Tag: "Hugh Hewitt"

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

| September 15, 2020

Van Harden Announces Retirement from WHO-AM, Des Moines in January. Thirty-four-year WHO, Des Moines morning personality Van Harden announced he’s retiring from the station on January 8, 2021, capping a 50-year radio career. In a public statement, iHeartMedia notes that during Van Harden’s time at WHO, he’s won five Marconi awards for his work as the host of the morning show and has been inducted along with co-host Bonnie Lucas into the Iowa Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Harden says, “I know people will ask why I am retiring. My answer is, after 50 years, why not? For years people have asked me if I ever think about retirement and I have told them, ‘Yes, at 2:45 weekday mornings.’ Getting up has been the biggest challenge of the job and it has gotten more difficult as time has gone on, but I wouldn’t trade any of those past mornings for anything. I want to deeply thank my past co-hosts and good friends, Patti Christensen, Connie Murad, and Bonnie Lucas, especially Bonnie, after putting in 25 years of her own, for being such fabulous on-air partners. I could make a huge list of incredible co-workers from the past 50 years that have made this an amazing ride. Besides the on-air shows it was a great honor to be the program director of WHO for 30 years and of KXNO from the day we put it on the air as a sports station. It has been a privilege to have hired and worked with so many talented people on both stations.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. In today’s report from TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian, he notes that news/talk stations in PPM markets have been remarkably consistent in their 6+ AQH share increases this year over last. Based on Nielsen Audio’s data, 64% of news/talk outlets in PPM markets were up August 2019 – August 2020. For the two previous surveys, growth was very similar as is evidenced by the 65% up from July 2019 – July 2020 and the 68% up from June 2019 – June 2020. Returning to the August data, 55% of news/talk stations were up from July 2020 to August 2020 with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+2.3), WTAM, Cleveland (+2.0), and WISN, Milwaukee (+1.8) leading gainers. Joining WLW and WISN as #1-ranked stations in their respective markets in August were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Mike Kinosian also provides cume data in this report and notes that 54% of news/talk stations in PPM markets showed improved cume from the July 2020 survey to August 2020 with Nexstar Media Group’s WGN, Chicago leading the gainers. See his complete report here.

Minnesota Public Radio Reporter Quits in Solidarity with Victims of Air Personality. According to a report by WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, Minnesota Public Radio news reporter Marianne Combs resigned her position with the public media company after her editors did not run her investigative piece about the actions of an unnamed air personality at sister triple A station KCMP, Minneapolis “The Current.” Combs tells WCCO-TV that she spent two months speaking to eight women who were “sexually manipulated and psychologically abused” by the staffer. Combs says that she was told that although editors found the behavior “creepy,” it did not rise to the level of illegality and was therefore not worthy of news coverage. MPR president Duchesne Drew told WCCO-TV that they are “blindsided” by her resignation and believed she was continuing to work on it but that he stands by his editors’ decisions. He also adds that editors discussed with Combs how to strengthen the story to allow it to “meet our standards.”

Jim Meyer to Retire from SiriusXM CEO Position. After seven years as chief executive officer of SiriusXM, James E. Meyer announces he intends to retire on December 31, 2020. Meyer was named CEO in April of 2013 after serving as interim CEO since the previous December. Under his watch, revenue has more than doubled to an expected $7.7 billion and the number of subscribers has grown to 34.3 million. SiriusXM says that current president of sales, marketing and operations Jennifer C. Witz will become CEO. Meyer will remain on the company’s board of directors and will serve as vice chairman. Board chair Gregory Maffei says, “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Jim for his outstanding service, helping to create the leader in audio entertainment in North America. During his tenure as CEO, SiriusXM has grown to become a diversified audio entertainment provider that is poised to reach more than 150 million people, the largest addressable digital audio audience in North America. We are a better company for his stewardship. We look forward to continuing to work with him on the board and to build on SiriusXM’s strong momentum.” At the same time, SiriusXM announces that David J. Frear will leave the EVP and chief financial officer position to pursue other opportunities and Sean S. Sullivan is appointed to that role. Sullivan has been serving in a similar capacity for AMC Networks since 2011.

Salem Radio Network News Presents September 29 Debate Coverage. When the first presidential debate takes place on Tuesday, September 29 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Salem Radio Network is presenting live coverage. SRN begins coverage with an hourlong “SRN Debate Preview” hosted by nationally syndicated SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt, joined by special guests and SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston. The debate itself runs with no commercial breaks from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm and will be followed by a “SRN Debate Wrap-Up” at 10:30 hosted by Hewitt. SRN VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup says, “Excitement in anticipation of this first 2020 debate has been building for months. With the polls tightening and no teleprompters on stage, our debate coverage promises to highlight the first gloves-off, no-holds-barred encounter between these two candidates for the highest office in America.”

Hurley in the Morning Charity Passes $1 Million Mark. With last Friday’s 13th Annual “Hurley in the Morning” Charity Golf Tournament at The Harbor Pines Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey in the books, the charity founded by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley pushes the charity’s total funds raised since its inception past the $1 million mark. Hurley says, “The latest installment generated more than $50,000, which has enabled the ‘Hurley in the Morning’ Charity to surpass $1 million raised in our history. We are so grateful for the amazing support that we have received over the years. It’s also very gratifying that we have proven that you can safely and responsibly hold an outdoor event during the pandemic. The annual charity event was modified to respect social distancing and was made as contactless as is humanly possible.”

The Presidential Race, Western Wildfires/Climate Change Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, PA Protests/BLM Movement, Facebook Whistleblower Memo, Iran Assassination Plot, and Hurricane Sally Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14). The November presidential election; the wildfires raging in California, Oregon, and Washington and the debate over climate change and its effect on the wildfires; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the protests in Lancaster, Pennsylvania after police kill a knife-wielding man; a Facebook whistleblower’s memo about the company’s challenges dealing with voter manipulation; President Trump warns Iran after rumors of its intent to assassinate an American ambassador; and Hurricane Sally’s projected path into the Gulf Coast were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Jim Richmond Named Director of Sales for Bonneville Seattle. Sales pro Jim Richmond is named director of sales for the Bonneville Seattle Media Group. Richmond was most recently general sales manager for Entercom San Francisco and assumes the role held by Cathy Cangiano prior to her promotion to SVP and market manager. She says, “I believe Jim Richmond’s experience, combined with his business acumen and strong leadership skills are well aligned to capitalize on opportunities that we have identified as integral to our success. In addition to his responsibilities leading the sales teams, he will be a key contributor to our Leadership Team and our constant efforts to align with Bonneville’s purpose.”

TALKERS News Notes. Broadcaster and journalist Rita Cosby is named the chair of the Global Service Institute at Long Island University.  In this role, Cosby will lead the Institute’s “game-changing and innovative educational initiatives to inspire a timely commitment toward volunteerism and elevate the importance and power of service. During this unprecedented moment with the economic devastation caused by the virus, the need for volunteers to assist drastically depleted nonprofit organizations has never been greater.” LIU president Dr. Kimberly R. Cline says, “The Global Service Institute established LIU as a premier destination for developing values-driven global citizens who will impact their communities. With her global experience exploring critical headlines and lifelong dedication to service, Rita Cosby is an exemplary leader who will elevate the Institute to even higher levels.”…..This week’s Westwood One blog examines a number of Nielsen case studies that indicate AM/FM radio ad campaigns lift TV viewership. The studies compare those who had been exposed to AM/FM radio ads for TV tune-in with people who had not heard the ads. The studies show that while on-network promos and paid TV buys reach heavy TV viewers, AM/FM radio TV tune-in campaigns reach medium and light TV viewers. In one case, the returning season of a scripted cable drama ran an AM/FM radio campaign that represented only 5% of the media plan but generated 20% of the total campaign impressions. 70% of the AM/FM radio impressions were from persons 18-54, while half of the paid TV and TV promo impressions were from persons 55+…..iHeartRadio and Treefort Media announce a new docuseries podcast titled, “DRAFTED,” that follows top college football players as they prepare to enter the NFL Draft. The program is produced in association with Klutch Sports Group and is narrated by Emmy-winning actor Keegan-Michael Key. He says, “I’m excited to be part of this series because it gives mega fans like myself intimate access and insight into the world of these incredible athletes. It’s really special to be able to hear everything they’re going through, and experience their nerves, excitement and tension leading up to one of the biggest events of their lives. I look forward to every moment.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. An internal memo from Entercom chief operating officer Susan Larkin reveals the company’s “hub-and-spoke” programming philosophy for its alternative and country radio stations. As a reduction-in-force for air talent and programmers takes place, we learn that Entercom is creating national and regional program hosts for certain dayparts and is realigning its programming management. For country, Tim Roberts is named format captain/VP of country programming with John Foxx and Kevin Callahan serving as regional vice presidents. Marci Braun, Justin Cole, and Scott Roddy are named regional brand managers. On air, Katie Neal is the national midday host and “Rob and Holly” are national night hosts. In the alternative format, Mike Kaplan is format captain/SVP of alternative programming with Matt Malone, Christine Malovetz, and Leslie Scott serving as regional vice presidents of programming. Regional brand managers are Bailey and Bryce Segall. Kevan Kenney is the national night host and regional on-air personalities are: “Cane and Corey” for mornings, “Church of Lazlo” in afternoons, and morning shows “Dave and Mahoney,” “Gregr,” and “Stryker and Klein.”…..Country radio personality Shawn Parr begins hosting the Camping World Concert Series “Taking the Highways Across America” tonight, featuring the legendary country group Alabama. Parr hosts the Key Networkssyndicated “Shawn Parr’s Across the Country” program. He’ll host the 10-week virtual concert series that will feature such country acts as Martina McBride, Chris Young, Ricky Skaggs and Steven Curtis Chapman, Sugarland, Zac Brown Band, Lady A, Brett Young, Little Big Town, and Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Parr says, “I am SO excited to team up with Camping World and host their virtual concert series, ‘Taking the Highways Across America!’ We are having a ball bringing it to all of our affiliates and fans ‘Across The Country!’ Plus, we are hitting the road for some NEW adventures in the Parr-V very soon.”…..Beasley Media Group announces that Charlie Maxx is promoted to production director and assistant program director at country WXTU-FM, Philadelphia. She also hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show. Program director Mark Razz says, “Charlie has a depth of experience that will be so helpful in her expanded role her at 92.5XTU. I look forward to putting our heads together to move the station forward.” In addition, WXTU promotes Jennifer “JJ” Scordo to production staffer and weekend personality.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

| August 12, 2020

Sumner Redstone Has Died. According to a statement from ViacomCBS, its chair emeritus and chief executive officer of controlling shareholder National Amusements, Sumner Redstone, has died. Redstone served as Viacom CEO from 1996 – 2005, and was executive chair of the Viacom and CBS boards from 2005 – 2016. He since was chair emeritus for both companies. A statement reads, “Sumner Redstone was a brilliant visionary, operator, and dealmaker, who single-handedly transformed a family-owned drive-in theater company into a global media portfolio. He was a force of nature and fierce competitor, who leaves behind a profound legacy in both business and philanthropy. ViacomCBS will remember Sumner for his unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity, and his complete dedication to the company. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Redstone family today.” Sumner Redstone was 97 years old.

Beasley Study: Boston Consumers Optimistic. Results of Beasley Media Group Boston-commissioned/ Strategic Solutions Research-conducted polling indicate the majority of Boston-area consumers remain optimistic even during the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, a large percentage feel their spending is – or will soon be – back to normal. Beasley Media Group Boston vice president/market manager Mary Menna comments, “The company’s study is meant to help guide marketing partners on how to craft the most effective messaging with their advertising and give Boston area businesses critical data as to local consumers’ current state-of-mind and planned future behaviors. It was important for us to conduct this research to get a pulse on Boston consumers for our clients. People in Boston are optimistic that we will make it through the pandemic. That optimism shows true ‘Boston Strong’ grit and determination. They also understand the seriousness of the situation: The great majority of listeners – nine of ten – support wearing a mask, and they expect others to do so as well.” Strategic Solutions Research partner Hal Rood notes that, while shopping patterns have had to shift online, “It does not spell the end of brick-and-mortar establishments. The overwhelming majority of listeners still plan on making in-person shopping part of their mix, and that includes people under 35.” The survey was conducted July 6 – 16 among 1,532 listeners of Beasley Media Group Boston’s five radio stations: sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”; classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 ’80s & More”; WKLB “Country 102.5”; WBOS “Boston’s Rock 92.9”; and rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.”

Local Ad Revenue Estimates Lowered. Continuing economic fallout owing to the coronavirus crisis has led BIA Advisory Services to adjust its estimate for 2020’s total local advertising market to $140.4 billion, which is down from April’s $144.3 billion. Albeit with this year’s anticipated strong political advertising, BIA’s updated forecast estimate represents a 6.1% decline from 2019. BIA’s senior vice president/chief economist Mark Fratrik explains that, “To update our post-COVID forecast from April, we analyzed the continuing impact on local advertising by the weakened economy, continuing job loss reports, and the downturn in some key business verticals. We believe a realistic view of the economy overall and the advertising marketplace is that, after a dramatic decrease in the second-quarter and a bumpy start to the third, the remainder of the year will turn positive, but end up with an overall decline in local advertising for the year.” As political campaigns continue to drift to online rallies and events, presidential and down-ballot candidates are spending significant dollars in local broadcast and digital advertising. Ever since its April prediction, BIA increased the expected political ad spend from $7.1 billion to $7.3 billion. Distributed share to different media includes $5 million to terrestrial radio; $138 million to over-the-air TV; $40 million to cable TV; and $26 million to online/digital.

COVID-19 Concerns Cause BFA Golf Tourney Cancellation. Owing to coronavirus-related safety fears, the Broadcasters Foundation of America has scrubbed its celebrity golf tournament fundraiser. Another big BFA money driver – the Philip J. Lombardo Golf Tournament traditionally held in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas – was cancelled as well a few months ago. Broadcasters Foundation chair Scott Herman remarks, “Our colleagues who find themselves in acute need due to a debilitating illness or accident need our help. This year, we are helping more broadcasters than ever before, and it’s imperative that we continue to do so. We cannot turn our backs on our colleagues.” Broadcasters Foundation president Jim Thompson adds, “We have three major fundraisers a year, and the golf tournaments are two of them. Our grant recipients worked in radio or television stations in markets across America.” The two golf fundraisers, along with smaller events, generate over $450,000 a year. In hopes of negating the losses, the Broadcasters Foundation is launching a plea for donations. Personal contributions can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate offerings are accepted through the Angel Initiative, while bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.

Mr. Master Marks Milestone: Million Spots Per Week. The company behind Automation Import Manager (AIM) – Mr. Master – has processed and provided compliance for one million network spots per week nationwide. This coincides with Mr. Master announcing new AIM agreements with Neuhoff Communications (five markets/20 stations) and Forever Communications (three markets/26 stations). It has AIM renewal contracts with Entercom (44 markets/453 stations); Alpha Media (46 markets/226 stations); SummitMedia (nine markets/51 stations); and Forever Media (16 markets/63 stations). Mr. Master president Stu Jacobs states, “We are very proud that AIM has become such a widely accepted, and useful tool that helps networks, stations, and advertisers to quickly get the accurate information they need, whether they are working in-office or remotely. One million national network spots a week – 52 million spots a year – is a huge milestone for our company. We couldn’t have done it without our first-class team and the amazing clients who trust us with their accountability.”

Albuquerque’s KQTM Aligns With Cage Side Seat MMA Media. The multi-layered broadcast relationship between Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” and Cage Side Seat MMA Media includes weekly Jim “Gries” Grieshaber-hosted longform programming; daily UFC/MMA commentaries/features; and weekly guest appearances on live programming. KQTM president Joe O’Neill comments, “It’s great to work with Jim. He’s a national-level talent connected to the pulse of UFC/MMA. We look forward to bringing “Gries” to New Mexico.” Grieshaber adds, “We’re so pumped to partner with our friends at ‘The Team’ and the great MMA fans of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is hallowed ground in our sport. It is home of the mecca of MMA gyms Jackson-Wink MMA, the GOAT Jon Jones, and legends like Holly Holm, Carlos Condit, Diego Sanchez, ‘The Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson, and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. We’re coming strong with the best in MMA/UFC sports talk programming.”

Key Networks And Virtual Jock Partnering. In the barter basis arrangement, New Generation Radio product Virtual Jock will provide syndication company Key Networks access to its on-air talent and programming services. Virtual Jock founder/president/chief executive officer Jason Kidd explains that right before launching Virtual Jock five years ago, “Many stations were downsizing and losing strong local talent in the process. Fast forward to now and the need is greater than ever before. Teaming up with Key Networks will allow us to take things to an even higher level, expanding and offering our major market talent roster to radio stations across all formats. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.” Key Networks president and chief operating officer Jim Higgins comments, “The ongoing disruption from COVID-19 has severely impacted every radio company. All have eliminated some on-air positions and daypart shifts as cost-cutting moves in order to retain financial stability. Virtual Jock can now assist these groups and others by offering a no-cost barter option to fill some of these numerous holes and to also reconnect with those disenfranchised listeners. We want to work closely with stations to fill this void as radio is beginning to rebound.” Chief revenue officer Dennis Green notes, “Jason [Kidd] and his team have developed a concept that offers stations a chance to bring top-notch talent across all formats to markets from coast-to-coast. Key Networks is delighted to partner with Virtual Jock to provide a marketing opportunity that is cost-effective for stations both large and small to have dynamic and proven talent on their air.” In addition to 24/7 formats, Virtual Jock currently offers 40 full-time/in-house voice talents, as well as fully-produced audio programs and imaging. New York and Orlando-based Key Networks is a Sun & Fun Media-affiliated company.

Shondaland Audio, iHeartMedia Release Original Podcasts. As part of an arrangement between iHeartRadio and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland Audio, three podcasts will debut this month: “You Down?”; “Criminalia”; and “Go Ask Ali.” Future podcasts will include “#Matter,” “American Coup,” and “Black Girl Lost.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Shonda Rhimes is an absolute creative powerhouse. Developing these first few shows together has indicated what a strong partnership iHeartMedia and Shondaland have formed with Shondaland Audio. The breadth and depth of content that’s in progress as part of this partnership is unparalleled. We’re thrilled to work beside the Shondaland team to bring Shonda’s unique storytelling magic to podcast listeners everywhere.” Shondaland Audio chief design and digital media officer Sandie Bailey states, “Podcasts allow for innovative and intimate storytelling and that’s exactly what this slate offers – deeply human stories through a range of genres and formats aimed to engage the varied and ever- growing podcast listenership. iHeartMedia has been an incredible partner in forming Shondaland Audio. I’m thrilled that audiences will soon hear more from our collaboration with this new offering of shows.” Rhimes oversees development of the slate; Bailey manages day-to-day operations. Previously launched “Katie’s Crib,” a bi-weekly podcast following “Scandal” and “Waitress” actress Katie Lowes joined the slate three months ago. It releases a new episode tomorrow (Thursday, 8/13) that features actress Gabrielle Union.

Veritone One Signs On With Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Audio advertising and media agency Veritone One is now subscribing to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Service. Veritone One senior vice president of strategy and investment Conor Doyle comments, “As one of the largest podcast advertising agencies serving over 100 active clients across 15,000 podcasts, Nielsen’s research will help us refine our current placements and unlock market opportunities for new advertisers wanting to enter the medium. Access to consumption and audience data will attract brand advertisers who have been previously hesitant to enter the largely direct-to-consumer space. Integrating Nielsen’s unique insights along with our proprietary AI-based analytics and decades of experience will enable us to set a new industry standard in podcast advertising.” Nielsen Global Media executive vice president/managing director David Hohman notes, “Veritone One is an agency that is on the cutting-edge of advertising. We are excited to empower them as they turn their data into actionable intelligence with real-time campaign optimization. With more brand advertisers coming into the podcast medium, and Nielsen’s ability to analyze over 150 podcasts, Veritone One will be able to reach even greater success as an innovative industry leader.”

TALKERS News Notes. “Women To Watch” joins the lineup of Red Apple Media New York’s WABC “Talk Radio 77” this Saturday (8/15) at 8:30 am. It will commence as a 30-minute show, expanding to 60 minutes three weeks later (9/5) at a yet-to-be-determined time. The show’s founder/host Susan Rocco remarks, “I always wanted ‘Women to Watch’ to be the go-to media network for all stories related to women’s leadership and success. We are building a woman-owned, women-run media company to amplify the voices of women who are leading across all industries.” WABC’s senior vice president of programming Dave LaBrozzi notes his station, “is proud to support strong women by bringing this lively and inspiring weekly show to the NYC market.” The first guest featured on WABC will be The Weiss Agency executive vice president Heather Cohen, who comments, “‘Women To Watch’ is the place to go to hear inspiring stories by inspiring women. Susan [Rocco] is the consummate professional and her interviews are spot-on.  I’m honored to be the first guest in the NY market.” Rocco states, “Heather Cohen is an exciting first guest for our new market. She’s a New Yorker, has worked in the industry and was recently elected chair of The Alliance For Women in Media.” Originated and still heard on Entercom Philadelphia’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Women To Watch has expanded to a national podcast and digital platform … Separate from his duties as 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm host on Cox Media Group Atlanta news/talk WSB-AM & WSBB-FM, Erick Erickson today (Wednesday, 8/12) celebrates the one-year anniversary of doing self-syndication. His first affiliate was in Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Twelve months later, Erickson is on more than a dozen Georgia news/talk outlets. A one-man band, he does affiliate relations, and ad sales. Describing the experience as rewarding, Erickson explains, “Georgia’s swing state status makes a statewide program focused on the state a unique selling point. I try to be upfront, though, that I want to stretch outside the state after the election and keep growing nationwide.”  … As noted yesterday (TALKERS, 8/11), president Trump chatted on-air with Salem Media Networks host Hugh Hewitt. That wasn’t yesterday’s only radio stop for the chief executive though as he visited with Fox Sports Radio’s (6:00 am – 9:00 am, ET) “Outkick The Coverage” host Clay Travis. Regarding college football and the coronavirus, Trump told Travis, “People don’t realize it’s a tiny percentage of people that get sick and they’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with bad hearts, diabetes, some kind of a physical problem or a weight problem. These football players are very young, strong people. Physically, they’re in extraordinary shape, so they’re not going to have a problem. You’re not going to see people dying. You can’t have empty seats. I’m not sure college football can do it, but we’ll have to see.” On the return of the NFL and the NBA, he commented, “Well, they want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government. I would say this – if they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open. Other than that, I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible to get them open. They can protest in other ways. I don’t think they should protest our flag or our country. Basketball ratings are down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re going up for the shot. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in big trouble — bigger trouble than they understand.” … Taking the place of annual in-person tours that SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio” channel usually conducts, it will present 32 virtual NFL training camp shows – one for each NFL franchise. Starting today (Wednesday, 8/12), “NFL Radio” channel hosts will interview players, coaches, and team executives via video conferencing. SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen states, “Like all NFL fans, we look excitedly ahead to the 2020 NFL season. Even amid these very unique circumstances in which teams are reporting to camp, we remain dedicated to giving our listeners the most in-depth and comprehensive preseason preview of their favorite teams. Our experts include some of the most knowledgeable and well-connected people covering the game today. They will deliver a level of analysis on teams and players that you can’t get anywhere else.” …  Numerous lineup changes next Monday (8/17) at Disney-owned/Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk WMVP will find “ESPN 1000 Chicago” airing two hours (5:00 am – 7:00 am) of ESPN Radio’s new national morning show with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti. Shifting from 6:00 am – 9:00 am to 7:00 am – 10:00 am is David Kaplan. He will partner with Jonathan  Hood, who segues from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Meanwhile, Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic transition from 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm to 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, as ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg-hosted “Greeny” takes over the vacated 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm slot. Weekend hosts Chris Bleck and Adam Abdalla advance to 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, while Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman remain in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) … Citing pandemic-caused budget issues, Team Broadcasting Albuquerque sports talk KQTM “ESPN 101.7 The Team” parts ways with morning host Jim Villanucci and producer/host Sam Hauser. The station’s afternoon program – “Team Talk” – is being handled by a revolving set of hosts. Formerly an on-air talent at Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM, Villanucci joined KQTM two years ago. He previously worked at news/talk stations in Portland (KXL) and Las Vegas (KXNT). Before coming to “The Team” last year, Hauser served as sports director in Austin, Minnesota at KAUS and was a producer/board op in Miami at sports talk WAXY “790 The Ticket.”

Kamala Harris Receives VP Nod, Mail-In Voting Debate, School Opening Struggles, and Chicago Unrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/11).  The selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as Joe Biden’s running-mate topped the TALKERS list of most-discussed stories on news/talk radio across America yesterday (8/11).  It was followed by the debates over mail-in voting and the opening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other major topics included Chicago unrest, Russia’s vaccine, stimulus relief, and the cancellation of Big 10 and Pac-12 college football according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With Ryan Seacrest’s television partner Kelly Ripa taking yesterday (Tuesday, 8/10) and today (Wednesday, 8/11) off, his “Live With Kelly & Ryan” co-host those two days is Sisanie, his radio partner. The two work together  on Premiere Networks’ “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” heard around the country from iHeartMedia Los Angeles CHR flagship KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM.” Sisanie has filled in for Ripa several times the past few years … Last summer, Westwood One’s “Bob & Tom Show” asked David Rush, the world’s fastest juggler and breaker of over 150 Guinness World Records, to attempt shattering the record for most balloons popped in one minute using chopsticks. Rush established that mark in 2018 with 28 balloons, but that feat was subsequently broken. Rush set out to regain the title this past Sunday (8/9) – this time using hand pump-inflated, COVID-free balloon targets bearing “The Bob & Tom Show” logo. Halfway into the attempt, Rush recounts that he was “just barely on pace to beat the record,” but began throwing the chopsticks a little faster to pop 40 balloons in 60 seconds – a new world record. A big promoter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, Rush dedicates all his world records to that cause … WBVX “Classic Rock 92.1” names Dennis “Dead Air” Dillon program director/afternoon personality of the LM Communications Lexington (Kentucky) outlet. LM Communications owner/president Lynn Martin remarks, “We are pleased to welcome Dennis Dillon, who has a long history of presenting the very best classic rock music and now can present it to the best classic rock audience in Lexington. By introducing him to our locally-owned and operated radio group, we once again show that being a local voice rather than just a cog in a national wheel lets us provide something truly unique to the classic rock audience in Lexington. Dillon notes, “In a time when big corporations are moving away from local DJ’s in the community, I’m ecstatic to have found a home in the city I love with a locally-owned and operated company. I’ve always loved this genre and I’m already discovering that the ‘Classic Rock 92.1’ fans share that same passion.” Dillon previously worked in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Chattanooga … Former MusicMaster vice president of sales Jerry Butler joins Marc Radio Gainesville-Ocala as local sales manager for a cluster that includes alternative WHHZ “100.5 The Buzz”; country WPLL; rhythmic CHR WTGM “Magic 101.3”; classic hits-oldies WXJZ; and contemporary Christian WTMN & WRZN. Marc Radio general manager Dave Cobb comments, “Jerry brings the perfect mix of leadership, marketing, on-air personality, and programming savvy. He knows the radio industry inside and out. He is great at advising clients and introducing them to new products. He’s a great asset to our team.” Butler adds, “Our goal is to guide the local advertising community on how best to earn impressive returns on their investments in any, or all, of our radio station formats.” … After stunting by playing a weekend of all-Christmas music, Zimmer Midwest Communications Springfield, Missouri flips sports talk KWTO “The Jock” to adult contemporary “98.7 The Dove.” ZMC co-owner John Zimmer remarks, “It’s a great day for our company to enter the greater Springfield market with stations featuring the most powerful signals and largest coverage areas to serve the Ozark region. The greater Springfield region has been a great driver of growth in Missouri – we are proud to be of part of the expansion. We look forward to making a positive impact and difference for the community and businesses with our local solutions and stations to promote the economy of the Springfield region.” Kevin Howard and Liz Delany (“Kevin & Liz”) debut in morning drive next Monday (8/17). Core artists on “Lite Rock Favorites The Dove” include Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, and Sting.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

| August 6, 2020

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

Round Three of July PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM tacks on one-tenth to finish the July survey with a 6.5 share good for the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte dips one-tenth to a 5.9 share but rises one spot to the #3 rank. Despite losing a full share and finishing with a 5.5 share, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOAI, San Antonio remains ranked #2 in the market. In Pittsburgh, Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM adds three-tenths and wraps the survey with a 5.4 share good for the #4 rank. iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City jumps by half a share to claim the #5 rank with a 5.8 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

| July 27, 2020

Monday Memo: About Pottymouth. Yes, the rules are different for podcasters than for what’s acceptable on-air lingo. But consultant Holland Cooke warns podcasters, “Pick your lane and stay with it.” Read his column here.

Unemployment Benefits Ending/New Stimulus Deal, Back to School Debate, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, BLM Protests, Presidential Race, U.S.-China Tensions, MLB Season Begins, and the Deaths of Regis Philbin, Olivia de Havilland, and Peter Green Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Americans are bracing for the end of unemployment benefits that run out this week as the GOP and the White House work on a new stimulus package; the debate over if and how to send kids back to school in the fall; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the Black Lives Matter protests in several cities and the Trump administration’s use of federal forces; the November presidential election and current Trump approval polls; the diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China and allegations China is trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine data; Major League Baseball begins its shortened 2020 season; and the deaths of Regis Philbin, Olivia de Havilland, and Peter Green were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Location, Location, Location. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that the coronavirus pandemic has changed where people take part in certain activities and where they consume certain products. Similarly, radio salespeople must accept that in-car listening habits have changed and they must pitch accordingly. Read it here.

Two Stations Add Salem Radio Network Lineup. Two radio stations are adding the Salem Radio Network lineup of conservative talk shows to their program schedules. Idaho Wireless Corporation’s KSEI, Pocatello, Idaho flips from oldies to news/talk and Wilkins Radio Network changes KXKS-AM, Albuquerque from a religious format to news/talk, both airing the lineup of Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Dan Proft.  Both stations are also airing Townhall News at the top of the hour. Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce comments, “We have seen tremendous interest in the news/talk format, with this major breaking news cycle we are living through. These stations see this tremendous interest in breaking news and what to make of it, and they understand only one network is capable of giving them an entire lineup.”

iHeartMedia Los Angeles Partners with FanVestor for Charitable Sweepstakes. Through a partnership with fan engagement app FanVestor, iHeartMedia Los Angeles is raising money for local charities providing access to healthy meals for children and others affected by COVID-19 school closures and financial hardship. FanVestor is hosting a series of virtual in-app sweepstakes in which fans who download the free app and create an account become automatically entered to win a daily $1,000 cash prize and can also enter to win one virtual fan experience sweepstakes of their choice for free. Those virtual fan experiences include: A Private Virtual Q&A with professional baseball players Justin Turner or Max Muncy hosted by KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” personalities Petros and Money. The winner will also receive a team gift bag and jersey from one of the players and two of the original seats from Dodger Stadium; A Private Virtual Hang with The Jonas Brothers hosted by 104.3 MYFM’s on-air personality Valentine; A Private Virtual Hang with DJ Khaled, hosted by Big Boy from KRRL “REAL 92.3”; Co-Host for The Day on 102.7 KIIS FM’s “Top 9 at 9 Countdown” alongside on-air personality EJ, plus a private virtual hang and interview with artist, singer and dancer Jackson Wang; Private Virtual Brunch with Ryan Seacrest and the cast of 102.7 KIIS FM’s “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” show; and more. iHeartMedia division president Kevin LeGrett says, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles is excited to partner with the new FanVestor fan engagement app at a time when our listeners, the fans, are craving interaction with their favorite artists and trusted iHeartMedia personalities.”

‘10,000 Voices’ Campaign Underway at iHeartMedia Philadelphia. In collaboration with non-profit voter registration organization HeadCount, iHeartMedia Philadelphia launches the “10,000 Voices” campaign to encourage voter registration in Philadelpha, New Jersey, and Delaware. iHeartMedia Philadelphia says it will “combine its tremendous reach on air and digitally with HeadCount’s voter engagement tools along with support from the Philadelphia Commissioners Office in the 100 days leading up to voter registration deadlines in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. “10,000 Voices” will provide three paths for voter engagement: voter registration; a Me+3 Pledge, an initiative which will encourage listeners to bring three friends or family members to vote; and voting by mail. iHeartMedia Philadelphia director of news and community affairs Loraine Ballard Morrill says, “Increasing the number of people that vote in each election means better representation of everyone’s voice and a great way to actively participate in our democracy. This is our chance to vote on the issues important to us.”

TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio pro Simon Conway (left) is filling in for Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (right) on his Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk show today through Wednesday. That’s in addition to Conway doing his regular WHO, Des Moines-based morning show that’s also heard on iHeartMedia’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and WOC, Quad Cities. The Joe Pags Show will also air on WMT and WOC…..Magnum Communications closes on the acquisition of WFAW-AM and WSJY-FM, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and WKCH-FM, Whitewater, Wisconsin from NRG Media. KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers announce they have a new Spanish-language radio broadcast team for the 2020 season. Francisco Pinto will provide color commentary and Adrian Garcia Marquez will serve as the play-by-play announcer on Estrella Radio’s simulcast of regional Mexican KBUE-FM/KEBN-FM “Que Buena 105.5/94.3.” Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos says, “We are excited to reunite two of LA’s most recognizable and respected voices on our Spanish-language radio broadcast. Francisco and Adrian have great on-air chemistry, as witnessed by their multiple Emmy Awards calling Los Angeles Lakers games for Spectrum SportsNet Deportes. Both are consummate professionals with extensive sports broadcast experience not just in LA, but on the national and international stages as well. We cannot wait for their call to hit the airwaves this season and bring Chargers fans the action in a way that only Francisco and Adrian can.”…..Nationally syndicated talk host Dave Graveline announced via social media that he’s tested positive for COVID-19. He writes: “I am COVID positive and I ‘have a bad case of pneumonia.’ They are sending for the respiratory therapist STAT. And they will do everything they can before they need to consider… ventilator. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Not feeling well at all.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Broadcaster Urban One, Inc’s executive team expressed thanks on Friday to the Washington, D.C. City Council for the amendment that effectively eliminates a proposed advertising tax from the Fiscal 2021 budget.  The proposed 3% sales tax would have been added to TV, radio, print, and digital advertising purchases. Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins III says, “We have been partners with the residents of the District for over 40 years and consider ourselves part of the fiber of the city and the DMV.  This pandemic has devastated and disrupted all of our lives, and the advertising tax would have been like adding salt in the wound.”…..iHeartMedia announces it has signed Jubal Fresh to a deal to host “The Jubal Show” on CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” Previously paired with Brooke Fox for the syndicated “Brooke and Jubal” show based at Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle, Jubal exited the show earlier this year. He will be joined at KBKS by his wife, Alex Fresh, and additional hosts to be named at a later date. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Robert Dove says, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Jubal on his next endeavor and welcome him to iHeartMedia Seattle. Jubal’s ability to cultivate a diverse fan base across America, but most importantly, right here in Seattle, was just something we could not miss. I’m excited to welcome him and Alex to the team!”

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

| June 2, 2020

KFI, Los Angeles Front and Center in Coverage of Chaos. Los Angeles is another American city in which authorities are trying to quell civil unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. KFI, Los Angeles – which, on the strength of a 5.5 share in Nielsen’s April PPM survey, shot to #1 in the market – has been front and center in covering the story. Program director Robin Bertolucci tells TALKERS that KFI “was and will continue to be wall-to-wall on this story. KFI’s news team, led by Chris Little, was all over this, covering the protests and the ensuing chaos. One of our reporters, Kris Ankarlo, was so close to the action in the Fairfax district that his tires were slashed. In addition to covering it for KFI, we covered it with updates all weekend long for all of our iHeartMedia LA stations.” Bertolucci shared with TALKERS the content of a memo to all staffers sent Sunday. “I want to remind everyone that as this situation unfolds, we are in NEWS mode. This goes for all shows, news or talk. This is the time to tell people what’s happening and explain all the sides of the story. This is a dynamic situation and we need to cover it clearly, first and foremost. We should try to refrain from drawing grand conclusions, making pronouncements or adding to the overall tension and confusion. The tone is INFORMATION and CLARITY. There are many different factions at play in this story… business owners, antifa, police, looters, the national guard, and let’s not forget the original focus of this… the protest about race and police brutality that launched this moment in history. This has become something very different and awful, but we need to stop talking about this as if it’s an us/them situation. We are all part of the same community and we need to find a way to talk about what is going on. Let’s get the whole story and let’s talk to different members of our community. No, I’m not condoning any bit of this horror show but I am asking us not to simplify this, not to paint everyone with the same broad brush and to find the nuances and tell the stories.”

WSB, Atlanta’s Drew Anderssen: Proud of WSB and CMG News/Talkers. WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m very proud of the work that WSB and frankly all of our Cox Media Group news/talk stations have done in response to local market protests. In Atlanta specifically, our 95.5 WSB news center was staffed around the clock and we aired wall-to-wall coverage of the protests throughout the weekend. ‘The Show’ with Shelley Wynter and Malanikai, which features a predominantly black cast, were integrated into our news coverage and helped facilitate conversations about how we move forward each night as a community while protests continue. We added 22 hours of local programming this weekend focused on the impact of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement, featuring talk with prominent Atlanta leaders in government, civil rights, entertainment, and faith. We continue to monitor the developments of the historic protests happening across the country and are making real-time decisions on adjusting programming to meet the needs of our listeners and to serve our community.”

KPCC, Pasadena Reporter Shot with Rubber Bullet. As reported by LARadio.com, KPCC-FM, Pasadena reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was shot in the throat (at right) by a Long Beach police officer. LARadio.com notes that the law allows reporters access to protests in order for them to do their jobs and KPCC had “confirmed with officials from L.A. County and the cities of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica that journalists were among those exempt from the curfew.” Guzman-Lopez tweeted that he’d just finished interviewing a man with his iPhone when he saw a police officer take aim and shoot. He tweeted, “The rubber bullet hit stings like a mf, and is starting to hurt, talked to doctor friends, said if not having trouble breathing then ok. Going home.” He later tweeted that an ER doctor confirmed no damage to his windpipe.

New York Landmark Boarded Up. In New York City, WABC talk host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS he’s been “leading the Guardian Angels patrols at night to stop the looting in Soho and return in the morning to broadcast on WABC about what I just experienced hours before.” The photo above is a still from video Sliwa shot of the Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square – all boarded up. Sliwa adds, “The NYPD seems unable to address these safety issues.  So, the Guardian Angels have stepped in and are now patrolling these hot spot areas around the clock. It is uncertain how long the mayhem will last but we are in it for the long haul. We have been here since 1979 and we don’t intend on going anywhere.” You can see Sliwa’s eerie video of the Macy’s storefront here.

Rush Limbaugh and ‘The Breakfast Club’ Air Conversation About Race. In a first for the Premiere Networks personalities, conservative talk star Rush Limbaugh and “The Breakfast Club” hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God had a 30-minute conversation about race relations in America that aired on both of their programs. The point of contention between Limbaugh and the “Breakfast Club” cast was the issue of white privilege. During the conversation Limbaugh said he doesn’t believe in the concept of white privilege, calling it a “construct of today’s Democratic Party.” Charlamagne called Limbaugh “delusional” for his stance on the matter. You can hear the exchange here.

Dimes Media Launches ‘K-NEWS 98.5’ in San Luis Obispo. The San Luis Obispo market has a new news/talk station as Dimes Media unveils “K-NEWS 98.5 The Power of Information” on KWWV-HD2/K253BR. Dimes Media president and CEO Eric D. Fahnoe says, “‘K-NEWS 98.5’ now provides San Luis Obispo county residents with a voice and perspective they didn’t have before. We look forward to enhancing the diversity and dialogue regarding issues ranging from local to national which our resident’s face daily. The importance of hearing and considering other perspectives cannot be overstated during these current times. Our culture will best evolve and compromise through informed discussions and we look forward to ‘K-NEWS 98.5’ contribution to the conversation every day.” The station’s weekday lineup includes: “The Armstrong & Getty Show,” “The Glenn Beck Program,” “The Savage Nation with Michael Savage,” “The Andy Caldwell Show,” “The Larry Elder Show,” “The Dennis Prager Show,” “Red Eye Radio” and “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” Weekend programs include: “Handel on the Law,” “Free Talk Live,” “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” “Townhall Review,” “Meet the Press,” “Armed American,” and “The Christian Outlook.”

George Floyd Protests, Trump vs Governors/Military Threat, Trump Church Visit, Facebook ‘Walkout,’ COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, and Limbaugh-Breakfast Club Conversation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1). The ongoing violence and looting accompanying the protests over George Floyd’s death; President Trump calls U.S. governors “weak” for failure to stop protests and threatens the call in the U.S. military; Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in DC; Facebook employees stage a virtual “walkout” over Trump posts; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future cases; and the radio conversation between Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and the syndicator’s “Breakfast Club” hosts were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Salem Media Group Reports Q1 Revenue Down 3.7%. Reporting its financial data from the first quarter of 2020, Salem Media Group says total revenue was $58.3 million, down 3.7% from the same period in 2019. After reporting net income of $322,000 in Q1 of 2019, Salem reports a loss of $55.2 million this year. Breaking down the company by segment, net broadcast revenue decreased 2.0% to $45.2 million. Same Station net broadcast revenue increased 0.6% to $44.3 million. Digital had a tough quarter, dropping 11.1% to $9.1 million.  Speaking during Monday’s investor conference call about the company’s strategy for surviving the economic impact of COVID-19, CEO Ed Atsinger said, “First of all, we’ve reduced discretionary spending such as travel and entertainment, which of course has been easy so far. We’ve eliminated open positions, we’ve instituted a hiring freeze, we’ve made request for discounts or forbearance from vendors and landlords, and we laid off and furloughed about 10% of our employees. We have limited capital expenditures to emergency expenses only, we suspended the quarterly dividend, we suspended the 401(k) match, and we’ve taken advantage of the ability of deferred payroll taxes of approximately 3.6 million under the CARES Act, and we’ve reduced base salary for every employee with salary cuts ranging from between 5% and 10% depending upon the salary levels.” Company EVP and CFO Evan Masyr says the company will not be offering Q2 guidance but delivered some April data. “April revenue is down 24%. I’ll break that decline down in a little bit more detail. Broadcast revenue in total declined 24%; local spot advertising was down 49% and national spot advertising was down 38%; local programs were down 26% while national programs were down 2%; local digital revenue was up 30%; national digital revenue declined 11% and publishing revenue declined 45%; and in May, revenue was down just around 23%.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. You can read the whole conference call transcript here.

TALKERS News Notes. KXTV-TV, Sacramento reports that KHTK-AM, Sacramento sports talk host and Sacramento Kings play-by-play voice Grant Napear has been placed on leave by station owner Bonneville after a Twitter exchange with former King’s player Doug Christie in which Napear said, “all lives matter.” The Sacramento Kings issued a statement saying they are investigating the incident with broadcast partners KHTK and NBC Sports California…..This Thursday (6/4), Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the latest in a series of COVID-19-related Town Hall broadcasts. This edition is titled, “NJ Back to Business.” The station says, “Even as more New Jersey businesses are permitted to reopen, the road to economic recovery will be long. With unemployment at record levels and the state facing a multi-billion-dollar deficit due to lagging tax collections, critical decisions will be made in the months ahead that will determine how quickly businesses will recover, or if they will recover at all.” Vice president, senior political director and director of special projects Eric Scott leads the discussion with New Jersey State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. LARadio.com reports that Muerelo Media has let a number of staffers go from classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles. Frosty Stillwell – who had been on furlough from the Frosty, Heidi & Frank morning show – is let go permanently. Joining him are afternoon drive host Gary Moore, as well as Jim ‘JD’ Daniels, Steve Jones, Frazer Smith, and Greg Beharrell.…..On-air pro Matt Ryan – assistant brand manager and afternoon host at Townsquare Media’s hot AC WJLK, Asbury Park, New Jersey “94.3 The Point” is named host of “Pop Crush Nights.” He takes over for Lisa Paige. He’ll continue his role with WJLK.

Monday, March 23, 2020

| March 23, 2020

Monday Memo: Coronavirus Community.  “When normalcy is upended, it is human nature to take comfort hearing how others are faring” and consultant Holland Cooke reckons that “it’s less misery-loves-company than we’re-all-in-this-together.”  And in this week’s column, he cautions that, right now, stations are making a lasting impression.  Read it here.

The State of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Federal Stimulus Package Debate, Global Stock Selloff, Unemployment Rises/Recession Predictions, Summer Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The status of the coronavirus pandemic; the federal stimulus package being debated in congress; the global stock selloff is predicted to continue; the expectations of high unemployment figures to be reported and a recession is being predicted for the U.S.; and the possibility the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo will be postponed were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Warning, Speed Bumps Ahead. Radio sales pro and president of Lapcom Communications, Steve Lapa, writes in this new TALKERS column Pending Business about how to work in the sales environment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  Lapa has tips for planning and prioritizing for sales staffers dealing with limited in-person collaborations, online meetings, minimal studio and talent access, constant price fluctuations, and more.  Read it here.

WABC, New York Adds Bill O’Reilly ‘Morning Edition.’ Conservative commentator and talk show host Bill O’Reilly is joining the daily program lineup at Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York via his Key Networks-syndicated morning drive radio feature, “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.”  O’Reilly’s 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” launched in late April 2019 and between the two shows O’Reilly is heard on more than 200 stations.  O’Reilly says, “WABC is the station I listened to as a kid.  It is a legacy radio outlet and I hope I can add to the legacy with honest, no spin daily commentary.”  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “Key Networks is so proud to be associated with Bill O’Reilly and ‘The O’Reilly Update.’  The content has been superb and the tremendous response is a testament to Bill and the talent he brings to the airwaves, with a style unmatched in media.  We’re thrilled to welcome the great WABC New York, bringing our affiliate group to over 200 stations in 10 months.”

Salem and Hugh Hewitt Agree to Contract Extension. This new deal between Salem Radio Network and talk host Hugh Hewitt runs through December of 2028.  Hewitt has been a host on SRN since July of 2000.  In April of 2016, he moved from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET show on the network, to morning drive, taking over for Bill Bennett who had hosted the “Morning in America” show.  Salem says that Hewitt’s national footprint has grown to more than 450 affiliate stations and he’s also seen on a video simulcast on Townhall.com.  Hewitt appears regularly on NBC News programs, including “Meet the Press,” and is a regular contributor to the Washington Post.  Hewitt says, “I look forward to not only this fall’s presidential election but the next two presidential campaigns and all the news in between them as well.  The past 20 years have been two decades of upheaval and crisis, a sudden devastating attack on America, of war and terror and now a pandemic, of hard-fought elections and massive legislative and legal changes.  It’s been a privilege to cover these breaking news events for three hours a day with the extraordinary team and guest list we have assembled and rely upon.”  Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger states.  “Hugh has been a Salem stalwart since 2000.  He’s one of the most respected voices in American media today, and as Salem continues to grow our national and international footprint, Hugh’s program remains a flagship show for the news/talk format which Salem helped pioneer.”

Ratings Takeaways from Final Round of Nielsen’s February PPM SurveyTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from the fourth and final round of February PPM data from Nielsen Audio. Some positive weekly, 6+ AQH share movement among spoken-word stations includes: iHeartMedia’s WTKK-FM, Raleigh adding a half share to January’s 1.8 share hike to finish February with a 7.6 share and the #2 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis tacks four-tenths on during the February survey to land at an 8.0 share and the #2 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville piles another six-tenths onto its January share-and-a-half increase to finish the February survey with a 10.4 share and the #2 rank in the market.  See Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Beasley and Borrell to Present ‘Crisis Marketing for Local Business’ Seminars. This series of complimentary webinars from Beasley Media Group and Borrell Associations takes place tomorrow and Wednesday (3-24/25) as part of Beasley Media Group’s ongoing ‘We Are All in This Together Community of Caring Initiative.’  It consists of five, 30-minute webinars focused on crisis marketing for local businesses impacted by the current coronavirus situation.  Topics addressed will include: valuable tips for communicating with customers & non-customers, how to craft creative & appropriate marketing messages, and common concerns & opportunities faced by local businesses.  Beasley is making the session “open to any interested businesses, however, it is especially relevant for local companies located within Beasley Media Group markets.”  The webinar will be moderated by Beasley Media Group chief digital officer Todd Handy and vice president of digital sales Dan Frisbie.  Local marketing experts Gordon Borrell, Jim Brown, and Corey Elliott of Borrell Associates “will provide valuable guidance on how local businesses can not only survive but thrive and make a difference in times of crisis.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk WKNR, Cleveland “850 ESPN” program director Matt Fishman tells TALKERS that the station has created a new show to get fans ready for the only major sports event on the calendar – the NFL Draft – taking place on April 23.  Beginning tonight from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, WKNR is presenting “ESPN Cleveland’s Countdown to the Draft” hosted by Tony Grossi…..The South Bend cluster of Federated Media – including news/talk WTRC, Niles, Michigan “Michiana’s News Channel” – is launching “Operation: Restaurant Rescue.”  The stations have produced a digital menu of area restaurants that are offering carryout or delivery options and allows consumers to buy gift cards for some of the establishments…..Racing star Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, is resuming his SiriusXM show, “Happy Hours.”  The show airs Wednesday’s at 1:00 pm on the SiriusXMNASCAR Radio channel with Matt Yocum as co-host.  Harvick says, “Matt and I figured it would be good to get back on SiriusXM to talk to the fans and try to entertain folks during this downtime.  Even though we’re not racing, there’s still plenty to talk about, both the things involving our sport as we look ahead to the season, and also what’s happening in our daily lives away from the track.  I hope we can take your mind off other things and maybe make you laugh a little bit along the way.”

iHeartMedia Stations to Play National Anthem.  At 12:00 noon ET today, all iHeartMedia radio stations will play a version of the National Anthem.  The company says, “In these challenging times, we want to take a moment of solidarity to celebrate our collective strength as a nation and recognize the heroic efforts of so many workers on the frontline – including our doctors, nurses, health care professionals, caregivers, and other critical responders who are working night and day to get us through this. Today, iHeartMedia will honor the resilience of Americans by encouraging the masses to unite through the healing power of music as our 850+ radio stations and formats across the country air a version of the National Anthem.  We want to send our heartfelt thoughts, concern and support to any family who may need it as we face these tough times together as a country.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions announce that “The 55th ACM Awards” will take place on Wednesday, September 16 – in a city and venue yet to be announced – and will air on CBS TelevisionKeith Urban will serve as host and the lineup of performers will also be announced at a later date…..iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR, Orlando announces that its Earthday Birthday Number 27 Music Festival set for April 18 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds will be postponed to September 5 at the same venue…..In response to the coronavirus pandemic, iHeartMedia Charlotte is launching “Carolina Cares,” an initiative to help the local community by highlighting local organizations and services necessary during times of crisis.  Across all its stations’ websites, iHeartMedia Charlotte is promoting various local organizations offering services to individuals as well as businesses that are operating on limited hours and restaurants that are offering delivery, pickup or gift cards during this pandemic.  Local organizations highlighted will include Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, American Red Cross and Classroom Central, with more to be added on a need basis…..Entravision Communications announces “El Show del Mandril” – starring Ricardo Sanchez – is the new morning drive show on Regional Mexican KDLD, Santa Monica “Viva 103.1 FM.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

| March 17, 2020

Salem Radio Network to Present ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: An SRN News Special Report.’  Tomorrow (3/18) at 6:00 pm ET, Salem Radio Network is producing and broadcasting a live, one-hour special report on the COVID-19 pandemic on most SRN affiliated stations.  SRN says the program will feature the latest updates on what is unfolding with this major breaking news story and provide listeners with critical, hands-on information.  The program will be co-hosted by SRN talk hosts Dr. Sebastian Gorka and Hugh Hewitt and will originate live from the SRN News studios in Washington DC.  It will also be streamed on Facebook Live.  SRN senior vice president Phil Boyce says, “The country has been shaken by the fast-changing news events of this important story and SRN is uniquely qualified to carry out this task with a live, one-hour special report.  We’ll rely on the expert commentary of both Gorka and Hewitt, with SRN News coverage from Greg Clugston at the White House.”  SRN hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager will also participate in the program that will include reports from major SRN affiliate locations.  Stations wishing to carry this important live broadcast should contact their regional affiliate relations manager at the Salem Radio Network – East: Jim Bligh 212-419-4663; Central: Kelli DeShan 972-707-6882; and West: Jim Watkins 239-470-9297.

Armstrong & Getty Make Show Available to Stations in Need. KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based, syndicated news/talk program Armstrong & Getty – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces it is willing to assist radio stations trying to get through the COVID-19 crisis.  Effective immediately, the program is available to any station in need of a replacement show (as long as the program doesn’t already have an affiliate in that market).  The show airs live from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and stations do not need an affiliation agreement.  Interested stations can contact Craig Whetstine at Armstrong & Getty Media at 503-975-6153.

ABC Audio Offers COVID-19 Digital Text Feed to Stations. As a public service, ABC Audio is offering a COVID-19 digital text feed to interested radio stations.  The company says that regardless of a station’s current affiliation with ABC Audio or ABC News Radio, it can utilize the new RSS feed to auto-populate their websites and apps with stories related to COVID-19 without a fee.  ABC’s feed will feature a selection of important news stories, including the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak and updates from health authorities and medical providers, as well as entertainment stories about the impact COVID-19 has on the industry.  ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Deshishku says, “In these uncertain times ABC Audio is trying to help all radio stations keep their listeners informed.  As more station staff members work remotely, we want to offer ready-made material for as many platforms as possible.  This new digital feed and social media content will enable stations to concentrate on their audio operations secure in the knowledge that their listeners and readers are up to date with the latest COVID-19 information.”  Interested stations should email Christopher.Venice@abc.com or Mary.E.McCarthy@abc.com.

Beasley Initiates ‘Operation Gift Card: New England.’  In an effort to assist local businesses affected by the mandatory shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, Beasley Media Group’s Boston-based radio cluster is unveiling Operation Gift Card: New England.  As part of the company’s “We Are All in This Together” campaign, the stations are inviting area restaurants, free of charge, to submit links to feature their gift card pages on all Beasley Media Group Boston websites. The sites currently receive over two million page views and have 750,000 unique users on an average monthly basis.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna comments, “With local restaurants and small businesses experiencing a number of restrictions, including restaurants moving towards a take-out/delivery only model, we wanted to show our support during these challenging times.  Our company is committed to being there for those in need. We are all in this together!”

Westwood One: Who’s Listening to What at Home? Working from home is becoming required for more Americans as the nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.  This week, the Westwood One blog looks as data about listening to the radio from home, mostly via smart speakers.  Based on recent Edison Research “Share of Ear” data from the third quarter of 2019, 24% of listening (persons 13+) is to AM/FM radio.  That tops streaming services, satellite radio and podcasts by a substantial margin.  As people work more from home, additional data will be available in the future.  According to Triton Digital, over the past week, online shares for public radio and commercial news/talk radio have grown.  See the blog here.

Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Application Window Open. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces that the application window for its MIW Group 2020 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is officially open.  This is the 19th year in which this notable experience pairs women working in radio with female professionals who are recognized leaders from all aspects of the broadcasting industry.  Four candidates will be selected for the 2020 program. Women with a minimum of five years of radio experience, and currently working in sales, marketing, programming, digital and/or engineering, are encouraged to review mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply.  See the mentee application here. The deadline to apply is April 6, 2020.  Lindsay Adams is a former mentee, is currently VP of national agency partnerships with Entercom, and serves as the mentoring committee chair for the MIW.  She says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for ambitious, experienced women in the industry to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and grow their professional network.  This program truly does propel the careers of women forward in our industry.  It is rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

Coronavirus Changes American Life, Financial Markets Battered/Recession Looms, and Biden vs Sanders/Ohio Postpones Primary Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/16). The restrictions in place in most parts of America to prevent the spread of COVID-19; the world’s financial markets take another big hit on Monday and experts say the conditions are ripe for a global recession; and the Democratic presidential primary race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders plus Ohio’s postponement of its primary election were some of the top aspects of the coronavirus pandemic story discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 14, 2019

| October 14, 2019

Monday Memo: Their Voice, Their Words.  Competing with less-cluttered digital audio options, AM/FM radio needs to obsess on commercial Quality Control.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke details a technique that’s landing accounts and producing results.  Read it here.

Impeachment Inquiry, Ukraine Controversy, U.S.-Syria Policy/Turkish Assault, 2020 Presidential Election, Shepard Smith Leaves FOX News, Fort Worth Cop Kills Black Woman, and U.S.-China Relations/Hong Kong Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the controversy over Trump’s call with Volodymyr Zelensky and the Bidens’ activities in the region’s oil industry, as well as the arrests of associates of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani; the Trump Administration’s policy in Northeastern Syria and Turkey’s assault on the Kurdish region; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the surprise exit of FOX News Channel news anchor Shepard Smith from the news organization; the slaying of a black woman shot through the window of her home by a Fort Worth police officer, and U.S.-China relations and the ongoing Hong Kong protests were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Kamla Exits KILT-AM, Houston for Expanded Role at SiriusXM. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that KILT-AM, Houston sports talk personality Rick Kamla is leaving the station to take on added duties at SiriusXM, where he’s been hosting a fantasy sports program.  SiriusXM is broadening Kamla’s duties to include work on its NBA Radio channel.  Kamla had only been with KILT-AM for a little more than two months after having served with Entercom’s Atlanta sports talker WZGC “92.9 FM The Game.”  He was partnered on KILT with Clint Stoerner in afternoon drive.  Kamla was part of KILT’s July host re-alignment that included the non-renewal of Rich Lord’s contract and his former PM drive partner Sean Pendergast’s move to AM drive alongside Seth Payne.

Salem Radio Network Announces 2020 Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debate Broadcasts. In cooperation with the Commission on Presidential Debates, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 news services SRN News and TOWNHALL News will provide live broadcast coverage of the 2020 Presidential and Vice Presidential debates scheduled for next fall.  SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide analysis and SRN talk hosts, including Hugh HewittMike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, and Larry Elder, will offer opinions and analysis.  So far, four debates have been scheduled: Presidential Debates on September 9 at the University of Notre Dame; October 15 at the University of Michigan; and October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville; plus, one Vice Presidential debate will on October 7 at the University of Utah.

Goldstein Promoted at Hubbard Radio. Digital sales pro Steve Goldstein is promoted from senior director, digital sales strategy, to his new position, SVP digital sales strategy and general manager 2060 Digital for the company.  Hubbard Radio EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler says that Goldstein was most recently splitting duties between Hubbard Radio Washington DC and a corporate role developing digital sales strategies in all of the Hubbard Radio markets.  Now, Goldstein will focus exclusively on the corporate role of growing digital sales with station-owned digital assets and 2060 Digital in all Hubbard Radio markets.  The company says, “During the past five years 2060 Digital has become an important revenue growth strategy for Hubbard Radio, both in Hubbard radio markets, and recently in non-radio markets with the introduction of 2060 Digital’s Shift division in Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Nashville and Birmingham.  Goldstein says, “I am honored and excited to take the helm of a business that I am so passionate about.  Hubbard’s overall digital platforms and 2060 Digital have already seen tremendous success.  To lead and grow a team that has provided proven results for our clients and our company is thrilling and humbling.  I am looking forward to partnering with 2060 Digital ops head Andy Shepherd, his talented team, and our Hubbard Radio market leaders and sellers, all of whom are making a difference for our clients.”  As a result of this move, 2060 Digital president James Bryant will focus on growing 2060 Digital’s Shift division in expanding markets.

Hugh Hewitt Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legal scholar, journalist, and Salem Radio Network syndicated TALKERS Heavy Hundred talk radio star Hugh Hewitt guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In addition to being one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America and a prolific best-selling author, Hewitt is a professor of constitutional law at Chapman University Law School in California. Harrison and Hewitt engage in an in-depth conversation about the 2020 presidential election, the Ukraine/impeachment issue, US-China relations, the US Constitution, and the complex legacy and personality of Richard Nixon.  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 of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” Video Available on TALKERS TV.  The video of the recent panel discussion, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” that took place in New York City on October 1, is now available for viewing on TALKERS TV.  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  See the video of the event here.

EPOCH TIMES to Meet Heightened Talk Media Interest in US-China Relations by Granting Free Access to TALKERS Readers.  The Epoch Times – founded in 2000 by Chinese Americans seeking freedom from the Communist regime and one of the most reliable sources in the world for information about China – has responded to heightened interest in US-China relations by making its website free to TALKERS readers.  To sign up for this free courtesy service to talk show hosts and their producers, please click here.

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on hot AC.  Just 40% of hot AC stations on our panel were up – weekly, 6+ AQH share – from the August to September surveys, led by Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN, Salt Lake City (+1.0).  Comparing year-over-year, just as many hot AC stations were up as were down.  Gainers from September 2018 to September 2019 include: Alpha Media’s KEZR, San Jose (+2.4), Cox Media Group’s KSMG, San Antonio (+1.8), and Entercom’s WOMX, Orlando (+1.5).  Two hot AC stations ranked #1 in their markets in September – Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-FM, Minneapolis and WRMF, West Palm Beach.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

WAY-FM Reports ‘Explosive’ Digital Growth. Christian broadcaster WAY-FM reports it has experienced explosive digital growth in 2019 with the launch of the new WAYNATION.COM website and Podcast Network, and an aggressive shift towards digital content ministry.  WAY-FM operates more than 20 Christian music radio stations around the nation in markets like Nashville, Dallas, Portland, and Denver.  Parent company WAY Media announces that, in the first six months of 2019, its total digital audience surpassed 750,000 persons and the WAY Nation Podcast Network has earned nearly 3 million downloads in the past 12 months.  It adds that these numbers nearly equal the size of WAY-FM’s total radio listenership.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Allentown market, Cumulus Media’s country WCTO “CAT Country 96” the new “CAT Morning Crew with Sam and Hannah” – hosted by Sam Malone and Hannah Byrom.  Byrom joins Cumulus Allentown-Bethlehem from Entercom New York’s WNSH-FM “Country 94.7” where she was weekend personality.  Prior to that, she was morning show co-host for Beasley Media Group’s WKLB, Boston “Country 102.5.”  At the same time, the station is adding WWYY-FM, Belvidere, New Jersery as a simulcast of WCTO.  The station had been alternative as “Spin Radio” in a simulcast with translator W234AX, Allentown at 94.7 FM.  Cumulus Allentown-Bethlehem OM Jerry Padden says, “This is a very exciting day for all of us!  Though Hannah has worked on some great stations across the country, she is a Jersey girl.  Sam was born and bred here in the Lehigh Valley, so doing mornings in their hometowns is a dream come true for both Sam and Hannah.”…..Cumulus Media debuts adult contemporary KQFC, Boise “Magic 97.9.”  The signal flips from country and Cumulus brings Lisa Adams aboard as program director.   It’s a return to Boise for Adams, who previously served as OM/PD for Townsquare Media’s Boise stations.  Most recently, she’s been program director for Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle.  The “Magic 97.9” air personality lineup so far features Adams in Mornings, Bret Connors in afternoons and Mike Kasper as morning news anchor.  News in the morning, with more announcements to follow.  Adams says, “I’m incredibly excited and blessed to start my new radio chapter back in a town I love and missed so much!”…..Cox Media Group adds Caitlin “CJ” Johnson as afternoon drive personality at country KKBQ, Houston, effective November 11.  She takes over for Cactus Jack, who retired in August.  Johnson was most recently afternoon drive host at CMG’s CHR WAPE-FM, Jacksonville…..Entercom announces the continued expansion of the RADIO.COM original station CHANNEL Q.  The company says, “To celebrate its one-year anniversary and National Coming Out Day, the premiere LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network will be available in a total of 32 markets nationwide, including four new markets in Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland and St. Louis.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

| October 8, 2019

Mike Thomas Exits Boston’s ‘Sports Hub’ for WMVP, Chicago Market Manager Role. This move means a program director role at one of the top-performing sports talk radio stations in America is open.  Beasley Media Group announces that it is “looking for the Bill Belichick of sports radio” as it seeks a PD for WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Mike Thomas, who also serves as Beasley Media Group’s national spoken word and podcast brand manager, announces he’s leaving Boston to accept a new position in Chicago – market manager for Good Karma-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” – in order to be closer to his family and fulfill a career goal of becoming a market manager.   Beasley says he will continue to remain as a consultant to the station and actively participate in the search process.  Thomas says, “This was an incredibly difficult decision.  This radio station is a once-in-a-career station, with a once-in-a-career staff.  I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack, and Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with!  I also want to thank every single ‘Sports Hub’ employee for 10 years of winning!  I know our relationships won’t end here.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade and wish him continued success in his next chapter.  They’re big shoes to fill and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”

Ex-FOX News Radio Personality Todd Starnes Launches Syndicated Commentary.  Former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes – who exited the company last week – announces he’s unveiling a syndicated commentary that “more than 750 radio stations have signed on to carry.”  The “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” short-form program is produced by his Starnes Media Group and syndicated by Hamilton Strategies.  Additionally, a three-hour, caller-driven radio talk show will debut on November 4.  Starnes says that program will feature major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He says, “I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.  We are also deeply committed to super-serving our radio affiliates with first class service.”  The commentaries are broadcasting on Bott Radio Network, American Family Radio, CSN Network, and a number of commercial radio stations.  For information about broadcasting Starnes’ commentaries or his talk show, contact Deborah Hamilton at Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Tammy O’Dell Assumes VP/Market Manager Role at Cumulus Columbia. Sales and management pro Tammy O’Dell is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina cluster.  This is a return to Cumulus after serving most recently as local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Cary, North Carolina.  She was formerly Cumulus’ VP/MM in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Columbia cluster includes sports talk duo WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” and WISW-AM “1320 The Fan” and three music brands.    Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker says, “We are excited to welcome Tammy back to the Cumulus family in Columbia.  Her passion for the Carolina region and her success in building a winning sales culture make her a great addition to the team in Columbia.”

SiriusXM Woos Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade. Marketing pro Denise Karkos is joining SiriusXM as the new chief marketing officer, a position in which she’ll be responsible for brand and digital marketing of both the SiriusXM and Pandora brands and helping support and drive the growth of SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners.   Karkos was most recently CMO at TD Ameritrade where she was named 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age.  SiriusXM president, sales, marketing and operations Jennifer Witz says, “Denise is exceptionally innovative and forward thinking and we are very pleased and excited that she will be leading our marketing efforts as we continue to grow the SiriusXM and Pandora brands.  She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social, and mobile marketing.”

FOX Sports Radio Reports Digital Audience Gains. Citing data from August and September of this year, FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – is announcing audience growth “across several digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming and www.FOXSportsRadio.com.”  FOX Sports Radio says it set a new record for total monthly podcast listens in September, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.  It also notes total podcast listens have grown nearly 60% since January.  FSR says it experienced its third-highest streaming audience in the history of the network with the streaming numbers growing 8% from August of 2018 to August 2019 and a 25% increase over August 2017.

Cumulus CEO Mary Berner to Receive Gracies Leadership Award. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner with a 2019 Gracies Leadership Award.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are presented annually to women executives who have made a significant impact on the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening other female leaders.  The award will be presented to Berner and five other female media executives at the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, November 21, 2019.  AFWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to showcase female executives for their extraordinary accomplishments and deep contributions across the media landscape.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are one way AWM recognizes and connects women who serve in all areas of the media and entertainment industry.  By honoring these outstanding women, including Mary Berner, we are empowering all women, at every level, to take that next step in elevating their careers and their contributions.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Denver, Bonneville brings former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus aboard as co-host of “The Drive” on sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  Polumbus joins hosts Darren “DMac” McKee and Nick Ferguson on the afternoon drive show.  He takes over for Tom Nalen who exits the station for personal reasons…..A “Free Talk Live” co-host is making news as he takes on two other candidates for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire.  But there’s more to the story.  In August, Rich Paul filed in New Hampshire probate court to change his name to Nobody.  Today’s ballot gives voters three choices for mayor: Mitchell “Mitch” Greenwald, George S. Hansel, and Nobody.  “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman tells TALKERS magazine Nobody’s mayoral campaign is just the beginning.  He’s already announced his 2020 campaign to take on New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and is even considering a presidential run in a few more years.  Check out his campaign website: ElectNobody.com…..Edison Research is making three of its presentations originally delivered at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas available to the industry at its website. Available for your perusal are: “The Top 10 Findings from Edison Research in 2019 (so far)”; “The Secret to Longer TSL”; and “What Does it Mean for Radio to Be Local.” Check them out here…..In Northern Michigan, an application is filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of eight stations from Sovereign Communications, LLC to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC.  The stations are: news/talk WMIQ-AM, classic rock WIMK-FM, and hot AC WZNL-FM in the Iron Mountain/Escanaba area and news/talk WDMJ-AM and WIAN-AM, country WJPD-FM, classic rock WUPK-FM, and oldies WNGE-FM in the Marquette area.  Sovereign Communications is headed by Bill Gleich.  AMC Partners Escanaba is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Terry Shockley and Chris BernierKALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The University of San Francisco and Cumulus Media San Francisco announce a multi-year agreement for KTCT-AM “KNBR 1050 The Sports Leader” to serve as flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball games.  Pat Olson will serve as play-by-play voice for broadcasts of the USF Dons games.

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film 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. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM.  Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco.  Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area.  It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14.  Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!”  Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible.  We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it.  Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.”  Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm.  His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”

Friday, October 4, 2019

| October 4, 2019

Latest Development in Seth Dunlap Case: NOLA Cops Get Warrant for His Cell Phone. According to a report in the Times-Picayune, the police in New Orleans obtained a warrant for information from the cell phone of WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap, with the intent of determining if the gay slur directed at Dunlap from the Entercom station’s Twitter account was actually sent by Dunlap himself, as the station’s internal investigation concluded.  Dunlap’s attorney – Megan Kiefer – is saying that the station turned the matter over to police only after negotiations to settle Dunlap’s complaints about a homophobic workplace atmosphere broke down.  Entercom got the police involved after Dunlap sought a settlement of $1.85 million – something the company is alleging amounts to extortion.  Adding to the intrigue are previous reports that Entercom is aware of Dunlap’s financial troubles because of letters it had received in recent months concerning wage garnishment.  Those reports also alleged Dunlap has unpaid credit card bills and personal loans haunting him.  Prior to the Twitter incident, Dunlap posted a Facebook message in which he described his difficulties working in sports media as a gay man.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Frenemies at Home and Abroad!”, looks back at this past news-rich week of September 30 – October 4, 2019.  Partially recorded at this week’s “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in New York City, the show features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine;  Christopher Nixon Cox (noted attorney, businessman and grandson of Richard Nixon); Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch TimesTom Sullivan, host, Talk Media NetworkHugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor, WABC, New York; and Judith Regan, publisher, Regan Arts. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, California; and KBKW, Aberdeen, Washington as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts and the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Skyview Networks’ Upfront Event Showcases 2020 Audio Platforms. This week, the Skyview Networks’ Experience Momentum 2020 Upfront took place at The Onyx Room in New York City.  Skyview says that with audio as the backdrop, the event “featured some of the biggest names in media sharing how ‘access’ and ‘storytelling’ have deepened their connection and delivery to audiences across 5,700 plus affiliates.”  Skyview EVP and general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo hosted the event and took Madison Avenue executives through new branded audio integrations for news, influencer, long-form, short-form, sports, and music platforms.  Skyview founder and CEO Ken Thiele comments, “I’m extremely proud of Jeanne-Marie, our entire sales organization, and all of our network partners that demonstrated their unique and powerful capabilities today.  The turnout from our longtime buyers and clients speaks volumes to the importance of this event and I am thrilled to showcase our growing momentum in the industry.”  Pictured above at the upfront are (from l-r): ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Deshishku, and GMA’s Ginger Zee.

TALKERS News Notes. Jackson, Mississippi talk radio host James Tulp is entering politics.  He’s announced he’ll challenge U.S. Rep. Michael Guest in the Republican primary in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.  Tulp hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on SSR Communications’ news/talk WYAB-FM, Jackson…..ESPN is providing cross-platform coverage of the 2019 Major League Baseball Postseason.  For the 22nd consecutive season, ESPN Radio will broadcast every game.  Audio from ESPN Radio broadcasts can be heard on the ESPN App, ESPNRadio.com and Sirius XM…..ABC Audio announces “The HeirPod” podcast by ABC News Royal contributor Omid Scobie.  The podcast takes listeners behind palace walls and dives deep into the latest stories from the House of Windsor with insider interviews and special guests.  Scobie is a London-based journalist who regularly appears on “Good Morning America” and is Harper Bazaar’s Royal editor-at-large.

KMOX, St. Louis Reporter Brett Blume Dies at 55. Co-workers at Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis are mourning the death of reporter Brett Blume, who passed away Thursday (10/3) after dealing with significant health challenges since February of this year.  Blume was a St. Louis-area native who worked as a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio outlet KWMU prior to joining KMOX in 2002.  He is survived by his wife, Kathy and 21-year-old son, Devin.

Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 30 – October 4.  The controversy over President Trump’s request Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China and the Hong Kong protests.  Coming in at #3 was the North Korea Missile test, followed by economic jitters and the stock market at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” in NYC; Video Posted for On Demand Viewing.  A powerful panel discussion titled, “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations,” took place in New York City yesterday morning (10/1) that was described by one of its media industry attendees as “a 90-minute PhD on the subject.”  The information-packed co-presentation of TALKERS and The Epoch Times included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States that included Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as moderator.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  According to Harrison, “We produced this event to serve as a serious informational workshop for talk media hosts to absorb the basics of a topic that will be of enormous importance in world events over the coming years.”  Harrison adds, “Based on the response we have received to its live streaming and subsequent on-demand rebroadcasts on NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) and Talkers.com, we seem to have succeeded in achieving that goal.  The panelists were magnificent.” See the video of  event here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Phoenix market, programming pro Sara Jean is named assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary KESZ “99.9 KEZ” and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  In addition, she’s the new late afternoon host for KESZ.  In her new role, Sara Jean will oversee the day-to-day operations of both stations’ music, on-air personalities, programming, promotions, and digital operations.  KESZ and KYOT program director Paul Kelley states, “I’m excited to mentor Sara Jean as she continues to grow in the industry, but I’m just as excited to learn from her.  Sara has a contagious energy and a unique perspective that will elevate each station.”…..Cumulus Media appoints Chris Matthews program director and morning show host for country KIZN, Boise “Kissin 92.3.”  Matthews will work on air with current morning personality Alana Lynn as the station’s new morning show team.  Matthews was most recently program director and afternoon drive host for iHeartMedia’s KBEB-FM, Sacramento.  Cumulus Boise RVP and market manager Don Morin says, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Chris lead the KIZN team.  His energy and desire to win is infectious.  I have no doubt that Chris and Alana will dominate mornings in Boise!”…..iHeartMedia Orlando’s urban contemporary “104.5 The BEAT” – W283AN/WTKS-HD2 – announces the date and lineup for its BEAT Music Fest.  The November 23 event takes place at the Lott in Downtown Orlando and will feature performances from: DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion, Rotimi, and Trap Beckham, with more to be announced.

September 2019 PPM Data – The third round of September 2019 ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 PPM markets, including: Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.   Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from nine PPM markets below.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Six straight negative or neutral sweeps by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) led to a -1.7 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), but “News Talk 760” is a combined +.3 in August/September (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.3, #19 to #18, 6+).

An overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM (Tigers) applies the brakes with a September increase of four-tenths to 4.3 (6+); “97.1 The Ticket” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10).

Significant ups/downs continue for co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950,” which was #1 in March; a combined -1.4 in June/July (6.2 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+); a whopping +1.1 in August; but -.5 in September (5.9 – 5.4, second to fifth, 6+).

A half-share increase to 2.1 (#20 to #19, 6+) by Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM ends its (repetitive) April 2019 through August 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.6 (6+). It had been nearly two years since WUOM last reached the two-share level (November 2017, 2.1, as well, 6+). Wayne State University news/talk WDET adds one-tenth to August’s +.2 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and remains at #21.

Detroit Music Formats – After being -1.0 owing to four straight survey periods without an increase (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJLB “97.9 – Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” is now a combined +.5 in August/September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.6, #14 to #13, 6+). Improving by two-tenths (6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” is #1 the third month in a row. Its June/July +.8 (6.4 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+) followed three successive down or flat months that accounted for a -1.4 (7.8 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+). In March, WCSX eroded by -1.3 to shift from first to second. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC, which was a combined +1.3 in July/August (3.9 – 4.1 – 5.2, 6+), drops one-tenth to 5.1 (6+). Even so, “105.1 The Bounce” advances from seventh to a three-way tie at sixth. In August, WMGC reached the five-share level the first time since February 2017 (5.2, as well). The 1.6 (6+) August advantage iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” held over Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” widens to two full shares. The reason: WNIC gains three-tenths (5.6 – 5.9, fifth to second), while WDZH drops one-tenth and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). WNIC lost six-tenths in August (6.2 – 5.6, 6+). After its 6+ AQH share eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) in four successive negative trends (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), WNIC answered with a May increase of four-tenths. Its “Holiday” 2018 17.9 is the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. On top in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share via four straight increases (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+). Meanwhile, “The Breeze” is an overall -.9 in three straight declines (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). CHR WDZH “Amp Radio” became adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). In eight successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+), WDZH more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share. Off a collective seven-tenths in three straight down or flat reports (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), cluster-mate WYCD “99.5 Detroit Country Music” repeats at #9. Its format rival, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM,” is +1.3 through seven consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to #16. This (2.9) is its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 3.0. Shortly after a 3.4 (6+) March debut, iHeartMedia classic rock WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” is down a collective eight-tenths in three straight decreases (4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, #11 to #14, 6+). A loss of six-tenths (5.7 – 5.1, 6+) sends co-owned CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” from fourth to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.1) since 4.4 in “Holiday” 2018. Beasley Broadcast Group’s newly-acquired urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” falters by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, #14 to #15, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.0 in three consecutive positive or neutral reports (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) erases June’s -.8 (4.0 – 3.2, 6+) and repeats at #6. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” has lost nine-tenths via four drops in succession (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) and slips from #15 to #18.

Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM (Arizona Diamondbacks) repeats August’s 6+ AQH share (2.4) and market rank (#15); “98.7 Arizona Sports” was -1.0 in June/July (3.1 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

The June 2019 through September 2019 topline for Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#11 to #10, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – On the heels of three straight decreases that resulted in a -.9 (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” has answered with four successive upticks accounting for a +1.0 (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Its format foe, Entercom’s KMLE “Country 107.9,” remains at #13 but is a cumulative -1.0 through three straight downward moves (3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Steady at #12, Hubbard Broadcasting alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ” is up a collective seven-tenths in three bumps in succession (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Following five consecutive increases that yielded an overall +1.7 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ drops three-tenths to 6.7 (6+) but is #1 the third time in a row. August’s 7.0 was its strongest 6+-showing since January (7.0, as well). As a result of three consecutive positive or neutral moves, Family Life Communications contemporary Christian KFLR “Family Life Radio” nets seven-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+) and checks in at #23. Flat at #10, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” is an overall -1.7 via four straight decreases (5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August’s 3.7, the last time “Kiss” fell below a four-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2017 (3.0). Five increases in a row netted Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL an overall +2.3 (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+) and its best 6+-stat (6.3) in more than two years (July 2017, 6.4, 6+). In September, however, “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” surrenders four-tenths (5.9, 6+) and slips from second to fourth.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating in sixth-place, Entercom-owned WCCO (Minnesota Twins) is a combined +.7 in August/September (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). “News Radio 830” lost one-tenth in July, halting three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +2.1 (3.3 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in August, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” surrenders one-third of that increase (3.0 – 2.8, -.2, #14 to #15, 6+). One-tenth behind KTLK is Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1,” which recaptures the two-tenths it lost in August (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7, #17 to #16, 6+). July’s +.4 interrupted four straight decreases that led to a net loss of -1.1 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+).

In addition to being a cumulative +2.2 in five straight positive or neutral moves (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” (Minnesota Vikings) rockets from ninth to fourth. This (6.1) is its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 6.7. Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500,” which lost two-tenths in four successive sweeps without an increase (.8 – .7 – .7 -.6 – .6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to .7 (#23 to #22, 6+).

While steady at #3, Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips by one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), thus snapping at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that produced a +2.2 (4.3 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+).

Minneapolis Music Formats – Roughly cutting in half August’s loss of nine-tenths with a September improvement of one-half share (5.5 – 6.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” rises from seventh to sixth; KTIS-FM was up a combined three-tenths in June/July (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.4, 6+). Albeit down two-tenths (7.4 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” repeats at #1. KSTP-FM has held (or shared) the top spot in January, March, April, June, August, and September. It has been +1.9 (January); -.8 (February); +.6 (March); +.5 (April); -.8 (May); flat (June); -.4 (July); +1.1 (August); and -.2 (September). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” regains one-third of August’s -.9 (4.2 – 4.5, +.3, 6+) and repeats at #11. Shifts this year for “Cities 97.1” include +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); +.2 (March); +.5 (April); -.2 (May); flat (June); +.6 (July); -.9 (August); and +.3 (September). Deflating by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” and Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “GO-95.3.” This is the third straight down or flat move for “93-X” for a net loss of nine-tenths (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5, fourth to ninth, 6+). “GO-95.3” has lost approximately half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH-share via six consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Ousted from the top spot in June by KSTP-FM, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” returned the favor in July, but was (again) dislodged by KSTP-FM in August. After racking up a July improvement of nine-tenths, “Kool 108” has faltered by one-half share in both August and September (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Before logging a +1.0 in May, KQQL had approximately 54% (-6.8) of 6+ AQH share vanish through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive or neutral trends that yielded a +1.2 (2.1- 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio triple A KCMP “The Current – Great Music Lives Here” surrenders one-tenth to 3.2 (6+) but remains at #13. August’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (3.3, as well). The market’s two major country FMs record modest August 2019 – September 2019 gains. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102” is up a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3, #11 to #12, 6+), while Entercom’s KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” which forfeited one-half share in July/August (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), recaptures 60% of that deficit in September (3.1, +.3, #15 to #14, 6+). KEEY “K-102” was -1.0 in June/July (4.9 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+), with July’s 3.9 its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.4. KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” lost eight-tenths in four successive down or neutral trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), but ended the slide with June’s +.4.

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600,” which was +1.0 via three straight increases (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.0, February through May, 6+); a combined -.5 in June/July (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5, 6+); +.5 in August (4.5 – 5.0); and -.7 in September (5.0 – 4.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM was an overall -.6 via three consecutive slips (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), but erased that deficit in August with a +.6 to 2.5 (6+). In September though, “AM 760” is down two-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #20, 6+). Steady at #22, iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI “AM 640” is up an overall half-share via three consecutive San Diego improvements (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Down two-tenths, following August’s increase of three-tenths, Entercom-owned KWFN (Padres) is forced off the top twenty (2.2 – 2.0, #19 to #21, 6+); “97.3 The Fan” lost one-tenth in back-to-back (June and July) sweeps (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). After recording a .8 (6+) four times in the last five sweeps (.8 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” breaks out a +.4 to 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23.

Even though San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS shows a gain of two-tenths (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), it backslides from first to second. Before falling to third in July, KPBS was on top the previous six months.

San Diego Music Formats – Hauling out hefty full-share improvements are Local Media San Diego-programmed XHRM “Magic 92.5” (4.5 – 5.5, eighth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.5 – 3.5, #16 to #12, 6+). This is the highest 6+-stat for “Magic” since April (5.5, as well); the last time “Amor” reached the three-share level (6+) was last October (3.2). Over and above bouncing back from August’s erosion of seven-tenths with a September uptick of nine-tenths (5.7 – 6.6, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” jumps from fourth to first. “Sunny” was a collective +1.7 in five successive improvements (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+) and had a July-only stay at #1. Prior to July 2019, the last time KXSN hit #1 was July 2018 (6.2, 6+). A combined +1.0 in August/September (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), UniRadio regional Mexican XHTY “Invasora 99.7” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #16) and matches the 2.5 (6+) it posted in March. Meanwhile, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” is -1.6 in August/September (6.0 – 5.8 – 4.4, third to sixth, 6+), following four consecutive positive or neutral moves that accounted for a +1.0 (5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.0, 6+). Six consecutive positive or neutral sweeps by iHeartMedia CHR KHTS resulted in a +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+).  That streak, however, is halted in September as “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” falters by nine-tenths to 5.0 (second to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior, KHTS was a cumulative -2.3 as a result of four straight decreases (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). After dropping one-half share in August, Entercom-owned adult contemporary KYXY regresses by another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. KYXY was a combined +1.7 in June/July (3.5 – 4.2 – 5.2, 6+), with July’s 5.2 its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 8.4.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – After being a collective -1.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” expunges approximately half that deficit (+.8) in three successive modest bumps (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8, #14 to #12, 6+). Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” is up or flat the fourth time in succession and nets one-half share in that stretch (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+).

Down a combined six-tenths in July/August (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Rays, Buccaneers) answers with a half-share September increase to 2.6 (#18 to #16, 6+).

Having logged a 1.7 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+), University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is up one-tenth to 1.8 (6+) and continues at #20.

Tampa Music Formats – This time last month, Tampa Bay’s (6+) adult contemporary share increased by +1.1. The format does even better in September as Cox Media Group cluster-mates WDUV “Lite Favorites” and WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” combine for a +1.5. At #1 the 85th straight time, WDUV is +.7 (9.2 – 9.9, , 6+), while WWRM is +.8 and advances from sixth to third (5.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Lite Favorites” faltered by seven-tenths in June, directly after a May gain of three-tenths suspended four straight negative trends that resulted in a -4.7 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). WDUV’s 13.7 in “Holiday” 2018 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since its 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. “Magic 94.9” plummeted by -1.0 in July to 4.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.9. This (6.0) though is WWRM’s best 6+-showing since April’s 6.2. Up a combined nine-tenths in August/September (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WXGL inches up from fourth to third. In four straight negative or neutral moves, “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” was a cumulative -2.4 (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Supplementing August’s improvement of seven-tenths with a September +.6 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” carries on at #5. Off a combined -1.5 in August/September (6.7 – 6.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” falls from second to sixth with its lowest 6+-stat (5.2) since February’s 4.9. Co-owned Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima,” which had been trending 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1 (6+), sputters by six-tenths to 2.5 (#15 to #17, 6+). In addition to slipping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” loses eight-tenths in three successive decreases (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, the last time WFUS dropped below a four-share (6+) was exactly two years ago (September 2017, 3.8, 6+). Despite forfeiting two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” progresses from third to second. Rhythmic CHR sibling WLLD “Wild 94.1,” which was an overall +1.1 via six successive up or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), is off three-tenths to 4.4 (6+) but stays at #7. Directly following three straight improvements that yielded a +1.4 (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” is now -1.5 in three successive decreases (5.4 – 5.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) but advances from #11 to #10. Flat at #12, iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ” is off a collective one-half share in three consecutive negative or neutral moves including 3.8 the last four sweeps (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). In the same May 2019 through September 2019 timeframe, Cox Media group’s similarly-formatted WPOI “Hot 101.5” is down eight-tenths via four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, #12 to #14, 6+). WFLZ and WPOI were deadlocked at #12 in August.

Denver

Spoken-Word FormatsDuplicating August’s -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA (Rockies, Broncos) drifts from #5 (July) to #11 (August) to #16 (September). By way of perspective, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was second in October 2018. While co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has lost a combined three-tenths in August/September (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+), cluster-mate KDFD “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” logs its third straight increase and is +1.0 since June (.1 – .2 – .8 – 1.1, #24 to #25, 6+).

An overall +1.1 via three gains in succession (2.4 – 2.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” progresses from #15 to #12. Taking an even greater jump though is KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM, which dials up a +1.0 (.4 – 1.4, 6+) and vaults from #29 to #21. “Altitude Sports Radio 92.5” last reached a one-share (6+) exactly one year ago (1.0, September 2018).

Surrendering two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR repeats at #6; KCFR was -1.6 in June and +.8 in July. In six consecutive reports without an increase, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC has lost more than 70% (-1.3) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1 – .8 – .5 – .5, #28 to #29, 6+).

Denver Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, #17 to #13, 6+) takes Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” to its highest 6+-stat since July 2018 (3.4, as well). A one-half share gain by Bonneville-owned country KYGO (5.7 – 6.2, 6+), coupled with a drop of six-tenths by Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (6.2 – 5.6), results in KYGO (third to first) and KQMT (first to third) swapping places. It was an August-only stay at #1 for “The Mountain,” which sees its successive string of positive or neutral moves that produced a +1.5 end at five (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). August 2019’s 6.2 was the highest 6+-stat for KQMT since 6.6 in August 2018. After spending June and July at #1, KYGO was ousted from the top by KQMT. Four straight up or flat trends netted KYGO a +1.4 (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+); it then regressed seven-tenths in May; and posted a +1.0 in June. Flat at #14, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KWBL “106.7 The Bull” is down a combined four-tenths in August/September (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), immediately after notching a +1.7 in three straight improvements (2.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+). July’s 3.7 was KWBL’s highest 6+-stat since it switched to country in mid-December 2017. An overall +1.0 in three successive reports without a loss (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” surrenders that entire bounty and three-tenths more (4.3, -1.3, fourth to eighth, 6+). The three most recent shifts by iHeartMedia-owned KTCL are -.6 (5.4 – 4.8, July, 6+); +.7 (4.8 – 5.5, August, 6+); and -.5 in September (5.5 – 5.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). “Channel 93.3 – Denver’s Modern Rock” was frozen on 5.4 (6+) in May and June. Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” is a collective -1.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.3 – 2.9, #16 to #17, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party” is an overall -1.1 owing to four successive decreases (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.3, #12 to #14, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Five consecutive increases by iHeartMedia news/talk WOR more than doubled (+2.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+) but “710 The Voice of New York” is off two-tenths to 4.5 (flat at #4, 6+). Repeating at #26, news/talk WABC is up three tenths in August/September (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+).

In addition to having its consecutive streak of up or flat reports that generated a +1.3 suspend at six (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) segues to #2 after five months in a row at #1. August’s 5.6 was its highest 6+ Long Island share since October 2018 (5.6, as well). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up three-tenths in August/September (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+), immediately after -.4 in June/July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+).

Stuck on 3.0 (6+) in May and June and then off three-tenths in July, Entercom all-news WINS has followed with a +1.1 in August/September (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+) as it cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). When it remains at #12, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is a collective +.7 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+).

Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM yield three-tenths (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, #25 to #24, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – Replacing WFAN at #1 (see above) is Cox Media Group CHR WBLI, which is an overall +1.1 via three successive sweeps without a loss (4.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, second to first, 6+). In the Connoisseur Media cluster, classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” gains nine-tenths in three spikes in a row (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, #15 to #14, 6+), immediately following a collective -1.6 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, 6+). Slipping below a four-share (6+), co-owned hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” posts a down or neutral trend the fourth time in a row for a -1.3 and dips from fifth to ninth (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). After logging three straight positive or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WKJY “98.3 K-JOY Long Island’s Place to Relax” drops one-half share to 3.6, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. WKJY exits the top ten (#8 to #11) and is leapfrogged by iHeartMedia New York’s similarly-formatted WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” which gains a cumulative eight-tenths in four bumps in a row (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). Without a loss in each of the last five sweeps, WLTW’s New York City CHR sibling WHTZ had a net gain of one-half share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+); however, “Z-100” stumbles in September by one-tenth to 4.9 (flat at #3, 6+). Five consecutive up or flat reports by Entercom alternative WNYL accounted for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+) but “Alt 92.3” surrenders three-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and falls from #15 to #16.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Repeating at #12, Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” (Ravens) gains seven-tenths in August/September (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), thus erasing 70% of June/July’s -1.0 (2.8 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s loss of six-tenths with a September increase half that magnitude (1.4 – 1.7, +.3, 6+), similarly-formatted independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” progresses from #17 to #15. Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL-FM repeats August’s 6+ AQH-share (.1) and market rank #30.

Off six-tenths in August/September (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” (Orioles) slips from eighth to ninth.

WJZ-FM’s business news sibling WDCH returns August’s gain of three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4 – 1.1, #17 to #19, 6+).

Adding one-tenth to August’s +.7 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues at #11. In addition to dropping four-tenths in three straight Baltimore reports without an increase (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – .8, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU exits the top twenty (#19 to #23).

Baltimore Music Formats – A robust +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2) enables iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack-FM Playing What We Want” to jump from sixth to third. The last time Baltimore’s “Jack” reached the six-share level (6+) was just over two years ago (July 2017, 6.0, 6+). Despite duplicating August’s +.6 (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), Shamrock Communications-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” remains in eighth-place. Entering the August sweep, “The Bay” was an overall -2.3 in five straight reports without an increase (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 3.9, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “The Bay” slipped below a four-share (6+) was February 2018 (3.8). Erasing all but two-tenths of July/August’s -.7 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) with a September improvement of one-half share, Entercom adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” backslides from fourth to fifth. Recapturing the three-tenths it squandered in August (9.1 – 8.8 – 9.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is #1 the fourth straight month. A combined +1.8 in June/July (7.3 – 8.1 – 9.1, 6+), “Magic” reached the nine-share level (9.1, 6+, July) for the first time since January’s 9.0. Co-owned urban contemporary WERQ carries on in the runner-up slot although “92 Q Jams” forfeits nine-tenths (8.4 – 7.5, 6+). An overall -1.8 in three down or flat moves in a row (9.8 – 8.8 – 8.0 – 8.0, 6+), WERQ curtailed the slide with an August spike of four-tenths. April’s 9.8 marked the first time WERQ reached the nine-share level (6+) since July 2016’s 9.2.  Down one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 Today’s Best Country” (6.7 – 6.2, flat at #3, 6+) and Radio One Washington, DC urban contemporary WKYS (1.7 – 1.2, #16 to #17, 6+). WPOC lost one-half share in four straight down or flat moves (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+) but followed with a combined +.9 in July/August (5.8 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). WKYS had gained seven-tenths in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). This is the 14th sweep in a row that Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Following an August improvement of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+), Alpha Media-owned news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is flat at 4.7 (6+) but bumps up from seventh to sixth. Its recent shifts include: -1.0 in March/April; +1.1 in May/June (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+); -.7 (July); and +.6 (August). Three successive spikes by iHeartMedia’s KEX yielded nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+) but “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” forfeits six-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). Unchanged at #24, Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a .9 five times in 2019 and a 1.0 four times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 (6+).

Following three successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” erases the deficit completely and is back to 1.5 (#22 to #21, 6+). “The Fan” overtakes Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KXTG “The Game,” which is trending 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 (June – July – August – September, #22, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” surrenders the one-tenth it picked up in August (.3 – .4 – .3, #26 to #28, 6+).

Steady in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB is a combined +.9 in August/September (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.4, 6+), following a collective -1.4 in three downturns in a row (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); -.9 (May); and +.5 (August).

Portland Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” dials up a +1.3 and zooms into the top ten (#11 to #5), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” erodes by -1.2 and fades from the top ten (#9 to #17). “The Wolf” is a combined +1.5 in August/September (3.5 – 3.7 – 5.0, 6+), whereas “The Bull” has lost roughly half (-2.8) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive setbacks (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 2.9, 6+). This (5.0) is the strongest 6+- showing for “The Wolf” since August 2017’s 5.2 but the lowest (2.9) for “The Bull” in exactly one year (September 2018, 2.4, 6+). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW #1 the third month in succession, “K-103” obliterates July/August’s -.7 (7.8 – 7.4 – 7.1, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 8.2 (6+). July marked the first time “K-103” held the lead position since “Holiday” 2018. Ironically, it returned to the top despite having its consecutive string of increases that yielded eight-tenths snapped at three (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+). This (8.2) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2. Even though CHR cluster-mate KKRZ records its fifth successive sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “Z-100 Portland” backslides from eighth to ninth. Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” nearly erases all of July/August’s -.7 (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+) with a +.6 to 4.7 (ninth to sixth, 6+). There is more back-and-forth with iHeartMedia-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station,” which was a combined +.6 in June/July (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+); -.5 in August (3.9 – 3.4, 6+); and +.5 in September (3.4 – 3.9, #14 to #11, 6+). A collective +1.2 via four jumps in succession (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), Salem Media Group regional Mexican KRYP “93.1 El Rey” advances from #18 to #16. On the heels of August’s +.7 (4.4 – 5.1, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” erodes by -1.1 to 4.0 (fifth to tenth, 6+). When “The Fish” picked up four-tenths in July, it ended three consecutive down or flat trends that led to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). After logging three consecutive increases netting eight-tenths (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in August/September (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Following back-to-back gains of one-half share (July) and seven-tenths (August), All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” falters by -.5 in September (3.2 – 2.7, #15 to #18, 6+). July’s increase halted five consecutive down or flat moves that resulted in a -2.4 (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+). After posting a 1.8 in June (#20, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted the third month in succession.

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