Tag: "iHeartMedia"

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall 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.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

May 2018 PPM Analysis: All-News

| June 20, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Our four-part series of May 2018 ratings recaps commences with an overview of all-news properties.

The following scoreboards reflect data from all-news stations that appeared in the top 20 (6+) in May 2018, a ratings period that covered April 26 – May 23.

Among qualifying all-news properties, May 2018’s average market share is off slightly from April 2018 (4.53 – 4.41, 6+); however, the (6+) market rank improves from #8.75 to #8.62.

A whopping 93.75% of our panel was down or flat (March – April, 6+), but the format bounces back (April – May), as 62.5% are either down or flat.

May 2017 – May 2018 stats for all-news outlets are extremely consistent with comparable April 2017 – April 2018 figures.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. As a result, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

While the vast majority of outlets on this particular panel program news around-the-clock, a few run talk blocks (in addition to their news commitment), making them genuine news – talk hybrids.

All but four properties listed here are owned by Entercom. The exceptions are WBZ-AM, Boston and KFBK, Sacramento (both iHeartMedia); WTOP, Washington, DC (Hubbard); and KOMO, Seattle (Sinclair Broadcast Group).

Appearing in the Baltimore report, Bloomberg-operated WDCH airs a business news format.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

| June 20, 2018

RTDNA Announces National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners. From more than 4,400 entries, the awards recognize 89 local and network radio, television and digital news organizations for 118 examples of outstanding journalism in 16 categories. The leader in overall Radio Television Digital News Association awards with five – NPR – scores wins in “Continuing Coverage,” “Excellence in Social Media,” “Excellence in Sound,” “Excellence in Hard News,” and “News Documentary.” Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP and New Hampshire Public Radio repeated their 2017 wins for “Overall Excellence” in large market radio and small market radio, respectively. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley notes, “Winning an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award means that a news organization has provided exemplary public service to its viewers, listeners, and readers. These honorees truly represent the very best in broadcast and digital journalism around the world. We cannot make our communities better unless we understand them, and these stories from news organizations large and small have educated, uplifted, inspired, uncovered, and enlightened. These winning pieces revealed the tragedies of human trafficking, kept audiences safe and informed during devastating hurricanes and fires, and provided desperately sought information and context during too-common moments of violence. They provided insight into healthcare, homelessness and immigration issues, engaged communities in learning about mental health and dug deep into election interference.” In addition to the “Overall Excellence” award won for the second time straight and 12th over 18 years, CBS News Radio was recognized for “Best Audio Newscast” for the sixth time in succession. This year, it was for “World News Roundup” coverage of Hurricane Harvey with Norah O’Donnell reporting from Houston and Steve Kathan anchoring from New York. Coverage of the mass shooting of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip last October earned the staff the “Breaking News” award for a report by Steve Futterman, Steve Dorsey, and Deborah Rodriguez. This year’s “Excellence in Writing” award went to Dave Ross for his daily feature. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler states, “It is because of our great radio station affiliates that we are a better, stronger radio network.” Entercom was honored with three awards: Large Market Radio “Excellence in Sound” to all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco for “Wine Country on Fire”; News Series to all-news WCBS-AM, New York for “The Breaking Point”; and the same station scored for “Newscast” (October 31, 2017, 5:00 pm). The national awards will be presented in four months (10/22) at the RTDNA “Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala” in New York City’s Gotham Hall.

KBME To Shuffle Its Lineup. Former National Football League quarterback Sean Salisbury will join the weekday lineup of iHeartMedia Houston’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), starting in less than three weeks (Monday, 7/9). Director of AM programming for iHeartMedia Houston, Bryan Erickson, notes, “We are thrilled to be adding Salisbury to the team. The former quarterback brings a unique perspective from his days on the gridiron. We have put together an all-star lineup of guys who know sports and love talking about sports. [KBME] is truly the best destination for compelling local sports content in Houston.” Salisbury adds, “I have been blessed with a full career. This opportunity to work with iHeart and ‘Sports Talk 790’ was too good to pass up in so many ways. I don’t take these great moments lightly. The last five years have been special. I fully expect this new journey to be filled with ‘wow’ moments that make our listeners feel like they are getting the show they deserve.” Following his ten-year professional football career, Salisbury was an NFL analyst on ESPN, and served as a consultant for the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard.” KBME’s revised lineup as of July 9 will include Josh Innes (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); Matt Thomas (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); and Salisbury from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The station will continue its broadcast partnerships with the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the University of Texas football and basketball teams.

MacFarlane Donates $2 Million to NPR; $500,000 to KPCC. Opting to answer Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s comments about dishonesty in the media with his wallet, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is making a $2 million donation to NPR and $500,000 to Los Angeles’ NPR membership station, KPCC. MacFarlane’s contribution will directly benefit NPR’s Collaborative Journalism Network, which connects NPR’s nearly 1,800 journalists so they are able to share resources and eliminate “news deserts” in the United States. An NPR spokesperson writes, “We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from Seth MacFarlane, which will go to supporting local news coverage, allowing NPR and member stations to continue working together to tell the story of the whole country from everywhere in the country.” Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis states, “We are deeply moved by Seth’s generous contribution to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC, and NPR. It is this local/national partnership that is the heart of our shared public service mission and we are committed to more fully realizing that mission thanks to this gift and his challenge for others to join us.” Last Thursday, Carlson stated, “If you’re looking to understand what’s actually happening in this country, always assume the opposite of whatever they’re telling you on the big news stations.” In a tweet, MacFarlane wrote that statements like Carlson’s “make me embarrassed to work for this company,” referring to Fox for whom MacFarlane has provided “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Cleveland,” and “Orville.” As a direct rebuke to Carlson’s remarks, MacFarlane further told his Twitter followers, “In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain.”

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Says Fox News Channel Hosts Present “Legitimate” Point of View on the Current Border Controversy.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison spoke this morning (6/20) on CNN’s Headline News Channel (HLN) program “Across America with Carol Costello” about the media’s role in the current border immigration controversy (pictured above).  Costello asked Harrison for his perspective on threats by 21st Century Fox show business producers such as Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) as well as director Paul Feig who have publicly expressed “disgust” and “embarrassment” over the way Fox News Channel has been covering the family-separation issue with hosts Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and others showing support of President Trump’s stringent policy.  Harrison said that he doesn’t take these threats seriously and the situation will probably be resolved with the country moving on to the next issue before they could even make good on them.  If anything, Harrison said, this issue will force Trump to further tweak and define murky areas of his immigration policy.  Harrison went on to say that the Hollywood establishment “which includes show business across the board such as Broadway and what took place at the Tony Awards” is hurting its own cause as well as its business interests by speaking out so vehemently for one side in what is a highly-charged polarized situation.  Harrison stated, “Famous people whose media products are not directly involved in politics would be wise to stay out of the fray because they will only further alienate the significant segment of the public and electorate that is supportive of Trump… even to the point of strengthening its resolve.”  When asked if he thinks the potential acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Co. or Comcast could result in the Fox News Channel modifying its conservative stand, Harrison replied, “Probably not – they are in business and it is doubtful that they would do something to diminish the formidable earnings of a viable news venue serving a large portion of the population.”  Harrison concluded, “No matter how harsh or even cruel Trump’s handling of this situation might be, there are many millions of Americans who support him on it and, thus, Fox News Channel is presenting a legitimate point of view within the highly diverse American marketplace of ideas.  If Fox were to back off on its pro-Trump stance, you can be sure other venues such as Newsmax would be more than happy to swoop in and fill the void that would be waiting to be served.”

Westwood One News’ Vietnam Retrospective Nabs Gold Medal Award. Among the five citations Westwood One News received Monday night (6/18) from the New York International Radio Festival was a gold medal award for “Pain & Pride: Remembering Vietnam – 50 Years Later,” which aired during Veterans Day weekend (November, 2017). Westwood One host/Vietnam veteran Jim Bohannon narrated “Pain & Pride.” Bohannon, who served with the 856th Radio Research Detachment in Cat Lai and Long Binh from 1967 -1968, won a NY Festival prize 30 years ago for his first “Pain & Pride news special. He comments, “I am very gratified that producer David Oziel, the Westwood One News team, and I have received this recognition. For me, there is special meaning in that we did a 20-year look back special that won the New York Festival’s Grand Award in 1988. Also, I’ll be the keynote speaker [tomorrow, Thursday, 6/21] at the Branson, Missouri reunion of my Vietnam unit, the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. It is a delightful manifestation of what Vietnam vets say to each other – ‘welcome home.’” Bohannon gave the keynote address at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington in 1990; was the principal MC for the Vietnam Veterans reunion in Branson in 2002; and hosted the “Rumble” at “TALKERS 2018” less than two weeks ago (6/8) in New York City.

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on the all-news format. A year-to-year improvement of nine-tenths (8.8 – 9.7, 6+) enables Hubbard’s WTOP to move from second to third in Washington, DC. It is the only all-news station in a PPM-market to rank first in May 2018. Moreover, with a 9.6 (6+), it once again boasts the strongest 6+-share among its all-news peers. The category’s runner-up in all six survey periods highlighted in this analysis (“Holiday” 2017 – May 2018) is iHeartMedia Sacramento’s KFBK (6.7, 6+, May 2018). See the entire all-news overview here.

Edison Research Releases 2018 Q1 “Share of Ear” Report. The study quantifies reach and time spent with of all forms of audio. Results indicate terrestrial AM and FM radio remains the centerpiece of audio. Among nuggets from the quarterly report as summarized on the Westwood One website by director of content marketing Lauren Vetrano: AM/FM accounts for 47% of all audio time spent among persons 18+. “Owned music” is next at 12%, followed by YouTube videos (9%); ad-free SiriusXM (5%) and TV music channels (5%). AM/FM’s share has been consistently strong throughout the last few years. Edison reports AM/FM radio’s daily reach also remains stable, while Pandora continues to see losses in share and reach; Spotify has grown 36% (3% to 4.1%). Since 2016, Pandora’s “Share of Ear” dropped 17%. From 2016 to 2018, millennials 18-34 daily reach jumped 39%. Daily reach among 25-54s increased 52%. In addition, podcasting’s daily reach is growing, especially among younger audiences, with listening share +39% in two years to 15.2% among those 18-34 and +52% to 9.7% in the same timeframe among 25-54s.

Salem Radio Network Sets Midterm Election Coverage. With its vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup commenting, “There is unprecedented interest in this year’s midterms,” Salem Radio Network will feed live Mike Gallagher-anchored coverage on (Tuesday) November 6 beginning at 7:00 pm (ET). Adding their perspective as well that night will be SRN host Hugh Hewitt; White House correspondent Greg Clugston; Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon; Congress correspondent Wally Hindes; Pentagon/military affairs correspondent Colonel Robert Maginnis; and SRN analyst/former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.

TALKERS News Notes. Having overseen the programming content strategy for 54 radio stations in Radio One’s 15 markets and Reach Media‘s nationally syndicated programming since January 2007, senior vice president of programming content Jay Stevens will leave the company when his contract expires the middle of next month. Immediately prior to joining Radio One, Stevens spent 16 years as vice president of programming for CBS Radio ….. It’s a busy week for Westwood One “Sterling on Sunday” host Walter (Sabo) Sterling who is filling in for Westwood One teammate Jim Bohannon tonight (Wednesday, 6/20) and tomorrow night (Thursday, 6/21). Sterling will be originating those shows from Entercom Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM. Then, in approximately two weeks (7/5 and 7/6), he will guest host for Cumulus Media Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM afternoon drive talent Doc Washburn ….. Chicago media writer Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com) is first to report that veteran “Windy City” news anchor Dave Stewart (WGN, WLS-AM, WIND) will retire at the end of the month … Word from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho is that Elly Yu is remaining in the public news/talk arena but shifting from Atlanta Public Schools-owned WABE to American University’s WAMU as a general assignment reporter.

ABC Radio To Air Four July 4th Specials. All will be three hours in length for broadcast over the upcoming holiday weekend. In “America’s Pastimes,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky enjoys the pastimes that comprise a classic American summer such as the back porch, barbeque, sports, and a day at the beach. Katersky will explore not only the traditional American summer hobbies, but also those that are new. ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone hosts “Great American Car Show” in which he examines America’s love affair with the automobile. He tours the presidential limousine that John F. Kennedy was in on that fateful day in Dallas; visits an assembly line making the Ford Mustang (pictured at left); and ponders a future with flying cars. Stone will take listeners on a tour down historic Route 66, do donuts with a Hollywood stunt car driver and learn about the latest in car technology. “Red, White and True-Blue Country Fan Salute” is hosted by Dustin Lynch, who reveals the special relationship between country artists and their fans. Among those included are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, and Darius Rucker. They discuss their most memorable and strangest fan encounters, how they engage with fans on social media and what sets country fans apart from partisans of other musical genres. Eddie Money-hosted “Red, White & Rock 2018” celebrates cities, artists, and songs that comprise the landscape of American rock and roll. It will feature music from Aerosmith, Allman Brothers Band, Cheap Trick, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and ZZ Top.

Coleman Insights To Present Podcast Engagement Study. Results will be shared next month (7/25) in Philadelphia at Podcast Movement as part of the conference’s Industry Track. The study will reportedly offer second-by-second data in an analysis on listener reactions to “The Ben & Ashley Almost Famous Podcast,” hosted by former contestants from ABC-TV’s “The Bachelor.” Coleman Insights executive vice president/senior consultant Sam Milkman notes, “We will go well beyond the simple measures of listener and download counts that podcasters are used to seeing and examine content engagement. By looking at how the audience responds to specific content, podcasters can more effectively develop engaging content.” Podcast Movement co-founder Dan Franks remarks, “One of the biggest challenges for a podcaster is to figure out who their listener is, and what their listener wants. Coleman’s solutions for this problem are very exciting for us as organizers, as we get to help spread the word throughout the entire podcast community this July.” Milkman will present the findings with John Boyne and will be joined by iHeartRadio senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson.

For The Record. An item in yesterday’s TALKERS (Tuesday, 6/19) noted that “CBS World News Roundup” earned a “gold” medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards; “CBS World News Roundup” actually won a “bronze.” We apologize for the error.

 

NYC’s “Alt 92.3” Adds Segall, Stone. In two separate moves, Entercom New York’s WNYL “Alt 92.3” names Bryce Segall music director/evening talent and Dan Stone imaging director. Segall begins in less than two weeks (Monday, 7/2); Stone starts next Monday (6/25). Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “Bryce has continuously displayed the ability to be innovative in the programming end of our industry; we are excited to add his talents. Dan’s previous imaging and voiceover experience will pay great dividends as he joins us in the same capacity.” According to Segall, “New York City is an iconic pillar of alternative culture. It has long deserved a radio station that not only pays tribute, but adds to that legacy. I am looking forward to working with the ‘Alt 92.3’ team to develop an outlet that truly adds value to the thriving, pre-existing music community.” Stone notes, “Helping to build an ‘Alt’ radio brand for New York City is a dream come true. This station’s passion for the format is unequalled; I can’t wait to wake up and be a part of that.” Segall previously was assistant program director/air personality for Seattle’s KNDD “107.7 The End,” and label manager for Mad Zoo. Stone was an imaging contributor/consultant for Cumulus Media Chicago. WNYL is the former WBMP – its calls were changed last Tuesday (6/12). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 sweep, the station ranked #19 (2.0).

Bevvy of Beasley Media Group Philly Activities. Several community-oriented activities undertaken by Beasley Media Group Philadelphia seemingly converged all at once. Many employees at the cluster were involved in its recent “Best Day of Caring event to help the City of Philadelphia Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP). Team members from WMMR “93.3 Everything That Rocks”; WMGK “102.9 Philadelphia’s Classic Rock”;  adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic”; sports talk WTEL “610 ESPN”; and WWDB “Talk 860” divided into two shifts to clean up a block in the city’s Frankford section. While there, they picked up trash and removed graffiti to help support the organization’s beautification project. Vice president and market manager Joe Bell comments, “This is truly what being a part of a local community is all about. I could not be more proud of our employees for paying it forward and helping our beloved city. I am proud to be on their team.” Meanwhile, last Friday (6/15), WMGK’s John DeBella raised over $143,000 for local veterans as part of his 13th annual radiothon at the National Constitution Center. Over the past decade, the station has raised over one million dollars to support vets in need. Among those donating items used in a series of eBay auctions that occurred in conjunction with the radiothon were Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Eagles, Billy Joel, and Yes. Former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, called the station to voice his support. The following day (Saturday, 6/16), the 13th annual WMMR “I Bleed For Preston & Steve Blood Drive” produced 1,128 units of blood to benefit The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. Listeners showed up during a time when the American Red Cross needs blood the most and they received “Preston & Steve” T-shirts and “I Bleed For Preston & Steve pint glass. Hundreds of donors were randomly selected to receive a pair of tickets to a summer concert. Free food and samples were also provided. Thus far, the annual event has collected nearly 15,000 pints of blood.

O’Brien Inks Multi-Year WCSX Extension. Four-year WCSX “94.7 The Classic Rock Station” morning drive personality (Big) Jim O’Brien signs a multi-year deal to continue hosting “Big Jim’s Houseon the Beasley Media Group Detroit outlet. Vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “It is really a pleasure to be associated with Jim and the healthy combination of creativity, wit, and passion for cars and classic rock he brings to his morning listeners in the ‘Motor City.’ Jim’s work to establish Glenn Frey Drive in Royal Oak and soon Bob Seger Boulevard in Ann Arbor; his tireless efforts on behalf of veterans; and his respect for all things Detroit prove he is an extraordinary ambassador for both WCSX and the city he calls home.” Program director JT Tarrants states, “I have been a ‘Big Jim’ fan since I arrived here. We are so glad to have him buttoned up to lead our morning show into the future.” O’Brien adds, “It is an honor to be part of the Beasley Media Group family in Detroit. I look forward to continue entertaining our dedicated ‘Motor City’ listeners for years to come.” O’Brien has been with WCSX since 2002 and is joined on the morning show by co-host Erin V and producer Ryan Logan.

San Andres Ascends to “Z-90” APD. XHTZ “Z-90 – Today’s Hit Music,” the Comunicación XERSA-owned mainstream CHR covering San Diego, promotes music director Kat San Andres to assistant program director. Program director R Dub comments, “It is team members behind the spotlight like Kat San Andres who are responsible for the incredible success of ‘Z-90’ and the other brands in this building. Kat’s relentless work ethic and passion for the business helps propel ‘Z-90’ forward every day; expanding her role here was overdue. Add to that, she is the ‘Z-90’ listener; has a great set of ears; and is a lot cooler than I will ever be.” With the station since 2004, San Andres remarks, “Fourteen years later, I am still in love with this career. I am always so thankful and grateful that I decided to take a risk to follow my dreams because it has led me to this wonderful adventure. I am so excited for this opportunity and cannot wait to start this new chapter.” Meanwhile, Kalyna Astrinos of San Diego’s KGTV-TV joins “Z-90” for weekends. She and R Dub worked together at iHeartMedia Los Angeles in 2009.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After 16 years in the CBS Radio Los Angeles – now Entercom – cluster, John Michael resigns. During his tenure, he was assistant program director/music director at mainstream CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; music director for adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM’: and music coordinator/weekend air talent at alternative KROQ ….. Digital program director for iHeartMedia San Francisco Matty Staudt is elevated to iHeartRadio’s vice president of podcast programming. Staudt has launched more than 30 original locally-focused podcasts and hosts iHeartRadio’s “Access Podcast.” In 2008, he became part of the startup team and first director of content and community for the podcasting app Stitcher before moving to Premiere Networks as a consulting producer. A teacher at the Academy of Art University, Staudt will report directly to senior vice president of podcasting Chris Peterson …..Exiting Saga Columbus adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” after 24 years is morning talent Dino Tripodis. Co-host Stacy McKay is the interim replacement named by program director Michelle Matthews …..  Morning drivers Chaz & AJ of Connoisseur Media New Haven’s WPLR “99.1 Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” raised $18,000 for Connecticut based “Homes for the Brave.” WPLR operations manager Keith Dakin states, “It was truly inspiring to look at a packed house of people who were there not only for laughs but to help out a great organization making a difference in our community. ‘Homes for the Brave’ is doing great things in our state and we are so happy to write them this check.” Chaz adds, “With over a million U.S. veterans at risk of homelessness, this is the least we could do. It is up to us to help take care of those that gave for their country.” All money raised will go to help build homes, teach vocational training, and work with homeless veterans ….. The co-host of Cumulus Media’s “Nash Nights Live” – Elaina Smith – teams up with Nash Country Daily for an ongoing conversation about women in country music. Each article will feature a female county artist with an accompanying opinion piece, interview, podcast, or playlist. Profiled female artists will be featured on 90 Cumulus Media websites and more than 130 radio stations nationwide, with a reach of 400,000 people on Twitter and 180,000 on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

| June 13, 2018

Hannity Gets First Post-North Korea Meeting Sit-Down with Trump. On his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio program yesterday afternoon, Sean Hannity aired excerpts from his sit-down interview with President Trump after the president’s historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  The full interview was aired on Hannity’s FOX News Channel program later in the evening.  Pictured above is a still shot from the interview.  Hannity traveled to Singapore to cover the meeting and is hosting his programs from Singapore this week.

Rob Sanchez Appointed Regional VP of News, Talk and Sports for iHeartMedia Boston.  Spoken-word radio pro Rob Sanchez joins the iHeartMedia Boston as vice president of news, talk and sports programming, effective July 1.  In this position, Sanchez will be responsible for overseeing all programming for all-news WBZ-AM “NewsRadio 1030,” and news/talk outlets WRKO “The Voice of Boston” and WXKS-AM “Talk 1200 Boston’s Conservative Talk.”  He’ll report to iHM Boston VP of programming Dylan Sprague.  After beginning his radio career in Miami, Sanchez joined CBS RADIO’s WINS-AM, New York in 1996 as a news production assistant, writer and producer.  He moved over to the company’s WCBS-AM “NewsRadio 880” in 2000.  For several years, he served as a director of news and programming for news, talk, and sports, as well as Spanish CHR stations, in Washington. Sanchez comments, “I can’t wait to join the extraordinary team of journalists and talk show hosts at iHeartMedia Boston.  The more I learned about iHeartMedia’s bold vision for their iconic Boston brands, the more it became clear that this is where I needed to be.”  In conjunction with Sanchez’s appointment, iHeartMedia Boston names Bill Flaherty director of operations for news, talk and sports and will work closely with WBZ “NewsRadio 1030” and other Boston Region brands.

Entercom Asks Court to Dismiss Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Hosts Jamie Allman’s Breach of Contract Suit. Regular TALKERS readers remember that morning talk show host Jamie Allman was let go from (at the time in question) Emmis-owned and Entercom-operated news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis in the aftermath of his Tweet expressing the desire to “ram a hot poker up (Parkland, Fla. student) David Hogg’s ass.”  Allman is suing both companies – Entercom has since closed on the station and owns it – for breach of contract related to his firing.  Not surprisingly, Entercom just filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Allman’s contract clearly gave the company the right to terminate him, saying it “unambiguously permitted his termination for indecent or immoral conduct, or any other conduct that brought the station into ‘public disrepute, scandal, contempt, or ridicule,’ or which ‘disparage[d] or reflect[ed] adversely upon Station or any of its advertisers.’ The substance of the tweet is not in dispute, nor are the consequences.  The primary question presented is one of contract interpretation, which is particularly well-suited for an early dispositive motion.”  Since his firing, Allman has been streaming a daily morning talk program on his own website.

Tillotson Named OM/PD at Cumulus Pensacola. Radio programming pro Greg Tillotson joins Cumulus Media’s Pensacola station group to serve as operations manager for the five stations and as program director for news/talk WCOA-AM, adult contemporary WMEZ-FM, and classic hits WJTQ.  Tillotson was most recently station manager/OM/PD at Mapleton Communications’ Spokane cluster.  Cumulus Media Pensacola VP and market manager Jackie Rinker says, “We are thrilled to have Greg Tillotson joining the programming team of Cumulus Radio Group Pensacola as our operations manager/program director. Greg’s track record of success and his drive and expertise will perfectly serve the needs of our market.”

Jack Lessenberry Joins WFDF, Detroit. Motor City journalism pro Jack Lessenberry is hosting a two-hour talk show on Kevin Adell’s WFDF “910AM Superstation,” beginning July 9.  Lessenberry recently resigned from his positions with Michigan Public Radio and the Metro Times in May after more than a dozen women publicly alleged that Lessenberry engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.  He also serves as head of the journalism department at Wayne State University and the school says it is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior during his time there.  Adell tells the Detroit Free Press that the allegations against Lessenberry “were from some time ago.  Also, in our city, our state, our country, we give people the benefit of the doubt.”  Regarding his hiring, Adell adds, “I’m excited to have Jack, the father of journalism, who taught many of my staff here at my media companies, join the ‘910AM Superstation’ family.  Jack will bring a wealth of in-depth knowledge and expertise to the station.”  Lessenberry says, “For my part, I am excited to be part of the exciting future that Kevin and his team are building at 910.  We’re going to be doing some things you might never expect, shake people up and make them think, and the goal is never to be boring.”

TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee sports talker WAUK-AM “540 ESPN” re-ups its deal with Learfield’s Marquette Sports Properties to continue to serve as the flagship for Marquette University men’s basketball.  The Good Karma-owned station has aired Golden Eagles play-by-play since 2006…..Hubbard Radio’s WFED-AM and FederalNewsRadio.com are expanding their “Ask the CIO” franchise. Hubbard calls it “the longest running federal IT program in the industry,” and reveals the new website, AskTheCIO.com, features audio of the program as well as an expanded look at federal IT and CIO news, podcasts, plus a new feature – “Ask the CIO Insider” – which allows users to register to receive federal IT-specific news and events.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, G-7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Tuesday Primaries, Trump-Russia Investigation, DeNiro Tony Awards Speech, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/12). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; last weekend’s G-7 Summit and Trump’s social media feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech at Sunday’s Tony Awards; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Janda Lane is joining Hubbard Radio’s Windy City classic rock WDRV “97.1 FM The Drive” to work alongside afternoon personality Steve Seaver, beginning July 9.  Lane will also have other duties in the programming department.  She was most recently with Fender Musical Instruments Company serving as content director…..Delmarva’s country WXCY, Havre de Grace “New Country 103.7” ups Jeff Hunt, tasking him with music director duties.  Hunt will continue hosting the evening program he’s been doing for the past year.  Station OM/PD Brad Austin says, “With the ever-increasing demand on my time, it makes great sense to bring someone into the decision-making process who is passionate and experienced.  Jeff has worked with many in the Nashville music community and is a great advocate for new and established artists.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark” officially adds Spanish to “The Big Mistake with Ashley O and Spanish” morning program.  The change comes after Toast exited his on-air roles with the station earlier this year.

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 2.4 (6+) in January, February, and March, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” is now +1.0 in April and May (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), as the Washington Nationals flagship repeats at #13. Before notching a +.6 in January, “The Fan” was without an increase in four straight survey periods for a roughly 50% decline of its 6+ AQH share (3.5 – 3.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.8, -1.7, 6+). Setting the pace in the Nation’s Capital for the fifth time in a row, Hubbard all-news WTOP rebounds from April’s -.8 with a +.1 (10.4 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Following four consecutive months at #1, WTOP shifted to second-place in “Holiday” 2017. With a +1.3 in January (9.3 – 10.6, 6+), however, it reclaimed the top spot with its best 6+-stat since March 2011’s 10.6. Moreover, that +1.3 halted three successive declines that produced an overall -.5 (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+). Although down two-tenths (8.5 – 8.3, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU is anchored in the runner-up slot for the fifth successive sweep; “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -1.1 in March. A collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), WAMU gained back 85% of that loss in January with a +1.7. It exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. February 2017’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. Having reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time in the PPM-era (5.0, March 2018), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL is now a combined -1.1 in April and May (5.0 – 4.5 – 3.9, sixth to ninth, 6+). WMAL was without an increase in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 for an overall -1.0 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+) before dialing up a +1.1 in January. Since surfacing in May 2017, Entercom business news WDCH is trending .3 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .4 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – At this time last month, Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” pulled ahead of Howard University’s similarly-formatted WHUR for the first time since November 2015, which was when the two rivals were tied at 4.7 (6+). In each sweep since then, WHUR had been on top. In April 2018, however, “Majic” picked up two-tenths to 5.8 (fourth to third, 6+), while WHUR faltered by four-tenths to 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+). The momentum continues for WMMJ in May as it surges by eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+), while WHUR is flat at 5.7 (unchanged at #4). “Majic” was locked on 5.6 (6+) in January, February, and March. As the result of four straight reports without a gain (7.1 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), WHUR is -1.4. Not only is Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX an overall +1.7 in six consecutive up or flat trends (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “Mix 107.3” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). Meanwhile, its format rival – Entercom’s WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” – is trending 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 (6+) and continues at #14. Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of more than half (-5.4) of its 6+-share (9.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety of the 80s, 90s, and Today” notches a one-half share increase to 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Following four successive positive spikes that netted a +1.3 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), Columbia Union College Broadcasting’s WGTS “91.9 – Christian Music Radio for Washington” is off three-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+); April’s 4.2 is its highest 6+-share since July 2017’s 4.8. Having registered a 3.8 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS drops one-tenth to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). In the nine survey periods that it has appeared in print prior to May 2018 (September 2017 – April 2018), Signal Above Spanish contemporary WDCN-LP has posted either a .4 or .6 (.4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .4 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+); however, in May, “La Nueva 87.7” is off one-tenth to .5 (#20 to #21, 6+). Four (modest) gains in succession by iHeartMedia alternative WWDC produced a +.5 (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but “DC-101” falters by three-tenths to 2.6 (#16 to #17, 6+). New to the top twenty (at #20) is Hubbard regional Mexican WBQH “La Mera Mera 1050,” whose only trending thus far is .3 – .3 – .3 – .6 (+.3, 6+).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Boston University-owned WBUR improves by six-tenths (5.6 – 6.2, fourth to third, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by that same margin (4.7 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). WBUR was a collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; +.7 in January; and +1.0 in March. WGBH had been off by two-tenths in both February and March and (as was the case with WBUR) improved by seven-tenths in January. Finishing back-to-back at #5 and #6, respectively, are Beasley Media Group-owned sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (5.5 – 5.7, +.2, #3 in April, 6+), which was -1.5 in February, and iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” (5.5 – 5.3, -.2, 6+). After three straight improvements for a cumulative +1.5 (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+), WBZ-AM was -.9 in April; 6.4 in March was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 6.6. News/talk sibling WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is trending 2.9 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Faltering by four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM slips from seventh to ninth. The Boston Red Sox flagship was +1.0 in April, as it bounced back from a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). WEEI-FM was +1.4 in January, halting three decreases in a row that produced an overall -1.9 (5.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). This is the eighth straight time that co-owned/similarly-formatted WEEI-AM is without an increase (.2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Owing to a one-half share gain (4.7 – 5.2, steady at #7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX notes its best 6+-showing since 5.3 in September 2017. With a +1.2 in January, “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” ended six downward moves in succession accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+). Dusting itself off from April’s one-half share decline with a May gain of two-tenths (7.6 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+), CHR sibling WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is on top for the fifth straight sweep. “Kiss” rebounded from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +.9 in January (6.4 – 7.3, 6+). It exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In five consecutive increases prior to the August 2017 sweep, WXKS-FM was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). The “Holiday” 2017 – May 2018 topline trending for its format challenger – Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” – is 2.6 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). One full-share behind “Kiss” and repeating at #2 is Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is up nine-tenths in four successive upticks (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 6.2 (flat at #3, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 Boston’s Greatest Hits” pulls the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in an overall loss of seven-tenths (6.7 – 6.5 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+). For the third sweep in a row, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 for New Hit Country” records a move of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, #18 to #16, 6+). An overall +1.1 via four consecutive up or flat trends that nearly doubled its 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017 (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned WAAF “107.3 The Only Station That Really Rocks” surrenders roughly half that increase (1.8, -.5, #16 to #20, 6+). April’s 2.3 marked the first time WAAF reached the two-share level (6+) since May 2017’s 2.0.

Miami

English-Language, Spoken-Word Formats – Seven straight positive or flat trends by iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD netted an overall nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), but “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” surrenders approximately half that increase in May (1.9, -.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#18 to #21). It trails Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN by two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, -.2, flat at #20, 6+). Prior to a +.5 in January, WLRN was a collective -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Notching its fifth consecutive .9 (6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is anchored at #25, where it is tied with co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.9, +.2, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a total loss of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.2 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by a full-share increase (2.3 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMIA “93.9 MIA – Variety from the 80s, 90s, and Today” catapults from #20 to #12 with its best 6+-showing (3.3) since September 2015’s 3.5. There is no May 2018 movement in this market’s always-tight CHR battle, with one-tenth again separating the two participants. Specifically, WMIA sibling WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” stays at 3.2 (#12 to #13, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (#13 to #14) is without an increase for the ninth sweep in a row for a collective -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). “Y-100” was stuck on 4.0 (6+) in January and February and eroded by eight-tenths in March. Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July 2017 and December 2017, and separated by one-tenth in August. Adding three-tenths to April’s +.4, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” advances from second to first (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+). Its February +1.1 curtailed four decreases in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.2, 6+). “Hot” spent seven consecutive months at #1 before being ousted in December. Displaced from the top spot and segueing to second is co-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which is flat at 7.3 (6+). By adding an April +.6 to March’s +.3 (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.3, 6+), “Easy” (ironically) replaced “Hot” at #1. Prior to April, “Easy” had been within 6.2 – 6.8 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. It is nine-tenths ahead of fellow AC – Entercom’s WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.7 – 6.4, -.3, unchanged at #3). Continuing an up/down pattern that began in “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary WAMR “Amor 107.5” is flat at #5. An overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “106.7 El Zol” forfeits all but two-tenths of that increase (3.7, -1.1, sixth to ninth, 6+). Prior to March, the last time “El Zol” reached the four-share level (6+) was February 2017 (4.1).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-tenth uptick (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) is enough to elevate Entercom’s WWJ “News Radio 950” from fourth to third. Following four up or flat trends in succession for a collective +1.0, WWJ was -.8 in April. “News Radio 950” was within 5.2 – 5.9 territory (6+) between June 2017 and “Holiday” 2017. Unchanged at #5, sports talk cluster-mate WXYT-FM drops one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+). A combined -.6 in February and March, “97.1 The Ticket” was up nine-tenths in April. Prior to January’s +1.0, the Detroit Tigers flagship was a collective -2.2 as a result of four losses in a row. Albeit off one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” remains at #10. Prior to the January sweep, WJR was -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). After three successive times of notching a 1.9 (6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM has posted a 1.8 (unchanged at #19, 6+) for the third straight month. Down two-tenths (.9 – .7, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET remains at #22.

Detroit Music Formats – In addition to recording its third straight uptick for a combined +1.1 (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” zooms from ninth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (5.5) since January 2017’s 5.9. Co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” improves by eight-tenths as well (3.0 – 3.8, April – May, #14 to #12, 6+). “Bounce” was stuck on 3.5 (6+) in four sweeps in succession before regressing by one-half share in April. Within 2.3 – 2.8 range since October 2017 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+) independent urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” registers a +.5 to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+). This (3.2) is the highest 6+-share for “Hot” since September 2017’s 3.5. After four straight months at #1, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falls to #2. In addition, a loss of eight-tenths (to 7.1, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat sweeps that netted an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.9, 6+). Succeeding “Detroit’s Greatest Hits” at #1 (up from the runner-up slot in April) is Beasley Media Group’s WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock,” which is +2.5 in five straight progressive trends (5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which was -.5 (February); +.8 (March); -1.0 (April); and is now -.6 in May (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.3, third to fifth, 6+). Immediately prior to January’s -9.2, WNIC was +9.8 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+) and was the market leader from October 2017 through “Holiday” 2017. As a result of a one-half share decrease (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” drifts from fifth to ninth.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – The three upticks in a row by Bonneville sports talk KIRO-AM have been by +.7 (March), +.6 (April), and +.5 (May) for a combined +1.8 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+) as “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#13 to #7). The last time the Seattle Mariners flagship reached the four-share level (6+) was October 2015 (4.3). The nine most recent (6+) trends for news/talk sibling KIRO-FM (fifth to fourth) are 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8. It is just a one-month stay at #1 for Northwest Public Radio news/talker KUOW, which takes over the runner-up slot (6.5 – 6.0, -.5, first to second, 6+). On top for four straight months before dropping to second in December, KUOW was +1.5 in January (6.4 – 7.9, 6+) as it returned to #1. When it lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, KUOW ended five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO adds three-tenths to 2.6 and continues at #19. While flat at 2.0 (6+), Bonneville’s KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” falls from #21 to #22. As a result of four losses in a row, KTTH was -.8 (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.8, October 2017 – January 2018, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair’s KVI “Talk Radio 570” drops the one-tenth it gained in April (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #24, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” picks up two-tenths (.4 – .6, #31 to #27, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – In five straight sweeps without a loss, Hubbard country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (formerly KVRQ) has nearly tripled (+1.8) its 6+-stat (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and has its best performance since October 2017 (2.8, as well). Registering an uptick for the sixth time in the last seven sweeps for an overall +2.5 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom’s KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” progresses from second to first. Consistently within 3.6 – 3.9 territory in each of the last nine sweeps (3.8 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), public KNKX falters by seven-tenths to 3.0 – its lowest 6+-share since January 2017’s 3.0. “Your Connection to Jazz and Blues” spirals from the top ten (#10 to #17, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a cumulative -1.0 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – Seattle’s New Hit Music” skids from #10 to #16. At the same time, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star” picks up three-tenths (3.7 – 4.0, tenth to ninth, 6+). An overall +2.1 via five straight positive spikes, (3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” falters by three-tenths to 5.4 (third to fifth, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2015 (5.7, as well). Albeit steady at #7, Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” is -7.1 (or roughly -60%) in five successive down or flat sweeps (11.8 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Its 11.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” – which was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 – halted three straight down or flat trends that generated a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). In early-December (2017), Entercom transitioned country KMPS to adult contemporary KSWD “The Sound” (calls and imagery formerly used in Los Angeles). Having posted a one-half share gain in March (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), “The Sound” surrenders a combined eight-tenths in April and May (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Falling from #11 to #14, Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is a combined -1.2 in April and May (3.9 – 3.6 – 2.7, -.3, 6+). Flat at #11, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM drops two-tenths after April’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January (3.2 – 4.0, 6+), KTAR-FM was a combined -.7 in February and March (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Sports talk sibling KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a collective +1.1 in three straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.3 – 2.6, #18 to #16, 6+). Prior to this streak, the Arizona Diamondbacks flagship registered four consecutive down or flat trends in which it lost 50% of its 6+ AQH share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). KMVP-FM faltered by one-half share in August and was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” (2.1 – 2.5, +.4, #19 to #17, 6+). When KFYI lost one-tenth in March, it ended at three its successive string of upticks that netted nine-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.4, 6+). Co-owned KGME “Fox Sports 910” is flat at .5 (#32 to #33, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Not only does KESZ boast the second-largest (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been highlighted thus far, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property is #1 for the seventh time in a row (7.3 – 9.0, +1.7, 6+). A combined -9.8 in three straight declines (16.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+), KESZ was up seven-tenths in April; 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016. KESZ was an overall +10.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017. Notching a sizeable month-month increase as well is KOOL “94.5 – The Valley’s Greatest Hits” (4.8, +1.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). The Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet was off eight-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+). Two streaks continue for Hubbard’s KSLX: It is secure in the runner-up slot for the seventh consecutive sweep and “Classic Rock 100.7” is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a +.7 (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+). By duplicating its April +.5 (3.0 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). In five straight improvements, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM – The #1 Hit Music Station in Phoenix” has precisely doubled (+3.0) its 6+-share (3.0 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. As a result of an eight-tenths erosion (4.0 – 3.2, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 Campesina” exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since December 2017, Hubbard’s KDKB “Alt 93.3 – Arizona’s Alternative” regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (6+) but continues at #14.

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at #12, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” is an overall +1.4 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety the eight-tenths it gained in April (4.7 – 5.5 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO “News Radio 830” slips from sixth to eighth. The Minnesota Twins flagship was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in December 2017 and “Holiday” 2017 and then on 5.0 (6+) in January 2018 and February. With an identical (to WCCO) 5.5 – 4.7 (-.8, sixth to eighth, 6+) April 2018 – May 2018 profile is iHeartMedia-owned sports talk KFXN; “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” was -1.5 in February. The four most recent fluctuations for Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW are -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.5 (April) and +.7 in May (5.4 – 4.7, flat at #8, 6+). Until it reached 5.9 (6+) in January, KNOW’s September 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 topline 6+ trending was 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2. Down four-tenths (3.1 – 2.7, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” slips from #15 to #16. Its loss of three-tenths in March stopped four straight up or flat moves that generated a +1.2 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+). Trending 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 (6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #22 to #21.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KDWB erupts with a +1.3 to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. This (7.3) is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” since last July’s 7.5. Unchanged in the runner-up slot, co-owned KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” registers its third straight improvement for a combined +1.4 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.7, 6+) and the station’s best 6+-stat since 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Jumping from eighth to fifth, cluster-mate KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is +2.3 via five upticks in a row (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+). January’s +1.1 halted six straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -2.9 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+). A collective +2.8 in four successive progressive moves (5.8 – 7.6 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95” regresses by seven-tenths to 7.9 (6+), but is on top for the fifth sweep in a row. Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). This is the third down or flat move for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “98.8 Twin Cities Christian Radio” for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, flat at #11, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing April’s -.4 with a May +.6 (4.7 – 5.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” to elevate from sixth to third. KOGO was -3.0 in three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in January; -.7 in February; +.8 in March; and is now +.6 in May. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October 2017’s 7.2 is KOGO’s highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. The ping-pong game plays on for San Diego State University-owned news/talk KPBS, which shifted from first to second in April and now returns to #1 (5.9 – 6.4, +.5, 6+). Its December increase of four-tenths applied the brakes to three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). KPBS was on top four times in 2017: February, August, September, and December. As the result of three straight negative moves (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5, flat at #22, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM is a combined -.7. Earlier, “AM 760” netted one half-share in three straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). Tied at #24 are Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” (1.2 – 1.0, -.2, #23 in April, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” (.8 – 1.0, +.2, #25 in April, 6+). After gaining four-tenths in April, the flagship of the San Diego Padres – Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – drops one-tenth (.8 – .7, #25 to #27, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Recapturing in full the six-tenths it squandered in April (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” jumps from seventh to fourth. Despite regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (6.1 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” leaves the top spot after a one-month stay and segues to #2. Its -.1 in April ended three straight positive trends that netted a cumulative +2.5 (3.6 – 4.7 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). KSON was -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). Significant ups/downs continue for classic hits-oldies sibling KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits,” which registered a -1.6 in March, all but erasing its +1.9 through five straight gains (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+). “Sunny” rebounded in April with a +.5, but is now -.7 in May (5.6 – 4.9, 6+), falling from third to sixth. Up one full-share via four consecutive positive or flat trends (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” hands over 60% of that increase (2.5, -.6, #14 to #19, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) takes iHeartMedia urban contemporary KSSX “JAM’N 95.7” from #14 to #16. After three upticks in a row that produced a +1.1 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), Local Media San Diego-operated Comunicación XERSA XHRM “Magic 92.5” stumbles by four-tenths to 4.5 (fifth to seventh, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – A news/talk station again occupies the top spot in the “Mile High City,” but in May, it’s Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, second to first, 6+); KCFR was #1 in January and March, as well. When it lost six-tenths in February, the station’s consecutive string of improvements that netted a cumulative +1.5 (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+) ended at three. Departing the penthouse after a one-month visit is iHeartMedia news/talk KOA, which shifts from first to fifth (5.8 – 5.0, -.8, 6+). After January’s one-half share loss, the flagship of the Colorado Rockies picked up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) and posted a +1.4 in April to zoom from ninth to first. Prior to April, “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” last reached the five-share level (6+) in October (5.2). January’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since 3.5 in March 2017. Regaining half the four-tenths it lost in April (3.3 – 3.5, +.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN inches up from #14 to #13. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was +1.0 in March – its +.4 in January curtailed three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW “Talk Radio 630” is off four-tenths in that stretch (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 -1.9, #19 to #20, 6+). Flat at #27, Community Radio for Northern California news/talk KUNC records a .7 (6+) for the third month in a row.

Denver Music Formats – Since appearing in print in February, iHeartMedia’s KBWL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” has racked up three straight increases for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0, #18 to #15). Holding a nearly two-to-one (6+) advantage though is Bonneville’s KYGO “98.5 – Denver’s #1 For New Country” (5.3 – 5.7, +.4, third to second, 6+). Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD wipes up roughly half the deficit with a +.5 to 2.2 (#20 to #19, 6+). Owing to three straight up or flat trends (4.6   – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from sixth to third. This (5.6) is its most potent 6+-stat since December 2016’s 5.7. While May 2018 represents the third time in succession without a loss for Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI for an overall +.7 (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” moves from a three-way tie at #3 to #4. Carrying on at #12, Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” loses two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), thus ending three straight time sweeps without a loss for a +1.3 (2.7 – 3.4 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+); “KS-107.5” was -.5 in January. In the market’s hot AC contest, KQKS sibling KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” is off three-tenths (4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but stays at #10, whereas Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” is right behind continuing at #11 (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, 6+). A combined -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” slips from #14 to #16.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – For the fifth sweep in a row, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has a (6+) fluctuation of at least four-tenths. In January and February it was a +.5 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+); -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+); +.8 in April (3.2 – 4.0, 6+); and now +.4 in May (4.0 – 4.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). Although backsliding from #17 to #18, co-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (Tampa Bay Rays flagship) is up or flat in each of the last five survey periods for a +.8 (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+). Flat at 2.7 (6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” carries on at #16+. Its -.1 in April stopped three straight (modest) increases that netted one-half share (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), while a January gain of three-tenths applied the brakes to four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). As a result of six successive ratings periods without an increase, University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is a collective -1.6 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.7, unchanged at #20, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – For the fourth time in succession, iHeartMedia’s WFUS is without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.3) is the strongest 6+-stat for “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 for New Country” since 6.0 in December 2017. Meanwhile, as the result of three straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, ninth to seventh, 6+), co-owned WXTB is a combined +.7 as “98 Rock” has its best 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.7. Setting the pace for the 69th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” posts its third straight up or flat trend (8.4 – 8.9 -9.0 – 9.0, 6+) and is +.6 in that timeframe. “Lite Favorites” was -3.5 in January and February (11.9 – 8.8 – 8.4, 6+), following a +1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+). After three positive spikes in succession that yielded a +1.3 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group Spanish contemporary WYUU “92.5 Maxima” forfeits approximately half that bounty (3.0 -.7, 6+) but stays at #15. Off one-half share (3.8 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” slips from #13 to #14.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – It’s a seesaw lately for Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” which was +.6 (January); -.6 (February); +1.0 (April); and is now -.5 in May (5.0 – 4.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). When the Orioles flagship improved by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it brought to a close three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Tied at #12 are Hearst Television news/talker WBAL (flat at 2.8, #14 in April, 6+) and independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” (3.1 – 2.8, -.3, #11 in April, 6+). Immediately prior to January 2018, WBAL’s (6+) topline included five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4. Flat at #11, Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” has its third decrease in a row for a cumulative -1.1 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+). This is the third consecutive time that American University-owned news/talk WAMU records a 1.1 in Baltimore (#16 to #15, 6+). Radio One news/talk WOLB “1010 News Radio,” which was trending .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 (6+), vanished in February in March; resurfaced in April with a .2 (#22, 6+); and disappears again in May.

Baltimore Music Formats – Major ups/downs are nothing new for iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country,” which was a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, 6+); +2.5 in January; -.9 in February, -1.5 in April; and now +.6 in May (4.9 – 5.5, sixth to fifth, 6+). On the other hand, WPOC was consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+) from May 2017 through November. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive ratings period for a collective +1.5 (3.4 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” climbs from seventh to sixth. In three successive decreases (11.6 – 11.5 – 10.3 – 9.4, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN is an overall -2.2; nonetheless, “Magic 95.9” is #1 for the fifth month in a row. It occupied the top spot for four sweeps in succession before segueing to #2 in December. After going eight straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +3.8 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4 – 10.6 – 11.6, 6+), “Magic” lost one-tenth in March. Entering the November 2017 ratings period, WWIN-FM was down or flat in each of the previous four monthlies for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). In a bit of an odd topline, iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” hasn’t had an increase the past four sweeps yet is down just one-tenth (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, eighth to tenth, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, 6+) propels Entercom news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120 The Voice of St. Louis” from second to first. The St. Louis Cardinals flagship was a whopping +2.3 in April. This (8.3) is the most potent 6+-stat for KMOX since September 2017’s 8.4. Following a January +1.0, KMOX was a combined -.6 in February and March. As a result of four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), “The Voice of St. Louis” was a cumulative -3.0 and had its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. An October loss of four-tenths ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Bunched together in the May 2018 report are University of Missouri news/talk KWMU (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, flat at #14, 6+); Entercom-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” (2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #16 to #15, 6+); and Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, steady at #15, 6+). By registering a half-share increase in January, KWMU halted three successive downward moves that accounted for a -.9 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+). Off by an overall half-share in February and March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), it added one-tenth in April. Owing to May’s +.3, KFTK ends three straight negative moves that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Prior to January’s +.7, KFTK was a cumulative -1.4 in three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). A combined -.7 from November through “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+), “101 Sports” posted a +.8 in January; -.6 in February; +.1 in March; and -.6 in April.

St. Louis Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth sweep in succession for a +1.9 (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+), Hubbard’s WIL “92.3 – Nobody Plays More New Country” repeats in third-place. By logging a one-half share increase to 6.2 (sixth to fourth, 6+), rock cluster-mate KSHE pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a -1.2 (6.9      – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (3.4 – 3.9, #13 to #12, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since 4.3 in “Holiday” 2017. After being #1 the past four months, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” sputters by one-half share (8.4 – 7.9, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. A combined -2.0 in January and February (9.5 – 7.9 – 7.5, 6+), KLOU made up 45% of that loss in March and April (7.5 – 8.3 – 8.4, 6+). It rebounded from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was down or flat the previous three monthlies for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). Directly on the heels of April’s +1.3, Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” coughs up nine-tenths (6.7 – 5.8, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. Prior to April, “The Arch” was within 5.2 – 5.6 range (6+) in each of the previous four survey periods. April’s 6.7 is its best 6+-stat since December 2017 (6.7, as well).

Monday, June 11, 2018

| June 11, 2018

Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity to Broadcast Show from Singapore.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity is in Singapore all this week covering President Trump’s Tuesday summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his Premiere Networks program will emanate from Singapore all week. Hannity, whom Premiere Networks notes was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, will also host his prime-time FOX News Channel programfrom Singapore tonight through Wednesday.  In addition to his programs, Hannity will be Tweeting real-time updates during the week-long broadcast special, including breaking news and guest appearances.

iHeartMedia Powers Up Progressive Talk on KKSF, San Francisco. Tomorrow (6/12), Spanish-language sports will disappear from the air on KKSF, San Francisco and iHeartMedia will debut new progressive talk outlet “Real Talk 910” that the company says will feature “forward-thinking political talk and opinions that embrace the values of social, economic, and environmental justice, along with human rights, democracy, and multiculturalism.”  The prime-time lineup includes WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller in AM drive, WYD’s Thom Hartmann in late mornings, Cox Media’s consumer advocate Clark Howard in early afternoon, followed by Norman Goldman in afternoon drive.  iHeartMedia says the station will present podcast-formatted content, beginning with the iHeartRadio “Daily Dive” news podcast that will air weekdays at 5:40 am, “giving listeners a deeper insight to the news of the prior 24 hours.”  Additional podcast originated content will be added to weekend programming in the weeks to come.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “Hosts like Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, and Norman Goldman have a history in the market from a time that was nowhere near as politically charged as today’s environment.  Given their alignment with the liberal-leaning make-up of the Bay Area, we believe they will resonate well with listeners.  In addition, our forward-thinking programming approach will take advantage of being based in the tech capital of the world with an ever-increasing amount of podcast content featured as part of our weekly broadcast schedule.”  The company names Cory Callewaert program director of the station.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds ‘DriveChicago’ Program to Saturday Schedule. A new weekend program dedicated to the automobile has launched on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago titled, “DriveChicago.”  The program is a partnership between the station and the Chicago Automobile Association (CATA) to create Chicago’s newest radio show all about the city’s storied car culture.   It debuted this past Saturday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am. WLS says the show – hosted by station news anchor Jennifer Keiper – is designed to “deliver a lively and frank discussion of everything automotive.” Joining Keiper on the program are long-time automotive expert Mark Bilek and car enthusiast Jim OBrill.  WLS-AM OM and program director Pete Bolger says, “Cars are top of mind to our upscale audience.  Combining the connections of CATA and our award-winning automotive industry expert, WLS-AM news anchor Jennifer Keiper, ‘DriveChicago’ will be an informative but fun show; one that creates strong on-air and digital content, relevant to our listeners and advertisers.”

iHeartMedia Launches New Asheville Sports Talker. The trimulcast is called “ESPN Asheville 92.9 FM/880 AM/1400 AM, First for Sports in Western North Carolina” and is based at WPEK-AM. It’s also heard on translator W225CJ at 92.9 FM and WMXF-AM at 1400. iHeartMedia Asheville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “I’m really excited we’re bringing the ESPN format back to sports talk listeners here in Western North Carolina.  The ESPN brand aligns perfectly with our platform of top-rated iHeartMedia radio stations here in Asheville.”  Programming will include “Golic and Wingo” in mornings.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and the SEC-centric Paul Finebaum show airs from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The station is also airing University of North Carolina football and basketball play-by-play.

Kellar Radio Talent Institute Opens Today at Appalachian State University. Today in Boone, North Carolina, the Kellar Radio Talent Institute at Appalachian State University starts as the Beasley Radio Talent Institute continues at Emerson College in Boston and the TAB Radio Talent Institute poises to start next week at the University of Tennessee.  The mission of the National Radio Talent System is to “discover and coach the talent who can be hired today and be the next generation of leaders in broadcasting.”  This program has the broadcast profession, the universities, and the National Radio Talent System working together in a collaborative effort to accomplish this unified mission. More than 40 veteran broadcasters from Beasley Media Group, EntercomCurtis Media, iHeartMedia, Capitol Broadcasting, and others will be leading sessions.  Twenty-five students from four universities have been accepted into the Institute.  There are no breakout sessions – every student will be in every session, including the RAB Radio Marketing Professional Certification course.  NRTS founder Dan Vallie says, “It’s invigorating to all of us to see so many students with a desire for a career in radio.  The talent is there, and they are as excited as you and I were when we got into the industry.  The collaborative effort from the industry shows the commitment to young talent and the future of the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right are Westwood One EVP news/talk Bart Tessler (right) and VP of news/talk Kevin DeLany after receiving the Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for Westwood One News’ coverage of last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.  The award was bestowed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 8…..Former WILK-AM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton talk show host Sue Henry is throwing her hat in the ring, challenging fellow Republican Eddie Day Pashinski for his Pennsylvania State Representative seat in the 121st District.  Henry was a talk host at Entercom’s WILK for the past 16 years before her exit last month after contract renegotiations stalled.

Trump-Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump Overture to Putin, G7 Summit/Trump-Trudeau Spat, Anthony Bourdain Suicide, Tony Awards, Ocean’s 8 Film, Warriors Sweep Cavs for NBA Title, and Capitals Top Golden Knights to Claim Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The preparation for the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; Trump makes an overture to Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the tense G-7 Summit in Canada and the tiff between President Trump and Justin Trudeau; celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dead of apparent suicide at 61; Sunday night’s Tony Awards broadcast; the opening weekend of theOcean’s 8 film; the Golden State Warriors sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers to claim the NBA title; and the Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup 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. Detroit CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio” names Chris Cruise and Julia Lepidi hosts of “The Morning Show with Cruise and Julia,” starting Monday June 18.  They replace Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman, hosts of the “Rat & Puff” show.  Cruise is a Detroit native who comes back to the Motor City after having most recently served at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “WOW 104.3.”  Lepidi has been hosting evenings at WDZH since 2015.  Entercom Detroit president and market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “As the leaders in live, local, original audio content, we are excited to bring our community a new show to tune in to while getting their day started.  I’m looking forward to hearing Chris and Julia on air together.  They have a chemistry that will have listeners laughing out loud and are sure to make for a great morning tandem.  I look forward to their success in Detroit.”…..Cort Johnson returns to Alpha Media’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland to serve as afternoon drive host and assistant program director.  Johnson joined KINK and sister news/talk KXL in 2011.  He’s most recently been a member of Alpha’s corporate digital content team.  KINK content director Ronnie Stanton says, “I am so thrilled to work beside a talent like Cort who brings local knowledge, on-air and digital skills to the table and already understands and loves the intricacies of the KINK brand.”…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media rebrands CHR WVBX-FM as “LIVE 99.3” from the “99.3 The Vibe” handle.  Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “We are very excited to have launched a radio station in Fredericksburg that plays the hit music of today’s hottest artists. Alpha Fredericksburg continues to deliver top quality programming with local and live personalities.”…..In the Land of Lincoln, radio exec Pat Kelley is named market manager for Townsquare Media’s Rockford cluster.  He’s been serving in the same capacity at the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado station group.  Kelley had served as manager of WLFM-FM, Chicago when it aired smooth jazz…..Entercom announces the call letters WNYL-FM replace the WBMP-FM calls for alternative rock “ALT 92.3.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

| June 6, 2018

Ron Hartenbaum, Sue Freund and Scott Calka Launch New Ad Sales Company with Offices in New York and Los Angeles.  Three high-profile industry veterans have formed a new company, Crossover Media Group Sales, specifically developed to provide advertising-sales representation across multiple platforms for an array of established and emerging program personalities and formats.  Managing members are Scott Calka, a veteran of advertising sales for organizations including Comcast SpotlightDirecTVFox Sports and Madison Square Garden; sales pro Sue Freund, who most recently served for a decade as VP of sales for the Western Region for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and who is opening the Los Angeles office of Crossover Media Group Sales; and well-known impresario Ron Hartenbaum, a veteran of advertising agencies including Needham and Grey, later serving as VP of sales for Westwood One before becoming a founding partner of MediaAmerica and CEO of Jones Radio Networks. The new company is an extension of New York-based Crossover Media Group, which was launched by Hartenbaum and Calka in 2017 as a content-creation and advertising-sales consulting firm.  “Until relatively recently, media personalities and content providers have not had a strategy to monetize their efforts fully beyond a single platform,” Hartenbaum tells TALKERS.  “Crossover Media Group Sales is equipped to help content creators maximize their ad revenue regardless of delivery platform.”  Calka states, “We believe we have developed the first truly cross-platform ad-sales structure to best serve the needs of content partners whose origins are in the audio and digital-video sectors.  The future of ‘TV’ revolves around non-linear video consumption.  To monetize the millennial audience, personalities, content providers and brands need to have a strategy for this platform.”  Freund states, “There is a strong and surprisingly untapped market for advertising to support personalities and brands seeking to maximize revenue potential across all the platforms available to them.  If you have an audio presence, we can be your video partner.  If you have a video brand but have had difficulty breaking through the clutter, we can help.  We understand cross-platform branding, promotion and monetization, and how to serve the needs of content providers, media buyers and brands alike.”   Crossover Media Group Sales’ initial clients include a variety of radio and podcast products by Stephanie Miller, audio personalities Thom HartmannDean Obeidallah, and the team of Michael Steele and Rick Ungar, all of whom have programs on SiriusXM.  The company’s video-streaming program-network partners include Political Voices Network, co-launched this year by former CNN and MSNBC executive David Bohrman, and Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which also is carried on SiriusXM and which was launched by veteran sportscaster Brent Musburger and his nephew Brian Musburger.  VSiN has been cited in press reports among the significant potential beneficiaries of the Supreme Court’s recent decision permitting states to have legal sports betting.

WGN, Chicago Makes Changes to Morning and Evening Shows.  From the Windy City, Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago is tweaking the on-air lineup in.  Evening personality Justin Kaufmann – host of “The Download” from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm – is becoming a permanent contributor to the Steve Cochran morning drive program.  Now, the morning program will consist of Kaufmann, Dave Eanet, Mary Sandberg Boyle, Steve Grzanich, Mary Van De Velde, Joe Romano, and Pete Zimmerman. At the same time, morning show personality Andrea Darlas moves to evenings where she’ll co-host and handle news duties on the Patti Vasquez show that moves into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Cochran comments, “I have mixed emotions. I’ll miss Andrea but I’m excited for her and Patti. And it will be great to have Justin on the show.  He’s smart, funny, and inexplicably willing to get up at a ridiculous hour.”

Hudson Valley Talk Host Tom Sipos Honored by Council of Industry. WKIP, Poughkeepsie, New York morning host Tom Sipos has been honored by the Council of Industry with its 2018 Manufacturing Champions Public Sector Award for “relentlessly calling attention to the important role manufacturing plays in our regional and national economy.”  Sipos was co-owner of Sipos Insurance for nearly 40 years and now hosts “Hudson Valley Focus LIVE” on the iHeartMedia news/talk station.  He served on the boards and was past chairman of the Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and Workforce Investment Board, and chairman of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Advisory Council.  He currently serves on the advisory board of the Dutchess B.O.C.E.S Career and Technology Institute and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County.  He was the founder of The Dutchess Alliance for Human Needs.  Sipos says, “What a great thing it is to be honored by the Council of Industry, The Manufacturers Association of the Hudson Valley.  I truly appreciate this award and will continue to promote manufacturing and technical education as key components of a healthy, dynamic economy.”

Entercom Stations Grab 17 New York State AP Association Awards. Three of Entercom’s New York all-news and news/talk stations garnered a total of 17 2017 New York State Associated Press Association awards.  The organization’s annual newspaper and broadcast contest honors important journalism. Forty-six radio and television stations submitted more than 524 entries in the annual awards.  All-news WCBS-AM, New York and sister WINS, New York picked up 11 first and second place awards.  News/Talk WBEN-AM, Buffalo took home six first and second place awards.

TALKERS News Notes. Charlotte sports talk personality Chris Kroeger is leaving his position with Beasley Media Group’s WFNZ “The Fan” to become the radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.  As reported in the Charlotte Business Journal, Kroeger will take over for Steve Martin, who retired following the regular season.  Kroeger is a Charlotte native who beat out 10 finalists (from a pool of “hundreds”) to get the gig.  He says Martin voiced some of his own personal best sports moments. Kroeger continues, “Steve Martin narrated so many of those memories on radio and television.  It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime to be his successor and to broadcast a new era of Hornets basketball for the next generation of fans.”…..ABC News Radio says its coverage of the U.S.-North Korea Summit from Singapore will begin on Sunday (6/10).  It will be anchored by Karen Travers with reporting by Tara Palmeri.  The ABC News Radio team says it will provide live coverage as needed, one-hour specials, special reports and one-minute status reports…..NBC Sports Radio and Westwood One are presenting national radio coverage of the 150th Belmont Stakes – the final leg of this year’s Triple Crown on Saturday (6/9).  The broadcast is in conjunction with the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mike Penna will anchor and be joined by Kurt Becker.  Longtime horse race owner and radio executive Dan Mason and horse racing reporter Tom Leach and Steve Goldstein will contribute to the coverage, while former jockey Jeff Bloom will serve as trackside reporter. NBC Sports’ Larry Collmus will call play-by-play of the race…..Former Alpha Media programmer Jeff Beck – who served with the Fredericksburg cluster that included news/talk WNTX – died on Monday (6/4) after a lengthy illness.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Trump Uninvites Eagles, Clinton-Lewinsky Flap, Facebook’s Data Sharing with China, Tuesday Primary Elections, the NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5).  The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and allegations Paul Manafort has tampered with witnesses; the scheduled summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore; the controversy over President Trump uninviting the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; former President Clinton’s response to his Monica Lewinsky affair viewed through the #MeToo movement light; Facebook accused of sharing data with four Chinese firms; Tuesday’s primary elections; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer and air personality Trevor Morini is moving from Tulsa – where he’s been PD and afternoon host at iHeartMedia’s “92.1 The Beat” – to Austin to program the company’s CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM” and alternative KASE-HD2 “ALT 97.5.”  Morini says, “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with the great team in Austin and can’t wait to get started!  I can’t thank Don Cristi and Jon Phillips enough for everything they’ve done for me in Tulsa.  I would not be ready for this next chapter without their guidance and support.  I’d also like to thank Tony Coles, Brian Gann, and Matt Martin for allowing me the honor of programming such a legendary station as KHFI!”…..On Monday and Tuesday (6/4-5), Premiere Networks engaged more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations and Premiere-syndicated affiliates at the exclusive 2018 CMT Music Awards radio remote broadcast in Nashville.  Pictured below at the event are CMT and Premiere staffers with country outfit Old Dominion.  From left to right: CMT Radio executive producer Ashlee McDonald, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen and Matthew Ramsey, CMT After MidNite/CMT Radio Live host Cody Alan, Old Dominion’s Geoff Sprung and Whit Sellers, CMT After MidNite/CMT Radio Live correspondent Marley Sherwood and Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

| June 5, 2018

Cumulus Media Emerges from Chapter 11. The company said it would emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization during the second quarter of this year and that turns out to be the case.  In a statement, Cumulus Media says it has “successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 having reduced its debt by more than $1 billion.  The Company plans to utilize its enhanced financial flexibility to continue its ongoing business transformation and drive value creation on behalf of all its stakeholders.”  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Over the last two years, we have been relentlessly focused on our plans to turn the Company around, and the completion of our financial restructuring process is a monumental step forward on our turnaround path.  We emerge today as a stronger and more competitive Company, with the financial foundation that we need to move forward decisively with the initiatives that will produce the greatest benefits for the Company.  With this financial restructuring now behind us, we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish with all of our resources and energy fully focused on our operating business.”  In the statement, Cumulus reports that it reduced its total debt balance from $2.34 billion to $1.30 billion, consisting entirely of a term loan bearing interest at LIBOR plus 450 basis points and due May 15, 2022.  “Also, pursuant to the terms of the financial restructuring, the Company’s previously outstanding equity was cancelled and certain former stakeholders are being issued 11,052,211 shares of the Company’s Class A common stock, 5,218,209 shares of the Company’s Class B common stock and warrants to purchase 3,729,589 shares of common stock in exchange for their prior claims. Except with regard to voting and conversion rights, shares of Class A common stock and Class B common stock are identical in all respects.  Generally, the holders of shares of Class B common stock are not entitled to vote on any matters, although such shares are convertible into shares of Class A common stock, subject to FCC rules and regulations and the Company’s governance documents. We have applied to have our Class A common stock listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CMLS and, until such time, expect that such shares will be quoted on the OTC Pink Sheets under the symbol CMIA.”

Kathy Smith to Lead Cumulus Eugene, Oregon. At Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group, Kathy Smith is the new VP/market manager.  She was most recently Alpha Media Portland’s general sales manager.  Cumulus Eugene includes news/talk KUGN and sports talk KUJZ-FM and four music outlets.  Cumulus EVP Bob Walker says, “We are very pleased to have Kathy leading our team in Eugene.  Her deep experience and true passion for the Pacific Northwest region make her an incredible asset to our six great stations and the community they serve.”

‘97.9 ESPN Hartford’ Names Bob Joyce UConn Sports Executive Producer. At sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN Hartford,” Bob Joyce is named executive producer for University of Connecticut Athletics content.  Joyce’s duties include serving as the radio voice for Women’s Basketball and Men’s Hockey, handling play-by-play, and working closely with “The Rob Dibble Show.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia Connecticut program director for sports and talk Ben Darnell.  iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb states, “We are excited to have Bob Joyce on our team.  Bob brings continuity and a high-quality professionalism to our UConn content.  He is well known in the market and with UConn fans and we are confident he will bring UConn sports broadcasting to new levels.”

Hayley Tenpas Named WHBY, Appleton Talk Host.  In the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin market, Woodward Communications names Hayley Tenpas host of the afternoon drive “Focus Fox Valley” program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tenpas formerly served as news anchor at Scripps’ WGBA-TV, Green Bay.  She is a native of the Fox Valley, having grown up in Hortonville.  She earned her broadcast journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  WHBY brand manager Justin Hull says, “We are excited to welcome Hayley to the WHBY team.  Her passion for the community will be a great addition to our weekday lineup.”

TALKERS News Notes.  On Monday (6/11), 77 WABC Radio in New York is hosting the first GOP primary debate between U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan and former Congressman Michael Grimm.  The station says the two are locked in a “tight and heated race” for New York’s 11th Congressional District.  The one-hour live debate will take place at WABC Radio studios in New York City at 12:00 noon ET and veteran journalist and WABC Radio host and political editor Rita Cosby will serve as moderator as part of the first hour of her talk show with Curtis Sliwa, “Curtis + Cosby.”…..The legal case of St. Louis talk show host Jamie Allman against Emmis Communications and Entercom is being moved from Missouri state court to federal court.  RegularTALKERS readers remember that Allman is suing the two companies for breach of contract after Allman was let go from his KFTK-FM radio show in the aftermath of social media comments he made about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  At the time of his firing from KFTK-FM, Entercom was LMAing the station from Emmis as it waited to close on the purchase of the station…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the program schedule at KBDB-HD3, Forks, Washington…..Longtime KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City talk show host Doug Wright said a final farewell to his listeners on Friday, June 1.  Wright retired from the Bonneville-owned news/talk station after more than 40 years on the air in the market.  To fill the air time left open by Wright’s retirement, Bonneville is expanding the “Dave and Dujanovic” show to 9:00 am to 12:00.

Joe Brewer Promoted at Katz Media Group.  Twenty-two-year staffer Joe Brewer is promoted to president of business operations at Katz Media Group.  Brewer – who started with the company in 1996 – was most recently chief administrative officer.  In this position, Brewer will increase his focus on business operations across Katz Radio Group, Katz Television Group and Katz Digital with the goal of streamlining company processes and aligning all technology and innovation initiatives with company goals.

AWMF to Honor Judy Woodruff at Gracies Awards Luncheon. The leadership of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour,” will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 27 at Cipriani 42ndStreet in New York. The annual Gracies Luncheon honors individual achievement and outstanding programming at the local level for TV and radio, public level for radio, and student level for TV, radio and interactive media.  CNN’s Erica Hill will host the luncheon.   AWMF chair Christine Travaglini says, “The Gracie Awards celebrate the female storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  Since the beginning of her journalism career in 1976, Judy Woodruff’s connected, well-researched approach is consistently present and illustrates why she is so worthy of this Lifetime Achievement Award. We at AWM and AWMF, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to honor and celebrate outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegations, Trump Uninvites Eagles to White House, SCOTUS Cake Ruling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Clinton NBC Interview, North Korea Summit, Dwight Clark Dies, NBA Finals, and Major League Baseball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/4). The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and allegations that Paul Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses; President Trump uninvites the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House; the Supreme Court rules in favor of Denver baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple; the aftermath of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; Bill Clinton’s reaction to being questioned about Monica Lewinsky on “Today” show interview; the status of the U.S.-North Korea summit; San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark dies at 61; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA Establishes Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund. The Broadcasters Foundation of America has established the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund in honor of the broadcaster who died this past Friday (6/1) at age 69 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Joe was a friend and champion of the Broadcasters Foundation and our industry. He devoted time and energy to advancing broadcasting and to helping colleagues in need.  He will be missed by many, personally and professionally.”  Bilotta spent more than 40 years at Buckley Broadcasting where he helped build the group’s standing through such noted stations as WOR-AM, New York and WDRC-AM and WDRC-FM in Hartford.  Bilotta was saluted by his colleagues in April with the coveted Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award, given by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at a breakfast ceremony held during the 2018 NAB Show.  To donate to the Joseph M. Bilotta Memorial Fund, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Joining Envision Networks as assistant marketing manager is Kelsey Shawgo.  She comes to Envision with a background in writing and music journalism.  She has been published in Substream Magazine, Fashion Meets Music Festival Magazine, and was a staff news writer and features writer for Alternative Press before joining Envision Networks. She also has worked in promotions for the now-Entercom-owned Cleveland station cluster.  Envision says, “Kelsey’s acumen for millennial sentimentalities with a focus on new media and creative content will enhance Envision Networks’ marketing team.  She aims to strengthen the brand voice of Envision Networks in all written and graphic content including public relations, social media, and the monthly journalistic Envision Insider newsletter…..iHeartMedia announces the primetime lineup for its iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place in Las Vegas September 21 and 22.  Performers include: Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Sam Smith, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, and more…..iHeartMedia Chicago announces that market radio pro Lisa Dent is joining country WBGG “BIG 95.5” to host weekend programs.  Dent previously co-hosted mornings on Entercom’s crosstown WUSN-FM in Chicago for 10 years before launching her first business, Lisa Dent Speaks, LLC, and building her own studio, The Radio Farm…..Cumulus Media’s Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q100” launches a new online destination called Q-U at quatlanta.com.  Cumulus says Q-U “puts listeners first with video content that brings together the ‘Q100’ listening community in a new way and includes original content from listeners who share their lives with others who have a passion for hit music.  Q-U tackles issues affecting young adults on a daily basis, including relationships, jobs, college loans, family and activism.”  Cumulus Media Atlanta VP and market manager Sean Shannon adds, “Q-U builds the ‘Q100’ brand and elevates and transforms the standard ‘we talk, you listen’ format to a truly integrated conversational fan experience.  We couldn’t be more excited to launch this innovative new destination for Atlantans who love hit music.”…..Westwood One’s nationally syndicated “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” program is broadcasting live from the George Jones Museum in Nashville during this week’s CMA Fest.  Each morning’s live broadcast inside The George Jones is free and open to the public.

Monday, June 4, 2018

| June 4, 2018

Former Buckley Broadcasting President and CEO Joseph Bilotta Dead at 69.  Former Buckley Broadcasting president and CEO Joseph Bilotta died on Friday (6/1) at Connecticut Hospice.  Bilotta served as chief of Buckley Broadcasting when it operated venerable New York talk station WOR and the WOR Radio Network.  TALKERS magazine learned of Bilotta’s passing via New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella, who issued the following statement to his organization: “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that Joe Bilotta passed away this afternoon.  As you know, Joe was a great friend and supporter of our association and he, along with Bob McCallan, Andy Santoro, and Elizabeth Christopherson comprised the search committee that ultimately offered me the privilege of representing this wonderful association. Joe was a constant source of support, advice, and guidance.  His wise counsel and friendship meant a lot to all of us on the Board, but most especially me. He was always available to help.”

Premiere Networks to Distribute Nancy Grace Daily Feature. Legal media figure and former HLN personality Nancy Grace and iHeartMedia’s Premiere
Networks 
are partnering to syndicate a new, daily feature focusing on current crime news.  The 60-second program launches July 23.  This show is called “Crime Alert with Nancy Grace.”  She says, “I’m thrilled to join iHeartMedia and Premiere Networks where I will continue my lifelong mission to fight crime and speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves.  This new platform expands my ability to shine a light on heinous crimes, help find missing people — particularly children — arm listeners with need-to-know information and catch the bad guys.”

Mike Morgan Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Raleigh.  At its Raleigh station group, iHeartMedia names Mike Morgan senior vice president of sales.  The Raleigh cluster includes news/talk WTKK-FM “106.1 FM Talk,” plus four music-formatted stations.  Raleigh market president Alan Kirshbom says, “Mike is the total package.  He brings extensive radio experience, subject matter expertise in digital, and a stellar track record of serving and developing business in key categories.  With Mike joining the Raleigh team, we are stronger than ever.”  Morgan joins iHeartMedia Raleigh after previously serving as director of new business development and account manager at Sokal Media Group.  He also previously served as general manager for Capital Broadcasting in Raleigh.

Dan Mason Joins VSiN as Strategic Advisor and Investor. Most industry pros are aware of VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network), founded by Brian and Todd Musberger and home to brother Brent Musberger’s daily program “The Brent Musberger Action Update.”  Now, former CBS RADIO chief Dan Mason is joining the media network dedicated to sports gambling information.  The company is announcing a partnership with Mason in which he’ll join the company as strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations.  Brian Musberger says, “With decades of experience in the media industry, Dan brings a wealth of knowledge to our team. We are excited to leverage his expertise to drive continued growth at VSiN, capitalizing on the incredible opportunity presented by the burgeoning sports gambling industry.  His overall enthusiasm for our product brings an energy level to the room that is contagious.”  Mason is currently chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America and serves as a senior advisor to iHeartMedia.  The press release from VSiN says it “broadcasts as many as 13 hours of live programming a day from a showcase studio in the middle of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.”

Beasley Radio Talent Institute Begins Today at Emerson College in Boston. Getting underway today at Emerson College in Boston and running through June 13 is the Beasley Radio Talent Institute. Conducting the opening session are Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley and EVP/COO Brian Beasley.  They follow opening comments from the president of Emerson College, Dr. Lee Pelton.  Sessions taking place over the next 10 days will be taught by working radio pros from Beasley and other radio groups, including EntercomiHeartMedia, Hall Communications, and more, as well as play-by- play announcers for the Patriots, Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox.   National Radio Talent System president and founder Dan Vallie comments, “From the beginning, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley grasped the vision and immediately stepped up.  They are a company that does the right thing in our industry.  We are proud to be working together to continue growing the farm system, discovering, coaching and incubating young talent with a passion for radio.  It’s a privilege to be able to do this with Emerson College and to be working with forward thinking companies like Xperi, Marketron, Benztown, and Vcreative to help make it happen.”  Jack Casey, general manager of WERS-FM and adjunct professor at Emerson College, says, “The Beasley Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity for future broadcasters.”

Witness List for Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge Case Released. The $1 million suit brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen for ratings tampering is expected to go to trial on Monday, June 18. On Friday, the court released the final witness lists from both parties.  Of course, Bubba himself is on both lists, as are a number of broadcasters, including Beasley’s Justin Chase and Brian Beasley.  On Bubba’s list is former Clear Channel and Tribune chief Randy Michaels.  Also, on both lists is PPM panelist Nicholas Tabachuck – with whom Bubba is alleged to have colluded to tamper with the ratings.

TALKERS News Notes.  Atlantic City talk radio personality Harry Hurley announces he’ll be filling in on the FOX News Radio Network, guest hosting the Todd Starnes show on June 12 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  WPGG Talk Radio’s Hurley says, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Todd Starnes, who is literally one of the classiest and most generous broadcasters in our business.”……….San Francisco sports talker KNBR announces that as part of its new multi-year agreement with Major League Baseball’s Giants, the team is the first to offer free, in-market live streaming of its radio broadcasts.  The live stream is being delivered by TuneInCumulus Media San Francisco EVP of operations Dave Milner comments, “KNBR and Cumulus Media are proud to continue our 40-year partnership with the San Francisco Giants.  At the same time, we’re extremely excited to announce that KNBR, in partnership with TuneIn, will be the first radio station in Major League Baseball to offer Giants fans the ability to stream the games, live and free of charge in Northern California. Now every Giants game broadcast over the air on KNBR 680, will also be heard online at knbr.com, or the KNBR channel on TuneIn’s mobile app.”…..Sports radio pro Dan Graca is expanding his role WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” as he joins the New York Jets game day radio team.  Graca will work this season alongside former Jets linebacker Greg Buttle during the pre-game, halftime, and post-game radio shows.  He’ll continue as regular contributor on ESPN Radio and SNY-TV, including “Loudmouths,” “Daily News Live,” and “Baseball Night in New York.”  Graca says, “You could say this is a job I’ve spent my whole life preparing for.  Growing up a New York Jets season ticket holder for 23 years, going from Section 302, Row 26 to now becoming a part of the game-day broadcast is nothing short of surreal.  It is impossible to fully express the gratitude and excitement that comes along with this opportunity.”…..At last weekend’s Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards, WTOP-FM, Washington was presented with 12 honors, including for Outstanding News Operation and for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “These awards are a testament to what an incredibly talented team we have here at WTOP.  Across a wide range of specialties from digital to sports, documentaries to feature stories our people are what set us apart.  We feel honored to be able to share in their success.”…..WDEL-FM/AM, Wilmington received seven awards from the Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association on Saturday (6/2) in Ocean City, Maryland.  The awards in the Div. II classification (markets 51+) included the top award of News Operation of the Year, as well as Best Newscast, Best Website and Best Talk Show for Rick Jensen.  Pictured below at the ceremony are (from l-r): WDEL breaking news reporter Mike Phillips, director of news and programming Chris Carl, assistant news director Amy Cherry, talk show host Rick Jensen, and contributing correspondent Rob Petree.

Geoffrey Starks Nominated for FCC Seat.  We have a nomination for the Federal Communications Commission seat begin vacated by Mignon Clyburn.  Current FCC Enforcement Bureau assistant chief Geoffrey Starks gets the nod.  Democrat Starks had been supported for the seat by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.  Starks’ confirmation will take place in the next few months and will coincide with the vote on the reconfirmation of Republican commissioner Brendan Carr.

Trump Self Pardon/Russia Investigation, North Korea Summit, Iran Nuclear Deal, Portland Antifa Violence, Parkland H.S. Graduation, Facebook Data Deals, Italian Populist Government, NBA Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump could pardon himself; the status of the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the repercussions of the U.S.’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal; the violence in Portland as Antifa forces clash with those at a Patriot Prayer rally; the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduation and Jimmy Fallon’s surprise appearance there; story reveals Facebook shared user data with many partners; unease in Europe as Italy swears in new, populist government; the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cumulus Media’s country WKKO-FM, Toledo “K100,” 33-year program director Gary Shores hands the PD baton to Jerry Mac.  Shores, who has been with the station for total of 43 years, will continue his role as morning show host.  Mac comes to Toledo from Community Broadcasters’ operations in Elmira, New York where he was operations manager.  Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart says, “We celebrate and honor Gary Shore’s unprecedented and highly successful run as ‘K100’ program director.  Gary has been an essential part of the station’s continued growth and popularity and we are deeply grateful for his dedication and contributions over the past 43 years and counting.  We are thrilled Gary will stay on as host of ‘K100 Mornings!’”…..CMT and iHeartMedia are collaborating so that iHeartCountry will once again serve as the official radio partner of the 2018 CMT Music Awards and will simulcast the live show from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (6/8) at 8:00 pm ET/PT.  The live radio broadcast will air across more than 120 iHeartCountry music radio stations. In addition, Premiere Networks will engage those stations and Premiere-syndicated affiliates at the exclusive radio remote broadcast in Nashville today and tomorrow to help kick off the “hottest night in country music.”  “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan,” “The Bobby Bones Show,” and “The Crook & Chase Countdown” are on-location to provide listeners with interviews with award nominees, performers and celebrity guests…..Pictured below is country artist Kane Brown with Beasley Media Group staffers at WKLB, Boston’s “Street Party” where more than 8,000 listeners showed up to party on Lansdowne Street adjacent to Fenway Park.  Performers included Brown, Cam, Lanco, Brown & GrayStephanie Quayle, and local performer Timmy Brown.  From left to right are: Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Ilana Goldstein, Kane Brown, Brian Beasley, Beasley Media Group VP/market manager Mary Menna, and Joel Banos Carranza.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

| May 24, 2018

‘Sports Radio 610’ in Houston Adds New Talent to Lineup.  The Entercom sports talk station announces its new lineup that includes new voices Paul Gallant, Fred Davis, and Landry Locker.  Gallant joins the AM drive “Mad Radio” show with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne on KILT-AM.  Fred Davis and Landry Locker are co-hosting the midday “In the Loop” show with John Lopez.  The changes take effect on Tuesday (5/29).  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “‘SportsRadio 610’ has long been the sports leader in Houston and part of remaining on top is continuing to evolve with the needs of our audience.  I’m excited about the energy that Paul will bring to mornings and Fred and Landry will bring to middays.”

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. As Garrett Morris’ fictional “Saturday Night Live” character Chico Escuela used to say, “Baseball been berry, berry good to me!” Stations that serve as flagships for MLB teams certainly hope that baseball will be good to them each season.  Today, TALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian presents the first PPM analysis of the 2018 baseball season that looks at 6+ numbers from Nielsen’s April PPM survey for those stations. Some of the stations that appear to have benefitted from the first month of the season compared to their March numbers include: Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis (up 2.3 shares); Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (up 2 shares); and Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (up 1.9 shares).  See Kinosian’s full report here.

Redberg Rises to VP of Sales for iHeartMedia Twin Cities. Sales pro Michelle Redberg is promoted to vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Minneapolis market that includes news/talk KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk,” sports talk KFXN-FM “K-Fan,” eight music brands, plus franchise partnerships with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey. Vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes Region Greg Alexander states, “Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company.  She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today’s marketing and business challenges.  Michelle’s passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands.”

Michael Young Exits Entercom Pittsburgh Market Manager Position.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that market manager Michael Young has exited the position at Entercom’s four-station cluster there that includes news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  Young was manager of the cluster when it was owned by CBS RADIO and stayed in his position as Entercom assumed ownership.

iHeartMedia Appoints Mark Boudreaux New Orleans Market President.  New Orleans native Mark Boudreaux assumes the market president position at iHeartMedia New Orleans, effective June 11.   iHeartMedia operates news/talk WRNO-FM and sports talk WODT, plus six music formats in the market.  Boudreaux was most recently business development manager at South Central AV. iHM region president Eddie Martiny says, “Who better to run our iHeartMedia New Orleans market than a native New Orleanian?  Mark has a proven track record in the Crescent City as a seller, sales manager and vice president of sales.  We are excited to have Mark and his infectious personality leading iHeartMedia New Orleans.”

Saga Comminucations’ Warren Lada to Retire.  Longtime Saga Communications executive Warren Lada is retiring from the company and his position as chief operating officer at the end of next month.  Saga president and CEO Ed Christian comments, “Warren has been an integral part of Saga for the past 27 years and we will deeply miss his contributions to Saga and its radio stations across the US.” Prior to taking on the corporate role of COO, Lada was president and general manager for Saga’s WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live” – led by principals Ian FreemanMark Edge, and Darryl W. Perry (pictured from l-r at right) — announces a number of new affiliates for the program.  WWMN-FM in Traverse City, Michigan and KUSG-AM in Guam add the program to their schedule and WTTN-AM, Columbus, Wisconsin joins the simulcast of existing progressive talk affiliate WRRD-AM, Waukesha…..Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “620 the Ticket” in Raleigh are broadcasting live, play-by-play for all games of this year’s ACC Baseball Championship series that runs through this Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham.  Vice president of programming Dennis Glasgow says, “It is our pleasure to bring as much live content as possible over the next five days with our ACC Baseball coverage to everyone in The Triangle.  We have an excellent arsenal of announcers lined up to bring our listeners and baseball fans the very best play-by-play and analysis from the ACC Baseball Championship at DBAP.”…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is expanding its podcast portfolio by adding the true crime genre with the podcast “Crime Junkie,” hosted by Ashley Flowers.  “Crime Junkie” launched in December and, according to AdLarge, has been averaging 40,000 downloads per episode…..Tag Station announces that the NextRadio smartphone app for listening to local FM stations is being launched for smartphone users in Mexico.  Tag Station president Paul Brenner comments, “We’re thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico.  We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device.”…..KXL, Portland news staffers Steve Leader and Rosemary Reynolds were recently honored with awards from the Associated Press.  Leader is AM drive anchor at the Alpha Media station and Reynolds is a reporter.  Leader received the Best Enterprise Reporting award for his series “Walk in the Hood,” a look at the way African American communities have changed in Portland through the eyes of two African Americans who grew up in Portland.  Reynolds received the Best Public Service award for her series “Wanted: Foster Parents,” that addressed the 11,000 children in Oregon in need of foster care…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio nationally syndicated talk show host JT “The Brick” emceeing the 11th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic.  This was JT’s fifth year serving as emcee for the event that raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Hobnobbing at The Gracies. Pictured above at the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards on Tuesday (5/22) at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles are: Sun Broadcast Group CEO Jason Bailey (left), Weiss Agency EVP and AWMF director Heather Cohen, and Kris Bailey.

Cool Job Opportunity for KNX Full Time Writer/Producer. Entercom’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is looking for a fearless, aggressive, energetic, enthusiastic, and creative team player. The right candidate is a real show producer and not just a guest booker. Must have a strong rolodex, good news judgment and the ability to write quick, clear, compelling and concise scripts without the usual cliché’s or news speak. Must work and play well in a fast, high-pressure all-news environment. Intimate knowledge of socializing content in all platforms is a MUST. Prior major-market producing and news writing experience required. Strong multi-tasking and computer skills required. Familiarity with Southern California including politics, pop culture, lifestyle, etc. preferred. Must be available to work all hours, overnights, and weekends. Required to join the Writers Guild of America. For more information, please click here.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Status of North Korea Talks, U.S.-China Relations, New NFL Anthem Protest Rule, Parents Evict Son Case, Milwaukee Police Tase NBA Player, Iran Nuclear Deal, Primary Races, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the uncertain status of scheduled talks between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the state of relations between the U.S. and China after the latter is uninvited from joint military exercises; the NFL bans sideline anthem protests; the court case of the New York couple evicting their 30-year-old son; the Milwaukee police apologize after Bucks player Sterling Brown is tased during a parking violation incident; the aftermath of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal; Tuesday’s primary races in Georgia, Texas, and Kentucky; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs 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’s news from Chicago as Windy City media maven Robert Feder writes today about legendary jock Dick Biondi’s official exit from Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Feder says that at some point Biondi’s status changed from inactive employee – Biondi was hospitalized in April of 2017 for an ailment – to former employee.  Biondi had been hosting a weekend morning show on WLS-FM.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren told him Biondi’s employment with the station ended “months ago.”…..Robert Feder also reports that Entercom is promoting weekend and fill-in jock Richard Milne to full-time afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) personality on triple A WXRT.  The move bumps Jason Thomas to weekend and fill-in duties as well as host of Monday evening’s “The Big Beat” show…..Tomorrow (5.25), Entercom New York’s classic hits WCBS-FM 101.1, New York’s Greatest Hits is broadcasting the “Shannon in the Morning Summer Beach Blastoff” featuring “Scott Shannon & The Big Show” live from the boardwalk at Coney Island.  Hosting the event will be Scott Shannon with Patty Steele, Sue Aller, John Elliot and Brad Blanks, with special performances by Taylor Dayne and Smash Mouth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

| May 22, 2018

Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington.  Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum.  The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows).  Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017.  Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues.  Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM).  We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.

Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart.  Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc.  He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC.  He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear.  The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”

Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.”  Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN.  About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”

Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk.  After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge.  Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger.  A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”

Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM.  Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio.  In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales.  Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years.  She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey.  Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience.  The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday.  The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs 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. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group.  First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.”  Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11.  At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program.  iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family.  With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level.  Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.”  Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”

Monday, May 21, 2018

| May 21, 2018

Is There a Heavenly Hundred?  Today, as TALKERS magazine posts the 2018 edition of the Heavy Hundred, Paula Ryan, the wife of late radio personality Matt Patrick writes a piece for TALKERS in which she remembers her husband and his intense love of and dedication to the craft of performing on radio.  She writes, “Every year we looked forward to the Heavy Hundred being published by TALKERS magazine.  Many of Matt’s close friends in the business got the nod year after year.  Matt would celebrate his colleagues, singing their accolades, and then quickly got back to working on his own shows in order to take it all to the next level.  I knew it was only a matter of time before he would land on that list.  Unfortunately, time was not on his side.” Read Ryan’s piece here.

Dennis Green Named Chief Revenue Officer for Sun & Fun Media. Longtime Westwood One executive Dennis Green has joined Sun & Fun Media as chief revenue officer.  Sun & Fun Media creates products for radio stations, including: vacations, gift cards, vehicle wraps, branded station merchandise, and bill pay for NTR events, television and billboard advertising for radio stations, research, consultants, equipment, software and more, all available exclusively through barter.  In this newly created position, the company says that Green will lead the development of new products and services for radio stations and will manage a team of six affiliate sales professionals to grow the company’s affiliations across the U.S.  He’ll continue to be based in New York City.  Sun & Fun Media co-founder and CEO Rob Koblasz says, “Dennis Green is one of the most respected, experienced and trusted affiliate sales executives in the radio industry and we are thrilled that he is joining Sun & Fun Media as chief revenue officer.  With Dennis’ considerable expertise in radio operations and network radio sales, we will be able to offer our affiliates more and better solutions exclusively for barter than ever before.”

Former FOX News Host Andrea Tantaros’ Suit Against Company and Individuals Dismissed.  The former FOX News Channel personality was suing FNC and a number of individuals, including former FOX executive Bill Shine and late FOX chief Roger Ailes, for $10 million.  Andrea Tantaros claimed that in response to her making allegations of sexual harassment against various FOX executives, she was put under illegal surveillance.  Tantaros was representing herself – pro se – and in a ruling highly critical of the merits of the suit, Judge George B. Daniels dismisses all of the claims, ruling that Tantaros failed at every level to provide factual support for the allegations.  Tantaros claimed, among other things, that she was being spied upon by one of Roger Ailes security personnel, that FOX tech persons installed malware on her personal computer in order to spy on her, and that she was illegally videotaped at work.

Kirshbom to Lead iHeartMedia Raleigh Cluster.  Radio management pro Alan Kirshbom joins iHeartMedia as market president for the company’s Raleigh cluster that includes news/talk outlet WTKK-FM.  Most recently, Kirshbom was vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media in Memphis.  Previously, he’d served as vice president and market manager for Entercom in Austin and Milwaukee.  As market president, Kirshbom will be responsible for “leveraging iHeartMedia Raleigh’s radio station brands and assets to provide quality programming and create new revenue opportunities.  He will spearhead all aspects of the market’s operations including sales, programming, digital, events and promotion initiatives.”  Kirshbom will report to Dave Carwile, president of iHeartMedia’s Virginia/Carolina Region.

Russel Robertson Appointed SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Tampa. Moving from the company’s Seattle station group to Tampa, Russell Robertson assumes the SVP of sales role for iHeartMedia’s cluster there. iHeartMedia’s Tampa cluster includes news/talk WFLA and sports talk WDAE.  iHM Tampa market president Chris Soechtig says, “I’m thrilled to have Russell join our team.  His 10-plus years of experience in iHeartMedia’s Pacific Northwest and San Diego Regions coupled with his passion for helping clients grow their business makes him the ideal choice for SVPS in Tampa Bay.”

Raising Money for Nevada GOP Candidates. Pictured above are Las Vegas-based talk show hosts Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) and Heidi Harris (left) at the Denim & Diamonds BBQ Fundraiser held in Las Vegas on Saturday night.  Wachs and Harris co-emceed the event sponsored by the Southern Nevada Republicans Women’s PAC and designed to raise funds for primary race GOP candidates. WSB-AM, Atlanta talk show host – and former presidential candidate – Herman Cain was a speaker at the event.

JVC Media’s John Caracciolo Delivers Commencement at Long Island’s Five Towns College.  Pictured above at the commencement at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, Long Island is JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo (left) with Chicago drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Danny Seraphine (center) and school president David Cohen (right).  Caracciolo was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.  JVC Media owns and operates stations on Long Island – including news/talk WRCN-FM, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” – and in Florida.

TALKERS News Notes. Omaha native and Radio One founder Cathy Hughes (right) is pictured here with Nebraska media personality Tom Becka (left) – formerly of KFAB, Omaha and KCMO, Kansas City – after being honored by the Omaha Press Club.  The city of Omaha named a street in her honor, as well. Hughes joins the ranks of other famous Nebraskans including: Warren Buffett, Johnny Carson, and Larry the Cable Guy…..Indiana Radio Watch publisher Blaine Thompson reports that Daryl McIntire is exiting his role as director of sales for Sarkes Tarzian’s news/talk WGCL/W241CD and triple A WTTS in Bloomington, Indiana.  McIntire served with Sarkes Tarzian for 32 years in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne…..Pictured below broadcasting live from the Connecticut Democratic State Convention on May 18 is WTIC-AM, Hartford “Newstalk 1080” afternoon drive personality Todd Feinburg.  Feinburg broadcast his show from the Hartford Convention Center interviewing state political figures and taking listener calls.

Texas School Shooting, Trump Asks DOJ to Investigate FBI-CIA Surveillance of Campaign, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-China Trade Talks, Royal Wedding, Iran Nuclear Plan ‘B,’ Deadpool 2 Film, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Santa Fe High School shooting on Friday that left 10 dead; President Trump asks the DOJ to investigate whether the Obama Administration asked the FBI or CIA to infiltrate the Trump campaign; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S. and China agree not to accelerate a trade war; Saturday’s royal wedding of Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to unveil “Plan B” for Iran nuclear deal; the film Deadpool 2 tops the weekend box office; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs 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. There’s a change in morning drive talent at iHeartMedia’s WLIT, Chicago “93.9 LITE FM” as Melissa Forman returns to the station to host AM drive, replacing Kristina Kage.  The company says Forman “will kick off the workday with two hours of commercial free music from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  Melissa’s tradition of informing and entertaining listeners will continue through celebrity interviews, charity involvement, and the unique relationships that she’s built with the people of Chicago.”  iHeartMedia Chicago Region president Matt Scarano says, “I am so excited to welcome Melissa Forman back into the iHeartMedia Chicago family.  She has a rich history with Chicago and 93.9 LITE FM’s listeners, and we are looking forward to working with her again.”…..iHeartMedia’s KMRQ, Modesto, California “Rock 96.7” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Woody Show” to the program schedule for morning drive.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

| May 10, 2018

Emmis Communications Fiscal Q4 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Down 1%. Because of the recent sales of its Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Terre Haute stations, the Emmis Communications fourth fiscal quarter report can be viewed two ways.  Fourth fiscal quarter revenue was $28.4 million – down 16%.  But, pro forma for the sale of Emmis’ Los Angeles and Terre Haute radio stations, revenue as reported to Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter revenue and syndication revenue) was down 1% in markets that were down 3%.  The company says the New York and St. Louis clusters both grew their revenue in the quarter and outperformed their markets.  Looking at the whole fiscal year (ended February 28, 2018), radio revenue was $142.9 million compared to $165.1 million in the prior year – a decrease of 13%.  For the full year, Emmis’ pro forma radio revenue was down 2%.  The report notes that on April 30, the company finalized the sale of its St. Louis radio stations, and after applying the net proceeds therefrom, has less than $20 million of net credit facility debt outstanding.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves.  Ratings for our New York radio stations remain strong and they are rebounding nicely in Indianapolis.  The NextRadio team has done a tremendous job rolling out Dial Report, an industry-wide data attribution platform, and we believe it is uniquely positioned to meet the growing demand for robust analytics and insights into the behaviors of radio listeners.”

Liberty Media Group Still Interested in iHeartMedia.  “At the right price” is the phrase Liberty Media Group president and CEO Greg Maffei used during yesterday’s investors conference call.  Maffei noted that Liberty owns “about $660 million” of iHeartMedia bonds.  Regarding Liberty’s interest in iHeartMedia, Maffei adds, “I think the process is evolving as they go through their Chapter 11 proceedings.  Creditors are gaining an understanding of what they are proposing to buy.  I think at some point they are going to re-engage with us, and if the price is attractive, as I said, we would be interested.  And the rationale for that is there are both – I think some opportunities around radio.  They’re still having interest toward radio and are so interested in some of the assets that we have, including serious investment in Pandora.  I think there are both synergies on the revenue side and on the cost side potentially.  And iHeart is an attractive free cash-flow generator.  The wide pricing in combination with that is those are the factors and it will be additive to our music holdings.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read it all here.

Schulman Named CMO at Katz Media Group. Media executive Stacey Lynn Schulman is promoted to chief marketing officer for Katz Media Group.  The company says that in this new role, “Schulman will lead a team of marketing and insight professionals across both Katz Radio Group and Katz Television Group, driving overall marketing strategy and insights for Katz’s 14 regional offices that together serve as the trusted sales partner to more than 3,300 radio stations, 800 television stations and their digital platforms.”  The company says Schulman joined it in 2014 as EVP of strategy, analytics and research.  “She quadrupled Katz’s proprietary research efforts on behalf of clients.  Schulman also introduced new marketplace tools to showcase the power of local media, including Katz’s DJ Personality Index, which helps marketers easily identify on-air personalities who already engage with their brands, and The Local Vote project, which provides political marketers with a media compass based on recent voter sentiment in local markets. Her efforts have been instrumental in bringing additional revenue into the radio sector and expanding the target-ability of local broadcast television.”

TALKERS News Notes. A piece published at CNNMoney that states Salem Media Group execs have pressured their talk show hosts to be supportive of President Trump is getting a lot of attention.  Featured in the story is former KRLA, Los Angeles morning personality Elisha Krauss, who tells writers Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy that although she understands Salem can hire or fire any talent it wants, “They shouldn’t do it with the facade that they’re delivering multi-level opinions and they’re not puppeteering those opinions.” Krauss currently works with Ben Shapiro on his podcast programs.  The two worked together on KRLA’s “The Morning Answer.” Currently, “The Morning Answer” is co-hosted by anti-Trumper Brian Whitman and pro-Trumper Jennifer Horn.  Read the piece here…..As election season gears up, the Larry Young morning program on Radio One’s WOLB, Baltimore will participate in presenting public forums featuring candidates for office.  The station will present a gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, June 5 and a state’s attorney forum on Wednesday, June 13 as part of the Larry Young morning program.

U.S. Exits Iran Nukes Deal, Israel Strikes Syria, North Korean Prisoners Released/Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Haspel Confirmation Hearings, Stormy Daniels Case/Cohen Russian Money Allegations, Hawaiian Volcano Watch, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9). The reaction to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement; Israel’s strikes on Iranian targets inside of Syria; three American prisoners held in North Korea are released and the related planned meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Trump; the confirmation hearings for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the Stormy Daniels payoff case and allegations Trump attorney Michael Cohen received money from a Russian oligarch after the 2016 election; Hawaii’s oozing volcano and fears it may transform into a full blown eruption; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs 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. The evening program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5” is getting a new voice as Emily Sklar takes over the daypart on Monday (5/14).  She comes to DC from her most recent gig as midday jock on the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Cumulus Media names radio personality Nikki Blades co-host of “The Morning Block Party” on rhythmic CHR KWIN, Stockton-Modesto.  Blades has been hosting the midday program since January.  Blades began her career as a professional model and was featured in Maxim magazine and earlier this year, appeared on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out with Nick Cannon.”  Station program director Daniel “Jiggy” Diaz says “We are very excited for today.  It’s not very often you find someone who fits the mold of the brand so well and is also destined for greatness.  Nikki Blades is by far the next big talent on the West Coast and I’m so excited for her to take the next step here at KWIN!”…..Entercom appoints Sean “Sonic” Leckie host of the afternoon drive show on WBMX, Chicago “104.3 Jams.”  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “Sonic brings a passion for music and drive to succeed to ‘104.3 Jams.’  We’re looking forward to having him take the helm of Chicago’s new afternoon drive show.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Josh “Bru” Brubaker to the local anchor position for “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” on WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1.”  He joined WDRQ in 2017 as a weekend/swing talent and was elevated to production assistant shortly thereafter…..ACM-award winner and platinum-selling singer/songwriter Jake Owen is hosting Westwood One’s Annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program features music from Jake and his friends, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Zac Brown Band, and more. The show will also remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

| May 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases Q4 2017 and Full Year Financial Figures. The company did not release its 2017 fourth quarter and full-year financial numbers at the usual time due to its status in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but now gets permission from the court to do so.  For all of 2017, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was $6.17 billion – down 1.4% from 2016.  Excluding the outdoor divisions (Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor), audio-focused iHeartMedia’s 2017 revenue was $3.44 billion – up 1.2% from 2016. For the fourth quarter of 2017, iHeartMedia was basically flat – up 0.3%.  In reviewing 2017, the company reports that growth in national revenue and other revenue were partially offset by lower local revenue. “National revenue grew due to an increase in national trade and barter, as well as increased sales in response to investment in our national platforms, including our programmatic buying platforms, primarily offset by a decrease in national traffic and weather revenue and lower political revenue.  Other revenue increased partially as a result of higher talent appearance fees. Local revenue decreased primarily as a result of lower spot and political revenue, partially offset by an increase in local trade and barter.”  See the filing here.

Bowen to Lead Sports Sales for Entercom in Chicago.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen is joining Entercom’s Windy City operations to serve as director of sports sales for sports talk outlet WSCR “The Score” plus play-by-play for Bears, Bulls, and Cubs broadcasts.  Feder notes that Bowen is rejoining some of his old CBS RADIO colleagues at WSCR.  Bowen was director of sales for CBS’ Chicago and Los Angeles markets prior to taking the Cumulus gig in 2015.

Edison Research Releases ‘The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners’ Report. The 2018 edition of Edison Research’s “The Infinite Dial” looks at the media habits of American consumers and the “Heavy Radio Listeners” report “looks at the 30% of the American population ages 12 and over who are ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day.”  One of the findings is that one-fifth of radio’s biggest listeners currently own a smart speaker.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences.  This look at the ‘Heavy Radio Listener’ from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ compare to the population at large.  Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ is very strong.  This is the kind of information that radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.” See more about the study here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, Sunday podcast from Ben Shapiro becomes available this weekend as The Daily Wire and Westwood One launch “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special.”  The idea behind the Sunday series is to provide more in-depth interviews, while not disrupting the fast-paced daily news format of the weekday show.  Shapiro says, “This show is going to be a long-form discussion about ideas with the nation’s best thinkers and biggest names. It’s all about enlightening and fascinating dialogue.  You can expect to know more when you’re done than you did when you hit play, and I’m supremely excited to be working with Westwood One to bring these conversations to listeners.  Even better, current Ben Shapiro Show subscribers don’t even need to hit a separate button to listen – these episodes will show up in their feed.”…..A round of cost-cutting changes have taken place at Salem Media Group’s RedState.com conservative media site.  According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, an internal memo from Townhall general manager Jonathan Garthwaite states: “We had to make some tough changes to RedState today.  While these changes are painful, they were necessary once we reached the conclusion that we could no longer support the entire roster of writers and editors.”  The CNN report cites a number of people associated with the site saying that although bloggers are paid based on “per-click” rate, those who were more “pro-Trump” survived the round of cuts.  RedState.com was founded 13 years ago by Erick Erickson, who hosts the 5:00 pm “Atlanta’s Evening News” on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  It was acquired by Salem as part of the Townhall Media addition to its portfolio…..“The Soul Brother Kevin Show” is the new evening program on Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The program airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm an features Soul Brother Kevin, A Cat Named Moe and Geo.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “Kevin is a dynamic and special radio talent.  He has strong opinions and is unbelievably funny – the most important tools needed to host on ‘102.5 The Bone.’  I’m very excited to hear him on the host mic!”…..The Houston Chronicle’s Dave Barron reports that sports talk radio pro Adam Clanton has exited iHeartMedia’s KBME where he was co-host of the afternoon drive show with Jayson Braddock and Sean Jones.  Barron writes that neither iHeartMedia nor Clanton have commented publicly on his departure.  In the Houston market, Clanton has served with sports talk outlets KILT-AM and KGOW-AM.…..This weekend’s 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is being covered for radio by Westwood One in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna of the Horse Racing Radio Network anchors the Kentucky Derby coverage and will be joined by analyst and Keeneland announcer Kurt Becker.  Longtime horse race owner and radio executive Dan Mason, and horse racing reporter Tom Leach, will contribute to the coverage, while former jockey Jeff Bloom will serve as trackside reporter.

Alpha Media’s Bill McElveen Presented with BFoA’s Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award. Pictured above receiving the Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Alpha Media executive vice president Bill McElveen (center).  Presenting the award to him are BFoA chairman Dan Mason (left) and BFoA president Jim Thompson (right).  The Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award recognizes career contributions to the broadcast industry. McElveen says, “It is a great honor to receive the Ward L. Quaal Award for lifetime leadership to our industry.  I am grateful for all the mentors and coaches I’ve had throughout my career and I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of my Alpha Media family.”

Chuck Harder Dead at 74.  Talk radio host Chuck Harder died on April 10 at age 74, according to a story published at WorldNetDaily.  Harder was a pioneer in the early days of talk radio syndication with his Sun Radio Network and his Tampa-based “For The People” talk radio program.  Harder’s regular involvement in the talk radio business was sporadic in recent years with health issues reportedly taking their toll on him.

Stormy Daniels Sues Donald Trump, White House Correspondents Dinner, Israel Claims Proof Iran Cheats on Nuclear Deal, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Talks, Rising Gas Prices, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  Porn star Stormy Daniels sues President Donald Trump for defamation; criticism of comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims proof Iran is defying nuclear weapons restrictions; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of caravan asylum-seekers; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the peace talks between North and South Korea; the steadily rising price of oil; Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs 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. Country programming pro Ginny “Rogers” Brophy is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull.”  iHeartMedia Boston SVP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “If you are doing country in Boston you better have Ginny on your team.  She is a great leader with years of success under her belt.  She is uniquely connected to the country music scene in both Nashville and New England, and most importantly, she is a fierce competitor who is eager to win.  We can’t wait to see what Ginny and the entire ‘Bull’ team can do together.”…..In the Kansas City market, Cumulus Media adds program director duties for alternative KCJK “X105.1” to the responsibilities of KCHZ-FM “95.7 The Vibe” PD and afternoon host Mike O’Reilly.  At the same time, the company announces that Al Payne joins the cluster to program urban AC KMJK. Kansas City native O’Reilly began his career at KCHZ in 1997.  He was named PD of the station in 2015.  Payne comes to Cumulus from his most recent gig with Beasley Media Group’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce.”  Cumulus Media Midwest RVP and KC market manager Donna Baker says, “Mike O’Reilly’s exceptional knowledge of these formats, passion to win, and respect as a leader on our team and in our community have earned this well-deserved promotion.  He is one of the best in the business.  Al Payne brings proven leadership with a clear vision of winning to the helm of our talented ‘Magic 107.3’ team. He is the perfect choice to rekindle KMJK to a new level of success.”…..Entercom announces that Kyle Matthews joins KFRG, Riverside “K-FROG” as midday air personality and imaging director. Southern California native Matthews says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be headed home to do what I love with a station that I’ve always wanted to work for.  Entercom Riverside has made a great impact within the community and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”  Matthews most recently served with NRG Media in Lincoln, Nebraska…..Albany country outlet WKLI-FM “100.9 The Cat” unveiled its new morning show today (5/1) with new co-host Kristina Carlyle partnering with station midday personality Pete Kelly for the “K.C. and Kelly in the Morning” program.   Carlyle joins the 6 Johnson Road Licenses station from Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa.  Station general manager A.J. Bodden says, “We could not be more excited about this dynamic duo taking over the airwaves and knocking the socks off ‘Cat’ listeners every morning. Kristina is an industry veteran with a tremendous track record that will be the perfect complement to Pete’s energy and enthusiasm.  Together they will bring a renewed energy and fresh sound to the mornings on ‘100.9 The Cat, Albany’s #1 for New Country.’”  The station moves morning host Kevin Richards to the midday slot to make room for the new show…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay announces that Brandon “Buster” Satterfield is the new assistant program director for CHR WFLZ, Miami “93.3 FLZ.”  In this role, Satterfield will be responsible for the station’s music and programming content, as well its personalities and digital extensions.  He’ll report to WFLZ PD and iHM Tampa SVP of programming Tommy Chuck, who comments, “We’ve had our eyes on Buster for several years, so I’m excited – we’re lucky to have him join our team in Tampa Bay.  He’s creative, driven, and has performed at a high level during all of his previous stops.  Now, with all of the tools, resources and talent around him at iHeartMedia, I can’t wait to see how much of a winner he will be!”…..Morning personality Stacy Barton exits the morning show at Tyler Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KMGL, Oklahoma City “Magic 104.1” to spend more time with her family.  The morning show will continue with Steve O’Brien and “Magic Man” Jeff Roberts as “Steve and the Magic Man.”…..iHeartMedia is again presenting the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 21 and 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, along with its Daytime Stage, that will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Saturday.  The Daytime Stage will feature live performances by both popular and emerging artists including first-revealed performers: Dua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, Bazzi, Belly, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, and Greta Van Fleet with more to be announced.  The main stage performance lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival will be announced at a later date…..Moyes Research Associates says it is now offering its ratings building services to stations in smaller markets.  MRA managing partner Bill Moyes says, “Lots of managers would love to achieve the ratings success of MORE-FM at Jerry Lee Radio’s WBEB, Philadelphia – a 38-year client of Moyes Research. Now, after more than three years of development work, we’re able to bring that kind of success to smaller markets at a price they can afford.  The success of MORE-FM is based on three elements: a strong brand, the secrets of an effective brand introduction, and a music product that is guided by research with format clocks and categories to rotate the music in a way that maximizes listening.  You have to have all three of those ingredients to win.”  Moyes says they tested a pilot program on Nicolet Broadcasting’s WRKU, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and the station has realized a 400% audience increase since then.

Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs 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. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

Friday, April 27, 2018

| April 27, 2018

Mike Francesa Returns to WFAN, New York for PM Drive.  This new deal – announced just four months after Mike Francesa exited WFAN in December after a 30-year career there – puts the “Sports Pope” back in afternoon drive on the station. The new show will be two hours shorter though – airing from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm instead of 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm – and includes new Francesa opportunities.  Today’s press release says “Entercom, Mike Francesa, and CAA Sports today announced a partnership spanning broadcast radio, digital, and live events.  The partnership includes the debut of the ‘Mike’s On’ radio show…The partnership also includes the launch of a mobile app and online destination by the same name, ‘Mike’s On,’ which will feature exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN.”  Francesa is quoted saying, “After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit.  This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new.  I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.” The press release does not elaborate on the fate of Francesa’s PM drive replacements: Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, other than to say that The Fan’s new schedule will be announced separately.  Francesa returns to WFAN on Tuesday (5/1).

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Considering Run for Governor of New York. New York icon and WABC midday talk show host Curtis Sliwa on Thursday (4/26) told his listeners that he is considering running for governor of New York on the Reform Party ticket. Sliwa is chairman of the Reform Party and he’s been very critical of Governor Andrew Cuomo and, as the New York Daily News notes, the Reform Party is not backing either GOP candidate.  Sliwa says getting medical clearance from his doctors is the first priority.  He’s been dealing with the effects of chronic Crohn’s and a recent surgery to treat the disease.  As far as taking a leave from his radio show due to equal time laws, the timing on that would have to be worked out, he says.  “New York State election laws are complicated and arcane.”

Heidi Harris Returns to Las Vegas Air on Kemp’s KMZQ.  Back on March 1, Kemp Broadcasting & Digital Outdoor re-branded KMZQ, Las Vegas “670 AM The Right Talk for Las Vegas,” airing primarily conservative talk shows from Salem Radio NetworkNow, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris joins the station to host the 9:00 am hour, Monday through Friday.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT and Beasley’s KDWN in Las Vegas.  Her most recent tour with KXNT ended last September after station management couldn’t brook her controversial criticism of an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  Harris was steadfastly outspoken in her belief that children up for adoption should go to “married people of the opposite sex.”

Entercom and Telemundo Strike Media Partnership Deal.  The Dallas-Fort Worth stations owned by Entercom agree to a media partnership with Telemundo’s local TV stations KXAS-TV “NBC 5” and KXTX “Telemundo 39.”  A press release from Entercom says, “Highlights of the multi-platform partnership include distribution of content across all partner channels including NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and Entercom Dallas-Fort Worth’s ‘Newsradio1080’ KRLD, ‘105.3 The Fan,’ ‘100.3 Jack FM,’ KLUV, ‘ALT 103.7,’ and ‘La Grande 107.5.’…The inaugural partnership will allow the media properties to work together to better serve the community via improved access and coverage of live, local breaking news, general news, weather, sports, politics and entertainment in both English and Spanish languages.”  KXAS-TV president and general manager Tom Ehlmann says, “The opportunity for NBC 5 and Entercom stations like Newsradio 1080 KRLD to share news gathering resources and report 24/7 what’s happening across the region will truly be exceptional.  In your home, in your car, on your computer, on your phone – North Texans can look forward to unparalleled coverage of what matters most to NBC 5 viewers and Entercom listeners.”

Nick Bruns New iHeartMedia Tucson Promotions and Events Director; Barriga Upped to Digital Program Director. At the Tucson operations of iHeartMedia, Nick Bruns is named promotions and events director, effective May 1.  In this position, Bruns will be responsible for managing and executing promotional campaigns and events for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations, including news/talk KNST. He comes to Tucson from the company’s Des Moines station group.  At the same time, the company says that Atzimba Palomares Barriga is the cluster’s new digital program director, effective June 1.  She began her career at iHeartMedia Tucson in 2013 as a board operator and has served as the Tucson-based online content coordinator for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region for the past three years.  In her new position, she’ll be responsible for managing and executing digital and social media campaigns for all iHeartMedia Tucson stations. She will continue to provide online content to the entire iHeartMedia Arizona Region under the direction of Alex Siordian, regional digital program director for iHeartMedia’s Arizona Region.

Comey ‘CNN Town Hall’ and Trump Russia Investigation Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  This week’s appearance on “CNN Town Hall” by fired FBI Director James Comey and the related investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 on the Talkers TenTM for the week of April 23-27 is French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Trump White House.  Coming in at #3 was the Donald TrumpStormy Daniels legal battle, followed by the ‘immigrant caravan’ and the court ruling on Trump’s DACA policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTMis a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. On June 26, FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade is delivering the keynote speech at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 4th Annual Event and Dinner at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre.  Bold Gold says Kilmeade is “one of the most recognizable radio and television broadcasters in America.”  Complimentary tickets are available for students interested in a career in media, as well as for military members.  Contact the Foundation for additional information…..Alpha Media’s news/farm/sports KGLO, Mason City, Iowa and sister adult standards KRIB picked up a total of 10 awards in the small market division of the 2017 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest.  KGLO news director Bob Fisher won eight awards, including first place for “Overall Excellence.” Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Congratulations to our news, ag and sports team.  It’s great to see their dedication and passion recognized by the IBNA.  North-Central Iowa counts on our team for the best in local coverage. We are proud of their achievements!”

Comrex to Release New Field Broadcasting App ‘FieldTap.’  The new app from Comrex called FieldTap makes it easy for broadcasting from the field because of its “one-touch” operation.  The company explains that “FieldTap uses SIP to make it possible for users to transmit audio with the touch of a button.  Ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins, FieldTap features a very simple user interface. With a one-button control screen, users of any technical ability can connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button.  FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks.  FieldTap is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs.  FieldTap can also be used in conjunction with EarShot IFB, a new VoIP IFB system from Comrex that replaces POTS lines and auto couplers.” Comrex debuted FieldTap at the 2018 NAB Show.  It will be available as a free download from Google Play and iTunes this spring.

Boxer Mother-Daughter ‘Power Duo’ Guest This Week on Harrison Podcast. The mother-daughter team of former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and award-winning documentary filmmaker Nicole Boxer are this week’s guests on the PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” The mother, Barbara Boxer, recently retired from 40 years as a California elected official, beginning as a member and eventually the first female president of the Marin County Board of Supervisors. She then served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1983 and 1993, at which point she was elected to the United States Senate where she served from 1993 to last year, 2017. Although “retired” from elective politics, she remains quite engaged in work as both a political activist and a media practitioner. She says, “We are in a moment of life or death for our great country right now, and I can’t just sit back.” Her daughter, Nicole Boxer, is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work in the film industry includes narrative, feature films, documentary films, documentary series television, and reality television. Together these dynamic women have teamed up to co-host a new, weekly podcast titled, “Fight Back,” produced and distributed by PodcastOne. In it, they invite experts to discuss today’s most pressing matters – from civil rights to women’s rights, healthcare, the environment and foreign policy. The mother shares real-time reactions to the week in government, while the daughter puts active candidates in the hot seat with her award-winning interview style. Harrison engages the Boxers in a fascinating conversation about the state of American politics and media in the second decade of the 21st century looking forward. Not to be missed. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Beloved Radio Industry Documentarian and Archivist Art Vuolo Named 2018 Recipient of the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce that videographer and pop culture historian Art Vuolo has been named this year’s recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award. Back in the early 1980s, Vuolo was dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary air personality Scott Shannon and it aptly stuck through the decades. Vuolo, founder and CEO of the Ann Arbor-based firm Vuolo Video Air-Chex, has been chronicling radio conferences (including most of the TALKERS conventions) for nearly 30 years and archiving more than 700 of the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit of approximately 1,000 videos at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. The Radio Hall of Fame, located within the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago, is developing a permanent exhibit, “A History of the American Disc Jockey,” with Vuolo’s collection as its center piece. Visitors will be able to search and view the recordings at computer stations. Eventually, people around the world will be able to access the collection online. In announcing the project, Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchen expressed the enormous gratitude of the industry “for all the hours and years that Art has toiled at properly recording the best efforts in radio studios for decades and decades.” In addition to his archival efforts, for over 33 years, Art Vuolo’s RADIOGUIDE company circulated over 100 million such guides across America. Vuolo’s alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, recently published a profile piece on him that puts his unique career in perspective. To read it please click here. Vuolo will be presented the award during the closing reception at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! set for New York City on Friday, June 8. For full information about the soon-to-be-sold-out event, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” announces two staff changes.  First, longtime Los Angeles radio pro Yesi Ortiz joins the Entercom station to host the midday show.  The “Queen of L.A.” spent 12 years at crosstown KPWR “Power 106” as midday jock where she was known for breaking new artists during her ‘New at 2’ feature, as well as contributing to the music department as an assistant music director.  She is currently working on a television drama series project in development with the E! Network that is loosely based on her real-life journey raising six adopted children.  Also, the station promotes APD John Michael to music director.  Yesi Ortiz says, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entercom family.  To be valued for my achievements and influence in the city is a great honor and I am looking forward to making an impact at ‘AMP radio.’”…..In St. Louis, iHeartMedia announces the appointment of Jules Riley to the position of senior vice president of programming for the cluster that includes classic hits KLOU-FM, country KSD-FM, CHR KSLZ-FM, hip hop KATZ-FM, alternative KLLT and Gospel KATZ-AM.  St. Louis Region president Derrick Martin says, “Jules has done an amazing job programming 103.3 KLOU and ‘93.7 The Bull’ since joining us last year and has truly earned this leadership role.”  Before she began programming 103.3. KLOU and “93.7 The Bull” in April 2017, she served as operations manager/brand manager for KVOO-FM, Tulsa…..WUSY, Chattanooga “US101” morning personality Billy “Dex” Poindexter announces his retirement from the Entercom country outlet after 25 years on the air.  Dex is one half of the station’s “Dex and Mo” show.  He says he plans to focus on his health, his family and travel.  He says, “It’s been a great 25 years and it has truly been my pleasure serving this community. ‘US101’ has the greatest listeners on earth; they are open and always so giving. From our annual efforts to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to various disaster relief efforts through the years, the ‘US101’ listeners have always stepped up.  I am proud of all that we have accomplished together and ‘US101’ will always be my home.”…..The sold-out “Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage presented by Denny’s” is embarking on its 19th cruise this week from Galveston, Texas.  Also called the original “Party with a Purpose,” this empowering and groundbreaking event specifically caters to the cruising needs of the African-American community through its mission and featured entertainment.  The event’s promise of non-stop entertainment includes: “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from artists Tamar Braxton, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, 112, SWV, En Vogue, and The O’Jays.  The cruise is hosted by Reach Media-syndicated radio personality and philanthropist Tom Joyner (pictured here on a previous cruise). Its action-packed, seven-day itinerary boasts informative seminars, morning inspiration, fitness classes, intriguing ports, endless activities, concerts, popular celebrities and wildly creative theme nights – all while raising funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..WNKS, Charlotte’s “KISS 95.1 Morning Show featuring Maney, Roy & LauRen” wins a 2018 BOB Award for the “BEST Morning Show in Charlotte” from Charlotte Magazine.  Winners were chosen based upon the results of an on-line poll conducted by the publication in January of 2018…..Philadelphia morning personality Kathy Romano recently hosted her 11thannual Kathy’s Cuts to Benefit Wigs for Kids.  Romano is part of the “Preston & Steve” show on Beasley Media Group’s rock WMMR, Philadelphia.  This year the event produced over 123 donations to benefit Wigs for Kids.  Twenty-seven hair stylists from local salons donated their time to help cut and style donors’ hair…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from this year’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival this weekend in Indio, California.  The exclusive radio broadcast will air on The Highway channel and will include backstage interviews and live concert performances from Florida Georgia LineJake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane BrownBrett Young, Lee Brice, and more.

PPM Analysis: Mainstream Rock. Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of mainstream rock outlets based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey in today’s installment of this ongoing ratings analysis series.  Comparing 6+ numbers from the March2017survey, Cumulus Media’s KXXR, Minneapolis; Saga Communications’ WNOR, Norfolk; and Entercom’s KQRC, Kansas City put together increases of more than a full share over that period while, on the other side, iHeartMedia’s WDVE, Pittsburgh; Cox Media Group’s KISS, San Antonio; and iHeartMedia’s KBPI, Denver all saw dips of two full shares or more. As of the March 2018 PPM survey there is just one rock outlet ranking #1 in its market: iHeartMedia’s WHYJ, Providence. See the full report here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

| April 24, 2018

Hannity Named to TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential.’ Talk radio and talk television superstar Sean Hannity is named to TIME Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2018.”  The annual list highlights “pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons with insights from peers and contemporaries detailing the honoree’s impact” and the Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality is listed in the “leaders” section.  Each list-maker’s entry is written by a fellow celebrity or newsmaker.  Hannity’s entry is written by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says: “Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day.  His fans listen to him and learn from him.  One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker.  Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election.  Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state.  He has made and is making a difference.”  See the whole list here.

New York Media on a ‘Mike Francesa Watch.’That New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa misses being on the radio talking sports is no secret – he’s said as much publicly.  But is he, as the New York Post puts it, “desperate?” The Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Francesa is “desperately” trying to get back on the New York airwaves four months after retiring from the afternoon drive gig at Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan.”  Marchand reports that sources indicate he’s talked with ESPN about a gig on WEPN and iHeartMedia about a sports talk show on WOR.  When asked by Marchand about a return to WFAN, he replied, “I’m not answering questions about any specific stations.” See the Post piece here.

Freund Joins PodcastOne as Co-COO.  Digital media and sales pro Billy Freund (left) is joining PodcastOne as co-chief operating officer, based in Beverly Hills. Freund will work with fellow COO, East Coast-based Greg Batusic.  In making the announcement, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz (right) says, “Billy – his actual legal name – and I worked together at Westwood One for several years.  He understands the space, and his background – not only in sales but also technology, operations and affiliations – will provide us with even more unique and valuable input to power the growth of the company.”  Freund’s experience includes time spent with Chancellor Media and the Katz Media Group, Westwood One/Metro Networks, and his work co-founding Triton Digital Media.  He later served with Clip Interactive.   Freund comments, “I am very excited to join the PodcastOne team, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Norman Pattiz, Kit Gray, and Greg Batusic to continue the company’s explosive growth across its 250 exclusive podcast programs and highly effective, non-cluttered advertising environment in more than 2.9 billion annual user sessions.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated radio talk show “Phil’s Gang” featuring host Phil Grande – is added to the program schedule at KCAA, Loma Linda, California.  Program executive producer Thomas Biggs Sr. says, “Over two decades now, radio listeners consistently turn to Phil Grande and his ‘Phil’s Gang’ show for the most up-to-date market business news and what Wall Street will not tell you.  We are always looking to partner with the strongest programming affiliates and we are excited to be teaming up with KCAA Radio.”…..The news division of Westwood One is being honored with the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists for its breaking news coverage of the Las Vegas concert shooting last October 1.  The “Radio Breaking News Reporting Award” recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Westwood One News says that its winning entry “represents the scope and scale of Westwood One News coverage, including on-scene reporting by lead correspondent Jim Roope and contributions from the entire Westwood One News staff.”…..The Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association is honoring Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with nine awards – including five first place finishes.  WTOP was recognized for Best Website and Best On-Air Newscast.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We are proud of the work our team does as a whole to provide relevant news coverage, in a timely and creative fashion. We all share in these awards and consider our successes as a team, a testament to the work we do each day in an effort to serve our community.”…..ABC News names Amy Robach the new, permanent co-anchor for its “20/20” news magazine program.  She’ll work alongside current anchor David Muir…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of this week’s 2018 NFL Draft.  In addition to broadcasting round-by-round coverage of the draft itself, SiriusXM will present four days of special programming, live from Arlington, Texas featuring the on-site broadcast team of: Gil BrandtPat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil SavageMark Dominik, Jason Horowitz, and Alex Marvez.

Radio News Pro Reid Collins Dies.  Radio news pro Reid Collins has died at age 88.  Collins spent 20 years of his career with CBS Radio Network – a stint that saw him serve as anchor for the network’s flagship news program, “CBS World News Roundup.”  Prior to his time with CBS, he worked at such signals as WHAM, Rochester and WNEW-AM, New York.  After leaving CBS, he served with CNN.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, Trump-Macron Meeting, Iran Nuclear Deal, Waffle House Killer Apprehended, Pompeo Nomination, Kanye West’s Trump Support, and MLB and NBA Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the van attack in Toronto that took the lives of 10; the meeting in Washington between French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; President Trump’s threat to exit the nuclear deal with Iran; alleged Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking is apprehended; the confirmation process for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo; the controversy over Kanye West’s professed love of President Trump; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley Named TALKERS Woman of the Year. The TALKERS editorial board has announced this morning (4/20) that Caroline Beasley has been named the 2018 recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year award. The award (officially titled “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman”) will be presented to Beasley at the forthcoming national talk media industry convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! in New York City on Friday, June 8 during her morning fireside chat with Michael Harrison. Caroline Beasley was appointed chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. on January 1, 2017, previously serving as interim chief executive officer from March 18, 2016 until December 31, 2016 and as executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary beginning in 1994. Beasley has served as a director of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. since she joined the company in 1983. Over her tenure prior to 1994, she was employed in various positions, including business manager, assistant controller and corporate controller. She also serves as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board of directors and is a past chair of the NAB radio board. In addition, she is of the BMI board of directors and the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors. Beasley received the 2016 “Distinguished Service Award” from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was the 2012 recipient of the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW), a national organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women to senior positions in the radio industry. Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star among the captains of industry in the radio business and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading. She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise. Radio is in her DNA.” Recipients of the prestigious award include: Mary Berner, Ginny Morris, Julie Talbott, Robin Quivers, Robin Bertolucci, Heather Cohen, Grace Blazer, Laurie Cantillo, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Laura Ingraham, Kim Komando, Adriane Gaines, Lynn Distler, Lisa Evers, Gloria Allred, and more going all the way back to 2000 when it was originally presented posthumously to pioneering talk show host, Judy Jarvis. For information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” returns to the San Francisco market after a four-year absence.  But this addition to the program’s roster is not an iHeartMedia station, it’s Cumulus’ KFOG.  Beginning April 30, Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” with Woody, Ravey, Greg, Menace, and Sebas will be heard on KFOG and KFFG, Los Altos (San Jose market) from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  KFOG program director Matt Bates says, “The opportunity to align KFOG with such unique and compelling talent doesn’t come along often.  We recognized this and locked them in.  As a fan of ‘The Woody Show,’ it’s remarkable that it’s taken this long for them to have a major platform from which they can take back the Bay.  ‘The Woody Show’ represents that bright and entertaining spot in our morning routine. YOU KNOW!”…..iHeartMedia is rewarding KISQ, San Francisco “The Breeze” morning personality Jack Kulp for his success as co-host of “The Morning Breeze” with Carolyn McArdle with a contract extension.  At the same time, the company happily boasts the two-year-old adult contemporary station is “the #1 music station in total audience share (6+) — up from # 17 when it was a rhythmic oldies station.”   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the San Francisco region Don Parker says, “Launching ‘The Breeze’ was a game-changer for KISQ.  The station’s steady growth pattern to # 1 station in the market, surpassing such an iconic brand as heritage KOIT, is a direct result of the right mixture of programming and talent that resonates well with the Bay Area community.  Ricci Filiar, the station’s program director, has really done a fantastic job establishing ‘The Breeze’ as one of the Bay’s premiere radio stations.  We are also thrilled to extend our relationship with talent like Jack who joined the station at launch and continues to build a strong relationship with our listeners.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Adam “Kash” Kashner to assistant program director for country WFMS, Indianapolis.  Kash retains his roles as on-air host, weekends/fill-ins on WFMS and on sister classic hits WJJK.  Cumulus Indy VP and market manager Tom Stemlar says, “Adam is an essential piece of our programming, sales and marketing organizations and I couldn’t be more excited that he’s decided to continue his career at Cumulus Indianapolis as APD of WFMS.”…..iHeartMedia elevates media management and sales pro Aaron Hyland to market president for the company’s Baltimore market, including country WPOC, CHR WZFT, adult hits WQSR, and Gospel WCAO-AM.  Hyland will also continue to oversee sales for the Washington, D.C. region as regional senior vice president.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

| April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity Revealed in Court as Michael Cohen Client; Hannity Explains Relationship with Embattled Attorney.  The first thing FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality Sean Hannity addressed on his programs on Monday was the New York court revelation that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen – under investigation by the FBI for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations – describes Hannity as one of his three clients.  Hannity said on his radio show, “Michael never represented me in any matter.  I never retained him in the traditional sense…I never received an invoice from Michael.  I never paid legal fees to Michael but, I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.  And I assume that those questions were attorney-client confidential…not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever, ever involved a matter between me and any third party.”  Cohen’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to keep the name of Cohen’s third client under seal because he might be “embarrassed” by the connection.  Judge Wood agreed with a lawyer representing several media outlets who said “embarrassment” was not enough to keep that information sealed.  At the end of the session Judge Wood ruled the prosecutor’s office will – without reading the documents seized from Cohen – put them all on a searchable database and share them with lawyers for Cohen and Trump.

WTVN, Columbus Names Woody Johnson Afternoon Host. In Columbus, iHeartMedia names Woody Johnson afternoon drive host at news/talk WTVN.  Johnson is the host of the “Woody and Company” in morning drive at the cluster’s country WCOL.  Now, he’ll add the afternoon show on WTVN, taking over for the late John Corby, who died unexpectedly at age 61 back in January.

WYAY, Atlanta ‘Talk 106.7’ Re-Vamps Daily Lineup. Atlanta news/talk WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” makes lineup changes, most notably announcing new morning host Shelley Wynter and moving midday Atlanta talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson into the afternoon drive daypart. Wynter is a former, longtime WAOK, Atlanta personality.  Shannon Burke remains in the late morning daypart. Mike Brooks is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host, followed by The Kimmer. The Cumulus Media station is also airing Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro “podcast” in the 5:00 am to 6:00 am slot.  Brian Joyce had been hosting both afternoons at WYAY-FM and middays at the company’s WGOW-FM, Chattanooga. He continues his WGOW show.

WOR, New York Morning Show Celebrates 2018 Mets Season. Pictured above in the radio booth at Citi Field is WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program celebrating the beginning of the 2018 New York Mets season.  WOR is the flagship station for Mets radio play-by-play.  From left to right are: Mets studio engineer Mark Weiner, Berman and Riedel show executive producer Natalie Vacca, Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo, Michael Riedel and Len Berman.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Parents.  Radio talk host and digital publisher Alex Jones is being sued by three parents of children who died in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.  The New York Times reports that Houston attorney Mark Bankston is handling the case for the three parents.  Jones is being sued for defamation for pushing the theory that the parents are actors in a scheme to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.  The suits have been filed by Leonard Pozner, his former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and Neil Heslin.  The parents claim that since Jones began presenting his narrative, they’ve been attacked and threatened by Jones’ supporters.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new Internet talk program from Think Realty is launching on Wall Street Radio featuring Think Realty coach and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar.  The program airs from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily and features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals, covering topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending.….Global Radio, LLC is selling ethnic WNWR-AM, Philadelphia to Aztec Capital Partners, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.  Aztec Capital Partners, Inc., is a Philadelphia-based corporation owned by Ken Trujillo and managed by Art Camiolo. Aztec also owns WHAT-AM and FM translator W260CZ in Philadelphia.

Rich Shertenlieb’s Wife Mary Runs Boston Marathon Five Years After Leukemia Diagnosis.  Five years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Shertenlieb  (pictured here with husband Rich), the wife of WBZ-FM, Boston morning personality Rich Shertenlieb, ran the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise more than $33,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  But it wasn’t easy.  After 15.5 miles, Mary began to shiver uncontrollably due to her compromised immune system and she followed her doctors’ orders to stop.  But, she didn’t quit – she paused.  With husband Rich by her side, Mary continued and finished the 26.2 mile run just after midnight.  See the pics and complete story here.

2018 Radio Gracie Award Winners Announced.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation says that in “an already incredible and historic year for women, the AWMF continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for, and about women in radio, television, and interactive media by announcing winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where national radio will be recognized, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York, New York with local and student winners being acknowledged.  Some of the winners being recognized this year include: Shirley Strawberry of “The Steve Harvey Show” syndicated by Premiere Networks; Jayde Donovan of “Todd and Jayde in the Morning” on WPLJ, New York; Nina Hajian of “Shoboy In The Morning” on WBMP, New York, Cooper Lawrence of “The Cooper Lawrence Show” on WBLI, New York; Whitney Allen of “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” on Westwood One/Oh I Gotta; April Ryan of “On the Record” on American Urban Radio Networks; and Hoda Kotb of “The Hoda Show” on SiriusXM.  Outstanding programming from groups including Beasley Media Group, Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, Hubbard RadioEntercom, Westwood One, NPR and students including Fordham University and Hofstra University will also be honored.  AWMF chair (and Katz Radio Group president) Christine Travaglini says, “In an historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of and behind the microphone, the Gracie Awards arrive at an important time to celebrate the storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  And as we enter our 43rd year, we at AWM, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to help usher in a new era by honoring and celebrating outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”  Local and student award winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.  The work of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is significant in supporting educational programs, charitable activities and scholarships that benefit women in media and the public.

Beasley Fort Myers Assists Habitat for Humanity.  In the photo above, 30 staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers offices pose for a photo as the site of a Habitat for Humanity home site in Collier County.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “I am so very proud of our outstanding Fort Myers and corporate employees for doing their Beasley Best to help Habitat for Humanity.  This is what radio is all about…serving as a lifeline to help our local community.”

Trump-Cohen Legal Battles, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Issue, Comey Book, Philly Starbucks Arrests Case, U.S. Syria Policy, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). The legal battle between Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the courts, including the revelation that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is a client; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump walks back threats of new Russia sanctions promised by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; former FBI director James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC-TV; the blowback from the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks; U.S. military policy in Syria; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs 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. Programming pro Tony Lorino and Entercom go their separate ways after two-and-a-half years of Lorino as program director of hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.” Lorino came to Atlanta from Entercom’s KZPT, Kansas City…..WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head morning show “Tim Leary and The Morning Showgram” are heading to Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle to assume morning duties there.  WUBB is hosting a good-bye party on April 27 for Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen “Red” Daiss and will introduce the new “Hunter and Leslie in the Morning” program…..Non-commercial alternative outlet KEXP, Seattle is celebrating a windfall from an anonymous donor to the tune of almost $10 million. The Friends of KEXP-owned station knows only that the donor’s first name was Suzanne.  She was an anonymous donor during her lifetime and now that she’s passed, the bequest is also being kept anonymous. The station says that the money is going into an endowment that will be directed by the station’s board.

Round One of March 2018 PPM Data Released. Information from Nielsen Audio’s March 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 March 2018 survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.8 (6+) the last three sweeps, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM busts out a half-share increase to 3.3 (6+) to advance from #13 to #11. Moreover, this is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Despite being up two-tenths to 6.2 (6+), co-owned/similarly formatted WINS drops from a second-place tie to third and ends an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a +.1 to 1.9 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” pulls the plug on five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Without an increase four straight ratings periods for a -.4 as well (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regained half that loss in February with a +.2. In March, it’s flat at 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23, where it’s tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” whose last 11 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is flat at 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is unchanged at .7 (#26 to #27, 6+). Following five sweeps in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” picks up four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #13, 6+). Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” remains at #22. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – After being 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 was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” rebounds in March with a +.4 to 8.4 (6+). It remains on top for the eighth time in a row. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in three successive increases (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for WCBS-FM since July 2017’s 6.6. Off three-tenths to 4.8 (flat at #5 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” ends three consecutive up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.2 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining half the six-tenths it lost in February (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” progresses from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) the past six sweeps, slips one-tenth to .9 (#28 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #31 to #29, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .5 (6+) as it remains at #37. Steady at #10, Entercom all-news outlet KNX “1070 News Radio” returns the one-tenth it grabbed this time last month (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” drops three-tenths to 2.7 (6+), segueing from #11 to #14. With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline 6+-trending of 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, KSPN “710 ESPN” falls from #28 to #30, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” adds one-tenth to .5, advancing from #40 to #37.

Los Angeles Music Formats – After having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST not only bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+), “Coast 103.5” marches from second to first. It succeeds hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” off four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), which is where it was in “Holiday” 2017. Before gaining six-tenths in January, “My-FM” was an overall -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While it remains in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (5.0, -.2, 6+) has it successive string of up or flat trends – which yielded a +.8 – snapped at four (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). In February, “K-Earth” crossed the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” climbs from #13 to #12. This marks the 29th time in succession that Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), but it sputters by one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). In addition, “Go Country 105” drops out of the top twenty (#15 to #22).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom all-news WBBM-AM drops two-tenths to 5.1 (6+) but remains at #2; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+) – its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well) – Tribune Media news/talk WGN is a collective -1.1 in February and March and departs the top twenty (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2, #13 to #21, 6+). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. It is now just two-tenths ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which registers its seventh straight up or flat ratings period and is +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, #23 to #22, 6+). Even though it’s down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” manages to move from #21 to #20. “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Format rival – ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” – is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 (#25 to #23, 6+). In addition to ending six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ (2.5, +.3, 6+) returns to the top twenty (#22 to #18).

Chicago Music Formats – In its third straight up or flat trend (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 eighth to fifth, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7 and has its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (4.2, as well). Right behind “The Drive” at #7 – rocketing from #15 in February – and improving by nine-tenths as well is Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99, Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.0 – 3.9, 6+). Steady at #4, sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” gains one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), as does Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1,” which is +.9 in three increases in a row (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 steady at #5, 6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “104.3 Jams” was -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Although on top for the third month in succession, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” regresses by one-half share (6.6 – 6.1, 6+); WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September. Ultra-familiar “Windy City” call letters and branding that endured for approximately 40 years were scrubbed about one-third into the March ratings period as classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love.” Until the sale is finalized, Educational Media Foundation is operating the Merlin Media-owned station which nosedives by -1.9 (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is KQED a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+), the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk station is #1 for the third time in succession. It had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. 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+). KQED 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+). After gaining six-tenths in January (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM has relinquished all of that in February and March (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. 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). Flat at #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO regains the one-tenth it dropped in February (2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight decreases, news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.3 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). This streak follows four straight gains that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is trending 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 (6+) and falls from the top ten (#10 to #11), while Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row, more than doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, #18 to #17, 6+); this is its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – In four straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” has picked up seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, sixth to fifth, 6+). Recapturing 75% of February’s -.8 with a +.6 (2.8 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC jumps from #19 to #14; February’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well). On the heels of February’s loss of four-tenths, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” falters by another half-share, slipping from fourth to eighth (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it loses two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus snapping at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM inches up from #16 #15. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. After posting three straight up or flat trends for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” sputters by four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), exiting the top twenty (#20 to #21). Also in the news/talk format, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA, which was up by one-tenth in January and February, (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is flat at 2.4 (6+), yet climbs from #20 to #17; Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” loses three-tenths (1.2 – .9, #30 to #33, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is off two-tenths  (.7 – .5, flat at #35, 6+). Sputtering by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), sports talk sibling KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” slips from #12 to #14. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Down as well in March is Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” which is -1.2 in five straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, unchanged at #22, 6+). A collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS faltered by three-tenths in February; however, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” posts a March gain twice the size of February’s -.3 (5.4 – 6.0, +.6, 6+) and is #1 for the third straight month. Moreover, 6.0 is its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (6.0, March 2017). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. It was tied for the lead in February with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which forfeits the two-tenths it gained in February and shifts to #2 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+); February’s 5.4 was the best 6+-stat for “Lone Star 92.5” since July 2017 (5.4, as well). Down an overall seven-tenths in January and February (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” records a one-half share increase in March (3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.0 – 4.4, +.4, sixth to fourth, 6+) overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom siblings KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” (2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+) and regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) are each off by one-half share.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from February’s -.2 with a +.4 (3.6 – 4.0, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF jumps from #15 to a four-way tie at #10. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is off one-tenth (3.5 – 3.4, #16 to #17, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). It is a complete mixed bag for the market’s three sports talk signals, as Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.9 – .8 – .9, #24 to #23, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” is flat, recording a .7 for the fourth time in a row (#25 to #26, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #27 to #28, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Boasting a March +1.1 (4.9 – 6.0, 6+), following a full-share gain in January, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” progresses from sixth to third. It’s a rollercoaster ride for Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.0 in January; -.9 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). January’s 5.1 was the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Tied with “The Spot” at #5 (up from #8 in February) is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which gains six-tenths to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.8. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7. Even though it’s down two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” progresses from second to first. It displaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which had been #1 the past four sweeps but shifts to second (7.3 – 6.2, -.9, 6+). “Sunny” – which finished second in October and November – was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. 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+). KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” erodes by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 28th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM has now surrendered all of January’s +1.6 plus two tenths more (-1.8) in February and March (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4, 6+). WSB-AM 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, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, but this (8.4) is its lowest 6+-share since 7.9 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY records a 1.8 (6+) as “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” drops from a four-way logjam at #18 to #19. Repeating at .1 (#32, 6+) are Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” while Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community” loses the one-tenth it registered in February (.1 – .0, 6+). With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE dips from seventh to eighth, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS, which had been +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is off by three-tenths to .7 (#25 to #26, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” spiraled by -1.1 in February to 2.6 and it repeats that 6+-share and #17 market rank. As the result of five successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up one-half share and trails “The Game” by nine-tenths.

Atlanta Music Formats – Simultaneous with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM notching an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+) – the first time “B-98.5” reaches the five-share level since February 2017’s 5.3 – its internet “stream,” which logged a .5 (6+) in February, disappears from print. In three straight gains, Radio One urban AC WAMJ is an overall +1.2 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.4, steady at #5, 6+); “Majic” had been within 4.1 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 17 sweeps. Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in January and February following a 6.5 in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” dials up a one-half gain to 6.3 (6+), shifting from second to third. A collective +.7 in January and February, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that gain in its entirety (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). 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” is -3.2 in January, February, and March (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. 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+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – After improving by one full-share in January and then dropping one-tenth in February, Entercom all-news KYW answers with a +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015). Having bounced 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, sports talk cluster-mate WIP suffers a -2.9, the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. The massive drop (8.7 – 5.8, 6+) sends WIP – which was -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+) – from first to fifth. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off six-tenths in February and March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). Steady at #9, public news/talk WHYY reclaims the three-tenths it squandered in February (4.2 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). WHYY improved by one full-share in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. The four most recent (6+) trends for Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (#18 to #19) are 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9. Since appearing in print in October 2017, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Flat at 8.4 (6+) is good enough for WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” to progress from second to first. The Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary property was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Basically flat the past three sweeps (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18), its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in August 2017. On the heels of February’s full-share increase (5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” tacks on another six-tenths to 6.9 (6+), advancing from fourth to second; this is its best 6+-stat since September’s 7.4. Ups/downs continue for Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK,” which was -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+); and is now -.6 in March (6.7, flat at #3, 6+). February marked the first time since September 2017’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reached the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After being up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” registers a one-half share gain to 1.8 (6+) and remains at #24. Even though it’s flat at 2.9 (6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” – which was 1.1 in February – slumps from #11 to #14. Without an increase in Long Island the past six survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), all-news cluster-mate WINS is +.4 to 3.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM recaptures the four-tenths it dropped in February (3.0 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+) as it advances from #16 to #12. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). An overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #16, 6+). Despite being without a loss for the third straight Long Island report for a +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC backslides from #25 to #26. Up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM inches up from #23 to #22.

Long Island Music Formats – There is a tie for the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase by any station in these 12 PPM-markets and both stations are in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island). Specifically, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.0, seventh to second, 6+) and Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” (tenth to fifth) each log gains of +1.2. The 5.0 is the highest 6+-share for WBAB since November 2017’s 5.5, while “K-98.3” is +2.0 via three consecutive increases (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 4.3, 6+). Disappearing from print is WBAB’s internet “stream,” which notched a 1.0 (6+) in February. An overall -5.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+), WKJY’s hot AC sibling – WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” – is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive time. “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM 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+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. Immediately after the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share increased by +1.9 in February, it shrinks by -2.2 in March. Surrendering February’s entire +1.4 (and three-tenths more), Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (5.4 – 3.7, -1.7, 6+) tumbles from second to eighth, while iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” returns in full February’s half-share increase (4.7 – 5.2 – 4.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). January’s +.6 by WBLI ended 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+). Prior to February’s +.5, “Z-100” was down the previous four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Forfeiting February’s +.7 (2.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drifts from #14 to #19. Its January +.6 halted at four a consecutive string of negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are co-owned hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.5 – 1.9, #19 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” (4.6 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptured nine-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.9, 6+) but relinquishes one-half share in March to 4.4 (6+). Even so, it manages to climb from fourth to third. In five straight sweeps without a loss, Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK was +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips by three-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #17, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 41st consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is flat at 2.6 (6+), bumping up from #16 to #15.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row that netted four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is now off by a cumulative six-tenths in February and March (1.3 – .9 – .7, flat at #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – March 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” carries on at #17.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of an uptick of nine-tenths (2.1 – 3.0, ninth to seventh, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” has its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. Similarly-formatted/Lazer Broadcasting-owned KXSB “Radio Lazer,” which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+) before disappearing from print in February resurfaces with a .6 (#16, 6+). A one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) enables Entercom’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” to leap from fourth to second. After racking up a cumulative +2.9 in January and February (5.5 – 7.3 – 8.4, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA coughs up a -1.3 in March to 7.1 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in succession. January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths each are Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (second to third); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.3 – 3.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); and Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” (1.1 – .3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is KLYY’s fourth sweep in succession without an increase for an overall -2.6 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). KGGI was up seven-tenths in February following a -.5 in January; February’s 4.3 was its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. Unlisted from July 2017 through November 2017, KAEH was .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 from December 2017 to February 2018. Dipping by one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” segues from third to fourth.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Gaining three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – is #1 for the third straight month. 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+). 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 it stayed on top through April. It has a three-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is flat at 5.8 (6+), after floundering by -.8 in February (6.6 – 5.8, 6+). A combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO returns two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), is flat at 1.9 and slips from a five-way logjam at #20 to #23. Trending 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” climbs from #13 to #12. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January, loses four-tenths in February and March (.9 – .6 – .5, flat at #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gained two-tenths in February but drops one-tenth in March (1.2 – 1.1, unchanged at #29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – A combined +2.6 in six successive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” proceeds from fourth to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, #19 to #17, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” elevates to its strongest 6+-share in San Jose since May 2017 (2.6, as well). Off six-tenths (5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay-FM, The Bay’s Greatest Hits” slides from third to fourth. Declining by one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” (4.5 – 4.0, sixth to seventh, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #18, 6+). “Hot Country” was up seven-tenths in February.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM answers with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #18 to #14. All-news sibling WINS, which had logged three straight gains for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), is off by two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.0 – 8.1, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Without a loss for the third straight time for a net gain of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR progresses from #22 to #20. The three latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#23 to #24); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM was a cumulative +1.2 but the public news/talker gives back two-thirds of that bounty (2.6, -.8, 6+) to freefall from #10 to #17. Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility picks up one-tenth in March to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was an overall +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Its format competitor – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Entering the February survey period, WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” was within three-share range (6+) in 14 consecutive sweeps but “94.7 Nash FM” spiraled by nine-tenths to 2.2. In March, the Cumulus Media country outlet recoups two-thirds of that loss (2.6, +.6, 6+) and shifts from #18 to #16. As a result of recapturing the one-half share it lost in February (4.4 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to sixth. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). Extending its successive string of up or flat moves in Middlesex-Somerset-Union to five for an overall +1.5 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” continues in fifth-place. After logging a one-half share increase in February (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” falters by seven-tenths to 5.6 but is steady at #3. WBLS lost one-half share in January. In four straight up or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ was a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), but “Z-100” surrenders half that increase (4.2, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). In addition to WBLS and WHTZ, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” drops seven-tenths as well (#15 to #20, 6+) and is an overall -1.2 in five straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). While unchanged at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), thus curtailing three positive or flat trends in succession that netted seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+).

Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

Remembering Art Bell. The somewhat eerie fact that 72-year-old Art Bell died on Friday the 13th (4/13 in Pahrump, Nevada) certainly could not go unnoticed or overlooked. Bell was the founder and original host of the paranormal-themed “Coast to Coast AM,” which Premiere Networks syndicated on hundreds of North American radio outlets. Part of a Bell retrospective on that program’s website details that, “His love of radio led him to working for an English-language station in Japan, where he set a Guinness world record for broadcasting 116 hours straight. This was no mere radio stunt, however, as it served to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.  Upon returning to the United States, he entered the world of talk radio with an overnight program on KDWN, Las Vegas.  After noticing that episodes covering conspiracy theories and paranormal topics generated considerable interest from listeners, Bell transformed the show from political talk to discussion of these often-verboten realms. Syndicated nationally in 1993 [by Talk Radio Network], ‘Coast to Coast AM’ soon became a radio phenomenon.  During the 1990s, when ‘The X-Files’ had people wondering about the world of high strangeness, Art Bell was the voice of that world, introducing millions of radio listeners to a vast array of paranormal topics and the researchers that studied them. As he begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”  The Jacksonville, North Carolina born former Air Force medic “semi-retired” from “Coast to Coast AM” 15 years ago but could be heard hosting the program on weekends from 2003 – 2007 and was an occasional guest host through 2010.  Bell called his show “absolute entertainment” and did not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but offered a forum where they would not be openly ridiculed. SiriusXM debuted “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” in September 2013 on its “Indie Talk” channel, but that four-hour (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, PT) Monday through Thursday venture ended after just six weeks. Approximately four-dozen stations carried his 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight PT “Midnight in the Desert” show, which launched on the Internet in July 2015 on Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network. Three months later in October of 2015, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviewed him for his weekly podcast. The following is a brief excerpt from that long-form conversation in which Bell assesses the state of the radio industry and its future.  To listen to the clip, please click 

      here
.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes 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 rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, 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 up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Thursday, April 5, 2018

| April 5, 2018

Nielsen’s Audio Today 2018 Highlights Radio’s Reach. This latest version of Nielsen Audio’s report on audio usage notes that “93% of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week—more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV-connected device, tablet or PC.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly’s report underscores the reach of radio across the media-using population.  “According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone.  Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.”  Industry insiders are well aware that the challenges facing radio as a medium include decreased time spent listening over the past decade or so.   Although certain formats, news/talk and sports talk especially, have maintained TSL better than many music formats.  The graphic here shows the reach of the news/talk format among Gen Xers.  News/talk is the #1 format reached by Boomers (55-64) with a 15% AQH share according to Nielsen’s National Regional Database 2017.

Photo Copyright Issues May Dog Kevin Klein.  In addition to the state of limbo in which Entercom’s new hot talk/sports hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” finds itself, yet-to-debut morning personality Kevin Klein may have legal issues involving the photographer who took the photo seen here of the Coronado bridge, used in Klein’s controversial promotional Tweet.  According to a story in the San Diego Union Tribune, local photographer Jesse Cuevas says he’s considering his legal options regarding Klein’s use of the pic.  Cuevas admits the photo wasn’t legally copyrighted but says the negative press associated with the image gives it “no marketability” from this point forward.  In case you missed it, Klein sent out a Tweet to promote his new morning show that showed the Coronado bridge with the phrase, “Jump…to a new morning show.”  There was public outcry over the insensitivity toward suicide – some 400 suicides have taken place on the bridge since it opened.  Klein has not taken to the airwaves at “97.3 The Machine” as of Thursday morning.  It’s assumed, based on a statement from San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, that Entercom and the team will sit down and discuss the matter at the end of the team’s home stand.

The Howie Carr Radio Network Promotes Two. Three-year staffers Steve Robinson and Grace Curley are moving up at The Howie Carr Radio Network.  Robinson is named vice president of operations and Curley rises to producer.  Robinson and Curley joined Howie Carr more than three years ago when he began his independent syndication.  Over the years, their roles have grown with the success of the network’s expansion.  Robinson is the regular fill-in host for Carr and Curley performs daily entertaining segments on the program.  Their promotions follow the signing of a major broadcast contract with Carr’s Boston flagship WRKO, now under the ownership of iHeartMediaHowie Carr comments, “Steve and Grace have proven themselves on this network since day one in 2014.  These well-deserved promotions should help us reach even higher levels of performance as we move forward.”

Radio Host Alan Taylor on ‘Live with Kelly & Ryan.’ Nationally syndicated radio personality Alan Taylor, host of “The Drive with Alan Taylor,” is pictured above (left) with Kelly Ripa (center) and Ryan Seacrest (right) on “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan!” showcasing the top crossover vehicles for 2019.  Taylor’s Radio America-syndicated program is a weekly, two-hour show that reveals the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips, auto show coverage, automotive expert insights, track-day reporting and behind the scenes action.

SiriusXM Brings Journalism Pro Oliver Knox Aboard.  U.S. political journalist Oliver Knox joins SiriusXM to serve as chief Washington correspondent.  Knox worked for 15 years for Agence France-Presse covering U.S. politics.  He’s covered six presidential campaigns and has deep knowledge of the inner-workings of Capitol Hill and the White House.  In July, he will be appointed president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, for which he currently serves as vice president. In this role for SiriusXM, Knox will cover the day’s top news stories and provide analysis for all of SiriusXM’s political channels, effective Monday, April 16.   In the coming months, Knox will also host his own live, weeknight show on the POTUS channel. About this new gig, Knox says, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at SiriusXM.  I’ve loved hosting a show on SiriusXM these last few years, bringing its deeply engaged audience in-depth conversations with newsmakers and experts.  I look forward to building on that foundation in the months and years to come.”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to a report by WABC-TV, New York, seven people are being charged in the 2012 murder of WOND-AM, Pleasantville, New Jersey talk show host April Kauffman.  Prosecutors say her murder was orchestrated by her late husband Dr. James Kauffman in order to prevent her from revealing a drug ring he was operating in concert with the Pagans Motorcycle Gang.  Dr. Kauffman committed suicide while in prison earlier this year.  Authorities say that in 2011 April Kauffman threatened to divorce Dr. Kauffman and expose his drug business…..iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York launches a new “Daily Mets Podcast” hosted by New York Mets radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin.  The podcast is an expansion of his popular “What Did We Learn?” segment from Mets radio post-game programs.  Lewin says, “Because we are producing this podcast every day, it will be totally up-to-date with content.  It will be informative and playful at the same time.  It’ll be a fresh perspective on the team and in 10-20 minutes any fan will be completely in-the-know.”

‘Immigrant Caravan’/U.S. Military Plans, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump on U.S. in Syria, Zuckerberg Before Congress, MLK Assassination Anniversary, Jimmy Kimmel’s Melania Trump Attack, YouTube Shooting, Trump vs Amazon, MLB Action and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). The caravan of immigrants from Central America moving through Mexico toward the U.S. and President Trump’s plan to use the military to protect the border; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and Robert Mueller’s notice to President Trump’s lawyers that the investigation continues but the president is not a target right now; President Trump orders the Pentagon to prepare a Syrian exit strategy; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 date with Congress on data usage issues; the 50thanniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Jimmy Kimmel’s mocking of Melania Trump’s accent; the shooting and apparent suicide at YouTube headquarters in California; President Trump’s attacks on Amazon and Jeff Bezos; and Major League Baseball 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. In Detroit, Entercom names market media pro JoAnne Purtan morning show co-host at classic hits WOMC, alongside Stephen Clark.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says of Purtan, “We are thrilled that JoAnne is part of the new WOMC morning show.  In addition to being a widely respected journalist, she is an integral part of the Detroit community.  JoAnne’s father, Dick Purtan, is a huge part of the heritage of WOMC and it’s exciting to have a Purtan back at the station.” JoAnne Purtan says, “After 27 years in television news [20 years with WXYZ-TV], I’m excited for this new adventure in radio.  I listened to my dad on the radio for much of my life and I’m truly humbled to be at the same station where he spent the last 15 years of his iconic career entertaining people in the morning.  Stephen and I have always worked so well together and we’re so excited to team up again.  After covering a lot of serious news through the years, we look forward to spending mornings with Detroit’s listeners, sharing good news, great music and some fun.”…..In Miami, programming pro Rob Morris exits his role as vice president of programming for the cluster and PD of CHR WPOW “Power 96.”  Assistant program director and music director Will Calder is serving as interim PD for the Entercom station…..Hubbard Radio Seattle names Corey Dillon afternoon drive personality for new country outlet KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  Dillon says, “I am so excited to join the team at ‘The New 98.9 The Bull’ and a company like Hubbard.  My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home.  I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle.” Dillon comes to KNUC from his most recent gig as evening host at Entercom’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”…..Mike V is joining Mikey Esparza on Midwest Television’s classic rock KFMB-FM, San Diego “100.7 KFM-BFM,” effective Monday (4/9) on the afternoon drive show…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated “Full Metal Jackie” show, hosted by Jackie Kajzer, announces new affiliate stations, including: KATT-FM, Oklahoma City; KKBZ-FM, Fresno; WTCX-FM, Green Bay-Appleton; and KHYX-HD2/K232EA, Reno.  Kajzer comments, “I’m forever on a mission to bring hard rock and metal to the masses and I’m honored to have these new stations as new affiliates!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones is making his ABC-TV debut on Sunday night as he joins the cast of “American Idol” to help mentor the top 24 contestants.  He’ll meet with the first 12 performers this week, followed by the remaining 12 on April 15, to “help them reach the next level in their artistry and performances.”…..iHeartMedia Colorado Springs appoints Samantha Kumm market president. The cluster includes country KCCY, hip hop KIBT, hot AC KVUU, and adult contemporary KLCX, and rock KBPL.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

| March 28, 2018

MLB’s Padres Critical of Flagship Morning Host’s ‘Insensitive’ Tweet. On-air pro Kevin Klein begins his new gig as morning drive host at Entercom’s sports/hot talk KEGY, San Diego “97.3 FM The Machine” tomorrow, but he’s already irked the San Diego Padres and some of the general public with his Tweet promoting his new show.  The Tweet used an image of the Coronado bridge (with its history as a site of numerous suicides) and the text “JUMP! To a new morning show.”  The Padres – whose games emanate from KEGY as flagship station – among others, complained about the “insensitive and completely unacceptable” nature of the Tweet.  Klein removed the offending images and apologized for his error in judgement, writing, “I’d like to sincerely apologize to San Diego and listeners of 97.3 for a distasteful and insensitive social media post…The comment was reprehensible and inexcusable.  I’ve failed at making a good first impression, but I hope that you will give me another chance to provide entertainment and good-natured laughs when I go on the air on Thursday morning.  Once again, I apologize to all the listeners and the city of San Diego.”

Report Indicates Padres “Evaluating” Relationship with KEGY.  Apparently, it’s not just the above-mentioned Tweet snafu, but the MLB club is not thrilled with the station’s overall programming philosophy.  The San Diego Union Tribune’s Bryce Miller reports that Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler has issues with the programming tenor on the team’s flagship radio station.  “We’re going to get through this first home stand, then sit down and evaluate it.  We’re going to assess our legal obligations.  We just want a good radio partner that’s not offensive to the community.”  He also called the programming since the station flipped “almost shock-jock radio” and “not what we intended to be involved in.”  No doubt Entercom is working hard to save this relationship as the cume that baseball is likely to bring to the station is crucial to its successful launch.   Stay tuned.

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the sports world moved into the post-NFL portion of the calendar, sports talk stations took a hit to their AQH share.  Only 9% of sports talkers saw their 6+ numbers go up, while almost 70% suffered a decrease compared to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year comparisons show about half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ shares increase from February 2017.  Just one station – Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP, Philadelphia – ranked #1 in its respective market; and just one other – New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston (#3) – ranked in the top five.  See Kinosian’s whole report here.

Cumulus to Place Four FMs in Divestiture Trust.  In its latest FCC filing, Cumulus Media reveals, among numerous other things, that it will divest of four FM stations in markets where it is currently over the FCC’s ownership limits.  The company says that it currently holds a grandfathered attributable interest in more radio stations than is permitted under the Commission’s local radio ownership rules in the Albany, Georgia; Columbia, Missouri; Green Bay; and Toledo markets.   Cumulus is therefore filing an application with the FCC to assign the licenses of country WNUQ-FM, Albany; classic hits KJMO-FM, Linn, Missouri; country WPCK-FM, Denmark, Wisconsin; and sports talk WTOD-FM, Toledo.

Craig Carton to Launch Daily Show on FNTSY Sports Network.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is starting a daily program on SportsGrid’s FNTSY Sports Radio Network tomorrow (3/29).  The “Carton and Friends” streaming program will air from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm via TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and others.  FNTSY calls the show “innovative, irreverent, entertaining, compelling and a must listen…Craig and his group of celebrity friends together with a fresh group of off the wall real-life characters broadcasting live from Studio 34 in heart of Manhattan.”  Carton is in a legal battle with the Feds after being charged with fraud in connection with an alleged concert tickets Ponzi scheme.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports that sports personality Dan Patrick is not going to return to NBC’s “Football Night in America” program.  He says he is going to renew his deal with AT&T/DirecTV – the TV show that is simulcast for radio and syndicated by FOX Sports Radio.  Patrick says he was offered a new, five-year deal to continue with the NBC TV show but says he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to the program for that long…..The new host of the Public Radio International-syndicated, New York Public Radio-produced talk program “The Takeaway” is Tanzina Vega.  The CNN news pro is taking over the permanent position from longtime host John Hockenberry, who left in December after allegations of inappropriate behavior.  Todd Zwillich has been hosting the show in the interim.  Vega begins on May 7.  NYPR president and CEO Laura Walker states, “At this critical moment in our nation’s history, when America is so polarized, public media has an opportunity and a mandate to bring people together to debate, discuss, and share experiences and perspectives that have been buried for too long.  With her deep expertise unpacking tough subjects with thoughtful insight and analysis, Tanzina is the perfect person to lead this urgent national conversation.”…..ABC Radio promotes Josh Cohan to the manager of digital audio position.  ABC News vice president and general manager Steve Jones says, “In his new role, Josh will help lead our expansion of podcasts and other programming across digital audio platforms while continuing to play an important role in our newsroom operations and editorial.”…..iHeartMedia Albany’s sports talker WOFX-AM “FOX Sports 980” renews its deal to serve as the market’s affiliate station for Boston Red Sox baseball through the 2020 season.  “FOX Sports 980” has aired Sox games since 2012…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that Paul Capodanno joins the firm as vice president of marketing and digital.  In the past, Capodanno has served with Zimmerman Advertising where he worked on major campaigns including: Office Depot, Party City, Michaels, and AutoNation…..Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz announces that Emmy Award-winning NBC News executive Mark Lukasiewicz is appointed dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.  The school says that Lukasiewicz brings “deep experience as a broadcast journalist, production executive and transformational newsroom leader known for his innovative methods of integrating digital media and traditional television platforms.”  He begins July 1.

Mark Simone Welcomes Geraldo Rivera.  710 WOR, New York midday personality Mark Simone (right) poses for a pic with news and talk legend Geraldo Rivera (left) in the iHeartMedia New York studios.  Rivera appeared on Simone’s show to kick off his book tour for The Geraldo Show: A Memoir (2018, BenBalla Books).

Trump-Russia Investigation, Justice Stevens Calls for Second Amendment Repeal, 2020 Census Citizenship Flap, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Kim Jong Un in China, Stephon Clark Shooting Death Protests, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the controversy over the questions about one’s citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census; the tensions between California and certain of its cities over sanctuary policies; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visits China; the protests in Sacramento over the police shooting death of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; Thursday’s MLB season openers; 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. Longtime Detroit TV newsman Stephen Clark is tapped for the new morning show on Entercom’s classic hits WOMC.  The company says the new show debuts on Monday (4/2) with Clark and a co-host to be revealed on Thursday, April 5.  Clark recently retired from WXYZ-TV after 16 years as anchor of the 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm newscasts.  But, he was a disc jockey and radio reporter before moving into TV.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Stephen is an integral part of the fabric of Detroit and we are thrilled to have him open this new chapter in the station’s rich heritage.  Stephen’s connection with our local community, his personality and love of music make him a great fit to take the helm of the new WOMC morning show.”…..On-air pro Chad Pitt (left) is joining iHeartMedia’s WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107-7” as co-host of the “Magic Morning Show,” effective April 2.  Pitt will work on air with incumbent personality Leslye (right).  Station PD Brian Mack says, “Although, nothing will replace our beloved John Forsythe when he embarks on his well-deserved retirement after 50 years of radio, we can take solace in reunification with an old friend.”  Pitt returns to iHM Orlando after working on air in markets including Memphis, Tampa, and Houston…..Envision Networks’ “The Country Oldies Show with host Steve Warren” is added to the program schedule at WJJM, Lewisburg, Tennessee.  “The Country Oldies Show” features a half-century of the greatest country hits from the 1950s to the 1990s.  Warren has been the host and producer of the program since its inception…..Milwaukee Public Schools-owned non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is unveiling the grant and educational initiative “Backline” designed “to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, establish Milwaukee’s reputation as an emerging music city, and help Milwaukee companies attract and retain young employees.”  The station is working with business accelerator gener8tor.  “Backline” will recruit four Milwaukee area musicians or bands for its first 12-week session this summer, modeled on gener8tor’s nationally ranked business start-up accelerator.  Selected musicians and groups will be eligible to receive grants of $20,000 for financial support and initiatives identified through the accelerator process, such as recording, promotion and touring…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival on Saturday, May 5 will feature live performances by: Luke Combs, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Dylan Scott, and Danielle Bradbery.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; 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. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity 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.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-sh