Tag: "Grace Blazer"

Monday, February 25, 2019

| February 24, 2019

Monday Memo: Handling Bad News. OOPS.  One of your hosts said WHAT???  Managers: Gaffes are inevitable, especially in talk radio.  When your station stumbles:

1) Act quickly.  The sooner you confront a negative story, the sooner it will be over.  Responding as quickly to negative stories as you do to positive ones enhances your credibility.

2) Be honest.  Hiding embarrassing information or lying will do more damage than damage control.  Never stonewall, and avoid “rolling disclosure.”  As several U.S. presidents have learned (is learning), the cover-up can be worse than the crime.

3) Tell your side of the story.  Use specifics, and detail what corrective action “has already been taken.”  You’ll sound responsible and in-control.

4) Respond in kind.  If the issue is emotional, don’t sound like a cold, unemotional Mr. Spock.  “I have a teenage daughter myself, and I know how much our host’s comments must have hurt.”

Holland Cooke (hollandcooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; he is the author of “Holland Cooke Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

Entercom and Union Butting Heads Over ‘Cross-Utilization’ at All-Newsers WINS and WCBS-AM in New YorkNew York Daily News writer Ginger Adams Otis reports that Entercom and the Writers Guild of America, East are at odds over the issue of cross-utilization at all-news stations WINS and WCBS-AM in New York City.  For all the years the two stations were owned by CBS RADIO, they were separate stations with separate staffs and remain so to this day.  Now, Entercom would like to talk with the union about cross-utilization of staffers.  At one end of the spectrum is the union’s fear the company wants to use the same staff for both stations; at the other is Entercom’s statement to the Daily News that it does not intend to merge the workforces and create the pretense of two different stations.  Still, Entercom admits layoffs are a possibility.  The union – saying it’s willing to discuss the matter – tells the Daily News it has asked for plans from the company as to how it would employ cross-utilization but Entercom has refused to provide them.  It’s not surprising that Entercom would see the opportunity to save some operational expense at the two stations, but both WINS and WCBS-AM consider their complete independence from each other an important aspect of their identities and clearly don’t want to give that up.

Cumulus Media and DAX Partner for Broadcaster’s Digital Sales. The deal between Cumulus Media and DAX makes the latter the exclusive third-party sales representative across network radio streaming and national programmatic advertising, alongside the broadcaster’s national and local sales teams.  Cumulus says it is “the first traditional broadcast network to join a premium roster of publisher brands with inventory on DAX.  DAX brings programmatic audio expertise and provides brands with access to sophisticated data targeting tools to reach key audiences.”  This partnership gives advertisers access to DAX’s Listener Insight ID.  Its dashboard allows advertisers to measure the performance of their ad campaigns in real time, providing granular insights which help brands test and optimize their campaigns based on listeners’ responses.

Take Me Out to the BallgameTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison attended the opening game of the MLB 2019 spring exhibition schedule this weekend (2/23) between the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.  During the game, he visited the Miami Marlins radio broadcast booth to chat it up between-innings with the Marlins Radio Network play-by-play team of Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner – two legends in the sports broadcasting world.  Van Horne just celebrated his 51st anniversary in the business.  Pictured above (l-r) are: Harrison, Van Horne, Geffner, and Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia.

TALKERS News Notes. A metaphor that would have gone unnoticed in the past has cost University of Iowa radio broadcaster Gary Dolphin his gig for the rest of the season.  Learfield Sports Properties announced that Dolphin would be suspended for the rest of the season after his choice of words describing University of Maryland player Bruno Fernando’s game winning score against Iowa. KCCI-TV, Des Moines reports Dolphin said, in reviewing the game, “That’s some pretty good long-range shooting, and then Fernando was King Kong at the end of the game.”  Fernando is black.  Dolphin, who signed off on a public apology statement, said his words were not intended to offend…..Denver sports media personality Andy Lindahl exits iHeartMedia’s Mile High cluster where he served as a host and reporter for sports talk KDSP “Orange & Blue 760” and news/talk KOA.  In a Facebook post Lindahl says, “All good things come to an end they say.  My run at iHeartMedia now falls into that category.  It wasn’t good though, it was great.  Incredible actually.  I lived my dream for 20 years and wouldn’t trade a minute.  Thank you to all my coworkers in sales and programming.  You are all the best. Thank you to the listeners.  I never thought this boy from Denver would matter to so many, but via Twitter, you let me know I did.  I’m forever grateful.”…..Music and television legend Paul Shaffer is launching a new interview series titled, “Paul Shaffer Plus One” that will air on SiriusXM and on AXS TV.  Shaffer will sit down for candid, in-depth conversations with his close friends and fellow music icons as they discuss their careers, influences, and experiences.  It will be shot in a recording studio setting with Paul at the piano.  Featured guests include: Sammy Hagar, Graham Nash, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, blues trailblazer Buddy Guy, and Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen, among many others.

JVC Media Gets Long Island Airport Contract. Long Island-based JVC Media announces it has signed a multi-year deal to upgrade and manage all advertising signage at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York.  JVC already has the studios of news/talk WRCN “103.9 LI News Radio” located within the airport terminal.  Under this new agreement, JVC will replace all existing advertising fixtures and will invest to install brand new, state-of-the-art digital networks, landmark LED spectaculars, and vibrant backlit tension fabric banners.  JVC notes that more than 4,300 people fly MacArthur Airport each day, making it one of the top 110 airports in the United States.  The company says that with the addition of the LI MacArthur airport contract to its portfolio, JVC Media now manages advertising inventory on Long Island on five FM radio stations, numerous print publications including the award-winning This is Country Magazine, and the 7,000-seat outdoor event venue The LI Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill – assets that help JVC reach more than 3.2 million consumers annually.

Trump-Kim Meeting, Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Venezuela Violence, Jussie Smollett Case, Sunday’s Oscars Awards, Pope Francis Addresses Sex Scandals, Robert Kraft Charges, and NBA/NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  This week’s meeting in Vietnam between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s scheduled testimony before a congressional hearing; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; the violence at Venezuelan borders with Columbia and Bolivia and the U.S.’s support for opposition leader Juan Guaido; the charges against Jussie Smollett for allegedly filing a false hate crime report; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; Pope Francis addresses the various sex scandals facing the Catholic Church; the prostitution sting in Florida that has implicated New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. San Diego adult contemporary outlet KYXY announces Rob and Joss Taylor are the hosts of the new “Mornings with Rob & Joss” show. They come to the Entercom station from their positions with Amaturo Sonoma Media Group’s country KFGY “Froggy 92.9,” where they’ve been for the past 13 years.  The duo says, “We are thrilled to come down the coast as we embark on our next adventure with Entercom San Diego.  KYXY has a great reputation and we look forward to sharing weekday mornings with our listeners.”…..At the Philadelphia operations of iHeartMedia, Jeff Moore is named SVP of sales for the six-station cluster of music outlets, including: CHR WIOQ “Q102,” alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5,” adult contemporary WISX “106.1 The Breeze,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and urban contemporary WDAS.  Moore was most recently general sales manager for the cluster…..Programming pro Supersnake is named program director and afternoon drive host at Bustos Media’s rhythmic oldies WTGV, Tucson “Groove 106.3.” He says, “All I can say is integrity, integrity, integrity.  What a concept!  That’s what you get with Bustos Media.  They did what they said they were going to do, the old fashioned way, keeping the stations local with live jocks.  When they approached me to re-launch the new ‘Groove,’ I said, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”…..At Cox Media Group Tampa, a number of programming promotions take place.  First, John Brennan – currently director of branding for talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” – adds programming duties for the cluster’s classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle.”  Second, Jenna Kesneck moves up from APD for alternative WSUN “97X” and CHR WPOI to director of branding and programming for WSUN. Finally, cluster operations manager Rick Thomas is taking on the director of branding and programming roles for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9.”…..Because programmer John O’Connell is focusing on his PD roles with Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” and country WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” in Miami, the company is looking for a program director to take over those duties at Orlando alt rocker WQMP “FM 101.9,” for which O’Connell is currently responsible.  Find out what the company is looking for and how you can apply here…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of rock WZZO, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania morning drive co-host Kevin “The Bearman” Schutts, who recently passed away unexpectedly at 64. Schutts hosted “The Bearman and Keith” show with Keith MoyeriHeartMedia says on the station’s website: “Our ‘95.1 ZZO’ family has lost its most distinctive voice.  With great sadness, we must inform you of The Bearman’s sudden and unexpected passing…At this difficult time, we ask that your thoughts are with Bearman’s family and friends.”

January 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. January 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 survey period covered January 3 – 30. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” bounces back with a +.8 to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three straight decreases (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+) Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” slips from #17 to #19. While it continues at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down or flat for the third consecutive time for an overall loss of two-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Having forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT posts a January 2019 increase twice that magnitude to 9.4 (+1.6) and progresses from third to first. Before dropping to second in December, KUT was #1 for three consecutive months.

Austin Music Formats – In the iHeartMedia cluster, both KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” (5.0 – 6.2, fifth to third, 6+) and similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (3.7 – 4.9, seventh to fifth, 6+) improve by +1.2. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, KASE plummeted by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country battle, nearly doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in three straight increases (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down one-tenth to 2.3 (#15 to #16, 6+). Notching a “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 +1.2, in addition to KVET-FM and KASE, is Emmis’ KLBJ-FM (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), which returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). In “Holiday” 2018, “93.7 The Rock of Austin” sputtered by one-half share. Off by a combined nine-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI answers with a +.7 to 4.3 (6+), but “96.7 Kiss FM” Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” backslides from an eighth-place tie to ninth. In three straight declines (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Emmis triple A KGSR lost nine-tenths but “Austin City Limits Radio” gains six-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (2.0 – 2.5, #16 to #14, 6+) are both up one-half share. The six most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -4.9 in January 2019 (9.5 – 4.6, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” drops from first to sixth. “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” surrenders a -1.0 to 2.5 (#10 to #14, 6+). Following five straight up or flat moves that netted a +2.0 (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 9.3, 6+), Emmis adult hits KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” surrenders seven-tenths to 8.6 (flat at #2, 6+). In calendar year 2018, “Bob” was #1 from January through April, as well as in June, August, and December.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In one fell swoop, a January 2019 +1.5 (to 6.1, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK practically eliminates its -1.7 through third straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “106.1 Stay Connected” moves from eighth to sixth. WTKK was a combined +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #20 to #19, 6+).  Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

An overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC ends that skid with a +.2 to 1.8 (#18 to #17, 6+); “99.9 The Fan” was a combined +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+).

Following five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” answers with a +1.0 to 8.1 (fourth to second, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); second to third (November, -.9, 6+); and now fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0).

Raleigh Music Formats – The four most recent fluctuations by Radio One urban AC WFXC are +.9 (November); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); and now (another) +1.1 in January 2019 (9.9 – 11.0, 6+) as “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the sixth time in succession. Moreover, this (11.0) is the highest 6+-stat for WFXC in the PPM-era. Progressing by +1.1 as well is iHeartMedia CHR WDCG (5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). In three straight losses (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” had been a collective -1.0. A cumulative -2.3 via three successive negative moves (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” picks up six-tenths to 6.3 (flat at #5, 6+). A September +1.0 suspended three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). Gaining one-half share (each) are iHeartMedia’s WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (2.1 – 2.6, #17 to #14, 6+) and Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio.” The latter more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends and cracks the top twenty (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2, #20, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL was a cumulative +4.3, but “Mix 101.5” surrenders a -2.6 to 7.0 (second to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. Reaching Raleigh from Greensboro, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today,” which was an overall +2.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (.4 .4 – .4 – 1.4 – 2.5, 6+), forfeits a -2.0 to .5 (6+) and fades from the top twenty (#15 to #23). This marks the fifth successive sweep without an increase by Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” for a collective -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, #10 to #11, 6+). After being +1.0 via three straight increases (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” falters by four-tenths to 2.3 (#14 to #15, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third sweep in succession, Emmis news/talk WIBC  posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths. “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.9 (December); -.9 as well (“Holiday” 2018); but in January 2019 is +.9 to (5.4 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). Previously, WIBC was -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regains the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8, #15 to #14, 6+). A combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is up four-tenths to 1.8 (6+) and continues at #18.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include a combined +.8 in November and December; -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and now a January 2019 +.9 (4.2 – 5.1, tenth to ninth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – The ongoing highly frenetic pace by Cumulus Media’s WJJK plays on as a +2.9 to 9.8 (6+) obliterates all but one-tenth of its combined December and “Holiday” 2018 -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but is back at #1. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. It has been a wild ride as well for co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station,” which posts a +1.1 to 7.2 (steady at #4, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three downturns in succession that resulted in a cumulative -2.2 (8.3 – 8.0 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). Having finished at #1 in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); and now +1.1 (January 2019). It has a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January 2019 (5.2, ninth to eighth, 6+). “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then  +.6 in October. Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June and has resulted in a +.1 in that stretch (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5, 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (+.9 in January 2019) climbs from #13 to #11. After faltering by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, its CHR sibling, WZPL “99.5 ZPL,” flashes a January 2019 +.9 as well (4.6 – 5.5, unchanged at #7, 6+). Continuing at #12, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is an overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB spirals by -8.8 to 7.6 (6+) as “B-105.7” segues from first to third. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since “B-105.7” notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. After being down or flat seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” logs a +.3 to 2.6 (#16 to #15, 6+). Conversely, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3,” which was up an overall seven-tenths as a result of three upticks in a row (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), regresses by one-half share to 5.6 (fourth to sixth, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, iHeartMedia news/talk WISN “News/Talk 1130” flaunts a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+), jumping from eighth to fourth. Down three straight times for an overall -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ similarly-formatted WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” ends that slide by picking up one-tenth to 6.3 (6+), yet backslides from fourth to sixth. “Holiday” 2018’s 6.2 is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March 2018 (6.0). Its rollercoaster ride has included -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). This marks the first time since May 2018 that WISN (6.8, 6+) has overtaken WTMJ (6.3, 6+); in May 2018, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

Flat at #15, Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). Its November dip of four-tenths ended four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective gain of seven-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight down of flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” continues at #17. In late-November, iHeartMedia flipped CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to sports talk “97.3 The Game.” Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, “97.3 The Game” doubles “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (+) and continues at #21. Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (.2 – .3 – .2, #21 to #24, 6+). Before dropping three-tenths in December, quintupled (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+).

After surrendering six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM bounces back with a +.9 (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). Its earlier three straight upticks accounted for a collective +1.5 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+). Stable at #19, Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD has a June 2018 – January 2019 topline of .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .6 – .7 (6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – A combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” erases it completely with a January 2019 +1.3 to 7.5 (fourth to second, 6+). Three gains in succession yielded a +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+) for WMIL, which is without a country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018). By gaining seven-tenths to 4.2 (#12 to #11, 6+), Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” settles its -.7 through a December and “Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Owing to three successive positive spikes, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” is an overall +2.0 (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Immediately before dialing up “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, “V-100.7” was trending 4.5 – 4.9 (6+) from July through December. A combined +5.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB forfeits a -4.5 to 5.8 (6+) and drifts from second to eighth. In “Holiday” 2018, “B-93.3” reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Despite logging a four-tenths increase to 4.2 (6+), thus suspending five successive decreases that accounted for a cumulative -2.0 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). The three latest shifts for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and now – 1.9 in January 2019 (11.5 – 9.6, 6+) but “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to the #2 slot in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. While it remains flat at #13, Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is off six-tenths to 2.5, its lowest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Remaining at #14, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” is off three-tenths to 1.8 (6+), thus curtailing five straight reports without a loss that netted a +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored at #14, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). In 14 of the last 15 sweeps, “Super Talk 99.7” has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+); the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0 (6+).

A one-half share increase by iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC (1.0 – 1.5, steady at #19) offsets its three-tenths’ decline in “Holiday” 2018. “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubled (+.6) its 6+-stat through three September 2018 – December 2018 gains in a row (.7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 in “Holiday 2018”; and now +.3 in January 2019  (4.8 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to that, the Tennessee Titans’ flagship was +.6 (August) and +1.4 (September). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” returns “Holiday” 2018’s +.2 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), slipping from #17 to #18. A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

Not only does WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” record a whopping +1.6 (3.6 – 5.2, 6+), the Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid rockets into the top ten (#11 to #6). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Since surfacing in September 2018, WPLN-FM’s internet stream is up or flat the fifth straight time more than quintupling (+.9) its 6+-stat (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9 – .9 – 1.1, #22 to #21, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Two huge gains (+1.2, each) are turned in by Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” (4.2 – 5.4, tenth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (4.7, #12 to #10, 6+). After three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash FM” – which last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0) – surrendered two-tenths in December and was up one-tenth in “Holiday” 2018. “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+), after being a combined +1.2 in September and October (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” – returns the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). “Nash Icon” was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Down or flat the past five reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” halts that streak with a +.3 to 6.7 (third to second, 6+). August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). A January -3.5 to 10.6 (6+) halts at three Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA’s consecutive string of upticks that yielded a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+), but “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 13th successive ratings period. “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since the 14.4 WJXA notched in “Holiday” 2017. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and -3.5 (January 2019). Co-owned adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” follows “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2 with a January 2019 -1.3 (7.3 – 6.0, second to fourth, 6+). That +1.2 this time last month pulled the plug on five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). In addition to surrendering a -1.1 to 4.4 (6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q,” which had been trending 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 (6+), fades from the top ten (#5 to #11). Reappearing in print in August (2018), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFFH immediately posted four straight September through “Holiday” 2018 increases accounting for a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+). In January 2019, however, “The Fish” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat for the third straight time for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+),  Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM drops from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to this streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). A combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” bounces back with a +.7 to 1.9 (6+) and zooms from #18 to #12. In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” sputters by three-tenths to 1.1 (#14 to #18, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5, steady at #21, 6+).

A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), directly after logging four successive up or flat trends accounting for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI improves by seven-tenths to 4.2 (eighth to sixth, 6+).

By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH ends three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) but backslides from #10 to #11. Stable at 1.6 (6+) on the heels of “Holiday” 2018’s -.7, WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH nonetheless slips from #12 to #14.

Providence Music Formats – Not only has Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share via six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+), “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” catapults into the top ten (#11 to #6). As a result of three straight setbacks (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6 (6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK was a collective -3.1, but “Cat Country 98.1” responds with a +1.6 to 7.2 (fifth to third, 6+). Improving by one-half share (each) are Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106.3” (2.0 – 2.5, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.1 – 1.6, #19 to #14, 6+). Having posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finishing first the last six sweeps, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (9.1, -7.1, 6+) segues to second. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Flat at 9.8, matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018, iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” succeeds “Lite Rock” at #1. For the past five reports, WHJY – +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 – was in the runner-up slot. Continuing a (6+) September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” inches up from seventh to eighth. In the same vein, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); and +2 in January 2019 (6.7 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+).

Norfolk – Tacking on a +1.4 to “Holiday” 2018’s gain of six-tenths (5.5 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” jumps from fourth to second. Co-owned WNOR “FM 99 Rocks,” which was a collective -1.0 via three straight setbacks (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), logs a +.8 to 6.7 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. By posting a +1.0 to 4.6 (seventh to sixth, 6+), Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” curtails five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). On top for 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018, urban AC sibling WVKL notches a +.7 (12.0 – 12.7, 6+) and returns to #1. With a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 35th time in the last 36 sweeps, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” halts five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -3.5 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9 – 12.0, 6+). Its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. In addition to advancing from eighth to seventh, hot AC cluster-mate WPTE “94.9 The Point” records a +.2 to 2.2 (6+), thus ending four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). On the heels of its “Holiday” 2018 one-half share improvement (6.5 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 JAMZ” duplicates it in January 2019 (7.0 – 7.5, +.5, third to second, 6+). It is a quick (“Holiday” 2018-only) stay at #1 for Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which erodes by exactly 50% (-6.8) to 6.8 (first to fourth, 6+). The combined +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV has lost 75% (-4.8) of its 6+-share (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Through five straight increases “Movin’ 107.7” was +5.7 (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that, however, WMOV was –4.3 through seven successive sweeps without an increase (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the four-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (10.4 – 10.0 – 10.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” returns to #1 (from the runner-up slot). WOKV previously was -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and -.8 (December), with November’s 11.2 its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Flat at #20, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is without an increase for the third straight report and is off two-tenths in that stretch (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6, 6+).

After picking up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), public news/talk WJCT adds another six-tenths in January 2019 to 3.0 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – A combined -1.8 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE nearly settles that deficit with a +1.6 to 6.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior to the December sweep, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” racked up a +1.6 through five straight increases (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+). Down three-tenths in a December/”Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” busts out a +1.2 to 6.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), responds with a +1.1 to 3.3 (6+) and enters the top ten (#14 to #10). An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” makes up 40% of the shortfall with a +.8 to 8.1 (steady at #3, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling – WEZI “Easy 102.9” – records a +.7 to 4.7 (unchanged at #8, 6+), snapping a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+). Elsewhere in the AC format, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station,” a combined +8.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), slumps by -7.8 to 8.5 (first to second, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 is the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Off four-tenths via three consecutive (slight) declines (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” flashes a +.5 to 3.0 yet backslides from a tie at #11 to #12. As part of a yoyo sequence, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” has been a combined -.5 (November and December, 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+); +.7 (“Holiday” 2018, 3.2 – 3.9, 6+); and now -.6 (3.9 – 3.3, January 2019, flat at #10, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR adds two-tenths to “Holiday” 2018’s +1.0 (1.5 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” had been down or flat four successive sweeps for an overall loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -.6 in three straight declines (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” halts the slide with a +.3 to 2.1 (#13 to #12, 6+). It overtakes Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which is a combined -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0, #12 to #13, 6+). An October loss of four-tenths interrupted at four its consecutive string of increases that yielded seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Slipping from #21 to #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD has its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The five most recent fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); and now +.7 in January 2019 (3.0 – 3.7, seventh to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, WLRN posted three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to sixth, 6+) by Hubbard-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music erases a December and “Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). Advancing from #17 to #13, iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” gains a collective eight-tenths via four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+). After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, Hubbard hot AC WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. Even though it falters by -1.0 in January 2019, following a combined +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” returns to the top spot. Before eroding -1.8 in November, WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+). Displaced from the penthouse and segueing to the runner-up position is co-owned adult contemporary WEAT (10.7 – 7.8, -2.9, 6+). In three straight improvements (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9 – 10.7, 6+), “Sunny 107.9” was an overall +6.1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 10.7 the best 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Falling from sixth to eighth, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 through three negative trends in a row (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A January 2019 +1.3 to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” obliterates its combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (.5 – .4 – .5, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” carries on at #16.

Anchored at #13 for the ninth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC is down or flat for the fourth straight time for roughly a one-half loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, unchanged at #15, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Logging increases of nine-tenths (each) are Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.6 – 9.5, third to second, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (6.3, steady at #5, 6+), which had been off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+). This (6.3) is the highest 6+-stat for WKZL since resurfacing in print in February 2018. Co-owned WKRR has recorded a 5.3 (6+) in three of the last four reports (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.3), but “Rock 92” now dials up a +.7 to 6.0 (unchanged at #6, 6+). Adding seven-tenths to its “Holiday” 2018 +.1 (6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” repeats at #4. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share swells by +1.2 as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is up seven-tenths (5.3 – 6.0, steady at #6, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2018 (5.2, unchanged at #8, 6+). “Q104.1” was a combined -.8 in October/September, and -1.6 in December. Prior to January 2019’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Owing to five consecutive August through “Holiday” 2018 improvements (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9 – 16.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG was an overall +9.7 but “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” erodes by -8.9 to 7.6 (6+) and shifts from first to third. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.5 is the highest 6+-showing for any Greensboro station since WMAG posted a 16.7 in “Holiday” 2013. A collective +1.3 in three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” falters by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+), slipping from ninth to tenth.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – A January 2019 +1.2 (2.6 – 3.8, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia news/talk WREC from #13 to #11. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had been in a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

As a result of a six-tenths’ increase (3.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). After five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” dropped three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018.

Memphis Music Formats – Off seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” roars back with an increase more than twice that magnitude (4.1 – 5.6, +1.5, ninth to sixth, 6+). In a December/”Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WLFP lost one-half share, but country “94.1 The Wolf” responds with a +1.3 to 3.4 (#14 to #13, 6+). Rebounding from a “Holiday” 2018 loss of seven-tenths with a January 2019 +1.1 (4.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned/similarly-formatted WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” inches up from tenth to ninth. The five most recent “Kix 106” shifts are: -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.1 (January 2019). Substituting “Holiday” 2018’s -.8 with a January 2019 +.8 (5.3 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” continues at #8. Up eight-tenths as well are Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” (9.1, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 102.7” (seventh to sixth). WRBO was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), while “Rock 102.7” is an overall +1.1 via four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+). Notwithstanding that it makes up 75% of “Holiday” 2018’s -.8 with a +.6 (5.4 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” continues in fifth-place. Prior to “Holiday” 2018, “Halleluiah” was an overall +1.6 in four straight increases (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). Immediately after the market’s (6+) adult contemporary share rose by +3.6 in “Holiday” 2018, it collapses by -6.9 in January 2019. An overall +3.7 in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5 – 5.1, 6+) Cumulus Media AC WKIM surrenders all of that increase and one-tenth more (1.3, -3.8, 6+) as “98.9 The Bridge” freefalls from #6 to #15. Meanwhile, the five most recent moves for Entercom’s similarly-formatted WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and now -3.1 in January 2019 (11.3 – 8.2, second to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). A combined +2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10. 5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS regresses by -1.5 to 11.3 (6+) but “V-101” is #1 for the third time in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the tenth successive sweep. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Co-owned urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1,” which was up seven-tenths via three straight up or flat trends (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), is -1.0 to 6.8 (6+) but continues at #4.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative -1.8 through three consecutive declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM answers with a one-half share gain to 5.7 (6+) and repeats at #7. “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. It is a somewhat similar scenario for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut,” which picks up four-tenths (to 1.3, #15 to #14, 6+), thus snapping three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

A combined +.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” climbs from #13 to #12.

The wild ride continues for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas,” which was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+); then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018; and now +1.9 in January 2019 (4.2 – 6.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). Stable at #14, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” regains the one-tenth it squandered in “Holiday” 2018 (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Roaring back from a “Holiday” 2018 -1.1 with a +1.4 (6.3 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” moves from #5 to a three-way scrum at #3. Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. A January 2019 +1.0 by iHeartMedia’s WWYZ (6.7 – 7.7, third to second, 6+) erases “Holiday” 2018’s -.9. In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Country 92.5” netted a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), with 7.8 (November and December) its highest 6+-stat since May 2018 (7.8, as well). The three most recent moves by Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” are +.7 (6.8 – 7.5, 6+, December); -.7 (7.5 – 6.8, 6+, “Holiday” 2018); and +.9 (6.8 – 7.7, 6+, January 2019, flat at #2). Its November increase of four-tenths ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to three straight improvements, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” is an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). By notching a one-half share increase to 6.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSS pulls the plug on four setbacks in succession that accounted for a -1.6 (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4, 6+), but “Kiss 95-7 All The Hits” backslides from fourth to fifth. A combined +7.4 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH falters by -6.9 to 11.1 (6+). Nonetheless, “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 31st consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 28th time in the last 30 sweeps. “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017.

Friday, April 14, 2017

| April 14, 2017

Cumulus Media Promotes Three to Executive Vice President. Three current Cumulus Media executives are promoted to newly created EVP positions: Mike McVay rises from senior vice president, content & programming to executive vice president, content & programming; Dave Milner, moves up from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations; and Bob Walker is elevated from senior vice president, operations to executive vice president, operations.  Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner states, “These promotions recognize the strong performance of these key members of our senior leadership team.  Mike, Dave and Bob are terrific executives and have each been instrumental to the success we’ve achieved during the first year of executing our turnaround plan for the company.”

Ryan Wrecker Joins KMOX, St. Louis as ‘Overnight America’ Host. Talk radio pro Ryan Wrecker moves from his most recent gig as PD at Pathfinder Communications’ WOWO, Fort Wayne to CBS RADIO’s heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX to host the station’s late-night program, “Overnight America,” beginning Monday (4/17).   The program airs from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am.  KMOX program director Steve Moore comments, “Ryan is a passionate advocate of local radio who comes to us from a legacy station and brings a great appreciation for KMOX and its role in the community.  In addition, Ryan understands how creating unique digital and social media content can quickly expand his reach in the market and grow his listener base.”  Speaking about his new gig, Wrecker states, “We’re going to have fun on ‘Overnight America.’  It’s a show that’s inclusive to new voices and topics.  Every night we will present fresh and unique ideas to the audience and explore them in a way that’s different from any other radio show.”  The “Overnight America” show had been hosted by Jon Grayson, who exited KMOX in February to host the midday show at crosstown news/talk KTRS.

Kaplan Promoted to Marketing Director for Cumulus Media Dallas. For the past two years, Rebecca Kaplan has been promotions director for Cumulus Media’s Dallas country signals KSCS and KPLX “99.5 The Wolf.”  Now, she is promoted to marketing director for the seven-station cluster that includes news/talk WBAP, news/talk KLIF-AM, sports talker KTCK-AM and KESN-FM, and CHR KLIF-FM “HOT 93.3.”  Cumulus regional vice president Dan Bennett states, “Rebecca has proven herself with outstanding event execution for our country stations KPLX and KSCS. Our seven-station cluster will benefit greatly from her involvement in the future with all our stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NBA Playoffs begin this weekend and ESPN Radio is presenting its coverage starting with the Cavaliers versus the Pacers Saturday at 2:00 pm ET.  Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will call the action.  Sunday’s contest will be the Warriors vs Trailblazers with Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo on the call…..When the NHL’s new franchise the Vegas Golden Knights takes to the ice next fall, Lotus Communications’ KRLV, Las Vegas “FOX Sports 1340” will serve as the flagship station for radio.  Lotus plans to begin simulcasting the station on FM translator K255CT, Henderson, Nevada.  As part of the deal, some of the games will also be broadcast in Spanish on Lotus’ KENO-AM “1460 ESPN Deportes.”…..In podcasting news, Apple is changing the name of its podcast platform from “iTunes Podcasts” to “Apple Podcasts.”…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of longtime Cleveland sports media personality Kendall Lewis, a.k.a. The BSK — the Big Sports Kahuna, who died on April 11 at the age of 56.  Lewis’ most recent work was on digital platforms, but for years he was a host on sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “ESPN 850.”  He also was a fixture at FOX Sports Net Ohio and served with WOIO-TV, Cleveland.

U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The tense relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Syria sarin attack and the U.S.’s airstrikes in Syria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of April 10-14.  At #2 this week was the North Korea nuclear missile threats.  Coming in at #3 was the United Airlines passenger removal case and the resulting PR blowback, followed by the FBI’s monitoring of Trump adviser Carter Page at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Michael Harrison Interviews Judy Collins on this Week’s Podcast. Folk singing/pop music legend Judy Collins is this week’s special guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In the words of Harrison, “Although she sings like an angel and performed on a number of hits and concert stages across the nation, creating a total of more than 50 albums along the way – not to mention authoring books, painting, and even directing a film – she lived a deeply troubled existence. We’re talking about severe depression and emotional disturbance that nearly drove her to suicide. We’re talking about substance abuse and eating disorders…and on top of everything, coping with the suicide of her son in 1992.” The TALKERS founder continues, “This amazing woman has survived to not only overcome these challenges but to be of great service and help to others, as well. She is a tireless advocate of those who suffer from similar emotional afflictions and has made significant contributions in bringing public awareness of mental illness out of the shadows and into the open.” On April 27, in recognition of her service to others, Collins will receive the 2017 Beatrice Stern Media Award at a major gathering in Los Angeles – The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards. It is an annual event thrown by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a leading non-profit provider of free community mental health and substance abuse services for children and adults for over 75 years. Harrison and Collins engage in a remarkably candid and informative discussion about the state of mental illness in our healthcare system and culture. They also talk about the early days of her career, her relationship with rock legend Stephen Stills and her storied connection to his Crosby, Stills and Nash masterpiece, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” 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.  Audio content syndicator Westwood One is partnering with dick clark productions to help promote the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and offer its broadcast partners branded, long-form and short-form content and promotions.  Westwood One will welcome more than 20 radio stations to its Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs event with live performances and celebrity interviews during rehearsals the day before the 2017 Billboard Music Awards (Saturday, May 20) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Talent taking part in the Saturday event include WPLJ, New York personality Jayde Donovan; WPLJ and WPRO-FM, Providence host Ralphie Aversa; and syndicated personalities Adam Bomb and Zach Sang…..The three urban-formatted Philadelphia stations owned by iHeartMedia – urban contemporary WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B & Throwbacks,” hip hop WUSL “Power 99,” and smooth jazz WDAS-AM “Smooth Jazz ‘JJZ 1480” – are organizing the inaugural “Sista Strut 3K Breast Cancer Walk” taking place on Saturday, June 17 at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.  Proceeds will benefit The American Association for Cancer Research.  The stations note that the walk aims to raise breast cancer awareness among African American women, who are 41% more likely to die from the disease than white women, making screenings and early detection crucial.  WDAS-FM personality Frankie Darcell comments, “As one of the founders of Detroit’s ‘Sista Strut,’ I’m ecstatic that nearly 20 years later the event will be held in our Philadelphia community.”…..Country KNIX, Phoenix and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire are cooperating on a “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes.  Consumers ages 21+ can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act.  The event concludes an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire. The Phoenix stop in the concert series will feature national recording artist, Brett Young, and will take place on April 19 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum.  The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

The State of Women on Talk Radio – Part 3

| November 4, 2015

The Two Toned Talker(2015) revWhy aren’t there more?

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

Continuing  today (11/4), TALKERS presents a multi-part feature story about the status of female talk show hosts in the radio business that will run throughout this week.

Part 3:  What does it take to make it?

mckayjeffNEW YORK – It was established in the first two installments of this article about the state of women on talk radio – particularly “news/talk” radio – that although there are many successful female practitioners of the art heard around the country, male hosts continue to outnumber females by a startling ratio of approximately seven-to-one.  The question is why?

Another question: what are those women who are making it on talk radio doing right?

“Just as Megan Kelly broke through in a mostly man’s world as host of her own prime time show on Fox News Channel, so can female radio hosts.  They just have to get the right opportunity to prove themselves,” says Salem Media Group SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce.

One of those women is Mandy Connell, heard daily mornings on Denver’s KHOW-AM (630) and evenings back on what was her former station, WHAS, Louisville.  The iHeart Media station’s morning drive host, is one of those that has clearly proven herself.  For two decades, she has been on the air at several stations including heritage talker WHAS where she became established as a popular local conservative host who attracted a loyal following of both male and female listeners.

Connell says she has personally run into those who believe that women cannot succeed in talk.

Read More

Monday, February 18, 2013

| February 18, 2013

blazergraceGrace Blazer Lands at Clear Channel Miami.  Former WTKK, Boston program director Grace Blazer is the new PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WIOD and sports WINZ, Miami.  She exited the Greater Media talk station when it flipped to rhythmic AC at the end of 2012.  Prior to WTKK, Blazer programmed WPHT, Philadelphia.  In a statement, Blazer says, “The depth of Clear Channel’s resources is phenomenal.  Working for our industry’s leading media company and programming WIOD and WINZ is a superb opportunity.  I’m excited to partner with Alex Tear, Lonny Anger and the talented staffs of ‘News Radio 610/100.3FM’ and 940’s ‘Sports Animal’ to grow these stations.”  The programming position at WIOD and WINZ opened up when Ken Charles moved up to the VP of programming position at Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster.

cainhermanHermain Cain Joins Fox News Channel as Contributor.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Herman Cain becomes part of the Fox News Channel stable of contributors.  Cain, who took over the late morning slot long held by talk radio pioneer Neal Boortz at Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta and his national syndication distributed by Dial Global, will make regular appearances on FNC where EVP of programming Bill Shine says in a statement, “Cain’s impressive resume makes him a valuable addition to the Fox News and Fox Business lineup.  As a political expert with business savvy, he brings an important voice to the nation’s debates.”  In addition to his recent run for president, Cain also was CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and held the CEO position at the National Restaurant Association.

wfan logoNY Post Reports CBS Radio New York Weighing WFAN-AM/FM Options.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes that the brass at CBS Radio in New York City is weighing its programming options for the sports talk tandem of WFAN-AM and FM as the company must be eager to get the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network programming on in the largest market in the country.  Currently, the full schedule of WFAN programming is heard on both signals but the need to get the new national network some Big Apple exposure is pressing.  A statement from the company to the Post goes, “We have a number of great options and are closely examining each one.”  At issue is the fact that WFAN-AM’s 660 signal is huge and the 101.9 FM signal is decent but nowhere near as far-reaching as 660 AM.  Will the local sports talk remain on 660 AM and the national network appear on 101.9 FM?  Will it be the other way around or a mixture of the two?  As Mushnick hints, you can bet some of the WFAN stalwarts – including PM driver Mike Francesa and AM drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton – would like to stay on the huge 660 AM signal.  CBS Radio is expected to make a decision within the next few months.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global to Cease SEC Reporting.  The company cites, among other things, “the relatively limited historical volume of trading in the Company’s common stock and the applicable federal securities laws” as one of the reasons it will suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Dial Global’s board of directors determined that such action would be in the best interests of the company.  It says, “In reaching this conclusion, the Company’s Board of Directors considered numerous factors including the compliance costs associated with filing periodic reports with the SEC and the diversion of management attention from other matters that result from being a reporting company.”  Dial Global left the NASDAQ and its stock is traded on OTC Pink.  It states, “There can be no assurance, however, that a trading market in the Company’s common stock through the over-the-counter market or any other market will be maintained.”

landaudavidDavid Landau Gets Nice Severance from Dial Global.  Technically it’s not a severance but regardless, former co-CEO of Dial Global David Landau will receive $600, 000 per annum for the next two years plus other unspecified benefits after the company decided to re-align its corporate management structure and make Spencer Brown sole CEO and former co-CEO Ken Williams president.

stpierreronWPRO, Providence Lets Ron St. Pierre Go.  In a move that appears to be about saving money, Ron St. Pierre exits his role as PM drive host Buddy Cianci’s sidekick/executive producer.  GoLocalProv.com reports that this is the latest in a series of moves at the Cumulus Media station that began with the ouster of Andrew Gobiel from the WPRO morning show and the re-assignment of Tara Granahan from the AM show to other news duties.  The station brought WJAR-TV anchor Gene Valicenti in to host the morning program.  St. Pierre has served at WPRO as program director – the first time in 1988 – as general manager, and as host of the station’s morning show.  Ron can be reached at ron.stpierre@cox.net.

millerchrisGood Writing Is at the Core of Digital Success.  Writing for the internet is a very different art form than writing for the radio.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets re-tweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!”  Miller advises TALKERS readers to avoid three common mistakes in writing for the web: 1) over-selling; 2) being boring; and 3) social desperation.  Read his entire piece here.

raytomWINTER ADVICE:  Be Sure to Install Deicers on your Antenna.  It is not too late to do it or to be concerned.  The failure to properly install deicers on your antenna to save a few bucks in the short term can not only interfere with the quality of your signal, it can put you off the air entirely, not to mention cause severe costly damage to your components and even create a major fire hazard.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray says, “While money is tight all over, the last thing you need is your transmitter and/or building to be a smoking hulk.  Consult with someone qualified to guide you.  Think of it like buying an insurance policy.  You may not want to spend the cash, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.  Read Tom Ray’s entire article here.

trumpdonaldTrump-Maher Suit “Stretches Credulity.”  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the $5 million suit Donald Trump is filing against Bill Maher has no chance of success, little chance of getting a day in court and could incur sanctions against Trump and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit.  In case you missed it, Maher went on “The Tonight Show” in January and – based on the color of Trump’s hair – joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he would produce his birth certificate to show he is not the son of an orangutan.  Read more of Weisman’s account about why this spat is still going on and upon what legal ground the complaint stands (or doesn’t as the case may be).  It’s here.

johnsondanistudioXtreMEDIA Syndicated Host Dani Johnson Profiled in Forbes.  The host of the weekly XtreMEDIA-syndicated Dani Johnson program was profiled on Forbes.com on Thursday and, according to XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough, the story went viral “with 15,700 shares on Facebook in a little more than a day.  Heading into the weekend it was still the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Most Read’ piece on Forbes.com.”  McCullough tells TALKERS, “Her story as a broke homeless woman to becoming a multiple millionaire to even now helping others get out of debt, restore relationships, and expand their influence is a story that rocketed her from one affiliate station in January of 2012 to 95 stations and counting in January of 2013.  Dani is the most important voice in all of American media – not just talk radio – that most of the nation still hasn’t heard from.  Hundreds of thousands of lives changed for the better, only proves the point that she has something that real audiences are looking for… connection!”  Read the Forbes story here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

| November 28, 2012

“The Answer” Gets Manhattan Street-Level Presence.  Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” has Manhattan street-level presence as the PM drive show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are now hosting their show from a studio in the department-store type window setting at the historic Hotel Pennsylvania in Midtown Manhattan.  Pictured here are  Sliwa (r) and Lichtman (l) hosting a recent edition of their program.  Salem Communications vice president director of spoken-word format Phil Boyce states, “This not only gives our hosts a bird’s-eye view of Midtown Manhattan, but allows literally thousands of daily passersby to see ‘Curtis & Jeffrey’ and ‘WNYM AM 970 THE ANSWER’ prominently displayed in the heart of our listening area.  This marquee location on 7th Ave and 33rd Street, is located across from the Long Island Railroad, Penn Station, a subway hub, Macy’s and is around the corner from the NJ PATH train.  The value of this degree of exposure and publicity for our station and two of our best known hosts is incalculable.  It’s also across from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, which on any given night might host the Knicks, the Rangers or innumerable other sporting and entertainment events.”

Russ Rollins and Dirty Jim Re-Up with WTKS, Orlando; Daniel Dennis Exits.  The Monsters in the Morning program at Clear Channel’s hot talk WTKS, Orlando is one talent fewer after co-host Daniel Dennis declines to sign a new three-year contract with the station.  Program founder and host Russ Rollins, along with co-host Dirty Jim, both signed new three-year deals to continue broadcasting the AM drive program on the station but Dennis tells the Orlando Sentinel he didn’t want the contract but would rather have continued as an at-will employee.  He hosts a weekly internet talk show called, “A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan” that can be heard at tomanddan.com.

Alan Eisenson Exits Clear Channel Sacramento.  Talk radio programmer Alan Eisenson leaves his position as operations manager for Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster where he served as operations manager for news/talk KFBK-AM/FM and talk KSTE.  Eisenson was also in charge of programming at CC’s San Francisco talk outlets KKSF and KNEW.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM brings iconic film star and polarizing historical figure Jane Fonda to its “Town Hall” series.  The actress will be part of the “SiriusXM Town Hall” on Thursday, December 6 at 10:00 am when she’ll sit down with journalist Perri Peltz and speak about her new yoga DVD and take questions from the audience…..On Thursday, November 29, radio pro Turi Ryder will sit in for John Williams on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program…..ABC TV’s “Good Morning America” is preparing to do something it hasn’t done in 17 years: Win the coveted November sweeps.  Broadcasting & Cable reports the show is beating NBC’s “Today” in both total audience and viewers 25-54 as the end of the sweeps approaches.

CNN Has a New Chief: Jeff Zucker.  That’s not official but The New York Times and Deadline.com are reporting that Time Warner has agreed to terms with former NBCUniversal CEO and current executive producer of Katie Couric’s syndicated talk show, Jeff Zucker.  The official announcement is expected to be made very soon.  Zucker would replace Jim Walton at CNN.  Walton announced he would leave the cable news channel at the end of the year.  CNN has been roundly beaten up in the consumer press for its woes in the prime time ratings race but it should be noted that, ratings aside, CNN continues to be a profitable operation for Time Warner.  Still, Zucker’s charge would be to revitalize its prime time ratings that have fallen farther behind Fox News Channel and are regularly challenged by MSNBC.

ESPN Begins Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research; Announces $1 Million Donation to the Cause.  Yesterday began sports entertainment broadcaster ESPN’s Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research and the company announced it is committing $1 million to the fundraising effort for the endowment fund.  ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer made the announcement on Tuesday, November 27 and Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg made it public via their radio and TV program that day.  ESPN’s sixth annual Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research – a multiplatform initiative which drives awareness of and donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research – tipped off yesterday at 7:00 pm ET with a simulcast of former NC State coach Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPYs speech across ESPN domestic media networks, as well as on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square.  The week will conclude with the Jimmy V Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona Extra on Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4.  For more information on Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, visit ESPN Media Zone.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Launches Holiday Giving Campaign.  The organization that exists solely to assist broadcasters in need is announcing the start-up of its Holiday Giving Campaign.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America – which disbursed more than $675,000 in assistance last year – is urging broadcasters to become members and to spread the word about this campaign.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The Broadcasters Foundation exists solely to provide financial relief to broadcasters in need.  These are individuals who we have worked with over the years, and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances.  Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases.  I urge every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”  Over the past 60 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to hundreds of broadcasters who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  In addition, one-time emergency grants are provided in the aftermath of a devastating circumstance or natural disaster, like the Joplin tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year and can make a difference in the life of a colleague who has fallen on desperate times.  To become a member, make a personal donation to the Guardian Fund, or a corporate contribution to the Angel Initiative, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, info@thebfoa.org, or visit the website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, OECD Global Economy Report, Black Friday/Cyber Monday Numbers, Benghazi Attack/Susan Rice-GOP Meeting, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27).  The battle in Washington over tax hikes and entitlement program changes; the OECD global economy report that predicts slow growth over the next two years; initial numbers from holiday season’s two big shopping days; the spat over U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice’s meeting with GOP leaders; and the $500 million Powerball jackpot in Wednesday’s drawing were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

| September 5, 2012

Day One from the Democratic National Convention.  WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller (c) is pictured here in an “action” shot that shows the expansive media center in Charlotte from which she is broadcasting her nationally syndicated morning drive program.  In this photo, she’s joined by Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (l) and Stephanie Miller show regular Jim Ward (r).  There are more than 100 talk show hosts joining the news organizations covering the DNC in Charlotte that wraps up Thursday with President Obama’s evening speech accepting his party’s nomination for the ticket.

Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston Makes Brand Change and Boost to News Product Official.  As TALKERS magazine reported yesterday, Greater Media news/talk outlet WTKK has re-branded itself and is rededicating itself to providing Bostonians with more news and information and program director Grace Blazer makes that official.  She says the station “will provide listeners in the Boston Metropolitan area with consistent ‘live and local’ news, traffic, and weather reports around the clock on-air, online and on their mobile devices.   Through a partnership with Total Traffic, Greater Media Boston’s News Talk 96.9 FM-WTKK will deliver newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour 24 hours a day and traffic and weather reports every 15 minutes.  In addition, WTKK will refer to itself as NEWS TALK 96.9 both on air and online to more accurately reflect its product.” Blazer says, “We are proud to be the only FM radio station with a 24 hour live and local staff of newscasters delivering timely, local and breaking news, accurate traffic reporting, and dependable weather forecasts.  The addition of services to our already strong talk lineup makes News Talk 96.9 FM unique within the Boston market and also presents immediate opportunities for our advertisers.”  Total News Source VP Chris Berry says of the new relationship, “An amazing amount of news is generated daily in Boston and New England.  We are very pleased to be working around the clock with the team at News Talk 96.9 to assist in gathering and delivering news and information.”

Glenn Beck Gets Apology from American Airlines After Rude Service.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated radio host told his audience he was treated rudely by a flight attendant on a weekend flight from Newark to Dallas – ostensibly for his political views – and would never fly American again.  Beck told his national radio audience the male flight attendant “fawned over” the other passengers but slammed a can of soda down in front of him and “barked” at him, treating him as “subhuman.”  The airline tweeted an apology and went further issuing the following statement, “We are sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on a recent flight.  The comfort and satisfaction of our customers are very important priorities to us and we take these matters seriously.  We have reached out to Mr. Beck’s office and are actively looking into the situation.”

Matt Fox Exits NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton.  The morning show at NextMedia’s WHBC, Canton, Ohio will consist of co-host Pam Cook and Canton Repository sports columnist Todd Porter for now as Matt Fox exits the station to take a position outside the radio business.  The Repository reports Fox cited the early morning hours – a 3:45 wakeup call – as one of the reasons he’s choosing to leave the show he’s been co-hosting with Cook since February of 2011.  He took over for Fred Chenevey at that time and the program was his first full-time radio gig.  He continues to co-host the “Around the House with Matt and Shari” home improvement show that airs on the local PBS TV outlet.

Big Changes at Chicago Public Media; Big Shoes to Fill at WBEZ.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports on the announcement that afternoon talk host Steve Edwards is leaving his “The Afternoon Shift” talk show on CPM’s WBEZ, Chicago to take a new post at the University of Chicago.  Edwards has been with Chicago Public Media for 14 years, serving in a number of capacities during that time, including as director of content development and program director.  It was just last February that the 41-year-old public media pro returned to the air to host “The Afternoon Shift.”  On his new position as deputy director, programming at the University of Chicago’s new Institute of Politics, a public policy and public service institute led by David Axelrod, Edwards tells Feder, “What motivates me is trying to create a deeper understanding of the world around me and trying to share that with people.  How do I touch and transform people and communities?  How do I uncover insights and share them with others?  Journalism has been an amazing place where those values and skill sets intersect.  And I think my new role at the Institute of Politics represents another place where they do as well.”  Meanwhile, CPM has retained Livingston Associates to help find Edwards’ successor.  Read Robert Feder’s full story here.

Clear Channel Takes Aim at CNN with Its ClearVision In-Airport TV Network.  Providing what it calls an alternative to CNN’s news-only airport network with a debut at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Clear Channel Outdoor’s Clear Channel Airports division unveils ClearVision.  The company says it’ll provide content to travelers from numerous sources, including:  “CBS with offerings from CBS News, CBS Entertainment, CBS Daytime, and CBS Interactive, among others; NBC, with shows including The Today Show, Smash, The Voice, Grimm, America’s Got Talent and The Office; daily headlines from around the world from The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Live; and sports  from the Tennis Channel with original programming like the travel series Destination Tennis and highlights from major tournaments like the French Open and US Open.”  This is a partnership with connectVISION Digital Networks and CCO says it “provides airports, content partners, and advertisers with an unparalleled ability to reach and engage air travelers – through customized content ranging from local news to top network shows and live events.  Airports ultimately will be able to leverage WiFi services to provide travelers accustomed to on-demand content access to the ClearVision network on their smartphones, iPads, and laptops.”  There’s no word from Clear Channel on what other American airports with which it’s negotiating but the company sounds very dedicated to this market and you can bet there will be more airport deals announced in the near future.

Sports Biz Today Produces Daily Updates.  Sports Biz Today is launching a new daily product called “Sports Biz Update” – a two-minute feature in which host Fred Wallin gives listeners the headlines of what is going on in the world of sports business.  Fred Wallin is a veteran of sports talk radio, both locally in Southern California and nationally.  Wallin has hosted ‘Dodger Talk,” “Angel Talk,” “Kings Talk,” and “Bruins Talk” on various Southern California radio stations.  He has hosted programs on KABC, KFI, KLAC, KIEV, KFOX and 1150 AM in Los Angeles.  Nationally, Wallin has hosted programs on The Sports Radio Network, The American Sports Radio Network, Prime Sports, The Sports America Radio Network, and the Cable Radio Network, and presently on Sports Overnight America, Fox Sports Radio Las Vegas and KCAA Riverside, California.

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel names Melissa Forrest market manager for the San Diego cluster.  Forrest most recently served with CC at the Atlanta cluster where she was president and market manager in charge of the company’s radio stations, the Total Traffic Network and the Georgia News Network…..TRN and WGST, Atlanta talk show host Rusty Humphries is putting his passion for cigars together with his own brand and is working with Cuban-born cigar-making legends to create his own limited-edition El Presidente cigar.  Working with Don Lino creator Nestor Miranda and master blender José “Pepin” Garcia – both Floridians now – Humphries made 300 boxes of the cigars.  He says, “It’s not made to be an everyday smoke.  There’s not that many of ‘em.  I only wanted to do a limited amount.  I wanted to honor a president each time.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.  So each cigar is a collector’s item in its own right.”  Humphries is pictured here with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who declared the cigar “bueno.”…..Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show “The Money Pit” partners with TuneIn to create a 24/7 home improvement channel on the audio service.  “Money Pit” co-host Tom Kraeutler says, “We’ve experienced rapid growth of our program through our existing online assets.  But with over 40 million monthly active listeners, TuneIn has the infrastructure and leadership to help us expand that listener base in ways never before possible and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to share our home improvement insights with this new audience.”…..Dr. Michio Kaku – renowned theoretical physicist, best-selling author and host of Talk Radio Network’s “Science Fantastic” – has been selected through a vote of IPC members to keynote the trade group’s biggest electronics industry event next spring in San Diego.  “Kaku’s keynote will present a vision of life in the year 2100 culled from ideas of 300 of the country’s most influential scientists.  He will explore revolutionary advancements in medicine, energy production, artificial intelligence and aeronautics that will forever change our way of life – including innovations like internet-enabled contact lenses, cars that will drive (or even fly) themselves and brain sensors that will let us move objects using only the power of our minds.”…..Mike Rosso joins Continental Electronics as vice president of sales and marketing, where he’ll be responsible for maintaining and developing Continental’s global market presence.  Continental bills itself as a “global leader in broadcast transmitter equipment.  It is the foremost supplier of advanced RF transmission technology and the world’s most experienced designer and builder of the highest power radio broadcast equipment.”

Fox Sports Radio Network Launches Daily Big Ten Football Show.  The new show, an extension of the weekly Big Ten show, debuted yesterday on affiliates including WDFN, Detroit, KFXN, Minneapolis and WSSP, Milwaukee.  Dubbed “BTN Live,” the show airs live daily from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and is hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and others.

WEEI, Boston Announces Patriots and NFL Coverage.  The Entercom sports talk brand – heard throughout New England on numerous company-owned stations and affiliates – announces its fall football programming.  VP of programming and operations for Entercom Boston Jason Wolfe reports coverage of Patriots football features the return of Patriots Friday and Patriots Monday that includes exclusive interviews with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  Its “Gameday” broadcasts on home game days will emanate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough.  WEEI has also secured a number of current and former Patriots players as well as NFL experts – including (WFAN, New York and “NFL Today” host) Boomer Esiason who chats with morning hosts Dennis & Callahan each Monday – to join coverage of the team on its shows throughout the week during the football season.  Wolfe states, “We’ve made it a priority to provide Patriots fans with the most compelling and comprehensive coverage of the team that we can.  With Patriots Monday and Friday and our slew of NFL Insiders, WEEI will be the place to be to keep up with the Pats throughout the season.”  Actual game play-by-play rights are owned by WEEI’s crosstown competitor – CBS Radio-owned WBZ-FM, Boston 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Are Hard Times Hitting Television Talk, Too?  The New York Post reports on rumors that Comcast’s NBC is taking a serious look at morning television talk’s “Today” for possible budget cuts in the wake of its “ratings woes.”  With the story of Jay Leno’s recent voluntary pay cut to help save staffer jobs at “The Tonight Show,” the story questions whether “Today” co-host Matt Lauer will take the same path there to save the positions of lower-level staffers such as makeup artists and writers.  In the piece, one person is quoted saying, “It will be the little people who go first — the makeup people, writers, but these people have families, and it will put pressure on Matt to do the right thing.”  Lauer reportedly makes $25 million per year.  Commenting on the rumors, a rep for “Today” states there will be “absolutely” no staff cuts at the program.

Michael Strahan Officially Named Kelly Ripa’s Co-Host.  The former New York Giants football great is officially named the permanent co-host of the “Live!” show, replacing Regis Philbin, who retired from the show late last fall.  Kelly Ripa has been hosting the show solo and with a parade of potential co-hosts doing live auditions since then.  But, according to People, Ripa made the announcement official that Strahan would be her new co-host.

Presidential Campaign/Democratic National Convention, National Debts Hits $16 Trillion, and Syria Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/4).  The presidential campaign and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte; the national debt hitting the $16 trillion mark; and the ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Social Media: Handle with Care

| January 27, 2012

Since this story was published on the morning of Friday, January 27, KTRS, St. Louis talk host JC Corcoran has responded with illuminating details that add even more to the fascinating subject of social media use by talk broadcasters.  Read his letter here.

By Kevin Casey
and Mike Kinosian

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. –– Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to promote one’s radio program, the station brand or to interact with P1s is what most talk radio practitioners are expected to do these days.  After all, used properly, most digital experts agree the explosive nature of social media can reach people –– including potential new listeners –– in a way other media can’t.  But are there damaging aspects to social media?  Is there a potential downside?

Consider the cases of KTRS, St. Louis talk show host JC Corcoran and Current TV (and former MSNBC and ESPN) personality Keith Olbermann.

Corcoran is a very successful, longtime St. Louis radio personality.  Last fall he got into a back-and-forth argument via Twitter with a listener –– complete with salty language –– about his prediction the Cardinals would re-sign slugger Albert Pujols.  Management at KTRS suspended Corcoran briefly for how he handled the exchange.  The theory being that although the FCC’s jurisdiction is limited to only what goes out over the airwaves, a host’s general public image is the concern of station ownership regardless of the venue upon which it is conveyed –– licensed or unlicensed.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

| December 19, 2011

Filling in for the Holidays.  Today marks the beginning of “holiday fill-in season” on talk radio which pretty much runs through the rest of the year.  It is the time when a significant percentage of full-time hosts working at individual radio stations (and even syndicated hosts for that matter) take all or part of their annual vacations.  This process provides fill-in hosts and part-time weekend and bench hosts with the opportunity to get out there and hopefully shine.  It also has the potential to provide listeners with fresh voices and perspectives.  And it always presents already overworked programmers with the challenge of keeping their schedules flowing and appealing.  They want someone who is professional and interesting – but they also want someone who won’t upset the applecart of stationality or listener expectations.  WGN, Chicago PD Bill White explains, “I equate a fill-in host to someone hosting a dinner party in someone else’s home.  Fill-in hosts should be respectful of the regular host’s audience but not rearrange all the furniture.  We also look for fill-in hosts who will be comfortable and compliment the regular host’s audience.”  Thus, qualified substitutes are a valuable commodity at this time of year when the demand for their services is drastically increased, especially when most stations’ air staffs have been cut back or depleted due to the economy and PDs must look for help from outside.  For example, one of the industry’s most popular substitutes, former congressman and KFYI, Phoenix talk host J.D. Hayworth is subbing for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on 12/20 and 12/28.  He’ll be heard on hosting local shows on KXNT-FM, Las Vegas on 12/23 and 12/29-30; WLS, Chicago on 12/24, 28-30; WGST, Atlanta on 12/26; KOGO-AM/FM, San Diego on 12/27; and WPHT, Philadelphia on 12/28-30.  Demand for quality substitutes is so high that some hosts already doing full-time work use it as an opportunity to pick up extra income and exposure.  As if he is not already doing enough on his “regular” gigs, hard working and extremely talented Clear Channel talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (KPRC, Houston; WOAI, San Antonio; KOA, Denver; and “The Weekend”) fills in for Premiere Networks syndicated star Glenn Beck on 12/20, 23, 28 and 30. This year’s holiday season coming in the thick of the big election cycle creates even more pressure to keep stations on track.  Greater Media-owned WTKK-FM, Boston PD Grace Blazer tells TALKERS, “It’s important at 96.9 FM-WTKK to provide our audience with relevant shows throughout the holiday season that are timely and topical.  Our host vacation schedules are scattered and their fill-ins are often regular participants to their shows and share similar philosophies.  Since January 2012 is a huge month for presidential politics and New Hampshire is our neighbor, I think it’s imperative to keep 96.9 Boston Talks ‘primarily’ intact and compelling.”  At Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ, Fresno, PD Skip Essick likes to avoid throwing curves to listeners, “I try and keep programming as normal as possible.  This year it will not be as much of a challenge with Christmas Eve and Day on the weekend – same thing over New Years.  But, for instance, the day after Thanksgiving – which was designated as a company holiday – I ran full staff with regular programming.  I’ll do the same for Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, and the numerous Monday holidays throughout the year.  In a nutshell – if our listeners are at work, so are we.”  Some hosts prefer to work over the holidays and at Buckley Broadcasting’s WOR, New York, program director Scott Lakefield tells TALKERS that’s the case.  “For instance, John Gambling began a ‘tradition’ of sorts of taking his ‘holiday’ vacation in January.  He will be live 12/27-30.  Generally speaking, though, my theory is to try to do ‘best-of’ compendium shows during vacation times, with the exception of drive-time when information is a bigger component and it is thus necessary to be live.  Guest hosts in my experience drive far more listeners away than hearing some ‘classic’ moments from their favorite hosts does.”  In the sports talk radio world this situation can be particularly compelling since so many outlets have a high percentage of local full-time hosts and thus more slots to fill.  Plus, opinions and personality categories in sports talk are often more idiosyncratic than general news/talk, making it more challenging to find the proper fit.  CBS-owned Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh PD Terry Foxx tells TALKERS, “Holiday fill-in for us is very important.  I match up our part-time hosts based on how I feel they will entertain and incite opinions from our fans in certain day parts.”  Some stations have fill-in hosts with a history at the station such as veteran TV/radio personality Wayne Powers who subs for Keith Larson on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte 12/26-30…  and the list goes on.  J.D. Hayworth, who is looking to get back into the business on a regular basis as either a local or syndicated host, tells TALKERS, “As a genuine ‘broadcasting baby boomer,’ I remember the ubiquitous Robert Q. Lewis on TV game shows: most frequently, a panelist…but quite frequently, a guest host…and eventually a regular host!  So, I’m being ‘Lewis-like’ over the holidays!  During my years at N.C. State, the joke was Lou Holtz recruited me at right tackle, but I ended up ‘left out!’  So…I’m used to waiting on the the bench, but very happy to get loads of holiday airtime. I’m certain these appearances will help me leave the bench and get back in the game full time!”

John Thompson Ends Regular Talk Show at WTEM, Washington.  The iconic former Georgetown University basketball coach and talk host in the DC market since 1999 will step away from his regular show on Red Zebra’s WTEM in February to pursue other interests.  Red Zebra director of programming Chuck Sapienza says, “While a sad day for the station, we fully support Coach Thompson’s decision to move on to other projects.  As Coach and I discussed at the time of his decision, this is not a retirement.  His fans will still hear Coach Thompson on ESPN980 from time to time.  Thompson’s program airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daily with co-host Doc Walker.  Sapienza doesn’t state what the station’s plans are after Thompson steps down.

Chattanooga’s Brewer Media to Drop News/Talk on WPLZ-FM Citing Expense of the Format.  It’s been three years since the locally owned Brewer Media put a news/talk format on WPLZ-FM, Chattanooga.  Owner Jim Brewer II tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press he would have needed more staff to be competitive in the market.  “I think we offered a good product and I will miss having news/talk in our building…being a small, single market cluster, it’s exceedingly difficult to compete against national broadcasting companies who have so much syndicated programming and infrastructure.”  The station will flip to an unspecified music format in the new year and will lay off talk hosts Robert T. Nash and David Karnes as well as PD Gary Poole, news director Louis Lee and a couple other employees.  Brewer Media owns three other FMs in the market including sports talk WALV – ESPN 105.1.

Birach Broadcasting Flips WWCS, Pittsburgh to Sports; Affiliates with Fox Sports Radio.  Birach Broadcasting has been airing a Spanish music format on the signal but flips to sports on January 1 as Fox Sports 540.  It’ll take most of the Fox Sports Radio Network-distributed lineup – Zakk & Jack, the Dan Patrick show, “Loose Cannons,” Petros & Money, “Fox Sports Tonight” and JT the Brick plus Premiere NetworksJim Rome.  FSRN vice president and general manager Don Martin states, “After a short hiatus, Fox Sports Radio is thrilled to be heard again in the great city of Pittsburgh!”  The network was previously affiliated with Clear Channel’s WBGG.  In addition to CC’s WBGG, CBS Radio operates sports KDKA-FM in the market.

Dr. Jenn Berman to Host New VH1 Program “Couples Therapy.”  Los Angeles-based psychotherapist and host of the Sirius XM talk show, “The Love and Sex Show with Dr. Jenn,” is the host of a new cable TV show produced by Irwin Entertainment, the producers of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”  The program will follow the travails of five celebrity couples and they go through therapy with Dr. Jenn Berman.  Shows hit the air in the spring.  Dr. Berman tells TALKERS magazine, “It’s such a pleasure to be a part of this exciting venture on VH1.  I’m looking forward to being that connecting link between viewers and the process of examining the challenges of a celebrity relationship.  I think people will be very surprised by how much they identify with these celebs and their personal struggles.”  Couples taking part in the program are: DMX (Rapper) & Tashera Simmons, Linda Hogan (“Hogan Knows Best”) & Charlie Hill, Chris Nirschel (“The Next Food Network Star”) & Angelina Pivarnick (“Jersey Shore”), Kasey Kahl (“Bachelorette”) & Vienna Girardi (“The Bachelor”) and Reichen Lehmkuhl & Rodiney Santiago (“The A-List: New York”).

Michigan Talk Host Michael Patrick Shiels Named to State Travel Commission.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announces WJIM, Lansing-based talk host Michael Patrick Shiels – heard throughout the state via the Michigan Talk Network – will serve on the Michigan Travel Commission.  “One of the key components to building a better and stronger Michigan is to continuously promote all the attractions our state has to offer, including our beautiful lakes and great landmarks.  Michael Patrick Shiels is a great addition and uniquely positioned to be a great asset to the commission.”  In addition to his radio work, Shiels is a travel writer and founder of TravelTattler.com.  Subject to approval by the Michigan Senate, Shiels will serve the remainder of Jim Berryman’s term through September 2014. Berryman recently resigned.

Ira Weintraub Takes PD Role at WTKA, Ann Arbor.  Cumulus Media Ann Arbor names APD and morning show producer Ira Weintraub program director for sports talk outlet WTKA – The Ticket 1050.  Market manager Matt Spaulding says, “Ann Arbor is a market with a tradition of providing compelling, passionate and relevant broadcast products to the listeners of southeast Michigan.  Ira Weintraub has absolutely earned this promotion and we are confident that he will help lead WTKA to many more years of broadcasting success.”

WGN, Chicago’s Milt Rosenberg Hosts 2011 Retrospective Tonight.  “Extension 720” host Milt Rosenberg hosts a special edition of his program this evening (12/19) titled, “WGN Year in Review” with fellow WGN personalities Garry Meier, John Williams and David Kaplan.  The hosts will look back on the stories that made the year 2011 from the Rod Blagojevich case to the death of Osama bin Laden to the hiring of Theo Epstein as the Cubs’ general manager.  The program airs at 10:00 pm.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

| October 13, 2011

WOR Looking to Launch New Evening Show in 2012.  Pardon the mixed fruit metaphor, but plum talk show jobs like this don’t come up that often in the Big Apple as WOR tips TALKERS to its plans to fill 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm with a new show at the beginning of the year.  According to program director Scott Lakefield, the legendary station is completely open to all ideas as it looks to bring in someone or something new to fill that cool two-hour slice of its evening schedule.  Lakefield tells TALKERS that the timing of the move is being designed to coincide with forthcoming changes at the end of the year in the business relationship between Dial Global and Philadelphia-based talker Michael Smerconish whose syndicated program is currently in that slot. Lakefield points out that in keeping with the station’s present direction of focusing on locally-originated talent with a broad-based political/social agenda, the station would most-likely hire a non-syndicated talent such as it offers in morning drive with John Gambling and the recent addition of former New York Governor David Paterson in afternoons.  “We are very encouraged by the response we are getting with these shows and feel that the station is filling a real programming void in New York news/talk radio programming.” Meantime, in light of this development, TALKERS checked with Dial Global to ascertain the status of the syndicated Michael Smerconish program learning that the changes ahead will simply pertain to the production and ownership of the successful show and not to its continuation as a syndicated offering in the new year.  According to Dial Global vice president Amy Bolton, “It’s moving from a Dial Global-owned product to being a repped product owned by an outside producer. We hope to announce the details shortly.  But it is all good.  In essence, nothing changes as we would still handle ad sales, affiliate sales and distribution.”  Michael Smerconish is a perennial member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred and generally recognized as not only being the leading news/talk talent in Philadelphia but one of the hottest rising stars on the national talk media scene.

Clear Channel to Restructure Management in Medium and Small Markets.  Scuttlebutt in the industry that Clear Channel’s regional managers meetings in Atlanta would reveal some sort of management reorganization plan appears to be true and, though concrete details are still few, it appears the company will be employing more regional market managers to oversee its medium and small markets.  Sources close to the story indicate that each regional market manager will oversee anywhere between 10 and 15 markets in order to give each manager less to focus on than the current system which has fewer regional vice presidents responsible for many stations.  The new setup reportedly also includes a programmer to assist each regional market manager.  What this means for local talent and local programmers remains to be seen however, it would not be unusual to see some sort of programming consolidation where management feels it can contain costs without harming the on-air product.

WTKK-FM, Boston Expands Morning Simulcast with Regional Cable News Channel.  Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston shaves an hour off the Jim Braude and Margery Eagan-hosted morning drive show and adds another hour of its audio simulcast of New England Cable Network’s “NECN Morning News” program to the schedule.  The Braude and Eagan show now begins at 7:00 am.  WTKK-FM has been airing NECN’s “First Thing in the Morning” starting at 4:30 am followed by the “NECN Morning News” show from 5:00 am to 6:00 am.  Program director Grace Blazer says they added the additional hour due to positive listener response.  “Commuting New Englanders now have found a whole new way to start the day. 96.9 FM’s expanding commitment to local and breaking news, traffic, and weather followed by Jim and Margery’s perspective, live audience interaction, and real time attention to topical issues creates a listening experience not available anywhere else.  This seamless integration of content created by NECN and 96.9 FM represents the next generation of news and information delivered over multiple platforms for the benefit of listeners in a ‘right now’ world.  Greater Media Boston is proud to be a part of this innovation that will benefit its advertisers, listeners and the communities we serve.”

Monticello Media Helps Bring Concert to Region for Earthquake Benefit.  WCHV-AM/FM, Charlottesville, Virginia PD and morning drive host Joe Thomas tells TALKERS his station and sister country outlet WCYK-FM spearheaded a drive that culminated with the town of Louisa, Virginia winning a nationwide competition for a free Alan Jackson concert to benefit families whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in the August 28 earthquake.  Thomas says, “It was an overwhelming response.  Since FEMA turned Governor McDonnell down, I’m glad Louisa and all of Central Virginia was able to do something to help our own.”

GOP Debate/Cain’s 999 Plan, Iran Assassination Plot Allegations, ‘Occupy’ Protests, and Obama’s Jobs Bill Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12).  The GOP candidates debate and Herman Cain’s ‘999 plan,’ the allegations of an Iran-sponsored assassination plot, the ‘Occupy’ protests and the status of President Obama’s jobs creation legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Dave Ramsey’s Book Tour/Live Events Continue to Draw.  Nationally syndicated talk host Dave Ramsey’s continuing bus tour of the country to promote his latest book, EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches (Howard Books 2011), drew 750 fans to this book signing in Katy, Texas on October 7 with metro affiliate KSEV, Houston a partner in the event.  The next day, Ramsey attracted about 8,000 listeners to his “Total Money Makeover Live” program at Houston’s Reliant Arena in Houston.