Tag: "Holland Cooke"

Monday, May 20, 2019

| May 19, 2019

Vince Benedetto Selected to Receive TALKERS 2019 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  One of the rising stars in the field of independent radio station ownership, Vince Benedetto, founder and CEO of Bold Gold Media Group has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2019 recipient of “The Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster” – also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  Locally owned, operated and programmed, Bold Gold was founded by Benedetto in 2005 with the aim of becoming the preeminent radio broadcast group in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. Bold Gold serves three primary regions: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, The Pocono Lake Region (Northern Pocono Mountains), and the Catskill Mountains of New York.​  It consists of a combination of 14 music- and talk-formatted stations.  Before entering broadcasting as an entrepreneur, Benedetto was a U.S. Air Force captain who also served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (known as OSI).  Special agents for OSI are responsible for conducting felony level investigations and engaging in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities world-wide in support of our Air Force and Department of Defense operations.  Benedetto came under consideration for the TALKERS award for the work he has done in establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with a mission of supporting the education and training of tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Bold Gold, through its fundraising and charitable efforts, provides education and training support, as well as funding to educational institutions and organizations who are preparing America’s future communicators.  The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of young thought-leaders seeking a career in the field of broadcasting, media, and journalism. One of the Foundation’s first major projects was to build WRFH-FM (101.7 FM)/WRFH-LP “Radio Free Hillsdale” at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.  The new campus-based radio station that signed on the air in 2015 offers students an opportunity to receive both academic and first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to large audiences.  The foundation’s second project was to build a recording studio at the Allan P. Kirby Center of ​Constitutional Studies and Citizenship located in the heart of Washington, DC.  The studio, also dedicated in 2015, is used by the Kirby Center to further its mission of teaching the U.S. Constitution, the debate that brought it to life, and the principles that give it meaning.  In addition to Kirby Center staff, the studio is also used by Hillsdale College faculty and students, visiting broadcasters and journalists, and national leaders.  The “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented to Vince Benedetto at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is four days away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Monday Memo: Them. Long-ago English teacher Holland Cooke turns in a book report sure to challenge those of us in talk radio.  In Them: Why We Hate Each Other, How to Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, details how media feed and exploit our angry national conversation; and where we go from here.  See HC’s entire column here.

‘Andy and Randy’ New Midday Show at ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” announces its new midday show is “The Midday Show with Andy and Randy,” – hosted by Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael.  Bunker moves to middays from his evening show with the station and McMichael – who enjoyed an 11-year NFL career – has been hosting the Saturday morning “College Game Time” show at the station.  They take over for John Michaels and Rick Kamla, who exited the station in March. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Andy has been a listener favorite since he joined ‘92.9 The Game’ and has built great chemistry with Randy.  Andy and Randy’s collaboration, along with their bold and honest take on Atlanta sports, will be a great addition to our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest book from nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin bump’s Howard Stern’s newest memoir from its perch as the top-selling book on Amazon.  Levin’s book is titled, Unfreedom of the Press (Threshold Editions, 2019), and has achieved the top ranking based on pre-order sales…..Former KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive personalities Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill are launching a weekly podcast and a real estate company 18 weeks after being let go by the Bonneville news/talk outlet.  The Seattle Times reports that the popular duo, whose contracts were not renewed, have both earned their real estate brokers licenses and have formed Ron and Don Brokers with Windermere Real Estate.  Read the story here…..Alexandria, Minnesota news/talk outlet KXRA-AM is adding another FM signal to its broadcasts.  The Paradis Broadcasting-owned station broadcasts on its 1490 AM frequency as well as on translator K262AT at 100.3 FM.  Now, the company is adding a second translator at 105.7 that will allow it to cover Pope County…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of WVON, Chicago overnight personality Alpheus “Ywain” Fields, who died at his home on Saturday (5/18) at the age of 57.  Fields first joined WVON in 1983 as an intern.  He was soon hired as a board operator and production assistant.  During his 36-year career with the station he served in numerous capacities in the programming department.

Nashville Talk Host Phil Valentine Renews with WWTN-FM. Talk radio pro Phil Valentine inks a new, long-term deal with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his daily, afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 SuperTalk.”  Cumulus says that in addition to hosting his program, the new deal includes Valentine working with the company “on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events.”  The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by his father, Phil Valentine.  The show is “a dynamic conversation between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial with thought-provoking and hilarious discussions on everything from what they would possibly do if the grid went down, to spies, to the top historical events that changed the world to religion.”  Phil Valentine says, “I was the morning guy when we launched ‘SuperTalk 99.7WTN’ back in 1995.  That’s where I started in talk radio.  I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road.  This is home, and I’m glad to be here for the long haul.”

Nolan to Lead Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations. Sales and management pro Libby Nolan is joining Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal, Missouri operations to serve as market president and chief revenue officer.  Nolan was most recently with Entercom and Emmis in St. Louis as general sales manager.  Townsquare’s Quincy-Hannibal cluster includes news/talk KHMO-AM, country KICK-FM, classic country KICK-AM, and adult contemporary KRRY.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Libby is a perfect match for what we look for in a leader at Townsquare.  She brings with her exceptional experience in building sales teams and utilizing local talent to its fullest potential, which will enhance our ‘Local First’ approach in Quincy-Hannibal.”

Justin Amash Impeachment Tweet, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran War Talk, New Anti-Abortion Laws, Trump Immigration Plan, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash issues a tweet saying President Trump has committed impeachable offenses; the tariffs the U.S. and China are planning to place on each other’s exports; President Trump’s warning to Iran to “never threaten the U.S. again”; the highly restrictive abortion law passed in Alabama and a similar bill expected to become law in Missouri; the Trump administration’s immigration plan; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoff 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. Programming pro Michelle Stevens joins Entercom’s New York operations to serve as assistant program director for hot AC WNEW-FM and classic hits WCBS-FM.  Stevens comes to Entercom from her most recent position as director of brand management for Connoisseur Media.  Entercom New York market manager Susan Larkin states, “Michelle possesses valuable expertise in programming and talent development, and she will be a much-welcomed asset to our stations.  She has a stellar track record for developing top-rated brands and we are looking forward to her contributions at two of New York’s most loved stations.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “New Country 98.9 The Bull” names Wingnut the station’s midday personality, hosting the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, he’ll serve as APD and music director.  Station PD Scott Mahalick says, “You can have the best strategy in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’.  I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”  Wingnut was previously afternoon drive host and APD/MD at Entercom’s crosstown country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”…..At Milwaukee non-commerical triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” music journalist Evan Rytlewski is named web editor for the station’s site.  Rytlewski served as music editor for the local alt-weekly Shepherd Express for 13 years and has been a regular contributor to Pitchfork, among other national music publications…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated rock show “The Chop Shop” celebrates its 15th anniversary.  The program is hosted by WRIF-Detroit’s Steve Black, who says, “My love of rock ‘n’ roll directed me into radio nearly 30 years ago.  It was that same passion that opened these shows to syndication 15 years ago.  And I see the impact music makes on our lives every day.  Some of my happiest moments are helping listeners find new music or remember a special moment attached to one of their favorite songs.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. April 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 April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven-tenths in March/April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

In back-to-back reports, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” gains one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 -1.8, 6+) yet drops from a tie at #17 to #19. This marks the third time in the last five ratings periods that iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” logs a .6 (.6 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .6, flat at #24, 6+).

January 2019 through April 2019 fluctuations by KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); and a mammoth -2.0 in April (9.5 – 7.5, 6+). On top the past three months, the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet segues to second-place with its lowest 6+-showing (7.5) since August 2018’s 7.1.

Austin Music Formats – The (6+) adult contemporary share in Texas’ capital city balloons by +2.4. Leading the way is Entercom’s KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” whose nine latest report-to-report shifts are: -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 in April (5.0 – 6.5, seventh to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erases that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, #20 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned triple A KGSR-HD2 debuts with a .8 (#23, 6+). A robust +1.2 by iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (5.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) puts an end to its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that timeframe, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and lost six-tenths in February. Directly after posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.3 in three straight decreases (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other country player – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (#16). A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Improving by three-tenths in March/April (8.4 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot to #1. This is the first time that “Bob” occupies the top spot since December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z,” which was +1.2 in March (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), surrenders two-thirds of that increase (5.9, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to March, KLZT last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). After finishing with a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” vanishes from print.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – By dropping four-tenths to 6.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Progressing from #18 to #17, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” improves by four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

In an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has a topline of: 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Contrast that to co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” (#25) whose August 2018 through April 2019 topline is: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Regaining half (+.1) of March’s two-tenths decrease (7.5 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC was -.9 (November 2018); +1.0 (January 2019); and -.6 (February).

Raleigh Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” are +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.9 in April (5.4 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this (6.3) is its best 6+-showing since September 2015’s 6.5. Co-owned WNCB posts an impressive April gain of nine-tenths as well (2.9, #15 to #13, 6+), wiping away February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). “New Country B-93.9” logs its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (also 2.9). Meanwhile, its format foe – Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” – tacks on seven-tenths to a March gain of three-tenths (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+), and climbs from fifth to fourth. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, classic country cluster-mate WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570” has a 6+ topline of: .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 (#21). Even though it is a collective -1.5 in three straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the ninth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. A combined -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WQOK “K-97.5” drops from third to sixth. This follows three straight sweeps without a loss that yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). On the heels of a March decrease of six-tenths, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” falters by another seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #20, 6+). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” concludes at three its consecutive string of up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). March’s 3.7 is its highest 6+-stat since June 2018’s 3.8. Similarly-formatted WDCG, which was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), is a combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) as iHeartMedia-owned “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective -1.4 in four straight reports without an increase (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), but advances from #17 to #16.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – To say the least, the nine most recent ratings periods have been a wild rollercoaster ride for Emmis news/talk WIBC. In that stretch, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” has been: -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 in April (6.4 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). The high points (7.2, 6+) came in November and February, while April’s 5.2 is the lowest 6+-stat in that timeframe.

While remaining steady at #16, sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” improves by three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and opens up a full-share advantage over iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, #17 to #18, 6+). After five straight times of logging a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT doubles it to .2 (#22, 6+); this is the 15th consecutive sweep that “CBS Sports AM 1430” has notched either a .1 or .2 (6+).

All but one-tenth of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI’s collective +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) is obliterated by an April -1.4 to 4.3 (6+); WFYI departs the top ten (#7 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – While perhaps not quite as volatile as the recent ratings history of Emmis news/talk WIBC (noted above), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” has experienced some significant shifts lately. It was a whopping +2.9 in January (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 in April (8.5 – 10.2, 6+). Not only is WJJK #1 for the fourth month in a row, it registers the highest 6+-share (10.2) in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. A non-Christmas music month +1.7 would usually grab top honors for largest increase in a market, but WJJK’s feat is outdone by Emmis adult contemporary WYXB, which is +1.9 to 8.8 (6+), as “B-105.7” progresses from third to second. The huge uptick applies the brakes to three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 58% (-9.5) loss of its 6+ AQH share (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). It leaps over Cumulus Media’s WFMS (second to third) even though “95.5 The Country Station” follows March’s +1.1 with a gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 7.3 – 8.0, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and is +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by Emmis-owned/similarly formatted WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Country 97.1 Hank FM” returns one-tenth in April to 6.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” gains eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and advances from ninth to seventh. The last time Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS appeared in print was more than seven years ago (February 2012, 2.8, #16). “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” resurfaces in April with a 3.1 (#4, 6+). As both Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” and Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” drop one-half share, they display identical March to April profiles: 5.1 – 4.6 (6+), tenth to ninth. WNTR’s March 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 5.5; “Hot” is a cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, flat at #12); while co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in succession for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2, #22, 6+). In four consecutive down or flat reports, Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is off six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – No station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets makes a greater (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 escalation than Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) as the Brewers flagship leaps from fourth to second. Its March 5.9 marked the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” slipped below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). Some of its representative shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which sputtered by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), regains four-tenths to 5.5 (6+). “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2.

Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” slips from #15 to #16. Surrendering half the six-tenths it gained in February/March (1.3 – 1.0, -.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” tumbles from #15 to #18. Prior to February’s increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). In late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game.” The station’s December 2018 through April 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 – .3 (#21 to #22, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it picked up in March (.2 – .3 – .2, #23 to #24, 6+). After popping up with a .5 (6+) in November 2018, Good Karma Brands’ WAUK has disappeared from print.

Three straight sweeps without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet surrenders four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). While flat at 1.1 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD advances from #18 to #17.

Milwaukee Music FormatsMilwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is an overall +1.8 in three straight bumps (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+) and moves from #12 to #11. Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.3) is its best since August 2017’s 4.3. Rebounding from a March loss of eight-tenths with an April improvement of nearly the same magnitude (9.4 – 10.1, +.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in succession. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its six most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.7 (April). After scoring back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” forfeits approximately 78% (-1.4) of that February/March bounty with a -1.4 to 4.9 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. With a 6.3 in March, “Kiss” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). Hot AC sibling WMYX “99.1 The Mix” has lost seven-tenths in four down or flat reports (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is a collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, and then on 3.6 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” sputters by four-tenths and is back at 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). In three straight improvements, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 1510” forfeits three-tenths to 1.4 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (5.5 – 4.8, sixth to ninth) continues an October 2018 through April 2019 alternating up/down sequence: +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and -.7 (April). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (+.2, #17 to #16) is also in an up/down pattern: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, (6+).

Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #10, 6+). With an April loss of seven-tenths, its internet stream all but disappears, as evidence by this January 2019 through April 2019 topline: 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .1 (#28, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Six-tenths proves to be particularly noteworthy this sweep for two stations in the Midwest Communications cluster. In the case of adult hits WCJK, a gain of six-tenths to 8.4 (6+) pushes “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” from the runner-up slot to #1. From January 2019 through April 2019, “Jack” nets a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+) and reaches the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its five most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.6 (April). On the flipside, adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which had been #1 the past 15 ratings periods, forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and assumes WCJK’s vacated position at #2. “Mix” is an overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Eleven recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); and -.6 (April). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Continuing to enjoy its progressive roll, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a collective +2.2, owing to five straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) and advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. There is a similar story for iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which racks up a +1.7 in four consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. Unchanged at #8 is the other country FM in “Music City USA,” Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which has lost two-tenths in four successive mostly flat/modestly-down sweeps (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Posting increases of seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Educational Media Foundation WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+) and WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (1.5, #21 to #18). Both of these contemporary Christian outlets were down six-tenths in March; WAYM was actually a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+). Up six-tenths in April, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (seventh to sixth) has an alternating down/up “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 pattern of: 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.9 (6+). Flat at #4, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3, fourth, 6+), directly after logging a +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Down two-tenths in March, WPRO-AM’s February gain of one-tenth halted three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). For the third report in a row, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#11 to #12) has a month-to-month shift of two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). After having lost a collective four-tenths through three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and advances from #18 to #15. By returning the two-tenths it acquired in March (.6, flat at #20), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” suspends four straight (modest) increases that nearly tripled (+.5) its 6+-stat (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in January onto to return a combined six-tenths in February/March, Entercom sports talk WVEI dials up a four-tenths gain in April (3.6 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+).

After being tied at #12 in February and March, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (flat at 1.6, #12 to #13, 6+) get a bit untangled. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In January, WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) following “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Shaking off a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (fifth to fourth) roars back with a +1.6 to 7.6, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 8.1. In four straight positive spikes (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.2 (fourth to third); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Debuting in February with a .3 (6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WNBH “Big 101.3” follows with a .4 (March, 6+) and .5 in April (#21, 6+). Immediately after “Holiday” 2018’s lofty 16.2 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI posted a consistent January – February – March topline of 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.2 (6+). Not only does “Lite Rock 105” have a one-half share bump to 9.7 (6+), it advances from second, where it had been the past three sweeps, to first. Prior to shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Displaced from the top spot after three straight months there and segueing to second-place is iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which falters by nine-tenths to 9.6 (6+). The loss interrupts four consecutive ratings periods without a loss that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. This Rhode Island market’s 6+ CHR share softens by -1.3, virtually equally divided between Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (-.7, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” (7.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Fun 107” has now lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in three straight slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). WPRO-FM’s April -.6 pulls the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.4 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); 7.8 in March is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4.

Norfolk – Not only has iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gained six-tenths in four straight upticks (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Following five negative or (mostly) flat sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6  -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WHBT “92.1 The Beat” gains four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and is steady at #9. The January 2019 through April 2019 toplines of Saga classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are virtually identical. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 (third to second, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 (unchanged at #2, 6+). A combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is nonetheless #1 for the fourth month in a row. Until April’s 10.5, it had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. WVKL had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was up three-tenths in March, surrenders eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to fifth. Its December/“Holiday” 2018 +7.9 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. After being a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but remains in eighth-place. As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, WMOV was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). While it carries on in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” drops three-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing three straight gains that yielded a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WPTE was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being an overall -1.8 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” manages to progress from second to first. This is WOKV’s lowest 6+-share since September 2018 (8.6, as well), while November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Even though iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is down or flat the sixth consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+) it returns to the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #19).

A cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is off two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) but advances from #12 to #11.

Jacksonville Music Formats – After posting a +1.2 in January, iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WSOL was a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Now in April, “V-101.5” logs a gain of seven-tenths to 5.4, climbing seventh to fifth. Gospel cluster-mate WKSL-HD3 is without a loss for the third straight time for a net increase of one-half share 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Conversely, co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print. It is a March-only stay at #1 for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which is off six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and segues to a second-place tie. In addition, the decrease pulls the plug on three bumps in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #12, 6+), curtailing three gains in succession that accounted for a +1.8 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). In December/“Holiday” 2018, WWJK was a combined -1.4 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was an overall +2.1 in three successive up or flat moves (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), forfeits one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Entering the top twenty at #19 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2, which gains two-tenths in eight straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3, 6+). As a result of seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.5 and slips from fifth to eighth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – erases February’s half-share loss with a March/April increase of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) and continues in ninth-place. At the same time that WGNE’s adult contemporary sibling WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” slips by four-tenths (8.7 – 8.3, third to a second-place tie, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). It was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Meanwhile, by relinquishing six-tenths in March, WEZI surrendered roughly half of January/February’s +1.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By piling on four-tenths to March’s +.3 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-showing (2.7) since July 2018’s 2.9. A combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is up three-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #11, 6+). After having lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share in four successive negative moves (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” wipes away half that deficit with a +.8 to 2.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). Doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD enters the West Palm Beach top twenty (#22 to #20).

In August 2018, co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent nine sweeps.

Slipping from seventh to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has lost eight-tenths in three successive decreases (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL lost one-tenth in March, it snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). “Today’s Kool 105.5” answers in April with a +.7 to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5, and advances from third to second. Conversely, following a March increase of seven-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-programmed WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” spirals by -1.2 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (second to third). “Sunny” was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+). Up six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is steady in fourth-place and has its highest 6+-share (5.9) since May 2018’s 6.2. Immediately on the heels of erupting with a +2.0 in March, co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” craters by an even more humongous -2.2 (9.2 – 11.2 – 9.0, 6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its March 11.2 is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. A cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” halts the slide by picking up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and remains in ninth-place. Off one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute gospel WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” fades from #15 to #20.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.2 in March/April (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” was +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

After more than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth to .8 (#15 to #14, 6+).

While it remains anchored at #13 for the 12th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” erodes by seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+). Off three-tenths to .5 (#16 to #17, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC halts at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia CHR WMKS have generated a collective +1.8 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “100.3 Kiss-FM” climbs from tenth to ninth and reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, April 2018). Improving by seven-tenths (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (6.5 – 7.2, steady at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” (2.5 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to faltering by one-half share in March, WJMH was an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Five straight declines by WQMG resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), but “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” applies the brakes with a +.6 to 9.7 (6+). Moreover, the Entercom urban AC marches to #1 after a March-only stay in the runner-up slot. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 in 2018 before segueing to #2 in December. While setting the pace in January and February (2019), its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January (2019) at 26. In March, WQMG was replaced at #1 by adult hits cluster-mate WSWM “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything,” but the roles are reversed in April, as WQMG pushes “Simon” from first to third. The four most recent fluctuations by WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); and -1.6 in April (9.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to March, the last time WSMW reached #1 was August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March’s 9.8 its best 6+performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it squandered in March (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” loses a cumulative seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). April results keep WPAW and WTQR at #6 and #8, respectively.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in March (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was a combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), progresses from tenth to eighth.

Dipping from #11 to #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is off four-tenths via three straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; and resurfaces in March and April (.1 – .1, #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the tenth straight time (including eight consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Notwithstanding that it has back-to-back upticks of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth-place with its best 6+-showing (7.0) in exactly one year (7.1, April 2018). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in February and March, Entercom’s country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” displays an April improvement of six-tenths and enters the top ten (3.9, #13 to #9, 6+). On top the sixth time in a row and in double-digits the 13th successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless -1.2 in March/April (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012) for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to KJMS, co-owned WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” erodes by -1.0 as well and is actually an overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2018 -.7 and a January +1.5, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a cumulative -1.8 in February, March, and April (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+). Forfeiting the one-half share gain it attained in March (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” drops from #14 to #15. In “Holiday” 2018, WKIM reached the five-share level (6+), but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Its AC rival is steady in third place, but Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” is -1.2 in March/April (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of one-tenth, WRVR’s seven most recent moves were: +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked in third-place, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.4 via four straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips to #15; “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had finished at #14 the past three reports. This marks the 11th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17).

The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

As part of an alternating up/down pattern that began in December 2018, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is +.3 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); -.9 (February); +.1 (March); and -.6 in April (5.3 – 4.7, flat at #9, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” erases half that decline with an April gain of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By racking up a robust increase of nine-tenths after its March +.4 (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.5, unchanged in second-place, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” brings to a halt the down/up pattern it began in August 2018: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+). This (8.5) is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Connecticut’s Classic Rock”  improves by seven-tenths in March/April (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). In addition to climbing from eighth to seventh, “The Whale” has its best 6+-stat since October 2017 (6.0, as well). Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has certainly experienced considerable shifting in each of the past seven reports. “Lite 100.5” was -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); and is -1.3 in April. Although #1 for the 34th consecutive ratings period, WRCH drops to 9.8 (6+); it had been in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. A combined +1.1 in February/March (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); March’s 6.1 is its best 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.5. Flat at #5, Entercom-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.4 in March/April (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), following a January/February +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+).

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff 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. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips

| May 13, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.

With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us.  And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.

Tip: Instead of asking listeners to Follow YOU on Twitter, tell ‘em you’ll Follow THEM.  I’ve grown my own following by making that offer on my TV show: “If you follow me, I’ll follow you.”

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Monday, May 6, 2019

| May 6, 2019

Cumulus Media Names Brian Philips EVP of Content and Audience; Mike McVay to Return to Consulting. Effective today, radio and television executive Brian Philips is being appointed executive vice president, content and audience for Cumulus Media, taking over for Michael McVay, who is returning to full-time consulting, with Cumulus as his first client.  Philips previously served as president of Viacom/MTV Network’s CMT channel.  The press release notes that there, Philips led “the music network’s successful forays into long-form script series, tentpole awards shows, concert specials, and feature films.  He also developed CMT’s successful national radio network.”  Prior to working in TV and film, Philips worked in radio programming with such stations as Cumulus’ WNNX-FM and WWWQ-FM in Atlanta, and KPLX-FM, Dallas.  Cumulus Media CEO Mary Berner says, “We are excited that Brian is joining our leadership team.  A highly accomplished executive, leader, and innovator with substantial experience across today’s media landscape, he comes to us with an impressive and successful track record of growing ratings and expanding audiences.  We look forward to benefiting from the skills and expertise he brings to his new role. I would also like to thank Mike for his significant contributions to Cumulus and for being such a great partner to me.”  McVay underscores that the decision to leave Cumulus and return to consulting was entirely his.  In praising McVay, Berner adds, “Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, content and programming in 2015 are too numerous to count.  To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the office of programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth.  We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations.  Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful ‘The Ben Shapiro Show.’  Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening.”

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show. On smart talk stations, weekends are appointment listening and might be the two most profitable days of the week, “NOT incompatible goals” according to consultant Holland Cooke.  “Yet,” he notes, “programming Saturdays and Sundays can be high-maintenance for stations, and getting airtime is challenging for talent.” In this week’s Monday Memo, HC recommends a win-win road map to weekend airtime.  Read it here.

Simonson Named Director of Sales at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Radio sales pro Gregory Simonson is appointed director of sales for Hubbard Radio’s recently acquired West Palm Beach station group that includes news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach “640 The Hurricane,” and four music-formatted stations.  Simonson was most recently general sales manager with Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster.  Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma states, “I’m very happy to welcome Gregory to the Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach family.  His extensive track record of success in traditional and digital media as well as his passion for helping sales people succeed make Gregory a perfect choice to lead our sales team to new heights.”  Last fall, Hubbard agreed to acquire the cluster from Alpha Media for $88 million.

‘Our American Stories’ Passes 180-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from American Private Radio announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations to the program’s roster, putting over the 180-station mark. APR president and show host Lee Habeeb says, “Stations told us they wanted a radio program that wasn’t always about politics, to give listeners a break from the news cycle.  More importantly, they love the topics we share every night, and we take great pride in putting stories together that touch our listeners’ hearts and minds.  People walk away feeling better when they listen to ‘Our American Stories.’”  New stations include Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast is being launched starring iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, titled, “Math & Magic: Stories From the Frontiers of Marketing,” on the iHeartPodcast Network beginning on May 14.  The program will feature interviews with “visionary executives from the media and entertainment industries.”  In the first two episodes. Pittman talks with Maurice Levy, who, during his tenure as CEO of Publicis Groupe, increased the value of the company by 100 times and expanded a French agency into a true global advertising and communications leader; and Scooter Braun, renowned talent entrepreneur, investor and entertainment executive who boosted the careers of international superstars such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and many others…..Boston Herald-based nationally syndicated columnist and Boston Herald Radio show host Adriana Cohen recently hosted President Trump on her weekly program. Cohen tells TALKERS that the almost-20-minute interview went viral after being picked up by Politico, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Fox News, The Blaze, The Hill, and others…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that staffers at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM are getting some backing from fellow union members as they negotiate with the company for raises for the newsroom’s eight assistant producers.  The Writers Guild of America will rally outside the WBBM studios in the Prudential Building today (5/6)…..Washington University in St. Louis is awarding seven people with honorary degrees at a ceremony during the school’s 2019 commencement on May 17 and one of those is SiriusXM Urban View talk host Joe Madison.  The commencement address will be delivered by Michael Bloomberg.  Madison graduated from Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in 1971…..WTMJ, Milwaukee cleaned up at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards Gala in Madison over the weekend.  The Good Karma Brands news/talk station won first place in 21 categories, including: News/Talk Large Market Station of the Year, Radio News Operation of the Year (Large Market); Social and Digital Operation of the Year (Large market); Best Newscast: Wisconsin’s Afternoon News; and more. Pictured below with the station’s awards are WTMJ staffers (from l-r): Nick Van Wagenen, Erik Bilstad, Jordan Gasiorowski, Steve Wexler, Steve Scaffidi, Jane Matenaer, Jay SorgiBrad Lane, Doug Russell, Melissa Barclay, and Mike Spaulding.

Mueller Report/Trump on Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Politics, China Trade War Escalation, U.S.-Iran Tensions, North Korea Missile Test, Israel-Gaza Violence, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Avengers: Endgame, Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the release of the Mueller Report and President Trump’s tweets saying Robert Mueller should not testify before congress; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; markets react as Trump threatens to ramp up U.S.-China trade war; U.S. carrier group heads to Iran in response to reports of Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; reaction to North Korea’s latest missile test; the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the Avengers: Endgame movie sets new record; the Kentucky Derby winner is disqualified; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

George Beasley Inducted into PA Radio Hall of Fame. Pictured above is Beasley Broadcast Group founder and chairman George Beasley at center with his wife Ann and surrounded by their family at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Gold Medal Awards Dinner yesterday (5/5) in Hershey where he was inducted into the PAB’s Hall of Fame.  Beasley was inducted with fellow honorees: comic and actor/director Bob Saget, Pittsburgh Steelers great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and C-SPAN correspondent Steve Scully.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles alternative rocker KROQ announces the debut of the afternoon drive “Stryker and Klein” program featuring Ted Stryker (left) and Kevin Klein (right).  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “Pairing Stryker and Klein is something we could never have imagined just a few years ago.  Individually, they’ve both had tremendous success throughout their careers.  Adding great content to our afternoon programming is something that we’re very committed to and these guys do a fantastic job connecting the music to fun and interesting conversations.”  Stryker has been with the station since 1999.  Klein hosted mornings on the company’s KITS-FM, San Francisco “Live 105.” He was slated to be the morning host at sports talk KWFN, San Diego but the infamous Coronado Bridge social media post bit derailed his gig on that station…..The search is on for the new morning show at Entercom’s country WUSN, Chicago “US99” after Doug Stylz and Justin Roman exited the station on Friday (5/3).  The duo previously hosted the morning show at sister CHR WBBM-FM, “B96” before taking on the morning show role at “US99.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated evening personality Delilah recently hosted the “Our Town, Our Heroes Celebration,” a local event recognizing listeners for their outstanding work in the Wilmington, Delaware area, produced by Beasley-owned affiliate WJBR, Wilmington “Mix 99.5.”  In addition to helping honor local citizen’s Delilah was surprised by WJBR as the station honored her for her philanthropic efforts with her non-profit foundation, Point Hope, that serves as a voice for forgotten children in the U.S. foster care system and in West Africa.

Monday Memo: Show Me Your Show

| May 6, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Talk radio PDs are haunted by enthused wanna-be’s with “a GREAT idea for a weekend show.”

But they’re unproven on-air performers.  Sadly, pay-for-play is now business-as-usual, and coaching is minimal at best.

Turnover hurts.

Many who do get a crack at on-air work don’t pan-out long-term. They meant well, and swore up-and-down that they’d show up, weekend after weekend.  But after 60-90 days of show prep and being cooped-up in a radio station while all their friends are having a good time every weekend, they run out of gas.

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Monday, April 29, 2019

| April 29, 2019

Beasley Broadcast Group Q1 Net Revenue Up 4.6%.  The 2019 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group includes the acquisition of WXTU, Philadelphia and reveals net revenue of $57.7 million – an increase of 4.6% over the $55.2 million figure from the first quarter of 2018.  The company says the increase “reflects growth in the company’s Philadelphia cluster primarily related to the September 2018 acquisition of WXTU-FM, growth in the company’s Tampa cluster primarily related to the 2018 acquisition of an event company, and revenue growth in three of the company’s other radio markets, partially offset by declines in the remaining markets where the company operates.”  Station operating income rose $0.6 million or 6.2% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.2 million.  The year-over-year increase reflects the net revenue growth during the period which more than offset a 4.3% year-over-year rise in station operating expenses related to the company’s expanded platform.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “The ongoing execution of our strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix and leverage the value of our premium local brands and content continued to serve Beasley well in the first quarter of 2019.  The strength of our station clusters in three of our top five largest revenue markets as well as contributions from recent acquisitions and station swaps resulted in a 4.6% revenue increase and more than offset the $0.8 million year-over-year decline in revenue from our prior relationship with United States Traffic Network, which was discontinued in the third quarter of 2018.  As a result, Beasley’s first quarter net income rose to $1.4 million, we generated a 6.2% year-over-year increase in SOI and generated an overall margin improvement.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Sports Talk Radio to be Spotlighted at Forthcoming Talkers Convention.  An examination of sports talk radio will be one of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  There will be two significantly pertinent sessions addressing spoken-word radio from the sports talk perspective.  The first will be a one-on-one discussion between two leading influencers in the genre.  Mark Chernoff, SVP programming WFAN/Entercom New York and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio will be in direct conversation with Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.  The introducer/facilitator of this conversation will be nationally syndicated talk generalist Kate Delaney, host of “The Kate Delaney Show” (Genesis Communications Network) and weekend contributor to NBC Sports Radio.  The other major sports talk session featured at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will be a special keynote address delivered by nationally syndicated CBS Sports Radio superstar Jim Rome, titled, “Engaging the Already Informed.”  Rome will address the challenges presented in the modern era of heightened, amplified, and sped up communications – not just in sports talk but in all forms of talk radio – in which the audience already has the basic information about what’s happening news-wise within the genre before the conversation even begins.  Don’t miss these sessions!  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout. To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Just 28% of news/talk stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share increase from February to March, while 51% went down.  Comparing year-over-year ratings, half the stations on our panel were up and half were down, with some notable movement from some of the country’s prominent news/talk outlets.  iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati rose 2.6 shares from March 2018 to March 2019 while Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City and iHM’s WISN, Milwaukee both dropped 2.4 shares year-over-year.  Just two news/talk outlets ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More Than Ever. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that too many radio stations don’t spend enough capital promoting themselves.  “One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as ‘big,’ and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.”  Need reasons why you should be promoting your station?  Read Cooke’s column here.

AM Signals Profiled in Politico Piece. Different people have different opinions about the efficacy of AM radio in the 21st century, but a piece published recently in Politico presents a view of six AM broadcasters who connect with their audience in unique ways that belie their humble AM platforms.  The gist of the story is that there are audiences being served in very important ways via a broadcast technology that many – including a fair number in the radio industry – believe is past its prime.  But the cases illustrated in the piece indicate that for some, the value of the radio station is immeasurable.  Read it here.

Salem Media Group Profiled by The Hollywood Reporter. The piece is written by Jeremy Barr and is titled, “How Salem Is Quietly Becoming a Conservative Media Giant.”  The story quotes several Salem Media Group execs – including SVP Phil Boyce – as it lays out the company’s philosophy of presenting consistently conservative radio programming and digital conservative news and opinion sites that target politically aware and conservative Americans. The company also offers Christian talk and music programming.  SVP of spoken word programming Phil Boyce says the Salem Radio Network’s lineup was created purposefully.  “Every weekday, from 6:00 am ET to midnight, Salem broadcasts talk radio programming that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a linkage between all of the shows and while not all stations take our entire lineup, all of them could and you would not get tired of it.”  Read the whole piece here.

Lynn Woolley Show Returns to the Air in Central Texas. Longtime, Texas-based radio talk show host Lynn Woolley is going back on the air in Central Texas.  Via a deal with M&M Broadcasters, the Lynn Woolley show will be heard on sports talk outlets KLRK-AM/K257GO, Waco and KTON-AM/K230CH, Killeen-Temple-Belton, beginning on May 6.  Woolley has broadcast from studios in Temple for the past 23 years but the show will re-locate to Waco and will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  He says, “I could not be happier to work with some of the biggest names in Central Texas radio.  David Smoak is a nationally known sportscaster and the voice of the Baylor Bears. John Morris also broadcasts with M&M. I’m a Longhorn by nature, but I can guarantee that at least 10 times each season, I’ll be pulling for the Bears!”

Galaxy Media Appoints Dana Loucks CFO.  Taking over as the chief financial officer for Galaxy Media is Dana Loucks.   Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says Loucks will assume the CFO duties on May 14.  “We got to know Dana some years back as he was our banker for a period of time.  His tremendous knowledge of finance combined with a wonderful personality made him my first and only choice to succeed our great CFO Mike Lucarelli who is retiring.”  Loucks says, “I am truly looking forward to working with Ed and the rest of the progressive team at Galaxy Media.  Their longstanding commitment to quality in all areas of the business is a testament to the team’s dedication and work ethic. I am excited for the opportunity to join them and contribute to Galaxy’s continued success.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York State Broadcasters Association announces the winners of its Excellence in Broadcasting awards for 2019.  In the large market category, WABC, New York’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” takes home the Outstanding Morning Show award.   In the medium market category, WHAM, Rochester was honored with the Outstanding Newscast award…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that it is handling syndication of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis.”  The program has been syndicated by Premiere Networks and it’s unclear from the SBG press release if Premiere is out of the picture and SBG is handling ad sales as well as affiliate sales.  Lewis is quoted saying, “We are so thrilled to partner with Sun Broadcast Group.  This is such a great opportunity for our format to reach new audiences. We have something for everybody no matter what you believe in.  We can’t wait to see what Jason Bailey and his team can do with our show and bring it to the next level. The support and dedication we have received from SBG so far has been incredible.”…..Texas Radio Hall of Famer Roger Emrich died on Saturday (4/27) after suffering a heart attack last week.  The 62-year-old broadcasters was a regular personality on KRLD-AM and the Texas State Network.  Emrich was also the stadium announcer for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Mueller Report Release Aftermath, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump’s Wisconsin Rally, California Synagogue Attack, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the politics surrounding the election; President Trump’s rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Saturday; the deadly attack at a California synagogue; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Jon Manley exits Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” where he’d been serving as APD, music director, and afternoon personality for the past five years…..Producer JP Allen joins Entercom’s country KMLE, Phoenix as producer for the “Maria & Chad” morning drive show. Allen has been with the company’s WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” producing the “Jeff and Jenn” show…..Entercom alternative outlet KROQ, Los Angeles reveals the lineup for this year’s 27th annual “KROQ Weenie Roast.”  As the event moves to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, California on Saturday, June 8, it will feature: The Lumineers, 311, Silversun Pickups, The Revivalists, Catfish and the Bottlemen, X Ambassadors, Flora Cash, Smith & Thell, and The Regrettes.  Entercom Los Angeles SVP Jeff Federman says, “We’ve always believed ‘Weenie Roast’ belonged on the beach and we are thrilled that after 27 years we are finally able to dig our feet in the sand.  We look forward to entertaining our listeners with this amazing lineup featuring some of their favorite artists that they hear on KROQ.”

Monday Memo: Promotion, Now More than Ever

| April 29, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — On a sales call while visiting a client station, the prospect asked how many listeners we’ve lost “now that everyone has SiriusXM.”  Although we could easily demonstrate satellite radio’s actual penetration, and that our cume is actually up lately, perception is reality, eh?

One of radio’s enduring and painful ironies is that we sell advertising, but many stations DO none…which advertisers notice.  And, conversely, they view stations that do promote as “big;” and they feel that stations’ off-air promotion supports the schedules we’ve sold them.

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Monday Memo: Promos 101

| April 22, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI –Nothing we say on-air can add listeners. Because the only people who hear promos are already listening.

On-air promotion should accomplish two things:

  1. Add Time Spent Listening by explaining why and how to use the station again another time. Mathematically, that’ll move-the-needle even quicker than a bunch of expensive TV spots or billboards, which do invite sampling, but are inviting everyone.  But your listeners already know you and use you.  So with promos, you’re “buying a spot schedule on your own air,” the most-efficient medium for reaching your own listeners.
  2. Enhance recall. I’m not against ear candy, when promos convey the essence of stations and shows.  But be careful that cute, self-amused imaging doesn’t obscure the message.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

| April 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Promos 101.  With the important Spring ratings survey underway, station imaging needs to be on-message.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines strategy and tactics.  Your station promos should add Time Spent Listening and enhance recall.  Learn more about how to accomplish that here.

Kristin Roderick Upped to VP at Townsquare Media. Sales pro Kristin Roderick is promoted from her director of regional partnerships position with Townsquare Media to vice president of partnership sales for New Jersey.  She states, “No media company has a stronger platform in New Jersey than Townsquare to help our clients achieve their marketing objectives.  I’m looking forward to leveraging Townsquare’s dynamic and diversified marketing platform to help some of the biggest and best agencies and businesses in the area accomplish their goals and increase their business.”  Roderick joined Townsquare in November of 2017.  She has held general sales manager and director of agency sales positions at iHeartMedia New York and a senior account executive position at Emmis Communications New York.

KMOX, St. Louis Personality Harry Hamm Charged with Child Pornography Possession and Sodomy.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is reporting that KMOX-AM, St. Louis entertainment reporter and host Harry Hamm has been charged with possession of child pornography, incest and second-degree statutory sodomy after an underage relative reported alleged sexual abuse to police.  St. Ann, Missouri police say that Hamm confessed to the allegations during an interview.  Entercom issued the following statement regarding Hamm. “We have just learned of the troubling allegations against Harry Hamm.  We take these matters very seriously and have placed him on immediate leave as we investigate.  We do not have any further comment at this moment.”

Mueller Report Released, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Church Bombings, 2020 Presidential Politics, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the politics surrounding the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border; the deadly Easter Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Sri Lanka; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports WFAN sports talk personality Mike Francesa tweeted over the weekend that he’s making his final comment about the dispute between his station and crosstown rival WEPN “ESPN New York” over the afternoon drive ratings.  As you may recall, ESPN is touting PM driver Michael Kay’s ratings for the Winter survey (Jan., Feb., March), saying he beat Francesa in Men 25-54.  However, when adding WFAN’s streaming numbers, Francesa beats Kay.  The issue here is whether WFAN’s stream – which airs different ads than the over-the-air signal – should count.  Francesa obviously believes it should.  He tweeted: “This is the last time I will ever make a statement about the calculation of the radio ratings.  There is only one possible way to read them. Anyone, and that means anyone, who says differently is either a fool or a liar. Case closed.”…..WABC, New York morning personality Sid Rosenberg celebrated his 52nd birthday on air last week and was greeted with Happy Birthday wishes from a number of his high-profile friends, including: TV host and prosecutor Bob Bianchi, Chris Matthews, Goumba Johnny, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Kay, and Jim Kerr.  During the segment with Taylor, the two discussed rehab, aging, and enjoying the little things in life.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Montgomery CHR outlet WHHY-FM “Y102” names Gordie Daniels co-host of the morning show with incumbent morning personality Tommy Fields.  Daniels previously worked on air at WJHM, Orlando and WLLD, Tampa.  WHHY program director Jay Rio says, “It will be exciting to hear a new fresh and real sound from Gordie Daniels for the ‘Y102’ morning show.  His experience, work ethic, and extensive background in mornings, working with ‘Orlando & The Freak Show’ in Tampa and ‘The Wake Up Posse’ morning show in Orlando as co-host and morning show producer makes Gordie the best talent to begin our day for ‘Y102.’”…..iHeartMedia’s Philadelphia alternative rocker WRFF “Radio 104.5” announces its annual series of Summer Block Parties.  The kick-off event takes place on June 23 at Xfinity Live! featuring live performances by Catfish and the Bottlemen, Flora Cash, Oliver Tree, and Matt Maeson. Station PD and air personality John Allers says, “We’re very excited to offer our listeners another summer of free concerts with their favorite bands.  We’re also thrilled to continue our partnership with Xfinity Live! as we move this year’s series of events to a new location.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces Natalia Ospina joins the company as an ad sales assistant.  Ospina was previously with Entravision Media Group serving as national TV sales account coordinator.  Ospina will be based out of New York City supporting the SBG lineup that includes “The Fitz Show,” “Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister,” Michael Baisden, Jim Brickman, Alfonso Ribeiro, Ana-Maria Canseco and many others.

March 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. March 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 March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. 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 below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) doesn’t prevent Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” from progressing from #12 to #10.

Four straight decreases by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX accounted for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), but “The Horn” ends the slide with a one-tenth March gain to 1.7 (#20 to #17, 6+). In a somewhat similar situation, iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” was down three-tenths via four consecutive down or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) but picks up two-tenths to .6 (flat at #24, 6+).

The three most recent shifts by University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); and +.7 in March (8.8 – 9.5, #1 for the third time in a row, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On the strength of a +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” advances from fourth to third. It’s the first time KLZT reaches the six-share level (6.7, 6+) since October 2016 (6.1). It is a different story though for Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK. Immediately after dialing up a +1.2 (3.4 – 4.6, 6+), “Spirit 105.9” forfeits the entire increase (4.6 – 3.4, -1.2, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #12). February’s 4.6 marked the first time KFMK reached the four-share level (6+) since May 2017 (4.0). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” In its first sweep in the new format, “Star” is off nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.1, #17 to #20, 6+). The station it now chases – Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ – loses one-half share (5.5 – 5.0, 6+), dropping from fourth to seventh. The eight most recent shifts for “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday” are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); and -.5 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In three straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall +1.8 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4, sixth to fifth, 6+). “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). After posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.1 in February/March (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1, third to sixth, 6+). 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+). Eliminating February’s gain of four-tenths with a decrease nearly twice that size (2.7 – 2.0, -.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” slides from #13 to #16. A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). The market’s country outlet in positive territory this sweep is KVET-FM sibling KASE, which adds two-tenths after February’s -.6 (4.3 – 4.5, 6+) and jumps from tenth to eighth. “Austin’s #1 For New Country” spiraled by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and improved by +1.2 in January.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is an overall +1.9 and repeats in fifth-place. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” regains the three-tenths it lost in February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+) and progresses from #19 to #18.

A gain of seven-tenths by Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC (1.7 – 2.4, 6+) takes “99.9 The Fan” from #17 to #14.

Despite dropping two-tenths (7.5 – 7.3, 6+), WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from fourth to third. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk outlet has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); second to fourth (February, -.6); and now fourth to third.

Raleigh Music Formats – Without a loss the third time in a row for a net gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+) Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” has its best 6+-showing (3.7) since June 2018’s 3.8. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had been +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders six-tenths to 5.4 (6+) yet advances from eighth to a seventh-place tie. Notwithstanding that it is trending 11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 (6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the eighth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February. January’s 11.0 is WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Ups/downs continue for Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5,” which was -2.6 (January); +1.6 (February); and is -.9 in March (8.6 – 7.7, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. A February gain of six-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” is cleared away by a March dip of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). February’s 6.2 is its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” is off six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, #13 to #16, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (1.9) since September 2018’s  1.7. Locked on 7.6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018 and then on 7.8 (6+) in January and February, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” regresses by one-half share to 7.3 (6+) but remains in third-place. Having more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” forfeits one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) and stays at #20. Co-owned regional Mexican WYMY is a collective -1.4 in three straight declines (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “La Ley 101.1” more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a decrease of eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4, third to sixth, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC concludes an odd streak. In the past four sweeps, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February.

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” which was in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (6+), is unchanged in 6+-share (2.0) and 6+-rank (#16). It remains three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which – likewise – repeats February’s 6+-share (1.7) and 6+-rank (#17).

In addition to advancing from eighth to seventh, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI is an overall +1.5 via three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats

The market’s 6+ country share inflates by +1.8, with Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” jumping from sixth to second, and Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” improving from seventh to fifth. Regarding WFMS, “The Country Station” obliterates February’s -1.0 with a +1.1 (7.2 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+), while “Hank” replicates February’s +.7 and is a collective +2.2 as a result of three straight upticks (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); and +1.1 (March). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Not only does Entercom hot AC WNTR crack the top ten (#11 to #10), “107.9 The Mix” (4.1 – 5.1, +1.0, 6+) has its highest 6+-stat (5.1) since January 2018’s 5.5. The three most recent shifts for Cumulus Media’s WJJK are January’s +2.9 (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); and -.6 in March (9.1 – 8.5, 6+). Nonetheless, “Classic Hits 104.5” is #1 for the third month in a row. After spending six straight sweeps on top, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0 (October 2018), the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Faltering by six-tenths in addition to WJJK are iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” (6.8, second to fourth, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.3 – 5.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). The December 2018 – February 2019 topline for “Q-95” was 7.7 – 7.3 – 7.7 – 7.4 (6+). After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, WZPL was +1.7 in January/February; it reached the six-share level (6.3, February 2019, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – With a December 2018 through February 2019 topline of 6.8 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.2 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ  drops three-tenths to 5.9 (fifth to fourth, 6+), marking the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” has been below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). By picking up one-tenth in January, the flagship of the Bucks and Brewers halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). Some of its representative shifts include -.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). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” spirals by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+).

By tacking on one-half share to February’s +.1 (.8 – 1.3, , 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI vaults from #20 to #15. Prior to February’s increase, “94.5 ESPN” was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). WKTI catches Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which had been trending 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 (6+), but drops one-tenth to 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). With the caveat that in late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game,” the station’s December 2018 through March 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 (#22 to #21, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is up one-tenth (.2 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).

A collective +1.2 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM bumps up from tenth to ninth. Down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD drops from #15 to #18.

Milwaukee Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” are -.6 (January); +.5 (February); and +1.1 in March (3.0 – 4.1, #13 to #12, 6+). Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.1) is its best since July 2019 (4.1, as well). Posting a nine-tenths’ gain in back-to-back sweeps is Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), which rockets from eighth to third and reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). While it is #1 for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” erodes by eight-tenths (10.2 – 9.4, 6+). Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its five latest fluctuations are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); and -.8 (March). Even though it has been without a direct country competitor since November (2018) when WKTI flipped to sports talk, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL was -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.5 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+) and is a combined -2.1 in February/March (7.5 – 6.6 – 5.4, third to seventh, 6+). On the positive side, “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” was +1.3 in January. In back-to-back sweeps urban contemporary sibling WKKV erodes by -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+). Even though it returns all but one-tenth of February’s +.6 (6.4 – 5.9, -.5, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” continues in fourth-place. A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, “Holiday” 2018, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history, but later spiraled by -4.5 (January 2019).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Level at 3.6 (6+) following a February gain of four-tenths, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN slips from #12 to #13. Prior to February’s +.4, “Super Talk 99.7” was without an increase the previous  four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). In addition to bumping up from #19 to #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nets seven-tenths via three straight improvements (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); and +1.1 in March (4.4 – 5.5, tenth to sixth, 6+). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (flat at #17) is also in an up/down sequence that covers the same timeframe: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7, (6+).

A loss of nine-tenths (5.7 – 4.8, 6+) sends Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM from sixth to tenth. “NPR News and Classical Music” was a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – The four most recent shifts for Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and +1.1 in March (6.7 – 7.8, third to second, 6+). This (7.8) is the highest 6+-stat for Nashville’s “Jack” since August 2018 (7.8, as well). Its +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018 curtailed five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). One full-share ahead of WCJK is its adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is #1 for the 15th successive ratings period but an overall -5.3 in three straight downturns (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). Recent fluctuations for “Mix” 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); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); and -.5 (March). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An increase of six-tenths by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” (6.1 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) puts an end to its December 2018 through February 2019 topline of 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1. Over and above being a collective +2.0 as a result of four straight positive spikes (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1, steady at #5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” reaches the six-share level for the first time since June 2013 (6.1, as well). Tied in eighth place are iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which nets a +1.5 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which is off two-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). A combined +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+), directly after being -1.4 via five straight down or flat reports (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” falters by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+). Off by six-tenths each are Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0, #12 to #14, 6+) and WAY Media’s similarly-formatted WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (#18 to #21). WLVU had been trending 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 (6+); WAYM is a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Off two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), after picking up one-tenth in February, Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” continues in seventh-place. Its February increase suspended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). Despite returning February’s +.2 (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ  continues at #11; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” was up seven-tenths in January. Co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is down a collective four-tenths via three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+) and is flat at #18. In addition to nearly tripling (+.5) its 6+-stat in four straight (modest) increases (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

A loss of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6, 6+) drops Entercom sports talk WVEI from sixth to eighth. A combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), WVEI was up seven-tenths in January and down one-tenth in February.

Just as they were in February, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH are tied at #12; each has a 1.9 – 1.6, -.3, (6+) profile. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia’s WHJY net a +2.0 in four consecutive ratings periods without a loss (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+), “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” is #1 for the third straight month and cracks double-digits (10.5, 6+). Prior to taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. In three straight gains (6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” is a cumulative +1.4 and advances from fourth to third with its best 6+-stat (7.8) since September 2018’s 8.4. Jumping from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (+.5, 6+) continues its up/down pattern that commenced in September 2018: 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 4.3. Although it drops from third to fourth, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in three straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). A combined -1.6 in February/March (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+), WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” carries on in ninth-place. The Townsquare Media CHR had more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). Owing to a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (6.0, flat at #5, 6+), ends a down/up pattern that existed from September 2018 through February 2019: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February.

Norfolk – After picking up two-tenths in February (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL sputters by -1.3 to 11.6 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in a row. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Even though it is off by -1.3, WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 37th time in the last 38 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. In back-to-back (January and February) sweeps, co-owned WNVZ posted increases of one-full share (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, 6+), but “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” falters by four-tenths in March to 5.2 (steady at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted 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+). Unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV is a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). Down or (mostly) flat the past five sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6      -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling WHBT “92.1 The Beat” erases the deficit with a +.3 to 1.6 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Three straight gains by Entercom hot AC WPTE yield a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, steady at #7, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, “94.9 The Point” was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). A combined -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is up three-tenths to 6.6 (flat at #4, 6+). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.6 in February/March (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” segues from first to second. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Down or flat for the fifth consecutive time, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost one-half share in that stretch (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3, 6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+) and carries on at #12.

Jacksonville Music Formats – In three successive sweeps without a loss, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” nets a +2.1 (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+) and is steady at #4. Over and above being +1.6 as a result of three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” progresses from second to first. Immediately prior to this streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). Five straight sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT resulted in a net gain of eight-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+) but “93.3 The Beat” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (flat at #5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WSOL is a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+); “V-101.5” was +1.2 in January. Even though Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI surrenders roughly half of January/February’s +1.1 (5.1 – 4.5, -.6, 6+), “Easy 102.9” remains in eighth-place. Its January increase of seven-tenths stymied a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” – is up three-tenths to 8.7 (steady at #3, 6+), after having lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). WEJZ was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Owing to six consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.0, yet actually climbs from seventh to fifth. Meanwhile, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” erases 40% of February’s half-share loss with a gain of two-tenths (3.8 – 4.0, 6+) and stays in ninth-place. Part of that three-way logjam at #9 is iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station,” which is +1.8 in three gains in succession (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). WWJK was a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – With a gain of three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” enters the top ten (#12 to #10) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (2.3, as well). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Furthermore, WJNO leapfrogs co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches,” which is a combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, #11 to #12, 6+). WZZR was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. As a result of four successive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, #15 to #17, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD doubles (+.5) its West Palm Beach-stat (.5 – .7 – 1.0, 6+) and is anchored at #22.

Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN replicates February’s loss of three-tenths (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+) and slips from sixth to seventh.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Stuck on 9.2 (6+) in January and February, after faltering by -1.0 in January, Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” explodes with a mammoth +2.0 to 11.2 (6+) and is #1 for the third month in a row. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Co-owned adult contemporary WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9,” which was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+), answers with a +.7 to 8.2 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. Steady in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is off one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), snapping at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). In three straight gains (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), cluster-mate WKGR “Gater 98.7 – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” was a combined +1.5, but that increase vanishes completely with a -1.5 to 3.8 (flat at #5, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which notched a one-half share increase in February to wipe away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Flat at #9, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is a cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering more than half of January/February’s combined +1.4 (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) with a -.8 to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” falls from ninth to tenth. WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

More than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” climbs from #17 to #15.

Flat at 2.3 (6+), after being up a combined half-share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is anchored at #13 for the 11th consecutive time. This marks the fourth consecutive sweep that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC is either up or flat for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, flat at #16, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations by Entercom adult hits WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); and +.9 in March (8.9 – 9.8, 6+) as “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” progresses from second to first with its best 6+performance (9.8) since July 2018’s 10.0. This marks the first time WSMW has reached #1 since August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Displaced from the lead and dropping to second is urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School,” which is -2.3 as the result of five straight declines (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. An overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WJMH “102 Jamz” falters by one-half share to 6.5 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). A collective +.8 in three sweeps in succession without a loss (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). In the last three survey periods, WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” had shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). The Entercom country outlet drops two-tenths in March (5.7 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in sixth-place. Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). After substituting January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is flat at 5.3 (6+) and repeats February’s eighth-place finish; “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” is off one-tenth in March to 4.3 (6+) and slips from eighth to tenth.

Locked on 4.0 (6+) in January and February, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” drops one-tenth to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #11. Co-owned WMC-AM is without an increase for the ninth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1, 6+); “ESPN 790” is anchored at #18.

Memphis Music Formats – Continuing an up/down pattern that started in November 2018 (5.6 – 6.2 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth place with its highest 6+-figure (6.4) since April 2018’s 7.1. After reaching the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+); however, “98.9 The Bridge” picks up one-half share in March to 1.6 (#15 to #14, 6+). Meanwhile, the seven most recent moves by its AC rival – Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” – are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 in March (8.9 – 7.8, flat at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Albeit off two-tenths (11.6 – 11.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is #1 for the fifth time in a row and in double-digits for the 12th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+); “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 was KJMS’ highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). Following back-to-back (January/February) gains of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO forfeits one full-share to 8.9 but remains in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). On the heels of February’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” falters by another half-share (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4, sixth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018.   

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three straight upticks (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.1 (which includes March’s +1.4) and progresses from sixth to third. Down two-tenths (1.3 – 1.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is at #14 for the third month in a row.

The November 2018 through March 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 (#13 to #12, 6+).

Up one-tenth (5.2 – 5.3, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR remains in ninth-place. “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 (February). A loss of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.1, 6+) sends University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” from #12 to #14.

Hartford Music Formats – Tacking on six-tenths to February’s half-share increase (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” carries on in seventh-place with its best 6+-stat (6.1) since August 2018’s 6.5. Continuing a down/up pattern it commenced in August 2018, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” has a topline of: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+) and pushes up from third to second. 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 (6+). Notwithstanding that it relinquishes in its entirety February’s +1.0 (12.1 – 11.1, -1.0, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH is #1 for the 33rd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (11.1, 6+) for the 30th time in the last 32 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7,” which was a combined +1.1 in January/February (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), erodes in March by -1.3 to 6.6 (6+) and slips from the runner-up slot to fifth. After trending 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 (December 2018 through February 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” regresses by six-tenths to 6.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+).

Monday Memo: The Podcast Consumer 2019

| April 15, 2019

Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI –  Last week in Las Vegas, the message was unmistakable.  While the National Association of Broadcasters’ mission remains advocating for FCC-licensees, the clear message to broadcasters at the NAB Show was to augment on-air with on-demand.  More, ICYMI in last week’s column:

http://www.talkers.com/2019/04/08/monday-memo-2019-nab-show/

For AM/FM talkers and bloggers, “on-demand” = “podcasting,” a topic we discussed with Michael Harrison and Fred Jacobs on my TV show:
https://youtu.be/sj8PRAG99rg

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2019 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 9, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

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

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

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

| April 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 8, 2019

| April 8, 2019

Monday Memo: 2019 NAB Show. The NAB Show is underway in Las Vegas, and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke reports that the convention focus is taking the term “broadcast” quite literally.  He writes: “Huge banners atop the Convention Center proclaim ‘Every story starts here,’ and reiterate the theme of the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention these past several Aprils: ‘Where content comes to life.’ As opposed to ‘where content feeds transmitters.’  While the NAB’s mission remains lobbying on behalf of FCC licensees, its unmistakable message to attendees is – as NPR VP/distribution Michael Beach put it – ‘be offering your content anywhere and everywhere you can do it.’”  Read HC’s column here.

Marc Hochman and WQAM, Miami Sign Extension. Miami sports talk personality Marc Hochman signs a new, long-term contract to continue co-hosting the afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk WQAM.  Hochman works on air with former Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder on the “Hoch and Crowder” afternoon drive show.  Hochman says, “I’m so fortunate to be able to continue doing this show with Channing Crowder and our super producer Erick Falero.  The community we’ve built on the air is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever accomplished on radio.”  He previously served in the market as executive producer for the “Dan Le Batard Show,” based at sister sports talker WAXY-AM, Miami.

Carver Appointed to Market President Post at Townsquare Media’s Amarillo Cluster. Sales and management pro Carolyn Carver is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Amarillo, Texas cluster that includes news/talk KIXZ and three music-formatted stations.  Carver says, “I’m so excited to be back with Townsquare.  The vision, passion, and commitment of Bill Wilson and Erik Hellum to the industry, its clients, and their people is what has set them apart from all others.  The company has a motto of ‘You Matter’ and they stand behind that.  It starts from the top down and it is refreshing to see leaders who believe in their people and make them feel a part of something grand.”

Mike Gallagher Packs the House at WJJK, Montauk’s Casino Event.  More than 600 listeners of Red Wolf Broadcasting’s news/talk WJJF, Montauk, Long Island packed the cabaret theater at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut on Saturday (4/6) as Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher and an all-star panel saluted the radio station’s seventh anniversary as a news/talk station.  Station officials say it was the best-attended cabaret event in the station’s history.  And to top it all off, since the following day was Gallagher’s birthday, WJJF arranged for a Marilyn Monroe impersonator to sing “Happy Birthday” a la the famous salute to JFK.

Jimbo Visits Janesville. Nationally syndicated late-night talk radio host Jim Bohannon was in Janesville, Wisconsin on Friday (4/5) for an appearance at affiliate WCLO’s remote broadcast.  Pictured above (from l-r) are: Westwood One’s Bohannon, Al Meehan, owner of Barkley’s Burgers, Brews & Dawgs, where the broadcast o originated; Tom Edwards, Tim Bremel, and Tim Beggs of WCLO; and Mark Finnegan of Vets Roll, an organization that provides trips to the Nation’s Capital for veterans.

TALKERS Notes Notes. Satellite receiver changes are taking place for Salem Radio Network and Salem Music Network that affects affiliates of the company’s Christian programming platform.  Salem is switching from satellite to IP and will be upgrading its receiver fleet in mid-2019 to the XDS platform.  Current Wegener satellite receivers will be replaced and upgraded to an XDS Pro receiver that will be fed completely from the internet.  Salem will continue broadcasting on the current Wegener satellite platform while migrating to the new XDS IP receivers and expect to end the SES-2 Wegener satellite feed in early 2020.  This will affect current Salem Wegener affiliates (Christian on SES-2) and NOT current Westwood One XDS (General Market on SES-11) receivers.  Current affiliates should submit a receiver request here…..Mel Wheelerowned news/talk station WFIR, Roanoke, Virginia was honored with top awards by the Associated Press for radio stations in Virginia’s and West Virginia’s largest cities.  “The Roanoke Valley’s Morning News” was honored for “Best Newscast” in competition with stations in Richmond, Norfolk, and Charleston, West Virginia.  WFIR took home second-place honors for its website. WFIR sports earned first-place honors in the “Best Sports Feature” category for their story on “The Making of Negro League Legend Larry LaGrande.”  The judges also gave the station top honors among Virginia stations for “Best Sports Operation” featuring “Greg Roberts Live.”…..New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is signed up to make weekly live appearances on WEPN, New York’s “Michael Kay Show.”  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley says, “We could not be happier about this partnership.  There is a lot of excitement surrounding one of the NFL’s young rising stars and his future. Listeners will not only get an inside look into his week-to-week journey on the field, but they’ll get to know Sam off the field as another member of the 98.7 family when he joins Michael, Don and Peter every week.”…..Pictured below are KQTM, Albuquerque afternoon personality Jim Villanucci (center) with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (left) and Cooper’s childhood friend and former New Mexico Lobos player Daryl Chestnut (right).  The two appeared on Villanucci’s program to promote their youth football camp.

Kirstjen Nielsen Steps Down from DHS/U.S.-Mexico Border Situation, Trump Tax Returns Issue, Libya Military Action, 2020 Democratic Candidates, Venezuela Tensions, ‘SNL’ Mocks Joe Biden, Netanyahu Campaign/U.S.-Israel Relations, NCAA Final Four, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The forced resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the related state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border; the House Ways and Means Committee’s request for President Trump’s tax returns; the U.S. pulls out of Tripoli as the Libyan National Army approaches the city; the Democratic candidates vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, the tensions in Venezuela over infrastructure failures and the presence of Russian troops; “Saturday Night Live” pokes fun at Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching troubles; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election bid and the state U.S.-Israel relations; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MBL games 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. Los Angeles rock station KLOS is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special one-time-only reunion of the “Mark & Brian Radio Show” on Thursday April 25 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The legendary KLOS morning team retired from the station in August of 2012.  KLOS program director and Cumulus Media rock format captain Keith Cunningham says, “We’re stoked that Mark & Brian have agreed to get the band back together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KLOS.  If not for the Mark & Brian Show, KLOS may not have reached the 50-year milestone.  The show is an enormous part of the brand’s history and the 25th will be an epic day for Southern California radio listeners.”…..NRG Media’s hip hop KOPW, Omaha “Power 106.9” announces the launch of its new morning show, “Chef West And The Morning Scramble,” featuring Tay Westberry and Alyssa Siebken.  Westberry, a.k.a. Mr. West, previously hosted the evening show.  Siebken is a musician who appeared on season 13 of “American Idol.”  KOPW program director Caleb Farnell says, “Tay has his finger firmly on the pulse of the ‘Power’ listener and Alyssa will be able to bring a valuable perspective to the show.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Morris Diamond, a legendary music business player who passed away recently at age 97.  Diamond got his start serving as a gofer for the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.  He later got into song publishing and launched his own label, Beverly Hills Records.  He published a memoir of his encounters with music biz greats from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson titled, The Name Dropper or People I Schlepped With……Pictured below at Westwood One‘s Backstage at the ACM Awards on Friday and Saturday (4/5-6) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas are (from l-r): Mike McVay, EVP programming & content, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; Cumulus Country operations manager Charlie Cook, country artist Lauren Alaina; and Cumulus Media VP, label relations John Kilgo.

Monday Memo: 2019 NAB Show

| April 8, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS  – Huge banners atop the Convention Center proclaim “Every story starts here,” and reiterate the theme of the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention these past several Aprils: “Where content comes to life.”

As opposed to “where content feeds transmitters.”  While the NAB’s mission remains lobbying on behalf of FCC licensees, its unmistakable message to attendees is – as NPR VP/distribution Michael Beach put it — “be offering your content anywhere and everywhere you can do it.”

Read More

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB 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. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…”

| April 1, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Remaining news people: Done well, your work contributes mightily to making your station more habit-forming.  Local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.

Accordingly, these recommendations…

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Monday, March 25, 2019

| March 25, 2019

Monday Memo: Welcome to the Spring Book. Consultant Holland Cooke offers some tips for radio stations in this week’s Monday Memo as the Nielsen Audio spring survey begins on Thursday (3/28). Cooke reminds programmers that the most important listeners are your P1s because research shows that less than 25% of a station’s cume contributes more than 50% of its Average Quarter Hours. The most efficient way to boost AQH share is to get more listening out of your P1s and he offers some ideas on how to do that.  Read it here.

Mike Francesa Hits Twitter in Response to NY Post Piece; Post’s Marchand Fires Back. Last week, TALKERS magazine alerted you to the New York Post story by Andrew Marchand alleging that Entercom’s WFAN, New York had been negotiating with sports personality Adam Schein to take over Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive slot on the station.  Over the weekend, Francesa took to Twitter to correct the “outrageous misinformation” and “outright lies” being spread about his status at the station.  Francesa reiterates he’s working without a contract right now, that Entercom has a long-term offer for him (he hasn’t signed it yet), and that he’s okay with adding a person to the show (in fact, it was his idea).  Francesa doesn’t mention Schein in his tweet but Marchand writes in his column that Francesa “essentially confirmed” last week’s story and asserts that Francesa knows his show needs help to avoid losing the now-tight ratings battle with crosstown WEPN-FM’s Michael Kay show.  Marchand speculates WFAN overnight host John Jastremski might be considered as a co-host.

Bill O’Reilly Returns to Radio with 15-Minute Program.  Titled, “The O’Reilly Update,” the new 15-minute radio program hosted by former, longtime FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly will launch on April 29.  The program is being syndicated by Key Networks for daily delivery at 11:30 am ET with all advertising included – no additional barter units – and two minutes of local avails in the feature.  In the press release, O’Reilly states, “More than ever before, Americans need accurate information and honest news analysis in order to make intelligent decisions.  It is all about protecting yourself and your family.  The daily ‘O’Reilly Update’ will arm you with facts and provide opinion based on those facts.  Can’t wait to get started.”  O’Reilly hosted the nationally syndicated program “The Radio Factor” from 2002-2009.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “On the Mount Rushmore of spoken-word talent you must include Bill O’Reilly.  It’s an honor to bring Bill back to radio to deliver appointment listening and revenue opportunities for affiliate stations in a unique format.”

Hugh Hewitt Named New Head of Richard Nixon Foundation. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is returning to his roots at The Richard Nixon Foundation as he’ll become president and CEO of the organization on July 1.  Hewitt will continue to host his Salem Radio Network program, make appearances on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and write op-eds for the Washington Post.  He’ll split his time between Washington and Yorba Linda, California, the site of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.  Forty years ago, Nixon hired Hewitt as a researcher.  Nixon Foundation chairman Dr. James H. Cavanaugh says, “The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum recently underwent a complete renovation, and the new, interactive museum galleries enjoy increased attendance and positive reviews.  Hugh will lead the Nixon Foundation in its exciting next phase of growth, expanding its presence through national programming with an emphasis on articulating the Nixon legacy of pragmatic realism in domestic and foreign affairs.”  Hewitt says, “Richard Nixon was a grand strategist and master diplomat, and his vision is exactly what is needed today as America faces challenges and opportunities with China, North Korea, Russia, throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The world needs to be reminded of President Nixon’s lasting foreign policies, the strategic methods by which he assessed conflict and disagreement, and how he crafted strategies for resolution — building a more peaceful world.”

Noted Media Figure Rick Ungar Launches Independently Syndicated Progressive Talk Radio Show. “The Rick Ungar Show” launched on March 4, 2019, airing in the 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ET time slot, on the following stations:  WCPT 820 AM, Chicago; KKSF 910 AM, San Francisco; KTNF 950 AM, Minneapolis; KABQ 1350 AM, Albuquerque; and KTRC, 1260 AM/103.7 GM, Santa Fe.  According to Ungar, while the program airs on a charter lineup of progressive stations, The Rick Ungar Show seeks to bring a more open minded, fair approach to the progressive radio landscape by continuing in the tradition of “Rational Radio” established during his years in partnership with Michael Steele on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio program, “Steele & Ungar.” Ungar tells TALKERS, “While my ideology certainly leans to the left, I have never been one who seeks to talk for the left.  My role is to convey the facts – even when they may not favor the left point of view – along with my opinions on those facts. It is then up to the audience to decide where they stand based on the facts presented. I never care if you agree with me or not. But when you are hanging out with your friends over the weekend and the talk turns to politics, I want my listeners to be the smartest, best informed, people in the room.”  The new show is reportedly experiencing call-ins from Trump supporters who are not calling to yell at the host but rather to rationally discuss the issues put on the table.  Ungar continues, “The plans are to be the first nationally syndicated program to be carried by conservative stations in a long time looking to provide their listeners with a view from the other side-presented in a way that is fair, open and welcoming to all viewpoints on the political spectrum.”  Rick came to the world of political talk radio from the entertainment industry where he was a writer and producer. He also served many years as the president of the Marvel Character Group. He additionally serves as the editor-in-chief of www.TheDailyCentrist.com, an on-line news and opinion site dedicated to publishing rational arguments on the issues of the day from all sides of the political spectrum.  To get in touch with Ungar please email rickungar@gmail.com.  Meet Rick Ungar at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday June 7.

FCC Investigating Political Ad Rate Complaint at Entercom Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the Federal Communications Commission investigating whether a politician in the 2018 congressional race got the lowest unit charge as required by law.  Entercom was sent a letter of inquiry for documentation on paid election advertising on news/talk WBEN-AM, sports talk WGR-AM, and five other Buffalo market stations.  Entercom admitted that it had not posted the required information from the 2018 campaigns until just this January but said it was the result of an internal error.  It also told the paper it is working with the FCC on the matter and doesn’t plan further public comment.  The FCC is requesting information about paid candidate ads and non-candidate issue ads that aired on all of Entercom’s Buffalo stations by April 4.

TALKERS News Notes. High-profile psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Jordan B. Peterson joins the Westwood One Podcast Network with his new, eponymous podcast launching this week.  Peterson is joined by his daughter and co-host Mikhaila Peterson as the two break down the dichotomy of life and explain how individuals and culture are shaped by values, music, religion, and beyond…..Washington, DC AM signal WSPZ is being sold bySalem Communications Holding Corporation to Immaculate Heart Media for $750,000.  The 1260 AM signal has been simulcasting Salem’s Christian teaching format heard on WAVA-FM, Washington…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sales pro Peter Bowen is exiting his role at Entercom’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago as director of sports sales after 10 months in the position.  Bowen wrote in an email to colleagues, “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone over the past 10 months.  It was great to reunite with so many familiar faces and friends…and it was awesome to meet so many new people.”  Bowen had previously served in the market as Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager…..Talk show host Bill Carroll – the Canadian who hosted a midday show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles for a number of years – is expanding the reach of his Bell Media program.  He’s currently based at news/talk CFRA, Ottawa and his 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program will now be syndicated across a number of Bell-owned news/talk stations every Friday afternoon…..Wisconsin radio personality Gary Douglas is retiring from the business and his current post with NRG Media as operations manager for the Fort Atkinson/Whitewater cluster and morning host for news/talk WFAW-AM. Douglas’ 46-year career has included stops at WIBA-AM, Madison and WDUZ-AM, Green Bay.  He’ll continue his role as play-by-play voice for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sports broadcasts.

Tennessee’s Stonecom Radio Unveils New Facility.  Pictured above are two images from Stonecom Radio of its new, 10,000-plus square foot facility (left) in Cookeville, Tennessee that’s home to news/talk WUCT-AM/W231DG, country WKXD, rock WBXE, and AC WLQK.  At right is a news studio.  Stonecom unveiled the new building with a ceremony attended by state and local dignitaries.  Tennessee Association of Broadcasters executive director Whit Adamson was in attendance and stated, “Stonecom is led by a true team of broadcasters who are proud to serve the entire region they touch with their signal of each of the respective stations in the cluster.”

Mueller Report Delivered/Trump Claims Victory, Islamic State Victory, Border Wall Issue, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Brexit Redux, Us Film, NBA Action and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller delivers his report on the Trump-Russia investigation to the attorney general’s office and President Trump claims victory; U.S. troops’ taking of the last territory in Syria held by ISIS; the issue of the border wall and reports of another migrant caravan forming in Central America; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Prime Minister Theresa May’s last chance at getting her EU exit deal through Parliament; the box office success of Jordan Peele’s horror film Us; and the NBA and NCAA tournament 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. South Florida hot AC WMIA-FM announces the new “Mack in the Morning with Letty B” program will debut on April 1.   The show stars Miami on-air pro Mack, Los Angeles native co-host Letty B and producer Nick Pena.  Station PD Joey Brooks says, “I am excited to announce Mack, Letty B and Nick as 939 MIA’s morning team.  Not only is this group entertaining, but they are committed to the South Florida community. Individually, each of them brings a unique perspective to the show and I am confident that they will quickly earn listener loyalty.”…..On-air personality Kenny Walker re-ups with WMXJ-FM, Miami “102.7 The Beach” to continue hosting the morning show on the classic hits outlet.  Walker says, “The energy of this station stood out to me when I joined in 2016 and I am honored to continue being a part of our listeners’ daily routines.  I look forward to continue building our station’s brand and connecting with Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.”…..The world famous KROQ, Los Angeles us announcing the 11th annual “Kevin & Bean’s April Foolishness” event hosted by morning show duo Kevin and Bean.  The station says this special anniversary celebrates the prestigious legacy of April Foolishness that blends hysterical stars with the most talented up-and-coming names in all of comedy.  Special guests will include: Adam Ray, Felipe Esparza, Greg Fitzsimmons, Eddie Ifft, Jamie Lee, and Ray Romano.  The event will also feature “The Kevin & Bean Rap Battle” with beatboxer Joshua from “Drop the Mic.”…..Nationally syndicated urban morning radio star DeDe McGuire was in Milwaukee over the weekend appearing at “The Gathering” presented by affiliate station WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3.”  She’s pictured below (center) with listeners at the 17th annual event that gives fans the opportunity  to shop with local vendors, watch music, network,  and meet their favorite Jammin’ 98.3 hosts.  “DeDe in the Morning” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Monday Memo: Welcome to the Spring Book

| March 25, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The Nielsen Audio spring survey begins Thursday, and this one matters a lot, because much of Christmas 2019 will be bought-from – and much of early 2020 will be planned-from – these numbers.

The Quickest Way to Move the Ratings Needle

Heaps of audience data demonstrate this: Get listeners who listen to your station most (so-called “First Preference” or “P1” users) to listen even more.  Sounds like double-talk, but that’s the ballgame.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back

| March 18, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

RED SOX NATION — “Play ball!” will be the magic words fans have been waiting to hear after a long winter.  MILK IT.  Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.

Three tips:

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Monday, March 11, 2019

| March 11, 2019

Monday Memo: Infinite Dial 2019. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo that if you missed the Edison Research/Triton Digital “Infinite Dial 2019” webinar last week, it’s well worth an hour to watch the video and flip through the slides.  If you’re thinking “an HOUR?” you may FIND an hour after reading his short version in this week’s column that you can read here.

FNC’s Tucker Carlson Unapologetic for Bubba the Love Sponge Appearances. Conservative media figure and FOX News Channel talk show host Tucker Carlson is not apologizing for comments made during his appearances on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show between 2006 and 2011.  Variety reports that liberal media watchdog organization Media Matters for America dug up some recordings of Carlson – a regular guest on the show during that period – that include him making a “pejorative statement about Arianna Huffington, Britney Spears and Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter,” as well as downplaying the actions of “Warren Jeffs, the religious leader who had been placed on the FBI’s most-wanted fugitive list on charges he had arranged marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls.”  Last night, Carlson issued the following statement, “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago.  Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch.  Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

‘Our American Stories’ Adds New Affiliates in Denver and Omaha. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program from Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio adds iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver and KFAB, Omaha to its roster of affiliates.  The two-hour, daily magazine-style radio drama is also now being heard on Ashley Communications’ KVEL AM, Vernal, Utah; Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and Tri-County Broadcastings’ WLVA FM, Lynchburg, Virginia.  Habeeb says he is humbled by the continued success of his non-political program that focuses on “what brings America together,” and adds “these partnerships confirm Americans do love well-produced radio programs that entertain and inform.”

John Batchelor Show Broadcasts from Azerbaijan This Week. The WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated John Batchelor show will broadcast live from the Republic of Azerbaijan this week (3/11-15) in conjunction with the Embassy of Azerbaijan and sponsored by multimedia software firm Scala Inc.  Batchelor is joined by colleagues Christopher Nixon Cox and Monica Crowley “traveling the old Silk Road of Marco Polo to the new Silk Road of energy, on the shore of the vast Caspian Sea Basin in the South Caucasus.” Batchelor says, “From Baku, the sparkling growing capital of Azerbaijan, I will head north to the Russian border at Dagestan.  This is the mountain pass route of the ancient Silk Road.  There is much to learn about how the region will prosper as the Silk Road is reawakened with highways, railroad beds and communication networks that link the savvy manufacturers of East Asia to the rich consumer markets of Asia Minor, Russia, and the European Union.  Returning to Baku, I will venture to the critical oil and gas hub at Sangechal, from where energy resources are sent through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean Basin — and soon via the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe.  Importantly, I will be able to interview many private and public voices about the economic development of Azerbaijan and also the region.”

iHeartRadio’s ‘Bear and a Banjo’ Podcast Produced by Legendary Talent. A new, musical podcast will launch later this year on iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio platform called “Bear and a Banjo.” iHM calls it a first-of-its-kind. It’s created by Jingle Jared, Dennis Quaid, and five-time Grammy winner Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (“Despacito,” “Where Are You Now,” “I’m the One” and “Peaches and Cream”) with musical contributions from producer T Bone Burnett (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Crazy Heart”) and original lyrical contribution from Bob Dylan.  Each episode of the eight-part series will tell a self-contained story about a character called Mister Bear.  Bear is a traveling musician who visits different towns across America and impacts people’s lives before vanishing again.  He is often preceded into town by J. Banjo, a charming huckster/card player/preacher/medicine salesman who acts as Bear’s promoter and hype man.  Quaid says, “This is the beginning of an entirely new era of podcasts. With ‘Bear and a Banjo,’ we are delving into a more sophisticated form of storytelling that brings the audience into a lush and rich world – not just through words, but music.”

Josh Rahmani Named SVP National and Network Sales for Radio One and Reach Media. Sales pro Josh Rahmani is promoted from his vice president, national sales for Radio One post to SVP, national and network sales for Radio One and Reach Media.   Company CEO David Kantor says, “Josh has led our national radio team for several years.  He was instrumental in developing and implementing our corporate sales and partnership effort.  Based on this success it made great sense to put our network team under his direction.  All our national sales efforts are now under his direction.  Josh’s commitment and passion for what we do at Radio One has been exhibited over the years, consistently delivering leadership throughout the company and maintaining great relationships with our partners in advertising and sponsorship.”  Rahmani has served with Radio One since 2005.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report from Chicago media maven Robert Feder, WLS-AM, Chicago news reporter Jennifer Keiper resigns from the station where she’s been afternoon news anchor.  The station expects to announce the new afternoon anchor soon.  Meanwhile, Feder reports Keiper commenting, “WLS-AM has treated me well over the last four and a half years, but I felt I had done all I could do there and that it was time for a change.  I have left on very friendly terms and look forward to my next challenge.”…..The independently syndicated “Free Talk Live” show featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliate stations.  Freeman notes that in some instances his libertarian-minded show has taken over the dayparts formerly held by progressive talker Norman Goldman, who recently wrapped production of his program.  New affiliates for “Free Talk Live” include KBBR-AM, North Bend, Oregon. The program has also moved to air live on KABQ-AM, Albuquerque from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..CRN Digital Talk Radio adds “Feed Your Face with Merrill Shindler” to its network roster, effective today (3/11). CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Merrill Shindler is the best culinary and travel expert in the country.  Merrill has been a guest on many of our programs and we are delighted to produce his show for national consumption.”

CORRECTION: Ronn Owens Report Continues on KGO.  The March 7 report in TALKERS about the new program schedule at Cumulus Media‘s KGO, San Francisco stated the longtime KGO personality Ronn Owens was gone from the program schedule.  That is incorrect and the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” continues to be heard three times daily as part of the revised programming schedule on KGO.  TALKERS regrets the error.

TalkersRadio in the Community.  Los Angeles media figure, community organizer and TalkersRadio personality Meg McDonald (r) – who was recently elected president of the Studio City Beautification Association – is pictured with California State Assembly member Adrin Nazarian (D) at the Studio City Residents Association appreciation dinner at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City on Saturday evening (3/9).  The appreciation dinner is an annual event to say thank you to SCRA volunteers, vendors, local businesses and officials who help enhance the quality of life in Studio City.   Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District which encompasses the central-southern San Fernando Valley.  To listen to McDonald’s short-form feature “MEG!” please click here.  MEG! is now available for terrestrial radio clearances.  Interested stations can call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrats’ Omar Problem, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Socialism Debate, Ballooning U.S. Budget Deficit, Venezuela Blackout, Jaguar Attacks Selfie-Taker, Ethiopian Airlines Crash, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The state of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and President Trump’s budget request for $8.6 billion for a border wall; the status of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the anti-Semitism accusations leveled against Rep. Ilhan Omar; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the internal battle between younger, more socialist-leaning Democrats and the older ones; the report of the U.S. budget deficit rising 77% in the past year; Caracas, Venezuela deals with blackouts amidst Nicolas Maduro’s claim the U.S. sabotaged the substation; a zoo-goer in Phoenix is attacked by a jaguar after she jumped the boundary to take a selfie; the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash and the mass grounding of new Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes; 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. Tampa market on-air pro Nick Van Cleve is retiring from Cox Media Group’s classic hits WXGL “107.3 The Eagle” at the end of this month.  In addition to his 15-year gig with WXGL, he’s also served with WXTB-FM, WYNF-FM and WFUS-FM in the Tampa market.  He tells the Tampa Bay Time retirement is “a logical stepping off point for me and my wife. We want to spend time in North Carolina and do some traveling.  I did some backpacking in Europe and got the travel bug.  And I’ve grown weary of getting up at 4:30 am.”…..Alpha Media adds programming responsibilities for rhythmic CHR KTFM, San Antonio “Energy 94.1” to national director/digital content Ernie Martinez’s role with the company.  Alpha VP of content Phil Becker states, “Working alongside Ernie in our corporate roles, I have witnessed time and time again his prowess as a programmer.  His desire to infuse both his digital expertise and proven track record as a programmer is exactly what KTFM needs.”…..Afternoon personality Rick Daniels is leaving Cumulus Media’s country KIZN, Boise after almost three years for a new, yet-to-be-announced position in a market closer to his children…..Emmis Communications flips triple A KGSR-FM, Austin to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.”   The signal had been a simulcast of the “Austin City Limits Radio” format that continues to air on the KGSR-HD2 and K246BD signals…..This morning, country artist Maren Morris dropped by the studios of the nationally syndicated Ty Bentli Show in Nashville to talk about the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, GIRL.  Pictured below are (from l-r): TJ, Morris, and Bentli.

Monday Memo: Infinite Dial 2019

| March 11, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Launched by Edison Research in 1998, “The Infinite Dial” is the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in the USA, tracking internet audio, podcasting, and audio consumption via smartphones and smart speakers.  1500 Americans were polled, and the data was weighted to emulate the USA population.

If you weren’t on last week’s webinar call, it’s well worth your time to download the study and watch the video at Edison Research.com.  Highlights from the presentation by Edison’s Tom Webster and Triton Digital’s John Rosso:

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Monday Memo: “Today’s Bonus Question…”

| March 4, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Smart talk radio hosts have always kept an evergreen file, undated call-in topics for use, y’know, back when we had slow news days.

Back to the future: With willing media content to take dictation from President Donald Trump there are no slow news days. But there is evidence of Trump Fatigue. So I’m impressed with results of a technique hosts I work with use to stay fresh and pull calls:

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Monday Memo: Handling Bad News

| February 26, 2019

BLOCK ISLAND, RI  — 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

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.

Monday, February 18, 2019

| February 18, 2019

Hannity and Limbaugh Cited as Talk Media’s Political Influence Gains Attention. Multi-media news/talk superstar Sean Hannity is often said by some Trump administration critics to be an unofficial member of the president’s cabinet.  However one feels about that sentiment, it is clear that the conservative news/talk media has some degree of influence in Trump administration policy.  That becomes more evident when President Trump says such things as, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do.”  And about Rush Limbaugh: “He can speak for three hours without a phone call.  Try doing that sometime.  For three hours he speaks.  He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world.  I mean, this guy is unbelievable.”  Those quotes come from a New York Times piece covering the president’s Rose Garden press event on Friday (2/15).  Although Trump also said, “They don’t decide policy,” there’s a general sentiment among political and media types that the president looks to conservative talk media to understand what his base is thinking.  At this morning’s meeting of the TALKERS editorial staff, publisher Michael Harrison stated, “One of the most significant yardsticks in determining a communication platform’s success is influence.  How much of a difference does it make in the scheme of things?  Does it move the needle?  Since the modern era of talk radio began with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, the medium and its hosts have been judged heavily by the level of influence they wield in their communities and markets. Taking this into account, the influence Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others maintain in the Age of Trump is remarkable and certainly a boon to talk media of all political flavors.”

New Evening Lineup at KNBR, San Francisco. Bay Area sports talk outlet KNBR announces changes to its evening “KNBR Tonight” programming that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The Cumulus Media station bring Bay Area native Mark Willard aboard to host the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm portion of the show and moves current evening personality Drew Hoffar to the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight portion.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe states, “I’m extremely excited to welcome Mark back to the Bay Area and into our KNBR family.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ is about connecting with fans as the games are being played and Mark will excel in that arena across all KNBR platforms.  Listeners now also get to hear Drew shine as a solo host in his own time slot.  ‘KNBR Tonight’ will continue to serve as THE nightly destination for local sports talk and I can’t wait to hear these two dynamic personalities back-to-back on ‘The Sports Leader!’”  Willard comes to KNBR from his most recent gig with iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego “XTRA Sports” where he was midday host.  He’s also served with FOX Sports Radio Network; KSPN, Los Angeles “710 ESPN”; and ESPN’s SportsNation based in LA.

Woodward Makes Programming Moves at WHBY and WSCO in Green Bay/Appleton, Wisconsin. The news/talk and sports talk stations in the Green Bay-Appleton market operated by Woodward Radio Group have a new brand manager as Jonathan Krause assumes the role.  Krause comes to news/talk WHBY and sports talk WSCO “The Score” from his most recent position with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WOSH, Oshkosh.  Krause says, “I look forward to continuing the traditions of WHBY and WSCO providing high-quality information and entertainment for the Fox Valley.  And I hope to expand our community involvement throughout the region.”  At the same time, the company welcomes Appleton native Brian Butch to WSCO as a member of the “B.J. and The Bear” morning drive show with host B.J. DeGroot.  Butch will also serve as a part-time sales executive for WHBY and WSCO.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo offers up a call-in topic for today’s President’s Day holiday.  There are four (generally) revered U.S. presidents depicted on Mt. Rushmore – Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln. What if your listeners could vote for their four favorite presidents to be immortalized in stone?  Read Cooke’s Monday Memo column here.

WPHT Radiothon Raises $151,000 for Liberty USO. Friday’s second annual WPHT Radiothon to benefit Liberty USO – an organization that provides active, Guard, and Reserve military and their families with programs and services at the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey – raised $151,535.  Air personalities from Entercom’s news/talk WPHT are pictured above taking part in the daylong broadcast.  They are (from l-r): afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli, late morning personality Dom Giordano, and morning talk host Chris Stigall.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM weekend radio personality Amy Guth is embarking on a daily podcast project for Crain’s Chicago Business.  The show is called “The Daily Gist” and will consist of “a mix of the day’s top stories and an in-depth segment in which Guth will interview a Crain’s reporter or columnist.”…..Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics are announcing they have radio broadcast deals for the 2019 season.  The team has a three-company deal that will see games air on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KTRB-AM, San Francisco “The Answer,” Bonneville’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento, and digital platform Tune In.  In the broadcast booth will be play-by-play team Ken Korach and Vince CotroneoChris Townsend is serving as studio host with Ray Fosse making guest appearances…..In Baltimore, longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Joe Angel is retiring after 19 years with the team (and 42 years in the business).  Games are broadcast on Entercom’s WJZ-FM “The Fan.”…..The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates have a new broadcast team for games that air on Entercom’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan.”  The station says Dan Zangrilli will return to host the station’s pregame and postgame broadcasts, a role he held from 2012 to 2016.  Jack Zduriencik will return for his fourth season as an analyst.  Station veteran Kraig Riley, who has been with “93.7 The Fan” since 2010 as a producer, will join the broadcast team for the first time alongside Zangrilli and Zduriencik.

Border Wall Emergency Declaration, Trump-vs ‘SNL,’ McCabe on ’60 Minutes,’ 2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Fatal Chicago Workplace Shooting, Amazon/NYC Breakup, Jussie Smollett Case, Payless Shutters U.S. Stores, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s emergency declaration to use Pentagon funds for the U.S.-Mexico wall project; President Trump’s attack on “Saturday Night Live” for its parody of his emergency declaration presser; former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s interview on Sunday’s “60 Minutes”; the Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020 and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld considers challenging Trump in the Republican primary; the workplace shooting in Aurora, Illinois that took the lives of five; Amazon’s decision to back out of its proposed Queens operations after political pressure from Democrats; the controversy surrounding actor Jussie Smollett’s assault accusations; retail icon Payless Shoes to close U.S. stores; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas programming and on-air pro Jesse Salazar adds assistant program director duties to his afternoon on-air role and music director responsibilities at Radio One’s rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat.”  Radio One Dallas vice president of programming operations Mark McCray says, “Jesse has the experience, attitude, and work ethic that makes his graduation to APD an easy decision.”…..On-air pro Chris Payne joins Evans Broadcasting’s alternative KRAT, Reno, “ALT 92.9” to host the morning drive program.  Payne was most recently in an on-air role with Shamrock Communications’ crosstown KRZQ prior to it flipping from alternative to adult contemporary in July of 2017.

Monday Memo: YOUR Four?

| February 18, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Today is Presidents’ Day, and – unless breaking news blocks-out the sun – here’s your call-in topic.  Warn your screener: the phone will explode.

“If we were just-now carving Mount Rushmore, which 4 presidents would you choose?”

The monument, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, took 14 years to carve (October 4, 1927 – October 31, 1941).  And it was never actually finished.  The plan was to show the presidents from head-to-waist, but the project ran out of money.

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Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked

| February 11, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In PPM markets, call letters DO still matter, maybe more than with diaries.  PPM measures use, awareness drives use.  And PPM measures all use, by a small sample, so awareness matters lots.

In non-metered markets, Nielsen Audio uses diaries and Eastlan makes phone calls.  None of these methodologies changes your audience.  It’s like the speedometer in your car.  It displays MPH and KPH.  You’re driving as-fast-as you’re driving.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

| February 11, 2019

Legendary Talk Show Host Bruce Williams Dead at 86.  “Welcome my friends, welcome to my world.” It was with those words radio talk show host legend Bruce Williams began his nationally syndicated show for more than 29 years. Williams died on Saturday (2/9), at his home near Tampa, FL after a brief illness.  Spanning a career that lasted more than three decades, Bruce Williams created a loyal listenership of hundreds of thousands of people strong with his informative and entertaining program, delivered in his signature deep, warm, welcoming voice.  But, one of the most unusual and remarkable facts surrounding Williams’ National Radio Hall of Fame career is that it did not begin until he was well into his 40s.  Born February 18, 1932, Williams grew up in East Orange, NJ.  Blessed with an innate sense of business, at age 11, he devised a way to address one of the many shortages common at the end of World War II by melting down lead pipes and casting them into toy soldiers. Eyes wide open, he was off and running, pursuing every avenue where he believed a profit could be made.  After serving in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict and graduating from Newark State College (now Kean University), he opened a pre-school named after his children. He spent time driving an ice cream truck in New York City. He was also a taxi driver and drove a beer truck. For 70 years of his life, he spent the holiday season selling Christmas trees in New Jersey.  On the white-collar side, Williams sold insurance, owned a flower shop, a car rental agency, a barber shop and he owned and operated several nightclubs.  There was even a whirlwind tour into the world of politics where the Honorable Bruce H. Williams was elected to the Franklin, NJ Township Council, as well as serving terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor between 1967 and 1975.  It was the weight and wealth of these life experiences that Williams relied on throughout his accomplished radio career and gave depth to his on-air persona.  His outstanding career began in 1975 at WCTC 1450 Talk Radio, The Voice of Central New Jersey, where Williams hosted a show called “At Your Service.”  After some time, his success took him to WMCA, New York where his momentum and audience continued to build. Williams’ growing popularity brought him to the attention of radio executives at NBC who were searching for a host of a national nightly advice-oriented talk show. After a long selection process, Williams was chosen and his program launched in November of 1981. It was from this platform, his reputation as a broadcaster blossomed.  That blossom was almost nipped a year later, when a plane he was piloting crashed into some trees during an aborted landing attempt. Critically injured and nearly dead when he arrived at the Medical Center of Princeton, Williams rallied and was back on the air broadcasting again from his hospital room, just four weeks after the accident. Over the next three decades, Williams’ voice was heard coast-to-coast as he became one of the most listened to talk show hosts in radio history.  The industry recognized Williams’ accomplishments in 1999 when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. TALKERS magazine also honored Williams in 2002 by including him at Number Six in its list of the Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  He authored six financial and real estate advice books as well as a syndicated advice column called Smart Money.  Bruce Williams was 81 years old when he hung up his head phones for the final time in 2013, signing off as he always did by saying, “Keep in touch.”  Upon learning of Williams’ death, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison stated, “He was one of a kind and represented a breed of radio talk show host that made the genre truly special among all formats – a seemingly ‘regular guy’ who simply knew the answer to just about every problem that people face in day-to-day life and was happy to share it in completely understandable terms when asked for advice.”  Radio consultant Valerie Geller shared the following thoughts about Williams with TALKERS, “Bruce influenced my career. In the early days he kindly and generously spent time encouraging me.  This man was the original radio late night ‘companion, personality and  expert…’ helping thousands of listeners with personal advice, business advice and more importantly, being a ‘friend in the night.’ A powerful storyteller and powerful communicator, we have lost  a true talent.”

More on the Great Bruce WilliamsTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the profile piece he did on Bruce Williams years ago while writing for Inside Radio.  In the piece, Williams is very frank about the success he achieved in the talk radio business and talks openly about the ups and downs he experienced in radio.  Williams told Kinosian at the time, “I don’t know many people who’ve been successful who haven’t also failed.  We’re blessed to be in a society where failure isn’t a condemnation.” Read this insightful piece here.

Monday Memo: PPM Myths Debunked. Consultant Holland Cooke presents this week’s Monday Memo in which he offers some advice on station identification and keeping listeners in order to maximize ratings.  In some circles, post-PPM thought was that the meter diminished – or even eliminated! – the need to say the calls/frequency because now the meter registered “true” listening.  Cooke says there are still very good reasons to ID the station.  Read his memo on this matter here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Program Director Peter Bolger to Retire. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, five-year WLS-AM operations manager and program director Peter Bolger announces he’s retiring from the station and the radio business, effective March 15.  There is no predestined successor to Bolger.  Cumulus Media Chicago vice president and market manager Marv Nyren says, “I cannot begin to tell you how appreciative I am for all that Peter has done for this station over the years and the recent rebuild of the on-air lineup.  I can only thank him for all he’s done and wish him the best as he enjoys life.  With many years in radio…he has been a proponent of our medium and we will miss his calm personality and talent in the hallways.” As Feder notes, the last five years have seen a lot of change at the venerable AM signal and there’s nowhere else to go but up for struggling news/talker.  Read Feder’s thoughts on the matter here

Raj Sharan Rises to Program Bonneville’s Denver Sports Talk Duo. Assistant program director and executive producer Raj Sharan is promoted to program director for Bonneville’s Denver sports talk stations KKFN-FM “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600,” effective immediately.  The PD position opened after Armen Williams joined Entercom’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston.  Bonneville Denver VP/market manager Bob Call states, “I couldn’t be happier to give Raj the opportunity to program Denver’s biggest sports brand, ‘104.3 The Fan.’  Raj has a natural leadership quality that is apparent the moment you meet him.  His creativity, superb coaching skills, and knowledge of winning sports content makes him the perfect choice to lead ‘104.3 The Fan’ into the future.”

Chris Ganoudis to Lead Curtis Media’s Raleigh News/Talk and Oldies Duo. Moving from JVC Broadcasting’s Orlando operations to Curtis Media Group’s Raleigh offices is radio sales and management pro Chris Ganoudis.  He assumes the general manager position for the company’s news/talk WPTF, oldies WPTK-AM/W284CP “Just Right Radio,” and Triangle Traffic Network.  Curtis Media Group president/COO, Trip Savery comments, “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to North Carolina and Curtis Media Group.  Chris brings a proven track record of success and is a great addition to our Raleigh management team.  I am confident he will lead these brands to even greater success.”

Entercom Launches Digital Sports Platform ‘Radio.com Sports.’ A new digital sports platform is being unveiled by Entercom called RADIO.COM Sports.  Entercom says this will serve “to magnify the company’s unmatched local business to a more prominent national scale in order to better serve its listeners and advertisers.  RADIO.COM Sports will sit atop Entercom’s deep roster of leading local sports stations and will also be fully integrated into RADIO.COM.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee adds, “RADIO.COM Sports is a strategic initiative to further elevate our existing portfolio of local brands and personalities and provide a more robust and unified experience for fans coast to coast.  The platform also offers our advertisers an efficient way to tap into Entercom’s scale and multiplatform content.”  As part of the launch, RADIO.COM Sports will kick off its RADIO.COM Sports Insiders program, a network of experts across all major sports who will make appearances on Entercom sports stations nationwide to provide insight and commentary.  This premium content will also be available on demand.  Sports Insiders will include Joe Girardi, former Major League Baseball player, manager and current analyst for the MLB Network; Ross Tucker, former National Football League offensive lineman and current national sports broadcaster; Bob Nightengale, USA Today MLB columnist; Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com NFL columnist; Armando Salguero, Miami Herald sports columnist; as well as others who will soon be added.  Dee says, “We are going to be aggressive to expand our depth chart of new talent as well as use our existing stars in new ways on multiple distribution channels outside of their home market, and in many cases, on our expanding digital and editorial platforms.”  Entercom inks Mercedes-Benz as its launch partner.

Beasley Reveals Q4 2018 and Full-Year Financial Data; Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 9.9%. The fourth quarter and 2018 full-year financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc indicates net revenue for Q4 was $75.6 million, an increase of 29.1%.  For all of 2018, net revenue was $257.5 million, an increase of 10.3% over 2017.  These numbers reflect the sale of Beasley’s six-station Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster, the exchange of WMJX-FM and $12 million for sports talk WBZ-FM in Boston, and the acquisition of country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia from Entercom.  The company’s pro forma net revenue cited here reflects the operations and results from WBZ-FM in the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and WMJX-FM in the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, prior to its divestiture. The results also reflect a full quarter’s contribution from WXTU-FM in the three months ended December 31, 2018 and approximately five months of contribution from WXTU-FM in the 12 months ended December 31, 2018 and four months of contribution from the Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations in the 12-month period ended December 31, 2017.  Beasley’s pro forma net revenue for Q4 was up 9.4%.  For the full year of 2018, pro forma net revenue was $263.5 million, an increase of 4.7% over 2017.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “Our record 2018 fourth quarter and full-year revenue and strong operating results, despite the benefit of non-cash transaction related and tax items in the 2017 period, highlight the value being created as we execute strategies to expand our scale, diversify our revenue mix, and leverage the value of our local brands in our core and ancillary verticals.  Actual fourth quarter revenue rose by 29.1% on a year-over-year basis driven by net revenue increases at 10 of our clusters, recent acquisitions and station swaps and approximately $3.9 million of fourth quarter gross political revenue.  While we remain focused on diversifying our operating base, our fourth quarter pro-forma revenue rose an impressive 9.9%.  Fourth quarter net income declined from 2017 levels solely because of gains and tax benefits in the year-ago period that did not recur in the 2018 fourth quarter.”

Jeff Foxworthy Visits Old Pal Jim Villanucci on ‘101.7 The Team’ in Albuquerque. Pictured above is comic Jeff Foxworthy with afternoon drive talk show host Jim Villanucci at Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM, “101.7 The Team” studios. Foxworthy is an old friend of Villanucci’s from the stand-up circuit and stopped by to chat on Villanucci’s radio show while appearing in the Albuquerque area.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Villanucci, Foxworthy, show special correspondent Sam Hauser, and show producer Robert Maler.  Hauser is new to Villanucci’s show, officially joining today as special correspondent from his most recent gig with Alpha Media’s Austin, Minnesota station group where he managed the sports department at its news/talk outlet for three years.

Border Wall Battle, New Government Shutdown, Warren in Iowa/2020 Presidential Hopefuls, Ilhan Omar Anti-Israel Statements, Virginia Political Chaos, Venezuela Unrest, Grammy Awards, Alliance of American Football Debut, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the threat of another federal government shutdown; Senator Elizabeth Warren announces presidential campaign and the related story of the Democratic field of contenders; the flap over Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation AIPAC buys off U.S. politicians to support Israel; the political chaos in Virginia over the blackface scandals involving Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax; the unstable political situation in Venezuela; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards show; the debut of the Alliance of American Football league; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

SEAN HANNITY TO KEYNOTE: 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  It has just been confirmed that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  The rest of the stellar agenda of speakers and sessions will begin to be announced next week.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new rock outlet debuts in Columbus as iHeartMedia flips WXZX-FM from sports talk to classic rock as “105.7 The Brew, The New Generation of Classic Rock.”  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy says the station’s playlist will focus on rock from the 80s into the 2000s, including songs from core artists such as AC/DCFoo Fighters, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Van Halen, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N’ Roses.  The station is bringing Columbus radio personalities Mark Blazor and DaveMan aboard.  McCoy says, “We are excited to offer a unique station for Columbus’ rock listeners.  The Brew’s mission is to provide one great rock song after another and that’s why we call it the new generation of Classic Rock.”…..Programmer Randy Hawke is promoted to vice president of programming at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster.  He’s been serving as PD for rock WJJO and OM for the cluster that includes rhythmic CHR WJQM “93.1 Jamz,” alternative WRIS “106.7 The Resistance,” and sports talk WOZN. In this new role, he’ll serve as PD for adult contemporary WMGM “Magic 98,” country WWQM “Q106,” and classic country WHIT “Hank.”  At the same time, the company ups APD/MD Jennifer “Ski” Crowell to program director for WJJO…..On-air pro Bill Mitchell adds to his morning gig on Magnum Media’s country WMBZ, West Bend, Wisconsin by also handling the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the company’s country WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin.   Magnum Media owner Dave Magnum says, “Factoring in market-wide remote broadcasts and promotions, we wanted some personality cross pollination between ‘Buzz Country’ and ‘VTY Country.’  With [morning host] Mitch Morgan and Bill Mitchell on both stations, we’ve achieved that objective.”…..A number of staff changes take place at Griffin Communications’ Tulsa cluster.  First, Dave “Wavy Davy” Michaels joins the company as PD and afternoon personality at classic hits KBEZ “92.9 The Drive.”  Wavy Davy comes from Cox Media Group’s crosstown classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” Second, Tanner Messer is promoted to host of the afternoon drive shift at classic country KXBL “Big Country 99.5” and the evening jock at country KVOO.  Finally, Nikki Reid is now host of afternoons on KVOO and night jock at CHR KHTT “K-HITS 106.9.”…..Pictured below is the staff of rhythmic oldies XHRM, San Diego “Magic 92.5” bestowing the first-ever “Magic 92.5 Lifetime Achievement Award” to radio legend Art Laboe.  The award recognizes Laboe’s many achievements over his legendary 75-year radio broadcasting career and was presented in front of an audience of more than 6,000 people at the station’s 2019 Valentine’s Super Love Jam concert on February 9.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Magic 92.5’s Greg Mack, Rick Nuhn, Xavier “The X-Man,” R Dub!, Laboe, Jagger & Kristi, Sheryl Love, Hurricane Andrew, Jammin’ Jay Michaels, Kelly Cole, and Billy Blast. Photo: Alan Hess

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Monday Memo: Say What?

| February 4, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — “Sucks” sucks.  Ditto “pissed-off,” and “friggin’” and “effen.”

Why: Protective soccer mom is her family’s Secretary of The Treasury, driving the car your advertisers want to see pull into the parking lot as a result of being on your air.  She might actually use these words when young ears aren’t around.  But when they’re in the minivan, you’re committing TSL suicide using language Mom doesn’t want kiddos to parrot.

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Monday, February 4, 2019

| February 4, 2019

Jamie Allman Returns to St. Louis Air on Salem’s ‘The Answer.’ Former KFTK-FM morning talk host Jamie Allman will be back on the air in St. Louis after a 10-month absence when he assumes the morning talk show host position on Salem Media Group’s KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380AM & 105.3FM The Answer.”  “Allman in the Morning” will launch on February 28.  He says, “I’m proud and super stoked to be joining a legendary broadcasting company. Salem always puts the listener first and we are a perfect match.  There is no bigger castle of common-sense conservatism in broadcasting.  I’m honored to inhabit a part of it with energy, insight, and entertainment.”  Allman and former employers Emmis Communications and Entercom were involved in a lengthy legal fight over Allman’s dismissal from KFTK-FM in the aftermath of this social media post about Parkland, Florida shooting survivor David Hogg in April of 2018.  Until that time, Allman had also been hosting “The Allman Report” on KDNL-TV “ABC-30.” Salem St. Louis vice president and general manager Greg Lhamon says, “Jamie is a broadcasting legend in this market.  He’s bright, passionate, and asks tough questions when he interviews political leaders.  He’ll keep them on their toes, that’s for sure.  But his show is just plain fun, too.  We are thrilled to see him return to St. Louis radio.”

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  Although 70% of the news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down from the December 2018 survey to the Holiday survey, a relative handful saw modest increases, including iHeartMedia’s WZZR, West Palm Beach (+1.0).  Comparing Holiday 2017 to Holiday 2018, four stations improved by a full share or better, led by Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+3.1).  No news/talk outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but three stations ranked #2 in their respective markets: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. See the whole report here.

Monday Memo: Say What?  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today in his Monday Memo about a number of bad habits and consistent errors that air personalities often make and that drive consultants (and programmers!) nuts.  Get Cooke’s thoughts on blue language, clichés, the benefit of forward momentum and more right here.

Chris Lavoie Named General Manager of SM Radio Productions. Former Stephanie Miller show executive producer Chris Lavoie is returning to the show as general manager of SM Radio Productions, parent company of “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Lavoie served as the radio talk show’s executive producer from 2004 to 2015.  He was public relations manager for Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the Palm Springs, California area for the past three years. Lavoie comments, “I’m thrilled to be returning to my longtime radio home and back into the arms of Mama.  I began working with Stephanie as her production coordinator back in 1997 at KABC-AM in Los Angeles and we have a long, 18-year history together.  I’m excited to return to the Stephanie Miller universe to help take the show and SM Radio Productions to the next level.”  SM Radio Productions co-founder Ron Hartenbaum adds, “Chris has been a valued member of The Stephanie Miller Show family for years and we are ecstatic that he is re- joining the team in this newly created general manager role.  He will be crucial in overseeing our exciting, soon-to-be-announced multimedia platform.”

WVON, Chicago’s Cliff Kelley to Leave PM Drive Role. Windy City radio personality Cliff Kelley will be leaving his afternoon drive host position at Midway Broadcasting’s urban talker WVON after his program on March 29.  The company says that Kelley – who has been with WVON for the past 25 years – will remain with the station as community ambassador and as the host of the independently produced “American Heroes” broadcast that airs Saturdays on WVON. He’ll also serve as a regular fill-in host.  Kelley has been the longest serving talk show host at the station since it switched to its all talk format in 1986.  He says, “I don’t want people to look at this as I am retiring.  I’m just rewiring.  There is plenty more work for me to do.”  WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski comments, “Cliff Kelley is one of Chicago’s most influential hosts and has been a trusted source of information for Chicago’s African-American Community for over three decades, forming a host/listener bond that is rarely seen in any market.”  Kelley’s replacement has not been announced.

Remembering Some African American Talk Show Pioneers.  Longtime broadcaster and now college associate professor Donna L. Halper writes a special piece for TALKERS magazine that looks at some of the early African American talk show hosts who made inroads into the spoken-word end of the radio business during radio’s golden age.  Halper writes that at that time in the American radio business, “young black men and women who saw no chance to become announcers or newscasters went into print journalism instead, usually working for black newspapers.” But a few did buck that trend, including New Jersey and New York host Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell.  Read the entire piece here.

Jennifer Williams Promoted to VP of Digital Marketing for Beasley. Marketing pro Jennifer Williams is promoted to vice president of digital marketing for Beasley Media Group.  She has been serving with the company as director of interactive marketing.  In her new role, she’ll be responsible for marketing the company’s digital content platforms and leveraging data to drive traffic, audience engagement, and advertiser growth.  Prior to joining Beasley Media Group, Williams spent nearly 20 years with Greater Media, Inc where she worked as the director of digital marketing and was responsible for overseeing the interactive marketing efforts of the company’s 20 radio properties.  She joined the organization as the marketing director of WCSX-FM in 1997.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “Jennifer’s programming background, combined with her digital knowledge, marketing expertise and can-do attitude, made her the perfect choice to lead Beasley Media Group’s digital marketing efforts as we continue to diversify and extend our brands into the multi-platform arena.”

Lorenzo Neal and KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Renew. Former NFL star and current morning drive sports talk personality Lorenzo Neal signs a new, long-term contract with Entercom to continue co-hosting the morning drive “Joe, Lo, Dibs” program on KGMZ-FM, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” with fellow hosts Joe Fortenbaugh and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Lorenzo Neal continues to drive the San Francisco sports conversation every morning.  His experience as a professional athlete and gregarious personality translates to great radio for listeners of ‘Joe, Lo & Dibs’ and we look forward to this continued partnership.”  Neal spent 16 seasons in the NFL and he’s been a personality on KGMZ since 2014.

Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander Debut Midday Program on Townsquare’s ‘ESPN South Jersey.’  Former WPEN, Philadelphia “95.7 The Fanatic” personalities Harry Mayes and Eytan Shander are teaming up for a midday sports talk radio show on Townsquare Media’s WENJ-FM, Millville, New Jersey “97.3 ESPN South Jersey,” starting on April 1.  The program is being produced by JAKIB Media Partners and in a press release, Mayes says, “We are thrilled to be back on sports radio in Philadelphia and South Jersey on a powerful radio station that is a download away.  Our plan begins here with plans already to expand regionally before we launch an assault on the national sports radio market.”  The two partnered on a podcast called “Derailed” via WENJ that launched last fall.

Beasley Launches ‘FOX Sports Charlotte.’The new sports talker from Beasley Media Group is heard on three signals in the Charlotte market: WBCN-AM at 1660, W234BY at 94.7 FM, and the HD3 channel of WSOC-FM.  It launches today and carries the full FOX Sports Radio national lineup, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” and “The Doug Gottlieb Show.”  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “We are thrilled to bring FOX Sports Radio to the Charlotte Market.  We’re giving sports fans another great option for compelling content in our community.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio personality Jon Weiner, a.k.a. “Stugotz” from ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” now has his own platform in the form of a new podcast called, “Stupodity.”  This is the second original offering from the newly formed Le Batard and Friends Podcast Network created by ESPN Podcasts.  “Stupodity” will be a weekly opportunity for Stugotz’s views on sports and life with visits from the people important to him both professionally and personally…..The University of Illinois and Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM partner to present play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball games – as well as the seasonal coaches’ shows – through the 2023-24 season.  The news, five-year agreement officially kicks off with the 2019 football season…..Westwood One was the official national radio partner of the NFL for the broadcast of last night’s Super Bowl LIII.  Pictured below is Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes (right) with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left).

Denver Sports Talk Personality Irv Brown Dies at 83.   Longtime Denver sports talk radio personality Irv Brown died on Sunday at age 83.  Brown retired from the business in April of 2016 after spending more than 40 years on the air.  He began as a sports reporter on KHOW, Denver in 1974.  For a portion of his career, he partnered with Joe Williams for “The Irv and Joe Show.”  Read Fox 31’s report here.

Ralph Northam Controversy, Border Wall Battle, State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Investigation, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s racist college yearbook photos; the ongoing battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

THE TALKERS INTERVIEW: A Conversation with ‘Our American Stories’ Founder and Host, Lee Habeeb. A longtime radio innovator, Salem Radio Network VP/content Lee Habeeb longed to create something new and different for commercial news/talk radio listeners – a show that would tell stories about American life. They would be stories about our nation’s past and present including sports, the arts, business, innovation, science and everything in-between. It would be a show that would tell the story of America to Americans. “This is a great country precisely because it is a good country,” Habeeb tells TALKERS. “The American people are longing for programming that’s positive, beautiful and good to lift their spirits, and tell the story of the country we all love – because the schools and colleges sure as heck aren’t doing it. And radio will attract a whole bunch of new listeners if we do it right.” Thanks to some significant donor support, and the blessing of his bosses at Salem, Habeeb founded American Private Radio (APR), an independent non-profit alternative to National Public Radio (NPR). APR’s debut show is, by all accounts, doing it right – at least if its impressive growth is any indication. Titled “Our American Stories,” the innovative program debuted on two stations in 2015 and recently passed the 170-affiliate mark, recently announcing some big new additions, including daily slots on KABC, Los Angeles and WHO, Des Moines. It is a meticulously produced show, with a wide range of subjects targeted to a wide audience. It is designed, according to Habeeb, to reach Americans who long for a show to reinforce their values and beliefs. However, he seeks to accomplish this “without all the debate and anger that political debates engender and without the pretentiousness and elitism of public radio.” It is also designed to be a safe space for advertisers to wrap their brand around and be extremely business friendly. “It is entrepreneurs who built the country, who employ people, and generate the taxes that help pay our teachers, police and our safety net,” Habeeb adds. “We celebrate our entrepreneurs, old and new, and their risk taking and their spirit on our show. American life is unimaginable without them.” TALKERS caught up with Habeeb to talk about the show we believe will be one of the big break-out hits of 2019. To read the entire TALKERS interview with Lee Habeeb conducted by Michael Harrison, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Beasley Media Group’s country WQYK, Tampa, Melanie Mineau joins the morning drive program as the new co-host of “The Morning Krewe with Marc and Melanie.”  Mineau has most recently been hosting her own, successful podcast.  Previously, she served as a co-host on the “Sarah, Ty & Mel Morning Show” on WRQX, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to be back in the building and to be working alongside so many talented people, some of whom are longtime friends.  I look forward to working with Marc and creating great content for the listeners of Tampa Bay.  I’m grateful to the Beasleys and Travis Daily for presenting me with this opportunity.  There is nothing better than hosting a morning show at a heritage station in your hometown!”…..Also from Beasley Media Group, WMMR, Philadelphia midday personality Pierre Robert signs a multi-year contract extension to remain in his position with the station.  Robert joined the station in 1981 and has been hosting the midday show for more than 35 years.  Beasley rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Pierre is the heart and soul of WMMR.  His warm, compassionate voice remains an important part of Philadelphia’s broadcast day.  A gifted interviewer and brand ambassador, he truly cares about the community he serves. We are so fortunate to have his talents grace the airwaves.”…..Jason Kidd exits Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington after a three-year stint hosting afternoon drive and serving as APD and music director…..In Wisconsin, Van McNeil joins Magnum Media’s country WVTY, Racine to host the early afternoon daypart.  McNeil comes to WVTY from his most recent position with WISN-TV, Milwaukee.

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

| January 28, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.

And as you read in my Monday Memo three weeks ago, this technique can help sell podcast sponsorships.  ICYMI: http://www.talkers.com/2019/01/07/monday-memo-podcast-ads-work/

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Monday, January 21, 2018

| January 21, 2019

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in his weekly Monday Memo for TALKERS magazine that conservative news/talk stations should be working overtime to capitalize on the Trump presidency.  Cooke references a recent column in The New York Times by Frank Bruni in which he observes the president is covered by the media as “spectacle” and that makes Trump the “star” no matter what.  Cooke reasons that since the best way to increase ratings share with news/talk radio is to increase the TSL of its P1s, stations should “be to radio what Fox News Channel is to TV” – a safe space for like-minded conservatives. Read the Monday Memo here.

Entercom and DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Renew; Plan for Regional Distribution. The WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” morning drive program “The Sports Junkies” and Entercom agree to a long-term extension of their contract.  “The Sports Junkies” are John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop and John-Paul Flaim.  Entercom DC SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Since 1996, ‘The Sports Junkies’ have driven the sports conversation in Washington, DC and we couldn’t envision ‘The Fan’ without them. As the unrivaled leaders in local sports coverage, we are pleased to continue our relationship with the team.” The station says the program “is consistently rated number one among Washington, DC men aged 18-49, according to Nielsen 2018 ratings.”  It adds that “plans will be announced later this month for the program to be broadcast beyond Washington, DC to affiliates across the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Harvey Wells Exits Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois Cluster. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio sales and management pro Harvey Wells has resigned from his position as market manager for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WMAY-AM/FM and three music-formatted stations.  Wells served the Chicago market for years leading the then-CBS RADIO cluster of radio stations.  Wells is quoted saying, “I cannot say enough good things about Mid-West Family Broadcasting and feel fortunate to have spent two-plus years at an employee-owned company.  It truly makes a difference when you walk in the door and your fellow workers also have an ownership interest in the company.  However, the one family that has to come before the Mid-West Family is my own.”

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Issue, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, DC Students-Protestors Incident, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Mexico Pipeline Blast, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Championship Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; Democrats lining up to challenge President Trump in 2020; the gas pipeline explosion in Mexico that killed more than 85 people; today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL Conference Championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, sports talk WSCR “The Score” weekend and fill-in host Barry Rozner – who is also a sports columnist with the Daily Herald – is considering leaving the station before the next season of the baseball show “Hit & Run” begins this spring.  Feder says Rozner has been in communication with station operations manager Mitch Rosen saying, “We’re still communicating, and we’ll see what comes of it, but I don’t – at this moment – see a path to returning.  No hard feelings. No one to blame. There’s just no role there for me comparable to the last 10 years when I hosted nearly 1,400 shows. If it’s over, I will miss ‘Hit & Run’ more than I can properly express.  It was a great run and I’m grateful for the opportunity Mitch gave me.”…..The sports media 2019 BSM Summit is taking place at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles February 21-22.   Barrett Sports Media president Jason Barrett says the event “will feature a star-studded lineup of guest speakers,” including CBS Sports personality Jim Rome, who will do a one-on-one with Barrett.  See more about the Summit here.….The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts officially name Matt Taylor the play-by-play voice for radio coverage of the team’s games.  Taylor has been part of the team’s broadcast operations since 2012.  He takes over the role handled by Bob Lamey, who exited the position after a controversial incident in which he used a racial slur off the air…..Binghamton market public broadcaster WSKG announces coming programming changes that will make it easier for listeners to find the programming they desire.  Currently, both WSKG-FM and WSQX-FM are airing programming consisting of news, conversation and music.  On February 3, the company will move all news and talk programming to WSKG-FM – its NPR member station – and WSQX will air classical, jazz and folk music programming…..Pictured below are the hosts of last Friday’s inaugural 2019 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards that took place at the iHeartRadio Theater LA in Burbank, California. You can see all the categories and winners here.  Below from left to right are: Holly Frey, Bobby Bones, Charlamagne tha God, and Mario Lopez(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Sponsors Broadcast Booth at Local Science Center. Through his “Hurley in the Morning” charity, WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley donated $3,500 to the Patcong Creek Foundation Science Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey on January 19.  The charity sponsors the “Harry Hurley Broadcast Booth” in which Hurley is pictured above.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, air personality Ralphie Aversa exits his evening show at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, as well as the company’s WPRO-FM, Providence and WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the show also aired. WPLJ APD Mike Allen is now handling evenings…..Chicago market hot AC WXLC, Waukegan parts ways with morning show personality Jimmy Novak.  He posted on Facebook, “The old building and loan has decided to cut ties with me as morning show host.  It’s been a fun decade of shows and I feel lucky to have worked with some incredible people.  I’m truly blessed with great memories and I look forward to new challenges and staying up past 7:30.”…..The 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert took place on Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring: Twenty One PilotsRise Against, Muse, The Killers, Weezer, plus Bishop Briggs and The Revivalists.  Pictured below are The Revivalists with KYSR, Los Angeles midday personality Tamo Sein(Photo: Getty Images for iHeartMedia.)

Monday Memo: Carpe Trump

| January 21, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — To quote acclaimed media strategist George Costanza, Rush Limbaugh affiliates should “do the opposite” of what New York Times opinion columnist Frank Bruni recommends in a thoughtful recent piece entitled, “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020?”

He observes that “readers and viewers, no matter how much they complain about the media’s shallowness, reward it.”  Ditto radio listeners, if we offer them an unambiguous proposition.  Knowing that you are busy, I don’t ask casually.  But reading his piece will be worth your time:

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Monday, January 14, 2018

| January 14, 2019

Talk Radio Host Lars Larson Banned from Twitter for 12 Hours. The story in the Willamette Week has the details of KXL, Portland-based, nationally syndicated talk host Lars Larson’s 12-hour ban from Twitter for his exchange with a Portland activist over a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of man reportedly schizophrenic and legally blind.  Former Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone tweeted, “We know the police kill. [The] question is whether we will ever stop funding this deadly paramilitary force and start funding things that actually keep the people of Portland safe.”  Larson was suspended for the following response, “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?”  Responding to the ban Larson received for the tweet, Iannarone said Larson’s words “may not seem like much on the surface.”  But complained that “whenever that account retweets me, it brings commenters into my sphere who hurl insult and innuendo my direction. I reported three other accounts resulting from the retweet that day that Twitter admins agreed were abusive or harmful.”

Ron & Don Fans Baffled by Show’s Abrupt, Unexplained Exit. This story in the Seattle Times was published on Saturday (1/12) and includes comments from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Friday’s launch of a new afternoon drive program – “Candy, Mike and Todd” – on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM Seattle caught fans of the “Ron and Don” show off guard.  The story notes some 1,000 comments on the “Ron and Don Nation” Facebook page expressing their dismay at the show’s departure and anger with the lack of Bonneville’s explanation.  Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill had been with the station for 13 years.  They didn’t shed much light on the controversy, either, probably due to a non-disparagement clause in their contracts.  They wrote, “Life is not about what you got, it’s what you give. We are very appreciative to all our great advertisers and everyone in the Ron and Don Nation for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your resources over the last 22 years. Together we raised over 11 million dollars for causes in the community we all care about. From our families to yours, Thank You Seattle, Tacoma, Fife, and Fremont.”

KSTP-AM, Minneapolis Re-Brands as ‘SKOR North.’  Tomorrow (1/15) will be sports talk KSTP-AM’s first day as “SKOR North” as it shucks the “1500 ESPN” brand.  Hubbard Radio says in a press release that the brand is now “a digital-first sports brand that will create and distribute content across multiple traditional and digital platforms, including 1500 AM, 94.5 FM HD2, streaming, a dedicated SKOR North app, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.”  In September, Hubbard dropped the “Garage Logic” show with host Joe Soucheray from the lineup, as well as Patrick Reusse’s show (PD Brad Lane exited as well).  The new program schedule will still consist of ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” in morning drive, followed by the “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” show.  Local afternoon program includes the new “SKOR North Live with Matthew Coller,” followed by the drive time “[PhilMackie and Judd [Zulgad] Show with Ramie,” and a return to the airwaves of Patrick Reusse as one of the four 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm programs that will rotate throughout the year, depending on the season.

Monday Memo: CES 2019.  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo here at TALKERS magazine summarizes some of his takeaways from last week’s enormous CES 2019 in Las Vegas.  Cooke reports that Consumer Technology Association vice president of market research Steve Koenig says we’re at the beginning of the “Data Age of Consumer Tech” and that means, “information about our listeners – whom advertisers want as customers – is gold.” See his entire report here.

WICC, Bridgeport Announces Programming News. Connecticut news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport announces it will continue to serve as an affiliate for New York Yankees baseball.  In addition, the Cumulus Media station is adding FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  It also is carrying Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.

Mike Rich to Lead Townsquare Media Danbury. Radio management pro Mike Rich is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut group of sports talk WINE-AM “Sports Radio 940,” rock WRKI-FM “i95,” and WDBY-FM “Kicks 105.5.”  Rich comes to Townsquare from his most recent position as CEO of digital media firm Irish Studio.  He’s also served with Time Inc., Radio One, and AOL.

TALKERS News Notes. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM’s new afternoon drive personality – former, longtime rock KZRR “94 Rock” morning personality T.J. Trout – is an unabashed “left of center,” “social liberal” who will take over 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s conservative news/talk station on January 22.  Trout talks about getting the gig and how he views his role on the station in a piece with Albuquerque Journal here…..The podcast “Red Pilled America” – an iHeartRadio original podcast – got some love from The Washington Times recently in an article about story-focused podcasts that target conservative listeners.  The podcast is the work of husband and wife creative duo Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez and the piece delves into how the program highlights stories rather than monologues to get the message across to listeners…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation are holding the second annual Patrice Bergeron & 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Pucks & Paddles event on Thursday, February 7.  The table tennis tournament will feature players from the active Boston Bruins roster, on-air personalities from Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” and patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center with all proceeds to benefit the hospital…..Beasley Media Group announces Jennifer Sulik is named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s esports division.  Sulik was most recently founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a digital media advertising agency.  Previously, she worked in the digital sales division at WXYZ-TV, Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where she developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com…..Across the pond, “Fix Radio” – the station for builders and tradespeople – will launch in Manchester, England today (1/14).  Fix Radio is programmed by British talk radio pro Graham Mack and is based in London.  Mack and Gaz Drinkwater present the daily morning show on the format.

The Trump-Putin Relationship, U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Government Shutdown, Jayme Closs Case, Paris Bakery Bombing, Bezos Divorce, 2020 Presidential Race, Dems in Puerto Rico, Winter Snow Storm, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to weekend stories indicating the FBI was concerned about President Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the battle over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; the ongoing government shutdown; missing teen Jayme Closs is found after escaping her captor; the deadly bombing at a bakery in Paris; the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; potential presidential candidates in the 2020 election; Democrat legislators are criticized for “partying” in Puerto Rico with lobbyists; the winter storm that swept across the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKER magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Terri Avery is the new PD at Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1,” effective January 22. Avery was most recently radio station manager and an instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte.  Prior to that, she was OM/PD at WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte for 14 years. CMG Atlanta director of operations Chris Eagan says, “Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry.  She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in urban AC.  Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the ‘Kiss 104.1’ team.”…..Cumulus Media rock KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” officially names Chasta Michaelis midday personality.  She’s been interim host of the daypart since Steven “The Weedman” Seaweed in 2017.  Chasta also serves as a cast member on the station’s “Lamont& Tonelli Morning Show,” a role she will continue along with her daily production of her daily Facebook Live chats from “The Bone” studios following each morning show…..Through a partnership between iHeartMedia and LiveXLive Media Inc – a global digital media company focused on live entertainment – the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 19 – will stream live. LiveXLive chairman and CEO Rob Ellin comments, “Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house’ for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists.  iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit.”…..According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots” show with Bob Stroud that’s heard weekly on Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is getting another play.  The show has been airing Sunday mornings from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but, as program director Rob Cressman says, “The ‘Stroud Crowd’ has been relentless in their quest to get ‘Roots’ scheduled a bit later in the day.”  So, now the show also airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Kelly J moves from evening jock to a member of the Jeff Pope morning show on All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino…..Condolences to the family and friends of radio personality Michael “Mike” Walker, who died on January 7 at the age of 60.  Walker worked at numerous radio stations during his career, including WIFM, Elkin; WKBC North Wilkesboro; and WWWC, Wilkesboro in North Carolina.  He was the founder/operator of The Production Room where he produced and voiced more than 530 weekly episodes of the syndicated “Saving the 70s” show that focused on 1970s music and pop culture.

PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on contemporary Christian. See the report here.

Monday Memo: CES 2019

| January 14, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — This week, Sin City recovers from its biggest crowd of the year, last week’s massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics Show.

OOPS.  Don’t quote me.  180,000 of us attending were under strict instructions NOT to call it the “Consumer Electronics Show.”  Call it “CES,” we were asked by the Consumer Technology Association, formerly known as “The Consumer Electronics Association.”  Why so sensitive about the re-branding?

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Monday Memo: Podcast Ads Work

| January 7, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — From a recently-published Nielsen study commissioned by Stitcher:

  • 61% of consumers exposed to podcast ads for well-known national brands were more likely to purchase the advertised product.
  • Podcast advertising generates up to 4.4 times better brand recall than other forms of digital advertising (ad banners, pop-ups, etc.).
  • More is more: When the study probed national packaged goods brands, it found 43% greater recall of longer customized ads than shorter copy.
  • The personal touch: Those who heard a host-read ad (for a national soft drink brand in this case) were 118% more likely to buy than those who didn’t hear the ad. I see this as an advantage for radio talent, whose endorsement spots can be powerfully effective.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

| January 7, 2019

Jeff Poor Show Launches on WVNN, Huntsville.  Conservative media figure Jeff Poor begins hosting a daily talk radio program on Cumulus Media’s WVNN, Huntsville “NewsTalk 770AM/92.5FM” today (1/7).  Poor serves as the editor of Breitbart News’ media vertical, is a regular contributor to Yellowhammer News, and a political columnist for Lagniappe, Mobile, Alabama’s alternative weekly newspaper.  Poor previously reported in Washington, D.C. for The Daily Caller and the Media Research Center.  WVNN program director Dale Jackson states, “Jeff Poor is an experienced media personality with a real ability to decipher local and national issues.  His experience in media in Washington, D.C. and his Alabama upbringing make him the perfect fit for WVNN.  I am thrilled to add Jeff to our already amazing lineup of local and national talkers.” The Jeff Poor show airs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Sports Talk Moves in Grand Rapids as Cumulus Media’s WBBL-FM Drops Sports. According to MLive.comCumulus Media is flipping sports talk WBBL-FM, Grand Rapids to country in a simulcast with sister WTNR-FM. That means a number of staffers have been let go and the statewide Bill Simonson-hosted program “The Huge Show” is no longer on the 107.3 FM frequency.  Fired from WBBL are morning personalities Eric Zane and Ben Glaze as well as program director Marcus Bradman.  The MLive piece indicates that “The Huge Show” – currently heard on 12 stations across Michigan – will continue as part of an agreement between Cumulus and Michigan Media Network and will be heard in Grand Rapids on Cumulus’ news/talk WJRW at 3:00 pm, effective today (1/7).

iHeartMedia Study: Radio Is Most-Trusted Medium. According to a study commissioned by iHeartMedia, radio is America’s most-trusted medium and iHeartMedia personalities are more trustworthy and relatable than top TV personalities.  iHM states, “The survey found iHeartMedia’s focus on live and local programming and the deep, connection on-air personalities have with listeners has led to iHeartRadio being considered the most trusted name in radio and its on-air personalities being more trusted than leading talk personalities in other media.”  The study further found that “84% of respondents (people) said radio understands what is important to them, a number that is over 20% greater than network and cable television and social media. In addition, 8 out of 10 people feel that radio aligns with their core values, which is number one across all media.” iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman says, “In a time when trust matters most to consumers, trust has become a critical criterium for media investment decisions and these findings are extremely compelling because they spotlight our unique and personal role in people’s lives each and every day.  Furthermore, it spotlights why iHeartMedia is a leader in audio and reaches over a quarter billion listeners each month. Our personalities are more than just a voice on the radio, they are a trusted friend who shares common values 24/7 across 850 stations nationwide…and only iHeartMedia can deliver that scale, with the intimacy and authenticity consumers want.”

Monday Memo: Podcast Ads Work. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo that, according to a Nielsen study, ads on podcasts delivered better and longer audience recall. Additionally, listeners who heard ads delivered by show hosts were 118% more likely to buy the product than those who didn’t hear the ad.  Stitcher commissioner the study and the company’s chief revenue officer Korri Kolesa notes the power of podcasts “to speak to a generation of consumers who tend to be hard to reach through other digital media platforms.”  See the entire Memo here.

Beasley Appoints Lori Burgess Chief Digital Content Officer. Consultant Lori Burgess has been working with Beasley Media Group on integrated marketing strategy since May of 2017.  Now the company names her to the newly created position of chief digital content officer.  In this new role, she will be responsible for designing and overseeing the digital content strategy for the company.  She says, “We are embarking upon an exciting business transformation, one focused on content excellence and proficiency across all media platforms.  This expansion will allow our on-air talent to enhance their local market presence, fostering deeper and more engaged relationships with audiences and advertisers alike.”  During her career, she has worked with such brands as: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

TALKERS News Notes. The CRN Digital Talk Radio-produced “Sports Lounge with Fred Dryer” program is now airing on Dan Patrick Radio heard on SiriusXM Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET.  Dryer – a 13-year NFL pro with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams and film & television actor – partners with CRN chief Mike Horn to talk about sports news and the politics of the game…..Los Angeles-based personality Sheena Metal – who has hosted the “Sheena Metal Experience” show on LA Talk Radio for the past 10 years, is hosting a live, audience-interactive radio broadcast from the Hollywood Improv on January 27.  Metal says the show will celebrate her 10th LA Talk Radio anniversary as well as her five years as live event host at the legendary comedy club and will feature “lots of great celebrity guests on stage, a fun red carpet/meet-and-greet after the show and a chance to meet so many of the fantastic people who have made my daily show the media success that it is!”…..A new iHeartRadio original podcast premieres called, “Pratt Cast,” hosted by “The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt.  She is one of the infamous “The Hills” stars coming back for the sequel.  The podcast gives listeners an all access pass to everything happening on and off of the camera this season…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio reach a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that adds more than 25 new employees – including reporters for the news site Gothamist – to the union’s longstanding collective bargaining unit.  It covers some 175 workers at NYPR.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, Rashida Tlaib Flap, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, U.S.-Syria Policy, Golden Globe Awards, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the federal government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the flap over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comment referring to President Trump as a “motherf*cker”; freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “60 Minutes” interview; the  Trump administration’s Syria policy; Sunday evening’s Golden Globe awards; and the weekend’s NFL 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. Charlotte CHR WHQC re-brands, leaving behind the “Channel 96.1” brand and taking up the new “HITS 96.1” name.  The air staff at the iHeartMedia outlet remains the same.  Station program director A.J. comments, “Charlotte is a very competitive market and these updates align the brand in a way that capitalizes on its current strengths.  We’re excited to provide a fresh new experience for our listeners.  This is an excellent opportunity for ‘The New HITS 96.1’ to be the home of the biggest hits and stars while allowing our audience to gain access to the greatest music and entertainment events in Charlotte.”…..Westwood One launches a new urban AC morning show into national syndication that stars Rick Party (left)and Sasha the Diva (right). The “Rick and Sasha” show is debuting on 15 stations, including: KMJK-FM,Kansas City; KMEZ-FM, New Orleans; WDLT-FM, Mobile; and more. Rick Party previously served with WHQT, Miami “HOT 105” and Sasha was a personality on WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1.”…..Entercom’s classic rock WCMF, Rochester is celebrating 50 years as a rock station by kicking off its year-long “Rockin’ for 50 Years” celebration.  The station will observe this milestone with special programming and promotions throughout the year, including “50th Anniversary Album Side Saturdays” that will highlight the 50-year music history of WCMF.  Listeners will also be able to tune-in to “Riffer Madness” to hear iconic guitar riffs in classic rock as their cue to call for the chance to win prizes, including a WCMF 50th Anniversary electric guitar signed by current WCMF air staff.  The year-long commemoration will also include anniversary themed merchandise and a new station logo highlighting the history and music of the past 50 years…..Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula announces that Glenn Topolski is named director of on air for oldies WECK-AM/W275BB in Buffalo.  In addition to programming duties, Topolski also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Topolski has served in the market at signals including: WTSS-FM, WBEN-AM, WGR-AM, and WWKB-AM.  Shula says, “Glenn has helped WECK’s rank into the Nielson top 10 since joining 17 months ago.  He has been with us from day one and is a person who lives and breathes radio.  Glenn is a leader for the next generation on our industry.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Bobby Bones is profiled in the January issue of Texas Monthly. The piece delves into his radio journey from Austin to Nashville and his rise to becoming “…the most influential voice in country music today, with the power to turn new artists into breakout stars.”

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. December 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. 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 December decrease of eight-tenths by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is twice the size of its November gain of four-tenths (4.5 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). KLBJ-AM was a combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

In a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX climbs from #16 to #15. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone – Austin’s Sports Talk” has more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+) and is stable at #24.

Following three straight months at #1, KUT segues to #2 (8.5 – 8.2, -.3, 6+); the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet was a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ has been -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 November); and now +1.2 in December (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” carries on at #3. Its current 7.4 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Urban AC KKMJ-HD3, which hadn’t had a decrease since February and was up a collective three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off one-tenth and exits the top twenty (1.4, #20 to #21, 6+). A December gain of seven-tenths to 5.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+) by Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” erases its collective -.7 in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). Just as it did in November, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX posts a gain of six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #11, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Three consecutive down or flat trends by Emmis’ KLBJ-FM accounted for a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” gains three-tenths in December to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to being a cumulative +1.0 in four straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), adult hits sibling KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot it held the past three months to #1. It is the first time since August that “Bob” has held the top spot. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are its alternative cluster-mate KROX “101-X” (3.5 – 2.7, #10 to #14, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (3.1 – 2.3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is the first time “101-X” has been below a three-share (2.7, 6+) since January 2018 (2.9), and KLQB’s lowest 6+-share (2.3) since June’s 2.2. Despite dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in eighth-place. Logging decreases of one-half share each are KHFI’s rhythmic CHR sibling KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” (3.4 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+) and Emmis triple A KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” (2.3 – 1.8, flat at #18, 6+). In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” has lost a collective eight-tenths but remains at #7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” has lost a combined seven-tenths in November and December (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). It was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF regains half of November’s -.2 (1.6 – 1.7, +.1, 6+) and remains at #18. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” 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+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders half that gain in November and December (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, -.3, #16 to #17, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fourth decline in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.6 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Registering increases of one full-share each are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.1 – 5.1, #11 to #10, 6+) and – from Greensboro – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” (.4 – 1.4, #20, 6+). WKIX reaches the five-share level for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. An improvement of seven-tenths to 5.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” halts a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). An overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) and remains at #14. A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Continuing at #5 is its format rival, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country,” which is a collective -1.9 in November and December (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.1) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (6.0). With a +1.0 in September, WQDR curtailed three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC erodes by -1.5 but “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” stays on top for the fourth straight month. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. It has a 1.2-share (6+) advantage over urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK, which regresses by eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but repeats in the runner-up position; “K-97.5” was up an overall six-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Emmis news/talk WIBC has posted a -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); and now a -.9 in December (7.2 – 6.3, third to  fourth, 6+).

Its sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” records its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8, #16 to #14, 6+) and enjoys its best 6+-stat (2.8) in exactly one year (3.1, December 2017). On the other hand, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” regresses by four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #17, 6+), curtailing five straight sweeps without a loss that netted eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Adding three-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI inches up from ninth to eighth. WFYI was off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Following a collective seven-tenths decline in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” bounces back with an increase more than three times the size of that loss (9.0, +2.2, fourth to second, 6+). Prior to October, “B-105.7” was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). In December 2017, WYXB posted a 7.8 (6+). An improvement of nine-tenths to 7.7 (fourth to third, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” halts three (modest) downward moves in succession that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June – in which time it is even – (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR carries on at #12; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December.  Notwithstanding that it is off by seven-tenths (9.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the sixth month in a row. Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which yielded 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. Having finished at #2 in October and November, co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” plummets -1.8 in December (8.0 – 6.2, 6+), segueing to #5 with its lowest 6+-stat since March (6.2, as well). On top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and now -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” has been -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); -.7 (November); and now -.4 in December (5.0 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Down an overall four-tenths in an alternating June 2018 through December 2018 up/down sequence (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), University of Indianapolis jazz/classical WICR “88.7 The Diamond” (down six-tenths in December) falls from #19 to #18. A collective -1.4 via six straight downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+) send Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” from #15 to #16.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There have been some wild fluctuations this calendar year for Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” including -.8 (January); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); and now -2.6 in December (9.4 – 6.8, first to fifth, 6+). This (6.8) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March (6.0). A combined +1.3 in October and November, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” forfeits approximately half that gain in December (6.9 – 6.3, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” advances from #17 to #16. Its loss of four-tenths in November curtailed four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Roughly three-quarters of the way through the November sweep, Good Karma Brands shifted WKTI from country to sports talk. In its first full monthly report in its new format, “94.5 ESPN” erodes by -1.5 to .8 (#15 to #18, 6+). WKTI is now an overall -3.6 in seven straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8, 6+). Co-owned/Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee,” which debuted in November with a .5 (#20, 6+), disappears from print in December. Meanwhile, after quintupling (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” surrenders three-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+).

Owing to three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.5 and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – December 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 (#19 to #18, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Not only does WLDB post a whopping +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7, seventh to second, 6+), “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” is just one-tenth from the lead; the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary outlet posted a 5.6 in December 2017. A December increase of +1.1 (4.8 – 5.9 eighth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” completely obliterates its -1.1 in October and November (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Having been an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in a row (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” erases just over half that deficit with a +.7 to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #13. Progressing from #16 to #15, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” posts its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to November’s +.2 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WKLH “Hometown Rock 96.5” jumps from fourth to first. A station familiar with the top spot is WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies facility spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 but spirals by -1.0 in December (8.7 – 7.7) and is tied for second; WRIT was dislodged from the top spot in October. Off -1.1 in four successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” slips from sixth to eighth. After trending 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 (6+), its urban AC cluster-mate, WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” surrenders one-half share to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). As a result of dropping two-tenths to 7.3 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” interrupts three gains in succession that netted +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Ironically, the decrease comes immediately after WMIL lost its country competitor, WKTI, which is now sports talk (see above).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – In 12 of the last 13 sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, #11 to #14, 6+) has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range 6+; the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0.

Flat at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubles (+.6) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths with a December gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” advances from seventh to sixth. The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. By dropping one-tenth to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” suspends three consecutive improvements that yielded a collective +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

After three down moves in a row in which it was a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is up four-tenths to 3.8 (#14 to #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is +.7 since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+) and reaches #20 in December.

Nashville Music Formats – Adding a +1.9 to November’s +.9 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the 11th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations in calendar year 2018 are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); and now +1.9 (December). In addition to zooming from fifth to second, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.8) in over a year (7.2, October 2017). Wiping away November’s loss of one-half share with a December improvement twice that margin (2.6 – 3.6, +1.0, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU jumps from #16 to #13. Prior to November, “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was an overall +.8 through five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). The +.9 that iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” gained in October and November (6.0 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+) all but disappears in December with a loss of eight-tenths to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+). Owing to four straight decreases, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ is a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), yet “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” climbs from fourth to third. August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+) since January (7.8, as well). The market’s three country FMs finish at eighth, ninth, and tenth as they log a collective loss of -2.1 from November. More specifically, on the heels of November’s improvement of eight-tenths and a -1.0 in September, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” plummets by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, third to eighth, 6+). Stable at #9, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which was +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), is now an overall -.9 in November and December (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but stays at #10.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from seventh to sixth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Conversely, a four-tenths’ loss by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (1.7 – 1.3, #12 to #14, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with Boston hybrid news-talk sibling WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030,” which is up nine-tenths in six straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3, #17 to #14, 6+). Continuing at #21, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has its 6+-share sliced in half since October (.6 – .5 – .3, 6+).

Following four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI returns 80% of that increase (3.8, -1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

By regaining the three-tenths it lost in November (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH progresses from tenth to ninth; WGBH was up one-half share in October. Leveling off at 2.0 (6+) after November’s loss of six-tenths, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH repeats at #10. WELH gained four-tenths in September and in October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public radio news/talk outlets (WELH and WGBH) finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the fifth month in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dials up a +2.7 to 12.1, its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Over the last three ratings periods, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB has fluctuated by one-half share: “B-101” was +.5 (October); -.5 (November); and now +.5 in December (6.4 – 6.9, fifth to third, 6+). Representative WWBB moves earlier in calendar year 2018 include -.5 (January); +.9 (March); +.6 (April); +.9 (July); -.8 (August); and -.9 (September). After returning October’s one-half share increase in November, Hall Communications’ WCTK further erodes by -1.3 in December (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) and is tied for third with “B-101.” This (6.9) is the lowest 6+performance for “Cat Country 98.1” in approximately two years (6.6, “Holiday” 2016). A loss of eight-tenths (7.4 – 6.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) takes Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” below a seven-share (6.6, 6+) for the first time in more than three years (6.9, August 2015).

 Norfolk – Good news continues for iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV, which has ballooned its 6+ stat more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) in five positive spikes in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), zooming from eighth to fourth. At this time last year (December 2017), “Movin’ 107.7” logged a 4.4 (6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, however, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths via four consecutive modest decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” roars back with a +1.5 to 7.2 (fifth to second, 6+). This (7.2) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.5. Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a -2.6 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9, 6+), its urban AC cluster-mate – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is nonetheless #1 for the 25th straight survey period and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 33rd time in the last 34 sweeps. December 2018’s 12.9, however, is its lowest 6+-reading since April’s 12.3. On the other hand, its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A decline of -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to sixth, 6+) sends Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” to its weakest 6+-stat (5.5) since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. In four consecutive down or flat reports, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.2 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last six survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and now -.8 in December (11.2 – 10.4, first to second). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth to .7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Carrying on at #13, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), thus ending three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – By posting a December +2.8 to 10.7 (6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ completely vaporizes its collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” marches from third to first with its strongest 6+-mark (10.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. Finishing on top in June, July, August, and September, WEJZ was 9.0 in December 2017. As a result of four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI was an overall +1.9; however, in December, “Easy 102.9” regresses by four-tenths to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). That particular positive streak immediately followed three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Urban AC sibling WOKV-HD2 improves by one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). Having registered a 3.6 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK sputters by eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) as “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight positive spikes that netted a +1.6 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share to 6.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Recording a gain of four-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” carries on at #9. November’s +.4 pulled the plug on six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in three successive dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which had been in the runner-up slot the past three months, segues to third.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding three-tenths to November’s increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). A loss of four-tenths in October halted at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” has lost a collective three-tenths in November and December (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, flat at #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which recorded a 1.8 (6+) the past three reports, slips three-tenths to 1.5 (#14 to #15); WZZR gained one-half share in August. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD picks up one-tenth (.9 – 1.0, 6+) and returns to West Palm Beach’s top twenty (#22 to #18, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), WLRN jumps from eighth to sixth. Immediately prior to the November sweep, the Dade County School Board news/talk station logged three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – On the heels of November’s four-tenths’ improvement, Alpha Media’s WEAT dials up a +1.9 (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9, 6+) as “Sunny 107.9” zooms from fourth to second. Off six-tenths in October, “Sunny” has its best 6+-showing (6.9) since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. After plummeting by -1.8 in November, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” makes up more than half that loss with a +1.0 (8.9 – 9.9, 6+) and is #1 for the 12th sweep in succession. 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+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). Following back-to-back gains that netted one-half share (.8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami adult contemporary WMIA “93.9 Variety From the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #22, 6+). Down one-half share each are its classic rock sibling WKGR “Gater 98.7,” which is a collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, flat at #6, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida Country” (3.6 – 3.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Via five straight upticks, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX was a combined +1.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), but “Mia 92.1” is off two-tenths and departs the top ten (2.6, #10 to #11, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Although it repeats at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” forfeits one-half share of October and November’s collective +.7 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

A gain of two-tenths (.3 – .5, steady at #16, 6+) takes Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” to its best 6+-showing since May (.5, as well).

This is the seventh consecutive time that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 (1.9 – 2.1, +.2, 6+). After four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Stable at #15, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has a May 2018 through December 2018 (6+) topline of: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 – .6.

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG up or flat for the fourth straight month for a whopping (collective) +7.1 more than doubling its 6+-share since August (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9, 6+), “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” leaps from third to first. This (13.9) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017 and easily beats its (6+) December 2017 reading of 11.8. Dislodged from the top spot after 11 straight sweeps there is WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (11.4 – 10.8, -.6, first to second, 6+), which nonetheless is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th straight time. The Entercom urban AC was +1.0 in November. Its gain of two-tenths in October applied the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). A combined -.8 in October and September, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR gained three-tenths in November, but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” craters by -1.6 in December (6.7 – 5.1, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” was up one-half share in October; faltered by four-tenths in November; and is down three-tenths in December (5.5 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+) – but – overtakes WTQR. Spiraling by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” has its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (2.9, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #4, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” is an overall -2.1 in six straight sweeps without an increase, (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot the past 11 sweeps, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” sputters by seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to third. When it picked up two-tenths in November, “Simon” suspended three straight declines that accounted for a combined loss of nine-tenths (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Over the course of the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is +.5 (September, 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 (October, 3.4 – 2.8, 6+); +.9 (November, 2.8 – 3.7, 6+); and now -.5 (December, 3.7 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – In a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it has lost six-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drifts from the top ten (#10 to #13).

In addition to logging five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, “ESPN Sports Radio” was off six-tenths in July.

Memphis Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS up one full-share (10.5 – 11.5, 6+), “V-101” progresses from third to first and is in double-digits (6+) for the eighth successive sweep. This (11.5) is the best 6+-stat for “V-101” since June 2016’s 11.6. In a rare case of an adult contemporary outlet exiting the #1 slot in December 2018, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” freefalls by -1.6 (10.9 – 9.3, first to second, 6+). “The River” was off one-tenth in November, following October’s +2.4 to 11.0, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. At the same time, its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” – is an overall +2.1 in six consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WKIM sibling WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; and is now +.7 in December (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Up six-tenths each are iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (unchanged at #5, 6+) and co-owned CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” (1.1 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+). WHAL is an overall +1.6 in four straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately after Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” posted a November +1.9, it surrenders all of it and another one-tenth more in December (10.7 – 8.7, -2.0, second to third, 6+). Nevertheless, November’s 10.7 is the highest 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of nine-tenths (6.8 – 5.9, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM  from fifth to sixth; “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Going into the October sweep, WTIC-AM notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#14 to #15) has an ultra-consistent (6+) topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0.

Ever since reappearing in print in July 2018, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#12 to #13, 6+).

Although it is a combined +1.4 in four upticks in succession (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” backslides from eighth to ninth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR 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+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which had a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (steady at #14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Down eight-tenths in November (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH roars back with a +1.8 to 12.4 (6+) and is on top for the 29th consecutive ratings period. In addition, “Lite 100.5” is in double-digits (6+) for the 26th time in the last 28 sweeps with its best 6+-performance since June (12.4, as well). In December 2017, WRCH posted a 13.0 (6+). When co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7” gained four-tenths in November, it ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). The rhythmic CHR adds another seven-tenths in December (6.8 – 7.5, sixth to third, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” nets a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, repeating at #2, 6+); 7.8 in November and December is its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). An overall -1.3 owing to three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” answers with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). While unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Following a November increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 surrenders one-half share (2.6, flat at #11, 6+).

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio

| January 2, 2019

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — A hundred years ago, radio was the newcomer.  Thomas Edison had already captured audio, in 1877 via that first phonograph.  Audio went live when KDKA reported that Warren G. Harding had won the 1920 presidential election.

In its 20th century heyday, AM/FM broadcasting became a high-margin business, surviving the advent of television (which launched by luring away radio’s big stars); and – for a while – the evolution of playback devices (8-track, cassette, CD).  But there were already cracks in the dam.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

| January 1, 2019

Townsquare Media Co-Founder Dhruv Prasad to Exit the Company. Company co-founder and current co-CEO Dhruv Prasad announces he will leave Townsquare Media, Inc at the end of this month.  Current co-CEO Bill Wilson will become the sole chief executive officer.  The company adds that, in addition to Wilson, co-founder and CFO Stuart Rosenstein and EVP Claire Yenicay will assume Prasad’s management responsibilities.  Prasad comments, “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished since founding Townsquare in 2010.  From scratch, we created not only the nation’s third-largest radio broadcaster, but also built new, profitable businesses in live events and digital.  With the company on strong footing and in the hands of an outstanding senior management team, it’s time for me to move on to my next challenge.” Wilson states, “I want to thank Dhruv for his contributions to Townsquare over his longstanding tenure, and in particular, his partnership over the past year as co-CEO.  Together, we were able to reorient Townsquare to focus on our ‘Local First’ strategy and successfully rationalize our non-local businesses.  I look forward to continuing this strategy, which has driven strong local growth in 2018, particularly within our digital businesses, and solidified our position as the premier local advertising and marketing solutions company in the heartland of America.”

Mancow Begins New Year Hosting Mornings on WLS-AM, Chicago. As had been teased prior to the holidays, Erich Mancow Muller is the new morning drive personality on Cumulus Media’s Chicago news/talker WLS-AM.  He’ll launch the new morning show tomorrow (1/3). Last month, the station announced that the morning team of Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens was exiting the morning daypart, but Howell stays with the station hosting the new 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  This is a return to WLS-AM for Muller.  He co-hosted the midday show with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010.  Mancow had been hosting the morning program at classic rock WLUP-FM until last March when owner Merlin Media sold the signal to religious operator Educational Media Foundation.  Since then, Muller has been off the air.  He’ll once again be working for Marv Nyren, Cumulus Media’s vice president and market manager for Chicago.  Interestingly, Nyren fired Muller from alternative WKQX in 2006 and when he became Cumulus’ market manager (Cumulus was operating WLUP under an LMA) in 2017, Muller sued him for harassment and emotional distress.  However, the suit was dropped and the two have obviously overcome their differences.  John Dempsey is still the morning news anchor and Midge “Luv Cheez” Ripoli will serve as the show’s executive producer.

KKOB-AM, Albuquerque Afternoon Host Scott Stiegler to Exit. Actually, Scott Stiegler is remaining with the Cumulus Media station and will move to the sales department. The station says it will have an announcement about the programming change on January 7, but New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan reports that former longtime morning rock jock T.J. Trout will take over the afternoon drive show.  Trout served with iHeartMedia’s crosstown KZRR “94 Rock” for 25 years until he exited the station in 2011. According to Monahan, Trout is returning to the market after retiring to his hometown of Cleveland in 2011.

Salem Debuts Sebastian Gorka on 340 Affiliates and 24/7 in Washington.  New Year’s Day marked the national syndication debut of “America First with Dr. Sebastian Gorka” from Salem Radio Network.  In addition to launching on some 340 affiliate stations across the country, the program is being heard in the Washington, DC market on four signals – including round the clock on Salem-owned WSPZ-AM.  The show can also be heard in DC on Salem’s news/talk WWRC “AM 570 The Answer,” WAVA-AM, and WAVA-HD2.

2019: Welcome to the Golden Age of Audio.  Consultant Holland Cooke launches a new, weekly column in TALKERS magazine called the “Monday Memo” in which he outlines “techniques proven to produce results and how these timeless basics advantage us on the changing media landscape.”  Coming on Monday (1/7) at Talkers.com, Cooke will address “how smart stations score smartphone clicks and earn digital dollars podcasting.”  Meanwhile, read today’s introductory piece explaining some of the good news/bad news scenarios facing the radio business here.

Davis Media to Launch ‘All News 102’ in Virginia Beach. The current triple A format on Davis Media’s WXTG-FM, Virginia Beach; WXTG-AM, Hampton; and W270DA, Hampton is flipping to all-news on Monday (1/7).  Davis Media says, “Listeners can expect ‘All-News 102’ to feature a wide variety of national and local news. Our content partners include ABC Radio, NBC Sports Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Accuweather, Reliant Traffic, Associated Press, Virginia News Network, and content from our sister publications, wydaily.com and southsidedaily.com.  While the focus for the station is news and not talk – community conversation will have its place. Throughout each newsday, ‘All-News 102’ will host discussions with local newsmakers regarding compelling, focused topics to inform communities and promote more thoughtful daily considerations and learnings for audiences.”  The triple A format continues on the company’s WTYD-FM, Deltaville, Virginia.

SB Nation Announces New Programming. The national radio syndication lineup of SB Nation Radio has a few changes in the New Year.  The KDUS-AM, Phoenix-based “Calling All Sports” show featuring RocManuch, and Crespin airs on the network in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot.  The show has been airing on KDUS-AM for the past 14 years.  Other changes include Jake Asman hosting “The Power Hour” from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET and Dave Smith joining the network for weekend show hosting duties.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Vinny D joins Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” as afternoon drive personality.  He was most recently with Urban Radio’s hip hop WMSR-FM “Power 94.9” and urban contemporary WMXV “V101.5” in Tuscumbia, Alabama.   WMGC program director John Candelaria comments, “We are thrilled to find a diamond in the rough.  He is authentic and funny.  Detroit is a blue-collar city and Vinny D is eager to roll up his sleeves and serve our community!”…..Entercom adds Greg “Grego” Onofrio to the air staff of adult hits KKHH, Houston “95.7 The Spot.”  Onofrio was previously an anchor and on-camera commentator at KIAH-TV, Houston “CW 39” where he hosted “NewsFix,” an alternative presentation to traditional local news.  Before working in television, he hosted “Outlaw Radio” on then-rock KLOL-FM, Houston. nighttime show at Rock 101 KLOL in Houston…..Cumulus Media flips country WIWF, Charleston, South Carolina to classic hits as “The All-New 96.9 The Wolf.”  Cumulus Charleston vice president and market manager Sherry Dollar says, “Our New Year’s resolution is to be the station that only plays the best of Charleston’s classic hits.  We think listeners will love hearing the songs that have stood the test of time and are now classics!  Their all-time favorites all have a home at 96.9 FM.”…..In the Akron-Canton market, iHeartMedia debuts new adult contemporary outlet WHOF-FM “SUNNY 101.7, Variety from the 80s, 90s and Today.”  The station is airing 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row and says it will have details about its new air personality lineup in the coming weeks…..Beasley Media Group launches new classic rock outlet WPBB-FM, Tampa “98.7FM The Shark” that is focused on rock songs from the 80s and 90s.  The station begins airing the Detroit-based “Dave & Chuck the Freak” in mornings on Monday (1/7).  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase says, “It’s been many years since Tampa Bay had a true classic rock station on a full signal and we’re excited to offer the next generation of classic rock to such a great rock market.”…..Cumulus Media names Summer James midday personality for adult contemporary WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina “B106.7.”  James has worked for Cumulus in Los Angeles.   She says, “I’m so excited to be joining this great team on the air in the Capital City.  They have a winning philosophy, I love South Carolina, and we have the signal to rock the state in 2019!”

December 2018 PPM Data – Round One. REVISED information for the December 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of being off three-tenths in consecutive months (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.7, October-November-December, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” completely forfeits its cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). In addition to posting its eighth straight monthly report without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” climbs from #23 to #22. Up or flat the fifth straight month for a net gain of three-tenths (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC checks in at #24.

Following November’s loss of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WFAN is down another two-tenths (3.7 – 3.5, eighth to tenth, 6+). The flagship of the Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Nets was -.8 in September and +.5 in October; 4.7 in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 5.2. Without a loss the past four months for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1. 7 – 1.8, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” forfeits three-tenths to 1.5 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). The New York Jets and New York Knicks flagship was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June.

Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in July, August, and September, Entercom all-news WINS was then stymied at 4.4 (6+) in October and November before dropping one-tenth in December to 4.3 but advances from sixth to fifth. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a combined +.8 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+) yet backslides from a three-way tie at #11 to #12.

The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which was a cumulative -.7 (May, June, and July); +.7 (August); -.6 (September); +.6 (October); -.4 (November); and now +.6 in December (3.0 – 3.6, #15 to #9, 6+). For the third month in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM logs a .5 (steady at #28, 6+). Prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – After being down by four-tenths in back-to-back survey periods (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” roars back with a +2.4 in December to 9.1 (6+) and is #1 for the 17th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW (which was 8.8, 6+, in December 2017) was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). With a consistent July 2018 through November 2018 topline of 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 (6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM sputters by nine-tenths in December to 5.4, but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” carries on in third-place. Four successive up or flat trends by Emmis urban AC WBLS accounted for a net +1.2 (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+); however, “107.5 – #1 For R&B” returns two-thirds of that increase (5.7, -.8, flat at #2, 6+). In five-share range (6+) for 33 sweeps in succession, WBLS recorded a 6.1 (6+) in June 2018. Flat at #8, rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WQHT “Hot 97” 6+), is without an increase for the sixth straight time for a cumulative loss of three-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+). Up a collective half-share in October and November (4.3  – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” surrenders six-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1,” which had been up or flat the past four ratings periods in succession for an overall gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #13).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though it is without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” manages to climb from seventh to sixth. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” and iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” are tied at #31 with identical profiles (1.1 – .8, -.3, 6+). In consecutive sweeps, Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” gains two-tenths (.3 – .5 – .7, #40 to #35, 6+).

Practically doubling its 6+-stat (+.7) through three positive spikes in a row (.8 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+), Los Angeles Rams’ AM flagship KSPN “710 ESPN” forfeits two-tenths to 1.3 (#25 to #26, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Following ten (10) successive ratings periods without a loss – in which time it more than quintupled (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” erodes by two-thirds (-1.4) to .7 (6+), plummeting from #22 to #35. KLAC is the flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers and is among the key stations of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

A gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, 6+) propels Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” back into the top ten (#11 to #9).

The ten (10) most recent 6+ stats for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#unchanged at #14) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over and above repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST racks up a +3.9 and is up for the fourth month in succession for an overall +4.4 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0, 6+). In December 2017, “Coast 103.5” was 8.7 (6+). While unchanged at #3, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH is a collective -.7 as a result of four straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+).“K-Earth 101” was on top in October 2018. Prior to that sweep, the last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KOST and KRTH is iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” which gains two-tenths to 4.9 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in an overall loss of -1.1 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). When “My-FM” was dislodged from the top spot in October, it halted a streak of five successive months at #1. As the result of four consecutive upticks (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), KUSC is a collective +.7 as the University of Southern California classical outlet enters the top twenty (#19). Finishing at #23, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” is without an increase for the seventh time in a row for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Liberman Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KBUE “Que Buena” is down or flat for the fourth straight sweep for a -.3 (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+) but stays at #20. In the market’s alternative contest, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “Alt 98.7” returns the three-tenths it gained in November (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while Entercom’s KROQ is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep for a -.7 (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+), dipping from #17 to #20. Unchanged at #5, smooth AC sibling – KTWV “94.7 The Wave” – is nonetheless off one-half share in December (4.3 – 3.8, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOS was 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but regional Mexican “Mega 96.3” is unlisted for the third sweep in a row.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – After logging three straight up or flat trends for a collective +.7 (2.5