Tag: "Houston"

March 2018 PPM Ratings

| April 17, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Chats On Air with iHM CEO Bob Pittman.  During a visit to the Houston offices of iHeartMedia, company CEO Bob Pittman took a few minutes to sit in on the Michael Berry show based at flagship station KTRH, Houston.  He talked with Berry about his belief in the audio experience.  “I’m bullish on audio…depends on how you count it, we’re probably the number two podcaster in the U.S., behind NPR.  Podcasting has shown that, oh my gosh, people actually want to listen to people go in depth.  Certainly, radio has this enormous listenership…but we’re adding these pieces to it to make this even better and we’re doing this because the audience wants it.”  He also expressed his belief that smart speakers – such as Google’s Alexa – are the new clock/radio for the consumer’s home, citing their growth in popularity and ease of use.  Check out the segment here.

PodcastOne Series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” Rebranding with Expanded Scope.  Beginning this week, in marking its third anniversary, the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” will transition to a new name and incorporate a wider scope of guests and topics.  Under the new title, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the program will be less targeted to the talk media and radio industries and more aimed at a worldwide general audience consisting of what its host,TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, describes as “media freaks,pop culture aficionados, political junkies and the philosophically curious.”  Although the newly positioned podcast will still include guests from the talk media field, it will also delve deeper into politics, science, the arts, technology, sociology, sports and philosophy.  As far as the weekly audio interviews with talk media figures that “Up Close and Far Out” has encompassed are concerned, Harrison will continue to conduct them and post them on Talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “Nothing will change in that regard.  We have been very successful with the Talkers interviews and will continue to do them.  I will basically be doing an extra podcast each week with this expanded vehicle.”   In announcing the expansion of the PodcastOne series, company founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “I met Michael Harrison decades ago in Los Angeles when he was managing editor of Radio & Records.  He also was a leading major market music and talk personality on KMET and syndicated nationally as a star performer on several of the top networks including Westwood One.  He had an amazing range and skill set as a broadcaster.  He voluntarily gave that up as the years passed to concentrate on his role as a trade magazine publisher and industry thought-leader.  In time, most folks in the business forgot that he was one of the best interviewers and all around broadcasters in radio.  I’m pleased to say that his performance on ‘Up Close and Far Out’ these past three years caused many people in the industry to take notice of his outstanding talent as an interviewer beyond just the topic of radio.  It has led to a number of stand-out, major market fill-in appearances and now, this new podcast.  I’m delighted to roll out one of the best kept secrets in the radio business – Michael Harrison as a world class talk show host.”  To listen to the debut installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” featuring a deep-dive conversation with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, please click here.

Judge Shoots Down Request by Nielsen and Bubba Attorneys to Use Electronic Devices in Pre-Trial Conference.  When the pre-trial conference gets underway on Friday (2/9) at 11:30 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the lawyers for both sides in the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge case will be without their laptops, iPads and smartphones.  Lawyers for both parties filed a Joint Motion to Permit Use of Electronic Equipment, but were denied.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for $1 million for damages related to the ratings manipulation case in the Tampa market.  Bubba is countersuing.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a programming change at Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG, Atlanta “680 and 93.7 The Fan” as the morning drive and late morning shows flip-flop.  “The Front Row” with Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden, and Brian Finneran moves to the morning drive slot and the Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino show moves from mornings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The rest of the program schedule stays as is…..Another high-profile departure from NPR happens amidst allegations of sexual impropriety.  This time, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Zwerdling exits the organization, according to a report in The Current.  The story says that all NPR would confirm is that Zwerdling is no longer on the staff.  Zwerdling himself states that allegations of sexual harassment are untrue and that he retired from NPR in January.  But, the story notes that “at least two NPR staffers reported Zwerdling to human resources in November.”  It also reports that subsequent allegations go back to the mid-1990s.  Zwerdling is quoted saying, “The allegations are not true.  When the movement started sweeping across the nation recently to expose sexual harassers and predators, I applauded it.  I still do.  The current national reckoning regarding sexual harassment is a momentous opportunity for America to make itself a better, safer and more equitable country.  Yet as many have already observed, there are also perhaps predictable and troubling collateral casualties along the way. The allegations against me are one of those instances.”

Former WFNI-AM/WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Staffer Loses Harassment Case Against Emmis.  The complaint against Emmis by former WFNI and WIBC, Indianapolis digital brand manager Kristine Esser Slentz was dismissed after Emmis sought a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgement and was granted those motions.  The court also sustained Emmis’ objections to Slentz’s evidence as hearsay.  In her complaint, Slentz said that two show producers with whom she interacted in the course of her job, called her a “bitch” behind her back and criticized her work, among other actions she says created a hostile work environment.  But the court granted Emmis’ motions due to its agreement that any name-calling was hearsay – never heard by Slentz herself, and that the actions alleged on the part of the two producers, if true, did not cross the thresholds necessary for a hostile work environment claim.

Nominees Being Accepted for National Radio Hall of Fame. March 30 is the deadline for nominations for the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction that will take place in New York City in November.  The NRHOF nominating committee wants you to know you should make suggestions for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary in New York City.  As we prepare for the special evening, it’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of it, starting with suggestions for our 2018 nominees.”

RAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017.  This data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates study called, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues.”  This is the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report that analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.  Among the findings: 1) 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together; 2) digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year; 3) digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million.  The forecast for 2018 is even higher; and 4) radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank social media and radio as the top two methods to achieve those goals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off.  As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”  RAB members can get the full report here.

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  The Holiday survey is usually a bonanza for adult contemporary outlets since Christmas music is such a part of their programming and the fluctuations in 6+ numbers from the December survey to the Holiday survey bear that out as “eight of 10 adult contemporary facilities noted here (80%) are up December 2017 – Holiday 2017, while 18% are down; the remaining 2% are steady.”  Looking at a comparison of Holiday 2016 to Holiday 2017, “approximately the same number of adult contemporary stations on this sample decline year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while the remaining 5% are flat.”  An amazing 38 AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 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 new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

| January 24, 2018

‘Rip City Radio’ Portland Begins Partnership with NBC Sports Northwest.  The content simulcast of KPOJ, Portland “Rip City Radio 620” and NBC Sports Northwest began today (1/24).  This collaboration means the iHeartMedia sports talk station is re-branding to “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  The deal provides for nine hours of combined content with NBC Sports Northwest producing its own 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  The rest of the lineup is: “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel”; “Dwight & Aaron” (with sports journalists Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress,); and “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad.”  KPOJ is also simulcasting NBC Sports Northwest’s “Outdoors GPS” program.  All shows will originate from a new, state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.   iHeartMedia president, Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all-in-one destination.”

FAIR Names Joe Gomez Press Secretary.  News/talk radio pro Joe Gomez joins the Federation for American Immigration Reform as the organization’s press secretary.  He was most recently serving with NBC News Radio as a Washington, DC-based correspondent.  During his career, he’s served with KTRH, Houston (covering the drug wars along the U.S.-Mexico border); KOA-Denver; KIRO-AM/FM, Seattle; and CBS Radio News based in Texas.  He says, “I’m very passionate about immigration reform.  I look forward to using my experience in radio to expand FAIR’s presence on news/talk stations across the country.”  His duties with FAIR include working directly with news/talk radio stations to provide FAIR’s expert voices on immigration issues and serving as an additional spokesperson.  He can be reached at: jgomez@fairus.org or phoned at 202-742-1843.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley as one of the two morning keynote speakers at Talkers 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  Beasley will be the other half of a one-on-one “fireside chat” double-header that will be conducted by Michael Harrison.  The other is Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star in the radio industry and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading going forward.  She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise.  Radio is in her DNA.  I am thrilled to personally have the opportunity to conduct one-on-ones with these two individuals – Hannity and Beasley – who are situated at the tip of the spear – as we kick off an amazing day.”   The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry, with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes.  For the 18th straight year, FOX Sports Radio is broadcasting from the Super Bowl during the week leading up to the game.  As part of the network’s coverage, several programs will broadcast live from Minneapolis next week, including: “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show,” and “J.T. The Brick,” who will broadcast live from the NFL Media Center at the Mall of America.  DIRECTV’s Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen will broadcast live from downtown Minneapolis, overlooking U.S. Bank Stadium…..Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) announces that the featured keynote speaker at his 10th Annual Harry Hurley Charity Dinner Event – being held on Friday, April 6 at the Resorts Casino – Hotel – is FOX News Channel television and radio superstar Brian Kilmeade (right).  As part of the evening’s program, Kilmeade will be doing a book signing for his latest historical work, Andrew Jackson and The Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (2017, Sentinel).  Hurley tells TALKERS that his Harry Hurley Charity has raised more than $750,000 and written grants to hundreds of worthy not-for-profit organizations, including an annual grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America…..ABC News announces plans for coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the Democratic response on Tuesday, January 30.  For the radio side, ABC News Radio will provide a special, one-hour program titled, “Preview to the State of the Union,” at 8:06 pm, ET and live coverage of the president’s address with anchor Aaron Katersky and correspondents Karen Travers from the White House and Stephanie Ramos from the Capitol, as well as analysis by Rick Klein and contributors Steve Roberts and Alex Castellanos…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and the New England Patriots announce a multi-year extension of their agreement that includes broadcasting rights for “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” programming that features Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Entercom is enthusiastic of and committed to its role as the nation’s premiere sports audio producer.  Continuing this winning combination of WEEI and the Patriots, one of Entercom’s over 40 professional team partnerships, is a strong sign of that commitment and passion to our listeners.”

Westwood One Is Exclusive Radio Partner for Super Bowl LII.  Syndicator and sales unit Westwood One is the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League and this year’s Super Bowl LII.  Parent company Cumulus Media reminds us that this is the 31st consecutive year and the 45th time overall that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.  Calling the game are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason.  Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren will also contribute throughout the game broadcast.  Former All-Pro offensive lineman Tony Boselli returns for second straight year as sideline reporter, and this year will be joined on the field by Hall of Fame reporter Ed Werder.  Jim Gray anchors the pre-game and halftime coverage.  Super Bowl XXXIV MVP and Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner will also contribute to the pregame show coverage.

Trump-Russia Probe, FBI Missing Texts, DACA Status/Border Wall, Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Torture House Case, Oscar Nominations, and Super Bowl LII Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; five months of missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; the battle between Democrats and President Trump over the Dreamer Act and a funding mechanism to build the Mexican border wall; a school shooting in Kentucky claims the lives of two students; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; the North Korean nuclear weapons threats; the case of the California couple charged with child abuse of their 13 children; the Academy Award nominations are revealed; and the Super Bowl LII matchup between the Patriots and the Eagles were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Sacramento, Amanda Burd is the new midday personality and assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s contry KBEB.  She takes over for Michelle Buckles…..Sarah Lanieu is named director of marketing and promotions for iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay cluster that includes news/talk WFLA-AM, news/talk WHNZ “Impact Radio,” and sports talker WDAE, as well as CHR WFLA-FM and country WFUS “U.S. 103.5.”…..Programming and on-air pro Chris Ryan moves to Memphis to take on the morning show co-host role using the air name Ryan Anderson at Entercom’s hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100.”  He’s partnering up with current morning host Michelle Lewis.  He’s most recently been serving with Neuhoff Media’s hot AC WSOY-FM, Decatur, Illinois as PD and morning host.

Round One of Holiday PPMs Released. Information from the “Holiday” 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). More often than not, sharp December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Over and above being on top for the fifth straight time and boasting a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” posts the largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (+4.3, 6+). After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1,” however, drops seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.2, eighth to tenth, 6+), while Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is off by six-tenths (2.9 – 2.3, #13 to #16, 6+). Without an increase for four sweeps in a row for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM picked up two-tenths in December to 5.7 (6+), but “New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits eight-tenths in “Holiday 2017” (4.9, third to fourth, 6+). It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. On November 9, Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through “Holiday” 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1; WBMP remains at #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in the last three sweeps (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from seventh to sixth. Down or flat for the seventh straight time for a combined loss of -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” slips from sixth to seventh.

2) Los Angeles – Repeating at #1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” (8.7 – 11.9, +3.2, 6+) is in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Off the past three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” hauls out a +.8 to 2.9, rocketing into the top ten (#20 to #8, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH “Radio Free 102.3” improves by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, #21, 6+) and reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1. Down or flat for the third month in a row, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza” (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+) is a collective -1.3 in that stretch and plummets from #10 all the way to #22; this is the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Cross-town competitor, 93.9 License KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” falters by six-tenths (2.0 – 1.4 #22 to #26, 6+). One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ. Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuted in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+) and now erodes by another seven-tenths to .5 (6+), freefalling from #28 to #36. Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (6+) since September, Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” drops one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11).While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI loses two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In the alternative tussle, Entercom’s KROQ drops two-tenths (2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and remains at #1, while iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” is off four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, 6+), drifting from a #13 tie with KROQ to #19. With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. Smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.8 in five successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September.

3) Chicago – Not only is WLIT “93.9 My-FM” the first station in the market to reach double-figures since it did so exactly one year ago with a 13.7 (“Holiday” 2016, 6+), the iHeartMedia-owned hot AC stays at #1 and is a remarkable +10.2 in three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Its format competitor, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” sputters by an overall two full-shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to fifth. “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). Following an increase of +2.0 in December, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” tacks on an additional +1.0 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), climbing from fifth to third. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling). Dropping by one-half share is co-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country,” down or flat for the third straight time for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, sixth to seventh, 6+). Off by -.5 as well is Hubbard classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” which is -1.4 in three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, #10 to #15, 6+), and adult contemporary cluster-mate WSHE “100.3 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, 2K, and Today” (2.9 – 2.4, #12 to #18, 6+). By picking up three-tenths to 2.5 (#20 to #15, 6+), Merlin Media alternative WKQX applies the brakes to four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+).

Similarly, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 3.2 (ninth to seventh 6+), ending four straight sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+). Entercom-owned WSCR is a combined -2.8 in the last three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “670 The Score” is steady at #21; the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+).

4) San Francisco – By adding a +2.4 to December’s +2.3, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” occupies the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016. Ironically, it accomplishes the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016. With KOIT-FM advancing from second to first, it ends 12 successive times that KQED-FM (7.6, -.1, first to second, 6+) set the pace in San Francisco; the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet was off by nine-tenths in December to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Having picked up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR regressed by seven-tenths in December, but “The Sports Leader” bounces back with a one-half share increase in “Holiday” 2017 and returns to the top ten (2.4 – 2.9, #14 to #10, 6+). When KOIT-FM finished second in December 2017, it curtailed 11 straight months of Entercom all-news KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), but carries on at #3. October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined full-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+), falling out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in October and November, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips by one-half share in consecutive sweeps (2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #14 to #18, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is its Spanish adult hits sibling KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” (3.0 – 2.5, #9 to #12, 6+).

5) Dallas – Doubling December 2017’s +1.0 with a +2.0 (4.2 – 5.2 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” takes sole possession of first place. Whereas 7.2 is KLUV’s highest 6+-share in two years (10.6 in “Holiday 2015”), November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). It shared the lead in December 2017 with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which dips to fourth (4.8, -.4, 6+), and ends at three a string of consecutive increases that netted seven-tenths (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that accounted for a +.9 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), “Lone Star 92.5” was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Its adult contemporary sibling, KDGE, is a combined +3.8 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 as “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety,” progresses from fourth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Leaping back into the top twenty (#21 to #14), Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “105.7 Smooth R&B” is up eight-tenths (2.2 – 3.0, 6+) and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since September’s 3.3. Tied in tenth-place are “Smooth R&B” urban contemporary cluster-mate KKDA-FM “K-104” (3.2 – 3.7, +.5, up from #11 in December, 6+) and Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (3.1 – 3.7, +.6, up from #12 in December, 6+). In addition to “K-104,” Entercom’s KVIL adds one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, #20 to #16, 6+). In recent years, once heritage adult contemporary KVIL has repositioned itself to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.5, as Cumulus Media’s KPLX “The Wolf” (fifth to sixth) suffers its fifth straight negative trend for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and co-owned KSCS “New Country 96.3” regresses by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, seventh to a three-way tie at sixth, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom regional Mexican KMVK “LA Grande 107.5” surrenders nine-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly, a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (unchanged at #5) curtails at three a streak of positive spikes that accounted for a gain of seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). After six months in succession of being either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ drops four-tenths to 3.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Meanwhile, steady at #3, CHR sibling KHKS “Kiss” is up or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative +.7 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In 14 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#19 to #17) has been within a high of 2.5 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+).

6) Houston – After back-to-back stays at #2 in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA is now #1 in consecutive reports. An up/down pattern which saw “Sunny 99.1” gain eight-tenths in August; lose it all in September; pick up one-half share in October; surrender eight-tenths in November; and then log a +2.8 in December ends in “Holiday” 2017 as it racks up a +3.6 (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9 – 12.5, 6+). Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station has reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Gaining one-half share each are Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” (4.6 – 5.1, fifth to third, 6+) and Liberman regional Mexican KEYH “La Ranchera” (.3 – .8, #25, 6+). Conversely, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KGLK “The Eagle” (5.3 – 4.3, third to sixth, 6+) and Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” (3.1, #11 to #16, 6+) are each off by one full-share. “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). Surrendering six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” (7.5 – 6.9, steady in second-place, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KHJK “Air 1 Positive Hits” (1.6 – 1.0, #23, 6+). When “Majic” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. A collective -1.4 in four straight negative trends (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH slides from #17 to #19.        Following three upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+) Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” slips by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), moving from sixth to ninth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December.

7) Atlanta – On the heels of a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” adds another +1.3 to 8.5 (6+) and carries on in second-place. A November decrease of one-tenth curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). “The Fish” trails Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM (-.5, 6+) by just one-tenth. Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WSB-AM is now a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+), but is #1 for the 25th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. On the flipside, co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” garners a +.8 to 4.7 (tenth to sixth, 6+), thus erasing its -.8 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). Owing to a +.5 (1.5 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDA “Alt 105.7 – Atlanta’s Rock Alternative” reaches a two-share (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.0 and cracks the top twenty at #19. The market’s urban AC takes a -2.1 hit as Cox Media Group’s WALR “Kiss 104.1” is -1.6 to 4.9 (third to fifth, 6+), while Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” is off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to the -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Following a November improvement of six-tenths, “Majic” is -.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017; it was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Having returned November’s +.3 in December (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” coughs up another half-share to 2.9 (6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Steady at #9, CHR cluster-mate WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” (4.1, -.1, eighth to ninth, 6+), which had posted three straight increases (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – Even though it lost the honor of largest (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets summarized here by one-tenth to iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW (see above), Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” claims bragging rights for highest 6+-share in these 12 metros (12.8 – 17.0, +4.2, 6+). Displaced from #1 in November, WBEB hung out a +5.0 in December to return to the top spot. In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and has its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #15. Advancing from fifth to fourth, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL picks up four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), thus curtailing five straight declines for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+). A loss of one full-share (6.2 – 5.2, 6+) drops Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” from third to fifth and below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. Included among those eroding by six-tenths from December 2017 are public news/talk WHYY (3.8 – 3.2, #8 to #12, 6+); Entercom news/talk WPHT (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #18, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #14, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), WISX returned one-third of that increase in December (-.5, 6+). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. The last time WPHT fell below a two-share (6+) was nearly two years ago (1.7, January 2016). It is déjà vu for Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.8 – 3.3, -.5, #eighth to #tenth, 6+), which registers its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (3.3, as well).

9) Long Island – As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has easily more than tripled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+) as New York City’s “106.7 Lite FM” progresses from fourth to second; “Lite” had a 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. More than four full-shares ahead of WLTW in Long Island though is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM, which is an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well as for the last three sweeps. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In ten (10) straight Long Island ratings periods without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), WWPR “Power 105.1” was off by a collective one-half share, but the iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlet recaptures the entire loss with a gain of six-tenths to 2.2 (#21 to #17, 6+). In the CHR arena, WWPR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” surrenders six-tenths and is down for the third straight time (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (seventh to eighth) erodes for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to WBLI, Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” (4.4 – 3.7, flat at #6, 6+); Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (3.7 – 3.0, ninth to tenth, 6+); and public news/talk WNYC-FM (1.8, #15 to #20, 6+) all slip by seven-tenths. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), “The Fan” relinquished all but four-tenths of that increase in December (4.4, -1.5, 6+). Prior to its -.7 in “Holiday” 2017, WNYC-FM had been up or flat the past four months, more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+). Forfeiting six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.3 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” (3.5 – 2.9, flat at #11, 6+), which had been within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 15 sweeps. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” has since faltered by three times as much as that (-1.5) in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 38th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths (2.0 – 2.4, 6+) to progress from #18 to #14. Even though Entercom all-news WCBS-AM is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), it advances from #13 to #12.

10) Riverside – Applying the brakes to four consecutive negative trends that accounted for a more than 50% loss (-2.3) of its 6+-share (4.2 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” improves by six-tenths to 2.5 (tenth to eighth, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gains one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+).  Logging a 1.5 in four of its last five survey periods (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD “Air 1 Positive Hits” breaks out a gain of one-half share to 2.0 (6+) and carries on at #11. Notwithstanding that it remains at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” is a combined +1.2 in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Setting the pace for the 27th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” slides by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. After four straight monthlies without a decrease netting nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” returns one-half share (3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); December’s 4.1 was its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9.

11) San Jose – Six-tenths of a share separates the top three stations in San Jose’s “Holiday” 2017 report and there’s a new #1 in this Bay Area market. Registering an increase of two full-shares after December’s +1.6, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” advances from third to first (5.6 – 7.6, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (8.4 in “Holiday” 2016). Following five straight sweeps on top, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by six-tenths (8.1 – 7.5, 6+) and takes over at #2. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. It has a one-half share advantage over Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0 (6+); 7.0 represents its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. An improvement of six-tenths (1.2 – 1.8, #23, 6+) takes Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” to its best 6+-showing in San Jose since February’s 1.9. Freefalling by one full-share each are iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5 – 3.5, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (4.4 – 3.4, eighth to tenth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), but eroded by eight-tenths in December. Not only does iHeartMedia-owned KOSF slip by one-half share (2.2 – 1.7, 6+), “iHeart80s @103.7” exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).

12) Middlesex – In three separate metros – New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM” is a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Regarding its performance in this New Jersey market, “Lite-FM” spikes by +3.0 (8.5 – 11.5, 6+) and repeats at #1; WLTW logged an 8.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. Furthermore, this is its sixth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). Spiking by 20% of WLTW’s +3.0 is Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is an overall +1.5 in three consecutive progressive trends (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+). Posting gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU, up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “93.1 Amor” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing here since May’s 4.0. After dropping two-tenths in December to conclude three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN-FM flounders by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” segues from fifth to seventh. In three declines in a row, Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” has lost more than 50% (-1.8) of 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, #22 to #23, 6+). Off by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, #22, 6+), which had recorded a 2.0 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods. This is the third downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.0 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+).

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.

“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.

Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.

 News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.

TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England PatriotsTennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.

Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.

PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.

SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.

FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).

Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm.  Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism.  This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable.  The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words.  This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it.  In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly.  Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.”   Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t.  My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.”  We want our shows to be safe for the whole family.  No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.”  Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'”  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards.  Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’   We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities.   We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making.  If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage.   If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance.  But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.”  Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go.  Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.”  Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air.  Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!”  Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning.  My advice:  Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'”  TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.”  For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.

Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.”  TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term.  To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! 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.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.

WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.

TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Showwith former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.

British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.”  It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy.  Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.”  According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10)  breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it.  He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker.  In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air.  “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.”  Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected.  To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadioTALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”

iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.

 

 

Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”

Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”

Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).

Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.

Monday, November 27, 2017

| November 27, 2017

Peter Casey Exits WBZ-AM, Boston After 24 Years. Longtime director of news and programming Peter Casey exits all-news WBZ-AM, Boston.  The Boston Globe reports that Casey has been let go by iHeartMedia, which is operating the station under an LMA until it closes on the station.  WBZ-AM is joining iHeartMedia as part of a swap of assets with Entercom for the latter to comply with station ownership limits.  Casey tells the paper he has nothing bad to say about iHeartMedia and calls the people he’s been dealing with “respectful and impressive.”  Casey, who’s been director of news and programming for the past 21 years, wrote in a memo to staffers, “I will cherish the memories of this place, of all of you and those that came before you.  I will keep those memories with me.  I will keep them a part of me even as I walk out the door today on my very last day at WBZ NewsRadio 1030.”  Assistant program director Bill Flaherty is serving as interim director of news and programming.

Lance Zierlein Returns to Houston Airwaves.  Houston sports talk personality Lance Zierlein is back on the radio today at Gow Broadcasting’s KFNC-FM, co-hosting the 7:00 am to 9:00 am show with John Granato.  The two will be joined by Raheel Ramzanali for the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour that is being simulcast on KFNC-FM and KFNC-HD2.  As part of his new gig, Zierlein will also write for the Gow-owned CultureMap and SportsMap digital publications.  He exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talk KBME back in July.  During his tenure on Houston sports talk radio he also served with the former CBS RADIO station KILT-AM, where he worked with Granato for 10 years (1997-2007).

Westwood One Announces New Leadership Structure.  National radio network Westwood One reveals strategic changes to the leadership and structure of its national sales team, effective immediately.  The Cumulus Media-owned company says, “These organizational changes are designed to capitalize on Westwood One’s strong sales momentum, as well as to propel the organization to new heights in 2018 and beyond.”  Bryan Forbes replaces the retiring Steve Shaw as president, sales at Westwood One.  He’s responsible for leading the network and national spot sales organizations and reporting to Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes.  Forbes was most recently with Katz Radio Group as SVP and general manager of Westwood One national sales.  Current EVP strategic partnerships Mark Wildman is charged with launching the Audio Active Group – a newly established, dedicated business development team responsible for “creating integrated, brand-focused solutions that leverage the vast portfolio of assets across the company’s 446 radio stations and network platforms.”  Pierre Bouvard continues in his role as chief insights officer at Cumulus/Westwood One.  And Ari Molovinsky joins Westwood One as VP strategic planning & analysis, responsible for “supporting the leadership team with revenue-focused and general management initiatives.”  Molovinsky was most recently with SiriusXM.  Grimes states, “Westwood One has a top-notch sales organization in place, as demonstrated by our performance this year, and I am thrilled to welcome both Bryan and Ari to the team.  With these new hires, as well as the exciting launch of the Audio Active Group and expansion of our actionable data and thought-leadership platform, Westwood One is poised to deliver significant growth as we continue to champion radio as the #1 mass reach medium that delivers exceptional results.”

Media Equality Project to Stage Event at National Press Club.  The Media Equality Project is led by talk media pros Melanie Morgan and Brian Maloney.  Joining them for Wednesday’s event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC is fellow talk radio pro Blanquita Cullum.  A press release says the goal of the event is to pressure Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Joe Barton (R-TX) to resign.  Organizers say, “…We’re taking the Media Equality Project straight to Washington.  Dozens of women and other victims of sexual harassment are joining together this Wednesday with this message:  #ShowUsTheList of representatives or staffers who received taxpayer funded pay-outs totaling $17 million dollars.  The Media Equality Project is bringing Bill Clinton’s victims, other luminaries, including Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Martin Luther King, and others to Washington to confront Franken, Conyers, and Barton.  We believe that this effort should be in a spirit of bi-partisanship in order to end sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and across the country…joining us at the podium at the National Press Club are Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, [and former Fort Smith, Arkansas TV reporter] Leslie Millwee.”  The event takes place at 10:00 am in the National Press Club’s First Amendment Room.

Mike Golic Breaks Silence on ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup; New ‘Golic & Wingo’ Show.  Speaking to the Coloradoan, Mike Golic tells the paper that he was blindsided by the decision to end the show because now-ex-partner Mike Greenberg was taking on a new role on the TV side of ESPN.  “When I went into see the bosses, I thought it was to talk about the next deal since our contracts were ending.  We had talked the previous year about moving the show to New York and I thought maybe it was about that.  Instead, they told me the show was going to end and that Greenie was going to do a show in New York and I was going to do a show with my son.”  As regular industry watchers know, ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” morning drive show went on for about six months with the two knowing the show would wrap before the end of the year.  Today (11/27), the new “Golic & Wingo” show launched (pictured above with NBA commissioner Adam Silver as their first guest) with Trey Wingo as co-host.  Read the Coloradoan piece here.

DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, Roy Moore Case, Thanksgiving Holiday, Mueller Investigation-Flynn Cooperation, Meredith-Time Inc. Purchase, CFPB Appointment, College Football Playoff Scenarios, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Holiday Weekend.  The sexual impropriety allegations lodged against Al Franken and John Conyers; the sexual predation charges leveled at Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the Thanksgiving holiday; special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and reports of cooperation between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the investigation; Iowa-based media company Meredith to buy Time Inc.; controversy over Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; the weekend’s college football games and speculation about which teams will make the four-team tournament; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KYW-AM, Philadelphia Awards Computers to Local Elementary School.  This promotion was a partnership with Comcast which, along with Entercom’s all-news KYW-AM, Philadelphia, presented 10 new Dell Latitude Education Series laptops to General Philip Kearny Elementary School in Philadelphia.  KYW director of news and programming Steve Butler states, “As the nation’s unrivaled leader in news, Entercom is committed to enriching the lives of local residents.  KYW Newsradio’s partnership with Comcast, allows us to support local community organizations like General Philip Kearny Elementary School in their commitment to education.”  Pictured above are KYW and Comcast representatives with students and teachers at the school.

TALKERS News Notes.  National radio news service Westwood One News is reporting affiliate renewals for major market stations including: WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ-AM, Boston; and WWJ, Detroit.  The news network also announces its expanding reach as more than 70 new stations join the network, including: KKOB-AM, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City…..SiriusXM announces former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin and former Phoenix Suns front office exec Amin Elhassan are joining the roster of NBA experts on its SiriusXM NBA Radio channel.  Griffin makes his debut tomorrow (11/28) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET alongside host Joel Meyers and can be heard multiple times every week.  Elhassan joins the roster on Sunday, December 10 and will be on regularly with host Jason Jackson.

Small Business Guru Jim Blasingame Joins Michael Harrison on This Week’s Installment of “Up Close and Far Out.”  Noted small business expert and talk show host Jim Blasingame is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Blasingame is the tremendously successful independently-syndicated host of the long-running radio show, “The Small Business Advocate.”  The program is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the air.  He and Harrison discuss various aspects of entrepreneurism as we accelerate from the analog era of the 20th century deeper into the digital age of the 21st century focusing on the increasing disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street in our economy and society.  Harrison says, “Blasingame is a unique player in the talk industry and a fascinating, bright man.  He proves on every level that independent media and business can still be viable in this brave new world.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic rock WBIG and alternative WWDC, Washington program director James Howard is promoted to vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s DC station group that also includes CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH-FM, and country WMZQ.  Howard will continue to program WBIG and WWDC.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi states, “James has been a rock star for years.  Now he gets to be an AC star, a country star and a top 40 star.  This is a well-deserved promotion for one of the most creative programmers I’ve had the opportunity to work with.”…..Cox Media Group announces on-air changes at urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1”  The new morning show is called “Morning Groove” with Art Terrell and Roy Wood Jr. with news and information from Condace Pressley.  CMG Atlanta VP of programming Tony Kidd says the show will include commentary, opinions and humor from voices like Clark Howard, Corey “Zooman” Miller, and Aaron Paxton Arnold.  “The changes we’re making represent a new day dawning in Atlanta R&B music.  This new programming lineup reflects what Atlanta’s African-American listeners want most from their favorite R&B station.”  Also, Sasha the Diva takes over the afternoon drive daypart.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

| November 21, 2017

FOX News Channel Taps Mark Levin for Sunday Evening Program.  The name of the new program is “Life, Liberty & Levin” and will debut in February and air at 10:00 pm ET on Sunday nights.  FOX News Channel says Mark Levin’s show “will explore the fundamental values and principles undergirding American society, culture, politics, and current events, and their relevance to the nation’s future and everyday lives of citizens.  The hour-long program will feature Levin’s lively, in-depth and long-form interviews and powerful debate style with consequential guests covering history, philosophy, and economics.”  FNC president of programming Suzanne Scott adds, “Mark’s passion for the principles found in the Constitution and success in talk radio has made him a distinct figure in the media landscape.  We look forward to adding this spirited program to our weekend lineup.”  Levin says, “I am honored to join FOX News, a network I have enjoyed appearing on as a guest for quite some time.  As a proud citizen of the United States, I am delighted to share the significance of American values with such a wide audience and look forward to engaging with important guests about crucial topics.”

Jim Blasingame Celebrates 20 Years of ‘The Small Business Advocate.’  The nationally syndicated “The Small Business Advocate” program, hosted by Jim Blasingame, debuted on November 17, 1997 and is still the only syndicated, live weekday program “dedicated to Main Street businesses.”  Blasingame says, “When we began, we wanted to provide Main Street entrepreneurs with the information, resources and inspiration they need to start, run and grow a small business.  Thanks to the support of our audience, Brain Trust members and corporate partners, we’ve accomplished that goal and continue to deliver multi-media resources for small businesses, including a mobile site and a video series.”  In addition to his radio work, Blasingame is a prolific writer with three books to his credit (plus, one due out next year!) and a weekly, syndicated column that’s appeared in newspapers and business journals, plus online publications, including Forbes.com, BizJournals.com, Manta.com and Nasdaq.com, plus his own weekly ezine.  Forbes Media chairman Steve Forbes comments, “Congratulations to Jim Blasingame on his 20th anniversary.  I’ve been a regular guest on Jim’s show for years.  He really knows Main Street business, is a great interviewer, and his peerless commitment to serving small businesses and promoting entrepreneurship comes through in everything he does.  Well done, Jim.”

Salisbury Gives Up Local Show on KFNC-FM, Houston to Focus on Network Program.  Sports talk personality Sean Salisbury is leaving his post at Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” where he co-hosts the “Unfiltered: with Sean Salisbury & John Granato” to “focus his energies exclusively on his national radio and TV show.”  His eponymous sports talk show is heard from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the SB Nation Radio Network.  The program is also simulcast from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on beIn Sports TV.   Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “The Sean Salisbury show is on a really strong trajectory with a ton of momentum.  The show has recently picked up new radio station affiliates in Lubbock, Phoenix and Atlanta.  And we are excited to have Sean focus his efforts on the next wave of growth for the show.”

Dickey Broadcasting Drops ‘The Regular Guys’ on ‘The Fan 2.’  The four-month experiment with Larry Wachs’ new version of “The Regular Guys” hosting mornings at WFOM, Atlanta “The Fan 2” is over.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that station chief David Dickey says the company is going to focus on an all-sports lineup on the station.  Both Dickey and Wachs tell Ho that everyone put in a good effort to get the show off the ground but, in the end they agreed that it just wasn’t going to work.  Read Ho’s piece here.

Schieffer Faces Daytona Beach. Pictured above is former “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer (left) being interviewed by WNDB, Daytona Beach afternoon drive personality Marc Bernier (right).  The two appeared at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University last night (11/20) as part of the school’s Speaker Series.  The two discussed the current state of reporting and Schieffer’s new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News (Rowland & Littlefield, 2017).  Photo: David Massey.

Roy Moore Case, New Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, GOP Tax Plan, Charles Manson Dies, Putin-Assad Meeting, Trump vs Marshawn Lynch, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20). The allegations of sexual predation against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the latest round of allegations of sexual misconduct against Charlie Rose, Senator Al Franken, and NYT reporter Glenn Thrush; a federal judge rules against President Trump’s order to withhold funding from “sanctuary cities”; analysis of the possible effects of the Republican tax reform plan; Charles Manson dies at age 83; Vladimir Putin meets with Bashar al-Assad over Syria’s civil war; President Trump’s criticism of Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch for standing during the Mexican national anthem; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Detroit country outlet WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1,” Cumulus Media appoints Jessica Tyler midday personality, APD and music director.  Tyler comes to Detroit from her most recent post with Summit Media at country WQNU, Louisville “Q103.1” where she was morning drive co-host and APD.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges states, “I’ve known Jessica a long time and the special bond she creates with listeners on and off the air, the friendships she develops with the artists, songwriters and managers, plus the relationships she has with the record community in Nashville are second to none.”…..Madison radio pro Sara Freeman is giving up her full-time afternoon drive show on Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WMGN “Magic 98” to take a position with her husband’s real estate firm.  She’ll continue to handle weekend shifts.   Coming aboard the station is former WKTI, Milwaukee personality Jillene Kahn.  She’ll host middays until Freeman exits, then take over afternoon drive.  On tap to fill the midday slot after that is Julie Jacobs…..Former WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” weekend personality Mike McGinn joins Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey “MAGIC 98.3.”  WMGQ program director Debbie Mazella says, “I am really excited to have Mike on the air and make ‘MAGIC 98.3’ his home.  He’s got the energy we are looking for in afternoon drive.  Take a listen and you will hear what I mean!”…..In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group swaps frequencies between alternative WXXJ and adult contemporary WEZI.  WXXJ moves to the class A signal at 106.5 and WEZI slides down to the class C frequency at 102.9.  CMG Jacksonville market vice president Dan Lawrie states, “Our ‘Easy’ listeners told us they wanted a larger signal and we listened!”…..iHeartMedia’s Detroit adult hits WDTW flips to alternative rock as “ALT 106.7.”…..Sun Broadcast Group announces  Shelby Wood Wasicki joins the company as national account manager.  In this role, she’ll forcus on products including: Shazam For Radio, The Hit List with Fitz, Country Fried Mix with DJ Sinister, Sun Select RADAR, Sun Latino Networks, and many others.

Friday, September 15, 2017

| September 15, 2017

Weisman: Jemele Hill and the First Amendment. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the Jemele Hill controversy and how her Tweet calling President Trump a white supremacist has some calling for her firing.  Weisman says that freedom of speech relative to one’s status as an employee is not as “free” as some people would like to think.  Also, he addresses the charges that ESPN is hypocritical for not firing Hill after firing MLB great Curt Schilling for political rhetoric.  Read his column here.

KVET, Austin Talk Host Sean Adams Dies at 46. KVET-AM, Austin “1300 The Zone” sports talk host Sean Adams died yesterday after suffering a heart attack in Round Rock, Texas.  Adams was co-host of “The Bottom Line” show with Chip Brown that airs in morning drive.  Adams worked in sports media in the market for years, also having served at former sports talker KZNX-AM and ESPN’s Longhorn Network.  He wrote two motivational books: Sports for Life: Daily Sports Themes for Life Success, and It’s Okay to be Crazy.  He leaves behind his wife Karen and a son and daughter.  Brown posted a tribute to Adams at the station’s website here.

Leslie Marshall Show Ends AM/FM Availability, Remains Digital Program. Progressive talk radio personality Leslie Marshall is putting the wraps on her program’s AM/FM platform and will focus fully on being an Internet program.  WYM Media Management informed affiliate stations that the “The Leslie Marshall Show” is joining Internet platform Progressive Voices, effective October 2.  WYM says that Marshall made this decision “with a heavy heart,” but was moved to her decision because listeners are “accessing her program online more and more.”

Gow Media Moving the KGOW-AM, Houston Sports Talk Format.  The sports talk format that Gow Media has been airing on KGOW-AM, Houston (branded “SB Nation Radio 1560 AM”) is moving to the FM band beginning on October 1.  CultureMap.com reports that the format is being re-branded “SportsMap 94.1 FM” and will air on translator K231CN, Houston, fed by KFNC-FM, Houston’s HD2 channel.  The report says that KFNC-FM afternoon personality Fred Faour will become editor-in-chief of SportsMap.com. Air talent on “SportsMap 94.1 FM” will include Charlie Pallilo, Nate Griffin, Patrick Creighton, Barry Warner, Sean Salisbury, Brian Barrett, and Robin Carlin.  Gow will lease KGOW-AM to Latino Broadcasting Corp.

TALKERS News Notes.  The Cleveland Indians and iHeartMedia agree to a contract extension for the company’s news/talk WTAM and rock WMMS in Cleveland to air the club’s games through at least 2023.  As has been the case, WTAM serves as the flagship and WMMS simulcasts most of the games…..The talk is off iHeartMedia’s Phoenix news/talk KOY-AM “KFYI2” (and its translator K229DB) and regional Mexican takes over as “El Patron.”…..This November (11/2), the New Jersey Broadcasters Association is marking its 70th anniversary with a special Awards Banquet and Gala at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.  The event will salute “Broadcast’s Heritage and Enduring Impact on Society.” Ben Ferencz – the only surviving Nuremberg prosecutor – will be honored with the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Inducted into the NJBA Hall of Fame at the same time will be: “Imus in the Morning” personality Bernard McGuirk, NJ101.5 hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco of the “Dennis and Judi Show,” WSUS, Franklin, New Jersey morning host Steve Andrews, Press Communications CFO Rich Morena, and Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw.

Trump Administration DACA Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 11-15.  Whether or not President Trump wants to reverse the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or is willing to alter the program in some way was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.  Coming in at #3 is Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book and her media tour, followed by the Trump Administration’s tax code overhaul plan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.   KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana flips from CHR to hot AC as Cumulus Media announces the station has re-branded as “The All New Q97.3.”  The programming on the station is as follows: “The Bert Show” in mornings and “The Shawn Dion Show” in afternoon drive.  Westwood One’s Adam Bomb program assumes the evening daypart…..CBS RADIO promotes Poet Taylor from weekend jock to host of the midday show on hip hop WPGC, Washington.  Taylor’s radio experience includes her start at Baltimore’s hip hop WERQ and serving as executive producer on WPGC’s “Joe Clair Morning Show.”  Most recently, she was segment producer for WJLA-TV’s “Good Morning Washington.”…..Programmer Chris Shebel announces via Facebook that he’ll leave iHeartMedia’s Portland, Oregon cluster when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Shebel has been programming adult contemporary KKCW “K103” and classic hits KLTH “Eagle 106.7.”  He says he’s exiting the radio business and moving to Palm Springs, California…..As part of Beasley Media Group’s on-going “Community of Caring Initiative,” adult contemporary WJBR, Wilmington, Delaware recently partnered with The Kenny Family Foundation and Shoprite to match food donations for hurricane relief pound for pound.  The station collected more than 12,500 pounds of food during a recent on-site collection event.  As a result, WJBR will be sending more than 25,000 pounds of food donations to Feeding Texas via the Food Bank of Delaware…..Adams Radio Group brings sales pro John Ludwig aboard as senior account manager for its Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland station group.  Ludwig was most recently a sales consultant for Entercom’s Portland, Oregon operations.

PPM Analysis: Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on rock.  Overall, rock-formatted stations have performed well in Nielsen’s PPM markets, recently.  Kinosian reports that just over half of the rock stations in his sample saw their 6+ ratings rise from July 2017 to August 2017 (52%), versus the 42% that were down.  The remaining 6% of the sample was flat.  Comparing August 2016 numbers to the August 2017 report, “roughly six of 10 facilities on our eligible rock sample improve year-to-year (61%), while 39% decline.”  There were seven rock stations that ranked in the top five in their respective markets in the August 2017 survey.  Although none ranked #1, there were three that ranked #2: iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh and WHJY, Providence; plus Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk, Virginia.  See the full report here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

| September 5, 2017

CBS RADIO VP Sports Programming Mike Thomas Signs Contract Extension.  Programming pro Mike Thomas signs a multi-year contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue his roles with the company as corporate vice president of sports programming and VP of programming for the Boston cluster.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Mike is an accomplished programming executive whose outstanding talent has led our company to success across both music and spoken word formats, which is a rare feat in our industry.  I look forward to partnering closely with Mike for years to come on growing our Boston properties along with our industry leading sports platform coast to coast.”  Thomas’ almost-20-year management resume includes work as PD for classic rock WZLX, rock WBCN and sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”

The Triad’s WSJS Officially Launches as Sports Outlet.  The change from news/talk sports to full-on sports talk on Curtis Media’s WSJS, Winston-Salem officially took place on Friday (9/1).  Curtis Media Triad general manager Al Bunch comments, “Local sports fans have been asking for a forum like this.  ‘WSJS SPORTS’ is the Triad’s new destination for sports talk.  Our roster of a local afternoon sports talk show, local high school football, NC college sports, NASCAR, and popular FOX Sports Radio hosts is unmatched.  We’re excited to offer this untapped audience to local businesses market-wide.”  The program schedule includes “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” for mornings, followed by Dan Patrick.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, followed by local personality Kyle Schassburger in PM drive.  “WSJS SPORTS” airs on four stations and their FM translators: WSJS, Winston-Salem/W267AM; WMFR, High Point/W285EU; WCOG, Greensboro/W229CH; and WSML, Graham/W283BT.

Binnie Media and Gen Media Partners Announce Strategic Alliance.  Station owner Binnie Media announces it is shifting its national ad sales representation to Gen Media Partners.  The companies state that this move is “part of a unique strategic alliance to drive regional and national ad revenue.”  As part of the agreement, Binnie Media’s Boston office will handle all national business for Gen Media Partners, giving both companies, as well as Gen Media Partners’ other station partners, expanded Boston and New England presence and increased regional opportunities.  Binnie president Lee Kinberg comments, “Considering where national and regional business has been heading, we were looking for a partner open to a new kind of relationship that would capitalize on each company’s platforms to grow revenue.  We needed a sales and marketing team that was open to breaking down the lines of the traditional rep-station relationship without the inherent conflicts of interest that sometimes arise in the national representation business.”  Sales pro Jimmie Vereault will handle national ad sales for Gen Media Partners out of their Boston office and use the combined Binnie Media-Gen Media Partners’ platforms to drive regional as well as national business.

KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talker Mitch Levy Nabbed in Prostitute Sting.  A prostitution sting in Bellevue, Washington netted 110 “Johns” – among them was KJR-AM, Seattle morning drive sports talk personality Mitch Levy.  According to The Seattle Times, Bellevue Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated the sting in a condominium complex.  Levy, who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, told the detectives he’d been playing golf earlier in the day was there to receive a massage.  iHeartMedia has not issued a public statement on the matter.

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2017 NFL regular season begins on Thursday and NCAA football season is already underway.  This year, Focus 360 and Sports USA are again offering a slate of  NCAA football games to affiliate stations.  Focus 360 announces that it has partnered with Gen Media Partners for national ad sales.  The Sports USA schedule includes 16 regular season games plus four bowl games: Sun, Outback, Las Vegas, and Independence…..Westwood One is airing this Thursday night’s matchup between the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.  In the booth are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason with Tony BoselliJim Gray hosts the pregame and halftime with contributions from Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game.  In addition to live play-by-play, subscribers get daily NFL talk on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

North Korea Bomb Test, Threat of Hurricane Irma, Utah Nurse Arrest Incident, Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ Decision, Harvey Aftermath, Senator Menendez Trial, Elon Musk’s WWIII Prediction, Labor Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NFL Roster Cutdowns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  North Korea’s detonation of its largest nuclear warhead yet and threats to launch another ICBM test; Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma; the viral video of a Utah nurse being arrested for following hospital procedure; President Trump to end DACA or the “Dreamer” act within six months; the aftermath of Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s corruption trial; Elon Musk predicts World War III in the race to develop the most powerful artificial intelligence; the Labor Day holiday weekend; Major League Baseball action; and the cutdown to 53 for NFL clubs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

National Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes 100 Years of American Radio.  The National Radio Hall of Fame announces that it will debut its “100 Years of Radio” exhibit housed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in fall 2019 – the year leading up to the official anniversary in 2020.  A press release says, “To create a tribute worthy of the medium, the current space will undergo renovation, creating an interactive experience through emerging technologies and architecture. Patrons of the museum will have access to audio performances and histories of inductees as well as valuable artifacts ranging from microphones of iconic personalities to instruments from live radio theater productions.”  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin adds, “This is an exciting time as we get to innovate and modernize the presentation of our medium’s rich history.  Plus, we’re looking forward to bringing the ceremony to New York City, especially since we received great feedback when we brought it to Los Angeles in 2014.”

Deep in the ‘Hot’ of Texas.  Broadcasters and netcasters are in Austin this week for the NAB + RAB Radio Show, and today’s RAIN Summit.  TALKERS magazine conventionista contributore Holland Cooke (pictured above) reports all this week.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago radio personality Gary Spears revealed to his listeners on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK, Chicago “K-Hits 104.3” that he’s leaving the station in mid-October to relocate to Florida.  He’s been with WJMK since 2011 and had worked at a number of Chicago stations during his career, including CBS’ CHR WBBM-FM…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for the Charlotte market and the Carolinas.  She was most recently with the company’s Richmond, Virginia cluster as promotions director.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “Nikki is a proven leader.  She is the right choice to lead a very diverse and creative team in The Queen City.”…..iHeartMedia’s KVDU, New Orleans shifts from classic hits to adult hits as “104.1 The Spot.”  The station says its core artists created hits during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and include: Madonna, Boston, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran.  KVDU program director Joseph Sergio comments, “New Orleans has a classic rock station and we have an easy listening station, but ‘104.1 The Spot’ will take the best from those worlds, sprinkle in some more recent favorites and play all of the hits, non-stop, 24/7.”…..Alpha Media Dayton installs the “Jack FM” format on former adult contemporary WGTZ as “92.9 Jack FM.”  WGTZ had been airing a soft rock AC format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton says, “What a fun day for Dayton!  Turning on a new ‘Jack’ is always a happy day and we have high hopes for this one.  A great new radio station in one of America’s great cities.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that DLC Media drops sports talk and the ESPN Sports Radio affiliation on WFNF, Brazil, Indiana/W258BA, Terre Haute, and begins airing the adult standards format from Westwood One.  DLC changes the call letters of WFNF to WAMB and begins using the new brand, “Timeless 1130 and 99.5 WAMB.”…..Programming pro Deon Cole joins Music Choice as manager, urban programming.  During his career, Cole has served with urban contemporary WGIV, Charlotte “Streetz 103.3”; hip hop WPEG, Charlotte; and Beasley Media Group in Charlotte.

Friday, September 1, 2017

| September 1, 2017

Glenn Beck Cuts Workforce at TheBlaze and Mercury Radio Arts.  According to a piece by Benjamin Mullin at Poynter.org, talk radio star Glenn Beck has cut the staff at his Mercury Radio Arts and six-year-old news and opinion digital platform TheBlaze by about 20% due to “structural challenges facing media companies today.”  In announcing the changes being made at his companies, Beck is quoted stating, “This year has been one of the hardest years of my life.  I’ve learned so much about myself, my friends and co-workers, and basic human nature.  I have also learned a lot about my business and what I believe it will take to succeed in tomorrow’s America.  The industrial revolution took 100 years to unfold; industry-altering change now occurs in days, not centuries.”  See the Poynter piece here.

Investigation of Former Financial Talk Show Host Dawn Bennett Turns Up Bizarre Finds.  Sadly, stories of financial experts who broker time on news/talk stations and end up being investigated by the authorities for wrongdoing are too common.  But the case of former financial talk host Dawn J. Bennett is more colorful than most.  Kyle Swenson details the investigation in The Washington PostHe writes that Bennett was being investigated for running a Ponzi scheme when FBI agents gained access to her Chevy Chase, Maryland home last month.  In it they discovered biographical information about SEC officials and a handwritten “Beef Tongue Shut Up Hoodoo Spell” designed to – with the help of an animal tongue – prevent SEC officials from providing information about her.  There were two freezers inside the home in which there were “dozens of sealed jars, many inked on the lids with the initials of SEC staff” for the purpose of silencing SEC investigators via magic.  Arrested on August 25, Bennett is being charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements in loan and credit applications.  She’s being accused of using her weekly radio show to raise money targeting “elderly and financially unsophisticated investors by materially misrepresenting the company’s profitability and by claiming the company had the resources to pay annual rates of return as high as 15 percent.”  Read the Post piece here.

KILT, Houston Sports Talk Host John Lopez Rescues Harvey Victims.  KILT, Houston sports talk personality John Lopez is featured in a piece in USA Today after he spent Tuesday afternoon on a 16-foot fishing boat rescuing people stranded by the floodwaters created by Hurricane Harvey.  Lopez told the paper, “These were regular people.  They never thought the water would get that high, so you get them out and they just hug your neck and you never see them again, but you feel good you did it.”  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s controversy in the sports talk radio world in Seattle after the sportswriters for The Seattle Times were banned from any further appearances on local radio or TV, effective September 5.  Why would that happen?  SeattleSportsNet.com reports that the edict comes directly from Times CEO and publisher Frank Blethen and revolves around controversies over sports arena projects in the city.  Blethen has backed one project and sports talk radio – primarily KJR-AM – has been critical of that project (and Blethens/The Times’ support).  Some seven Times writers are affected by this order.  Read more about it here…..In Chicago, WSCR sports talk personality Laurence Holmes is also signed up to host Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s game day coverage of Chicago Bears football, starring on the “Bears Pregame Live” and “Bears Postgame Live” programs.  Holmes will work with Bears greats Lance Briggs, Jim Miller, and Alex Brown on the shows…..ESPN Radio begins presentation of NFL and NCAA football games this season.  Pro football coverage starts on September 10 with a doubleheader – Eagles at Redskins followed by Colts at Rams.  College football play-by-play begins this Saturday (9/2) with #17 Florida vs #11 Michigan, immediately followed by #1 Alabama vs #3 Florida State…..SB Nation Radio is announcing that “The Sports Grind” – with host Calvin Casey and co-hosts Rudy J and Salami – launches on Tuesday (9/5) from flagship KTKR, San Antonio “Ticket 760.”

Pittsburgh’s Sheridan Broadcasting Shuts Down News and Sports Arm.  According to a piece in the Pittsburgh Courier, the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation has let 10 staffers go with the closure of its news and sports service.  Rob Taylor Jr. writes in the paper that Sheridan COO and general counsel Ron Davenport Jr. said they weren’t able to generate the revenue they needed.  “It’s a little more difficult than selling cars or something.  It’s a unique skill set, so we’ve been searching for some time and we have someone who has been working on our behalf and he’s just been unsuccessful, unfortunately, and we’re not able to continue.”  Sheridan had been providing news and sports broadcasts to about 60 affiliate stations.  The company is continuing to operate the Sheridan Gospel Network.  Read the Courier story here.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 28-September 1.  The devastation caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey and the political issues surrounding the disaster were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump tax reform plan.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s plan to end the ‘Dreamer’ program, followed by the Trump-Russia investigation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Promoting Concert for America.  Pictured here in the studio at business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz talk 1190 AM” is host Dana Barrett (second from left) and performers Hal Sparks (far left) and Seth Rudetsky (second from right).

Walter Sabo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Noted radio executive-turned-consultant-turned-talent Walter Sabo joins Michael Harrison as guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an amazing conversation that spans the depth and breadth of radio as both a business and pop culture institution, the two broadcasters engage in a free-wheeling conversation that explores Sabo’s recent transformation from a behind-the-scenes figure into an innovative radio personality named Walter Sterling.  The three-year-old Sunday late-night show hosted by Sterling, that eschews standard political fare in favor of the day-to-day topics of general life, has grown from a local WPHT, Philadelphia boutique item into a major Westwood One nationally syndicated feature, now clearing on major outlets such as: KMOX, St. Louis; WLS, Chicago; WMAL, Washington, DC; KDKA, Pittsburgh; KARM, Little Rock and many more.  This dialogue is a radio freak’s delight and should not be missed.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Alpha Media flips hot AC WXMA “102.3 The Max” to adult hits using the JACK FM format.  Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “What an exciting day for Alpha Media and the great city of Louisville.  ‘Jack’ will be a breath of fresh air both musically and in its fun attitude.”…..Programming pro John Richards is appointed brand manager at Midwest Communications-owned country outlet WDEZ-FM Wausau, Wisconsin.  He’ll also host the midday show.  Richards was most recently serving as operations manager for Instad Radio in the Yakima, Washington market…..Rob Creighton exits the Ramar-owned station group in Lubbock, Texas where he was morning show host on hot AC KLZK “107.7 YES FM” as well as OM for that station and sister classic hits KXTQ “Magic 106.5.”…..Another Alpha Media flip as sports talk is jettisoned from the simulcast of WRNN-AM/W288DK, Myrtle Beach for throwback hip hop and R&B oldies as “G 105.5.” Sister CHR WMYB “Energy 92.1” program director Zack Williams states, “We’re crazy excited to bring throwbacks to Myrtle Beach.  You can take your radio to the beach, cruise up and down Ocean Blvd and have a great time listening to the best throwback hip hop and R&B!”

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

| August 29, 2017

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Reports In; ‘Proud of Station’s Efforts.’  The radio stations that are on the air in Houston are all working around the clock to get information out to listeners, but iHeartMedia’s KTRH – the well-recognized news/talker in the market – is “the station the nation is turning to,” according to KTRH talk show host Michael Berry.  He tells TALKERS magazine his personal story as a resident of the area with a family whose job is to be at the station keeping the public informed.  “We’re going through what our listeners are suffering also.  I put my family up at the Omni Hotel.  Then the Omni had to be evacuated.  I was visiting our affiliate in Louisiana doing a fundraiser there.  I couldn’t get back into the city due to road closures.  My wife and kids had to be rescued by boat and waded in chest deep water.  This is my whole world in the picture you see here – that’s my wife and my two kids on a boat driven by a good Samaritan who pulled them from the hotel and deposited them on the freeway.  From there a volunteer put them in the back of a truck and drove them to high ground.  Getting to be on the radio these last few days and help other people is actually cathartic.  My own home flooded on the first floor and it took until today (8/28) to be able to get to see it.  But despite all of this we are seeing the best of our people as we come together as a community.”

Broadcasters in Gear Raising Funds for Harvey Victims.  Just a sample of the Harvey relief efforts underway at radio stations and radio groups across the country include the work of E.W. Scripps Milwaukee duo news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI (and sister television station WTMJ-TV) leading a fundraiser.  Yesterday afternoon (8/28), the stations hosted a fundraising phone bank to collect donations for the American Red Cross.  Vice president and GM for the Milwaukee stations, Tom Langmyer, states, “People in Wisconsin are looking for a way that they can help the victims of the Hurricane.  Using the power of local media, we can combine our efforts to enable giving on a large scale and truly make a difference to support the American Red Cross.”  Urban One’s Reach Media has been using its radio talent to call attention to the needs of Harvey victims.  Nationally syndicated personalities including Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Willie Moore Jr., Darlene McCoy, Erica Campbell, Russ Parr and Ed Lover have been interviewing people affected, news people covering the storm, and elected officials.  The “Tom Joyner Morning Show” launched the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund to provide financial support to families impacted by the storm Hurricane Harvey.

WDAE, Tampa Returns to Local Morning Show. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE returns to live and local mornings, dropping ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show and sliding late morning duo Ronnie “Night Train” Lane and Tom “TKras” Krasniqi into the daypart.  The iHeartMedia station fills the late morning slot with FOX Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick.  It was just last October that the station in what was seen as a budgetary decision, let Tampa Bay Times sportswriters Rick Stroud and Tom Jones go and installed the “Mike & Mike” program.

Boston’s Emerson College the Site of Next Summer’s Radio Talent Institute.  Next summer, Beasley Media Group is partnering with Xperi and Marketron Interactive and the National Radio Talent System to present the 10-day Beasley Radio Talent Institute program at Emerson College in Boston.  The immersion program will bring broadcasting students together with more than 30 radio professionals who teach classes based on their individual areas of expertise.  Session topics will range from on-air, production, news, sports, interactive to social media, engineering, promotions and sales, and includes the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Marketing Professional” certification course. WERS, Boston general manager and Emerson adjunct professor Jack Casey states, “The Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity, along with other forward-thinking companies such as Xperi and Marketron Interactive.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago sports talk personality Mike North has announced he’s retiring from sports talk radio.  North is famous for having been a hot dog stand owner who morphed into one of the first personalities on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR.  He exited “The Score” in 2008 and for a time co-hosted “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman on the FOX Sports Radio Network.  Feder reports that North told WTTW-TV, Chicago’s Phil Ponce, “I’m heading in another direction because I think the timing is right.  I’m not leaving broadcasting. I’m leaving sports radio.”  Read Feder’s column here…..Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting that ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is serving a two-week suspension after an incident at a Wyoming condominium in which a drunk Russillo entered the unit of another couple and basically passed out on a bed in a state of partial undress.  He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and ESPN reportedly says he’ll return to the air on September 5…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is prepping for the NFL season with its daily “Pro Football Insiders Report” that will feature five pro football experts giving their reports four times per day.  Former Chargers great Dan Fouts’ reports air on Mondays, FOX broadcaster Chris Myers airs on Tuesday, former Rams star Jackie Slater’s reports air on Wednesday, broadcast pro Andrew Siciliano’s reports air on Thursdays, and Rams great Vince Ferragamo’s reports air on Fridays…..Ed Esposito is retiring from Rubber City Radio where he’s been serving as vice president/information media.  Esposito handled news duties on Jeff Kinzbach’s morning program on rock WONE, Akron in addition to his responsibilities managing the news and public affairs on sister stations country WQMX, and news/talk WAKR.  Esposito is also a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association…..SiriusXM and ESPN announce their deal to serve college sports fans via ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM.  The channel launches on Thursday (8/31)…..FOX Sports Radio’s NFL insider Jay Glazer is hosting a special three-hour football season preview tomorrow (8/30) during the Doug Gottlieb show.  Glazer will be joined by FOX Sports Radio host Dan Beyer.  Glazer recently renewed his multi-year deal with FSR to serve as its NFL insider and he’ll appear regularly across the network’s programs…..TuneIn is offering free coverage of live play-by-play of college football all season long.  TuneIn features the home and away calls of every game for more than 140 schools.  This programming comes via partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports, IMG College, JMI Sports, Learfield, and Outfront…..AdLarge Media brings Gina Suarez aboard as director of affiliate marketing and promotes Frank DeSantis to SVP of business development…..iHeartMedia news/talk KALZ, “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM1400” is serving as the official Los Angeles Chargers affiliate for Fresno and Visalia.  “PowerTalk” program director Jay Bohannon states, “We’re always looking for ways for ‘Powertalk 96.7’ to diversify our programming, particularly on a stage as large as the NFL.  It’s a dawn of a new era for the Chargers franchise and their fans and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Sharyl Attkisson at Live Event.  Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (right) speaking with Emmy award-winning journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson (left) before a sold-out audience at the Colonial Theatre.  Stigall tells TALKERS the conversation was “a blunt assessment of journalism today.”  Attkisson greeted fans and signed copied of her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote (Harper 2017).

Harvey Hammers Houston, Federal Flood Insurance Troubles, Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio, North Korea’s Nuclear Threats, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, Mayweather-McGregor Aftermath, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday.  Houston’s challenge dealing with the effects of Harvey and the threat of more rain; the shaky state of the federal flood insurance program; reactions to President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the launch of a missile over Japan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russia including the recent allegations Trump was looking into building a Trump Tower in Moscow; the season finale of “Game of Thrones”; the aftermath of the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  WAXQ, New York morning duo Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein are celebrating 40 years together on the New York City airwaves.  Kerr’s career began 50 years ago at the tender age of 21 hosting mornings on WPLJ.  On August 29, 1977, Sonstein became Kerr’s morning drive partner.  As Kerr puts it, one morning Sonstein surprised him by showing up at the WPLJ studios.  “I saw this woman and I didn’t know what she was doing there.  No one told me who she was and why she was there!”  Sonstein says, “When people ask Jim and me when we plan to retire, we both respond the same way, ‘why would we ever want to stop doing what we love?’”…..Changes take place at Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles operations as rhythmic AC KDAY/KDEY program director Adrian Scott resigns and hip hop KPWR PD Jimmy Steal becomes vice president of programming for KDAY/KDEY…..Purchased from the SLC Divestiture Trust for $1.1 million by Aerostar Communications is former Simmons Media Group signal KEGH-FM, Salt Lake City.  With that station come four booster signals: KEGH-FM1, Ogden; KEGH-FM2, Bountiful; KEGH-FM3, Salt Lake City; and KEGH-FM4, Provo. Aerostar is operating KEGH-FM under an LMA airing a Spanish music format…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, monthly show called “Off the Cuff,” hosted by Keith Richards’ daughter Theodora Richards.  The program will feature Richards chatting with musical guests and friends such as Sean Lennon, The Rolling Stones back-up singer Lisa Fischer and musician Peter Wolf, as they “discuss their love of music, latest obsessions and biggest musical influences.”  She’ll play music from a diverse range of artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Luther Vandross, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones.

Monday, August 28, 2017

| August 28, 2017

How Radio Is Handling Harvey.  Tropical storm Harvey was a hurricane when it hit the Gulf Coast of Texas on Friday evening and is being called the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in more than 10 years.  Obviously, the intense rain brought by the storm has caused widespread flooding in the region and Houston has been the recipient of some of the most serious floodwaters.  iHeartMedia’s Houston news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is being simulcast across all of the company’s Corpus Christi stations.  In Houston, talk KPRC is off the air due to water damage to its transmitter, but “Sunny 99.1,” “94.5 The Buzz,” “93.7 The Beat,” KTRH, and “Sports Talk 790 AM” have been broadcasting around the clock since Friday morning.  The company says the region lost a station vehicle and numerous employees’ homes have been affected by the storm, on-air talent, operational staff, sellers and managers are on-site to answer phones and direct listeners to the appropriate community resources.  Also, the Red Cross is featured across all of iHeartMedia’s station websites letting people know where to find information and to encourage donations.  Salem Media Group’s Salem Radio Network News and Townhall News have been airing round-the-clock appeals for donations for the non-profit relief organization Save The Children, already on the ground in Texas and Louisiana.  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “With SRN based in Dallas — and Salem radio colleagues operating in Houston and San Antonio — this critical national news story took on an even more compelling, personal nature because Hurricane Harvey was devastating our friends, colleagues, and families throughout the region.”  Tradup says Salem deployed veteran talk host Sam Malone in Houston and SRN News southwest correspondent Val DeOre in Corpus Christi to offer analysis and perspective on the impact of Harvey’s high winds and 25-30 inches of rain.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Comes to Aid of Broadcasters.  Broadcasters affected by Hurricane Harvey are being encouraged to find out if they qualify for emergency aid from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  Broadcasters can complete the emergency grant request form on the website at https://broadcastersfoundation.org/emergency-grant-form/.  The Broadcasters Foundation’s emergency relief program distributes one-time grants of $1,000 each after a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or other serious misfortune.  The expedited emergency grant application process is streamlined to provide assistance as quickly as possible.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “The Broadcasters Foundation is a safety net in an emergency.  When a colleague’s roof is suddenly blown away, their belongings destroyed, or their families displaced, the Broadcasters Foundation can step in quickly. We need everyone in our business to help us ensure that all broadcasters in need are aware of the Broadcasters Foundation.”  The BFoA works closely with state broadcast associations to ensure that colleagues who are in need know about the foundation and that they can apply for aid.  The Texas and Louisiana Broadcasters Associations already have been contacted and are working with the Broadcasters Foundation to get the message to broadcasters in their area who might need help.  Following last year’s floods in Louisiana, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded nearly $100,000 to radio and TV professionals, including account executives, on-air personalities, producers, program, music, and traffic directors, and more.  The Broadcasters Foundation also delivered aid to colleagues who were struck by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area in 2012, the tornadoes in Joplin in 2011, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolinas last year. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded a total of $250,000 to 250 broadcasters.

Westwood One Reveals Audience Demos for On-Demand Listening.  The data indicating who is using on-demand audio comes from Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement delves into the demographics of those listening to its local on-demand content from Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and national on-demand content from Westwood One syndicated programs.  Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “It’s hard to believe, but this is the first ever study of the demographic profile of on-demand radio content.  Our biggest finding is that on-demand content skews more female than AM/FM radio content across all genres.  This is an incredible insight for brands and content creators, as it opens up new opportunities to connect with women.”  Other key findings include: Information-based on-demand shows (news/talk, sports) skew younger than the AM/FM audience, while entertainment-based on-demand shows attract a similar audience to AM/FM; the median age of news/talk on demand listeners is eight years younger than the AM/FM audience, and the sports audience is seven years younger;  among adults 25-54, more than 40% of on demand news/talk listeners are women, compared to 30% of AM/FM listeners; and the younger the listener, the more likely they are to consume on-demand content on a mobile device.  See  more here.

FOX Sports Radio Adds R.J. Bell for Weekends.  Las Vegas sports-betting pro R.J. Bell – who is also founder and CEO of Pregame.com – joins FOX Sports Radio to host weekend programs for the network.  “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” debuts on September 1, airing live Fridays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and on Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  FSR says Bell and Las Vegas radio personality Steve Cofield, along with Pregame.com’s top analysts, will give listeners the true Vegas perspective on all the leading sports stories and the major games, including how breaking news and injury updates affect the odds.  Bell will continue to serve as a contributor to FOX Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup, including Colin Cowherd’s “Blazing Five” podcast, the “JT The Brick Show with Tomm Looney,” and “Steve Gorman SPORTS.”  Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We’re excited to welcome R.J. Bell to FOX Sports Radio, adding to the strongest lineup of sports-talk personalities in the industry.  There has never been more demand for the Vegas perspective in the world of sports.  R.J. has proven to be a credible national voice for years who brings a uniquely interesting outlook for both casual and hardcore sports fans.”

TALKERS News Notes. Listeners to Hearst’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” for Baltimore Ravens programming this year will hear four former Ravens on the radio.  Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Justin Forsett and Jarret Johnson will appear for four games each, joining play-by-play team Gerry Sandusky and Stan White…..SiriusXM is announcing the addition of former NFL quarterback Phil Simms to the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel where the longtime CBS Sports television color man will join host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo each week for “Simms and the Mad Dog,” an hour-long program where the duo will discuss the news from the league that week and preview the coming weekend’s matchups.  Simms will make his debut on Thursday, September 7 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Also, former Florida State and NFL quarterback Danny Kanell is joining SiriusXM as a daily host on the college sports channel. Beginning today (8/28), Kanell will host “Playbook” every weekday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET with co-host Jason Horowitz.  Kanell says, “I’m honored and thrilled for the opportunity to join the SiriusXM family and I look forward to contributing to a company that is made up of such incredible people.”

Harvey Hits Texas, Trump Pardon’s Arpaio, Trump Targets China Tariffs, Berkeley Rally Violence, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Finale, MTV’s Video Music Awards, Mayweather-McGregor Fight, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Hurricane Harvey dumps enormous amounts of rain on Texas hitting Houston and the Gulf Coast particularly hard; the reaction to President Trump’s pardon of convicted former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; Trump reiterated desire for tariffs on Chinese imports to level trade imbalance; “anti-facists” attack conservative protestors at rally in Berkeley, California; the finale of this season’s “Game of Thrones” series; Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards and the politically oriented speeches at the event; Saturday’s Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Brian Joyce Serves as PA Announcer at Chattanooga Lookouts Game.  Pictured above is WGOW, Chattanooga and WYAY, Atlanta talk show host Brian Joyce in the broadcast booth at AT&T Field.  After hosting his 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WGOW, then his afternoon drive show on WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7,” Joyce hustled down to the ballpark to serve as PA announcer for the Lookouts’ game against the Mississippi Braves.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the assistant operations manager position at Cumulus Media’s Peoria station group is Brian Scott.  As of September 5, he’ll be working with country WFYR “NASH FM 97.3” and CHR WZPW.  Cumulus Peoria OM Matt Bahan says, “We’re thrilled that Brian Scott is taking the programming reigns in Peoria with WFYR and WZPW.  His passion is obvious, and his attention to detail and history of great ratings and success speak for themselves.  Brian will be a tremendous asset to our already strong programming team.”…..WPRI-TV, Providence is one of a number of media outlets reports that religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation has signed a deal to buy FM signal WBRU, Providence.  The station has been affiliated with Brown University since the 1960s as a rock and alternative rock outlet.  The station was put up for sale in the spring after the not-for-porofit Brown Broadcasting Service board determined was not a viable business under the current operating structure.  It’s expected EMF will install the “K-Love” format on the station, possibly as early as Friday (9/1)…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes news that, “after roughly six weeks, Tiny exits as morning host at Swick Broadcasting-owned hot AC WLKI, Angola, Indiana” ( in the northeast corner of the state).  Mike Scott will take over the morning show.  He’ll also voice-track airshifts for the Swick Broadcasting-owned Local Radio Networks country and classic hits 24 hour formats…..Indiana-based Woof Boom Radio acquires a five-station cluster in Lima, Ohio from Childers Media Group.  The company is acquiring CMG from principal Matt Childers who will continue to manage the Lima cluster for Woof Boom.  Childers bought the stations from Maverick Media four years ago…..iHeartMedia Portland launches the new “Alt 102.3, Portland’s New Alternative” and brings in the syndicated “The Woody Show” to anchor mornings.  The station is fed from the HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s CHR KKRZ to translator K272EL at 102.3 FM.  Program director Ben Marcotte says, “Portland has an avid alternative rock fan base and ‘The Woody Show’ has built an incredibly compelling and entertaining brand that we can’t wait to share with our listeners.”…..Marc Radio closes on purchase of classic hits WXJZ, Gainesville from JVC Broadcasting.  Marc paid $500,000 for the station and says in a press release that it is “bullish on the Gainesville-Ocala market.”  Marc Radio says it has no plans to change the format.  General manager Dave Cobb comments, “What’s especially important about this purchase is that it provides our company with yet another signature item on the menu for advertisers to reach the audiences they covet.”…..“Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has posted a video tribute to late actor and radio personality Jay Thomas, who passed away last week at age 69 of cancer.  See the video here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

| August 21, 2017

Chris Christie Out of Running for WFAN PM Drive Gig.  Outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has taken himself out of the running for the afternoon drive gig at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York.  On Sunday, the governor’s spokesperson released a statement issuing what’s being called a correction to a New York Daily News piece that indicated Christie was told he is no longer in the running for the job.  Christie called the Daily News story “totally incorrect” and said the following: “After considering the other options that I have been presented with for post-gubernatorial employment, I declined their request to do additional shows.  I made station executives aware that while I would be happy to continue to fill in for Boomer when asked and when available, that they should no longer consider me as a candidate interested in any job at WFAN when I leave the governorship.  I made that clear to them prior to leaving for my family vacation two weeks ago.”  Meanwhile, NorthJersey.com reports that CBS RADIO states no decision about filling Mike Francesa’s daypart has been made.

Bubba’s Attorneys Challenge Judge’s Ruling Limiting Nielsen MRC Documents. Lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge have filed a formal objection to a Magistrate Judge’s recent ruling limiting the documents Nielsen must provide regarding the Media Rating Council’s issues with the accreditation of the PPM to the Tampa market.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge claiming his tampering with the PPM survey in the Tampa market causing it damages to the tune of $25 million.  Bubba’s lawyers were recently granted documents related to the MRC’s concerns about PPM methodology, but only in the Tampa market.  They seek MRC documents related to all PPM markets and they say that’s relevant because Nielsen’s allegation of damages suffered relates to “contract price concessions allegedly demanded by a Nielsen subscriber, Cox Media Group, Inc. (‘Cox’), for its entire nationwide contracts with Nielsen, including both radio and television broadcast contracts.”  Further, Bubba’s lawyers argue, “Defendants counter that Nielsen’s ratings system has fundamental flaws that are known throughout the radio industry, and therefore, Nielsen cannot claim reputational damages in this action.  In support of this claim, Defendants sought discovery from MRC, the media and television industry’s watchdog for media measurements research and methodology, regarding MRC’s issues with the accuracy of Nielsen’s ratings system, including MRC’s decision not to accredit Nielsen’s PPM surveys.”

KTTH, Seattle Names New AM Show. Changes to the morning drive daypart take place at Bonneville’s Seattle news/talker KTTH as the KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty show is cancelled and local personality Jason Rantz becomes the new morning host.  Rantz moves over to KTTH from the company’s sister talk station KIRO-FM where he’s been co-hosting the “Jason & Burns” evening program with Zak Burns, who remains at KIRO-FM hosting the show solo.  The changes take effect on September 5.  About his new show, Rantz says on MyNorthwest.com, “What can you expect on the show?  Well, a lot of what you heard previously.  I’ll be taking on progressive activists who are trying to silence and bully us.  I will have rational conversations about President Trump.  I will have fun, interviewing interesting people, while exploring all the issues that actually impact our lives.  I’ll also give you live traffic reports so you can get to work on time and have some special surprises up my sleeve!”

Jimmy Barrett Co-Hosting KTRH’s ‘Houston’s Morning News.’  The new co-host of KTRH, Houston’s morning drive program moves into the role from iHeartMedia’s Richmond, Virginia news/talk WRVA.  Jimmy Barrett is named to work with news anchor Shara Fryer hosting “Houston’s Morning News,” replacing Matt Patrick, who passed away in June after a battle with cancer.  iHeartMedia Houston director of AM programming Bryan Erickson states, “Jimmy has a big voice, a big heart and big shoes to fill.  It’s impossible for anyone to replace Matt Patrick and we all know that.  I think Matt’s audience will embrace Jimmy as we move forward from what has been a very difficult time.”  Barrett has been host of WRVA’s morning show for the past 16 years.

Chris Rude Leaves Atlanta’s ‘Fan.’  As reported by Rodney Ho at the AJC, morning personality Christopher Rude has exited the Dickey-owned sports talk outlet WCNN “680 and 93.7 the Fan” after 15 years.  Rude was joined on his “Rude Awakening” program by former sports talk WQXI personalities Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini in recent years and WCNN is going to continue with that duo hosting a renamed morning program.  Before signing on with WCNN, Rude had hosted mornings at then-rock WKLS “96 Rock.”  Read Ho’s AJC piece here.

Barcelona Terror Attack, Bannon Exits Trump Administration, Confederate Memorial Removals, Trump on Afghanistan, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Monday’s Solar Eclipse, Jerry Lewis Dies at 91, Sunday’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Episode, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Friday’s deadly terror attack in Barcelona and the search for the van driver; the firing of White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon; the wave of Confederate monuments being removed from public buildings and parks; President Trump’s plan to address the military and the nation on his policy for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan; the ongoing military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; today’s solar eclipse; the death of Jerry Lewis at age 91; Sunday night’s new season seven episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; the weekend’s Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season 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.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher will originate his Salem Radio Network program from KKNT, Phoenix “AM 960 The Patriot” during the day tomorrow (8/22) and will deliver on-site coverage of President Trump’s rally at the Phoenix Convention Center at 7:00 pm…..Named senior vice president & chief HR officer at Cox Media Group is Mary Ellen Marcilliat-Falkner.  She succeeds Karen Bennett, who was named Cox Communications’ new EVP & chief HR officer last month.   CMG president Kim Guthrie comments, “Mary Ellen is a proven Cox leader, with over 20 years in the automotive business, and she brings with her a strong understanding of our Cox values, most importantly that our employees are truly our most valuable resource.”…..NuVoodoo Media Services joins forces with Amplifi Media to present the results of a recent study of 9,000 Millennial podcast listeners nationwide at Podcast Movement on Thursday, August 24 in Anaheim.  Amplifi Media founder and CEO Steve Goldstein and NuVoodoo EVP research analysis Leigh Jacobs will present the new research findings, along with insights and video highlights of dozens of one-on-one interviews of Millennial podcast listeners at the 11:00 am session…..The New Jersey Broadcasters Association is marking its 70th anniversary at a special awards dinner and gala on November 2 at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.  The theme of the event is “Broadcast’s Heritage and Enduring Impact on Society.” NJBA will honor of Mr. Ben Ferencz, (the only surviving Nuremberg Prosecutor) with its Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award and induct the 2017 NJBA Hall of Fame class…..Jacobs Media recently presented the findings of the Millennial Research Project before the Public Radio Program Directors Association at this year’s PRPD Content Conference in Washington, DC.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs states, “We immersed ourselves into the lives of a dozen Millennial public radio listeners.  We spent a full day with each of them, from the time they woke up through their workday and back at home, observing their media and lifestyle activities.  This project speaks volumes about media, journalism, politics, and the perceptions of Millennials.  Public radio plays an important role but it’s essential to understand how these listeners are similar and how they are different from the traditional audience.”

Smidt: July 2017 PPM Review.  Broadcast advisor Clark Smidt reports some of his thoughts from the July 2017 PPM survey ratings results from Nielsen Audio.  Smidt adds more to his hypothesis that markets see more AQH share change when PPM meters change households.  He also notes some interesting results for HD stations that are showing up in the PPM surveys and which markets show higher than average HD listening.  See it all here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 MORE-FM,” Mark Shepperd takes over the afternoon drive show.  WBEB program director Chuck Knight comments, “Mark is one of the most versatile people in radio.  He has filled many different roles for us in various full and part-time positions over many years, most recently swing.  We feel Mark’s upbeat energy and style is a perfect match to drive home Philly’s largest afternoon radio audience.”  Shepperd fills the role vacated by Logan who exited to do mornings at WINK-FM, Fort Myers…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, program director and midday personality Dave Michaels exits Federated Media’s country WQHK, Fort Wayne.  Additionally, Michaels had been voice-tracking an afternoon shift on Talking Stick Communications’ country WAWC, Syracuse, Indiana and will now host that shift live.  Meanwhile, Federated Media programmer Jimmy Knight will assume the PD role at WQHK, adding to his programming duties for CHR WMEE…..Cox Media Group’s alternative WSUN, Tampa “97X” announces the lineup for its “97X Next Big Thing” concert at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on December 2-3.  The Lumineers and Paramore are headlining and other acts include: Walk the Moon, X Ambassadors, Vance Joy, Portugal. The Man, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Saint Motel, Joywave, Magic Giant, Misterwives, The Aces, Barns Courtney, Mondo Cozmo, Arkells, and Vinyl Theatre.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

| August 10, 2017

Bennett Helps WCBS-AM Note Its All-News Golden Anniversary. A special interview and performance this past Tuesday (8/8) by iconic singer Tony Bennett at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square highlighted a celebration of 50 years of news as CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM observed its 50th birthday as an all-news outlet. Wayne Cabot (29 years at WCBS-AM, the station’s longest-tenured anchor) and fellow news anchor Alex Silverman (who joined WCBS-AM in April 2011) hosted the event, which included a plethora of stories from WCBS-AM personalities and guests. Senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio New York Marc Rayfield states that WCBS-AM “is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news. We will continue to tell the stories of the people, places, and happenings from all around this great city. This special night gathered listeners, station personalities, and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean into the future.” In addition to Cabot and Silverman, other WCBS-AM personalities there Tuesday night included Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott, and Michael Wallace. Among those sharing their New York stories were Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader (“The World’s Most Dangerous Band” and “CBS Orchestra”) Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine. CBS News’ Anthony Mason conducted the Tony Bennett interview. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales (which ranged from $55 to $150 per person) was donated to Exploring the Arts Foundation, Bennett’s charity organization dedicated to transforming lives of young people through arts education. Following back-to-back 2.4 showings (6+) in Nielsen Audio’s April and May PPM reports, WCBS-AM has registered a 2.7 (6+) in June and July, moving up from #13 in June to #12. Entercom will continue to use the CBS Radio News brand for at least one year after it closes on all of CBS Radio’s AM and FM properties.

KIRO-FM Teams with Seattle Police to Provide “Beds for Kids.” The goal of a joint effort between Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM and the Seattle Police Department is to provide 600 needy local children with mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters, pillows and a Teddy bear. KIRO-FM afternoon drive (3:00 – 7:00 pm) hosts “Ron (Upshaw) & Don (O’Neill)” have been dedicated advocates for the “Beds for Kids” project since its inception, with O’Neill emphasizing, “Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that every child that needs a bed – gets a bed. When a child gets a good night sleep and something to eat, it is proven they stay in school and they do better in school. Help us help police help kids – it’s another way to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.” The “Beds for Kids” cofounder Jeremy Wade notes, “Over the last three years, we have been amazed to see how many kids in our community sleep on the floor. Through the ‘Beds for Kids’ program, we have provided over 500 local kids with a brand-new bed. This year’s goal of 600 beds is our most ambitious yet, but with the support of our partners and the public, we know it can be done.” The project was created in 2014 by Wade and fellow officer Ryan Gallagher, who responded to a 9-1-1 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor. Wade and Gallagher returned to that home with new beds purchased with their own money. Since then, hundreds of people have stepped up to assist the two officers in providing beds for children in need. Elsewhere inside that Bonneville cluster, Seattle Seahawks coverage on sports talk KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” will include John Clayton (formerly with ESPN-TV), who will serve as a sideline reporter. In addition, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who called Seahawks pre-season games and was part of Westwood One’s NFL coverage the last two seasons, returns as radio analyst, a role he held for 13 seasons prior to 2015. Back as well for his 36th year on play-by-play is Steve Raible; Jen Mueller is in her ninth season doing sideline reporting.

Stigall Featured on “The Fox News Specialists.” Pictured above at the far right as he made his point yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 8/9) on “The Fox News Specialists” is CBS Radio-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Philadelphia 5:30 am – 9:00 am talent Chris Stigall. Intently looking on (left to right) are another guest specialist Mike Baker, co-host Eboni Williams, guest-host Mark Steyn, and co-host Katherine Timpf.

PPM Data – Part Three. July 2017 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Gottlieb Kicks Off Training Camp Tour. Gearing up for the start of football season, Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb hits the road for on-location coverage from several NFL training sites. The journey began this past Monday (8/7) with a broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams facility at UC Irvine. Still in Southern California (Oxnard-Ventura), Gottlieb is with the Dallas Cowboys today (Thursday, 8/10), and he will visit the Los Angeles Chargers’ camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa next Wednesday (8/16). Pictured left to right are Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.

LG To Activate FM Chips in its Smartphones. The announcement that LG phones in North America and Latin America will have FM chips activated moving forward comes from NextRadio parent TagStation, whose president Paul Brenner states, “We are proud and excited to partner with one of the world’s leading Smartphone providers to continue our mission of connecting and exposing users to a fully immersive radio experience. This alliance will give millions of consumers the opportunity to receive real over-the-air FM radio through their phone.” NextRadio will be pre-loaded on some models.

WQBA Named Dolphins’ Spanish-Language Radio Flagship. As part of the multi-year agreement, Univision Radio Miami Spanish news/talk WQBA will air all Miami Dolphins pre-season, regular season, and playoff games. Raul Striker Jr. will handle play-by-play duties, while Eduardo Martell will provide color analysis. WQBA will produce pregame and postgame shows, as well as a weekly show covering Dolphins-related news/events. Sports programming falls under the recently-launched Univision Deportes Radio sports network. WQBA senior vice president and general manager Claudia Puig comments, “We are excited to once again partner with the Miami Dolphins, offering them a terrific opportunity to reach their Spanish-speaking fans through Univision Deportes Radio. Our listeners will now be able to cheer their favorite football team ‘en español.’ The Dolphins broadcasts will be a perfect complement to Univision Deportes Radio’s outstanding sports programming lineup.” Miami Dolphins senior vice president and chief commercial officer Todd Kline adds, “We are proud to partner with Univision Deportes Radio WQBA 1140 AM and are confident they will deliver the most complete and up-to-date coverage of the Miami Dolphins to fans. The Dolphins have a 36-year commitment to broadcast games in Spanish in the South Florida market – this partnership delivers on our strong tradition.” Spanish-language broadcasts of Dolphins games were previously heard on crosstown Deportes Media Spanish Sports WNMA “ESPN Deportes Miami.” The team’s English-language flagships are CBS Radio Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” and co-owned WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country.”

TALKERS News Notes. Citing other media sources, The Tennessean reports that former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck will leave his “Wake-Up Zone” morning show co-hosting duties on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” in the next few weeks. Earlier, Wycheck announced he is stepping away from his role as analyst for Titans’ radio broadcasts for a year, owing to cognitive issues related to concussions from his playing days. It is reported, however, that Wycheck will remain with “The Zone” for swing duty ….. In other football-related news, iHeartMedia Tucson’s KTZR “Fox Sports 1450” joins the Arizona Cardinals radio network. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson David Adams comments, “As the new home for Fox Sports in Tucson; the future home of Dan Patrick; and the official broadcast partner of the Tucson Roadrunners, we couldn’t be more excited to solidify our position as ‘Tucson’s Sports Station’ by adding the Cardinals.” The team’s previous Tucson affiliate was Cumulus Media’s KCUB “Sports Radio 1290.”

Checkpoint Radio Adds Houston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Affiliates. The latest to join Checkpoint Radio – the first nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of e-sports and gaming – are GOW Media’s KFNC “ESPN 97.5 FM,” Houston; Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 FM The Fanatic, Philadelphia”; and Hubbard’s WXOS “101 ESPN, St Louis.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Checkpoint Radio is the only national show that connects radio stations and listeners to the explosive energy around e-sports. According to Newzoo, e-sports will grow to $696 million in revenue this year, a year-over-year increase of 41%. Brand investment is predicted to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. This is a space you want to be in. Westwood One is the undeniable leader in sports programming – we know e-sports is an important sector for affiliates and advertisers.” Checkpoint Radio managing partner Rick Scott notes, “We are excited at the rapid growth of Checkpoint Radio in so many quality and big markets. It is a testament to the quality and appeal of the show and the passionate crew working to put it together.” Hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan, two-hour weekly Checkpoint Radio features insights, news, interviews, and updates designed specifically for the video game and e-sports fan. In addition to the weekly show, Checkpoint also produces a podcast featuring content not heard on the radio program.

WKLB Elevates Santolucito to Director/Music and Marketing. Over and above continuing her oversight of the marketing/promotions department of WKLB “Country 102.5,” Dawn Santolucito is promoted to music and marketing director at the Beasley Media Group Boston property. Program director David Corey states, “Dawn’s passion, dedication, and organizational skills – plus a great ear for music – made her the ideal candidate for the position. We are proud to have Dawn in our ‘Country 102.5’ family.” Santolucito comments, “It truly has been a privilege being a part of the ‘Country 102.5’ family for the past seven years in my role within the marketing/promotions department. I am thrilled to begin this new chapter.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2017 PPM report, WKLB is flat at 4.5, but climbs from seventh in June 2017 to sixth, while cross-town format competitor – iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is up (modestly) for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and inches up from #17 to #16. With a 7.7 (6+), WKLB classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” remains at #1 for the seventh successive sweep.

iHR, Understood.org Align to Help Kids Facing Learning/Attention Issues. One of every five children have a learning and attention challenge such as ADHD or dyslexia. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Understood.org explores and raises awareness of learning and attention issues, and breaks stereotypes about these often-misunderstood children. The partnership includes public service announcements voiced by iHeartMedia personalities Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Mario Lopez, and Bobby Bones, as well as a long-form public affairs show. Commenting about Understood.org, its executive leader/corporate partnerships & alliances Nancy Smith states, “This whole team is deeply committed to helping the millions of children with learning and attention issues get the support they need – support that can help them reverse any downward spiral in school.” From prior experience, Smith felt that iHeartRadio “has a strong belief in win-win partnerships and in helping the world be a better place. I knew collaboration with the iHeart team could take us to new levels of support for kids with learning and attention issues.” Aided by 15 nonprofit organizations, Understood.org launched nearly three years ago. “Today, it supports and empowers millions of parents through personalized resources, daily access to experts, a community of other parents and experts, and interactive tools,” Smith explains. “Many accomplished musicians including Justin Timberlake [ADHD], Lindsey Stirling [dyslexia], and Jewel [dyslexia] have learning and attention issues. Understood is happy to call iHeartRadio a partner in our mission to raise awareness of learning and attention issues. Having the support of a community of musical artists and fans who embrace differences can help build widespread acceptance for kids who are so often misunderstood. Together with iHeartRadio, we want to help even more children with learning and attention issues.”

Sun Broadcast Group Enters the “Country Fried Mix.” A sales and affiliation partnership with Sun Broadcast Group will bring “Country Fried Mix” with national touring artist and producer DJ Sinister to the network in three weeks (9/1). Sun chief executive officer Jason Bailey remarks, “One of the things we have always tried to do at Sun is find exciting and unique programs for our listeners and clients. When I heard ‘Country Fried Mix’ for the first time, I knew we had to have it in our lineup. There is simply nothing [else] like it on the radio – that’s why it is perfect for us. We are honored to represent this incredible product to the industry and the clients who support it.” According to DJ Sinister, “This new opportunity really takes us to the next level with partners that are willing to take risks,” while the program’s producer Charlie Pennachio adds, “Focus created this expansion; this opportunity gives us the ability to become a laser beam with a team.” The weekend show of mashed up/remixed country hits has aired since 2014 and has affiliates in (among other markets) Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, Phoenix, and Nashville.

Opening “The Vault” Again in Montgomery. Jettisoning its top 40 format in order to return to rock as “107.1 The Vault” is Bluewater Broadcasting Montgomery, Alabama’s WQKS-HD3 W296AI. It abandoned “The Vault” four years ago in favor of classic jams “Yo! 107.1,” but as program director Rick Peters writes on his Facebook page, “The market has spoken and –  contrary to popular belief – we do listen. ‘The Vault’ will try to recreate album and progressive rock stations from the 1970s, such as [Los Angeles’] KMET and KLOS; [Chicago’s] WLUP [‘The Loop’]; [Philadelphia’s] WMMR; [Miami’s] WSHE; and [St. Louis’] KSHE. The format is freeform – the [on-air talent] can program what they like. Every day will be different – it’s a throwback. At the same time, it’s evolutionary for the day [but] it’s not designed to be mass-appeal. For those that ‘lived’ the music the first time, we will try to be worthy. For the rest of you, listen up [because] you might find something you love.” Among persons 12+ in Montgomery’s most recent Nielsen Audio book (spring 2017), WQKS-HD3 checks in at #16 with a .8, while iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZHT “Hot 105.7” is on top with an 11.2 (12+).

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Earlier this week, midday host Danny Dwyer of Alpha Media Portland country outlet KUPL “98.7 The Bull” raised $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in his inaugural golf invitational at Salem Oregon’s Creekside Country Club ….. A variety of tomato-themed activities will be included next Saturday (8/19) when Beasley Media Group Philadelphia classic rock WMGK morning personality John DeBella holds his three-hour (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Tomato Fest” in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Among the highlights are a biggest-tomato contest; a dunk tank manned by the show’s “Super Steve”; and bobbing for tomatoes. In addition, WMGK’s house band Kategory Five will perform, and there will be a classic car display. Donations of canned goods and fresh produce will be collected to benefit the South Jersey Food Bank. DeBella is said to have thought up the “Tomato Fest” concept while seeing a vast number of farm stands and pondering why the tomato wasn’t being celebrated ….. Three (four-hour) Westwood One Labor Day weekend music specials are in the pipeline. Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds will host rock’s “Summer Wrap Up”; Louis Tomlinson does the same for the pop format’s “Last Big Summer Weekend”; and ACM-award winner Kelsea Ballerini has the honors for “Workin’ Hard Country.”

Ell Talks Up Her Latest “Project.” During her visit to Westwood One’s syndicated “Ty, Kelly, & Chuck” morning show, Lindsay Ell discussed touring with Brad Paisley and creating her new album “The Project” with producer Kristian Bush. Shown left to right are Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Lindsay Ell, and Chuck Wicks.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

| August 8, 2017

Honolulu Morning Mainstay Rick Hamada Guests on this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Longtime, KHVH 830 AM, Honolulu morning host Rick Hamada is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hamada and Harrison discuss the view of life – nationally and locally – seen from the perspective of an iHeartMedia-owned conservative news/talker in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  They discuss the North Korea crisis, immigration reform, race relations and a number indigenous topics impacting the lives of those who call the 50th state home.  Harrison says, “I met Rick Hamada at the recent FAIR ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ immigration reform radio row in Washington, DC and was a guest on his show.  I was taken by his gentlemanly manner and articulate insights into the worldview from the United States of America’s most westerly outpost and knew right there I’d have to invite him on this podcast. I’m glad I did.  This is a real cool conversation.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI.  While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for their station and brand.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media, into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.  Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.  To read all about TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s story covering this phenomenal success, please click here.

Davis Deal Keeps Him at iHM for Four More Years. On the heels of celebrating his 25th anniversary with the company, Darren Davis agrees to a four-year contract extension as president of iHeartMedia Networks Group. “We are pleased that Darren will continue to lead the integration of our Networks group that enables iHeartMedia to harness the unparalleled power, reach, and scale of our digital and broadcast platforms,” notes iHeartMedia chairman and chief executive officer Bob Pittman. “His 25 years of experience working in every facet of iHeartMedia means he has a unique understanding of every aspect of our company, from our broadcast radio stations and iHeartRadio to our sales teams and partnerships, and how they can all work together to best serve our consumers, partners, affiliates, and advertisers.” Davis, who was appointed to his current position three years ago, comments that he is always “amazed by iHeartMedia’s evolution, which is built on broadcast radio and now provides one-of-a-kind programming and opportunities to connect our advertising partners across our unparalleled range of multiple platforms in ways that no other company can.” Davis continues as president of iHeartRadio’s live-streaming and podcasting and oversees integration of the company’s multi-platform assets. He started at iHeartMedia Washington, DC in 1992 as an intern at WASH-FM (then owned by Evergreen), where he graduated to program director of the heritage adult contemporary outlet. The George Washington University alum later advanced to regional vice president of programming for the company’s Chicago and Detroit operations and to senior vice president of programming and executive vice president/general manager of national programming.

CBS Radio Second-Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. While Q2 revenue for parent CBS Corp. rose 9% year-to-year to a record $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion in 2016, radio division revenue was reported at $306 million, down from $313 million (-2.2%) in 2016. Conversely, that figure is up from $250 million in 2017’s first-quarter. A noncash charge of $365 million for discontinued operations resulted from reducing the carrying value of CBS Radio to the level of the stock valuation of Entercom as it prepares to merge with Entercom in the second half of this year. In terms of CBS Corp. earnings, CBS Radio is classified as “held for sale,” adjusted each quarter based on Entercom’s stock price until that deal is finalized. CBS Radio recorded a $7 million restructuring charge tied with reorganizing some of its business operations, including severance costs and fees from ending some contractual obligations. According to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “We continue to have more and more success as the landscape continues to change. Revenue was up 9% with top line growth in every one of our four business segments and EPS was up 12% to $1.04, representing our 30th consecutive quarter of EPS growth. Both of these totals were second quarter records for us. Our base advertising business is strong and growing, and at the same time, we’re laying new groundwork to ensure even more growth ahead. We are not only capitalizing on the changes in our industry, we are shaping the direction of these changes.” Local media revenue, which includes the company’s owned and operated television stations and CBS Local Digital Media, was $412 million, up 4% from $396 million last year.

PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2017 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 July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.

Frandsen, Hoffar to Host “KNBR Tonight.” Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen and Drew Hoffar are the two on-air talents selected for “KNBR Tonight” on Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader.” The 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm program debuts next Monday (8/14). KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe opines, “Drew and Kevin are primed to make a huge impact in their new roles. Their work ethic is unmatched and both are committed to the smallest of details that will generate a great listener experience. They are relatable to the common fan, yet they each possess a vast knowledge of the overall sports landscape. I applaud Cumulus San Francisco for putting them in a position to shine.” A San Jose State University grad, Frandsen was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and played for the team from 2006 – 2009, before joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010), Philadelphia Phillies (2012 – 2013) and Washington Nationals (2014) before ending his 10-year MLB career with the Giants in 2015. He has filled in regularly on KNBR the past two years and remarks, “In my time as a major leaguer, I prided myself on performing in several roles as a utility player. Since arriving at KNBR. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the format’s most established personalities across a variety of timeslots. This evening post is a chance to advance my relationship with one of the best young talents in radio, connect with the best sports fans in the country, and move the KNBR brand forward into the digital age.” Hoffar grew up in San Leandro and has over 12 years of hosting experience and most recently served as lead host on KNBR morning show “The Audible,” alongside Frandsen. Hoffar previously held anchor and host positions at KGMZ, San Francisco and KHTK, Sacramento. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to reach so many diehard Bay Area sports fans on a nightly basis,” he states. “Hosting evenings on KNBR carries a responsibility to serve fans the quality content they deserve as the daily news cycle hits a close. Kevin and I will provide a unique perspective on the games and will look to entertain/inform listeners every time we open the mics.” The station’s revised weekday on-air lineup is comprised of “The Show Hour with Patrick Connor” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Murph & Mac” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Gary Radnich & Larry Krueger (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); “Fitz & Brooks” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “Tolbert & Lund” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “KNBR Tonight with Drew Hoffar & Kevin Frandsen” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (10:00 pm – 5:00 am).

NPR Adds Bennett As Fourth White House Reporter. After serving as an NPR congressional reporter the past five months, Geoff Bennett is named White House reporter. In addition to Bennett, NPR’s team covering the White House now includes national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith. NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan comments, “Just a few months into his return to NPR, Geoff has demonstrated the substantive reach, solid sourcing, and fluidity in stories. Those of us lucky enough to work alongside Geoff know he has done it with the grace and good humor we so need.” Before becoming a Washington reporter with NY1 News, Bennett spent almost six years at NPR as “Weekend Edition” editor.

McDonald Podcast Added to iHeartRadio. Two-time Emmy winner Rushion McDonald is making his “Money Making Conversations” podcast available on iHeartRadio. “I have known Rushion McDonald for over a decade and we have worked together on many projects,” states Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “I can honestly say he is one of the great creative business minds of our time. He has the uncanny ability to understand and solve the marketing needs of clients with innovative solutions involving talent, media, and events.” McDonald comments that he is “excited to share” his “Money Making Conversations” podcast “across iHeartRadio’s vast number of device platforms. Being available on iHeartRadio will allow me to help even more people reach their dreams through my meaningful discussions with celebrity friends and small business leaders.” Among others, guests thus far on McDonald’s podcast have included Cedric The Entertainer, Patti LaBelle, Carl Lewis, Roland Martin, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sherri Shepherd, Rickey Smiley, Stephen A. Smith, Michelle Williams, and Charlie Wilson.

Salem Q2 Revenue Declines. Consolidated second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group decreased 2.5% year-to-year to $66.1 million. Net income was down from $3.4 million to $1.3 million and net broadcast revenue fell 1.4% to $49.3 million. Meanwhile, digital media revenue was off 1.6% to $10.9 million. Publishing revenue dipped 11.3% to $6 million. Salem Media Group is projecting third quarter total revenue to be off by 6% to 8% year-to-year, owing to lack of political revenue; reduced book release schedule; elimination of four loss-making magazines; and a continued soft Dallas market.

Texas Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees. There are 16 new members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In alphabetical order, they include: Nick Alexander (Dallas/Fort Worth); Mark Carrillo (San Antonio); Ed Chandler (Marble Falls); R.W. “Catfish” Crouch (Houston); Bill Davis (Tyler); Roger W. Garrett (College Station); Bill Harrison & Dana Adams; Bill Ingram (Houston); Tempie Lindsey (Dallas/Fort Worth); Bobby Lopez (San Antonio); Sam Malone (Houston); John McCarty (Dallas/Fort Worth); Chrissie Murnin (San Antonio); Denise Partridge (Houston); and Mark Watkins (Dallas/Fort Worth). The class of 2017 will be honored in three months (11/4) at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore.

Comcast Advertising Execs to Headline Radio Breakfast. Members of Comcast Cable’s marketing team, including senior vice president of media strategy & sciences Kavita Vazirani, will participate in a discussion moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber regarding the company’s relationship with radio. According to Farber, “Radio drives behavior, and Comcast Cable is a prime example of a top advertiser using radio as a method of communication to new and existing customers about new products and services. We look forward to welcoming Kavita Vazirani and her marketing team in Austin at the Radio Show to discuss radio’s role in their advertising mix.” The event will be held (Thursday) September 7 (7:30 am – 9:00 am) at Austin’s JW Marriott. The Radio Show is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the RAB.

WNYC Studios Adds Bharara Podcast. “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara, has been picked up for distribution by WNYC Studios. The podcast – described by WNYC as being a series about justice and fairness – is produced by his brother Vinit Bharara’s media firm Some Spider Studios and Pineapple Street Media. According to New York Public Radio president and chief executive officer Laura Walker, “WNYC Studios is honored to add Preet Bharara’s compelling and timely podcast to our lineup. We have built our portfolio around distinct personalities; ‘Stay Tuned with Preet’ promises to bring podcast audiences and people interested in our political and legal culture something new, relevant, and utterly engaging.” Vinit Bharara adds, “I am really looking forward to Preet launching his podcast and sharing with the world his unique insights about justice and fairness – especially at a time when those two issues are at stake.” Initially asked to stay on board by the administration, Preet Bharara was fired by President Trump in March.

TALKERS News Notes. Hosted by NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner, “Rough Translation” is a new podcast about how topics that are discussed in America are handled in other countries. Debuting next Monday (8/14), “Rough Translation” will release new episodes weekly. Correspondents from NPR bureaus worldwide will contribute stories to the podcast, a product of NPR StoryLab ….. As first reported by the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Peterson last Friday (8/4) closed out his 43-year radio career and 18 years as host of Townsquare Media Rochester, Minnesota news/talk KROC’s “Good Morning” show. In addition to two separate KROC “AM 1340” stints, Peterson worked at Omaha news/talk KFAB. Taking over the KROC morning slot are “This Morning with Gordon Deal” and Salem’s Mike Gallagher.

 

 

 

KDAY Back as Raiders’ Los Angeles FM Affiliate. Syndicated via Compass Media Networks and originating from Entercom San Francisco’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried in Los Angeles on Meruelo Media’s KDAY “Back in the Day Hits.” KDAY program director Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive FM radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 – 1966) and head coach (1979 – 1987) Tom Flores. The NFL franchise played in Los Angeles for 12 years (1982 – 1994) and have committed to move to Las Vegas upon completion of a stadium projected for the 2020 season.

O’Brien, Smith Added to WJXA Morning Mix. In two weeks (8/21), Midwest Communications Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” will debut a morning show featuring Brandon O’Brien and Ricki Smith. O’Brien most recently was the afternoon talent at Sinclair Telecable Norfolk country outlet WUSH “US-106.1,” while Smith arrives from Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” where he was morning co-host. They will join producer/co-host Clint Redwine and succeed Kim Leslie, who exited after 10 years to develop a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, former “Mix” morning co-host Anna Marie is segueing to nights. Vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon states, “When you find the talent you feel will help add exciting new chapters to the storied history of ‘Mix,” you only have one choice – hire them. I can’t wait to hear this [morning] show come together. Anna has been the heart and soul of ‘Mix’ for a long, long time. I am delighted we can apply her special talents to the evening show where she can fully expand on her unique ability to connect with listeners.” Operations manager Barbara Bridges comments, “I am so excited to add Brandon and Ricki to the morning show. These two individuals have a ton of talent. This combination with Clint will elevate an already successful morning show to the next level – we are thrilled this all came together. Anna has a 20-year track record of success with our female audience; our fans absolutely love her. The warmth and connection she will bring to a special nighttime show will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what we can do when Anna gets rolling.” O’Brien remarks, “Not only do I live in the greatest city in the world, I will also have an opportunity to be a huge part of the Nashville community and work alongside some amazing and talented folks.” Smith notes, “A personality looks for nothing more than what happens every day with this incredible team of talented people in Nashville. I am totally pumped about being able to contribute to the station’s continued success.” Anna Marie adds, “I love my listeners and this move gives me the opportunity to get closer to them. We have had a wonderful 20-year relationship so far – now we get a new time and space to get together.” July 2017 results will be released on Thursday (8/10), but among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM report, “Mix” finishes in fifth-place (6.8, 6+), one full-share behind the pacesetter, iHeartMedia classic rocker WNRQ (7.8, 6+).

TKRN Taps Thomas for Affiliate Relations. Former program director and brand manager of Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” Darla Thomas joins the affiliate relations department of the Tom Kent Radio Network (TKRN), representing adult contemporary and hot AC products. TKRN senior vice president of affiliations Ed Douglas comments, “Having a pro of the stature of Darla Thomas join our affiliate team is a dream come true. She understands the adult contemporary world and she values the commitment Tom Kent has made to making great radio.” Thomas notes, “I have known Tom for years and I am so impressed by the network he has built across the country. When Ed asked me to join the team, I just couldn’t resist the chance to help build the TKRN brand and make it even bigger. I am excited to get started.” Thomas’ previous programming credits include iHeartMedia Charlotte adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” and five years as operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group Tucson, after programming that company’s Omaha hot AC KSRZ “Star 104.5.”

Charlotte’s “Block” Inks Dutchess. One of the stars of the VH1 series “Black Ink Crew” – Dutchess – is added to the on-air lineup of Radio One Charlotte urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block.” The Charlotte native and cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University will handle  Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm duty. Radio One Charlotte vice president and general manager Doug James states, “Dutchess is an exceptional artist and media personality. We are very excited that she is bringing her talents to our fantastic lineup.” Radio One Charlotte program director Mary K. notes, “I am thrilled to have Dutchess join [our] team. She has great energy, a contagious spirit, generous heart, and immeasurable talents.” Splitting time between North Carolina and New York, Dutchess opened a tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in Charlotte.

Sanderson, Ramsey Headed to WNFN for Middays, Nights. Arriving from iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River,” where she was assistant digital PD and part-time on-air talent, Kage Sanderson crosses the street to Midwest Communications’ similarly-programmed WNFN “i106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” for midday duty, as well as being the station’s social media coordinator. In addition, JR Ramsey from Townsquare Media Portland, Maine CHR WJBQ “Q-97.7” joins “i106.7” to handle nights. Sanderson comments that she is “stoked for this new role at WNFN. Doing radio in Nashville – an electric city that I truly love – is unbelievable. I can’t wait to connect with our listeners and be part of this fantastic growing station.” Ramsey notes, “I can’t express how excited I am to be making this big move to Nashville. I am really looking forward to cracking the mic and entertaining the city.” He and Sanderson begin their new assignments in roughly two weeks (8/21). Meanwhile, WNFN assistant program director/music director/9:00 am – 2:00 pm personality “Butter” adds on-air duties at co-owned adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” and will be videographer for WNFN; “Mix”; and co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM.”

Now Appearing – Harry Connick Jr. Currently promoting his television show “Harry,” Harry Connick Jr. stopped by iHeartMedia Milwaukee CHR WRNW “97.3 Now” prior to his guest appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pictured left to right are “Now” morning show personalities Rahny Taylor and Binky Lee, Connick, and morning show producer “Dave.”

Cumulus Media Des Moines Tickets Taylor as Operations Manager. Six-year Townsquare Media St. Cloud, Minnesota operations manager Chad Taylor transitions to Cumulus Media Des Moines for similar duties at its five-station cluster. In addition to his OM duties, Taylor will host afternoon drive on country KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon.” Cumulus Media Des Moines vice president and market manager Craig Hodgson comments, “Chad is a highly-regarded operations manager, program director, and on-air talent. He is as active and community involved as they come. We will enjoy having him on our team and look forward to achieving great things together.” Taylor notes, “My wife was born and raised in Altoona. She is set to enjoy all things Iowa again and has already purchased a family pass to Adventureland. I’m beyond excited to work alongside the talented team at Cumulus Des Moines.” Prior to working in St. Cloud, Taylor was operations manager/program director for Community First Broadcasting’s three Iowa Great Lakes-area stations. The Cumulus Media Des Moines cluster consists of KBGG “1700 AM News-Talk-Sports”; KGGO “Classic Rock That Rocks”; KHKI “97.3 Nash FM”; KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon”; and KWQW “98.3 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop.”

More Music Radio News and Career MovesScheduled to perform at CBS Radio Los Angeles adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack’s 12th Show” October 7 at Irvine’s Fivepoint Amphitheater are 311, Cypress Hill, Gin Blossoms, Eve 6, Lit, and The Offspring. Proceeds will benefit Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) ….. Approximately 17% ($50,000) of the $294,091 Entercom Greenville, South Carolina helped raise during the Children’s Miracle Network radiothon was given by a father whose son was killed by a drunk driver ….. After hiring Tom Ferguson (“Ferg”) for afternoon drive duties, Entercom Wilkes Barre-Scranton classic rock WMQX “Max 102.3” operations manager Michael O’Donnell comments, “He is a born and raised Northeast Pennsylvania guy who knows his audience. He has a natural ability to relate to them and will raise the roof on PM drive.” Ferguson formerly worked at crosstown Times-Shamrock alternative WFUZ “Alt 92.1” ….. The former music director of Townsquare Media Flint, Michigan rhythmic CHR WRCL “Club 93.7” ArtArtemisSmith remains in the Great Lake State as he joins Midwest Communications mainstream CHR WLMI “i-92.9,” Lansing today (Tuesday, 8/8) as brand manager. Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy remarks, “We are excited to have Art lead our team. He has demonstrated a solid work ethic and strong working knowledge of the contemporary hit format.” Prior to working at WRCL, Smith was promotions director and night talent at WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan ….. While a replacement hasn’t been named yet to succeed her, afternoon drive personality Nikki Reid (also known as Erika Kay) departs iHeartMedia Tulsa CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Reid/Kay joined “The Beat” in March 2016 from WNDV “U-93,” South Bend (Indiana) ….. Following an extended medical leave, former WSLC “Star Country 94.9” midday talent Robynn Jaymes returns to the Mel Wheeler-owned Roanoke, Virginia station for weekend/swing duty. Taking to Facebook, she writes, “When illness took me off the radio, I wondered if I would ever [again] have the privilege to be on the air, sharing music and connecting with [the audience. Returning] this past Sunday [8/6] was a dream come true.” Jaymes has undergone surgery and multiple treatments since 2011, when she began battling pancreatitis ….. Meanwhile, 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Don Carpenter returns to Springfield, Missouri, signing on with Midwest Family country outlet KOMG “100.5 The Bull” to host a classic country show. In the 1980s, Carpenter did morning drive in the Missouri market at CHR KWTO-FM before grabbing similar duties as “Dr. Don” at CBS Radio Detroit’s country-formatted WYCD. In two separate tenures, “Dr. Don” spent 18 years at WYCD; he has been off the air the past two years ….. WUSW “US-92.7,” Springfield, Illinois program director and morning co-host Kellie Michaels will leave the Mid-West Family Broadcasting country station in two weeks (8/21). She has been co-hosting “Brian & Kellie” with her husband Brian Pierce for 25 years. After 15 years at co-owned adult contemporary WNNS, they went to country KFDI, Wichita (2007 – 2015), before returning to Springfield at “US-92.7.” Pierce will continue as morning co-host with Troy Armstrong assuming the co-host role. Michaels remarks, “I wanted to step back and spend more time on other interests. I’ve had a great time with Brian doing mornings. I will certainly miss the fun he and I have had, but certainly won’t miss the early morning hours.”

Thursday, July 27, 2017

| July 27, 2017

Vince Coglianese Joins Mary Walter for WMAL’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’ The Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese is named the new morning drive co-host at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM.  The station says Coglianese will join current morning personality Mary Walter on the “Mornings On The Mall” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  He’s the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller and regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, the FOX Business Network, and CNBC. Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Coglianese served as web editor for Carolina Coast OnLine, and hosted a talk show on WTKF/WJNC, Morehead City, North Carolina.  WMAL program director and Cumulus Media VP of News/Talk Bill Hess states, “Vince is the perfect WMAL personality – knowledgeable, plugged-in, entertaining, and a strong storyteller.  He and Mary had immediate chemistry and we’re excited to bring this fresh new sound to mornings on 105.9 FM and AM630 WMAL.”  Coglianese fills the slot left vacant when Brian Wilson departed the station.

iHeartMedia Launches Denver Broncos Station ‘Orange and Blue Radio.’  Sports talker KDSP, Denver is tweaked by owner iHeartMedia and will now be a station dedicated to all things Denver Broncos.  KDSP takes on the brand “Orange & Blue 760.”  iHeartMedia says the station “will broadcast Broncos sports talk with Tyler Polumbus, Steve Atwater, Dave Logan, Andrew Mason and more throughout the day.  Listeners can tune in 24/7 to hear breaking team news reports, live coverage of all Broncos’ news conferences as well as exclusive Broncos content just for ‘Orange & Blue’ radio listeners.”  This is being reported by numerous Denver news outlets as a “50/50 relationship” between the NFL club and the station, although whether that refers literally to sharing revenue or, less literally, about working together to create content – or some mix thereof – is not clear.  Denver Broncos chief commercial operator Mac Freeman adds, “Our longstanding partnership with iHeartMedia Denver continues to evolve and we are committed to finding new ways to engage Broncos fans across the fast-changing media landscape.  ‘Orange and Blue Radio’ will allow us to bring Broncos fans more content, more often, in more places.”

Nielsen’s Q2 Net Revenue Up 3%.  Ratings and research giant – and parent of radio ratings subsidiary Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings plc announces financial figures for the second quarter of 2017.  Revenue was $1,644 million in Q2, up 3.0% (or 4.1% on a constant currency basis) compared to the second quarter of 2016.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns comments, “Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.  This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large, fast moving consumer goods clients.  Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

WEEI’s Minihane Takes ‘Personal Time’ After Criticizing Red Sox Ownership. Coincidence or not?  That’s the question the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam is asking after WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane disappeared from the morning show the day after lashing out at Boston Red Sox ownership.  What set Minihane off was a statement the organization made in response to a piece by Britni De La Cretaz published at DigBoston.com that examines the history of the MLB club’s racist past and suggests that racism is still alive and well in “Red Sox Nation,” including at the team’s longtime radio partner, WEEI.  Part of the Red Sox’s statement included the following: “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox.  We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line.  At times, we feel the same way.”  Minihane responded saying, in part, “There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox.  It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom.  All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist.  The Red Sox disagree.  Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.  The Red Sox are pandering and it starts with John Henry, with Linda Pizzuti, who’s another panderer, goes to Tom Werner and goes all the way down, slides all the way down, takes a stop at John Farrell.”  The station told Heslam that Minihane is not suspended, just “taking personal time this week.”  Read Heslam’s story here.

Charlie Pallilo Returns to Houston Airwaves.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston sports talk radio personality Charlie Pallilo will be back on the radio on August 21 on Gow Media’s KGOW, hosting the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  Pallilo was most recently with iHeartMedia on KBME “Sports Talk 790” but was let go last October to make room in afternoons for Josh Innes (currently hosting the morning drive show on KBME).  The Chronicle reports that Pallilo will also make appearances on Gow’s sister station KFNC-FM and contribute to Gow Media’s CultureMap and SportsMap websites.  Gow Media’s David Gow is quoted saying, “I’ve been trying to hire Charlie for years, but he wasn’t available until his departure from 790.  We’ve been looking for the right fit and spot in our lineup for him.  We think he is one of the top sports talk hosts in the city.  He is really thoughtful and insightful and has a great rapport with his listeners. His analysis and his ability to talk about the details of sports and why things are taking place is unparalleled, and I know people will enjoy listening to him on our airwaves.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The start date for Nashville sports talk host George Plaster’s return to the market’s airwaves is this Sunday (7/30) on Grand Ole Opry-owned country WSM-AM. The 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Night” program will be Plaster’s return to the radio after exiting crosstown WPNT “102.5 The Game” to become the athletic director at Belmont University, a position he continues to hold.  WSM-AM program director Jonathan Shaffer will serve as co-host for the show…..CBS RADIO announces that Chris Wittyngham is the new co-host for the Miami Dolphins pre-game show on WQAM “Sportsradio 560” alongside former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.  Wittyngham currently works for CBSSports.com as a digital channels host.  He also works for BeIN Sports Television Network as a soccer play-by-play announcer.  WQAM program director Ryan Maguire comments, “Chris has already established himself locally as a talented, versatile sports media professional.  We’re thrilled that he’s agreed to work with us more extensively during the football season.”

GOP Health Care Strategy, U.S. Military Transgender Ban, Foxconn Announces U.S. Plant, Scaramucci Threatens Leakers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nukes Program, Sessions Status, Western Male Sperm Counts Down, Ohio Fair Ride Fatality, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/26).  The Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP-crafted plan; President Trump issues ban on transgender soldiers in the U.S. military; Taiwan-based Foxconn announces plans for Wisconsin factory and 3,000 initial jobs; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat to punish White House leakers; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s ICBM program and its threats against the U.S.; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; a new report indicating sperm counts are down among Western males; a fatality and severe injuries from an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/27) with Memorial Tribute To Tom Marr by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/27) we posted the first of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Tom Marr. (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, CBS RADIO makes Chris Ebbott program director of CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP” in addition to his current PD role at classic hits KRTH “K-EARTH 101.1.”  CBS says this move allows cluster SVP of programming Kevin Weatherly to hand off the KAMP programming duties to Ebbott and “focus more broadly on the strategic direction and approach of the market’s five music formats. CBS also operates KTWV “94.7 The Wave,” KROQ, and KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  Weatherly will continue to serve as program director of KROQ and KCBS-FM…..A piece published in the Providence Journal gives a status report on the sale of alternative WBRU, Providence.  The station is a commercial alt rocker owned by the non-profit Brown Broadcasting Services – linked to Brown University.  The student-staffed station was put up for sale by the board of directors who cited the challenges of operating a radio station in the current media climate as the impetus to sell.  The ProJo piece quotes a board spokesman saying the broker handling the sale is in active negotiations with a potential buyer but that no names are being released at this point…..Jacobs Media brings Chris Firmage aboard as an associate consultant.  Jacobs says Firmage joins the company after “a long and successful run at KFMA in Tucson.”  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs comments, “We continue to invest in new ideas and approaches for our clients.  Chris brings us a solid history of success. He’s knowledgeable in many areas and I expect that he will have a positive impact for all our clients.”

Monday, July 10, 2017

| July 10, 2017

Entercom/CBS Radio Divulges Senior Management. Based on a memo from Entercom president/chief executive officer David Field, we are getting a clearer picture of the combined giant’s management team, but, as Field stresses, until everything becomes official, Entercom and CBS Radio remain separate companies. “I want to express my appreciation to everyone for their patience as we work through this process,” he writes. “We all want to see the deal close as quickly as possible, but these large mergers just take time. I am pleased to report that we are right on schedule and hard at work, making great progress in every area required to complete our merger successfully. There is nothing more important to our future success than the quality of our people. We have spent a great deal of time working to build a ‘best in class’ team composed of highly talented, high performance stars from CBS Radio and Entercom, plus a number of newcomers from outside of the industry who bring new perspectives and capabilities. The list is a work-in-progress and in the weeks ahead, as planning continues, we will announce additional members of the leadership team, as well as information on a wide range of other important topics as we continue to prepare for this game-changing event.” In alphabetical order, executives include: JD Crowley (EVP/digital); Mike Dee (president/sports); Michael Doyle (regional president and president/sales operations); Ruth Gaviria (chief marketing officer); Weezie Kramer (chief operating officer); Chris Oliviero (EVP/programming); Pat Paxton (president/programming); Bob Philips (chief revenue officer); Rich Schmaeling (chief financial officer); and Andrew Sutor (SVP/general counsel). Field adds, “I also want to add a special word of recognition to Scott Herman, who has done a terrific job over so many years in various leadership roles at CBS, culminating in his current position as chief operating officer. While we are disappointed that Scott will be moving on to pursue other personal and professional endeavors, we greatly respect his outstanding leadership contributions to the organization. “In addition, I want to share some further information on our programming leadership. Pat Paxton will oversee the music brands and Chris Oliviero will oversee the news/talk/sports brands. They will be working collaboratively, along with the programming team across the country to ensure that we continue to develop outstanding brands with the best personalities and content for our listeners nationwide.”

Cox Media Group Atlanta Taps Turcotte To Be GSM. Inbound from Midwest Communications Nashville where he was general sales manager, Mark Turcotte will join Cox Media Group Atlanta later this month (7/31) in a similar capacity. Cox Media Group Atlanta director of sales Jaleigh Long comments, “Mark Turcotte has an exceptional track record for converting vision into sales strategy and execution. This is the perfect time for Mark to join Atlanta’s talented sales leadership team.” Turcotte adds, “A return to Atlanta and Cox Media Group at arguably the most successful radio cluster in the country is such a tremendous honor. The values of the company and their leadership align perfectly with those I have tried to emulate throughout my career. This is a great opportunity to work with folks I consider to be among the absolute best in the profession.” With their May 2017 6+ Nielsen Audio PPM stats and rankings in parenthesis, Cox Media Group Atlanta includes news/talk WSB-AM (8.6, #1 for the 17th straight ratings period); classic hits-oldies WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” (6.7, #2); urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” (6.3, #4); and adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.2, #10).

Kaufman Joins Cumulus Media As SVP, Revenue/Operations. Based in New York City, John Kaufman is named to Cumulus Media’s newly-created position of senior vice president, revenue strategy and operations. According to Cumulus Media president and chief executive officer Mary Berner, “John’s strategic and operational expertise [as well as his] deep understanding of the critical function that pricing and inventory management plays in maximizing revenue will be a tremendous asset to our operations. In this new leadership role, he will increase the company’s revenue management capabilities through intelligent and attractive pricing strategies and systems. John will support our team of more than 900 sales professionals in 90 markets as they serve our advertisers with local impact and national reach.” Kaufman remarks, “Seeing all the great change underway at Cumulus, I am so pleased to be joining Mary and her leadership team at this exciting time. I look forward to helping the company continue in its evolution.” With an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Kaufman was senior vice president of business operations for iHeartMedia, later advancing to president of business ops there. Three years ago, he started JK Steele Consulting and a year later was president and chief operating officer of start-up company ParcMate. Prior to that, he was executive vice president of revenue management & electronic marketing at Extended Stay Hotels and vice president of global revenue management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.


Robinette Retires From WWL. Having hosted the three-hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) “Think Tank” on Entercom New Orleans news/talk WWL for the last 12 years, Garland Robinette is retiring. Off the air since mid-April battling pneumonia, Robinette will pursue his interest in painting. “Never did I think a boy from the swamps with little education could travel the world, meet presidents, kings, movie stars and see places I had only read and dreamed about,” Robinette reflects. “If we do come back to this world for multiple lifetimes, I think I’m in trouble because I’ve used up all my luck in this one. Ironically, even those of you who disliked me helped me. One thing I always tried to do was listen to people who disagreed, and in a large percentage of those debates, you were right and I was wrong. Each of those debates was a learning experience of which I emerged a little bit better educated, a little bit better able to see the world not as I wanted, but as it is.” WWL vice president and general manager Chris Claus remarks, “Garland means so much to WWL, to our community, and to the region. His voice, his leadership and undying passion will be greatly missed.” Operations and program director Diane Newman adds, “Magic happens on WWL when the talent is as big as the stage – Garland was that magic. He brought wisdom, passion, and guts to WWL at a time when our city, state, and region needed leadership. He was the voice of the people during Hurricane Katrina, the aftermath and recovery.  From that microphone, he drove the recovery and rebirth, speaking truth to power and accepting nothing less than the change necessary to protect and preserve the jewel that is New Orleans.” Prior to joining WWL in 2005 to replace the late David Tyree, Robinette was a 20-year news anchor/reporter for WWL-TV, New Orleans and headed a public relations firm. He and co-anchor Angela Hill were married in 1978 and were divorced nine years later, but continued their on-air partnership.

WODT Set to Expand Local Programming. In addition to Garland Robinette retiring from Entercom-owned news/talk WWL, New Orleans (see above), there’s more industry news from the Louisiana market as – starting next Monday (7/17) – iHeartMedia’s WODT “Fox Sports 1280” will quintuple its locally-originated programming to ten hours per day. The 8:00 am – 10:00 am slot will be filled by Chris Gordy, who will continue as assistant program director of co-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790,” Houston. Hosted by New Orleans Times-Picayune writers Jeff Duncan and Larry Holder, “Dunc & Holder: Smart Sports Talk for Serious Fans,” will follow from 10:00 am -12:00 noon. Another KBME, Houston staffer – Baton Rouge native Josh Innes – will oversee WODT’s 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm block. Based at Delta Media Lafayette’s KLWB “103.7 The Game,” former LSU basketball player/current football sideline reporter Jordy Hultberg is added at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, while Kaare Johnson remains in-place from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The remainder of the WODT schedule, including Clay Travis (5:00 am – 8:00 am), will be filled by Fox Sports Radio network programming.

Remembering Claude Hall. Broadcasters of a certain era were fond of saying they had truly “made it in the business” when Claude Hall mentioned their name in his Billboard Magazine “Vox Jox” column. Just as we were approaching our deadline last Friday (7/7), TALKERS broke the news that – owing to injuries suffered from a fall earlier last week – Hall had died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Prior to his death, he continued “Vox Jox” in partnership with talk show host/radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org). Among those commenting on Hall’s death was Randy West, who explains, “Claude had been in ill health for several years. He was an author of fiction books and non-fiction radio texts, and a great friend of the airwaves. He was beloved by hundreds of [on-air personalities] and returned that love by continuing to network and make connections among the survivors of radio’s greatest era. Claude took a whole era of radio with him. He championed, celebrated, honored, and escalated the business.” As Russ DiBello points out, Hall “took a series of scattered jobs, and with a gossip column, morphed them into a profession. That guy doing overnights in Boise whom you’d never met was now your colleague. If you never heard the stations in a market, you still had a good idea of what was going on in various outposts of American radio. Stations everywhere knew where the hot programming talent was hanging out, and whenever they moved, their creativity would cross-pollinate the industry with bits and air talents that would become the norm in programming and production. If all that doesn’t convince you, think of how many more columns like that – which were spinoffs of ‘Vox Jox’ – popped-up in other publications in subsequent years.” Lee Arnold adds, “To those of us in the record and radio business, Claude Hall was not just a legendary journalist, but a wonderful human being that spent most of his life promoting all that we hold dear in this business that we love. Claude, thank you for your friendship – you will be missed.” Mark Driscoll states, “Our industry lost a wonderful caring man who so loved broadcasting. I for one am devastated. May God bless Claude Hall’s soul.” Others noting Hall’s passing included Dan O’Day, who admits, “I don’t have the words to express my sadness as well as my gratitude to Claude” and Anita Bonita emphasizing, “Rest in peace, sir – you absolutely made a difference.” Clark Smidt succinctly described Hall as, “The Master.” Talkers publisher Michael Harrison recalls, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry. He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades. I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young PD in my 20s. His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable – he’s number one with a bullet.” In February 2016, Hall wrote his own obituary and accidentally sent it to all his friends. His son – Andrew Clark Hall – shares that obit, complete with empty blanks. “Claude Hall, who was born in Brady, Texas and attended high school in nearby Winters, died of heart complications _(day)_____ at his home in Las Vegas. He was (age). The highlight of his career was 14 years with Billboard Magazine. Although he covered the news in music and radio, he was mostly known for a column called ‘Vox Jox,’ that was widely read in the United States and Canada and translated and read throughout Brazil. It was even read behind the then Iron Curtain and on islands in the South Pacific. Hall entered the University of Texas shortly after being discharged from the U.S. Army. He had served in Germany shortly after World War II. He graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1958. His first newspaper job was with the El Paso Herald-Post, but he quit after a few months and hitchhiked to New York City. He spent two years on a trade magazine, American Druggist, published by Hearst, then two years with Cavalier, then a man’s adventure magazine published by Fawcett. Married and with a young son, he and his wife Barbara (she’d worked for Dr. Joyce Brothers at NBC) spent two years in New Orleans. He worked on the Times-Picayune, then considered one of America’s finest newspapers, and his wife finished up her master’s degree from Columbia University. Later, he landed a position with Billboard in New York where he was named radio-TV editor and spent the next 14 years. He also created and organized the International Radio Programming Forum for 10 years. After Billboard, he earned a master’s degree in education at a small Christian university in Oklahoma while serving as the school’s director of public relations. With his degree, he joined the State University of New York at Brockport as a journalism and public relations professor where he taught the next eight years before retiring. He has since authored more than two dozen novels. He and Barbara also wrote This Business of Radio Programming, considered by many to be the best book on radio programming ever written and once adopted as a textbook by 22 major universities. His books are available via Amazon Kindle Books. He leaves a wife and sons John, Darryl, and Andy. Two brothers and a sister previously passed on.”

Matt Patrick: Update. It was just last Friday (7/7) that we reported that KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick (real name Michael Ryan) had announced to his audience that he was ending treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer. Sadly, after that two-year battle, Patrick passed away yesterday (Sunday, 7/9) in Katy, Texas; he was 58 years old. This news coincides with his six-year anniversary at the iHeartMedia news/talk station. Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV mucosal melanoma on September 11, 2015. The Cleveland-born broadcaster earned a degree in psychology from John Carroll University and was a two-time Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. Prior to KTRH, he worked for almost 30 years at WKDD, Akron, followed by stints at WLW, Cincinnati and WTAM, Cleveland. Rubber City Radio Group vice president/director of operations Sue Wilson Cordle declares, “Matt was the voice of Akron. He woke us up for so many years as morning show host at WKDD. I was honored to work with him when we first changed WKDD from mellow rock to top 40. He was originally on middays in 1981, and then quickly moved to mornings where he remained for three decades. He will be missed so much. Thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and all who mourn his passing.” He is survived by (among others) his wife of 15 years, Paula; their son Jake; daughters Alexandra Ryan and Alanna Ryan; mother Marie; step-father John Drummond; and sisters Maureen Shell and Colleen Ryan Neubauer. A memorial service will be held in Houston, followed by a private family service and burial in Ohio.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/10) with Vince Benedetto, Ron Hartenbaum and Karen Hunter.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Today (7/10), the second in that series has been posted featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum.  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Scully to Receive ESPY Icon Award. After having spent the past 67 seasons as the play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the legendary Vin Scully called it quits when the 2016 season ended. Scully will be presented with the Icon Award at The 25th ESPYS. The honor is given to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world; actor Bryan Cranston will make the presentation to Scully. Easily one of the country’s best-known broadcasters, Scully started with the Dodgers when the franchise was located in Brooklyn. His career with the team marks the longest tenure of any broadcast with a single professional sports organization. Hosted by Peyton Manning, The ESPYS will be televised on ABC-TV this Wednesday (7/12) from Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. This is the fourth annual such “institute” at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Today’s headliner (Monday, 7/10) is Cumulus Media and Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard. Handling the closing session in ten days will be Forever Media Group partner Kerby Confer, who comments, “We want to make a difference; to give back; and give this next generation a good firm foundation in how radio, television, and the internet work. We are going to birth a whole new generation of radio people.” National Radio Talent System founder/president Dan Vallie remarks, “This is the radio talent farm that we in the industry have always said we needed. It is true today more than ever.” Those in charge of leading sessions come from entities that include Beasley Media Group, CBS Radio, Cumulus, Entercom, Forever Media Group, iHeartMedia, and Seven Mountains Media. Various aspects of the medium will be addressed from sales to on-air; sports; news; production; promotions; digital; social media; and engineering. Students with a desire and drive to be in radio were accepted from nine different universities including Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Robert Morris University, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Susquehanna University, and Temple University.

Haze Adds KMYI PD Duties. Effective immediately, KMYI “Star 94.1,” San Diego afternoon drive host Joe Haze is elevated to program director of the iHeartMedia hot AC. In addition to his new assignment, Haze will continue programming co-owned mainstream CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Diego-Riverside region Rob Scorpio notes, “Haze has been instrumental in the success of ‘Channel 93.3’ since its inception. His passion for CHR and hot AC, along with his knowledge and experience, make him the ideal choice to continue [KMYI’s] dominance in the San Diego market.” Haze – who will carry on in PM drive on “Star 94.1” – comments, “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to program two powerful, iconic brands like ‘Star 94.1’ and ‘Channel 93.3.’ To be able to further my career in a market like San Diego is amazing.” Haze previously did nights at ‘Channel 93.3’ and he has worked in Phoenix (KZZP) and Jacksonville (WAPE and WJBT).

Steele Sets Sights on Washington. At a Houston press conference, author, lecturer and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of FameDayna Steele – has announced her candidacy for the congressional seat in Texas’ 36th district. She received an on-stage endorsement from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett, who wore a “Dayna Steele For Congress” tee-shirt. “Joan did a very brave thing for me,” remarks Steele. “People with the courage to speak out are what inspired me to [seek this] office in the first place.” The former KLOL, Houston on-air talent and Seabrook, Texas resident will run as an independent Democrat. Steele is the author/publisher of the “101 Ways to Rock Your World” series and other books including: “LinkedIn: 101 Ways To Rock Your Personal Brand”; “101 Ways to Rock Your World: Everyday Activities for Success Every Day”; “Rock to the Top: What I Learned About Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars”; “Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine”; “Havana: 101 Ways to Rock Your World in Cuba”; “Welcome to College: 101 Ways to Rock Your World”: “In the Classroom: 101 Ways to Rock Your World for Teachers”; and “On the Golf Course: 101 Ways to Rock Your World.”

KSSX On-Air Lineup Adjusted. Starting today (7/11), iHeartMedia San Diego rhythmic CHR KSSX “Jam’n 95.7” music director/afternoon drive talent Frankie V moves to mornings, where he’ll team with current AM drive co-host Tati Pelegreen, while morning co-host Pablo Sato segues to afternoons. Meanwhile, Nina Chantele – who does afternoons on co-owned Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” – adds a daily mid-day assignment on KSSX; Beto Perez will do night duty on “Jam’n.” According to iHeartMedia San Diego-Riverside vice president of programming Rob Scorpio, “In the last year, ‘Jam’n 95.7’ has experienced significant growth. With Frankie V and Tati in mornings; Nina in middays; and Pablo in afternoons, we expect to take over the market.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM, KSSX ranks #14, registering a 3.1 for the third time in the last four sweeps.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, “Country Countdown USA” host Lon Helton is resting at home ….. As of now, the event’s location is still a “top-secret,” but iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is sponsoring a Demi Lovato-hosted “House Party” this Wednesday (7/12) to celebrate the singer’s “Sorry Not Sorry” single due out tomorrow (7/11). Lovato has two billion combined total streams and a social media following of over 153 million ….. Formerly with Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary WGBZ “B-96,” Lashonda “Tropikana” Hatch joins Radio One St. Louis’ similarly-formatted WHHL “Hot 104.1” as music director/afternoon drive talent. In addition, “Tropikana” will voice-track for Radio One-owned stations in Cincinnati (WIZF “The Wiz 101.1”); Cleveland (WENZ “Z-107.9”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”). She did similar voice-track duties for LM Communications’ WBTF “107.9 The Beat,” Lexington (Kentucky) ….. Mainstream CHR KGOT, Anchorage (Alaska) afternoon personality McConnell “Man at Large” Adams adds Saturday and Sunday night responsibilities as “McConnell” on co-owned (iHeartMedia) Portland adult contemporary outlet KKCW “K-103.”

Adams Radio Acquires Four Tallahassee Stations. The quartet of Tallahassee outlets Adams Radio is buying from Red Hills Broadcasting includes CHR WHTF “Hot 104.9”; country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf”; classic rock WQTL “106.1 The Path”; and adult hits WANK “99.9 Hank FM.” Adams president/CEO Ron Stone comments, “We are thrilled to be the next steward of these amazing stations and even more excited about the future of the stations under [Red Hills Broadcasting president Hank Kestenbaum’s] continued management alongside Adams Radio. This cluster is another rare opportunity to join forces with a company that has been under the same ownership and management for two decades. These stations are a great complement to our existing markets and will no doubt bring many great ideas into the Adams Radio Family.” Kestenbaum notes, “I want to congratulate Ron Stone and his team at Adams Radio on buying four great Tallahassee radio stations. Every day I’m privileged to work with a dedicated and talented group of people at serving our community with entertaining live and local radio. I look forward to leading these stations and this team into a new era of success, service, and prosperity under Adam’s ownership.” Adams Radio also owns/operates clusters in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; suburban Chicago (Northwest Indiana); and Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland. Brokering the Adams Radio-Red Hills Broadcasting transaction was Bill Fanning of MVP Capital LLC.

Friday, July 7, 2017

| July 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Radio Trade Publication Writer Claude Hall Dies.  Details are sketchy and TALKERS will have more details on Monday morning (7/10), but reports indicate that Claude Hall, the legendary radio trade publication writer who presided over Billboard magazine’s historic “Vox Jox” column during the 1970s and is credited with coining the longtime popular term “Easy Listening” for that particular radio format has died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas due to injuries suffered from a fall earlier in the week.  He had continued to publish the “Vox Jox” column in partnership with veteran talk show host and radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter published Mondays specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org).  According to James, “His family was with him and loved him dearly. He loved his friends, students, and colleagues. He remained proud of radio and music stemming from his days listening to radio as a kid.”  James reports that she will devote this coming Monday’s column to the life of Claude Hall and post reactions and reflections on his life from many of the broadcasters who knew him.  Hall was a prolific writer who wrote books about radio as well as novels.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry.  He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades.  I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young DJ and PD in my 20s.  His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable.  He is number one with a bullet!”

Townsquare Media to Acquire Six Western Massachusetts Signals. This deal between Townsquare Media and Gamma Broadcasting LLC and Berkshire Broadcasting Co., Inc. will add six stations and two FM translators to Townsquare’s portfolio.  Those stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are very excited to announce this transaction which will strengthen our footprint in the Northeast.  We look forward to partnering with the Pittsfield team to bring our resources, including our digital and live event products, to Berkshire County’s advertisers and audience, and further build upon their success in the market.”  Townsquare expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Sub at WFAN Next Week.  When out-going New Jersey Governor Chris Christie co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York with the station’s Evan Roberts on Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11), it won’t be the first time he’s appeared there.  Christie – a big sports fan and unabashed Dallas Cowboys backer – has appeared on the AM drive “Boomer & Carton” show as a guest.  With PM driver Mike Francesa leaving the station at the end of the year, there’s speculation about whether Christie is a candidate for the afternoon show.  A piece in NJ.com references WFAN program director Mark Chernoff’s February 2017 comment that Christie is “among many names being considered” as a replacement for Francesa.

SiriusXM Severs Ties with Gregg “Opie” Hughes. After 13 years with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes is let go by the satcaster.  He posts on Facebook, “Humbled by the love and support. Wish I can write everyone back. There is absolutely no justification for my firing. Thats why their statement is so vague. Won’t be sitting out long. Although may take a few days to fish.”  The chatter on social media among Opie fans hints that a supposed video of a fellow staffer using the bathroom may be the reason for the dismissal.  Regardless, as Hughes indicates above, he plans to continue hosting a show on some platform.  When Opie and then-partner Anthony Cumia joined SiriusXM, they had their own channel.  A couple of years ago, SiriusXM changed that and the “Opie Radio” show had been available on its Faction channel.  Industry watchers remember that Cumia was fired from the satcaster in 2014 after his Times Square altercation with a black woman that devolved into a social media post involving racial epithets.

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Ends Cancer Treatment. Sad news this week as KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick announces to his audience that he’s ending his treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer.  The station’s Facebook page posted the following: “On ‘Houston’s Morning News’ this morning, Matt revealed he has exhausted all options and has discontinued cancer treatments.  Matt and all of us at NewsRadio 740 KTRH, and the iHeartMedia family, thank you all for your constant love and support during this difficult time.”  Patrick was diagnosed in 2015 and this week’s news comes at the time of Patrick’s six-year anniversary at the station.

Gerry V Returns to Sports Talk Radio in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer calls Gerry Vaillancourt “one of the first sports talk radio hosts in Charlotte.”  Gerry V left the market when the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets left for New Orleans back in 2002, but he’ll return on Monday, July 17 to host the afternoon drive show on HRN Broadcasting’s WZGV-AM “ESPN 730.”  Current afternoon host Bobby Rosinski is moving to the AM drive daypart for the new “Wake Up Call” show with co-hosts Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl.  Gerry V launched his sports talk career in 1990, working at both WFNZ-AM and WBT-AM prior to leaving the market 12 years later.  Read the Observer piece here.

Chicago Stations to Simulcast Spot Promoting Radio Advertising. On Monday (7/10), more than 40 Chicago market radio stations will simultaneously air a :60-second spot consisting of an interview with Wintrust Financial Corporation founder, president and CEO Ed Wehmer speaking about radio as the most effective medium for advertisers.  Matt Scarano is chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland Committee and he states, “The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland are proud to unite as a group to highlight Wintrust and their investment in radio.  Wintrust is a valued partner to our industry and a testament to the results that radio delivers for an advertiser.”  The spot will air on a diverse group of radio stations, involving all formats, including music, news, sports, and Spanish language.

CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 3-7. The controversy over the CNN-Trump wrestling video, including the blowback the news organization faced after finding the video’s creator, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was North Korea’s apparently successful test of an ICBM and President Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 summit, and following at #4 was the allegations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the news that Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne promotes news director Kayla Blakeslee to program director, taking over for Ryan Wrecker who left to take a talk host position at KMOX, St. Louis.  Blakeslee continues to serve as news director…..Kevin McCullough’s Saturday evening “Radio Night Live” supercast (radio and TV) adds new affiliate stations KJPW, Lebanon/Waynesville, Missouri; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WKRO, Cairo, Illinois; and WGNU, St Louis…..The Newsmax TV video simulcast of the nationally syndicated Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo program adds another hour to its carriage of the show.  Pags tells TALKERS that Newsmax TV – which can be seen on DirecTV 349, UVerse 1220 (among other cable systems) and online at Newsmaxtv.com – begins broadcasting hours one and two of the show, effective Monday (7/10)…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson program is now heard on Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM, Kansas City as program director Alan Furst adds the show to the station’s lineup…..SiriusXM is presenting subscribers comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 All-Star Week from Miami, featuring coverage of the 88th All-Star Game.  In addition, on Sunday (7/9), it will air the exclusive radio broadcast of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top minor league prospects from the U.S. facing off against their counterparts from around the world.

KSPN, Los Angeles Transmitter Site Damaged by Driver Under the Influence. The Thursday incident did not cause any damage to the “ESPN LA” transmitter but the man police took into custody after the incident caused damage to the site’s perimeter fence and started a brush fire in the grass that scorched about an acre.  Authorities were on the scene quickly and arrested the man they believe was under the influence.  The suspect’s vehicle was in flames when fire personnel arrived and was consumed by the fire.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/7) with Karen Hunter, Craig Schwalb and Ethan Bearman.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); and the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Today (7/7), the first series of “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” begins with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More from Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch as we’re tipped that Swick Broadcasting’s hot AC WLKI, Angola drops the syndicated Jeremy Robinson-hosted “The Jeremy Show” and will install air personality Tiny in the daypart with news director Sheila McCrea joining him…..IRW also reports that Federated Media’s Fort Wayne promotions director Sally Allgeier is exiting the cluster and will be replaced by Paige Fransen…..Rincon Broadcasting’s rock KTYD, Santa Barbara announces the addition of Bill Pesso to the air staff as morning drive co-host with current station APD Lin Aubuchon for the “Morning Mojo” program.  Pesso was most recently afternoon personality at the company’s sister adult contemporary KSBL “K-Lite.”  Program director Dennis Mitchell comments, “We’re thrilled to have two of the most fun and locally tuned-in people to host the new ‘Morning Mojo.’ It’s been a long time coming and we know our listeners will love it.”…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit re-brands the Jim O’Brien-led morning program as “Big Jim’s House.”  The station recently added air personality Erin Vermeulen to the program and O’Brien comments, “I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘Big Jim’s House’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan.  This will be my 15th year at WCSX.  Everyone on the show has a deep-felt love for Detroit and believes in where we’re going.  Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”

Monday, June 19, 2017

| June 19, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Touts New Operation; Promises ‘Grisly’ News About His Fox Ouster. At a performance at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury (Long Island) on Saturday, former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly told attendees, “In the weeks to come, there will be a bunch of news stories that will explain what happened and why it happened,” regarding his exit from FNC.  “It’s pretty grisly.  It’s pretty nasty.  It has to do with far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree, including the president.”  This is according to CNN, which covered his “The Spin Stops Here Tour” that includes former Westwood One talk host (and ‘SNL’ alum) Dennis MillerNewsday also covered the event and reports O’Reilly promoted the efforts of his eponymous website.  “But I am starting my own operation.  We are going to do that.”  He says they will being airing a new, half-hour newscast “where we will go into a studio and it will look like ‘The Factor.’  It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service.  That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form.  But I suspect there will be another network maybe merging with us.  There will be a network that rises up because the numbers for Fox are going down.”  However, the CNN report also indicates he’s not exactly predicting the death of FNC, answering a question from the audience about starting a TV network to compete with Fox, “Don’t underestimate it.  The Fox brand is very strong.  They have a lot of talent.  But if you want to get into that game, you need about $200 million.”

KBME, Houston Moves Josh Innes to AM Drive in Schedule ShuffleWith the impending departure of Lance Zierlein from the station at the end of his contract, “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” morning drive show will disappear and current afternoon personality Josh Innes will move to mornings, effective July 17. Zierlein’s co-host Matt Thomas moves to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” moves up an hour to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and “The Bottom Line” moves from middays to afternoon drive. Joining “Bottom Line” hosts Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will be Jayson Braddock. iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson states, “We’ve received a lot of great feedback since Josh joined ‘SportsTalk 790.’ Love him or hate him, he’s one of the most passionate guys on the radio right now and that resonates with sports fans.”

Reynolds Appointed Marketing/Promotions Director for iHM Portland. Radio pro Susan Reynolds joins the Portland operations of iHeartMedia as marketing/promotions director.  The cluster includes news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190,” sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Radio,” country K279BO “103.7 The Legend,” rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew,” hip hop KXJM “JAM’N 107.5,” classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” CHR KKRZ “Z100,” and adult contemporary KKCW “K103.”  Reynolds’ experience includes time spent as a freelance publicist for various lifestyle clients; talk show producer at CJAD-AM, Montreal; director of marketing and promotion for Alpha Media Portland; and marketing and promotions director for KSOL, San Francisco.

Second Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Begins at Central Washington University. Today begins the second annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.  Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris leads the opening session of the 10-day institute.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president Drew Horowitz will close the institute with his session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking like a Pro.”  Students from various universities in the state and region accepted into the program will learn from radio pros from Hubbard, Bonneville, Alpha Media, Entercom, Townsquare Media, and others.  Each student will be certified as a Radio Marketing Professional by RAB.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective today, KSOO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota moves Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade from the delayed evening broadcast to a live airing from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT…..Fred Weinberg is the new CEO of USA Radio’s parent company, Anthem Broadcasting LLC.  He announces in a press release that Corrie Creasman is now news director for the network and that USA content is being distributed digitally via VPN…..This year’s NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show, taking place on September 7 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin, is being emceed by Reach Media-syndicated personality Rickey Smiley…..Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio announce that Robin Roberts’ podcast series “Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something” returns on Wednesday (6/21).  The 10-episode series will continue to feature aspirational, positive and intimate discussions that ABC says resonated so deeply with listeners in season one.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones comments, “After a debut season filled with candid and uplifting conversations, we are thrilled to have Robin return with 10 new emotionally satisfying episodes for listeners.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Iran Attacks Syrian ISIS Targets, USS Fitzgerald Collision, Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview, GOP Baseball Shooting, Kaepernick Police Comments, U.S. Open, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The special counsel investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and debate over whether President Donald Trump himself is being investigated; Iran launches missiles into Syria at ISIS targets in response to Tehran terror attacks; the deaths of seven sailors in the collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a merchant marine vessel; the controversy over Megyn Kelly’s Sunday broadcast of her interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones; the status of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and the attack on the GOP baseball practice; Colin Kaepernick’s comments that police are comparable to runaway slave patrols after the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the case against officer Jeronimo Yanez; Brooks Koepka wins the U.S. Open; 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.

KGO’s Ethan Bearman on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Specialists.’  The screen capture above is from KGO, San Francisco midday talk host Ethan Bearman’s recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “The Specialists” program.  The show makes regular use of radio talk show hosts.

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Aimee Montgomery shifts from Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” to adult contemporary W268CS “Lite 101.5” as midday host, effective July 5.  Montgomery joined “Star 107.9” in 2015 and most recently served as a co-host of the morning show and worked as local on-air liaison/producer for the “Brooke and Jubal” program.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We have witnessed Aimee’s great attitude, effort, and dedication.  We look forward to her applying these same skills across the hall on ‘Lite FM.’”…..Programming pro Joshua Raiford, a.k.a. J1, moves from Urban One’s Indianapolis cluster where he was PD of hip hop WHHH “Hot 96.3” and CHR W275BD “Boom 102.9” to Washington to program the company’s hip hop WKYS.  Raiford comments, “I’m humbled, honored and excited about this great opportunity.  I thank God first and foremost, and I would also like to thank Jay Stevens, Jeff Wilson, and Kashon Powell for selecting me for this tremendous responsibility.”…..Longtime triple A WXRT, Chicago personality Wendy Rice is leaving the station.  She’s been the host of “Saturday Morning Flashback” for more than 30 years.  Rice married then-station PD Norm Winer in 1987 and works full time as a middle school teacher.  Taking over her duties will be WXRT’s Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars who will rotate as host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program…..There are three moves to report from CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster from VP of music programming Shelly EastonMark Radziewicz (a.k.a. Razz) of country WXTU, Nicky G. of classic hits WOGL, and Michael Bennett of adult contemporary WTDY all add assistant program director to their titles.  All three remain music directors for their stations…..Brian Fisher is upped to operations manager at Curtis Media Group’s Boone, North Carolina cluster.   Fisher will continue to host the 11:00 am to 2:00 ppm show on country duo WMMY/WWMY “Highway 106.1 and 102.3” and handle operations at news/talk WATA-AM/W243DH and Gospel WECR…..Beasley Media Group launches a “Southern”-based format on W234BY, Charlotte branded “94.7 Smoke.”  Beasley says “the core of the playlist will be Southern rock, however, ‘94.7 Smoke’ will also play anything it deems ‘Southern,’ including both local and new artists.  In addition, the station will focus all things deemed ‘Southern,’ including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, pick-up trucks, cold beer, horseshoes, great BBQ, Myrtle Beach, The Smokies, NASCAR and more!”

CBS RADIO’s KNCI, Sacramento Forced to Apologize for Artist Snub. This is one that CBS RADIO’s country KNCI, Sacramento would like to have back.  Up-and-coming artist Lindsay Ell was scheduled to be part of a station appearance at KNCI by country artists in town on Brad Paisley’s “Weekend Warrior World Tour.”  But, Lindsay happens to be dating air personality Bobby Bones and his show airs on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”  So, the station “uninvited” her.  She tweeted about the incident, apologizing to her fans.  Meanwhile, “The Bull” took the bull by the horns and declared it Lindsay Ell Day and played her single, “Waiting on You,” every hour on the hour.  Realizing its error, KNCI subsequently tweeted out the following, “Lindsay is an amazingly talented, up-and-coming artist and today we regrettably made a bad decision to cancel her show.  We only hope that she — and our listeners — will forgive us, and that Lindsay and her team will allow us to reschedule the show.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

| June 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

| June 9, 2017

WECK, Buffalo Announces Live and Local Lineup. The new Buffalo full-service radio station operated by Buddy Shula’s Radio One Buffalo announces its new, live and local personality lineup.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported the station hired Buffalo news radio pro John Zach to anchor mornings and serve as news director.  Now, WECK says it will officially shift its format to become a live and local, full-service station on July 10, with 24-hour news, well-known local personalities and locally programmed music.  The station has been airing a syndicated adult standards format.  Soon it will move to “adult favorites,” centered primary on the 70s and 80s (with some earlier and some more recent music mixed in).  Veteran Buffalo personality Gail Ann Huber will pair with WECK’s Tom Donahue as morning co-host.  Jon Summers, a longtime Buffalo radio and TV personality joins the station to host 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Buffalo Broadcasting Hall-of-Famer Harv Moore will host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart  Moore handled wake-up duties for many years as part of the well-known “Taylor & Moore Breakfast Flakes” show on WYSL and WPHD.  Moore’s former on-air partner, Robert W. Taylor, joins as WECK’s imaging voice.  Afternoon drive will be hosted by Mike Jacobs.  Evenings will be hosted by WECK owner and president Buddy Shula.

WGN named Chicago’s Station of the Year. This actually marks the tenth year in a row that Tribune Media news/talk WGN, Chicago has nabbed such Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome honors. This year’s event was held last night (6/8) in Champaign. In addition, Tribune Media president of broadcasting Larry Wert was cited as IBA’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” The station took away first place awards in “Best Radio Local Broadcast Team” (“The Nick Digilio Show”); “Best Radio Station Use of New Media” (“Honoring Our Marines” by Shanae Paulus and Jackie Paulus); “Best Radio News Reporter” (Andrea Darlas); “Best Radio Series or Documentary” (“National Parks at 100: Our Midwest Treasures” by Dave Schwan); and “Best Radio Play-by-Play” (Blackhawks force game seven versus [St. Louis] Blues (John Wiedeman and Troy Murray). WGN Radio vice president of programming & content Todd Manley states, “We are so proud to share Chicago stories every day with personalities who are authentic and passionate. I know our entire staff is grateful for these honors.” Out-of-state broadcasters did the judging for the Illinois competition.

Pandora – SiriusXM Update. As a follow-up to what we reported yesterday (TALKERS, 6/8), on the heels of Pandora Media extending the countdown of a possible sale, SiriusXM marches in with a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora. The infusion will help Pandora make targeted investments and capitalize on opportunities to build on its business. Last month, the private equity firm KKR & Co LP agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora, which reportedly lost $132 million on revenues of $315 million in the quarter that ended on March 31.

WBUR Readies “Circle Round.” Produced by Boston University-owned WBUR, Boston in conjunction with Sheir & Shim founders Rebecca Sheir and Eric Shimelonis, “Circle Round” is a storytelling podcast for youngsters aged three to ten. “Circle Round” features folktales with an eye toward inclusivity. Stories are adapted into five- to 20-minute episodes that deal with topics such as kindness, persistence, and generosity. WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz comments, “We are excited to be launching WBUR’s first-ever child-focused program. Public radio has a rich and recognized tradition of narrative storytelling. With ‘Circle Round,’ we want to inspire a young audience to cultivate a love of storytelling.” The station’s managing producer for program development Jessica Alpert remarks, “Like so many parents, I am always trying to find alternatives to screen time. As we know, nothing grabs a child’s attention like a really great story – especially one you can listen to anywhere, anytime, like in a podcast. We are hoping that ‘Circle Round’ fills a void for parents, while at the same time provides a thrilling experience for their kids.” Sheir will serve as the podcast’s narrator, while award-winning composer Shimelonis will create the accompanying soundtrack and production. The podcast series begins this fall with weekly episodes.

Phoenix Trombo Taps Trimmer as PD. Former WRVA “Newsradio 1140,” Richmond; WRNL “Fox Sports 910,” Richmond; and Virginia News Network program director Aaron Trimmer will transfer in a similar capacity to iHeartMedia Phoenix siblings KFYI “The Most Trusted News in Phoenix”; KGME “Fox Sports 910”; and KFYI 2, “The Next Generation of Talk Radio.” Executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s west division Steve Geofferies comments, “We are excited to have Aaron bring his experiences out west; his track record speaks for itself. From brand execution to talent coaching, he is a tremendous resource for our stations in the Arizona region.” Trimmer – who begins his new duties in a little over three weeks (7/5) – notes, “I am beyond excited to work with the iHeartMedia team in Phoenix. There is a tremendous amount of talent with their spoken-word brands. I look forward to leading the team and community to new heights.” His previous programming credits include four other iHeartMedia clusters: WHAM “NewsRadio 1180,” Rochester; FM news/talk WERC, Birmingham and the Alabama Radio Network; news/talk WSYR, Syracuse; and WLAP “NewsRadio 630,” Lexington, Kentucky.

College Radio Providing Vital Farm System for Professional Talk Media Talent.  At a time when many industry participants and observers ask the question, “Where will the future talent in radio come from now that consolidation has wiped out the old farm system?” – it is becoming evident that to a significant degree the answer lies on the college radio level.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “We are hearing more and more from outstanding college radio and media communications departments – students and faculty alike – around the country. These communication departments are really stepping up to the plate in becoming an effective breeding ground for new, dedicated and extremely bright talent – especially in the areas of journalism, commentary, talk and sports.  I am personally gratified by the number of superb young people gaining the skills and developing the styles that will clearly propel talent-driven radio and TV deeper into the 21st century.”  Each year the TALKERS annual seminar is attended by an increasing number of college radio students interested in making broadcasting their careers as well as a growing percentage of already-professional practitioners under the age of 35.  Talkers 2017: A New Era was attended by delegations of student broadcasters from Hofstra University on Long Island and Hillsdale College in Michigan, among others.   According to Harrison, who sits on the executive committee of the advisory board of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, “The future of radio lies in developing young audiences – but before we can even think about doing that effectively, we must develop young broadcasters.” Pictured (below) are the students attending the TALKERS conference from Hofstra University’s Marconi Award winning WRHU-FM (front row l-r): Jazmine Gonzalez, Joy Jones, and Yenny Sanchez; (back row l-r) operations manager John Mullen, Alexi Cohan, TALKERS “Student of the Year” Maria Santana, Sean Bates, Juliana Spano, and Joe Sibilia.

Stand By for Exciting Video Coverage of Talkers 2017: A New Era.  As the magic of Talkers 2017: A New Era recedes into the broadcast industry history books, the TALKERS editorial and technical staffs are busily readying the hours and hours of valuable video footage recorded at the event by rising young New York videography star Zach Feldman into a presentable form for posting here on Talkers.com and for posterity.  TALKERS subscribers can expect the first of these to be posted sometime next week.  Stand by!  Meantime, scroll down this page for earlier photo and story coverage of the event.

Syndicated star Doug Stephan (l) interviews KTRS, St Louis personality McGraw Milhaven (r) on the American Family Farmer program at Talkers 2017: A New Era about the local relationship between St. Louis and mega-corporation Monsanto Company that is headquartered in that market.  Both broadcasters are members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

WOR, New York, assistant program director Scott Lakefield facilitating one of the major “one-on-one” sessions at Talkers 2017: A New Era.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick won “Best Podcast” for The State Theatre (program & creative director/air talent Bert Baron, host and producer). Senior vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award.  This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

TALKERS News Notes. As he did two weeks ago, Lou Pate will sit-in today (6/9) for Michael Savage on Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations.

Grangenois Joins WEAA As Interim GM. The former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mireille Grangenois, is named interim general manager of Morgan State University‘s NPR-member public outlet WEAA. The Baltimore-based institution’s dean of the school of global journalism and communication DeWayne Wickham remarks, “Ms. Grangenois has an impressive record of media management. Our intention is to revitalize WEAA’s mission as a learning lab by providing our students with an exceptional, practical experience in the production of news and public affairs programming. We also want to do this by strengthening the station’s ability to offer listeners music programming that will grow WEAA’s audience and revenue. I have great confidence in Ms. Grangenois’ ability to lead this effort.” Grangenois began her news career in Baltimore and has marketing, sales, audience development, and leadership experience. Morgan State University is one of only five historically black higher education institutions with a school of journalism.

Comey Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 5-9.  The Senate Intelligence Committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Tehran terror attack and the rejection of President Trump’s condolences, followed by the British general elections and the aftermath of the London terror attacks at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Disney Country Los Angeles Debuts Today. KRDC, Los Angeles will officially begin broadcasting at 12:00 noon today (6/9) on 99.1 and 1110. Disney Channels Worldwide vice president of music strategy/Radio Disney Network general manager Phil Guerini states, “As country music continues to deliver some of the biggest artists in music today, we are broadening the reach of Radio Disney Country through both terrestrial and digital extensions of its brand.” In association with KRDC’s debut, Kelsea Ballerini, Hunter Hayes, Bailey Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Tegan Marie, and Temecula Road will join Radio Disney Country host Betsy Spina on the Radio Disney Country Stage at CMA Music Fest‘s Xfinity Fan Fair X at 11:45 am today for a countdown event streaming live on Radio Disney Country’s Facebook page. The first hour commercial-free playlist on Radio Disney Country’s KRDC will begin with Ballerini’s single “Legends,” which was released this week. The complete first hour will include: “Legends” (Ballerini); “Play It Again” (Luke Bryan); “God, Your Mama, and Me” (Florida Georgia Line featuring The Backstreet Boys); “Every Little Thing” (Carly Pearce); “Say” (RaeLynn featuring Dan + Shay); “Yours If You Want It” (Rascal Flatts); “Own It” (Bailey Bryan); “What Ifs” (Kane Brown featuring Lauren Alaina); “You Look Good” (Lady Antebellum); “No Such Thing As a Broken Heart” (Old Dominion); “Hoping” (Temecula Road); “I Could Use a Love Song” (Maren Morris); and “How Not To” (Dan + Shay). Radio Disney Country will also be available on iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and as curated playlists within Spotify, and Apple Music.

Brown Appointed iHeartMedia Norfolk Market President. Inbound from Cumulus Media Mobile, where she was vice president/market manager and vice president of sales, Angel Brown is named market president for iHeartMedia Norfolk. President of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region Dave Carwile comments, “We are thrilled to have Angel joining our Norfolk group of station brands. She combines a proven track record of sales leadership with an understanding of how to integrate client needs with our multimedia platforms. Angel will provide a great complement to our outstanding sales and programming leadership in the market.” Brown remarks, “I am elated to join the iHeartMedia family in Norfolk. The market and the company have had tremendous success over the years and are attributed to the company’s culture and its people. I look forward to working alongside the talented iHeartMedia Norfolk team and I look for forward to my future with the industry leader.” The company’s four-station Norfolk cluster consists of urban AC WHBT “92.1 The Beat”; rhythmic hot AC WMOV “MOViN 107.7”; CHR WNOH “NOW 105”; and urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz.”

KFRG Boosts Ward to APD/MD. With two-dozen years of service at CBS Radio Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario country outlet KFRG ‘K-Frog,” on-air talent Robin Ward is elevated to assistant program director and music director. According to program director Scott Ward (no relation), “Since she has been here for most of the station’s history, Robin is such a natural fit for this position. She knows the format and the artists like the back of her hand.” Robin Ward, who hosts mid-days using the on-air persona Heather Froglear, comments, “My patience has been rewarded with my dream job – being the APD/MD of the greatest station on earth.” She joined “K-Frog” in 1993 and has previously been the Inland Empire outlet’s promotions director and morning show host.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking home the 2017 Gracie Award as “Best Co-Host, Radio” is Kelly Ford, co-host of Cumulus Media and Westwood One‘s syndicated morning show, Ty, Kelly, & Chuck. Ford was among the honorees at a Wednesday night gala at Los Angeles’ Beverly Wilshire …..Having already worked at CBS Radio-owned CHRs in Chicago (WBBM-FM “B-96”) and Philadelphia (WZMP “Amp 96.5”), Jason Cage will debut on the company’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” next Monday (6/12)    in afternoon drive. “Mix 96.5” program director Chase Murphy has “been a fan of Jason’s work for years – winning is in his DNA. We are excited to add him to the KHMX team and cannot wait for the Houston community to meet him.” …..Nine-year iHeartMedia vice president of digital operations Joseph Bond departs. Bond previously spent six years overseeing web content and development for the company’s eight Cincinnati stations …..Several-dozen suits were collected as part of the recently concluded “Boots to Suits” campaign of Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch.” In partnership with Equity Prime Mortgage, JCPenney, and Two Men & A Truck, the station’s campaign focused on collecting suits for local veterans entering the workforce after they return home from deployment …..Changes at Saga Springfield, Massachusetts alternative WLZX “Lazer 99.3 & 105.1” find morning host Leslie exiting at the end of this month to relocate to Sarasota and afternoon drive talent Pat Kelly segueing to mornings next month …..Along with partners United Supermarkets and Amarillo National Bank, Alpha Media Amarillo, Texas’ KGNC “Country 97.9” earlier this week raised more than $60,000 for the Amarillo Area Rotary Youth Baseball League. Alpha Media Amarillo market manager Robert Mueller notes, “It is truly awesome to see the community and our partners work together to support the local youth each and every year.”

Beasley Broadcast Group Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. The amount is $0.045 per share for Beasley Broadcast Group’s Class A and Class B common stock and is payable next month (7/7) to shareholders of record on the final day of this month (6/30). All subsequent Beasley Broadcast Group dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion. Meanwhile, at the annual New Jersey Ad Club “Jersey Awards,” Beasley Broadcast Group’s WDHA “The Rock of New Jersey, ” Dover won “Best Radio Spot” for Oink and Moo BBQ (written, produced, and voiced by Mike Cocheo with additional voice-overs by Dannie Schade). Vice president and regional market manager Dan Finn remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled our team was recognized for their work with this incredible award. “This is the night where all the best advertising agencies in the state of New Jersey gather and announce winners across all media platforms. We were honored to be among the winners.” The event took place this past Wednesday (6/7) in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Eagle Communications Hutchinson Boosts James to Operations Manager. Three-month KHUT, Hutchinson, Kansas morning host Pat James is elevated to operations manager of Eagle Communications’ “Country 102.9,” as well as co-owned hot AC KHMY “My 93.1,” and news/talk combo KWBW-AM & KWBW-FM. Eagle Hutchinson market manager Mark Trotman states, “Since his first day at Eagle Communications, Pat has demonstrated the leadership we want in an employee-owned company – he is our type of people. We are looking forward to the places we can go in further service to keeping our community connected.” James, who will continue his morning drive duties on “Country 102.9,” adds, “I look forward to working with a talented staff that is committed to making great local radio every day for our community. This is a refreshing and exciting environment to work in every day. I can’t wait to help these stations and our company achieve even greater successes. I am grateful to market manager Mark Trotman and Eagle president/chief executive officer Gary Shorman for this amazing opportunity.” In addition to co-hosting “The Cornbread Morning Show” on WIL, St. Louis, James previously was program director/brand manager of Connoisseur Media Wichita’s adult hits KIBB “Bob-FM” and classic country KVWF “Hank-FM,” and he was the assistant program director/music director at Scripps-owned country KFDI, Wichita.

Trace Enters U.S. With Streaming Service. International urban media company Trace will launch a streaming service called Trace Play. The company will deliver subscribers urban music and content from the United States and worldwide, including 2,000 hours of on-demand programming, 30 digital radio stations, nine live television feeds, and the soon-to-be launched Trace Prime television network. The service will come from a Trace USA joint venture with John Pasmore, the former chief executive officer of Russell Simmons’ Oneworld Media, who declares, “Trace is the only media company that has successfully connected urban youth and communities of color around the world while respecting their identities.” It will be available online and to iOS and Android devices for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Backers include actor-musician Wyclef Jean; producers Rob Marriott and Tonya Lewis Lee; Fubu co-founder J. Alexander Martin; and JKD Entertainment’s Karlie Lewis.

Monday, February 27, 2017

| February 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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