Tag: "iHeartMedia"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

| February 21, 2018

Len Weiner Adds PD Duties at WQAM, Miami. Sports talk pro Len Weiner adds programming duties for WQAM, Miami to his current role as PD for sister sports talker WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket.”  Weiner takes over after WQAM programmer Ryan Maguire exited to program Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “Len’s leadership ability and knowledge of sports radio make him the perfect candidate to take on our two major sport stations in Miami.  Adding the 560 WQAM program director responsibilities to Len’s current role is a natural fit.  I’m confident both stations will continue as the top choice for Miami’s sports fans with Len on board.”

McCloud Named EVP of National Business Development for Entercom.  Sales and marketing pro Jim McCloud comes to Entercom from Major League Baseball, where he was most recently group director & vice president of sponsorship sales & client services.  In his new role with Entercom, he’ll be EVP of national business development.  Company COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are so pleased to welcome Jim to Entercom.  Jim’s deep experience in sports, corporate sponsorships, and advertising will help us unlock the full potential of our national platform across radio, digital and events.”

Westwood One Adds Four Sales Pros.  President of national sales Bryan Forbes says, “2017 was a transformative year for Westwood One as we made significant revenue gains, launched the Audio Active Group to focus on business development, and announced the Westwood One ROI Guarantee.”  He says that as the company “continues to build upon its business momentum by bolstering revenue power and expertise within the network sales organization,” it announces the addition of four sales pros to the firm.  Joining Westwood One are: Stephen Gary as director, national sports partnerships (based in Los Angeles), Gina LaBanco, as director, national partnerships (based in Chicago), Wesley O’Dell, as director, national partnerships and Craig Rossi, VP, spoken word (based in Los Angeles).  Forbes says, “I have complete confidence that Stephen, Gina, Wes and Craig will hit the ground running to drive revenue growth while bringing maximum value to our clients and agency partners.”

Martinez Joins Alpha Media as National Director of Digital Content.  Joining Alpha Media to lead its digital content creators as national director of digital content is Ernie Martinez.  Alpha says he’ll work closely “with the programming team to ensure on-air and digital platforms are complementary to each other, developing a national strategy, voice, and aesthetic for each format, and more.” Alpha Media VP of content Phil Becker says, “The addition of Ernie to Alpha Media is yet another example of our commitment to our digital offerings.  His strategic thinking and fan first approach are exactly what our industry needs to thrive.”

Jewell Named DOS for Cumulus KC. In Kansas City, Cumulus Media appoints Eric Jewell general sales manager for its Kansas City cluster that includes news/talk KCMO-AM.  Jewell joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations where he was SVP of sales.  Cumulus Midwest RVP Donna Baker states, “Eric is a passionate leader with a history of delivering revenue goals while building strong teams and having fun doing it.  Cumulus stations in Kansas City have enjoyed record-level audience growth.  We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our talented GSM team to lead the expansion of our sales force and create even more results for advertisers.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight’s CNN Town Hall “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action” is being simulcast for radio by Westwood One News.  The program will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and guests scheduled to appear at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida include: U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)…..The “Motley Fool Money” weekend financial show hosted by Chris Hill adds a new affiliate station as Penn State University’s WPSE-AM/W296BW, Erie, Pennsylvania adds the show to its programming schedule…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup on a California movie set that recreates the historic “tent crusade” Revered Bill Graham led in Los Angeles in 1949.  Tradup tells TALKERS that both SRN News and TOWNHALL News are providing special reports on Graham’s passing hourly – including audio obituaries and perspective on Dr. Graham’s life – and other special programming.  In addition, SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston has been dispatched to North Carolina where he will get local perspective as well as set the stage for the memorial service being organized by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

POP CULTURE ALERT:  American Songbook Superstar Steve Tyrell Releases New Album, Embarks on Tour and Doing Talk Radio Interviews.  Last week’s death of legendary crooner Vic Damone served as a sad reminder that most of the original generations of “crooners” responsible for popularizing the “Great American Songbook” have passed on, leaving only a handful of younger current-generation performers such as  Harry Connick Jr., and Michael Bublé to carry on and keep the style alive.  Interestingly, music of the Big Band Era – also known as the “Swing Era” – has become increasingly popular with younger generations of listeners during the past decade… a trend that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.  Major record producer-turned-singer Steve Tyrell is one of today’s handful of superstars in the “crooner” genre selling gold albums and filling major venues around the country, drawing multi-generational fans.  This popular Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee has released his latest album, A Song For You (New Design Records and East/West Records). The 12-track release features Tyrell’s takes on classic love songs by Van MorrisonLeon RussellJackie WilsonHarold ArlenJohnny Mercer and more. In support of the release, Tyrell has kicked off a major national concert tour.  As a producer, Tyrell was instrumental in the careers of such artists as Rod StewartLinda Ronstadt and Diana Ross, when they explored reviving the old style of music popular in the 1940s and ‘50s, to name just a few.  A lover of radio (he hosts a daily jazz show in Los Angeles), Tyrell is doing a number of interviews on talk shows and stations around the country.  For a refreshing change of pace and some fascinating conversation about his colorful career and timeless music across the decades of the past half-century-plus, Steve Tyrell can be reached by calling Melody Heath at the DC Radio Company at 202-549-4713.

Florida School Massacre/Gun Control, Russian Election Meddling Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Middle East Tensions, and San Francisco Blight Survey Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting and the related gun control issues; the FBI’s conclusion that Russian agents have been and still are trying to influence U.S. elections; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; the strong words between U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over peace negotiations; White House adviser Jared Kushner’s reported effort to keep his national security clearance; and the recent survey documenting urban blight in San Francisco as the result of liberal policies 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. Detroit on-air pro Nick Wize exits the afternoon drive position at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  Wize also served as the station’s assistant program director and music director…..Programmer Wes Styles joins Community Broadcasters to serve as PD for alternative rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” and adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave.”  Styles previously served with Mid-West Family Broadcasting in the Springfield, Illinois market.  Community Broadcasters VP and market manager Ron Raybourne states, “Wes will be a great fit.  He has programmed rock stations very successfully around the country and is ready to help lead our brands to the next level.”

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2018 PPM survey period covered January 4 – 31. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Within 2.4 – 2.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM hangs out a +1.0 to 3.4 (#15 to #11, 6+), reaching the three-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 3.0. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” falters by -4.6 to 8.5 (6+) but remains on top for the sixth straight time. Co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100” improves by eight-tenths to 5.0 (sixth to fourth, 6+), thus curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of six-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). Likewise, a gain of six-tenths by sibling WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” (4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+) pulls the plug on seven successive down or flat moves for an overall -1.4 (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, rhythmic CHR WKTU “Top Music & News from the Beat of New York” notches a one-half share uptick to 3.7 (tenth to eighth, 6+), its best 6+-stat since August’s 4.0. More than three months ago (11/9/2017), Entercom transitioned CHR WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through January 2018 6+ topline is 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4; WBMP moves from #18 to a three-way logjam at #16.

2) Los Angeles – Three iHeartMedia outlets in the City of Angels have positive spikes of six-tenths: hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” (6.3, second to first, 6+); CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” (4.9, fourth to third, 6+); and news/talk KFI “AM 640” (3.9 – 4.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). “My-FM” was -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), while “Kiss” was off a combined half-share in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). When KFI lost two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective +.8 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Their adult contemporary sibling – KOST – forfeits (by double) the +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (11.9 – 5.5, -6.4, 6+), with “Coast 103” trading places with “My-FM” (first to second). By recording an 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KOST was in double-digits for the first time in exactly one year (10.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). It finished first in December and “Holiday” 2017; KBIG had been on top from February through November. As a result of picking up two-tenths in October, KOST halted three consecutive negative trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Down or flat in the last three sweeps for a collective -1.3 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 -1.9, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX recaptures all of it with a +1.3 to 3.2 (6+), as “97.9 La Raza” rockets from #22 to #9. The 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for “La Raza” since June (1.9, as well). Although flat at #7, Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” racks up a +.8 to 3.9 (6+), ending three straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -.5 (3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). Having trended 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 (September – December, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.7 (6+), but posts a +.7 to 3.4 (6+) in January 2018 and returns to the top ten (#11 to #8). Even though it gains three-tenths to 4.4 (6+), halting five successive down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), co-owned smooth AC KTWV backslides from fifth to sixth; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. After faltering by six-tenths, 93.9 License regional Mexican KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9” recoups all but one-tenth of that loss (1.4 – 1.9, +.5, #26 to #22, 6+). Conversely, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” returns more than half of its +.8 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, 6+), plummeting from #8 to #18. Prior to “Holiday” 2017, KKGO was off the previous three sweeps for an overall -.7 (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+). In three successive upticks, TAXI Productions urban AC KJLH improved by seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+) reaching a two-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1; however, “Radio Free 102.3” drops three-tenths to 1.7 (#21 – #25, 6+).

3) Chicago – In addition to falling from first to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” suffers the largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (13.7 – 4.7, -9.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “My-FM” was the first station in the market to reach double-figures (6+) since it did so with a 13.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In three straight increases (2.2 – 2.8 – 8.5 – 12.4, 6+), WLIT was an overall +10.2. It fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. It is supplanted at #1 by co-owned urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.7 – 6.8, +1.1, second to first, 6+), which had been on top from February through September. Registering a +1.1 as well in January 2018 is WLIT’s format foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix” (5.4, fifth to second, 6+). An overall -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+), “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September before reaching #1 in October and November. Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). In three successive declines (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WDRV was -1.4, but “97.1 The Drive” makes up more than half of it with a +.8 to 3.3 and returns to the top ten (#15 to #9, 6+). It is tied there with Tribune Media news/talk WGN, which has notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the last seven sweeps, but gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), its best 6+-stat since May (3.3, as well). Without an increase since September for an overall -.6 (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom triple A WXRT “93 XRT Chicago’s Finest Rock” is up seven-tenths to 3.2 (#15 to #11, 6+). Gaining six-tenths each are co-owned sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (2.7, #21 to #17, 6+) and Venture Technologies adult contemporary WRME-LP “Me TV FM – Me Music” (1.8 – 2.4, #22 to #21, 6+). WSCR was a combined -2.8 in the previous three sweeps (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the Chicago Cubs flagship posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). At the same time, Merlin Media alternative WKQX (2.5 – 3.0, #15 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (2.0, unchanged at #23, 6+) gain one-half share each. By picking up three-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, WKQX curtailed four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative -.8 (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+); “Big 95.5” had been -.8 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a collective -.7 (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), its format challenger – Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” picks up two-tenths to 3.4, advancing from seventh to sixth (6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” drops six-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but stays in third-place. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX, call letters formerly used in Boston.

4) San Francisco – Progressing by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” (4.0 – 4.7, fourth to third, 6+); co-owned 1980’s hits KOSF “iHeart 80s @103.7” (2.5, #19 to #14, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (3.4 – 4.1, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (4.7) is the strongest 6+-stat for “The Breeze” since it flipped to adult contemporary in April 2016, while KOSF ends six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -.9 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Gaining six-tenths are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (6.2, third to second, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+). After being up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). The combination of Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KQED gaining one-half share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” spiraling by -5.2 (9.2 – 4.0, 6+) results in KQED progressing from second to first and KOIT dropping from first to sixth. It only lasted for one sweep, but KOIT occupied the top spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2016, accomplishing the feat in each case by logging a 9.2 (6+). When KOIT moved from second to first in “Holiday” 2017, it ended 12 successive times on top for KQED, which was off nine-tenths in December. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Meanwhile, when KOIT finished second in December 2017, it halted 11 straight months of aforementioned KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot. Regaining the one-half share that it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). Down or flat the past three survey periods for a -1.0 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” adds four-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #17, 6+). Following four straight positive spikes that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO surrenders a combined -1.2 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+).

5) Dallas – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS up or flat for the fourth straight time for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” progresses from #3 to #1, its first time in the lead position since March 2017. Ousted from the top (and falling to third) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (7.2 – 4.9, -2.3, 6+). A combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KLUV logged a 7.2 in “Holiday” 2017, its highest 6+-share since 10.6 in “Holiday 2015”; November’s 4.2 was its lowest since January 2015 (4.2, as well). Improving by one full-share (3.1 – 4.1, 6+) lifts Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY back into the top ten (#13 to #7), as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” has its finest 6+-showing since 4.3 in June. Similarly-formatted/First Dallas Media-owned KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, #24, 6+). After six successive sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), Liberman regional Mexican KNOR “93.7 La Raza” erupts with a +.7 to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Locked on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cumulus Media sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” registers a one-half share uptick to 3.5 (#14 to #11, 6+). In 15 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (#17 to #16) has been within a high of 2.7 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+); it is up or flat for the sixth time in a row. There’s some big news in the market’s country arena as KTCK sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (3.9 – 4.3, +.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) bounces back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to beat co-owned/similarly-formatted KPLX “The Wolf” (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, steady at #6, 6+) for the first time in nearly six years (February 2012). The two were tied in “Holiday” 2017. Nonetheless, with a +.3, “The Wolf” applies the brakes to five straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 3.9, 6+). After 11 successive months on top, “The Wolf” tumbled to fifth in December. A once heritage adult contemporary – Entercom’s KVIL – has repositioned itself in recent years to hot AC, CHR as “Amp,” and on November 11, as “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” On the heels of a +.5 in “Holiday” 2017, “Alt” adds four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #13, 6+). After being a combined +3.8 in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 (2.6 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” surrenders that entire gain and one-tenth more (2.5, -3.9, 6+), freefalling from #2 to #17; 6.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Having recorded a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017, Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” returns one-half share and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.2, #10 to #13, 6+).

6) Houston – Displaying positive spikes of +1.0 each are Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New 93-Q Country” (5.2, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” (4.1 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). KKBQ was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, after three consecutive upticks that accounted for a +.6 (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). This (5.1) is the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since June and July (5.1, as well). Owing to an increase of nine-tenths (4.3 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation contemporary Christian KSBJ “89.3 – God Listens” has its most potent 6+-stat since 5.6 in April. Up six-tenths each are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (3.2 – 3.8, #14 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was without an increase in each of the last four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Co-owned KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” gains six-tenths as well and is +1.5 in three straight increases (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+). On the rise by one-half share are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN (4.6, ninth to eighth, 6+); Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (4.2, #12 to #11, 6+); and Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLOL “Mega 101” (3.6, #16 to #15, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, KLTN was a combined -2.2 in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and -1.3 in December. In each of the previous 11 survey periods, “Mix” was within 3.1 – 3.8 range (6+). “Mega” was a collective +1.1 in three straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+) before dropping one full-share in “Holiday” 2017. Although spiraling by -5.4 (12.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the third time in succession; “Sunny” finished second in October and November. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Immediately after Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX gains one-half share, “97.9 The Box” forfeits eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.3, 6+) as it drifts from third to tenth. The (classical) HD2 channel of KUHF, which was .6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, disappears from print.

7) Atlanta – On top for the 26th successive ratings period, WSB-AM trots out a +1.6 to 10.2 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talker notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Climbing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 4.1, unchanged at #11, 6+); Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media-owned WNNX “100.5 Atlanta’s Rock Station” (2.9, #17 to #16, 6+), which was -.7 in four straight sweeps without an increase (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.4, 6+). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” returns all but four-tenths of that bounty (6.0, -2.5, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Inching up from ninth to eighth, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” picks up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), ending four straight down or flat moves for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths each are Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” (5.8, flat at #3, 6+) and Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” (4.9 – 4.2, fifth to eighth, 6+). “V-103” had been a collective +.8 in three gains in a row (5.7 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Prior to its -1.6 in “Holiday” 2017, “Kiss 104.1” was up seven-tenths in both November and December (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+).

8) Philadelphia – In what would become a Super Bowl-winning season for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s flagship – Entercom sports talk WIP – bounces back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018 to 9.5 (6+) as WIP marches from second to first. The market’s sports talk format balloons by another nine-tenths courtesy of Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), with “97.5 The Fanatic” vaulting from #17 to #12. Elsewhere in the spoken word arena, Entercom all-news KYW “News Radio 1060 All News – All The Time” (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to seventh, 6+) and public news/talk WHYY (3.2 – 4.2, #12 to #8, 6+) each improve by one full-share; WHYY was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged by WIP from the top spot is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” which has the second-largest (6+) “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets showcased here (17.0 – 8.3, -8.7, first to second, 6+). In five straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+) and, in “Holiday” 2017, WBEB noted its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – regains 80% of its -.5 from “Holiday” 2017 (2.3 – 2.7, +.4, 6+) yet backslides from a tie at #15 to a tie at #16. Owing to a +1.4 (4.2 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks” scores its best 6+-stat since May’s 5.7. Co-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” regains in its entirety (and two-tenths more) the “Holiday” 2017 loss of one full-share (5.2 – 6.4, +1.2, fifth to fourth, 6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9. A gain of eight-tenths takes Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM Playing Anything We Feel Like” (2.3 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+) to its best 6+-showing since August (3.1, as well). Showing increases of six-tenths are iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” (4.2, unchanged at #8), which was -.5 in three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+).

9) Long Island – Within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, iHeartMedia’s WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” busts out a +1.3 (3.6 – 4.9, 6+) to jump from seventh to second. Slipping by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” shakes it off with a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, tenth to fifth, 6+) for its best 6+-stat since 4.3 in July and August. Having disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017 (following a .4, 6+, in December), the stream of Cox Media Group’s WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” reappears with a 1.1 (#27, 6+). As for the primary FM signal itself, WBAB gained one-half share in November to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but has since faltered by -1.8 in three dips in a row (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8, fifth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for All the Hits” (#8 to a three-way tie at #6) notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), thus ending five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.4 – 3.0, #14 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (2.1, #23 to #20, 6+), which ends at four a consecutive string of down trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share are iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (2.1 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WWSK “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” (#19 to #18, 6+), which is +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+). Albeit -5.2 (12.6 – 7.4, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is #1 for the fourth consecutive time; it was an overall +7.2 in November, December, “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. After six consecutive sweeps without a loss, easily more than tripling its 6+-share for a +6.1 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW erodes by -4.1 to 4.4 (second to fourth, 6+). Flat at #3, CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the fourth straight time for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 39th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” adds four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+) and is steady at #14. On the heels of forfeiting six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” coughs up another seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, fourth to sixth, 6+). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM, which was down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), gains two-tenths to 3.0 (6+), advancing from #12 to #11.

10) Riverside – With some isolated exceptions over the last four years or so, it is fairly commonplace in Southern California’s Inland Empire to pencil in Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” at #1 and Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA at #2. There is a big switch here in January 2018, however, as KOLA dials up a +1.8 to 7.3 (second to first, 6+), while “Jose” sputters by -1.5 (7.3 – 5.8, first to second, 6+). The increase by KOLA pulls the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). It last occupied the #1 slot two years ago (January 2016) with a 6.9 (6+). “Jose” had been at #1 each sweep since then and has its lowest 6+-showing since 4.5 in May 2011. When KLYY gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). An overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” gained one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 and tacks on another +1.1 in January 2018 (4.2 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+), thus erasing that -1.2. Carrying on at #7, Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (an overall +1.5) in six successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). In September, KSGN reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. A combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.2, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” posts a gain of one-half share to 2.7 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Conversely, Entercom country KFRG “K-Frog” (4.6, third to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.1 – 3.6, fifth to sixth, 6+); and All-Pro adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1 -.6, #13 to #15, 6+) all falter by one-half share. Prior to January 2018, “K-Frog” was +1.0 in four straight increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – In tandem with Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED notching a +1.0 (7.5 – 8.5, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “Better Music for a Better Workday” slumping by -3.9 or more than 50% (7.6 – 3.7, 6+), KQED advances from second to first while KOIT slides from first to ninth. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from third to first. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April. Registering a combined +3.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017, KOIT advanced from third to first in “Holiday” 2017 with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.4 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of four increases in succession (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.5 and has its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 4.8. Improving by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8, #15 to #14, 6+), which was -1.6 in three downward trends in a row (3.9 – 3.8 – 2.7 – 2.3, 6+); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (2.7, steady at #16, 6+), which was -1.1 in four straight negative moves (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+); and Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (1.7 – 2.2, #25 to #17, 6+). A simulcast partner of Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader,” co-owned KTCT triples its .3 to .9 (#30, 6+). Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); an overall +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.0 – 5.6 – 7.0, 6+); and now -1.9 in January 2018 (7.0 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). Its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represents the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. After doubling its 6+-share since October in three successive up or flat trends (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” relinquishes one-half share to 1.3 (#27, 6+).

12) Middlesex – As a result of adding nine-tenths (7.4 – 8.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” marches from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. “New Jersey 101.5” held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. It takes over for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite-FM,” which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017, but segues to second (11.5 – 7.4, -4.1, 6+). Its -4.1 curtails six straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gains which netted +7.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5 – 11.5, 6+). In the “Holiday” 2017 reports for New York City, Long Island, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Lite-FM was a collective +11.3 from December 2017. Flat at #4, Beasley Media Group-owned/similarly-formatted WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is off two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), halting three consecutive progressive trends that netted a +1.5 (3.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). In addition to WKXW, Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” posts a +.9, as well (3.7 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). It is the first time “Star” has crossed the four-share level (6+) since reappearing in print in “Holiday” 2015: 4.6 is the highest 6+-share in that more than two-year period. In its third straight up or flat trend, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is a collective +.9 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4, eighth to seventh, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been up or flat the past five sweeps for a collective +.6 (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), drops one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), yet advances from #11 to a tie at #10. A combined -2.0 in four straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 4.4 and carries on in seventh-place. Jumping six-tenths (2.5 – 3.1, 6+) enables WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM to sail from #18 to #14. While Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” gains one-half share stretching its successive string of up or flat moves to three for an overall +.7 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, steady at #5, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” regresses by one-half share (6.3 – 5.8, flat at #3, 6+). Following three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN is -1.1 in three successive losses (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1, fifth to ninth, 6+). This is the fourth downward trend in a row for Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” for an overall -2.1 (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Tied at #22 are Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” (1.5, +.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.5, flat, 6+). In three dips in succession, “X-96.3” had lost more than 50% (-1.8) of its 6+-share (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.4, 6+), while WOR is -.5 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+).

Monday, February 19, 2018

| February 19, 2018

iHeartMedia Strikes Deal for UConn Athletics in Hartford. On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported that University of Connecticut sports play-by-play is leaving Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford at the end of this basketball season after a 26-year relationship.  The impression, based on Entercom Hartford market manager Phil Zachary’s comment that he “couldn’t justify what they [UConn] were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions” is that the two sides couldn’t come together on the cost of the rights from rights-holder IMG Radio Networks.  But, Zachary subsequently spoke with the Manchester Journal Inquirer and it appears money was not the primary issues.  He told the paper, “The school felt the conservative programming that WTIC airs is at odds with the best interest of the university.  WTIC has a successful programming recipe. We’re not going to change it just to have two hours of sports programming at night.”  To that end, the university has struck a new 10-year deal with iHeartMedia to air UConn Huskies games on sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN.”  This new deal provides for pre- and post-game shows as well as the “UConn Women’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Geno Auriemma,” the “UConn Men’s Basketball Coach’s Radio Show with Kevin Ollie,” “UConn Football Coach’s Radio Show with Randy Edsall,” and the “UConn Hockey Coach’s Radio Show with Michael Cavanaugh.”  iHeartMedia region president Steve Honeycomb says, “This partnership joins three iconic brands.  Having UConn sports on iHeartMedia’s ‘97.9 ESPN’ has been our long-term goal.  This is the perfect partnership and offers even more entertaining programming for UConn Nation.”

Invite to Speak at Radio Week Africa Turns into Money-Losing Odyssey.  U.K. talk show host Graham Mack reports to TALKERS about his bizarre experience being “hired” to speak at last week’s Radio Week Africa conference that took place at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.  Well, Mack never went to Uganda to speak at the conference because, as he puts it, even though the invitation to be a paid speaker smacked of one of those emails from a Nigerian prince who wants to give his money away and, he responded to the inquiry and although he was hired to speak, the result was the same as the Nigerian prince email – he never saw a shilling.  In fact, he lost about £350 in medical bills for vaccinations etc.  Mack – who hosts the morning show on “BOB FM” that serves London’s “Home Counties” – learned that he’s not the only radio expert who was promised a fee and paid expenses only to find it hard to actually get paid.  American consultants Valerie Geller and Sean Ross found themselves in the same boat.  Mack tells TALKERS what the conference organizers are really up to.  “It looks like what this conference does is book radio people from all over the world to speak at their conference, agree to pay them a fee, provide flights and accommodation, and then, after they’ve sold tickets at $125 a piece they cancel the speakers (or in a lot of cases, including mine, they just stop returning phone calls and emails) but leave their names and picture on their website until after the conference has started.”  Read Mack’s blog about his travails here.

Herskovitz: Radio Language Changes Along with Advertisers. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz shares his thoughts about the changing nature of language on the radio and the evolving categories of advertisers using radio to sell their goods and services.  Read it here.

WGN, Chicago Lines Up White Sox Baseball Talent.  Now that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago has signed to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago White Sox baseball, the station announces that Andy Masur will host the pre-game shows and Mark Carman and Adam Hoge will split hosting duties for the post-game shows.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the station also hired Dave Zaslowsky as executive producer for the broadcasts.  He held the same position with Cumulus Media when the games aired on WLS-AM.  Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson remain in the booth for the play-by-play.

Florida School Massacre Aftermath, Russian Election Meddling, New Manafort Problems, Trump on Oprah Presidential Run, Iran Nuke Deal Violation Allegations, Ingraham vs LeBron, Black Panther Film, Winter Olympics, and NBA All Star Game/Fergie’s National Anthem Rendition Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre, including gun control issues and failures at the FBI; the controversy over allegations Russian hackers have and are still attempting to meddle in U.S. elections; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is accused of bank fraud; President Trump’s tweet about Oprah Winfrey possibly challenging him in 2020; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech alleging proof Iran has violated its nuclear deal by selling weapons; talk host Laura Ingraham’s “shut up and dribble” attack on LeBron James after his criticism of President Trump; the Black Panther film’s weekend success; the PyeongChang Winter Olympics; and the NBA All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, Meruelo Media makes air staff changes, moving midday KDAY personality Cece to hip hop KPWR “Power 106” as part of “The Cruz Show with J Cruz” morning program.  At the same time, Krystal Bee moves from the J Cruz show to her own program airing from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Assuming the midday show at classic hip hop and R&B simulcast KDAY, Los Angeles/KDEY, Ontario is former crosstown KISS-FM personality Bryhana…..iHeartmedia announces today that Quinn is named assistant program director and music director for country WMIL.  Quinn continues hosting the afternoon drive program.  iHeartMedia Milwaukee VP of programming Kerry Wolfe states, “I look forward to having Quinn take the reins as my right-hand person.  She always brings great energy to the team.  She also has great ears, impressive social skills, and can help keep me in line.”…..Hudson Valley radio personality Mark Bolger exits Townsquare Media’s hot AC WCZX, Poughkeepsie “Mix 97.7” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Taylor Dickson.  Bolger tells the Poughkeepsie Journal that he hopes to return to the air in the market saying he thinks he has many years left to broadcast…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is hosting its 11th annual Birthday Celebration concerts, presented by Bernie Robbins Jewelers, taking place on June 17 and June 30 at the BB&T Pavilion.  The June 17 lineup will feature performances by Thirty Seconds To Mars, Portugal. The Man, Walk The Moon, CHVRCHES, Misterwives and The Neighbourhood.  The  June 30 lineup will feature performances by Imagine Dragons, Judah & the Lion, AJR, Sir Sly and Missio.  WRFF program director John Allers states, “The ‘Radio 104.5’ Birthday Celebration is always a highlight of the year for many of our listeners along with our sponsors and staff.  We are very excited once again to host the biggest names in alternative rock on one stage for our amazing group of listeners.”…..Edison Research proudly announces that VP Megan Lazovick is being named one of Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital for 2018 in the “Rising Star” category. The award recognizes the most influential women in digital, marketing, advertising, social media and online content.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

| February 8, 2018

Nielsen Holdings Announces Q4 Up 6.3%; Audio Ratings Sector Rises 9.2%.  As a whole, Nielsen Holdings plc reports that its fourth quarter 2017 revenue was $1.76 billion, an increase of 6.3% (or 4.2% on a constant currency basis) compared to the same period in 2016.  For the full year of 2017, revenue was $6.5 billion up 4.2% (or 3.8% on a constant currency basis) compared to 2016.  Nielsen calls its ratings segment Watch and within that is the audio ratings business.  Nielsen reports audio rating revenue was up 9.2% in Q4.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, we had a strong year.  Our teams were relentless in their efforts to enhance our Total Audience Measurement system and drive client adoption across all of its components.  As the market further evolves due to ongoing media fragmentation, Total Audience Measurement will serve as the foundation for our future, providing the measurement capability, scale, and flexibility necessary to best meet our clients’ needs.”

Talk Host Paul Harris to Do ‘Last Show’ Tomorrow on KTRS, St. Louis.  For the past five years, talk radio pro Paul Harris has been doing the Friday afternoon show on KTRS, St. Louis.  But, that gig will wrap tomorrow (2/9) as former KYKY, St. Louis morning personality Guy Phillips will take over the afternoon drive show (Frank O. Pinion exited the Monday through Thursday role last fall).  Harris says he was offered the gig but does not want to work full time.  He says, “Having done this for my entire adult life, I know the stress that comes from waking up every day and immediately thinking, ‘What am I doing to talk about today?’ It may not seem like it, but hosting and planning a well-executed, informed, entertaining radio show takes an enormous amount of preparation and brain power.  Since moving into semi-retirement a few years ago — working only one or two days a week – I’ve had a lot less of that stress, and have welcomed those mornings when I didn’t have to worry about developing enough content to fill three hours of airtime.”  See his full comments on his last show here.

WCTC’s Bert Baron Nabs Regular Show with NJ Speaker of the Assembly.  New Brunswick, New Jersey morning host and program director Bert Baron is announcing he’s arranged to host New Jersey Assemblyman Craig Coughlin every month for a one-hour, live call-in show on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WCTC.  The show will take place the second Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am, beginning February 13.  Baron says, “This monthly show will serve as a platform for Speaker Coughlin to engage not only the residents of the district he was elected to serve, but also to provide real, honest information on all things Jersey politics.  A Central Jersey lawmaker, appearing regularly on Central Jersey’s heritage radio station, is community synergy at its finest.”

iHeartMedia Seattle Announces Changes to KFNQ, Seattle and KHHO, Tacoma.  Both stations have been sports talk outlets that complement KJR-AM, Seattle “Sports Radio 950” for iHeartMedia.  Now, KHHO, Tacoma becomes “South Sound Talk 850, Tacoma’s Voice” and KFNQ re-brands from “1090 The Fan” to “1090 KJR, Seattle Sports Radio.”  KHHO’s talk lineup will feature: Glenn Beck in mornings, “Armstrong and Getty” in late mornings, “The Schnitt Show” in early afternoons, “America Now with Buck Sexton” in afternoon drive, and “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” in evenings.  KFNQ’s new lineup is: Dan Patrick in mornings, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in late mornings, Doug Gottlieb in early afternoons, “Reiter Than You” with Bill Reiter in afternoon drive, and CBS Sports Radio programming from 7:00 pm through the overnights.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is making a few changes to its weekend staffing.  The station is adding Joe Brand as Saturday morning sports anchor during Lou Manfredini’s “Mr. Fixit Show” and the John Williams show.  Also, the station is putting Andy Masur in the sports anchor role during the Sunday morning Dean Richards show.  Feder also notes that Tribune is negotiating for the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball.  But, the price is going to have to be right as WGN let the Chicago Cubs go because the station could not justify the expense…..According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis “KFAN” is adding a new, Friday evening program hosted by Carly Zucker – wife of Minnesota Wild player Justin Zucker – called “Overtime” that will delve into the personal and philanthropic lives of professional athletes.  Zucker makes regular appearances on the station’s morning program and previously hosted on the Minnesota Timberwolves Entertainment Network and reported for CBS Sports and FOX Sports North…..iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati re-ups with Learfield to continue serving as the flagship for Xavier University men’s basketball through the 2022-23 season.  As part of the deal, the weekly “Chris Mack” coach’s show will air on sister sports talk WCKY.  In the event of a conflict, games will air on sister news/talk WKRC.

New Budget Proposal, Pelosi Marathon Speech-Immigration Policy, Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Trump Approval Ratings Rise, White House Aid Resigns, FBI Texts Issue, Tesla Shot into Space, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7).  The congressional budget proposal that would add $500 billion in spending; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks for eight hours in effort to force a vote on immigration policy affecting “dreamers”; this week’s Dow activity and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump’s request for a military parade; President Trump’s approval ratings rise; White House aide Rob Porter resigns over allegations of spousal abuse; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; Elon Musk shoots a Tesla Roadster into space with successful launch of SpaceX rocket; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Ex-Governor Chris Christie Chats on ABC Radio Podcast. New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie (left) is pictured here with “Powerful Politics” co-host Rick Klein (right) as the two discussed the Nunes memo, the Russia investigation, the Rob Porter resignation, and more on the weekly ABC Radio podcast.

Comrex Releases New Firmware for Opal Including Support for Mac OS and Safari.  Broadcasters who are also Mac users will rejoice as Comrex announces it has released a new firmware version for IP audio gateway Opal that includes native Safari support for macOS and iOS11.  Comrex says that once installed, Opal serves a web page to anyone who accesses it through an Internet browser on any device with a microphone and speaker.  This web page allows a user to click a button and broadcast from their computer or phone in high fidelity.  High quality return audio is also provided to the guest.  Prior to the release of Opal 1.1, Opal was only compatible with Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox browsers.  Now, Opal users can connect using Safari, making it even easier to operate for Apple users.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett says, “Up until this point we could support iPhone users with an app.  But as simple as we made it, there was still a concern that even this step was too much for some guests.  Now users can connect in studio quality from their iPhone without installing anything at all.”  Opal users can download firmware v.1.1 for free from the Comrex website.

Beasley Philadelphia Honors Top Account Executives.  Pictured above are members of the sales staff of Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia station group at the January 31 President’s Club Dinner. At this event, the company’s monthly Philadelphia President’s Club winners, many of whom were also annual budget achievers, were recognized by their sales managers for their outstanding performance and dedication. At the same time, account executive Steve Simons was named the 2017 Annual President’s Club Champion for his commitment to excellence and for exceeding his goals throughout the year.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Providence morning duo Paul Fuller and Al Matthews sign a new, three-year deal with iHeartMedia’s active rock WHJY.  According to WHJY, this new contract will take the two through their 30-year anniversary with the station.  Operations manager Rob Anthony says, “‘94HJY’ continues to dominate Southern New England and Paul and Al have always been a major factor in its success.”  Program director Doug Palmieri adds, “It’s a great day for ‘HJY.  I’ve known them since 1993 and to see them continue to love what they do and do it this well is truly inspirational.  We’re proud to bring three more years of live, local mornings to Southern New England.”…..The syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” show – co-hosted by Chris Kelly and Chris Demm – is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s alternative rock WKZQ, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The morning show is based at Dick Broadcasting’s WKRR, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

| February 6, 2018

WABC, New York Pairs Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby for Midday Show.  A programming tweak at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York partners 77 WABC political editor Rita Cosby with incumbent midday talk radio personality Curtis Sliwa for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  The new “Curtis + Cosby” show debuts today (2/6).  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “This is basically a New York dream team – two veteran New York broadcasters and celebrated New York personalities that our listeners simply adore.  It’s an incredible combination.”  Cosby states, “I am thrilled to co-host the brand new ‘Curtis + Cosby’ show with my longtime friend, radio superstar Curtis Sliwa.  With such an unprecedented barrage of endless news topics, now is the perfect time for us to join forces and engage our listeners in a way you will hear nowhere else.”  Sliwa adds, “This is an actual first in a large radio market.  Two Polish-Americans who are teamed together.  Rita has reported from throughout the world and has made solid contacts with newsmakers and cultural figures that she has brought to the microphones of 77 WABC.  And in this age of ‘ME TOO,’ she brings a female voice to our talk radio industry that has been sorely missed.”  Sliwa had been partnered with liberal foil Ron Kuby at WABC until May of last year.  Then, FOX News Channel personality Eboni K. Williams served as Sliwa’s co-host through October of 2017 before departing for new opportunities.

Talk Host Chris X Joins ‘Conservative Cartel’ Show.  Signing on with Pinnacle Broadcast Holdings, Inc to co-host “The Conservative Cartel” program with Matt Locke is Chris X, former host of ChrisXradio.  In a press release, Pinnacle says Chris X “got his start at a local Houston TV news station where he quickly moved into radio to help launch Houston’s only business radio station, 650 AM [KIKK]…He graduated to co-hosting the highly rated afternoon drive-time show, ‘StreetTalk.’”  Pinnacle shared owner and executive producer Ron Phillips states, “Chris X is an amazing talent.  I’ve known him for more than two years and somehow I knew at the beginning that we’d be working together!”  Host Matt Locke adds, “2018 is going to be a great year in radio.  Chris X is a radio innovator and a true mover and shaker.  I’m thrilled to welcome him to the Cartel family!”  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program is carried via TheBlaze.

Beasley Promotes Shoulder to Cry on for Patriots Fans.  After the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” launched an ad blitz — including the image above — in the Boston Herald and on billboards.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “The move was in response to our heartbreaking loss and the need to give our Patriots fans a vehicle to express themselves.”

Westwood One Names Motel 6 and GEICO Winners of Sports Sound Awards.  For the fifth straight year, Westwood One has been honoring the advertisers whose Super Bowl ads ranked as the most engaging audio commercials.  This year, 2018 Westwood One Sports Sound Awards recognize Motel 6 and GEICO.  Motel 6 won the Listeners Choice Award, its third win in five years.  The hotel chain’s “Slam Poetry” spot featuring Tom Bodett promotes the motel chain in rhyme, culminating with an impressive mic drop.  Hear it here.  GEICO was winner of the Media Choice Award with its “Beatboxing” ad that offers a vocal percussion calling for clean-up on aisle 14, after a customer drops a jar of pickles.  Hear it here.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Congratulations to Motel 6 and GEICO for their creative ingenuity!  Their clever use of sound through slam poetry and beatboxing resonated emotionally and elevated their audio creative to make a connection with consumers.  We’re proud of this year’s competition, and our exclusive live broadcast of the Super Bowl, which offered our marketing partners a riveted audience and a dedicated platform to build and reinforce their brands sonically.”

iHeartMedia’s Thea Mitchem Signs New Deal.  National Programming Group EVP Thea Mitchem signs a contract renewal with iHeartMedia to continue serving in that capacity for the Northeast Division.  The company says Mitchem will continue to report to National Programming Group EVP and general manager Brad Hardin, as well as iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck.  The company says that “under the new agreement, Mitchem will continue to partner with iHeartMedia Markets Group Division president Tom McConnell to collaborate with its regions located in the East, providing national programming assets, services and resources.”  She’ll also continue overseeing programming of 60-plus iHeartMedia stations in over a dozen markets, including New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia.  And, she will remain a key member of iHeartMedia’s urban brand management team.  iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Thea is unquestionably one of the most influential women in the radio industry.  We’re thrilled that she will continue to oversee programming efforts for our Northeast markets. Under her leadership, we have seen unparalleled ratings success in several markets including Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City, where ‘Power 105.1’ has posted the best ratings in the station’s more-than-15-year history.”

MIW Releases Gender Analysis Report.  The latest MIW Gender Analysis Study has been released by the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The study tabulates the number of women in management positions in the radio business.  The 2017 edition of the study finds that “out of 11,301 AM and FM radio stations, accounted for by PrecisionTrak, as of December 31, 2017, 1,974 stations, or 18.1%, have women holding the general manager position in 2017.  This is an increase from 2016 which was 17.8% and continues to show growth from 2004, 13 years ago when the percentage was only 14.9%.  The annual study is compiled, analyzed and released by the MIW Group from information provided by PrecisionTrak.”  MIW says, “Overall, the best management opportunities for women in radio continue to be in sales management.  In 2017, 31.9% of all stations have a female sales manager, which is up almost a half-point from last year.”  MIW also looks at women in programming position and reports, “The greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be as program directors.  Women currently program only 10.5% of all radio stations in the country, and that percentage has basically remained flat for the last 11 years.  The news is better in the top 100 radio markets where women programmers represent 11.7%; however, that number is unfortunately down slightly from last year.  In an effort to further support that particular segment of the industry, the MIW Group announced a new mentoring opportunity in 2017, the MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program.  MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik comments, “Compiling this data is one of the most significant projects we undertake each year.  Our hope is that the MIW Gender Analysis sparks conversation within each company, and at each radio station, about ways to develop internal efforts that encourage the advancement of female leadership.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public news/talk WAMU, Washington names Jeffrey Katz (not to be confused with WRVA, Richmond talk host Jeff Katz) news director for the station.  Katz has been interim news director since November.  He joined the station in May of 2017 as senior managing editor.  Prior to that he was director of digital content for National Geographic.  He’d been with NPR in numerous capacities over a 15-year period…..After almost 10 years with ESPN as part of its brand, Red Zebra-owned sports talk WTEM, Washington returns to the “Team” brand.  The station is still an ESPN affiliate and is airing ESPN Radio network content – mostly in evenings and on weekends.

Dow Plunges Again, Trump-Russia Investigation, Democrat FBI Memo Rebuttal, Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Case, Eagles Upset Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 1,100 points on Monday after Friday’s selloff and experts’ predictions that the sellout is not over; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Congressional Democrats’ desire to release their memo they say clarifies the GOP FBI surveillance memo; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to overturn Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s mandate that congressional maps be redrawn due to gerrymandering; the Philadelphia Eagles upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 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.  There are on-air changes taking place at iHeartMedia’s country KWBL, Denver “106.7 The Bull.”  The station announces that Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is the new APD, music director and afternoon drive personality, effective immediately.  He joins the station at the same time as it adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show for morning drive.  iHeartMedia launched the country format on the station back on December 18.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh states, “Following an extensive nationwide search, it was clear that B-Dub is uniquely qualified and the perfect fit to join the ‘106.7 The Bull’ family.  B-Dub’s vast knowledge of the country format, outstanding relationships within the country music scene, and incredible work ethic are exactly what we need to take ‘106.7 The Bull’ to new heights.”  Washington was most recently with the company’s Sacramento station group programming KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that Woof Boom Radio closed on the $608,000 purchase of WKHL, West LaFayette from Educational Media Foundation.  The new calls will be WLQQ, and Woof Boom will reveal its format flip later today (2/6)…..Today at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Edison Research is presenting data from its “Country Radio: At Home With Smart Speakers” study.  Edison says that “country fans are more likely to use their smart speakers to listen to the radio than do fans of other kinds of music, and they listen longer…Edison researched more than 1,800 adults ages 18-plus in a variety of studies, in addition to one-on-one interviews.  The purpose of the presentation is to help country and other broadcasters take advantage of a device that has the potential to ‘put radio back in the home,’ where AM/FM radios are quickly disappearing, but at the same time makes it easier to listen to digital music and other forms of content.”…..GMPT Media, the joint venture between Gen Media Partners and The Tacher Company, signs Magnum.Media’s 16 Wisconsin radio stations to exclusive national ad sales representation.  Magnum.Media founder Dave Magnum says, “We’re enthused about Gen Media Partners and Tacher joining forces.  GMPT is bullish on radio and so are we.”…..Howard Stern and SiriusXM are producing a special program to honor late rocker David Bowie.  “The Howard Stern Tribute to David Bowie” will premiere on the Howard 101 channel on Friday, February 9.  Stern says, “When I got into rock ‘n’ roll music, one of the artists that I first really got into was David Bowie.  He was always evolving, he was always on top of things, he was just a great musician and a great songwriter and a great singer.  I want to make sure that people remember David Bowie.”  The program will feature “a wide variety of artists inspired by the late musician, performing his songs with their own inventive styles and interpretations,” including: Peter Frampton, Daryl Hall, Todd Rundgren, Greta Van Fleet, Biffy Clyro, The Struts, and more.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on urban contemporary.  Comparing 6+ data from the December survey to the Holiday survey, urban contemporary fared pretty well, “over half the stations (53%) on our urban contemporary panel improve between December 2017 – Holiday 2017; 34% are down; and the remaining 13% are steady.”  A year-over-year comparison paints a different picture, “In a virtual flip of the month-to-month results, 53% of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 39% improve; and 5% are unchanged from Holiday 2016.”  No urban contemporary outlet ranked #1 in its market during the Holiday survey, but four stations ranked #3 in their respective markets, 6+.  They were: Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103”; Radio One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams”; iHeartMedia’s WOWI, Norfolk “103 Jamz”; and iHM’s WHRK, Memphis “K97.”  See the entire report here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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

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

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

 

 

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

Friday, January 26, 2018

| January 26, 2018

E.W. Scripps Talk Stations on the Block.  Yesterday’s news from E.W. Scripps confirming recent rumors that it is selling its radio station assets has kicked the speculation machine into high gear.  Most experts believe there is no buyer out there who wants all 34 stations in this portfolio.  Some say iHeartMedia and Cumulus are right out due to debt issues and that Entercom is still digesting its CBS RADIO acquisition.  Companies that are more likely to be in the market for signals that fit their business model include Beasley Media Group and Saga Communications.  One thing we can be certain of – it will be interesting to see who acquires which stations and how much they pay!  Regardless, the following is a summary of the spoken-word stations in Scripps’ radio portfolio. In Milwaukee (Scripps’ largest market), there’s heritage news/talk WTMJ-AM.  In Omaha, the lone talker is sports KXSP “AM 590 ESPN.”  Tulsa has heritage news/talk KFAQ.  And, Tucson is the home of news/talk KQTH-FM and sports talk KFFN-AM (plus its translator).

Cumulus Officially Unveils ‘The New Talk 106.7.’ As TALKERS reported yesterday based on Rodney Ho’s column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Cumulus Media has made another tweak to WYAY-FM, Atlanta, re-branding it “The New Talk 106.7” and getting rid of the “news radio” verbiage.  The station is still in the process of building a talk radio morning show after canceling the newsy program anchored by Rob Stadler in December.  The station is promoting personalities Shannon Burke, Kim “Kimmer” Peterson, and Brian Joyce.  Cumulus Atlanta vice president Sean Shannon says, “Talk has become the domain of dogma, where hosts are advancing an agenda.  ‘The New Talk 106.7’ will be a place for honest discourse where our hosts have a perspective, not an agenda.”

Entercom Names Rooney VP-DoS.  New York radio sales pro Brian Rooney joins Entercom’s NYC operations to serve as vice president, director of sales.  Rooney was most recently with iHeartMedia as VP of sales for classic rock WAXQ, New York ‘Q104.3.”  He’s also been sales manager at WFAN and worked in sales at WOR and the New York Mets Radio Network.  In New York, Entercom operates all-newsers 1010 WINS, WCBS 880, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan,” plus classic hits WCBS-FM, alternative WBMP-FM, and hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7.”  Entercom New York SVP and market manager John Fullam says, “Brian’s strong leadership and great track record in New York made him the perfect choice to lead our Entercom New York team.”

Vince Richards Appointed OM at Entercom Sacramento. Programming pro Vince Richards takes over the operations manager post at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster that includes sports talk KIFM “ESPN 1320,” CHR KUDL “106.5 The End,” rock KRXQ, classic rock KSEG “96.9 Eagle,” and alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7.”  Richards was most recently national operations manager for Townsquare Media.  He comments, “Sacramento is one of the crown jewel markets in the company with a tradition of excellence and an incredibly talented and passionate staff.  Thanks to Pat Paxton, Dave Richards and Lance Richard for passing me the torch and the opportunity to lead this awesome staff.”  Richards takes over for Jim Fox, who was recently named vice president of programming for Entercom Dallas.

Heavyweight Syndicators’ Top Execs to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The TALKERS editorial board and convention committee are pleased to announce the addition of two of the leading radio syndication company executives to the roster of industry leaders serving as speakers at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks and Suzanne Grimes, president of Westwood One will address the movers and shakers of the talk media world at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Earlier this week, it was announced that Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity would serve as morning keynote speakers at the event. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison states, “Suzanne Grimes and Julie Talbott bring enormously pertinent content to this convention’s table. They are influential leaders with enormous experience, insight, perspective, and wisdom of great value to share about the state of the radio business.” The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception. All in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Lars Larson at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson (right) is pictured above at the enormous SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week.  Larson – whose national show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks – is seen interviewing Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian (left).

Popular Washington, DC Correspondent Victoria Jones Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime talk media personality Victoria Jones, executive director of the DC Radio Company and recent senior White House correspondent for the Talk Media News Service, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Jones – a British-US citizen – whose commentaries on Washington-based news and issues have been heard for years on hundreds of talk radio stations around the English-speaking world, is a veteran talk show host of such stations as WWRC and WMAL, Washington, DC; WRKO, Boston; WLAC, Nashville; and WXYT, Detroit. In a fascinating and unusual conversation with Harrison, she shares a candid, insider’s view of what it’s like to work as a member of the White House press corps. She talks about the processes and working conditions of being behind the scenes on a daily basis at the iconic mansion/museum/office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Don’t miss this funny, eye-opening, and extremely informative conversation. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 22-26.  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, as well as a possible interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the missing FBI texts case, followed by President Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Lisa Adams program director for country KVRQ “Country 98.9.”  Adams moves over from the company’s sister station KRWM “WARM 106.9,” where she’d most recently been serving as marketing director.  During her career she’s also served as OM/PD at Townsquare Media’s Boise station group.  Speaking about her new gig, Adams says, “‘Country 98.9’ is an extremely special radio station for Seattle.  To be given this opportunity is beyond my wildest dreams.  I am blessed and appreciative for the support and recognition.”…..Entercom adds Premiere NetworksDelilah to the program schedule at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.”  In addition to her national show airing in the evening daypart Fridays through Sundays on the station, she’s doing a custom show that airs from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm…..Beasley Media Group re-brands Wilmington, Delaware adult contemporary WJBR-FM “The New Mix 99.5” and introduces new morning team Michael Waite with Jessie Micchelli.  This is a return to the station for Waite, who says, “After seven years of being away from radio, I look forward to returning to entertaining our incredible listeners and working with Jessie.”  Beasley VP and market manager AJ Lurie says, “It was important for us to continue offering our listeners the very best listening experience available.  A lot of time and research went into our decision in launching the new format.  I couldn’t be more excited as a fan!”…..SiriusXM is presenting a special, invitation-only concert by Grammy-nominated alt-rock band Portugal. The Man in the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon at Mississippi Studios next Wednesday (1/31).  The performance will be aired next Friday (2/2) on the Alt Nation channel…..Premiere Networks senior director of rock programming and specials Sal Cirrincione (left) is pictured here with Sir Elton John (right) after his Gotham Hall press conference in which he announced his farewell “Yellow Brick Road” tour.  Cirrincione got a one-on-one interview with Sir Elton who told him his decision to stop touring is so he can help raise his two sons.  The “Yellow Brick Road” farewell tour will end in 2021 and he says, “I want to start in America and end in America because I owe this country so much.  I love this country.  The Troubadour [in West Hollywood] kick-started my career in a big way.  Without that, you know, I don’t know what would have happened.  So, I’m very grateful to L.A. and I love New York.  But I definitely decided that the last show will be in America.  My dream show would be at Dodger Stadium because it makes sense.”

 

Round Three of Holiday PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below, with a reminder that the vast majority of major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – While not quite matching December’s +4.7 (to 13.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW dials up a +3.9 as it reaches 16.9 (6+) and repeats at #1. Off nine-tenths in November, “K-103” – with its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in this sweep – is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A collective -1.4 in three straight downward trends (9.1 – 8.6 – 8.6 – 7.7, 6+), “K-103” responded in October with a +1.5. Prior to segueing to #2 in September, “K-103” was #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. Climbing from fourth to third, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” notches a +1.6 (5.4 – 7.0, 6+). The last time “Charlie” was above a six-share (6+) was May 2015 with a 6.5. With its highest 6+-share since August 2016’s 3.1, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #17 to a three-way logjam at #13. At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly programmed KLVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits the six-tenths it just gained in three straight upticks (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.1, 6+) by falling to – .5 (#23 to #27, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.8, as Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” is -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, #8 to #13, 6+) and Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is -.7 (#10 to #11, 6+). Entering the November sweep (in which it gained three-tenths), “The Bull” had three straight flat or down monthlies that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). In April – May – June, “The Bull” was down -1.1 (5.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Meanwhile, this represents the sixth straight month that “The Wolf” is without an increase for a combined -2.6 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). In advance of gaining three-tenths in June, “The Wolf” was -1.8 in March, April, and May (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). The two country rivals finished back-to-back at seventh and eighth, respectively, in both May and June. Dropping out of the top ten (from #9) and tied with KUBL at #13 is iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which erodes by nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.9, 6+). The decrease ends its alternating down/up pattern that began in May (4.1 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+). In five of the previous six sweeps – including the last four – “Z-100” and Alpha Media’s similarly-programmed KBFF “Live 95.5” were separated by just one-tenth of a share (6+). The margin is now one-half share as “Live 95.5” – albeit down three-tenths – is at 3.4 (6+). A collective +.9 in November and December (4.1 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), co-owned triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns two-thirds of that gain (4.4, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth time in succession, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” (sixth to seventh) is a collective -1.1 (5.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Not only does WKQC “K-104.7 More Music, More Variety” improve its December +3.0 by one full share (7.0 – 11.0, +4.0, 6+), the Beasley Media Group adult contemporary progresses from second to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.3. Making way for “K-104.7” at #1 is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – Charlotte’s We Play Anything Station” (7.2 – 6.5, -.7, 6+), which drops to second after only one month in the lead. The August – September – October – November topline 6+-trending for “The Lake” was a very consistent 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, but, in December, it posted a +2.3 to 7.2, its strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (7.4, September 2014). Tied with “The Lake” is co-owned classic rocker WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which had been on top in September, October, and November, as well as in five consecutive survey periods before getting dislodged in June. Its loss of four-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (6.9 – 6.5, 6+) pulls the plug on five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.2 (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 6.9, 6+). The third player in that three-way scrum in Charlotte’s runner-up slot – and moving up from #4 – is Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9,” which is a cumulative +.8 via five successive positive spikes (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). A loss of -1.1 (3.9 – 2.8, #12 to #16, 6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM takes Charlotte’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” to its lowest 6+-share since July’s 2.4. Down or flat for the fourth sweep in succession for an overall -1.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” slips from sixth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-performance for “The Link” since April’s 3.9. As the result of six straight decreases (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG is a combined -2.1; “Power 98” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Following six consecutive up or flat moves that more than tripled its 6+-stat for a collective +1.3 (.6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFNZ “Sports Radio The Fan” returns two-tenths to 1.7 (6+) but remains at #18.

3) San Antonio – Piling a +4.9 onto December’s +3.9 (4.8 – 8.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Variety Station” repeats at #1 and posts its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Trending 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.7 (October – November – December, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX erupts with a +1.0. Not only does that vault KSTX into the top five (#11 to #4), it is the first time in its PPM-history that it crosses the four-share level (6+). A collective +1.5 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” elevates from #15 to #12. Via three straight declines (6.0 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 4.1, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned KCYY is a cumulative -1.9 as “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” drifts from fourth to eighth. After surrendering one-half share in September, “Y-100” registered a +.9 in October. Prior to that sweep, it had been within 5.1 – 5.8 range (6+) the previous 11 months. The -.5 in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease that netted two-tenths (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). Tied with “Y-100” at #8 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station,” which is without an increase for the fourth month in a row for an overall -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). In advance of the August ratings period, KAJA registered three consecutive uptrends for a collective gain of eight-tenths. After ten straight months at #1, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” replicates December’s nine-tenths’ loss (6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). A sampling of its recent (6+) fluctuations include December 2016’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January 2017’s +1.1; April’s +.8; May’s -.6; August’s -.5; October’s +.7; December’s -.9; and “Holiday” 2017’s -.9. On the heels of December’s -.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” sputters by another seven-tenths (6.2 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+) but remains in third-place. Co-owned KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” is an overall -1.1 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.4, 6+) as it slides from #15 to #19. By posting a one-half share gain in December, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KXXM halted four successive down or flat trends that produced a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), but “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that half-share improvement in its entirety and is back to 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). After both stations posted the identical topline-stat four months in a row (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (#23, 6+), while Cox Media Group classic country KKYX “Country Legends” is off three-tenths to 1.2 (#24, 6+). For KTSA, December’s -.2 ended four straight improvements that produced a +.7 since July (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while the loss of two-tenths in the December sweep by KKYX halted six straight up or flat trends for an overall +.7 (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – Frozen on 5.7 (6+) in August and September and then on 5.2 (6+) in October and November, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH more than doubles the October and November stat in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a combined +5.4 to 10.6 (6+) as “Today’s Wish 99.7” sails from fourth to second. This is the station’s best 6+-showing in exactly one year (12.4, “Holiday” 2016). Nearly six shares ahead of “Wish” is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS,” which adds a +3.5 to December’s +2.0 (12.9 – 16.4, 6+) and is on top for the tenth month in a row. By way of comparison, “3WS” recorded a 13.7 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016. After posting three consecutive increases for an overall +1.3 (9.1 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+), WWSW forfeited eight-tenths in June. As a result of gaining six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh Sports Radio” (unchanged at #6) matches August’s 5.9. Immediately after posting a +1.6 in December, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” plummets by -2.1 (7.4 – 9.0 – 6.9, 6+) to shift from third to fourth. The market’s two hot ACs are a combined -1.7: Entercom-owned WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays the Hits” (seventh to eighth) is off one full-share to 4.0, its softest 6+-share in one year (3.6, “Holiday” 2016), while Steel City Media’s WLTJ “Real Variety Q-92.9” drops seven-tenths (3.1 – 2.4, flat at #11, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 2.1 in May 2016. The country format isn’t much better this sweep as its (6+) -1.3 from December is split between Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108 Pittsburgh’s Country” (4.0 – 3.2, -.8, ninth to tenth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” (-.5, flat at #12, 6+), which is off for the third time in a row for a -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). The -.8 by WDSY ends an up/down pattern that started in June in which “Y-108” was 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 4.0 (6+). An August loss of one-tenth snapped at three its consecutive string without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+). A cumulative +.9 in June and July (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and then a collective -.9 in August and September (3.8 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 104.7 gained four-tenths in October. Elsewhere in the iHeartMedia cluster, WDVE sputters by eight-tenths (9.2 – 8.4, 6+), falling to #3 after six straight months at #2, while CHR sibling WKST “96.1 Kiss FM – Pittsburgh’s #1 Music Station” is a collective -2.0 from three consecutive decreases (8.2 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). WDVE was +1.6 in October and -1.0 in November. Its 10.2 in October marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March (10.4). Meanwhile, “Kiss” was +1.0 in October. A +.2 in September concluded a string of three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.1 (9.1 – 8.7 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). Without an increase the past seven months (.3 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+), co-owned sports talk WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” adds one-tenth (to .2, 6+) and inches up from #18 to #17.

5) Sacramento – Repeating at #1, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX tacks a +5.4 onto December’s +1.2 (7.6 – 8.8 – 14.2, 6+). “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is the first Sacramento station to reach double-digits since it did so in “Holiday” 2016 with a 13.0. Down or flat the past three months for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” answers with a +1.3 to 8.4 – its best 6+-stat since January’s 8.7 – progressing from third to second. After three straight improvements netting a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), the news/talk hybrid regressed by three-tenths in October. Showing one-half share gains are Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) rocketing from ninth to fourth, and co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 – Sacramento’s Alternative” (3.3, #13 to #12, 6+), which was a combined -1.0 in three dips in succession (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). The station that KYMX succeeded at #1 in December – co-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” – is a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.4 – 7.4 – 6.2, second to third, 6+). “The Eagle” was a combined -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). The last time it was in six-share territory (6+) was in September 2014 (6.8). In the most recent four sweeps, Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” has been -.9 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and now -1.0 “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). November’s increase halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a collective -1.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Entravision-owned, similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” regresses by one-half share (2.8 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+). “The Wolf” was a combined -.4 in October and November (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+). September’s +.5 suspended four straight decreases for an overall -.9 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). The market’s other country outlet – iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is trending 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.8 (#17 to #18, 6+). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the last eight sweeps, Entercom hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” falters by nine-tenths to 3.6 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Off by seven-tenths are co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.9, #15 to #16, 6+) and Entravision Spanish adult hits KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (1.7 – 1.0, #17 to #24, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Sports 1140” was +1.0 in seven successive up or flat trends (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+). Flat at #8, iHeartMedia-owned KYRV “93.7 The River – The River City’s New Classic Rock” sputters by six-tenths to 3.5, its lowest 6+-share since March (3.5, as well). After gaining six-tenths in December, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” surrenders all but one-tenth of it (2.6 – 2.1, -.5, 6+) but carries on at #15. Dropping one-half share as well is Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a -.6 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2, fourth to fifth, 6+).

6) Salt Lake City – In a ratings period that has seen some truly astonishing benchmarks, it would be difficult to find a station with greater accomplishments than Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI. For openers, “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” adds an eye-popping +9.6 to December’s +6.6 and is #1 for the third month in a row. Its 23.2 share (6+) is well over four times that of the market’s #2 finisher – or if you prefer – in excess of the sum total of the next five stations after it. In information from the 36 PPM-markets we’ve seen thus far, KSFI (23.2) is the only station to each a 20-share (6+); it did so in “Holiday” 2016, as well (20.6). “FM 100.3” was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except January, March, April, and October; it was a combined -.8 in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+). News/talk sibling, KSL “NewsRadio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM,” finishes second, but is a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+). Recent KSL fluctuations include +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November 2016), +1.1 (December 2016), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); -2.1 (February 2017); +.6 (April 2017); -1.1 (May 2017); -.9 (July 2017); +.6 (August 2017); +1.1 (September 2017); +1.4 (October 2017); -1.8 (November 2017); -.8 (December 2017); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2017). Up or flat for the eighth sweep in a row for a +.5 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+), 1980’s hits KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” inches up from #23 to #22. After an overall +1.9 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 4.7 – 3.5 (fifth to sixth, 6+). This is the first time under a four-share (6+) for KODJ since April’s 3.9; November’s 5.8 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 6.6. Surrendering eight-tenths from December (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville’s similarly-formatted “103.5 The Arrow” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie with KODJ. Within 5.2 – 5.9 range (6+) in each of the last 11 sweeps, Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” spirals by -1.4 from 5.4 to 4.0 (third to fifth, 6+). Plummeting by nine-tenths is KSFI’s format rival – Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (3.2 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+) – which has its lowest 6+-share since 1.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Dropping by nine-tenths as well is Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 All the Hits” (3.4 – 2.5, #11 to #15, 6+). Owing to four negative moves in succession, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -2.4 (6.5 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.1, fifth to fourth, 6+). As a result of three straight monthlies without a loss (June through September), KZHT was a combined +1.5 (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 6.5, 6+). In the country arena, KUBL is -1.4 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.7 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+) but stays at #8. Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country,” which netted eight-tenths in three straight gains (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), drops one-half share to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in third-place. Without an increase for the eighth straight time (2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 -.8, #24, 6+), Broadway Media’s KEGA “101.5 The Eagle – Utah’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2. After more than quintupling its 6+-share in six successive gains for a +1.3 (.3 – .4 – .5 – .9 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), sports talk KALL “ESPN 700” is off by two-tenths to 1.4 (#21 to #22, 6+).

7) Las Vegas – An overall +7.7 in three straight positive spikes (4.8 – 6.9 – 10.6 – 12.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (14.0). A collective -2.7 in four successive (June through October) decreases (7.5 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 4.8, 6+), “Sunny” bounced back in November with a +2.1. Recent fluctuations for “Sunny,” which had been on top between December 2016 and June 2017, are +1.8 (March); -1.1 (April); -1.2 (May); +1.4 (June); -.8 (July); -.7 (September); -.8 (October); +2.1 (November); +3.7 (December); and +1.9 (“Holiday” 2017). Up of flat for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall +.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, fourth to third, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio – Right Song, Right Time” registers its strongest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 5.4. Off a total of six-tenths in three straight monthlies without an increase (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” gains two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #14. By improving two-tenths to 1.9 (#21 to a four-way logjam at #18, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KRGT “Latino Mix 99.3” curtails three downward trends in succession that accounted for a -1.5 (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 1.7, 6+). Following five straight downward moves in which its 6+-share was sliced by more than 80% (2.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .4, 6+), University of Nevada-owned KUNV “91.5 The Source” adds two-tenths to .6 (6+) and continues at #28. Five successive improvements by Entercom hot AC KMXB accounted for a net gain of +2.1 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 94.1” returns the entire bounty in December and “Holiday” 2017 with a collective -2.1 (6.7 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). It slips to #4, after four straight months at #3. In October, “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 6.1. Not only is iHeartMedia country KWNR a collective -2.5 as the result of three consecutive downward moves, (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.1 – 3.2, 6+), “95.5 The Bull – Las Vegas New Country Leader” fades from #5 to #13. In five successive down or flat trends, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 for Classic Rock” is a cumulative -1.9 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+) as it drifts from sixth to tenth. Even though it is without an increase for the fourth ratings period in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+) Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” advances from #16 to #15.

8) Cincinnati – Making it five improvements in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” improves by +9.1 since August (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 7.5 – 13.0, 6+) and continues at #1. Its current 13.0 surpasses the 11.7 it recorded in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.4 in August and September (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WGRR rebounded with a combined +.8 in October and November (8.3 – 9.0 – 9.1, 6+), but “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+), segueing from first to second. Stymied on 2.9 (6+) between September and December, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” notches its sixth straight sweep without a loss for a +1.0 (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+); 3.4 is its best 6+-stat since April (3.4, as well). Urban contemporary sibling WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” drops seven-tenths (4.3 – 3.6, ninth to tenth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March. Down for the fifth straight time for a collective -3.3 (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW remains at #3. “The Big One” fell to #3 in November, following three consecutive months at #1. WLW returned to the top in August 2017 after back-to-back appearances at #2. Frozen on 4.8 (6+) in November and December, co-owned CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” drops eight-tenths to 4.0 (sixth to eighth, 6+). All three of the market’s country outlets surrender one-half share: Hubbard’s WUBE “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” (6.8 – 6.3, fourth to a third-place tie with WLW, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” (2.2 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+); and Hubbard’s WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” (1.1 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+). November’s 8.2 was the highest 6+-share for “B-105.1” since October 2016’s 8.5; conversely, 6.3 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (5.3); WUBE plummeted by -1.4 in December. At this time last month, “Nash FM” regained the four-tenths it lost in November to end four downward or flat moves in succession for a collective -1.1 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), while in November, “The Wolf” ended four straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of nine-tenths (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). In addition to the aforementioned three country outlets, Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” surrenders one-half share as well (4.6 – 4.1, flat at #7, 6+); “The Fox” was down six-tenths in December. While unchanged at #16, Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” is down for the third sweep in a row for a combined -.8 (2.4 – 2.3 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), immediately following five consecutive up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.0 (1.4 -1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+).

9) Orlando – Adding a +3.9 to December’s +4.4 (7.6 – 12.0 – 15.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 16.1. After logging four losses in a row for a combined -1.3 (4.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WQMP recaptures all but two-tenths of that loss (4.1, +1.1, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Approximately three weeks into the December sweep (11/29), WQMP transitioned from CHR “Amp” to “Alt 101.9 – Orlando’s New Alternative.” By adding seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, ninth to sixth, 6+), Cox Media Group country outlet WWKA “K-92.3” records its best 6+-stat since 5.0 in March. Following 11 consecutive months on top, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December. It remains there in “Holiday” 2017, but “Rumba 100” is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row with the bulk of the collective -2.7 coming with the current -2.4 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). WRUM spiraled by two full-shares in July; was flat in August; and was up nine-tenths in September. April’s 12.8 was the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. On the heels of December’s -1.9, Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” plummets by -1.0 (8.1 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Up or flat the past four sweeps for a +1.7 (7.5 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” forfeits nearly half that gain (7.3, -.9, 6+) and remains at #3; December’s 8.2 was its best 6+-stat since May’s 8.8. In October, “XL-106.7” pulled the plug on five straight monthlies without an increase that resulted in a -2.4 (9.9 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5, 6+), a streak that followed a +2.7 as the result of four consecutive progressive trends (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). On the heels of a November gain of six-tenths, Entercom hot AC WOMX is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” (#11 to #12, 6+) and (public) Community Communications news/talk WMFE (3.9 – 3.3, #12 to #13, 6+). In four straight decreases, “News 96.5” – which racked up a +2.0 in September – is a collective -2.7 (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to an August gain of nine-tenths, it was -1.0 via three straight negative trends (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Slipping from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” registers its fifth consecutive decrease and is a cumulative -2.3 since August (6.8 – 6.4 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+).

10) Cleveland – A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” surges from fifth to first and matches its 10.4 in “Holiday” 2016. In December, “Star” halted three straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.1 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+). It becomes the fourth different Cleveland station in the last four sweeps to occupy the top spot. Exiting after taking its one-month tenure in the penthouse is Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.4 – 8.6, -.8, first to third). Two-tenths from the top spot in November, WZAK was +.5 in November and advanced to #1 in December with a +.9. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves by WZAK for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). Even though it is unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” rolls out a +2.5 (7.8 – 10.3, 6+) and is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+), but WMJI was -.9 in December. In 2017, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” occupied the top spot from January through April; July (with a +1.1 to 9.2, its strongest 6+-share since 9.8 in “Holiday” 2016); August; September (tied with WZAK); and November. Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” spirals by -1.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A combined +1.3 in November and December (6.4 – 7.6 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” returns nine-tenths (6.8, third to fourth, 6+). A nine-tenths erosion applies as well to sibling WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.6 – 3.7, #10 to #13, 6+), which was -1.0 in November and +.6 in December. Via five straight upticks (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk WCPN is a cumulative +1.7 and climbs from #13 to #12. By picking up three-tenths in December to 5.5 (6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL halted four negative trends in a row for an overall -1.8 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+); however, “Q-104 Plays The Hits” falters by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 4.7, sliding from eighth to ninth. Co-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” follows December’s -1.1 with a loss of one-half share (7.5 – 6.4 – 5.9, 6+) but remains at #7. After six straight up or flat sweeps that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” was off one-half share in October; improved by nine-tenths (to 7.2, 6+) in November, crossing the seven-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history; but is a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7. – 6.7 – 6,1, flat at #6, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Powered by four positive spikes in succession (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.3 – 8.1, 6+), Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” more than doubles its 6+-stat since September (+4.1). Not only surpassing its 7.0 in “Holiday” 2016, “KC-102.1” jumps from fifth to third. The only two stations reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2017 from this particular list of 12 PPM-markets that are not adult contemporary are WWSW, Pittsburgh (see above) and Cumulus Media Kansas City’s classic hits-oldies KCMO, which moves from second to first; “94.9 – Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in November, as well. Similar to “KC-102.1,” KCMO is up for the fourth sweep in a row (but) for a collective +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+) and eclipses its “Holiday” 2016 showing (10.3) by one-tenth. The combination of KCMO’s +1.4 and co-owned classic rock KCFX “The Fox” dropping one-half share (9.6 – 9.1, 6+) results in “The Fox” shifting from first to second. A +1.2 in December lifted “The Fox” to 9.6, its strongest 6+-stat since July’s 10.3 and ended four straight down or flat sweeps that generated a -1.9 (10.3 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). Before November, “The Fox” occupied the penthouse for ten consecutive months. August’s -1.6 pulled the plug on five straight increases netting a +2.8 (7.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+). In December, Union Broadcasting sports talk WHB was -.4, thus curtailing at five its successive string of positive trends that doubled its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+); however, “Sports Radio 810” rebounds in “Holiday” 2017 with a one-half share increase (2.6 – 3.1, 6+) and improves from #15 to #14. A collective -2.9 in four straight decreases (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KCSP gains one-tenth to 1.6 (#20 to #19, 6+). Prior to this just-ended negative streak, “610 Sports Radio – Our Teams, Our Town” nearly quadrupled its 6+-share with a +3.2 in five consecutive up or flat trends (1.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6+); August’s 4.4 was its highest 6+-share since June 2016’s 4.7. A November gain of seven-tenths by KMXV halted four losses in a row that accounted for a -1.0 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.8, 6+). The Steel City Media CHR added eight-tenths in December, however, “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” freefalls by two full shares in “Holiday” 2017 (6.3 – 4.3, 6+), drifting from third to ninth. In advance of December, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was nearly two years ago (6.4, January 2016), but this is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2017’s 4.2. An overall +1.3 in November and December (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.1, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” surrenders a -1.0 to 5.1, dropping from fourth to fifth. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (4.5, seventh to eighth, 6+) and co-owned alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (#14 to #15, 6+). Regarding these two properties, one streak ends and another continues. Specifically, “The Rock” had been +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); 5.0 in November and December represents its best 6+-share in more than two years (5.1, October 2015). Meanwhile, “The Buzz” is -1.5 in four consecutive decreases (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+). In a similar vein, two streaks draw to a close in the country format. A combined -1.8 in three straight negative moves (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” is +.1 to 5.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+). When “Country 94.1” lost three-tenths in October, it ended five straight increases that netted +1.3 (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.9, 6+). Conversely, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WDAF “106.5 The Wolf,” which was +.5 in three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), is -.1 to 4.8 (6+), but actually manages to improve from eighth to sixth; December’s 4.9 was its best 6+-share since April 2015 (4.9, as well).

12) Columbus – Aided by a massive +5.1 (5.9 – 11.0, 6+), Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” races from sixth all the way to first. Moreover, while “Sunny” registered an 8.7 in “Holiday” 2016, this is its strongest 6+-stat since reappearing in print over three years ago (December 2014). Ousted at #1 after a six-month tenure and segueing to second is iHeartMedia country outlet WCOL (11.3 – 10.9, -.4, 6+), which has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June. Off a combined -1.5 in August and September, WCOL regained roughly half of that loss in October with a +.7, but was down one-tenth in November. July’s 12.7 was the highest 6+-share by any Columbus station since WCOL reached 12.9 in July 2015. It was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; +.8 in March; -1.3 in May; +1.4 in June; +2.1 in July; -.9 in August; -.6 in September; +.7 in October; and -.5 in December. Adult hits sibling WODC “93.3 The Bus” follows December’s +.6 with a +2.1 (5.4 – 6.0 – 8.1, fifth to third, 6+). After a -.6 in August, “93.3 The Bus” responded in September and October with a collective +1.9 (4.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), but was -1.0 in November; Holiday” 2017’s 8.1 is the highest 6+-share for “The Bus” since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of three successive gains (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO is +1.7 and moves from ninth to eighth. Having registered five straight negative trends for a -1.4 since July (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” posts a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Advancing by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WYTS “Throwback 105.3” (.3 – .8, #18 to #17, 6+). Following a +.6 in December, RadiOhio-owned WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” plummets by -1.4 (5.6 – 4.2, 6+) but remains at #7. When “The Fan” lost three-tenths in November to 5.0 (6+), it closed out three straight gains that produced a +3.4 (1.9 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 5.3, 6+). December’s 5.6 was its best 6+-performance since 5.9 in the “Holiday” 2016 report; conversely, 4.2 is its lowest since September’s 4.0. Down or flat for the fifth sweep in succession for a collective -2.8 (10.8 – 10.8 – 10.7 – 9.5 – 9.2 – 8.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 – Columbus’ Hit Music Station and #1 for New Music” shifts from second to fourth. The last time WNCI was below a nine-share (6+) was in March (8.9). With a September – October – November – December topline (6+) trend of 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2 (#15), Radio One urban contemporary WBMO “Power” disappears from print. After posting a +1.6 in November, Saga Communications’ WNND “Rewind – Columbus’ Greatest Hits” has returned all but two-tenths of that increase in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.2, -1.4, #11 to #12, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.6 in November, “Rewind” had been within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) in each of the previous ten ratings periods. As a result of a December -.3 to 6.2 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN halted three straight up-trends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+), but “NewsRadio 610” falters by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 5.6 (third to sixth, 6+).

Friday, January 19, 2018

| January 19, 2018

Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91.  The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.  Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida.  As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event.  During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations.   In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show.  After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program.  It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success.  He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997.  McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system  — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s.  He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979.  Prior to that it had largely been news and information.  McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.”  Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.”  The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.

Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin.  Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was.  First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.”  Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project.  He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network.  When Ed called, the corporation cooperated.  He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network.  When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money.  And he always found the money.”  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play.  It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA).  As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business.  We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”

WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host.  New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities.  He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK.  Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy.  He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene.  Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family.  He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”

WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup.  Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.”  Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years.  Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul.  His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!”  Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.

SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties.  SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup.  His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.”  In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi.  His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does.  This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”

Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000.  The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market.  The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc.  The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.”  To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

| January 18, 2018

WCBS 880 Promotes Alex Silverman.  News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted to assistant director of news and programming for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York.  Prior to joining the station in 2011, Silverman served with Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  As an anchor/reporter with WCBS 880, he was honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2017 for “Excellence in Sound.”  In his new role, Silverman will help manage the day-to-day news coverage for WCBS, its website and social media channels, in addition to his current reporting and anchoring responsibilities.  Entercom SVP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Alex is a talented news broadcaster and passionate storyteller.  His work on air, online, and on the station’s social media channels has helped set WCBS 880 apart from our competitors as a brand that delivers more than just the headlines.”

Beshore to Lead iHeartMedia Indianapolis Cluster.  Radio management pro Brett Beshore is named the market president for iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis station group that includes sports talk WNDE “FOX Sports 97.5 and 1260 AM,” classic rock WFBQ, alternative WOLT “ALT 103.3,” and hip hop WZRL “Real 98.3.”  Beshore most recently served as region president for Fairway Outdoor Advertising.  He’s also managed for Times-Shamrock and Cumulus Media.  Beshore comments, “I’m thrilled to return to iHeartMedia to lead this heritage market.  iHeartMedia has tremendous brand recognition in the market and a highly talented team.  I look forward to delivering results for our advertisers and providing great radio entertainment for our listeners.”  Beshore takes over for Brad Polston, who exits the company.

Hopeck Named Chairman of NYMRAD.  There’s a new chairman and executive committee for the New York Market Radio Association.  The organization announces that iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck rises from secretary to chairman.  Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan remains on the executive committee as vice chairman, CumulusChad Lopez joins the committee as secretary and Spanish Broadcasting SystemsEric Garcia is named treasurer.  Hopeck says, “I’m committed to evangelizing the clear advantages of using Audio to engage consumers.  I look forward to working with [executive director] Debbie Beagan and New York’s top radio leaders to inspire marketers with the most compelling cases of audio attribution in building brands and increasing sales for advertisers.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Probe/Bannon Testimony/Mexican Wall, Trump on DACA/Immigration Policy, Trump’s ‘Fake News’ Awards, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Larry Nassar Trial, Soaring Dow/‘Cryptocollapse,’ NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The threat of a federal government shutdown; the Trump-Russia investigation, the testimony of former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon, and the issue of the Mexican wall; the Trump Administration’s reversal of the Obama DACA policy and its overall immigration stance; President Trump issues his “fake news” awards and the media’s reactions; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the trial of former Olympic gymnast doctor Larry Nassar and the victim impact statements; the continued rising of the Dow Jones industrial average and the sinking value of cryptocurrencies; the NFL playoffs; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley interviewed former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what he calls the “definitive exit interview.”  Hurley’s interview with Christie lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was broadcast without interruptions.  You can hear the interview here…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Women In Trucking,” a live, call-in show airing exclusively on its Road Dog channel and hosted by Ellen Voie.  SiriusXM says the program will feature listener call-ins and interviews with professionals from the trucking industry and will also address gender diversity issues, pushing for more women to join its ranks…..Six-time WWE champion Chris Jericho is adding two new shows to his Jericho Network podcasts being distributed and sales repped by Westwood One. The Jericho Network is an extension of Jericho’s diverse array of subjects and guests featuring other entertaining podcast hosts.  It debuts on Monday, January 22.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Gig alert!  Cumulus Media Indianapolis is seeking a program director and operations manager with strong country experience.  The company says the “winning candidate will be responsible for all programming of WFMS-FM, one of America’s most-storied country stations with a passionate following, and for helping to grow our dominant classic hits station WJJK and our exciting new CHR station ‘ENeRGY 93.9.’  The WFMS PD/OM will be responsible for leading WFMS to continued market dominance through precise music curation and scheduling; expert coaching of a veteran, winning air staff; and development of eye- and ear-catching promotions, NTR events-concerts and contests; finding new ways to increase ratings and revenue while ensuring WFMS remains essential to the people of Indianapolis and Central Indiana.  If this sounds like the job you’ve prepared for and aspired to for your whole career, we want to talk to you!  Send resume, ratings history, references and mp3 in confidence to Tom.Stemlar@cumulus.com with the subject line “Indianapolis PD.”…..In Columbus, Ohio, alternative WWCD program director Mase Brazelle assumes the afternoon drive show, taking over the daypart from Lesley James, who exited at the end of 2017.  Mase also hosts the station’s “The Stash” evening program.  He’ll continue to do that show in its new time of 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Saga Communications Portland, Maine brings country programming pro Crash Poteet aboard to serve as brand manager and afternoon drive personality for country outlet WPOR.  Poteet comments, “I’m beyond excited to join the WPOR team and its legendary brand.  Thanks to Saga for allowing me the opportunity to share in the ‘POR passion for creating fun and compelling country radio.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..In the Peoria market, Marc Alghini exits Advanced Media Partners’ rock WWCT, where he was program director and morning drive personality.  At least for the interim, Chris Watters is serving as the morning co-host alongside Roxy Baker…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that “The Billy Madison Show” adds three new affiliate stations – Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock,” Western Rockies Radio’s KDXT-HD2/K237DZ “95 3 The X,” and Lotus Communications’ KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102.1.”

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

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

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

Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

| December 13, 2017

Stationality Forces Cumulus’ Hand in Cancellation of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano Show on WLS-AM.  Windy City news/talk WLS-AM is making a change to its programming lineup in January and husband-and-wife midday team Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are the casualties of the change.  WLS-AM will import Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show and push Premiere Network’s Rush Limbaugh back to an 11:00 am start in order to air live.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder that he respects Sirott and Murciano greatly.  “The lane we’ve chosen to be in is the conservative talk station in this marketplace.  We just don’t think that’s what they bring to the table.”

Portland Sports Talker KPOJ Re-Branded; Cable-Radio Simulcast for New Local Shows.  A major co-operative effort between iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ, Portland and NBC Sports Northwest is announced that will include a cable TV simulcast of the station’s local shows to be produced at “a new state-of-the-art radio studio being built at NBC Sports Northwest.”  The current morning show “Rip City Mornings with Dan & Nigel” and afternoon program “Rip City Drive with Travis & Chad” will be joined by the new “Dwight Jaynes & Aaron Fentress Show” (airing 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) for the simulcast.  Meanwhile, starting in January, the station will call itself “NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio.”  It will continue to air FOX Sports Radio’s Rich Eisen from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  iHeartMedia Markets Group president of Pacific Northwest Region Robert Dove says, “We are excited to partner with NBC Sports Northwest to bring ‘Rip City Radio’ listeners the best in local sports programming.  Our combined assets will provide even more access for Portland sports fans across both TV and radio, including enhanced audio and visual content for Trailblazer fans all in one destination.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa to Be Off Air While Recovering from Crohn’s Surgery.  New York radio personality Curtis Sliwa is undergoing surgery to alleviate the problems he’s been dealing with from Crohn’s disease over the past two years.  Sliwa tells TALKERS the Crohn’s has taken a toll on his health.  “I have lost my muscle mass and, in the process, 60 pounds.  The pain throughout has been horrific.  At times, it caused me to pass out and gather into a fetal position on the floor.  Often times the only way that I could keep broadcasting was to take ‘Hillbilly Heroin,’ a.k.a Oxycodone, to suppress the overwhelming pain.  The cause of the ulcerated intestines that will be removed during the procedure were the five gun shots I was hit with in my lower extremities in the summer of 1992, the result of a hit ordered on me by John Gotti for what I was saying on the radio about the Gambino Crime Family.  Best-case scenario is that it will take me a week of recovery at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.  Worst-case scenario, a month or more.”  Sliwa says WABC management will be using a series of replacements for both of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show and the “The Drive Home” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Mike Francesa Hosts Penultimate WFAN Show from Paley Center. Tomorrow afternoon (12/14), New York sports talk radio legend Mike Francesa will broadcast his second-last show on Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio 660 AM – 101.9 FM” live before a studio audience from the Paley Center for Media.  Entercom is inviting the media to cover the event and is making Francesa available for one-on-one interviews prior to the show.  Francesa – who has been a bit cagey about his post-WFAN plans – has said he’ll broadcast solo on Friday with no guests or special content.  He is being replaced by the trio of Chris Carlin, Bart Scott, and Maggie Gray, effective in January.

WFDF, Detroit Suspends Reverend W.J. Rideout’s Show for Accusation Lacking ‘Journalistic Standards.’  As reported by the Detroit Free Press, WFDF, Detroit “910AM Superstation” founder and CEO Kevin Adell has suspended the program of local pastor Reverend W.J. Rideout III after the latter accused three members of the Detroit media of sexual harassment but was unable to point to any victims or reports of allegations.  Adell tells the paper that the suspension was handed down for obvious reasons.  “Rev. Rideout was making these accusations and I asked, where are the victims?  He had no victims…My question is where are the standards?  What are the journalistic standards?  Where are the victims?  Former victims?  You have to have journalistic standards.  I don’t want people to use my airwaves to feather a nest for media attention.”  Rideout said that WXYT-TV, Detroit general manager Mike Murri received complaints about anchors Malcolm Maddox and Steven Clark but refused to investigate.  He also accused Detroit Free Press journalist Stephen Henderson.

TALKERS News Notes.  Texas talk show host Sam Malone – based at Salem Media Group’s KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” – was embedded with the Roy Moore campaign reporting for Salem Radio Network on the Alabama Senate special election, yesterday (12/12).  Malone (left) is pictured here with former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon (right), who is now co-hosting the “Breitbart News Daily” program on SiriusXM…..Tribune news/talk WGN, Chicago is debuting “The WGN Radio Holiday Spectacular,” – a live, variety show featuring the station’s talent – on Friday (12/15) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  It’s being co-hosted by Bill Leff and Dometi Pongo.  Listeners will be treated to seasonal songs, classic stories, yuletide poetry and a live report from a certain workshop at the North Pole over the course of the two-hour show.  This holiday revue stars: Steve Cochran, Andrea Darlas, Roe Conn, Anna Davlantes, Nick Digilio, Patti Vasquez, Justin Kaufmann, Lou Manfredini, and many more with a dramatic reading from the great Bill Kurtis.  Retro rock and roll band Rosie and the Rivets will perform as the house band…..From December 18 through New Year’s Day, SiriusXM’s Howard 100 channel will feature the best of Howard Stern’s celebrity interviews from 2017.   Some of the stars featured on “Howard 101: The Interviews” include: Miley Cyrus, Kevin Hart, Scarlett Johansson, David Letterman, Adam Levine, Robert Plant, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and more, as well as news figures ranging from Rachel Maddow to Robert O’Neill, the Navy Seal credited with killing Osama Bin Laden…..Speaking of Kevin Hart, he’s getting his own channel with SiriusXM called Laugh Out Loud.  The channel extends Hart’s Laugh Out Loud brand to radio for the first time. It will launch in 2018 and will feature a weekly show hosted by Hart.  He’ll also handpick a selection of diverse comedic voices to create, produce and star on the channel’s wide range of comedy programming…..…..Entercom Communications announces new call letters for “CBS Sports 910” in Hesperia, California from KRAK to KMPS-AM.  The announcement comes after Entercom’s merger with CBS RADIO…..The sale of translator W290AT, Plattsburgh, New York from Saranac Lake Radio LLC to Vox AM/FM LLC closes.  The buyer paid $20,000 cash at closing and the exclusive broker for the deal was Patrick Communications.

Roy Moore-Doug Jones Special Election; Larry King Allegations/NFL Network Suspensions, NYC Pipe Bomb Attack, North Korea Nuclear Program, Jerusalem Recognition Aftermath, California Wildfires, Bitcoin Activity, Last Jedi Criticism, Facebook ‘Guilt,’ NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12).  Yesterday’s special election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat; allegations of groping against Larry King and the suspension of numerous NFL Network personalities during an investigation of sexual misconduct; Monday’s pipe bomb attack and information about the suspect; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the US; the effects of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel; the raging wildfires in Southern California; the hoopla over Bitcoin activity; the critical previews of the new Star Wars film The Last Jedi; a former Facebook exec’s public expression of remorse over social media’s effects on society; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

PPM Analysis: CHRTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing 6+ weekly AQH shares from October’s survey to this month, Kinosian says, “Nearly the same number of our mainstream CHR panelists are up October 2017 – November 2017 (47%) as are down (41%); the remaining 12% are unchanged.”  A year-over-year comparison shows different results.  “Six of 10 stations in this mainstream CHR sample are down November 2016 – November 2017 (60%); roughly one of three improve (35%); and 5% remain steady.”  The high-cuming format racked up 17 stations ranking in the top five in their respective markets in November.  But, just one – iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM” – ranked #1.  See the entire report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Washington cluster of iHeartMedia, Elizabethany is the new assistant program director and afternoon drive personality for CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5.”  Beginning in January, she’ll host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  “HOT 99.5” program director Rob Kruz comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to have Elizabethany in this new role at iHeartMedia Washington.  Her energy and creativity both in and out of the studio, combined with a track record of ratings success, make her the perfect choice to take over afternoons on ‘HOT 99.5!’”…..iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles radio stations are launching the iHeartRadio So Cal Fire Relief Project to raise funds for victims of the ongoing Southern California wildfires. The effort is in conjunction with Westfield – owner of four malls in the LA area.  iHeartMedia talent will broadcast live from those locations, encouraging people to donate to the fund.  All donations are being distributed through three local organizations including the American Red Cross, The Humane Society of Ventura County and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation…..Cumulus Media Des Moines is hosting the Big Country Bash 2018 – a two-day country music festival on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles, Iowa.  Artists including Brett Eldredge, Midland, Aaron Watson, and Russell Dickerson are already signed up to appear, with more artists to be announced later…..Entercom Philadelphia’s station group is producing the first annual “Holiday Hops Craft Beer Festival.”  Attendees aged 21 years and older are invited to revel in the holiday spirit by enjoying a wide variety of beers and wearing their ugly sweaters.  The festive event will include a photo booth with mistletoe, free parking and live music along with unlimited samplings from some 25 craft breweries…..Entercom announces it’s bringing new call letters to its Seattle adult contemporary “94.1 The Sound,” importing KSWD-FM from its longtime position as the calls for the Los Angeles classic rocker.  The station was sold to Educational Media Foundation as part of the company’s divestiture of stations prior to the CBS RADIO merger.  It’s now a Christian contemporary station with the calls KKLQ.

‘Radio’s Best Friend’ Honored in NYC.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo was “surprised out of his wits” last Saturday night when – while attending a private client party in Manhattan hosted by voiceover pro Steve Kamer and “Entertainment Tonight” producer Kevin Gershan – it was announced that Vuolo was a “special guest.”  Vuolo was presented with a cake and a microphone trophy with a gold plaque commemorating the event.  Vuolo says, “It’s truly special to be so appreciated.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Gershan, Kamer, and Vuolo.

Friday, December 8, 2017

| December 8, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey.  Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee.  See the entire report here.

Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations.   Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54.  In each, we see a gradual rise over that period.  For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share.  Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%.  In November, that AQH share was 4.3%.  Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers.  “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.”  See the Nielsen report here.

Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations.  Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks.  But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play.  In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties.  Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.

Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans.  Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast.  “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular.  A couple of people have asked me to sell them.  I said no.  Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about.  The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it.  So, I will do it somewhere.  I don’t know where.  But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.”  Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15).  Read the SI.com piece here.

New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland.  Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.   Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons.  Costa exited the station in August.  The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart.  “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.

Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story.  In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story.  Every story has two sides, sometimes more.  He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts.  It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.”  Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties.  Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”

The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8.  The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet.  You can read CNN’s account here.  MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers.  SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player.  They will also take questions from audience members in the studio.  The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out.  Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party.  She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash.  However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words.  It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area.  ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off.  It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments.  They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division.  To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs.  The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11).  The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

Friday, December 1, 2017

| December 1, 2017

Radio Industry Watching Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 Gambit.  This week’s announced Restructuring Support Agreement with “certain of [Cumulus Media’s] secured lenders” has the radio business intently watching how this attempt to reduce about $1 billion of its debt will go for the company.  After sifting through the company’s SEC filings, more light is being shed on this move led by Cumulus CEO Mary Berner.  The first and most important aspect of this RSA is that under the proposed terms, senior lenders would receive 83.5% of the equity of the “reorganized Cumulus” and junior debt holders would get the other 16.5%.  Note too that this agreement is with the senior debt holders and there’s no knowing at this point if any junior debt holders would come on board or not.  The latter could attempt to sink the RSA.  Another interesting part of Cumulus’ report is the list of “unsecured claims” that shows the company owes U.S. National Bank $637 million, Nielsen Audio $6.65 million, Broadcasters General Store $967,596, and BMI $789,812, among others.   For them, absent a specific deal with the company to settle those claims (obviously at less than 100%), holders of General Unsecured Claims would have to hope for the best in getting compensated from the Unsecured Equity Recovery Pool.  We’ll have answers to these questions – and many more – sometime within the next 180 days (the time frame of the RSA).

iHeartMedia and Lenders Continue to Dance.  Just before the Thanksgiving weekend, iHeartMedia offered a proposal to lenders that included, among other things, 87.5% equity in the recapitalized iHeartMedia, and new debt of $7 billion to mature within five to seven years.  On November 28, those same lenders issued a counterproposal to receive 95.3% equity in the recapitalized iHM and new debt of $5.75 billion to mature within five to seven years.  Needless to say, a considerable gulf remains between the two sides.  iHeartMedia is trying to work out a solution to its more than $20 billion in debt.

Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory Commits to Regular Role on WBT, Charlotte.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer, former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory will continue to be heard on Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte “for at least a couple of months.”  McCrory has been making regular appearances on WBT’s Morning News with host Bo Thompson at 7:15 am.  Now, McCrory is co-hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour with Thompson.  Entercom Charlotte vice president and market manager Matt Hanlon says the response to McCrory’s regular appearances has been “extraordinary.”  The change in WBT’s midmorning programming came after former 9:00 am to 12:00 noon personality Scott Fitzgerald was reassigned to other work for the company.  Former Charlotte television personality Vince Coakley is hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.

Kent Dunn to Lead Beasley Media Group’s Augusta, Georgia Station Group.  Returning to Beasley Media Group’s Augusta cluster where he previously managed for 21 years before moving to Tampa to lead the company’s station group there is Kent Dunn.  The Augusta cluster includes: news/talk WGAC-AM/FM, sports talk WRDW-AM “ESPN Augusta,” CHR WHHD, adult hits WDRR, religion WGUS, and rhythmic oldies WCHZ.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley comments, “Kent leads by example in everything he does.  We look forward to Kent returning to his roots and once again overseeing the cluster and enjoying the similar success he had both in Augusta and Tampa.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”  As a result of this move, former vice president and market manager Mark Haddon will shift his responsibilities to become director of sales for the cluster.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new program – “Lenz on Business” – is debuting on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta airing Saturdays at 6:00 pm.  The program is hosted by Lenz Marketing founder, president and CEO Richard Lenz.  The program features Lenz speaking “with Atlanta’s business leaders to explore their inspiring stories, lessons learned, and tips for growth and success.  From big business execs to indie entrepreneurs, these guests not only share their practical secrets, but also unveil the personalities behind the careers.”  The show is sponsored by Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  WSB program director Pete Spriggs says, “I’m excited about ‘Lenz on Business.’  It’s a topic that many of our WSB listeners can’t get enough of because they are business owners or are focused and successful in their careers and want to learn and find deeper success. Lenz Marketing has been a strong content partner with WSB Radio for years and have the same strategy that we do: to inform the listener with high quality content and interviews.”…..A new sports content channel is launching on SiriusXM that focuses on the Southeastern Conference.  SEC Radio will present “in-depth and comprehensive access to SEC-focused sports talk and news, plus offer an extensive schedule of SEC games.  The channel will debut next year.

Matt Lauer Firing Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 27 – December 1.  The firing of “Today” host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was other sexual harassment cases involving Senator Al Franken, Congressman John Conyers and others.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, tied with the Roy Moore senate run, followed by President Trump’s anti-Islam tweet at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

CBS Interactive Senior Reporter Dan Patterson Is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He writes stories and produces video reports about disruptive technologies covering a wide array of platforms and inventions from Twitter to Bitcoin for such outlets as TechRepublic, ZDNet, and CNET.  He delves into topics such as business technology innovation, policy, and hackers.  Dan Patterson is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Patterson take the listener on an illuminating journey through such subjects as the early days and rise of Twitter, Donald Trump’s effective use of social media, the changing state of journalism, fake news, self-regulation versus government control of the Internet and more.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio Network; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KIIS, Los Angeles based programming pro John Ivey is promoted by iHeartMedia’s National Programming Group to the new position of president of CHR programming strategy.  Ivey will continue to program KIIS while he oversees the company’s CHR and rhythmic CHR brand formats.  iHM also says he’ll “work to improve the company’s Top 40 brands in its over 150 markets.  In addition, he will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of CHR programmers and on-air talent, and book artists for events including the ‘iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour’ and KIIS FM’s ‘Wango Tango.’” iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman says, “John is one of the foremost talents in media today when it comes to programming Top 40 radio and he is a driving factor in why KIIS-FM is the most listened to station in its market.  He knows what CHR listeners want to hear and we’re confident he’ll help bring similar success to our stations in other markets.”…..On-air pro Toby Knapp slides over from  iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” to the cluster’s adult contemporary WASH-FM to co-host the morning drive program with incumbent talent Chili Amar.  That starts on Monday (12/4) and Knapp will continue to host his “HOT 99.5” afternoon show through the end of the year…..In New York, iHeartMedia promotes Cara Hahn to assistant program director and music director for CHR WHTZ “Z100” and adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM.”  Hahn joined the company in 2014.  She’s most recently been a programming coordinator for the New York cluster.  In her new role, she’ll report to “Z100” PD Mark Medina and “106.7 Lite FM” PD Chris Conley…..Ashley Wilson assumes the program director role at iHeartMedia’s country WNOE, New Orleans.  She comes to the Big Easy from her most recent position at Renda Broadcasting’s country WGNE, Jacksonville “99.9 Gator Country” where she was APD and midday personality.   At WNOE, Wilson will also host the PM drive show…..Programmer Jim Trapp is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s Yakima, Washington cluster that includes: country KDBL “The Bull,” rock KATS, CHR KFFM, rhythmic oldies KMGW “Mega 99.3,” news/talk KIT “Newstalk 1280,” and sports talk KUTI “1460 ESPN Yakima.”  He’d most recently served with Entercom’s adult hits KJAQ, Seattle “96.5 JACK FM.”

Round Two of November PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsens November 2017 PPM survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17).  CBS Radio references will cease beginning with our analysis of the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Without an increase in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+), Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR erases that deficit and three-tenths to spare (+1.4), rising to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. Even so, WHUR must be content to occupy third-place for the 11th time in a row. Its -1.0 in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” is stuck on 4.6 and carries on at #6. “Majic” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). As usual, the two stations ahead of WHUR are Hubbard all-news operation WTOP and American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” but with WAMU up three-tenths and WTOP off two-tenths, the two are tied at #1 (9.6, 6+). Prior to this sweep, WTOP was a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). In October, it posted its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). As for WAMU, “The Mind Is Our Medium” exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Continuing its slow and steady pace while remaining in seventh-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH is up by one-tenth for the fourth straight time (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+). Down or flat for the sixth consecutive sweep for an overall -1.1 (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” remains at #17. With the MLB season over, sports talk sibling/Washington Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” fades by -1.2 to 2.3 (6+), sliding from #11 to #17, where it is tied with WIAD. Entering the November sweep, “The Fan” gained eight-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Cross-town competitor – Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” – has not been listed any month this calendar year. Despite being off a collective -1.1 as the result of three straight declines (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” continues in fourth-place. Unchanged at #9, co-owned WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country” drops one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), halting three straight gains for an overall +.5 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+). October’s 3.7 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016 (3.7, as well). This is the ninth straight sweep that its format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS (unchanged at #20) – is without an increase with “93.3 Today’s New Country” losing approximately half its 6+-share since February (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5, 6+).

2) Boston – Bouncing back in a big way from a collective -.7 via four losses in a row (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7- 1.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” explodes with a +1.1 to 2.7 (6+), jumping from #15 to #20. Tacking on nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain, Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR progresses from eighth to fourth (4.0 – 4.5 – 5.4, 6+). A loss of one-half share in September by WBUR ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). Having decreased by more than 50% of its 6-share (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, June – July – August, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB follows with three straight gains for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1, #20 to #18, 6+). Flat at 7.6 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM is #1 for the third month in a row. In September, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Three straight upticks by Entercom-owned WEEI-FM netted a collective +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), but the Boston Red Sox flagship surrenders all by one-tenth of that increase, drifting from second to ninth (4.4, -1.5, 6+). The Red Sox captured the American League East title for the second straight year but were again eliminated in the A.L. Division Series. Meanwhile, in four straight increases, CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” is a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+) as the New England Patriots’ key station rushes from fifth to third. As it approached the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Not only is Beasley Media Group-owned adult contemporary WMJX without an increase for the fifth successive month for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” drops from third to fifth with its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011). Even though CBS Radio’s WZLX registers its fourth straight dip for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” actually improves from seventh to a sixth-place tie. This is the third month in succession that iHeartMedia’s WBWL is off by one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+). Immediately prior to the start of this string, “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Format foe – Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” – is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – A positive spike of eight-tenths (4.8 – 5.6, 6+) enables Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” to inch up from sixth to fifth. Trending 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.6 – 2.9 (July through October, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WRTO “Mix 98.3” picks up one-half share to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its best 6+-share since 3.5 in October 2016. It is tied at #13 with Spanish Broadcasting System’s similar programmed WXDJ “El Sol 106.7,” which had faltered by one-tenth in each of the last three sweeps (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), before posting a +.4 in November (3.4, flat at #13, 6+). While it is #1 for the seventh time in a row, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” surrenders eight-tenths (7.8 – 7.0, 6+); October’s 7.8 was its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. After three straight decreases for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR rebounded in October with a +.4 to 6.2 (6+), but “Amor 107.5” forfeits nearly twice that gain in November (5.5, -.7, 6+), segueing from third to fifth. WAMR posted a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June. Off three-tenths to 4.2 (flat at #7, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” halts three straight up or flat trends that produced a modest overall gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” returns all but one-tenth of October’s +.3 (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+) but remains at #8. The two CHR rivals were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). A collective -.6 in four successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+) iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” slips from #13 to #15. With a (6+) July through October pattern of 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WEDR “99 Jamz” matches the (6+) profile of “Y-100” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, flat at #8, 6+). Before dropping six-tenths in August, “99 Jamz” was up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+). The May through November (6+) trending for CBS Radio’s WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” (unchanged at #18) is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4. Down or flat for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD shifts from #21 to #22.

4) Detroit – Powered by a gain of eight-tenths, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” remains on top for the third month in a row. This reflects the third straight increase for WNIC (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it reached 13.7. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August; it is a collective +1.7 since August. Showing a very consistent (6+) topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7, CBS Radio CHR WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” breaks out a gain of seven-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13), its strongest 6+-showing since May’s 3.9. Erasing October’s one-half share increase with a loss of six-tenths, Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” (3.2 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) falls from #12 to #14. A combined +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WMXD was -2.5 in four subsequent decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) before gaining one-tenth in November. “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” is steady at #11 (4.0, 6+). Deflating by one-half share each are CBS Radio sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (5.5, third to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” (4.6, sixth to ninth, 6+). The (6+) August – September – October for “The Ticket” was 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.0. Prior to November, “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” recorded five straight up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.5 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). One negative streak ends for a Detroit country outlet while another continues. On the plus side, CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country,” which had been down four times in succession for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.0 (6+), advancing from ninth to seventh. The 4.7 in October was its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (#17 to #18) is without an increase for the sixth consecutive sweep and is -.8 in that May through November stretch (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). The market’s two major urban contemporary outlets combined for a -1.9 in October, but they each post modest gains this sweep. Independent WGPR “Hot 107.5,” off one full-share in October (3.5 – 2.5, 6+), is +.1 to 2.6 (flat at #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B,” -.9 in October (4.4 – 3.5, 6+) gains three-tenths to 3.8 (#13 to #12, 6+). October’s 2.5 was the lowest 6+-share for “Hot” since March (2.4), while WJLB had its softest 6+-showing since April (3.5, as well).

5) Seattle – There are mixed results for two “Emerald City” contemporary Christian facilities: Crista Ministries’ KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” improves by one-half share vaulting into the top ten (#14 to #7, 6+), but Educational Media Foundation’s KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.3 (#24, 6+). This represents the sixth improvement in a row for “Spirit” for a cumulative +1.5 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+); KLSW had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October. While it remains in fourth-place, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). By gaining one-half share to 3.3 (6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP puts an end to its 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.8 (6+) trending as “Hot 103.7 – 100% Throwbacks” jumps from #19 to #15. In addition to posting its sixth straight increase for an overall +2.5 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” advances from third to second with its strongest 6+-showing in nearly two years (6.1, December 2015). Steady at #24, iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” is up or flat for the fourth month in a row (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), nearly tripling its 6+-share in that timeframe and notching its highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. Not only is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW #1 for the fourth consecutive time, it is without a loss for the fourth time in a row as well (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Albeit not as lofty a string in terms of 6+-share, Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” nonetheless hasn’t had a decrease in the last six survey periods for an overall gain of one-half share and checks in at #22 (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+).

6) Phoenix – A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), KOOL was an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+), but the CBS Radio classic hits-oldies property regains exactly half that deficit in November, cruising from seventh to third (4.4, +1.0, 6+). Back in July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s KNIX has its fourth straight gain for an overall +.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” backslides from #8 to a tie at #9. Conversely, CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is down a collective full-share in five straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+) and falls from #12 to a four-way scrum at #13. While Hubbard’s KSLX is #1 for the seventh straight month, “Classic Rock 100.7” is a combined -.9 as the result of its third straight dip (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0, 6+). KSLX was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a combined -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Following a September gain of one-half share to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “88.3 Campesina” forfeited more than twice that margin in October, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). The station, however, disappears from print in November. Up one-half share in October, rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” forfeits eight-tenths (2.6 – 1.8, 6+) to slip from #19 to #20. Prior to October, “Power” was trending 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (6+). As the result of losing seven-tenths in November (4.9, third to fourth, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” puts an end to an up/down pattern that started in February (4.8 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Having registered a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); and now loses three-tenths in November (2.7, #14 to #18, 6+). Four contemporary Christian stations in the “Valley of the Sun” combine for a 4.3 (6+) in November, down one-half share from October’s 3.8 (6+). Included in that group is Educational Media Foundation’s KLVK “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.5 – 1.0, -.5, #27). The other three are Family Life Broadcasting’s KFLR “Family Life Radio” (1.0 – 1.4, +.4, #24); EMF’s KZAI “Air1 – Positive Hits” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #28); and co-owned KLVA “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (.8 – .5, -.3, #32). The (6+) May through November line for Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Que Buena 105.9” is 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 (#20 to #24). After sharing the identical (6+) August – September – October profile (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth to 4.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” is off two-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Consistent in its topline 6+-stat June through October (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WCCO “News Radio 830” dials up a +.9 to 4.8, its best 6+-showing since May’s 5.0 as the Minnesota Timberwolves flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Following four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFXN, the key station of the Minnesota Vikings, slips by one-tenth to 7.2 (6+), but “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” repeats at #1. Yet another Twin Cities’ flagship, Northern Lights Broadcasting’s KQGO “Go 95.3” has its October 6+-share sliced in half (1.4 – .7, -.7, 6+) as the Minnesota Twins key station departs the top twenty (#19 to #22). One-tenth behind KFXN is Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety,” which strings together its third straight up or flat report (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+) to advance from third to second. Its format competitor – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (#13 to #14) continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling +.7 (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), but “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” (second to third) is now without an increase for the fourth consecutive sweep and is -.7 since July (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Having finished first in April, May, and June, KDWB segued to #2 in July. Moving from an eighth-place tie to tenth is co-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station,” which is down or flat for the fifth straight time for a combined -1.6 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+). It is one full-share ahead of CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which is off a combined seven-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but steady at #12.

8) San Diego – A gain of one-half share to 5.3 by Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” (fifth to third, 6+) pulls the plug on four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina,” which zooms from a four-way tie at #17 to #13 (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Owing to a +.3 to 4.6 (6+), Entercom’s KSON-FM “New Country” advances from seventh to sixth and puts an end to four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall -1.4 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+); 4.3 in October was its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. The news/talk duo of iHeartMedia’s KOGO and San Diego State University-owned KPBS remain at #1 and #2, respectively, but KOGO falters by six-tenths to 6.6 (6+), while KPBS drops four-tenths. As a result of KOGO’s -.6, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 is snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); KPBS is an overall -.6 in its third straight monthly without an increase (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Not only is October’s 7.2 the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history, the station had not previously reached the six-share level. The two ranked first and second in September as well, although KPBS was on top and KOGO held the runner-up slot. Within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KPBS hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” leaps from eighth to fourth. This is the strongest 6+-showing for KFMB-FM since it transitioned to rock in January 2016. Although steady at #17, iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3,” on the other hand, is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for an overall -.7 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). By picking up one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), CBS Radio CHR KEGY “San Diego’s Energy 97.3” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19) and halts four straight negative or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+) in which it lost four-tenths. Handing over in its entirety the full-share it picked up in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” drifts from fifth to tenth (3.8, 6+). After its initial trending of 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” forfeits seven-tenths to 1.6 and departs the top twenty (#17 to #23, 6+).

9) Denver – Off a combined six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI bounces back in October in November with a collective +1.1 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). Not only does KOSI register its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016, “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” marches from third to a first-place tie with country cluster-mate KYGO, which is actually down or flat for the fifth month in a row (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after three successive months there is iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock,” which segues to #3 (6.3 – 5.9, -.4, 6+). When it dropped three-tenths in October, KBCO ended at ten a successive string of increases in which it nearly doubled its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+). Logging gains of one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” (3.4 – 3.9, #15 to #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (2.4, #21 to #18, 6+). The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September. KBPI applies the brakes to four consecutive decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Locked on 3.7 (#12 to #13, 6+) is KALC’s format rival KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix,” which was down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+); “Mix” regained 75% of that decrease in September with a gain of six-tenths. After improving by one-half share in July, Entercom classic rock KQMT followed with three straight dips (August-September-October) that resulted in a combined -1.9 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Up one-tenth to 4.6 (6+) in November “99.5 The Mountain” progresses from eighth to fifth. By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May. Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” bounces back with a +.3 to 4.0 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). The news/talk genre erodes by -1.7, nearly equally divided between Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.4 – 4.5, -.9, third to six, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KOA (4.4, -.8, fifth to seventh, 6+). Off one-half share in June, KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), before returning one-half share in October. It reached the five-share level (6+) in August for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Entering the November sweep, KOA – the flagship of the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos – was +.6 in three successive flat or up trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). On the plus side, KOA’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KHOW (unchanged at #19) posts its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). A cumulative +1.5 via three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” relinquishes 80% of that increase (3.4 -1.2, 6+), fading from #7 to #14. As the result of three straight positive trends (2.3 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KKFN roughly doubled its 6+-share (July through October), but “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” falters by three-tenths in November to 4.2 (6+) and shifts from eighth to ninth. Recent fluctuations for “The Fan” include -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and +.9 in September. Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology.

10) Tampa – Finishing on top for an astonishing 62nd successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” does so with an exclamation point as its third straight gain is by +1.3 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Moreover, 11.1 is its most potent 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). Tacking on a +1.2 to October’s +.9, iHeartMedia’s WFUS (4.7 – 5.9, 6+) rockets from eighth to second. It is the first time “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” reaches the five-share level (6+) since last December’s 5.3. In September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Off by one-tenth in both October and November (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” remains at #6. The station exiting the runner-up slot after 12 straight appearances there and dropping to #3 is Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “The Eagle,” which is an overall -2.5 via six straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). Picking up all but one-tenth of October’s loss of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, +.6, 6+), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” progresses from tenth to seventh. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). On the flipside, iHeartMedia urban contemporary and sports talk siblings WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (fourth to eighth, 6+) and WDAE “620 – Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (1.8, #18 to #19, 6+) each regress by six-tenths. With its lowest 6+-share since February’s 4.5, “The Beat” is off for the third straight time for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+), whereas Tampa Bay Rays flagship WDAE was +.7 in three increases in succession (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Having been up or flat the past four months for a modest overall gain of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” forfeits three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and slips from #13 to #15.

11) Baltimore – Without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” trots out a +.9 to 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since February’s 8.8 and occupies the penthouse for the fourth month in a row. A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. It was tied at #1 in September with urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams.” Having posted a 3.7 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 – Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds one-half share to 4.0 (#11 to #10, 6+), reaching the four-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 4.1. The eight most recent trends for Hearst Television news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 (#13 to #12, 6+). By contrast, major ups/downs continue for CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” It dialed up a one-half share increase in August only to return all if it in September, then displayed a +.8 in October but now surrenders that in its entirety to drop from third to fourth (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4, 6+). Steady at #8, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” regresses by two-tenths to 4.5 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). A combined +1.3 through three straight improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine-FM” relinquishes three-tenths in November to 3.0 (#12 to #13, 6+); October’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.9.

12) St. Louis – After being down or flat the past three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+) iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU hauls out a gain of nine-tenths to 8.1, marching from second to first. On top for three consecutive sweeps, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. Not only is CBS Radio’s KMOX displaced from #1 after back-to-back stays there, it erodes by the steepest (6+) October 2017 – November 2017 decline by any station in the 24 PPM-markets highlighted thus far (8.0 – 6.0, -2.0, 6+). “The Voice of St. Louis” drifts from first to sixth with its lowest 6+-share since February’s 5.1. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Following four straight downward moves that accounted for a -1.4 (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.5, 6+), Emmis rocker KSHE recoups nearly half that deficit (7.1, +.6, 6+) as it progresses from fifth to second. In addition to KLOU, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL improves by nine-tenths as well. “Hot 104.1” is +1.3 in three consecutive surges (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #8) with its strongest 6+-stat since May’s 5.0. Jumping from sixth to third, urban AC cluster-mate WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” (+.8) continues its down/up pattern, given that its seven most recent 6+-stats are 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4. Bouncing back from October’s loss of one-half share with an increase of seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KMJM “100.3 The Beat” carries on at #17. In four consecutive improvements prior to October, “The Beat” gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; was -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; and now -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, fifth to third, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. Deflating by six-tenths each are co-owned WIL “New Country 92.3” (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” (4.1 – 3.5, 6+). “New Country” continues its alternating up/down pattern (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). Prior to October’s +.4, “Y-98” was without an increase in each of the last eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Unlisted for the 11th consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Monday, November 27, 2017

| November 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

 

 

New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”

 

 

John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

| November 8, 2017

John Hancock Signs New Deal with WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Afternoon drive personality John Hancock signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Hancock began his career at WBT in 1990.  Over the course of those 27 years, he’s broadcast on almost every daypart on the station.  Earlier this year, he was inducted into the “WBT Hall of Fame” and carries the distinction as the only Hall of Fame member who is still actively broadcasting.  Entercom Charlotte VP and market manager Matt Hanlon states, “John represents one of the most unique radio personalities in America today.  He’s a WBT Hall of Famer and still delivers a contemporary message every day that the listeners can count on.”

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Radio Revenue Basically Flat.  Reporting 2017 third quarter financial numbers, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was down 1.9% compared to the same period in 2016.  But the radio division was up a hair — $2.4 million or 0.3% — compared to the third quarter of 2016.  For the first nine months of 2017, the radio division is up 1.5%.  COO and CFO Rich Bressler notes that the positive figure for the radio division extends “year-over-year revenue growth to eighteen consecutive quarters.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “As a true multi-platform, 21st-century media company, we continue to expand the innovative ways for us to engage consumers and to reinvent how we do business with our advertising and marketing partners.  At our iHeartMedia business, in addition to building out a data-first programmatic advertising platform, we are continually growing our content offerings, including iHeartRadio’s podcast platform, with virtually all of the top 200 U.S. podcasts.”

Salem Media Group Q3 Broadcast Revenue Dips 5.1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Salem Media Group reports total revenue decreased by 8.2% to $65.4 million from $71.3 million during the same period in 2016.  Breaking down the company by segments, net broadcast revenue was $48.4 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $51.1 million in 2016.  Digital media revenue decreased 12.9% to $10.4 million from $12.0 million the year prior.  Salem’s publishing revenue was down 20.2% to $6.6 million from $8.2 million in Q3 of 2016.

Saga Reports Revenue Increase in Third Quarter.  Reporting third quarter financials, Saga Communications says net revenue was up 1.3% to $30.3 million compared to the same quarter a year ago.  Station operating expense was flat compared to Q3 2016 at $21.8 million and operating income was $5.5 million compared to $6.8 million for the same period last year, with the reduction primarily due to a gain of $1.4 million recognized from the sale of one of the company’s towers in Norfolk, Virginia during the third quarter last year.  On a same-station basis, net revenue declined 1.1% to $29.6 million.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four reports on the performances of stations based on data from the October 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today, Kinosian reports on public news/talk radio.  He says, “Almost half the stations on this public news/talk panel improve September 2017 – October 2017 (47%, 6+) while roughly one of every three is down (34%); the remaining 19% of the sample remains flat (6+).”  When comparing 6+ numbers year-over-year, “Not quite two of every three stations from our eligible public news/talk sample are up (63%,), meanwhile, approximately one in four (27%) decline; the remaining 10% are unchanged.”  Ten public radio news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets in October and two ranked #1.  KQED hit the #1 spot in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets while KUOW was #1 in Seattle.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial Elections, Trump China Visit, North Korea Nuclear Tensions, Texas Church Massacre Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Sexual Assault Cases, NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  Yesterday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey; President Trump’s visit to China; the ongoing nuclear tensions between North Korea and the U.S.; the aftermath of the church shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of 26; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; Saudi Arabia’s claim Iran fired a missile at Riyadh from Yemen; the sexual assault case of actor Kevin Spacey and the report of Harvey Weinstein’s hiring spies to track actresses and journalists; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Bohannon Visits Janesville Affiliate. Pictured above is Westwood One syndicated late-night personality Jim Bohannon (left), Mark Finnegan of the veteran’s organizations Vetsroll.org (center), and Tim Bremel, operations manager and host of “Your Talk Show” on WCLO Janesville, Wisconsin at a remote broadcast at a Culver’s Restaurant.  WCLO is an affiliate of Bohannon’s program.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Reno radio pro “Big Chris” Hart is named program director at Cumulus Media’s classic hip hop KNEV, Reno “95.5 The Vibe.”  Hart previously served in the market programming and serving on at KWFP and, before that, working at KUUB.  Hart says, “This is one of those opportunities that you dream about in this business.  I’ve competed against and known the Cumulus team in Reno for 17 years.  Now, it’s my distinct pleasure to be joining the best team around and do some great, fun, plain ol’ kick-butt radio with Cumulus, KNEV and the good people of the greatest market in the universe, Reno!”…..Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show’ is joining the American Forces Network beginning Monday (11/13).  The KYSR, Los Angeles “Alt 98.7”-based Woody Show will be added to the lineup on the AFN alternative music channel…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks are presenting multi-platform coverage of tonight’s “The 51st Annual CMA Awards.”  In addition to carrying the ABC-TV telecast audio across the 80-some iHeartCountry radio stations, for the first time, iHeartCountry will, among other things, present a Facebook live broadcast of the red carpet arrivals hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan.

Monday, November 6, 2017

| November 6, 2017

iHeartMedia Puts Three Stations in Divestiture Trust.  The deal that iHeartMedia struck with Entercom to swap stations in the Seattle and Boston markets is forcing iHM to put three stations in the newly created Ocean Station Trust LLC in order to comply with ownership caps.  Those stations are: alt rocker KFOO, Centralia, Washington (Tacoma market); rhythmic CHR KUBE, Eatonville, Washington (Tacoma market); and news/talk WKOX, Everett, Massachusetts (Boston market).

iHM Will Not Assume WBZ-AM, Boston’s SAG-AFTRA Contracts.  This is not the news that union staffers at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston want to hear as they prepare to become part of the iHeartMedia family, under an LMA until the deal closes (probably in January).  That LMA could happen as soon as the 17th of this month.  According to a piece in the Boston Globe, SAG-AFTRA has received notice from iHeartMedia that not only will staffers at WBZ-AM have to interview for their current jobs, but iHM says it will not assume the two collective bargaining agreements between SAG-AFTRA and CBS RADIO.  SAG-AFTRA’s Boston-based official Tom Higgins tells the paper that iHM officials who visited the station said they want a “seamless” transition, but says that contract issue “doesn’t sound like seamless.”  Higgins says the union plans to meet with iHeartMedia officials this week. Read the Globe piece here.

Salem Names Ed Martin Afternoon Host at ‘The Answer’ in St. Louis.  He’s the co-author of The Conservative Case for Trump (Regnery 2016) and the former Missouri Republican Party chairman.  Salem reports that Ed Martin will assume the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show on KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380 AM and 105.3 FM The Answer” next Monday (11/13).  It’ll be called “The Ed Martin Movement” and Salem St. LouisVP/GM Greg Lhamon states, “We looked at a lot of options for afternoons, but no other talk host had their finger on the pulse of national, statewide, and local politics like Ed Martin.  He’s smart and savvy and will force politicians to stay on their toes.  And as a CNN political contributor, he brings a global perspective to talk radio that is sorely missing in St. Louis.”  The press release also states: “Formally trained as a lawyer and ethicist, Ed is the hand-picked successor of Phyllis Schlafly as head of her ‘Eagles.'”

Bill Handel Records Apology to Rep. Wilson.  Under fire for referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (in connection with the TrumpMyesia Johnson story) as a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his KFI, Los Angeles morning radio show, Bill Handel recorded an apology that has aired on the station.  But lead critic Janmyne Cannick – a self-described commentator – says it’s too little, too late.  In a story published by LA Weekly, Cannick – who’s been leading the efforts to see Handel punished for his use of the word “whore” in connection with Wilson – tells the paper, “If KFI can suspend afternoon drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou (John and Ken) for one-week following their calling Whitney Houston a ‘crack ho,’ then Bill Handel – KFI’s prized morning drive host who called a sitting member of Congress a ‘cheap, sleazy, Democrat whore’ on live air – should get nothing less.”  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

‘Florida Sports Talk’ Duo Re-Brand as ‘Gainesville Ocala All Talk.’  The sports talk multi-cast that Florida Sportstalk LLC is operating in the Gainesville-Ocala market is re-branding and will take on a more “talk radio” approach.  The stations that made up “Florida Sports Talk” are” WMOP, Ocala; WGGG, Gainesville; translator W221DX at 92.1 FM; and WGOT-LP, Gainesville.  The station is now called Gainesville Ocala All Talk “The GOAT FM.”  On its Facebook page, the company says the change is being made “in response to [the stations’] growing voice in the region pertaining to news and social events and based on the feedback from followers and the fan base…[to assure that] our branding more accurately reflects our voice, impact, and prominence in the communities we serve.”  Former WSKY, Ocala talk host Chip Morris is being added to the programming lineup for morning drive.  Stations OM Don DePew Jr. comments, “We were thrilled to see our voice and impact grow as we provided a voice of calm and grace through recent social issues that crossed from sports to everyday life.  Our adjustment in brand to this new reality is a step forward in this regard.  We are further excited to have Chip Morris bring his experience and influence in our region to our team.  We look forward to the days ahead as we bring Gainesville Ocala All Talk to you, our listeners.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Ashlock and Adkins.  Executives Greg Ashlock and Hartley Adkins have been promoted by iHeartMedia in what the company calls “the next step in the evolution of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.”  Ashlock, who has been president of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division, is upped to president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Adkins, who most recently served as president of Northeast Division and Corporate Operations for the iHeartMedia Markets Group, is now president of Integrated Revenue Strategy.  Ashlock is now managing the entire iHeartMedia Markets Group, including the company’s more than 850 radio stations in over 150 markets.  The company says the consolidation under one leader will allow iHeartMedia to move quicker, be more responsive, communicate more clearly and best serve both listeners and advertisers based on each market’s unique needs.  In his newly created role, Adkins will join the corporate group in New York and will be responsible for working with group heads and other corporate leaders to help develop innovative revenue initiatives that scale across multiple platforms, as well as new strategic solutions specifically for the Markets Group that utilize the unique assets of iHeartMedia.

Beasley Broadcasting Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue.  The company says that its net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at its legacy stations was “comparable to the net revenue for the same period in 2016” – so we can read that as “flat.”  However, Beasley’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations that took place in November of last year boosts the company’s revenue figures.  Third quarter net revenue jumped from $27.7 million in 2016 to $58.9 million in 2017 because of the 21 new stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New Jersey markets (it also takes into account the stations it sold to Entercom and CMG Coastal Carolina).

Traffic Pioneer Rod Carson Dies at 75.  Longtime KYW, Philadelphia traffic reporter and Shadow Traffic co-founder Rod Carson died over the weekend at his home in Pennsylvania at the age of 75.  CBS Philadelphia reports that “before getting into traffic reporting, [Carson] was one of the ‘Wibbage Good Guys’ on the former WIBG, and also did the ‘Rock and Roll Roots’ show on WMMR.”  Carson marked his 50th year in radio in 2007.

National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Pictured above at the November 2 induction ceremony for the National Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago are (from l-r): NRHoF chairman Kraig Kitchin, inductees John Records Landecker, Joseph Field, Bobby Bones, Tom Barnard, Bill Handel and MBC founder Bruce Dumont.  Not pictured is inductee Sean Hannity, who did not travel to Chicago for the ceremony.

Donna Brazile Hillary Criticism, Mueller Investigation-Possible Michael Flynn Indictment, Trump in Japan, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Investigation, Texas Church Slayings, Saudi Purge, Rand Paul Assault, Kaepernick Collusion Suit, NFL Attendance-Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticisms of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; the Robert Mueller investigation and the possibility of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn; President Trump’s trip to Japan and statements about strong rhetoric regarding North Korea; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; the UK authorities’ investigation of sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey; the Sunday slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; Saudi Arabia arrests 15 ministers and princes in anti-corruption efforts; Senator Rand Paul suffers cracked ribs in assault at his home; Colin Kaepernick’s collusion suit against the NFL; the NFL anthem protests, declining game attendance, and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wendell Potter is this Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  Former health insurance spin doctor Wendell Potter, who upon experiencing a “crisis of conscience” in 2008 became one of that industry’s most outspoken critics, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In June 2009, Potter made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health care reform. The former senior VP and head of PR at Cigna testified that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.  Potter was a former journalist who walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where he believes “the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line.”  Since then, Potter has been active as an author and consumer advocate warning Americans of the danger inherent in corporate big money corrupting the nation’s democratic process.  Now, he is launching a non-profit, reader/listener/viewer funded, Philadelphia-based news organization called Tarbell (www.Tarbell.org) that will focus on non-partisan, investigative journalism.  Can such a venture succeed in today’s money-driven, politically polarized society where the quest for victory regularly obscures the search for truth?  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air radio pro Brian Peck is named midday personality at CBS RADIO’s adult hits WJMK “K-Hits.”  CBS RADIO Chicago has appointed Brian Peck to host middays at WJMK, 104.3 “K-Hits.” The opening became available when current midday jock Jeffrey T. Mason moved to afternoons with Gary Spears’ exit and relocation to Florida.  WJMK program director Greg Solk states, “Adding Brian to ‘K-Hits’ gives us a unique opportunity to re-set our on-air lineup with three veteran Chicago voices, all perfectly suited for their dayparts.”  The company says Peck joins “K-Hits” with a history of entertaining Chicago radio fans since 1992 when he co-hosted mornings with former MTV veejay Mark Goodman.  Other Chicago radio stops have included WSHE and WTMX…..Next Wednesday (11/15), Envision Networks is announcing another session of “Coffee With Envision Webinar: Program A Winning Morning Show.”  The free webinar takes place at 1:00 pm ET.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Mike Marino and Jason Hillery are experts at producing a winning morning show.  They consult, program, manage and write prep for radio talent daily so Mike and Jason literally wrote the playbook for morning shows to follow.”  Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.  Stations can register for the webinar by clicking here…..Gen Media Partners appoints radio executive Chuck Bortnick to the newly created position of SVP, integrated platforms.   Bortnick’s previous experience includes serving as COO of Westwood One; COO and president of Metro Networks; and regional vice president for Cumulus Media.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

| November 2, 2017

Cumulus Elects to Miss $23.6 Million Interest Payment; Restructuring Talks to Intensify.  The decision by the restructuring committee of Cumulus Media’s board of directors to forgo the scheduled interest payment of $23.6 million due yesterday (11/1) is designed to emphasize the importance of negotiations with creditors for restructuring the company’s debt.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, the company acknowledges its private discussions with lenders and noteholders and says, “This decision was made in support of the Company’s efforts to develop and implement a restructuring that will allow the Company to continue its operational and financial momentum, as evidenced by the results announced in its selected preliminary operating results for third quarter 2017 on October 26, 2017.  The decision to withhold payment during the grace period will not impact the Company’s operating constituents, including its employees, advertisers, network affiliates, vendors and content partners.”  This move will mature into an “Event of Default” if the payment is not made by December 1.  Obviously, Cumulus hopes that progress on restructuring can be made this month.

Entercom Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  For the third quarter of 2017, Entercom’s net revenue was $122.3 million, an increase of 1% over 2016’s $121.6 million.  Operating income was $13.5 million, after $8.8 million in merger and acquisition costs, compared to $25.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.  Same station net revenue decreased by 1%, excluding political.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “These are exciting times at Entercom as we count down the days before closing our game-changing merger with CBS RADIO.  Entercom will be one of the radio industry’s two largest companies with an extraordinary lineup of highly rated, award winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events and a robust set of meaningful scale-driven, value-creation opportunities.  We are looking forward to deploying our extensive plans to drive growth in the business through a significant series of enhancements and investments across the organization.”

Marv Nyren Named Chicago Market Manager for Cumulus.  Chicago native Marv Nyren returns to the commercial radio biz as the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Windy City stations news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM, alternative WKQX, and classic rock WLUP-FM.  He was most recently vice president of corporate sponsorships at Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago.  He’d previously been a market manager for Emmis Communications serving in Chicago, Phoenix, and Indianapolis and for iHeartMedia managing its Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia stations.  Cumulus EVP Dave Milner states, “Marv brings a wealth of experience and drive to Cumulus Chicago.  He is a smart, competitive operator focused on building strong cultures that support and empower the team to succeed.”

WHO, Des Moines Talk Host Simon Conway Recovering from Heart Attacks.  According to an account in the Des Moines Register, WHO afternoon drive talk show host Simon Conway has been off his radio program this week after suffering two heart attacks over the past six days.  The paper says Conway confirmed the news via Facebook posts from his hospital bed in which he told his fans that he’s feeling fine and that he hopes to be back on the air by Monday.  iHeartMedia Des Moines market manager Joel McCrea tells the Register that he understands the heart attacks were mild and that Conway is resting at home.  See the Register story here.

WHPT, Tampa’s Drew Garabo Endorsed Investment SEC Calls a Fraud. Afternoon drive personality Drew Garabo – heard on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” – voiced ads for an investment that the Securities Exchange Commission is calling a Ponzi scheme.  According to a report by WFLA-TV, Tampa, the ads appeared on WHPT for Optimal Economics Capital Partners fund, or O. E. Capital, being sold by C 4 Benefits Group, with the endorsement ad voiced by Garabo.  The SEC says the fund raised more than $13 million, some of that coming from WHPT listeners.  But the SEC says that the only way investors got paid was from future investors’ cash and that’s the definition of a Ponzi scheme.  The ad for the fund guaranteed a minimum 12% return per year.  Garabo did not comment for the WFLA-TV story.  At least one investor says she’s suing O.E. Capital, C4, and Cox.  Read the story here.

Radha Subramanyam Exits iHM Research Post; Company Names Michele Madansky Her Successor.  Just a day after the news that Dr. Radha Subramanyam is leaving her president of research, insights and data analytics position with iHeartMedia to take on a similar role with CBS Corporation, iHM announces that it is brining Dr. Michele Madansky aboard to as its new research, insights and data analytics EVP.  iHeartMedia EVP of revenue and sales operation Peter Ban comments, “Michele has an expansive track record providing cutting edge analytics for a wide variety of today’s biggest media companies.  We’re thrilled she’ll be shaping our research efforts and ensuring our advertising partners are best utilizing iHeartMedia’s unparalleled reach and multiplatform assets.

NYC Terror Attack, Mueller Investigation, Uranium One Deal, North Korea Nuclear Threats, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Virginia Governor Race, Denver Walmart Shootings, Positive Economic News, Astros Win World Series, NFL Ratings, Protests and Deadline Trades Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1). The terror attack on pedestrians and cyclists in New York that left eight dead and 11 injured; special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of three Trump campaign operatives and speculation about where the Trump-Russia investigation is heading; questions about the Uranium One deal and the FBI’s and Hillary Clinton’s roles in the matter; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; the GOP tax reform bill process; the hotly contested Virginia gubernatorial race; the shooting that left three dead at a Walmart in the Denver area on Wednesday evening; positive jobs and economic news; the Houston Astros defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games to win their first World Series; the NFL’s ratings troubles, ongoing anthem protests, and trade deadline moves were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Alpha Media Stations Available on iHeartRadio Platform.  This deal between iHeartMedia and Portland-based Alpha Media will make more than 200 of Alpha’s radio stations available to listeners via the iHeartRadio platform.  The press release says the rollout begins today and all of the company’s stations will be available within weeks.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re excited to join forces with iHeartRadio and expand our digital footprint. This partnership allows us to super serve our fans by reaching them whenever and wherever they choose to listen to us.  Alpha Media is live, local and on the go.”

 

 

NASH Next Winner Is Radio Romance.  The Hermitage, Tennessee-based country act Radio Romance is the winner of the NASH Next 2017 Challenge.  The final competition event took place last night (11/1) at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville with live performances from the top 10 national finalists.  Radio Romance wins a Big Machine Label Group recording contract and airplay on Cumulus Media country stations.  Pictured above, members of the band pose for a picture with: NASH program director John Shomby (top row, left), Cumulus SVP content & programming Mike McVay (center, top row), Cumulus VP label relations John Kilgo (top row, right) and Big Machine Label Group president/CEO Scott Borchetta (front row, kneeling).

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Morning personality Loo Katz exits iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH-FM, Washington, DC.  His info has been scrubbed from the station’s website and his posted on Facebook, “To you, my FACEBOOK friends and family, I need to share something that’s unfortunately not ‘Fake News’. Today, after 17 years, I was fired from my longtime job at 97.1 WASH-FM. The reason given to me was ‘Poor ratings’ and ‘It was time for a change’. I had just completed my 14th year of hosting Morning Drive along with the almost 3 years of doing afternoons.  I had a great run at WASH-FM, a station I grew up listening to and had always dreamt about working there. I’m very proud of my work at 97.1, and feel lucky to have not been fired from a gig since 1989, when I was working for 105.1 WAVA-FM. Not many in this business can claim to have worked on the air, in their hometown since high school, or if you’re counting, the last 46 years. It’s a record that no company can take away from me.”…..Premiere Networks announces an exclusive Thanksgiving special for country radio stations hosted by CMT’s personality Cody Alan.  It’s a four-hour, barter-free “CMT After MidNite Friendsgiving Special with Cody Alan” highlighted by conversations with country stars and celebrities including: Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Jon Pardi, Paula Deen and Darius Rucker.  It’s available for air anytime between November 22 and 26.

 

 

Round Three of October PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Mean