Tag: "Hubbard Radio"

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

| November 3, 2020

Beasley Media Group Third Quarter Report: Net Revenue Down 25%. The first radio company to report 2020 third quarter financial results is Beasley Media Group which reveals net revenue for the period was $49.6 million, down almost 25% from the $66.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. Obviously, the dramatic decrease is the result of a loss of advertising revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company reports operating income of $0.8 million, down from $9.4 million in Q3 of 2019. Beasley reports a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared to the net income of $3 million realized in the third quarter of 2019. Station operating income was $8.1 million, a little less than half of the $16.7 million in SOI reported in the third quarter of 2019. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter. Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens. In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization. While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”

iHeartMedia Purging Employees; WTVN’s Riley and Schmid Exit. The latest round of “headcount reduction” is taking place at iHeartMedia, with air personalities, producers and more being let go as the company deals with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the ratio of music-formatted stations to talk stations, the majority of those being laid off are from music outlets. Some of those working in talk formats who’ve been let go include WTVN, Columbus morning host Joel Riley and morning program producer Tom Schmid. Riley told Columbus Business First, “I worked there for over 26 years. It was my dream job, that morning show. I’m devastated. I will miss the listeners. They made that job special every day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. About half of the all-news stations in PPM markets were up (6+ weekly AQH share) and half were down or flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+1.1) and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.8). Year-over-year numbers tell a different story as 63% of all-news outlets improve. Top gainers from October 2019 to October 2020 include WTOP (+2.9), Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.0), WBZ-AM (+2.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+1.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

New Firm Major Triad Media Acquires TM Studios from Westwood One. Jingle and production house TM Studios is being acquired from Westwood One by Major Triad Media, a partnership of three TM Studios figures – creative director Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens, and jingle icon and current general manager Greg Clancy. A press release says the new company will maintain studios in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the UK. Bethell says, “From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM. Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break back in 2005. I’ve written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since. As co-owner I’m excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.” Stevens comments, “I’m so excited to be part of the team to take TM’s legendary name into a new chapter, and from my home country, no less. It’s been 15 years since I originally relocated from London to Dallas to work with TM. It is a dream come true to become part of the new ownership team.” Clancy adds, “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year old boy. I began singing for Tom Merriman and Jim Kirk at 23, straight out of college. Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy.” TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One, with a multi-year agreement to serve as exclusive barter representative to seamlessly serve existing clients.

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available Now in Time for Veterans Day. Veterans Day is next Wednesday (11/11) and the Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2020 ready for download. “The Fisher House Story – A Family’s Love” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations in the U.S. and around the world. The three-hour, one-hour, 25-minute, and 30-minute radio specials are available for free. The specials are once again hosted by Mary Walter of WMAL-FM, Washington and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Your listeners will hear from Ben Breckheimer, an Army combat scout whose vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while driving with his team in Afghanistan; Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, an Army officer who was shot in the 2014 Ft. Hood shooting; and Jeff Sampson, a Navy veteran who needed a double lung transplant. These are just a few of the many stories that will be told “in their own words.” A clock and demo is now available at radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at The Jeff Wyatt Group at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight, the Westwood One nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show is presenting election coverage from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with the help of correspondents Clayton Neville and Linda Kenyon, plus commentary from Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, political science professor Dr. Frank Sorrentino, former Indiana congressman Dave Evans, and commentator Sean Walsh…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Rolling Stone to market and distribute their podcasts “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper” and “Rolling Stone Music Now.” The agreement includes the back catalogue in addition to future episodes…..Audio and spoken word agency Oxford Road announces the addition of three executive to the company. Kraig Kitchin – former Premiere Networks chief and current Sound Mind LLC principal – joins as strategic adviser. Steven Abraham is introduced as the company’s new president and Jennifer Laine is named head of marketing.

Today’s Presidential Election/Senate and House Races, Law Enforcement Prepares for Unrest, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Terror Attacks, Hurricane Eta Approaches Central America Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Today’s presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the numerous Senate and House races; law enforcement’s concerns about and preparation for keeping voting places accessible and handling public safety in the event protests and violence break out; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections the second wave could be worse than the first; the recent spate of terror attacks in France, Vienna, and Kabul; and Hurricane Eta threatens Central America with record floodwaters 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 the Twin Cities, Bring Me the News reports that air personalities Steve LaTart, a.k.a. Steve-O of CHR KDWB’s morning show and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97.1” morning host Hunter Quinn both exit as part of the current downsizing taking place at iHeartMedia across the country…..Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville names Toni-Marie afternoon drive host. Toni-Marie joins Cumulus Nashville from Entercom’s country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf” where she was midday host and APD. She says, “I have never been happier inside of a Walmart than the day that [program director] Paul Williams called to offer me this position! I’ve had the opportunity to do country radio in some amazing markets, but getting to work with Paul and the team at 103-3 in Nashville is a dream come true!”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that Gustav will join the KINK-FM lineup as the afternoon drive host. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom says, “Gustav has been an icon in Portland radio for 25 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join the KINK team in afternoons. His breadth of musical knowledge and the relationships he has forged with artists throughout his career are most welcome. For more than 50 years the KINK brand has been about serving the needs of Portland and the surrounding communities. Hats off to the Alpha Media management team for making yet another true investment in being live and local.”

Friday, October 30, 2020

| October 30, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “October Surge!” looks back at this past week of October 26 – October 30, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Joe “Pags” Pagliarullo, talk show host, Compass Media NetworksChris Stigall, talk show host WNTP, Philadelphia/KCMO, Kansas City; Ethan Bearman, attorney/correspondent, FOX News ChannelMichael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive editor, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of October PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all of the 6+, weekly AQH share information from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. One of the country’s most intense news/talk battles continues in the swing state of Wisconsin as iHeartMedia’s WISN adds another full share – capping a three-survey 4.4 share spike – to finish the October survey with an 11.2 share and repeats at #1. Right behind is Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ which rises eight-tenths for an 8.0 share and the #2 rank in the market. In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM tacks another one-tenth share on for a 9.2 share finish and repeats at the #2 spot. Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence puts the brakes on the five-survey downward trend by posting a +1.1 to finish with a 5.1 share and climbs from #7 to #5. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets – and the first three rounds – here.

Entercom Fires WJFK-FM, Washingon Afternoon Host Chad Dukes for “Racist and Inappropriate Comments.”The Washington Post reports that Entercom has fired WJFK-FM, Washington, DC “106.7 The Fan” sports talk personality Chad Dukes for “racist and inappropriate comments” that appeared on his personal podcast. The story indicates that the company did not reveal exactly what was said nor how it learned about the comments, but issued a statement from Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith that reads: “We have zero tolerance for this type of speech from any of our employees, on our platforms or otherwise. Our air talent are ambassadors of our brand, and we do not want to be affiliated with these comments.” The decision to let Dukes go was revealed on this morning’s edition of “The Sports Junkies” morning drive program on WJFK-FM. Duke had been with the station since 2006 and had been the afternoon drive host since 2014.

Programming Changes Taking Place at KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM’s return to a full-time sports talk format is taking place as Frank O. Pinion’s “The Large Morning Show in the Afternoon” is cancelled and new, local sports talk talent are expected to be joining the station soon. The story indicates former crosstown WXOS-FM personality Bernie Miklasz and former KMOV-TV news anchor Steve Savard may be joining the station. Miklasz was let go by WXOS owner Hubbard Radio back in May in what was a COVID-influenced budget move, and Savard was released by KMOV-TV in what is also being called a budget-related move. KFNS owner Randy Markel brought the station out of bankruptcy in 2015 and is in the process of selling it to a local group led by station manager and air personality John Hadley. His group will lease the station at first with the intent to buy it.

Salem Radio Network Announces Election Coverage. For Election Day on Tuesday, Salem Radio Network announces that it is providing coverage from 6:00 pm ET on Tuesday (11/3) to 6:00 am on Wednesday (11/4). Coverage will include all major “acceptance” and “concession” speeches in the presidential and congressional elections as well as key local/regional races around the nation. SRN nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt will anchor the first six hours of coverage with guests that will include: SRN hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Charlie Kirk, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. At 12:00 midnight, the network switches to the Los Angeles studios of Salem’s KRLA “870AM The ANSWER” for continuing coverage anchored by KRLA morning personality Jennifer Horn, along with KRLA news anchor Larry Marino and Don Dix at the California Election Night Desk. SRN adds that if, as expected, the ballot-counting is far from concluded in the presidential race but a determination has been made on which political party will control the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, portions of earlier election night coverage will be repeated between 3:00 am and 6:00 am ET when Hugh Hewitt will return with his normal weekday Hugh Hewitt show to pick up live continuing coverage.

Cody Welling Named Director of Sales for Cox Media Group Tulsa. Media sales pro Cody Welling is named director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations that includes news/talk KRMG-FM. Welling was most recently general sales manager for Tegna’s Ohio News Network and sports talk WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan.” CMG Tulsa market president Cathy Gunther says, “Cody is passionate about delivering results for advertising partners through creative marketing solutions. This makes him a perfect fit for CMG Tulsa where he can provide customized solutions with our robust products that reach three out of four Tulsans weekly.”

The Presidential Race, Ballot Fraud, and Scandals, Conspiracies & Accusations Combined for Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 26-30. The November 3 presidential election, concerns about ballot fraud and the political conspiracies, scandals, and accusations combined to make up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the rising number of COVID-19 cases, projections for fall/winter cases and U.S. health care system’s ability to treat it. Coming in at #3 was the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice and the related court packing issue, followed by the related issues of race relations, the killing of Walter Wallace Jr in Philadelphia, and police reform at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

KSCO Launches Weekly Show Critical of the Chinese Communist Party. The Zwerling Broadcasting System-owned news/talk outlet KSCO, Santa Cruz is launching a unique and compelling weekly two-hour radio show designed to keep Americans apprised of the dangers being presented to U.S. interests domestically and worldwide by China and the Chinese Communist Party. Provocatively titled, “China Über Alles” (China Above All) – a name sarcastically referencing the infamous slogan “Deutschland Über Alles” utilized by the Nazis to convey their dark message of German worldwide superiority in the 1930s and 1940s – the show discusses the ongoing war of subversion being waged against the U.S. by the communist regime in Beijing and its shocking human rights abuses of Chinese citizens, including political dissidents, investigative journalists, ethnic minorities and seekers of religious freedom. The show airs live Thursdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT and is hosted by Amy Hao, Nan Su, and KSCO director of production/chief engineer Bill Graff. Its 11th episode is set to stream tomorrow (10/29). According to Nan Su, “The concern about China is no longer limited to human rights and freedom in China. It is about defending the freedom, security, and democracy of the future generations in the United States and the western world.” Unfair China trade practices, invasive surveillance, human rights abuses, intellectual property theft, military aggression in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the origins and cover up of COVID-19 and questioning if “the NBA should move to China” are among a myriad of topics covered on the series. Read more here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This year’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One will be held virtually on Thursday, December 10 in which it will air live on more than 95 iHeartMedia CHR stations as well as streaming on The CW app and on CWTV.com. The CW Network will broadcast the event as an exclusive nationwide television special on Monday, December 14 at 8:00 pm ET. Performers scheduled to appear include: Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more. iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “For 25 years, iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball has showcased performances from the year’s biggest artists in hit music, live on stage in front of screaming fans. Because of the pandemic, we’re moving from the stage to the artists’ home this holiday season for what will be an unforgettable show with amazing performances and moments that can only happen at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.”…..Key Networks nationally syndicated country air personality Shawn Parr (right) is pictured here with TLC (left), host of the morning show on new affiliate KPLM, Palm Springs “Big 106.” Parr, host of “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” traveled to Palm Springs to take part in the David Wells Perfect 33 Foundation Charity Golf Tournament…..Condolences to the family and friends of legendary air personality Ed Hurst, who passed away early today (11/30) at age 94. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS that Hurst got his start in radio on his station’s predecessor WFPG, Atlantic City in 1943. You can read what Harry Hurley wrote about Hurst here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

| October 28, 2020

Round Two of Nielsen’s October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM gives up one-tenth to finish at a 7.9 share but rises from  the #3 to the #2 rank. Across town at Hubbard Radio, all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #1 in the market after adding eight-tenths to finish with a 10.3 share. It was a good survey for iHeartMedia in Boston as news/talk WRKO adds 1.1 shares to finish with a 6.0 share good for the #6 rank and all-news WBZ-AM also adds 1.1 shares to jump from the #5 to the #1 rank on the strength of a 7.2 share. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM posts a six-tenths increase after four surveys without a positive move to wrap the October survey with a 7.0 share that lifts it to #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Joe Benigno Expected to Announce Retirement from WFAN, New York Today. As reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” says there will be an important announcement during the 5:00 pm hour of today’s “Joe & Evan” show. It’s widely believed that co-host Joe Benigno will announce his retirement from the station that will open the door to bringing Craig Carton back to the station, most likely to co-host the afternoon drive show with current co-host Evan Roberts. Even before all of the Carton-to-return-to-WFAN chatter began, 67-year-old Benigno had dropped hints about his desire to hang up the cans and retire to Florida. As for Carton, the station has not announced his return but incessant reports in the New York media indicate the former morning drive co-host – out of prison after being convicted of fraud in a Ponzi scheme created to pay off gambling debts – is a lock to be back on WFAN’s airwaves.

Dori Monson Returns to KIRO-FM, Seattle Air After Suspension. Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson returned to host his afternoon drive program on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM on Tuesday (10/27), some two-and-a-half weeks after being suspended for a tweet that he said “didn’t hit the mark.” The Seattle Times reports that Monson issued his apology on air that followed the written one posted on the KIRO-FM website. Monson said his tweet was commentary during the gubernatorial debate between Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp. In addressing the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Inslee said the state follows science (implying science as opposed to politics). His tweet read: “Inslee: we follow science in WA. The state where I could go to Olympia tomorrow and change my birth cert to say I was a girl on 10/2/61. HAHAHAHAHA.” Monson faced immediate backlash accusing him of being transphobic and was suspended indefinitely from his daily show and his role on Seattle Seahawks pre- and post-game shows.

TALKERS News Notes. The parent company of Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings LLC – is reportedly in talks with Advent International to sell its consumer goods data business, according to the Financial Times. The piece indicates the deal would value that division at around $2.9 billion. Nielsen had previously announced its plans to spin off the Global Connect business and recently revealed it will be renamed NielsenIQ…..Hubbard Radio’s KIXI-AM, Seattle adds weekend programming from Smart Talk Radio Network to its lineup. Three shows – “Around The House With Eric G,” “Our Auto Expert,” and “Barbeque Nation” – made available via Sun Broadcast Group, will air on Saturdays and Sundays…..Entercom’s Steve Holman, Mike Conti, Miller Pope, and James Fairey of sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” were honored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters with Merit Award for “Best Sports Play-by-Play” as part of this year’s Gabby Awards…..WHO, Des Moines-based radio iron man Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his afternoon drive talk program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, and WOC-AM, Davenport, as well as handling mornings on the company’s “Good Morning Orlando” show that airs on news/talk WFLF-AM.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Afternoon Personality Jordana Green Reveals Cancer Diagnosis. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis afternoon drive personality Jordana Green told listeners that she has been diagnosed with leukemia and is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Yesterday (10/27), Green – who co-hosts the program with Paul Douglas told listeners doctors found the cancer last week, and immediately decided she should get treatment that includes multiple rounds of chemo and a possible bone marrow transplant in the spring. In a report posted to the station’s website, Green says, “I’ve been feeling crappy for a few months, very fatigued. About two weeks ago I noticed some large bruising on my legs but didn’t remember bumping myself. Last Tuesday, I went for some bloodwork. Tuesday night my doctor called and said I need to go to the ER as my platelets were low. Normal platelets are 150,000+. Mine were 19,000. They admitted me, did a bone marrow biopsy and 12 hours later told me I had leukemia.” She says she’ll try to check-in on the show from her hospital room when she’s “feeling up to it,” for the next several weeks she’ll be off the air while she is receiving chemo treatments.

The Presidential Election, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Deadly Philly Police Shooting/Protests, Hunter Biden Emails, Big Tech Before Congress, Financial Markets Activity, New California Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Zeta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27). The November 3 presidential election and the final week of campaigning by Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad and projections for the fall/winter; a second night of protests and looting in Philadelphia after a Black man is killed by police; the allegations that Hunter Biden used his father’s vice presidency to gain lucrative business deals in Ukraine by promising access to Joe Biden; today’s appearance before a Senate Commerce Subcommittee by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai; the world’s financial markets respond to the rise in COVID-19 cases; the new wildfires affecting Southern California; and the expected path of Tropical Storm Zeta 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. According to a report at Syracuse.com, adult contemporary WLZW, Syracuse “Lite 98.7” morning show co-host and classic rock WOUR midday personality Dave Coombs is leaving Townsquare Media and will join Saga Communications to host the morning drive show on active rock WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3” in November. Coombs has been co-hosting the “Lite 98.7” morning show with his wife Beth, who  will remain in her position with new co-host Dave Wheeler…..The entertainment podcast “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee [UNCENSORED],” enters into a deal with FOX Soul to air the program on the digital television network. Lee is also host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” a two-hour weekend show that airs on 60 hip hop stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio…..Entercom proudly congratulates hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94” air personality Mike Kannon for being honored with a GABBY Award for “Best On-Air Personality” from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters…..Cumulus Media announces that WIXV, Savannah “I-95” air personality and program director Don Scott (below, left) is being honored by the State of Georgia with the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award for exemplary community service. The Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award is Georgia’s highest service award and was personally presented to Scott by State Representative Carl Gilliard (below, right). Scott says, “‘I-95’ and our parent company Cumulus Media respects our audience and understands our responsibility to serve the public interest. My personal passion for radio, as well as the passion of our staff, drives us to maintain a high level of quality in everything we do. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award. I would like to thank Carl Gilliard and the State of Georgia for this recognition.”

October 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Two

| October 28, 2020

October 2020 PPM Data. Information for the October 2020 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

Noteworthy: The NFL season started September 10 – the first day of the October 2020 sweep.

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk

  • This time last month, Cumulus Media’s WMAL picked up one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+) yet slipped from second to third. Now, even though WMAL returns September’s +.1 (8.0 – 7.9, 6+), it nonetheless advances from third to a second-place tie. WMAL was on top four consecutive sweeps (April through July), before faltering by one-half share in August. April’s 0 marked the first time in WMAL’s PPM-history that it reached double-digits (6+).
  • For the 28th sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted.

Sports Talk

  • After being a combined +1.1 in July/August (1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) drops eight-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.1 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Its 4.8 (November 2019) is the highest 6+-stat by any D.C. sports talk outlet in the PPM-era.
  • For the fourth time in the last six reports, WJFK-FM’s internet stream logs a .3 (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3, May 2020 through October 2020, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths via three up or flat moves in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) but then down four-tenths through four successive sweeps without an increase (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, Radio One’s WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) ends the slide with a half-share increase to 1.2 and enters the top twenty (#22 to #20, 6+).
  • Following five straight reports of posting a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WSBN “630 AM The Sports Capitol” (Washington Football Team) gains one-tenth to .2 (#31 to #30, 6+).

 News

  • In addition to recording its third straight uptick for an impressive +2.6 (7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+) and setting the pace the third month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM & WTLP-FM boasts its best 6+ stat (10.3) since January 2019 (10.4). Prior to taking the lead in August, “Washington’s Top News” spent three consecutive months occupying the runner-up slot.
  • Regaining the three-tenths it dropped this time last month (.7 – .4 – .7, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” advances from #26 to #22.
  • Unlisted in August and September, WDCH’s internet stream reappears with a .1 (#31, 6+).
  • For the second month in a row, Black Information Network affiliates WUST and WMZQ-HD2 do not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Answering September’s loss of nine-tenths with an October gain of one-half share (6.4 – 6.9, 6+), American University-owned WAMU repeats in fourth-place. “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +.6 in August. Entering the August sweep, WAMU was an overall -2.1 via four straight down or flat trends (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+). It was in a first-place tie with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM in February and took sole possession of the lead in March.

BOSTON

 News/Talk

  • Bettering September’s +1.0 with an October +1.1, iHeartMedia-owned WRKO zooms from eighth to fifth and reaches the six-share threshold (3.9 – 4.9 – 6.0, 6+). Four setbacks in a row by “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” immediately prior led to a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+).
  • After losing a total of seven-tenths in four straight declines (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” halts the skid with a one-tenth gain to .5 (flat at #26, 6+). WXKS-AM nearly doubled (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in April/May (.6 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • In addition to logging its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.9 (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.8, sixth to fourth 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (Celtics, Bruins, Patriots) has its highest 6+-stat (6.8) since May 2019 (7.0).
  • Up a modest three-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM (Red Sox) nonetheless backslides from #12 to a tie at #13. Before gaining one-tenth in July, WEEI-FM was an overall -1.7 in four consecutive downturns (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Conversely, WEEI-FM’s internet stream is down or flat the fourth time in a row for a net loss of one-tenth (.2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1, #32 to #31, 6+).
  • Providence sibling WVEI notches a .1 (6+) the fifth consecutive report and is tied with WEEI-FM’s internet stream at #31.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WEEI-AM is unlisted.

News

  • Within 6.1 – 6.7 range in six of the last seven reports (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM erupts with a +1.1 to cross the seven-share level (7.2, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 1030” marches from fifth to a first-place tie. WBZ-AM was off one-half share in April/May (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+).
  • Having posted a .1 (6+) four straight months, Beasley Media Group business news WRCA “Bloomberg Boston” added one-tenth this time last month to .2 (6+), but regresses to .1 (flat at #31, 6+).
  • This is the second month in a row that Black Information Network affiliate WJMN-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • While it is up three-tenths through three straight up or flat moves (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University’s WBUR remains at #9.
  • By posting a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+), WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH pulls the plug on four decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.3 (4.6 – 3.2 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+) and vaults from #16 to #11. The just-concluded negative streak followed three straight improvements that netted a +1.7 (2.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), 6+).
  • Co-owned WCAI is unlisted the fifth time in a row.

MIAMI

News/Talk

  • Without a loss the fourth consecutive month for a net gain of nine-tenths (7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WIOD “News Radio 610 Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” leaps from #20 to #16.

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe” (Panthers, Dolphins) nets four-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (.6 – .7 – .7 – 1.0, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM last reached a one-share in May (1.0, as well).
  • While flat at #30, iHeartMedia’s WINZ “940 AM Miami’s Sports Station” (Marlins) is up two-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (.1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+).
  • Disappearing from print is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (Heat), which doubled August’s .2 (6+) to .4 (#29 to #27, 6+) this time last month. The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA title (10/11) by besting the Heat in a series that went six games.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WKIS-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A combined +.6 in August/September (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Dade County School Board’s WLRN forfeits eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). WLRN previously lost an overall six-tenths in four consecutive slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+).

SEATTLE

News/Talk

  • Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM (Seahawks) erases 75% of that shortfall with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+) and advances from second to first. “Seattle’s News/Seattle’s Talk” was on top six successive sweeps before segueing to the runner-up slot this time last month. .
  • Not only does cluster-mate KTTH continue an alternating down/up sequence that includes October’s robust +1.1 enabling it to cross the three-share level (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.6, June 2020 through October 2020, 6+), “Conservative Talk Radio” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Entering the September sweep, KTTH was anchored at #19 the previous four
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” ceased subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM after the March 2020 survey in which it posted a 1.1 (#22, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • Rebounding from a loss of three-tenths this time last month with an October improvement of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM (Mariners, Seahawks) advances from #20 to #17. “ESPN 710” was a combined +1.0 in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Adding one-half share to September’s increase of two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” repeats at #24.
  • This the 11th time in a row that co-owned KFNQ “1090 AM” hasn’t logged an increase for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, #29, 6+).

News

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO repeats September’s average quarter hour share and market rank (5.0, #5, 6+). It dropped one-half share in April and again in May (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+); gained one-half share in June/July (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); forfeited one-half share in August (4.9 – 4.4, 6+); and posted a September +.6.
  • After logging a .1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KHHO is unlisted the fourth month in a row.
  • Hubbard Broadcasting business news KKNW does not appear in print the fifth consecutive report.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Duplicating September’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW bumps up from fourth to third. The last time it reached the six-share level was December 2019 (6.1). KUOW was off nine-tenths in April/May (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+) and gained eight-tenths in June/July (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).
  • Following four straight months of logging a .1 (6+), Washington State University-owned KSWS is unlisted the second time in a row.

DETROIT

 News/Talk

  • Three consecutive positive spikes by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) account for a +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) as “News Talk 760” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This (4.7) is its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.8. WJR was +3.2 through four successive improvements (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 4.8, 6+), but then a collective -1.4 via three straight sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings) was +1.7 in July/August (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+); -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, September, 6+); and now +.5 in October (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its half-share July gain curtailed three straight drops that accounted for a -1.2 (4.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths (.1 – .5, 6+), WXYT-FM’s internet stream climbs from #26 to #23.
  • Cluster-mate WXYT-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (May 2020 through October 2020, #23 to #24, 6+).

 News

  • With an October increase of three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erases 30% of August/September’s -1.0 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+) to progress from tenth to eighth. WWJ previously was a collective +2.5 through four successive bumps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+).
  • From May through August, WDFN recorded a .2 (6+), but the iHeartMedia outlet/Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted in September and October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite dropping one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, 6+), Wayne State University-owned WDET advances from #18 to #16. Its September +1.0 expunged a collective -1.0 from four straight down or flat reports (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).
  • Without a loss the past four months for a modest net increase of one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media’s WUOM drops two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but continues at #21. WUOM was off seven-tenths in April/May (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+).

PHOENIX

News/Talk

  • Stacking a robust +1.4 onto September’s gain of one-tenth, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” jumps from sixth to third and nearly reaches a six-share (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -.7, KFYI practically doubled (+2.3) its 6+ AQH share in seven up or flat reports in succession (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).
  • Bonneville’s KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) falters by one-half share in back-to-back reports (4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, KTAR-FM netted two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Off six-tenths in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (Arizona Diamondbacks) roars back with three straight spikes for a collective +1.3 (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.9, #20 to #15, 6+).
  • Co-owned KTAR-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .3 (#32 to #31, 6+).
  • For the sixth consecutive time, iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” (Coyotes) records a .2 (#31 to #32, 6+),
  • Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KDUS “Sports AM 1060” logs a .1 the sixth month in a row (#32 to #33, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Bouncing back from a September loss of nine-tenths with a one-tenth gain (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ moves from #15 to #13. In eight of nine previous survey periods, KJZZ notched a 6+ AQH share between 3.4 – 3.8 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk

  • A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO (Twins, Timberwolves) relinquishes 25% of that increase (5.2, -.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). “News Radio 830” was -1.3 in June/July (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+) and an overall +2.0 as a result of three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).
  • Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia’s KTLK result in a net gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, #14 to #13, 6+). Entering the August report, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” recorded a fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and then notched a +.4 to 3.0 (6+).
  • While remaining flat at #16, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is down six-tenths in September/October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), directly after gaining a collective four-tenths in July/August (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • To say iHeartMedia’s KFXN (Wild, Vikings) has stormed back from September’s modest loss of three-tenths would be quite the understatement. “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” registers the largest (6+) September 2020 – October 2020 increase of any station from these 12 PPM markets (5.3 – 8.2, +2.9, 6+) and leaps from #7 all the way to #1. This is the first time “K-Fan” has been on top since January. Following a May increase of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.9, 6+), KFXN forfeited nine-tenths in June/July (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, 6+).
  • Having doubled (+.2) its 6+ AQH share through three straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-AM is off one-tenth to .3 (#24 to #29, 6+).

News

  • Unlisted in August, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KQQL-HD2 resurfaced in September with a .1 (#27, 6+) but does not appear in the October report.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW regains the one-tenth it lost this time last month and repeats in the runner-up slot. KNOW has a June 2020 through October 2020 topline of: 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 7.2 (6+).

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk

  • By gaining four-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” applies the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a net loss of -2.2 (6.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the May sweep, KOGO was a collective +2.8 via three straight bumps (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.5 – 6.6, 6+).
  • Co-owned KGB-AM (formerly Tegna’s KFMB-AM) repeats September’s 6+ AQH share and market rank (2.2, #18, 6+). This is the third time in the last five sweeps “AM 760” has notched a 2.2 (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).
  • Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640,” which was off four-tenths this time last month, recaptures one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+) and one ranker (#20 to #19).

Sports Talk

  • An overall +1.8 through five consecutive reports without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) falters by two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), but repeats at #14.
  • This marks the fourth consecutive time that iHeartMedia-owned KLSD (Chargers) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (.7 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” had lost eight-tenths in five straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

News

  • Co-owned Black Information Network affiliate KSSX-HD2 is unlisted the third successive sweep.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Recent fluctuations by KPBS include: -1.4 (8.5 – 7.1, May, 6+); -1.6 (7.1 – 5.5, June, 6+); +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, July, 6+); and now +1.3 in October (6.1 – 7.4, 6+), enabling the San Diego State University-owned facility to leap from third to first. KPBS was tied for the top spot in July and held sole possession of the lead in August.      

TAMPA

News/Talk

  • Winning ways continue for Cox Media Group-owned WHPT as five consecutive ratings periods without a loss yield “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” a +2.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.6 – 5.1, steady at #5, 6+).
  • Unlisted the second month in a row is WHPT’s internet stream, which was a combined +1.6 in July/August (.8 – 1.5 – 2.4, #19, 6+).
  • Despite being down two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA (Tampa Bay Lightning) inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to gaining six-tenths this time last month, “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” was down or flat the previous four sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+). During this particular ratings period, The Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars four games to two to win the Stanley Cup (9/28).
  • After adding one-tenth this time last month (.1 – .2, 6+), co-owned WHNZ “1250 Tampa Bay’s Impact Radio” repeats September’s .2 (#30 to #29, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE (Rays) is up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). This year’s World Series concluded last night (10/27), when the Dodgers beat the Rays in game six, 3 – 1. Prior to gaining six-tenths in August, “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” sputtered by seven-tenths through four drops in a row (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

News

  • As a result of five straight up or flat reports, Beasley Media Group business news WHFS has gained two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .3, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • This is the third time in succession that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WBTP-HD2 is unlisted.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Following a September gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+), University of South Florida-owned WUSF forfeits one-half share to 3.2 (#12 to #15, 6+). In advance of the September report, WUSF was down or flat the previous five months for a -1.2 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Leading up to that, it was an overall +2.4 in eight consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.1, 6+).
  • WUSF’s internet stream has lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH share in three straight down or flat moves (4 – .3 – .3 – .2, #27 to #29, 6+).

DENVER

News/Talk

  • Dropping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s KDFD is off one-half share in September/October (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” improved by one-half share in July/August (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+).
  • Cluster-mate KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” (Broncos, Colorado Rockies) reclaims the two-tenths it squandered this time last month (2.1 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) and repeats at #19.
  • Not only is co-owned KHOW up seven-tenths in five successive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), “Talk Radio 630” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

Sports Talk

  • Practically doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share via three straight upticks (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN (Nuggets) elevates from #17 to #11. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.3 in June/July (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+).
  • Up one-half share in August/September (.3 – .5 – .8, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures-owned KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” (Colorado Avalanche) surrenders two-tenths to .6 (flat at #29, 6+).
  • Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat move for a modest gain of two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+), Bonneville’s KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600 AM” backslides from #31 to #32.
  • This is the fifth consecutive time that KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-AM records a .1 (#33 to #34, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Adding two-tenths to September’s +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was +2.6 in March/April (5.2 – 6.3 – 7.8, 6+); -2.1 in May (7.8 – 5.7, 6+); and down three-tenths in July/August (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+).
  • Three straight reports without a loss by Community Radio for Northern Colorado’s KUNC yielded four-tenths (.6 – .6 – .8 – 1.0, 6+), but KUNC is off one-tenth in October to .9 (flat at #26, 6+).

BALTIMORE

News/Talk

  • Not only is independent WCBM an overall +2.6 via four consecutive positive spikes (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” jumps from sixth to third. WCBM was +1.8 via four straight increases (2.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), but then -.8 in May/June (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+).
  • Repeating September’s 4.3 (6+), Hearst Television-owned WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” nonetheless climbs from ninth to eighth. Its August increase of three-tenths interrupted three drops in a row that led to an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). That streak directly followed ten successive upticks that produced a +4.2 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+).
  • Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s WMAL more than doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in four successive up or flat moves (.4 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .9, #23 to #21, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Despite regressing by four-tenths to 3.5 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM (Orioles) reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). Baltimore’s version of “The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in June, but was then +1.4 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.8 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).
  • Unlisted in August and September, co-owned WJZ-AM resurfaces with a .1 (#32, 6+).

 News

  • Business news sibling WDCH lost exactly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight decreases (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+); however, “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” suspends the skid with a gain of two-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #18). The just-ended negative streak followed five consecutive increases that accounted for a +1.3 (.5 – .6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).
  • M-10 Broadcasting-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WQLL “BIN 1370” doubled July’s .5 to 1.0 (August 2020, 6+); forfeited three-tenths in September (1.0 – .7, #18 to #23, 6+); and is now unlisted in October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Including October’s loss of one-tenth, Your Public Radio’s WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #8, 6+).
  • Albeit off four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (1.0 – .9 – .6 – .6, 6+), American University-owned WAMU improves from #27 to #25.

ST. LOUIS

 News/Talk

  •  Down three-tenths this time last month (5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom’s KFTK rebounds with an October increase twice that magnitude (5.5, +.6, eighth to fifth, 6+). “FM News Talk 97.1” was a combined +1.1 in July/August (4.1 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).
  • Three consecutive upticks by co-owned KMOX (Cardinals) accounted for a +2.0 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” relinquishes 75% of that windfall with a -1.5 to 5.2 (third to seventh, 6+). September’s 6.7 marked the first time KMOX reached a six-share (6+) since April (6.9). Directly after a +1.8 in March/April (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.9, 6+), KMOX was -2.2 in May/June (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.7, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” sputters by three-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). By picking up two-tenths in June, WXOS stymied four straight losses that accounted for a roughly 52% (-2.4) vaporization of its 6+ AQH share (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+).

 News

  • This is the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KATZ-HD2 is u

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Up one-half share in September/October (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KWMU progresses from #16 to #15.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

| October 13, 2020

iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network Names Three Broadcasters to Key Positions. Three broadcast pros are joining iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. Emmy Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will serve as an anchor and correspondent, Chris Thompson is joining as director of network operations and longtime iHeartMedia Chicago communications executive Angela Ingram is taking on the director of local advocacy and engagement role. iHeartMedia says that Gordon will also produce special programming leading up to the 2020 presidential election and will provide exclusive reports covering politics, Black culture and more. BIN director of news operations Tanita Myers says, “There’s no question that this is the most important election in decades, especially for Black America, and we’re thrilled to have Ed Gordon leading our coverage of this upcoming Presidential race. Whether it’s talking with presidents or just talking about today’s biggest stories, Ed’s well-known, hard-hitting direct and no-nonsense style will be right at home at BIN: Black Information Network and further establishes our role as a trusted source for Black Americans nationwide.” Chris Thompson is the former vice president of radio operations for Reach Media. He also served with the WOR Radio Network as executive director of network operations.  Angela Ingram will continue in her role as SVP of communications for the Chicago region of iHeartMedia in addition to this new position. BIN president Tony Coles says, “One of our goals is to attract the best leadership and talent to the Black Information Network. As we continue to expand, this team is vital to providing our affiliates and partners with best-in-class service and support. I am thrilled to have Chris leading these efforts as our director of network operations and Angela spearheading integral advocacy initiatives as director of local advocacy and engagement.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey (August 13-September 9), today focusing on the all-news format. This PPM survey was not particularly good to all-news stations as 65% of those saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share decline from the August 2020 survey. However, those stations that gained included Entercom’s KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM in both the San Jose market (+1.2) and in the San Francisco market (+0.5), Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+1.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+0.6). Year-over-year was a different story with 69% of all-news stations showing ratings increases, led by Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+2.5 shares), KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.1 shares), and WTOP-FM, Washington (+2.0 shares). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report – including cume data – here.

RTDNA Bestows National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award winners during a virtual event on Saturday evening (10/10). The program featured the announcement and celebration of more than 100 National Murrow Awards, selected from more than 5,000 entries. During his opening speech, RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley said, “We know that this year has been extraordinarily tough. 2020 has brought about challenges that have tested us at every level of our professionalism and humanity and I couldn’t be more proud that you are always there, covering it all. That you – despite the previously unthinkable professional and personal challenges you’ve faced – are continuing to serve your communities with distinction and dignity and professionalism.” You can see all the winners here.

Biden Outspending Trump on Radio Ads. According to a story in Newsmax that cites McClatchy, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outspent Republican President Donald Trump on radio ads by a margin of 50-1. The piece by John Gizzi says, “Federal Election Commission spending reports shows Biden spent over $15 million in radio ads across 50 states, while the Trump campaign spent a meager $270,000 across just seven states.” The story adds Biden is “spending heavily on radio targeting evangelical Christians, senior citizens, and core supporters like urban Blacks and Hispanics. Biden’s radio targeting could be pivotal to him winning such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all of which went narrowly for Trump in 2016.” McClatchy notes Biden’s ad spend is going to urban, gospel, and Hispanic radio “to help create a big turnout.”

The Presidential Race, Microsoft vs Russian Hackers, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID Vaccine Trial, Columbus Day-Indigenous Persons Day, NFL Battles Positive COVID Cases, and Lakers Win NBA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12). The November presidential election; Microsoft and U.S. intelligence shut down Russian hacker effort; the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world and projections for a potential fall and winter second wave; drug maker Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial after test subject’s adverse reactions; the holiday celebrated in some states as Columbus Day and in others as Indigenous Persons Day; the NFL’s ongoing strategy to deal with positive COVID-19 cases among its players; and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship 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. Condolences to the family and friends of KFDI, Wichita morning personality JJ Hayes whose wife Michelle Horne died on Friday after a battle with COVID-19. The KFDI website features a tribute to Horne. Hayes says, “Tonight, I lost my superpower. I’m broken.” He says that Horne, who was 50, had been home from the hospital for nine days and appeared to be getting better before she stopped breathing on Friday evening…..The Times of San Diego reports that former KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” morning duo “AJ and Sara” – A.J. Machado and Sara Perry– have launched their own streaming radio station. The two were let go from the Entercom adult contemporary station back in January and debuted their “AJ and Sara Radio” on October 2. They host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and the rest of the day features AC music “with an expanded 80s and 90s playlist.” Machado tells the paper, “It wasn’t easy to build a radio station, everything was a struggle and a challenge. I learned a lot about music licensing, apps and technology, forming an LLC and the business side of everything. I thought it would take a few weeks, and it’s been nearly six months since the decision was made to go our own direction.”

Monday, October 12, 2020

| October 12, 2020

Monday Memo: Got Local News? Guard it. Now more than ever – with the pandemic upending the life we were accustomed to – consultant Holland Cooke says “you will continue to distinguish your product from your robotic audio competition, and what’s-left-of the newspaper, by telling listeners something useful that nobody else is telling them.”  In this week’s column, some simple tips. Read it here.

The Presidential Race/Mail-In Voting, Fatal Denver Rally Shooting, VP Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Trump’s COVID Case, New Stimulus Negotiations, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, Hurricane Delta-California Wildfires, and NFL COVID Concerns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The November presidential election and the matter of mail-in voting; the fatal shooting at a Denver political protest gathering and tensions in the city; Wednesday’s vice presidential debate; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., projections for future cases, and President Trump‘s bout with the disease; negotiations for a new federal stimulus package; the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; Hurricane Delta drenches Louisiana and the ongoing California wildfires; and the positive COVID-19 cases popping up in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Take It or Leave It. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about selling news/talk radio in a time when your sales planning priorities can shift as quickly as the news cycle changes. He says that “organizing chaos is part of our new sales world” and offers some strategies to keep sellers on track during these unpredictable times. Read it here.

Carmean Joins Entercom Sacto As GSM. The market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Boise (Idaho) cluster – Rick Carmean – is named general sales manager of Entercom Sacramento. According to Entercom Sacramento senior vice president and market manager Stacey Kauffman, “Because of the rich history and success of Entercom Sacramento’s portfolio of brands and assets, expectations are high for this team. Rick’s vast experience in audio, sports, and digital – coupled with his track record of producing winning results – make him an excellent and valuable addition to our strong leadership team. We are excited to welcome Rick to Entercom and Sacramento.” Carmean adds, “I’m thrilled for the opportunity to represent the top-rated radio stations in the market and work with a talented team of sales professionals and on-air talent.” Carmean previously was Red Zebra Broadcasting’s president and chief executive officer and held digital advertising leadership roles at AOL and Source Media. In addition to sports talk KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” Entercom Sacramento consists of rhythmic CHR KSFM; CHR KUDL “106.5 The End”; classic rock KSEG “96.9 The Eagle”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; and alternative KKDO “Alt 94-7.”

More Than 2,100 “Attend” NAB’s Online Radio Show. The week-long digital experience began one week ago (Monday, 10/5) and continued through this past Friday afternoon (10/9) at RadioShowWeb.com. According to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Radio Show in-person attendance has recently been averaging 2,000, while this year’s online event attracted 2,143 registrants. NAB president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith comments, “Although we regret not being able to meet in person, this [past] week’s Radio Show digital experience provided a welcome opportunity to connect and gain valuable insight on how to prevail during this difficult time and move forward as an industry.” RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber remarks, “The Radio Show is an industry favorite. Having the opportunity to gather virtually and connect with broadcasters, advertisers, thought leaders, and partners has been tremendously valuable. The good news is all Radio Show content will continue to be made available for on-demand viewing should anyone want to re-watch a specific session or may have missed any of the sessions or presentations.” Among the highlights were a keynote by Dave Ramsey, and a “CEO Town Hall” with Mary Berner (Cumulus Media); David Field (Entercom); and Bob Pittman (iHeartMedia). The Town Hall was moderated by NBC News senior business correspondent/MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle. Next year’s Radio Show will co-locate with the NAB Show, which has been rescheduled for October 9-13 (2021) in Las Vegas.

KBA Honors Talbott. Bluegrass native Julie Talbott will be presented with the Ralph Gabbard “Distinguished Kentuckian Award” from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association at today’s (Monday, 10/12) 2:00 pm virtual Excellence in Broadcasting Awards event. Fifteen years after joining Premiere Networks, Talbott was named president of the company in January 2014 ; she oversees operation of Premiere Networks’ more than 100 radio programs and services. In addition, she manages business partnerships with talent, as well as leading/maintaining affiliate relationships to sell/service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network, and the 24/7 News Network. Talbott previously was chief operating officer of MJI Broadcasting, which was acquired by Premiere’s parent company Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). Talbott began her career at BBDO Advertising. The Ralph Gabbard “Distinguished Kentuckian Award” is presented in recognition of achievements and accomplishments of former Kentuckians who have earned fame or acclaim in their respected field.

AWMF and ESPN Launch Scholarship For Black Females. The mission of the partnership between the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) and ESPN is to provide black women a path into careers in sports media. ESPN’s donation of $10,000 will provide two educational scholarships to assist black females pursuing such career paths. Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks remarks, “It has been wonderful to collaborate with ESPN to conceptualize this scholarship. Through this strong partnership, we’re proud to continue our work in pursuing greater diversity in the sports journalism work force.” ESPN vice president of corporate communications/AWMF board member Katina Arnold notes, “Diversity and inclusion is ESPN’s #1 focus. We want to support and create concrete ways to grow the pipeline of black talent in the sports industry. The ESPN and AWMF scholarship is the perfect way to fulfill ESPN’s mission of supporting black and African-American women pursuing careers in media.” Selection of student winners will be based on applicants developing an essay of 750 – 1,000 words, highlighting the importance of black women in sports media. Applications are due in less than six weeks (11/20). AWMF and ESPN will select one black female undergraduate student winner and one black female graduate student to receive the scholarships payable to each winning student’s educational institution.

TALKERS News Notes. Former CIA officer and NYPD counter-terrorism expert Buck Sexton debuts his Premiere Networks’ three-hour show in Tampa Bay tonight (Monday, 10/12, 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) on iHeartMedia’s WFLA “News Radio 970.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tampa/Sarasota Tommy Chuck comments, “We are excited to have Buck Sexton join our on-air lineup of strong local and national personalities. His life experience gives him unique perspective that our audience will be very interested to hear.” Sexton adds, “I’m honored to have my show join WFLA, [one of] the greatest heritage stations in the country. I can’t wait to begin speaking every night to listeners in the Tampa Bay area, one of the best talk radio audiences there is.” WFLA’s revised weekday lineup is: “Coast to Coast AM with George Noory” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “AM Tampa Bay” (5:00  am – 9:00 am); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Rush Limbaugh (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Sean Hannity (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “PM Tampa Bay with Ryan Gorman” (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and Buck Sexton (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Also in the iHeartMedia Tampa Bay cluster, personal finance host Dave Ramsey moves his daily talk show to news/talk WHNZ “1250 Impact Radio” from cross-town Beasley Media Group’s WHFS “Money Talk 1010.” According to iHeartMedia market president Chris Soechtig, “We’re excited to add ‘The Dave Ramsey Show to our [2:00 pm – 5:00 pm] line-up. [Dave] brings a new group of listeners to 1250 WHNZ who pay attention to what’s coming out of their speakers and applying what they hear.” ….. Designed to encourage eligible voters to cast ballots in next month’s election, Beasley Media Group’s “Your Vote – Your Voice” initiative will include recorded fifteen- and thirty-second PSAs, as well as custom content that will be featured on the chain’s 64 radio station websites. Beasley Media Group chief content officer Justin Chase notes, “This initiative is a great reminder that no matter who you choose, it’s important to make sure your voice is heard at the polls.” Customized messaging encouraging listeners to vote will be displayed using Quu RDS technology across the company’s in-car dash platforms ….. Technology entrepreneur Matt Moog is named interim chief operating officer of Chicago Public Media, which includes public radio news/talk WBEZ. Moog succeeds Steve Edwards, who performed those duties on an interim basis as well, but segues back to his vice president and chief content officer responsibilities. Chicago Public Media’s CEO role opened up a year ago when Goli Sheikholeslami exited to join New York Public Radio. Earlier this year, American University Washington, DC public radio news/talk WAMU “The Medium Is The Message” chief content officer Andi McDaniel was appointed CPM’s chief executive officer, but departed. The search for a permanent Chicago Public Media CEO is expected to resume next year ….. During a Washington State gubernatorial debate last week, governor Jay Inslee remarked that, “We follow science in Washington.” Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM host Dori Monson tweeted, “The state where I could go to Olympia and change my ‘birth cert’ to say I was a girl on 10/2/61 HAHAHAHAHA.” That tweet has led to Monson’s indefinite suspension from his KIRO-FM duties, as well as his pre-game and post-game hosting chores for Seattle Seahawks football games ….. An integral cog of the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine,” Joe Morgan, has died at his Danville, California home. After his playing career, Morgan became a baseball analyst on television and radio. The former second baseman did color for games of the Reds (1985); San Francisco Giants (1986 – 1994); and Oakland A’s (1995). Morgan attained national exposure on ABC-TV’s baseball telecasts and had a 20-year run (1990 – 2010) as Jon Miller’s analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” During that stretch, he was in the ESPN Radio booth for post-season and World Series contests. In 2011, he hosted a daily syndicated radio show for Sports USA Radio Network. In addition to the Reds, Morgan played for San Francisco, Oakland, Houston, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Hall of Famer was 77 years old.

Midwest Communications Taps Villarreal As Wausau VP/MM. Eight-year Laredo, Texas-based International Business & Marketing consultant Milko Villarreal, Jr. is appointed vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ five-station Wausau, Wisconsin cluster. Midwest Communications president and chief executive officer Duke Wright comments, “We welcome Milko to the family and look forward to many successful and prosperous years to come. His passion and desire to win are a great fit for our already positive Wausau operation.” Villarreal, who begins his new assignment in three weeks (11/2), remarks, “I am thrilled to join Midwest. The Wright family has a long-standing tradition of excellence in broadcasting. Ideologically, and operationally, I believe we are a very good fit; I look forward to making a positive contribution.” The former NAB radio board member succeeds Brett Lucht, who passed away three months ago. In addition to news/talk WSAU and sports talk WRIG, Midwest Communications’ Wausau cluster consists of country WDEZ, CHR WIFC, and rock WOZZ.

NEP & Edison Research To Implement COVID-19-Related Protocols. The exit poll conducted by Edison Research on behalf of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News, will begin interviewing voters at early voting locations around the country starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/13). Edison Research co-founder and executive vice president Joe Lenski states that, “More Americans are expected to vote before Election Day this year than any other election in history. The member networks of the National Election Pool (NEP) and Edison Research have developed innovative new techniques to account for that in our long-standing exit poll. In 2018, Edison and the NEP pioneered the technique of conducting interviews at in-person early voting sites, and today, we’re using that valuable experience to expand those efforts for 2020. It’s simply a matter of taking our time-tested models and applying them to the ways people vote today.” In addition to adapting to the changing ways that voters cast their ballots, the NEP is taking precautions to ensure that voters participating in the in-person exit polls remain safe. Exit polls will be conducted by interviewers wearing masks, who will remain six feet away from respondents and will have single-use pencils available for each voter filling out the exit poll questionnaire. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available for voters to use before and after completing their exit polls. As it has since 2004, the NEP exit poll will include extensive telephone surveys of those planning to vote by mail to ensure that all voters are represented in Election Night coverage across the pool’s member networks and subscribers. This year, those polls will reach more than 25,000 voters casting ballots before Election Day.

“WTMJ 2021” Airs Tomorrow. The nine-hour broadcast (9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Tuesday, 10/13) on Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee news/talk WMTJ “News Radio 620” looks at events and issues that will shape the year ahead. It will feature interviews with Wisconsin’s most influential names such as Wisconsin governor Tony Evers; senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson; Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin; Medical College of Wisconsin chief executive officer Dr. John Raymond; and community activist Frank Sensabaugh. Good Karma Brands Milwaukee vice president and market manager Steve Wexler explains, “Every year, WTMJ brings our listeners an all-day look at the issues shaping our future. Little did we know how tumultuous a year 2020 would turn out to be when we gathered last year.” Presidential politics is the leadoff topic at 9:00 am. It will be followed by public safety (10:00 am); sports in the age of COVID-19 (11:00 am); business and the economy (12:00 noon); healthcare (1:00 pm); entertainment (2:00 pm); education (3:00 pm); local and state government (4:00 pm); and the racial divide (5:00 pm).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Starting today (Monday, 10/12), Mz Shyneka takes over in afternoon drive on Core Radio Group Atlanta urban contemporary WWSZ “Streetz 94.5.” Core Radio Group president and chief executive officer Steve Hegwood comments, “It is my pleasure to sign Mz Shyneka to afternoons. Her addition to our great team keeps us at the forefront of this competitive Atlanta market.” According to Mz Shyneka, “I am overwhelmed with joy to be back on the radio in my hometown. I can’t wait to continue making history at the only black-owned station in Atlanta.” She most recently did afternoons for Radio One’s cross-town similarly-formatted WHTA “Hot 107.9” ….. Elsewhere in Atlanta, after an approximately 20-year tenure at Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104,” Saturday morning “Spotlight Gold” host “Youngbloodexits …..  Under a new one-year deal, all Villanova football and basketball games for the 2020 – 2021 season will be carried on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM.” Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “Our motto at ‘Ben’ is ‘Playing Anything We Feel Like,’ and we feel like playing some Villanova games. It will be a great season for Villanova sports.” Program director Chuck Damico notes, “We’re thrilled to add Villanova football and basketball to ‘95.7 Ben FM’ this year. It’s an honor to deliver these games to their passionate fans and alumni.” Meanwhile, Villanova Sports Properties vice president and general manager Drew Young adds, “The affiliation with ‘Ben FM’ expands our reach in the Delaware Valley and gives the ‘Nova Nation’ a prominent new home on the FM dial.” ….. The former 15-year afternoon personality/music director at Bahakel Communications Colorado Springs rocker KILO, Jack Wilson, has died from coronavirus. Wilson left KILO in 2015 and did weekends in Phoenix for Hubbard Radio’s similarly-programmed KUPD. KILO’s Facebook page notes, “It is with deep regret that we share this news with the KILO Nation. He was and will always be a big part of the KILO family. We send our love and condolences to his family and friends. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.” The 38-year-old Wilson is survived by his mother (Pattie Ray); a 17-year-old daughter (Bella); and a six-year-old son (Jack Jr.) ….. “The Quick Silva Show with Dominique Da Diva” moves to Reach Media for distribution and syndication. Reach Media and Radio One chief executive officer David Kantor comments, “I’ve had the opportunity to see this show grow tremendously. Quick Silva and Dominque Da Diva are two very strong radio talents who have an authentic connection to their audience. I am confident that the show will continue to be a huge draw for the listening audience. The beauty of this is that this is one of few syndicated afternoon shows.” The program will be carried from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm by Radio One stations in Washington, DC (WKYS); Philadelphia (WPHI “Hip-Hop 103.9”); Baltimore (WERQ “92-Q Jams”); Cincinnati (WIZF “101.1 The Wiz”); and Columbus (WCKX “Power 107.5”).

Radio Show: Broadcast Finance 2020 – The Pandemic Edition

| October 8, 2020

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Before conventions went-virtual, I was always impressed by how – even after a night of revelry – this first-thing-in-the-morning session was standing room only. And this year’s version lost nothing in translation to Zoom.

Moderated by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP partner Scott Flick, remote panelists Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris and Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw reflected on their stations’ response to the pandemic shutdown, and projected their sense of where we go from here.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

| October 1, 2020

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this second round of markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.0 share but slides back to the #3 rank as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR-FM powers into the #2 rank. Across town, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM remains in the #1 spot on the strength of a one-share gain and a 9.5 share finish. iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston jumps a full share to finish the September survey with a 4.9 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM falls five-tenths to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank. After six consecutive months at #1, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle falls into the #2 spot after losing eight-tenths and finishing with a 6.4 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Newsmax TV Reaches 9.6 Million Cable Viewers. According to Newsmax TV, the cable channel’s “total household reach jumped to 9.6 million, up from 2.9 million in August 2019, according to Comscore data.” Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy says that viewership has increased steadily all year and he credits viewer interest in Newsmax’s election coverage coupled with its new shows like “Greg Kelly Reports,” “Sean Spicer’s Spicer & Co.”, and “The Chris Salcedo Show.” Ruddy says, “Viewers are clearly voting for Newsmax TV with their remotes. The growth is even more remarkable when one considers we just launched our first prime-time show in July.” The company says Newsmax TV has live or original news shows airing from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET and has launched significant daytime coverage on weekends. The network is also planning a daily morning show to debut in the next 60 days, with more prime-time show launches expected soon.

iHeartMedia Expands Board of Directors; Appoints Cheryl Mills to Board. The board of directors of iHeartMedia, Inc. is expanded to eight and Cheryl Mills is named to the new seat. Mills is the founder and CEO of BlackIvy Group LLC, a firm that builds and grows commercial enterprises in Sub- Saharan Africa to meet the needs of an expanding consumer population and growing business sector. Mills previously served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counselor to the U.S. Department of State. She also was SVP for corporate policy and public programming at Oxygen Media and was deputy counsel to the President at the White House and served as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills is joining the iHeart board. Her depth and breadth of experience, her leadership in policy, business and entrepreneurship, education and media, and her deep commitment to public service, will provide strong and unique value to our board and our company, and we are looking forward to her contributions.”

Cumulus Media Completes Initial Closing on $208 Million Tower Deal. This news from Cumulus Media Inc is relative to the $213 million deal that transfers its tower assets to Vertical Bridge. This initial closing is for the $208 million tower portfolio monetization transaction. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We are thrilled to have expeditiously completed the first closing of this significant transaction. Pro forma for its completion and based on our Q2 ending cash balance, we will have reduced net debt by nearly $325 million during 2020 and by nearly $580 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2018. Our further improved liquidity position and covenant-lite, long-dated debt will continue to support our growth initiatives and allow us to take advantage of accretive opportunities as we navigate through near-term uncertainties to drive long-term shareholder value.” After transaction fees and expenses and related costs, Cumulus received approximately $202 million in net proceeds at the initial closing. The use of net proceeds from the transaction are governed by the company’s Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 and its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026. As defined in the debt agreements, net proceeds of approximately $64 million from assets being sold and not being leased back and net proceeds of approximately $96 million from assets being sold and leased back are required to pay down the Term Loan and be applied to a tender offer with respect to the 6.75% Notes on a pro rata basis. The paydown from the Sale-Leaseback Proceeds is required to be made at closing for the Term Loan portion and within thirty (30) days of closing for the 6.75% Notes. As such, at closing, the Company paid down approximately $49 million of its Term Loan at par, and it intends in the near future to launch a tender offer for up to approximately $47 million of the 6.75% Notes at par. Cumulus Media entered into a master lease agreement for the continued use of substantially all of the towers that were sold. That deal includes the 10-year initial term of the lease, followed by five option periods of five years each. The annual lease payment obligation for the assets leased back in the initial closing is approximately $13.2 million, subject to customary escalators, and will be accounted for as a reduction of the financial liability and interest expense. Cumulus anticipates that one or more subsequent closings will be held for the assets comprising the remainder of the previously announced $213 million purchase price, subject to adjustment based upon due diligence and the curing of outstanding site defects.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Starnes Media Group principal, nationally syndicated talk show host, and KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” owner Todd Starnes (right) at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference in Atlanta where he served as a keynote speaker. He’s pictured here with conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (left)…..The “Margaritaville Podcast” joins the portfolio of cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales. The recently launched podcast, hosted by Jimmy Buffett’s production coordinator Heikki Larsen features interviews with friends, colleagues, and fans of the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand inspired by the singer, songwriter and best-selling author. Recent guests have included Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Jimmy Buffett video producer Stan Kellam. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Fans of the Margaritaville lifestyle constitute an extremely devoted, enduring, cohesive, socially conscientious and upscale fan base. Heikki and his show are a valuable addition to the CMGS portfolio, as it enables us to offer an even more diverse and versatile slate of inventory for marketing partners.”…..AdLarge Media announce its newest sports partnership with National Sports Network for exclusive ad sales representation of NCAA basketball play-by-play coverage on radio. AdLarge Media co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “We’re very excited to offer our advertisers these NCAA basketball games on radio. With the addition of these top-tier college basketball games from National Sports Network, the AdLarge sports portfolio delivers continuous access to engaged sports fans.”…..PodcastOne acquires the exclusive distribution and sales rights for the health and wellness podcast “The Dr. Gundry Podcast.” The program is hosted by New York Times best-selling author of The Plant Paradox (Harper Wave 2017), Dr. Steven Gundry. He says, “I’m proud for ‘The Dr. Gundry Podcast’ to now be part of PodcastOne. Its robust podcasting network is a great platform to continue to empower listeners and share the knowledge and tools to help people live their best life.”

Wayne Allyn Root Organizes Las Vegas Parade. On Wednesday (9/30), a pro-police, pro-Trump parade of cars organized by KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root drove down the Las Vegas strip. Root, pictured here with supporters, tells TALKERS magazine he estimates there were more than 1,000 cars taking part in the parade. Root says he waited at the parade’s finish line – the Nevada Governor’s office building – and “shook hands, and high-fived, and took photos, and thanked every single car of my fans.” You can read the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s coverage here.

The Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, New Stimulus Deal, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, Down Financial Markets, BLM Movement/Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30). The November presidential election and the aftermath of Tuesday night’s debate; the debate over the reliability of mail-in voting; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Midwest and talk about a fall/winter second wave; negotiations between congress and the Trump administration over a new stimulus package; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. financial markets suffer their worst month since last March; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various cities; and the deadly California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

DYNAMIC DUO EXCLUSIVE!  “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and John Catsimatidis Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Radio enthusiasts won’t want to miss this brand-new audio gem! Legendary music radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow (also known as “Cousin Brucie”) is one of the last of his generation still standing. He is the quintessential heritage disc jockey who has been a major on-the-air radio figure in New York City through several golden eras since 1959, performing on such storied stations as WINS, WABC, WNBC and WCBS-FM and, until recently, across the nation on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Just a few weeks ago, to the delight of his multi-generational legion of fans, he was hired to host a Saturday evening music show on WABC, the station where he played to millions back in the 1960s and early 1970s during the heyday of his magnificent career. The other member of this dynamic duo, Catsimatidis is a well-connected radio lover and big business heavyweight whose Red Apple Media purchased WABC – now a news/talk outlet – from Cumulus Media late last year. He’s a prominent New York City-based, self-made mogul and syndicated radio talk show host involved in an array of industries that, in addition to communications, includes supermarkets, energy, and real estate development. He’s also a former and potential future New York City mayoral candidate. The result is a free-wheeling conversation that covers radio, music, politics, several surprises and the New York state of mind – an instant classic.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-Air pro Julie Guy signs a multiyear contract extension with Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF-FM, Miami “101.5 LITE FM” to continue co-hosting the “Julie Guy & Tamara G” morning show. Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As a veteran of the station, Julie encapsulates the spirit of ‘101.5 LITE FM’ and sets the tone for our programming slate each morning. Her distinct energy and solid rapport with Tamara translate to a quality morning show and I’m happy to keep her in the fold for years to come.” Guy has served as a morning show host for “101.5 LITE FM” since 2013…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” adds the nationally syndicated program “The Sweat Hotel,” with host Keith Sweat to air in the 9:00 pm to 2:00 am slot. Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “Keith Sweat is an R&B legend and ‘KISS 104.1’ is excited about him joining our lineup. Keith brings just the right blend of slow jams and sensual sounds that will keep our listeners entertained throughout the night.”

Thursday, September 17, 2020

| September 17, 2020

‘Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth’ Hits HBO on October 7. The film that documents the rise and fall of former WFAN, New York radio star Craig Carton premiers on HBO on October 7 at 9:00 pm ET. HBO released a trailer on YouTube today (9/17) for the film “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth” that you can see here. The film documents Carton’s rise to the morning drive show on New York City’s WFAN, his 10-year reign of success, and subsequent downfall brought about by a fraud scheme perpetrated to pay off enormous gambling debts. It contains candid interviews with Carton himself, former partner Boomer Esiason, and more. Carton was released early from his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for fraud in June of this year and is finishing his sentence in home confinement. HBO Sports VP Peter Nelson says, “Craig Carton’s radio persona gained him a public following, while his private struggles lost him everything one casino run at a time. Many knew Carton, but never knew his secrets, as we learn from Carton himself in this documentary about success, self-destruction, lies and blackjack.”

White House Nominates Nathan Simington for FCC Post. The Trump Administration is nominating Nathan A. Simington to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission, replacing Michael O’Rielly, who is not being renominated. Simington is a Republican and is currently a senior advisor in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration specializing in network and telecommunications policy. The White House says that among his many responsibilities across the telecommunications industry, he works on 5G security and secure supply chains, the American Broadband Initiative, and is NTIA’s representative to the Government Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Prior to his appointment at NTIA, Simington was senior counsel to Brightstar Corporation, a leading international company in the wireless industry. In this role, he negotiated deals with companies across the spectrum of the telecommunications and internet industry, including most of the world’s leading wireless carriers. As the head lawyer on the advanced mobility products team, he spearheaded numerous international transactions in the devices, towers and services fields and forged strong relationships with leading telecom equipment manufacturers.

Graduate Student Scholarship Applications Due October 15. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation, in collaboration with the Broadcast Education Association, announces the details for the 2021-2022 Library of American Broadcasting Foundation Scholarship award for graduate students. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation Scholarship will award one graduate student $3,000 in the Fall to support the student’s continuing studies and dissertation in broadcast history. BEA’s Scholarship Committee, consisting of academics and industry professionals, will conduct the selection process of the award. Upon completion of the dissertation, the award recipient will donate copies to the Library of American Broadcasting to retain as part of its collection. Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2020. Ginny Morris, co-chair of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and CEO of Hubbard Radio, says, “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to partner with BEA to underwrite this exciting opportunity that support’s the LABF’s mission of preserving the past, reflecting the present and informing the future of the American broadcasting industry. We look forward to supporting this outstanding initiative for years to come.” Learn more here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Hollywood Reporter says FOX News Media will lay off less than 3% of its staff in a restructuring move. The company issued the following statement: “As FOX News Media has evolved into a streamlined multi-platform organization, we are realigning several functions and restructuring various divisions in order to position all of our businesses for ongoing success.” The change is not expected to affect any on-air personnel…..Podcast ad sales network Lipstick & Vinyl – dedicated to underrepresented voices with a concentration on female voices – adds two new shows to its roster. “Amended,” hosted by Dr. Laura Free, “shines a spotlight on many of the lesser known but courageous women who led the struggle to win equal voting rights for women in America.” “Gatekeepers” is hosted by the publishers of DAME magazine and “reveals the ugly truth about who controls access to public spaces across America, and how white privilege has often wielded its power to keep out blacks and people of color. Gatekeepers digs deep to uncover the motivations behind these events, past and present, and features interviews with scholars, citizens, and experts, together with archival audio, immersing listeners in a truly illuminating audio experience.”…..WRNI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro is pictured below with his award for Best Radio Talk Show Host from Rhode Island Monthly’s annual Best of Rhode Island 2020 reader’s poll.

The Presidential Race/Biden CNN Town Hall, COVID-19 Stats-Vaccine Controversy, Michael Caputo Leave, Barr-Durkan Report, Hurricane Sally Drenches South, Western Wildfires Burn, and Big 10 Reverses No Football Decision Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16). The November presidential election and Thursday evening’s CNN Town Hall with Joe Biden; the rise in positive COVID-19 cases around the world and in the U.S. and the controversy over the potentially speedy development of a vaccine; HHS spokesman Michael Caputo takes a leave after conspiracy-laden Facebook rant; the New York Times report that U.S. Attorney General William Barr suggested prosecutors charge Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for her handling of protests; Hurricane Sally dumps floodwaters on Alabama and Florida; the wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington continue to burn; and the Big 10 reverses its decision not to play football this year were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TWO FIRES:  Iconoclastic KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner Michael Zwerling Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The longtime owner of fiercely independent news/talk outlet KSCO, Santa Cruz (1080 AM/104.1 FM), Michael Zwerling, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The conversation focuses on what Harrison describes as “two fires – one literal and one figurative… both out of control.” The former refers to KSCO’s physical location directly in the midst of California’s devastating blazes and the latter represents the station’s powerful new locally produced weekly two-hour radio program, “China Uber Alles.” The show takes a highly critical look at a growing “wildfire” of a different sort – the hegemonic global threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses to the US.  It is hosted by Nan Su, a senior reporter at The Epoch Times; Amy Hao, a former Chinese prison camp internee; and local KSCO personality Bill Graff.  Zwerling presents a compelling ground-level view of the impact the wildfires are having on the Santa Cruz, Salinas, Monterey, Silicon Valley, and San Jose markets covered by his station as well as neighboring San Francisco to the north. In addition, he and Harrison discuss the evolution of his experiences having traveled to China that led him to a new awareness about the CCP that ultimately inspired the show. Don’t miss this fascinating podcast!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new iHeartRadio Original Podcast titled “Too Much To Say with Kalie Shorr” is being launched via Bobby Bones’ Nashville Podcast Network. The program features the country singer and songwriter Shorr “as she shares, and mostly overshares, her thoughts on everything from music to martinis, social media to social anxiety, regrets to risky texts, and much more. Shorr will also reveal diary entries and feature interviews with her crazy group of friends.” Shorr says, “When Bobby had the idea to start this podcast, I was so excited. Hosting my own show has been a goal of mine for a long time and I can’t think of a better team to be working on it with. It’s great to be given this platform and I really look forward to sharing my story candidly in a new format.”…..The Johnjay & Rich #LoveUp Foundation is hosting a Food Truck Tour to provide nearly 5,000 free lunches to COVID-19 frontline workers across the Phoenix market. The 7-Day Food Truck Tour will visit seven different Banner Health hospitals through September 22. Johnjay Van Es says, “We created the #LoveUp Food Truck Tour to show appreciation for the dedicated frontline hospital workers who have been tirelessly helping patients fight COVID-19 over the last six months and to support our local food truck community that has been financially hurt by this pandemic. Thank you to the Johnjay & Rich listeners and #LoveUp supporters who responsibly purchased #LoveUp masks in effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 – we now get to use that money to help pay it forward.”

Friday, September 11, 2020

| September 11, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Don’t Panic!” looks back at this past week of September 7 – September 11, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSTodd Feinburg; talk show host, WTIC, Hartford; McGraw Milhaven, talk show host, KTRS, St. Louis; Dr. Lisa Mozer, talk show host, WSIC, Statesville, NC; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Walter Sterling, talk show host, WABC, New York and “Sterling on Sunday” in national syndication. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Entercom’s Implementation of ‘Reimagined and Enhanced’ Programming and Sales Strategies for Country and Alternative Brands Brings About Staff Reductions. An internal memo from Entercom president and CEO David Field yesterday (9/10) revealed the company is putting into effect its new plan that applies its reimagined programming strategies in the country and alternative formats. A company-wide town hall is taking place today (9/11) in which staffers will hear from brand managers about the plans. It’s clear from Field’s memo that a reduction in force in part of the plan and already some released staffers have reported their exits via social media. How this new thinking may affect Entercom employees working in formats other than country and alternative is unknown at this time but is no doubt a question many will have. Field says in the memo: “I want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings about the actions we are taking. To be clear, Entercom will remain local, first and foremost. As the industry’s #1 home for premium, original audio content, we will continue to make the industry’s largest investment in local talent. From our iconic local news brands, to our top-ranked music channels, to our unrivaled sports stations – our engaging and compelling personalities remain the heart of our original local programming. We will continue these large investments in our local product and talent, as well as new local features across our brands.” However, he also acknowledges the job cuts. “While this is an exciting time of growth and transformation and we look forward to the creative opportunities that lie ahead, we also recognize that change is hard. As we make the necessary changes to best serve our listeners and customers, it is difficult to part ways with members of our team who have made significant contributions to our company over the years. We are grateful to them for their service. In order to assist in their transition, we are providing enhanced benefits for each affected individual and wish them the very best.” It seems evident from Field’s memo that part of the plan means fewer programmers will be responsible for more stations and successful talent is to be heard across multiple stations. Exactly how this is being implemented will become clearer with time.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations that serve as MLB flagships, based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey. He says, “To say this has been the wackiest baseball season on record – and perhaps the strangest, most challenging year, in general, in our lifetime – would be the height of understatement.” With the season whittled from 162 games to 60, stations that count on that cume boost each April had to wait until July for games to start. In this report you can see charts comparing 6+ AQH share changes for flagship stations from the July 2020 survey to the August 2020 survey, cume increases from July to August for flagship stations and more. Read it all here.

Jim Hayes Exits Sports Talk KFNS, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch KFNS-AM, St. Louis morning drive personality Jim Hayes is a victim of budget cuts at the Randy Markel-owned station. Hayes hosted “The Morning After” and Markel tells the paper his exit was “strictly financial. He’s another casualty of the coronavirus.” Hayes also works for FOX Sports Midwest covering St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He’s expected to be replaced by KTVI-TV, St. Louis sportscaster Charlie Marlow. Markel tells Caesar, “Charlie wants to sell advertising for the show, and he costs us less than Hayes.”

Westwood One Releases Fall 2020 Podcast Report. Designed to coincide with this week’s IAB Podcast Upfront, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One, unveils Westwood One’s Podcast Download – Fall 2020 Report. The company says it is a “comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.” Cumulus EVP and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “The podcast platform wars are heating up. In this year’s report, Spotify is closing in on Apple as the most used podcast platform, and YouTube is growing as well. There’s good news for advertisers too. Podcast listeners embrace advertising. Four out of five podcast listeners have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad, and an increasing number of listeners feel podcast ads are relevant and memorable.” You can check out the complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. Cleveland news/talk WTAM is broadcasting today’s funeral mass for Cleveland Police detective James Skernivitz who was killed in the line of duty on September 3. Detective Skernivitz was assigned to the Gang Impact Unit and was recently sworn in as a Violent Crimes Task Force officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working on the national law enforcement initiative Operation Legend. The iHeartMedia station’s coverage of the funeral service is being anchored by morning host Bill Wills and veteran news anchor Tom Moore…..Former FOX News Channel star Megyn Kelly is launching a new podcast via her media company Devil May Care Media. “The Megyn Kelly Show” debuts the week of September 28 and “will feature interviews with newsmakers, thought leaders, and compelling voices from the heartland and beyond. Listeners can expect interviews that transcend the superficiality and sound-bite driven confines of traditional broadcast and cable news, and instead deliver in-depth, uncensored, thought-provoking conversations.” Kelly’s company is working with Red Seat Ventures for production and management. Red Seat Ventures was co-founded by Chris Balfe, who formerly worked with Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze…..In New Hampshire, “Free Talk Live” host Aria DiMezzo – a self-described “anarchist she-male” – won the Republican primary race for the office of Cheshire County Sheriff. “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman says DiMezzo “has campaign signs up across the county emblazoned with ‘F*** THE POLICE’ and is taking on the incumbent Democrat Sheriff who happens to have a history of violence. It’s the perfect time for this campaign and it’s bound to generate some headlines.” Read more about this at Freeman’s blog…..Hubbard Radio inks a deal with Total Traffic and Weather Network for its 24/7 News division to provide NBC News Radio Network newscasts to nostalgia KIXI and talk KKNW “Alternative Talk.” Hubbard Radio Seattle’s Scott Mahalick says, “24/7 News has flexible business models and a variety of news content available to fit each station’s unique needs. We are proud to partner with TTWN to provide our Seattle stations with NBC News, a trusted, credible worldwide brand with years of experience.”

Woodward Tapes and The Atlantic Article Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 7-11. Author Bob Woodward’s tapes of President Trump admitting to downplaying the coronavirus pandemic and the piece in The Atlantic that purports Trump referred to America’s dead soldiers as losers and suckers tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the November presidential election and politics. Coming in at #3 was health care, vaccines, meds and masks, followed by COVID-19 statistics and projections at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Casualties of the above-mentioned cuts at Entercom’s country and alternative stations are starting to trickle in. Programmers and air staff let go are revealing their status via social media and country KFRG, Riverside, California “K-FROG 95.1” morning personality Ginny Harman is one of those. She posted to Facebook: “Hey all! So today was my last day at K-FROG. The dreaded COVID has caused budget cuts everywhere, and we are no different.”…..iHeartMedia Boston’s CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents announce the “Kiss 108’s Chromebooks For Kids” fundraiser raised more than $100,000 to go directly to purchasing Chromebooks for local students to use at home and in the classroom. They also announced that Chromebook delivery has already begun in several local communities…..Pictured below is WWPR, New York “Power 105.1” personality Angela Yee accepting her Gracie Award for Best Podcast – Entertainment for “Angela Yee’s Lip Service.” The 45th Gracie Awards were held virtually yesterday (9/10), streamed live via the Alliance for Women in Media’s Facebook page. See the show here.

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