9, drifting from #11 to #16 (6+), where it is tied with “Mix 107.3.”

2) Boston – The third straight improvement by Beasley Media Group’s WKLB (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) elevates “Country 102.5” from eighth to fifth, as it crosses the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.0 and is +1.1 since February. Advancing from #16 to #15 is its cross-town format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull” (2.1 – 2.2, +.1, 6+). Logging its third successive increase for a cumulative +.6 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+) and continuing at #2 is co-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station.” At the same time, format rival – CBS Radio’s WODS “Amp 103.3” – dips by one-tenth to 3.0 (unchanged at #13, 6+), curtailing four successive positive sweeps which netted four-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). When hot AC sibling WBMX dropped two-tenths in April, it snapped at three its consecutive string of increases which yielded one-half share (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), but “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” rebounds with a one-half share increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) to improve from #12 to #11. On top for the fifth successive sweep, Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” gains two-tenths to 7.9 (6+). The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; and -.8 in April. As far as “Magic” is concerned, it advances from fourth to third with a repetitive trending pattern of 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.9 (6+). Without an increase for the fourth straight time for a combined -1.3 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” drops from sixth to eighth. Also in the sports talk format, Entercom owned Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM, off by six-tenths in both February and March before gaining six-tenths in April, loses one-tenth in May (4.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Slipping from #16 to #17, co-owned news/talk WRKO has lost a cumulative nine-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, urban AC cluster-mate WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” is up or flat for the fourth consecutive time (.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), climbing from #20 to #19.

3) Miami – Sandwiched between a pair of Spanish contemporary outlets are the market’s two adult contemporary facilities. Specifically, with a robust +.8 to 6.6 (6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) applies the brakes to six successive decreases that accounted for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), directly following a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. It overtakes by nine-tenths Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM” (5.9 – 5.7, third to fourth, -.2, 6+); “Lite” gained three-tenths in April, after spiraling by a full-share in March. Its 5.6 in March took “Lite” below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8, while January’s one-tenth gain enabled the AC to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). “Lite” was #1 from July 2016 through October. Serving as bookends for the two adult contemporary properties are Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” (7.0 – 7.1, +.1, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System-owned WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (4.8, +.1, unchanged at #5, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #1, “Amor” drops to second-place, while “Zeta” halts three straight negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Prior to the April sweep, “Amor” recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven ratings periods. Taking over for “Amor” at #1 and advancing from #2 is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which wipes out April’s one-half share loss with a +.7 (7.2 – 6.7 – 7.4, 6+); 7.4 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 8.0. Down or flat in six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Within 4.1 – 4.6 range (6+) the past five ratings periods, Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+), sliding from seventh to tenth. A recap of the market’s CHR battle finds iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” off by four-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+) to halt at four its successive string of up or flat trends that netted an overall gain of one-half share (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). April’s 4.1 was the best 6+-stat for “Y-100” since December 2015 (4.1, as well). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” follows April’s full-share improvement with a loss of two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); 4.7 in April was the strongest 6+-performance for “Hits 97.3” since 4.9 last September.

4) Detroit – Enjoying the most substantial (6+) April 2017 – May 2017 improvement of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” (4.0 – 5.5, +1.5, 6+), which catapults from #11 to #6. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (May 2016, 5.0, 6+). On the flipside, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM,” which was trending 4.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 (6+), erodes by six-tenths to 3.4, as it slips from #11 to #15 (6+). Progressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 – The ‘80s ‘Til Now” (5.8, fifth to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio CHR WDZH “Amp 98.7” (#15 to #11, 6+). WNIC was off by a combined one-half share since February (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+), while after a 3.6 (6+) in January, “Amp” was locked on 3.3 in February, March, and April. Having lost a collective full-share in three straight dips (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WOMC “104.3 – Detroit’s Greatest Hits” recaptures half of it (5.9, +.5, 6+) to climb from fourth to third. Picking up one-half share as well is urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” (3.3, #17 to #16, 6+), which had been trending 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.8 (6+). On the heels of surrendering in its entirety the nine-tenths it gained in March (6.5 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), CBS Radio all-news WWJ is off by another two-tenths (6.5 – 6.3, 6+), but is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. The 7.4 that WWJ garnered in March marked the first time it crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). A loss of seven-tenths by Beasley Media Group-owned WMGC takes “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback and R&B” out of the top ten (#10 to #13) and to the 3.6 (6+) it posted in January. Co-owned WRIF “Rocks Detroit” is -1.2 via four consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), slumping from sixth to tenth. After improving by nearly two full-shares in four successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” has a two-tenths decrease to 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+). Prior to April, the last time “Detroit’s Country” reached the six-share level (6+) was in July 2014 (6.0, as well). Format rival – Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” – regains one-tenth of April’s -.5 (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) yet backslides from #16 to #18. As was the case in April, Bell Media alternative CIMX “89-X,” which was trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, is unlisted.

5) Seattle – Notching impressive gains of nine-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (5.0 – 5.9, fifth to third, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” (3.7 – 4.6, tenth to sixth, 6+). Following three straight gains that netted one full-share (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), Hubbard’s mainstream CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” returned 90% of that increase in April (6.9, -.9, 6+) but bounces back with a +.5 (7.4, 6+) in May to finish at #1 for the fifth consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. Speaking of “Warm,” it improves by one-half share as well, thus applying the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase that nearly sliced its 6+-share in half since the “Holiday” report (10.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+); “Warm” continues at #4. In addition to KQMV and KRWM, CBS Radio adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” picks up one-half share as well and climbs from ninth to eighth. This represents the fifth consecutive sweep in which Seattle’s version of “Jack” is either up or flat and is +1.5 in that stretch (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive losses (5.7 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM has eroded by more than two full-shares and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Moreover, this is the lowest 6+-share for KIRO-FM in nearly three years (3.8, 6+, July 2014). By adding one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” (unchanged at #14) ends at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that yielded a -.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It overtakes Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5,” which spirals from #11 to #17 (3.3 – 3.0, -.3, 6+). When “Star” added two-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+).

6) Phoenix – Having sputtered by four-tenths in April (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” segued from a one-month stay at the top spot to #2. Roaring back though, “Classic Rock 100.7” hangs out a whopping +1.2 (6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and returns to the Phoenix penthouse. Once again, it evicts iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, which logs an impressive +.6 (6.6 – 7.2, 6+), but must slide to #2, one-tenth behind KSLX. When “Classic Rock 100.7” gained seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) in March and KESZ faltered by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), the impressive streak of KESZ reigning at #1 for 30 successive ratings periods came to an end. Concurrent with KESZ notching a +.6, The Yucaipa Companies’ adult contemporary KOAI “The Oasis” erodes by that margin to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #22). Entering the May sweep, “The Oasis” was up a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). At this time last month, following three straight gains netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD returned in full the one-half share it picked up in March, but “Arizona’s Real Rock” responds with a +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, 6+) and continues at #3. Up a combined +1.1 via six straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), co-owned KDKB “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” is steady at #12. Locked on 1.8 (6+) in January and February and then on 2.2 in March and April, Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ busts out a +.6 to 2.8 and enters the top twenty in a four-way logjam at #13. It is the best 6+-showing for “La Tricolor 103.5” since last November’s 2.9. One of its format rivals – Farmworker Educational Radio’s KNAI “La Network Campesina” – falters by eight-tenths (3.2 – 2.4, 6+) and drifts from #12 to #18. Trending 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 (6+) since January, iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9 – Today’s Best Music” registers a one-half share gain to 4.9 (sixth to fourth), its best 6+-stat in almost one year (5.5, 6+, June 2016). Dropping seven-tenths each are its news/talk cluster-mate KFYI (3.0 – 2.3, #14 to #19, 6+) and Family Life Radio contemporary Christian KFLR (1.6, #20 to #24, 6+), which hadn’t had a decrease in the last seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.5 (.8 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Not only does a gain of eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) put an end to its 5.1 – 4.8 – 5.1 (6+) trending, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since September (5.9, as well). Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” improves by six-tenths to 6.4 to climb from a four-way tie at #4 to #3 (6+). After posting a one-half share increase in March, CHR sibling KDWB dropped one-tenth in April and is flat in May, but “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” manages to repeat at #1 (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). The station it succeeded in the top spot – Hubbard-owned KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” – is down for the fourth successive sweep (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+) and remains at #2. In January, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” (#12 to #13) – was +1.3 in January, only to follow with four consecutive negative trends of its own that have produced a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). Included in the Twin Cities’ aforementioned April logjam at #4, iHeartMedia sports outlet KFXN “KFAN 100.3 – The Sports Leader” regresses by eight-tenths (5.8 – 5.0, 6+) and spirals to tenth with its softest 6+-stat since last July’s 4.8. Down three-tenths to 1.4 (#18 to #19, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting alternative KQGO has its streak of consecutive up or flat trends which nearly tripled its 6+-stat end at four (.6 – .7 -.7 – .7 – 1.7, 6+).

8) San Diego – On the strength of four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is a combined +1.2 and “Max 105.7 – San Diego’s Throwback Station” leaps from #19 to #15. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “101 – San Diego’s Classic Rock” notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), inching up from #11 to #10. Displaying a gain of six-tenths as well is Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” (3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), which had been off in each of the past three ratings periods for a -1.6 (4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Six-tenths of a share separates the market’s top five stations, including iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO (5.6, +.3, #1, 6+) and public (San Diego State University) news/talk KPBS (5.0 -. 5.3, +.3, fifth to second, 6+). Powered by an April increase of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), KOGO rocketed from eighth to second. Departing the top spot (which it held for the first time since December) is Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” which forfeits April’s +.7 in its entirety (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). “Sunny” is now tied for second-place with KPBS. Its 6.0 in April was its most potent 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. Prior to April, “Sunny” had been within 5.1 – 5.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps. After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC KYXY regresses by six-tenths to 4.2, its lowest 6+-share since last September’s 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+). As the result of four straight declines, Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” is -1.2 (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) and falls from #21 to #22. After tripling its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishing steady at #22 in March, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” was unlisted in April, but reappears in May at #20 with a 1.7 (6+).

9) Denver – Over and above recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (6.2, 6+) vaults from third to first. Shifting from the top spot after three straight months there, Bonneville country outlet KYGO slips to second (6.4 – 6.0, -.4, 6+). Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. Registering its sixth successive increase netting a cumulative +2.1 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” marches from fifth to third with its best 6+-showing since a 6.1 in September 2015. A gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, 6+) enables Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD (#20 to #19) to notch its best 6+-stat since January’s 2.7. More ups and downs for Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” whose six most recent fluctuations are -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 in April; and now +.5 in May (3.4 – 3.9, #16 to #11, 6+). A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). This past October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Regressing by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which is down for the fourth straight month for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #16, 6+). Slipping by one-half share as well is KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105” (4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+), which was trending 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 (6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time accounting for a loss of nearly two full-shares (7.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” shifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 18th successive survey period (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, #12 to #15, 6+).

10) Tampa – Following March’s -1.0 and a +.2 in April (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” trots out a +.6 in May to 9.5 (6+) and finishes first for the 56th successive ratings period. The 8.7 it recorded in March was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Once again finishing in the runner-up slot is co-owned WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which boasts its fifth straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+) for a cumulative +1.7. After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. Gaining one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US 103.5 – Tampa Bay’s Best Country” (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+), which applies the brakes to three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Three-tenths ahead of it and steady at #6 is Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits,” up or flat for the third straight month (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) for a +.6. Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” picks up three-tenths to 1.8 (6+) as the flagship of MLB’s Rays ends four straight declines (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6 – 1.5, 6+) that produced a -1.2. Making identical 3.8 – 3.3 (-.5, #12 to #14, 6+) moves are Beasley Media Group rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1” and iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7.” Between November 2016 and April 2017, “Wild” registered a 3.7 (6+) four times and was without a decrease in the last three ratings periods (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). On three occasions over the last six sweeps, “Mix” notched a 3.4 (6+). Tied with those two stations at #14 (up from #16 in April) is Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone -Real, Raw, Radio,” which is actually down one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), halting at four a string of successive sweeps without a loss (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) that yielded a +1.2. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” lost two-tenths in April and drops another half-share in May (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. Its 5.6 in March was the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Segueing from sixth to seventh, iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” dips one-tenth to 4.6 (6+), curtailing at four its successive streak of positive trends that netted two full-shares (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+).

11) Baltimore – In a bit of a statistical oddity, iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want for Baltimore” (4.4 – 5.6, seventh to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC-turned-CHR WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” (ninth to eighth, 6+) flaunt impressive April 2017 – May 2017 gains of +1.2. It is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in more than two years (6.1, 6+, March 2015) and fifth straight time that “Mix” is without a loss for a combined +1.6 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 5.0, 6+). After holding down the runner-up slot for four consecutive ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ moved to third in April, but with a gain of one-half share (7.5 – 8.0, 6+) “Q-92 Jams” catches co-owned urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+) at #1. “Magic” is on top for the fifth straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, WERQ was down or flat since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+); February’s 7.3 was its lowest 6+-share since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Three-tenths behind the co-leaders (second to third) is iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” (7.7, -.3, 6+), which sees its skein of consecutive positive trends (which included back-to-back increases of +1.2) that netted a +3.3 end at four (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.4 –  8.0, 6+). April’s 8.0 (6+) matches what “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” posted in September 2015. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

12) St. Louis – After three successive sweeps as the market’s pacesetter, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April and, despite a gain of six-tenths in May (7.8 – 8.4, 6+), it continues there. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet is one-tenth behind CBS Radio news/talk and St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX, which jumped from fifth to first in April and has more than doubled its 6+-share in five straight increases (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, it had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. In addition to KLOU, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” flashes an increase of six-tenths as well (tenth to eighth, 6+), nearly wiping out the collective -.7 since February (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Having logged four successive trends without a loss for a collective +1.4 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share to 4.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Registering a decrease of one-half share as well is co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat – STL’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (2.5 – 2.0, 6+). This marks the fifth straight decline that has accounted for a cumulative loss of over seven full-shares (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+) for CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK (#11 to #12). Prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1) and it was #1 in “Holiday” 2016. Unlisted for the fifth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 28, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — It’s a wrap!  103,000+ of us are headed home, with lots to digest and implement.  Among the ideas I heard – and heard-repeated – here this week, these stand-out:

“We cannot ever, ever take our position for granted.”
Graham Media Group VP for Digital Media Catherine Badalamente, accepting the 2017 Digital Leadership Award at the NAB Show Technical Luncheon.

“The living room will be in the car.”

Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Company Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management (translation: He’s leading his company’s “connected car” project).

Keynoting NAB’s Radio Luncheon, he explained: “People build their habits outside the vehicle, and we help them bring them into the vehicle,” via new-tech dashboards.

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NAB Show: Cast Broader

| April 25, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — Because it’s not just a radio show – not even just a broadcasting conference — I’m impressed to see so many radio people here.  They got (or wrote) the memo that just-spots-N-dots isn’t a business any more.

The very first words of Monday morning’s opening session underlined the necessity that broadcasters evolve, when CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley quipped “I come from the 20th Century, when ‘multimedia’ meant 3 networks.”

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