Tag: "Jimmy de Castro"

Monday, December 9, 2019

| December 9, 2019

Monday Memo: Start in the Middle?  If you’re a radio newscaster, consultant Holland Cooke warns that “this week’s column is like a solar eclipse.  Look away!”  But for DJs, hosts, and commercial copy writers, he has a curious suggestion.  Read it here.

More Than $500,000 Raised in WMAL Fisher House Radiothon. Commenting on Cumulus Media Washington DC’s just-concluded two-day radiothon for the Fisher House, WMAL PD/Cumulus Media vice president of news/talk, Bill Hess, remarks, “Wow, listeners once again have come through with their support for the wonderful work of the Fisher House Foundation, donating $523,866 to this year’s radiothon. I say ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of our hearts. The Fisher House is recognized as one of the premiere nonprofits working to support quality-of-life for our military and their families. Ever since its inception (30 years ago next month), it has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation; more than 32,000 families were served in 2018. Over the past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $7 million to the Fisher House Foundation. Pictured left to right are Hess, WMAL on-air talents Larry O’Connor, Chris Plante, and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House president Dave Coker.

Cumulus Media Transfers Howell To Little Rock. Inbound from Oklahoma City where he was an on-air talent at Cumulus Media sports talk WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” and executive producer of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s radio broadcasts, Toby Howell arrives as program director at co-owned Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 102.9,” sports talk KARN-AM “920 The Sports Animal,” and the Arkansas News Network. He will also program religious KAAY. Cumulus Media Little Rock market manager Keith Liesman remarks, “We are very happy to get a guy like Toby with his radio background and look forward to watching him grow [our brands] across the Little Rock community.” Howell notes, “I’m very lucky to be able to work with the Cumulus Media group in Little Rock. To be in the news format at a time like this with 2020 on the horizon is very exciting.” He replaces Peter Thiele who exited roughly nine months ago.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Coming To Northern Arizona University. Along with support from the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is set to launch next summer (July 13 – 22) at Northern Arizona University. Hubbard Radio chief executive officer Ginny Morris comments, “All of us at Hubbard are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and the Arizona Association of Broadcasters on bringing this proven program to Northern Arizona University. The program is a great asset for the industry and a wonderful and expansive experience for the students that participate.” Vallie founded the National Radio Talent System in 2013 so radio stations can recruit young talent from their own region or nationally. Arizona Broadcasters Association President/CEO Chris Kline states, “There’s nothing more important to the future of broadcasting than helping to build the next generation of media leaders. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is exactly what we need in Arizona to ensure that new ideas continue to flood into the radio industry from young broadcasters. We couldn’t be more excited to support this program, to meet the participants, and to build new relationships.” NAU Media Innovation Center director Brian Rackham remarks, “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious opportunity for our students. There are jobs out there waiting for our graduates and the Hubbard Talent Institute is a great pipeline to the industry. We look forward to partnering with a great radio group like Hubbard, and the experts at the National Radio Talent System.” Sessions during the ten-day talent institute include on-air, production, news, sports, social media, podcasting, promotions, videography, sales, engineering, and includes the RAB’s radio marketing professional course. Applications are being accepted from college students/young talent from all universities in the region. Final application deadline is March 6, 2020; only 25 students will be accepted.

TALKERS News Notes. After an 11-year run on WTOP-FM “Washington’s Top News,” Chris Core will retire from the Hubbard Broadcasting DC all-news operation one week from Friday (12/20) following his “Core Values” commentary. He previously spent approximately 25 years at cross-town news/talk WMAL as a newscaster and sports anchor ….. This week, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax anchor JD Hayworth is doing his first live and local Phoenix news/talk show in approximately ten years. Guest-hosting today (Monday, 12/9) through Wednesday (12/11) for Seth Leibsohn in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Salem Media Group-owned KKNT “AM 960 The Patriot,” Hayworth was Mike Huckabee’s “designated guest-host” and has filled in for Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, and Laura Ingraham ….. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 12/10, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm) 12th annual Toy Field presented by Cumulus Media Nashville and Planet Fitness will benefit The Salvation Army’s “Forgotten Angels” program. Toys collected at Nissan Stadium will help fulfill the dreams of many “forgotten children” this holiday season. The Salvation Army will reach nearly 8,500 “angels” – less fortunate children and elderly. According to Salvation Army Nashville area commander Ethan Frizzell, “Thousands of toys have been donated throughout the years and we hope to see the same enthusiasm this year. We would not be able to provide for all these children, without the support of Cumulus Media and our community.” In addition to news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” and sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” Cumulus Media Nashville consists of country outlets WSM-FM “Nash Icon 95.5,” and  WKDF “103.3 Nash FM,” and urban AC WQQK “92-Q.” ….. According to The Des Moines Register, former Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell (KBGG, KXLQ, KXNO) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court. Indicted this past February, Tirrell accepted a plea deal Friday (12/6) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing April 7; nine other counts were dismissed. He was charged of scamming victims out of $1.5 million in a sports ticket reselling scheme …. The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is accepting entries for its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” competition, which recognizes outstanding performance among radio and television stations. All entries must be submitted electronically – the deadline is January 6 (2020). Winners will be showcased during the “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” luncheon March 30 at The Hotel Hershey. Meanwhile, the Colorado Broadcasters Association is inviting radio and television stations in that state to compete in over 50 categories; entry deadline is (Friday) January 10 (2020). The “Awards of Excellence” celebration will take place (Friday) April 17th in downtown Denver at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

iHM Charleston Fundraiser Brings in Over $176,000. The 12th annual iHeartMedia Charleston “Cares for Kids” radiothon raised over $176,000 to benefit Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. According to iHeartMedia Charleston area president Alene Grevey, “We’ve anticipated broadcasting from the brand new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for 12 years. Seeing this labor of love come to fruition thanks to the generosity of iHeartMedia Charleston’s listeners and advertisers is so inspiring.” This year’s two-day, fundraising “Cares for Kids” broadcast was held last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. The event featured iHeartMedia Charleston on-air talents Ric Rush, Brian Cleary, Kelly Golden, and Gary Goldman, as well as WCSC-TV personalities Justin Biegel, and Kaitlin Stansell. The radiothon featured more than 40 stories from MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital patients and their families. In addition to WSCC “94.3 The Lowcountry’s News Station,” iHeartMedia Charleston is comprised of adult contemporary WXLY-FM “Y-102.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” and WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 Station for New Country.”

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The music-intensive format in the spotlight this month is urban contemporary. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian notes that approximately half the stations on his urban contemporary panel improve (49%) October 2019 – November 2019 (6+). Meanwhile, a virtually identical 51% of urban contemporary panelists show November 2018 – November 2019 growth. Five urban contemporary stations ranked second (6+) in November 2019; the typical format finish was #11.41 (6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Media Group Holiday Soiree Features Lady Antebellum. As part of the company’s third annual “Holiday Soiree” client party last Thursday (12/5) in New York City, Beasley Media Group welcomed performances by Lady Antebellum; Joe King and Issac Slade from The Fray; and actor/musician David Duchovny. Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley, president Bruce Beasley, and chief operating officer/executive vice president Brian Beasley thanked guests for their ongoing support. Shown from left to right are Big Machine Label Group senior vice president of promotion Mathew Largis; Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group national country brand manager/country WKLB, Boston program director David Corey; Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group executive vice president of programming Justin Chase; and Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum).

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-six year WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9” midday personality Debbi Calton officially retired from the Beasley Media Group Philadelphia outlet last Friday (12/6). Prior to joining WMGK in 1993, Calton spent 10 years at cross-town rocker WYSP ….. Per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning host Courtney Landrum and evening talent Jill Devine have departed Entercom St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98.” A member of the station’s morning show the past 20 years, Landrum was promoted to top billing (“Courtney & Company”) two years ago when Guy Phillips left the station after a 38-year run. Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff, Lance Hildebrand, and Tim Convy remain at the retitled “Y-98 Morning Show.” Devine joined “Y-98” eight years ago. She previously worked in the market for CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7”; country KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull”; and hot AC WVRV “101.1 The River” ….. In celebration of their 20th year in radio syndication, “Big D & Bubba” were treated to a surprise party last Friday (12/6) at Silverfish Media’s Nashville studios where company president Patrick Thomas recalls that, “On December 6, 1999, The Big D & Bubba Morning Show first aired in Amarillo [Texas]. That marked the beginning of syndication for the show, which was based at WYNK, Baton Rouge. Syndicated mornings in the country format was widely known to be an impossible task.” According to Patrick, it is the country’s longest-running syndicated morning show and has more than 75 affiliates. Helping to note the occasion in person were Compass Media Network chief executive officer Peter Kosann, and fellow syndicated country talents Lorraine Crook & Charlie Chase (“Crook & Chase), Evan Paul, and Amber Atnip ….. Wrapping up last week’s (12/2 through 12/6) “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive to benefit the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” collected 70 school buses worth of new unwrapped toys. Senior vice president of programming David Edgar notes, “[This] is one of our biggest events throughout the year. The overwhelming response from ‘Kiss’ listeners and the Pittsburgh community will help many children have a great holiday this year.” ….. Through the Smiley morning show’s 23rd annual, 36-hour “Make-A-Wish Request-A-Thon,” Cumulus Media Indianapolis CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s Number One Hit Music Station” raised $839,638 for central Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses. Listeners called in last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) to request their favorite songs in exchange for a Make-A-Wish Foundation donation. Throughout the broadcast, WZPL shared inspiring wish stories from local Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Cumulus Media Indianapolis vice president/market manager Chuck Fredrick comments, “What a great way to head into the holiday season helping so many kids’ wishes come true in our community.” Operations manager JR Ammons adds that, “Thanks to the generosity of listeners and sponsors, we were able to surpass last year’s record total of $736,298. As a result, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant 83 wishes for kids here in central Indiana with life-threatening illnesses.” Over the course of the last 23 years, WZPL has helped raise more than $7.5 million for Make-A-Wish ….. Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena was the site of this past Saturday’s (12/7) 20th annual “B-96 Pepsi Jingle Bash” presented by Entercom Chicago CHR WBBM-FM. Katy Perry headlined the event. Entercom Chicago senior vice president and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “The ‘B-96 Jingle Bash’ has been a must-see holiday event in Chicago for two decades and has become a highly anticipated night of pop music and a beloved holiday tradition.” ….. Concluding today (Monday, 12/9) is iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPW’s fourth annual “House of Toys,” a six-day “Power 96.1” fundraising event to help collect toys for the “Toys For Tots” program. Morning drive personality PK notes, “We want to be sure every child has the best holiday they can. We are thrilled to team up with our listeners once again and help underprivileged children receive the joy of a new gift this holiday season.” WWPW’s fundraiser is presented by Delta Community Credit Union ….. Filling the midday spot at Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne, Indiana’s country WBTU “US-93.3” is Erica Gray, who most recently had the same responsibilities in Gainesville (Florida) at Gillen Broadcasting CHR WYKS “Kiss 105.3.” ….. The inaugural “Not So Silent Night” benefit concert featuring local artists will be held this Friday (12/13) at Panama City, Florida’s Salty Hobo. Proceeds from the event – sponsored by iHeartMedia Panama City’s WDIZ “96 Rock” – will benefit the Toys for Tots Program. Program director Paco notes, “We look forward to an evening filled with music and holiday giving.”

Monday, November 18, 2019

| November 18, 2019

Talk Host Craig Silverman and KNUS, Denver Have Different Takes on His Departure.  Only this appears to be agreed upon by former Denver chief deputy district attorney Craig Silverman and Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver – he exited during his Saturday program.  Silverman claims he was ousted in the middle of his show after a segment critical of President Trump aired.  But KNUS general manager Brian Taylor tells FOX 31 Denver that he was removed after appearing on a competing station.  Taylor says, “He decided that it was important to work across town and so on Saturday on his program he announced that, and that’s what prompted our decision to take him off the air.  The notion that he was relieved from his program because he criticized President Trump is absolutely untrue.  We’ve never told Mr. Silverman the position to take on his impeachment.”

Monday Memo: What’s really ‘Official?’ With AM/FM broadcasters now competing with SO many audio competitors, the timing couldn’t be worse to blend-into the blah-blah-blah with dated-sounding station imaging.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke warns against what he calls “the most-abused word” in promo copy.  Read it here.

iHeartMedia Announces $500 Million Private Offering. Via a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission,iHeartMedia, Inc. announces its intent to offer, $500 million aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes due January 2028 in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers.  Proceeds from the notes – guaranteed on a senior secured basis by iHeartCommunications’ direct parent, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, and the subsidiaries of iHeartCommunications that guarantee iHeartCommunications’ term loan facility – are intended (together with cash on hand) “to prepay at par a portion of the outstanding borrowings under its term loan facility, to pay accrued and unpaid interest thereon to, but excluding, the date of prepayment, and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering of the Notes and the use of proceeds therefrom.”

Dunlap Maintains Innocence; Has New Attorney. On Friday (11/15), the Times-Picayune’s Ramon Antonio Vargas wrote an updated story on the case of former WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans sports talk host Seth Dunlap, who was fired from the Entercom station on October 31 in the aftermath of in investigation into the September 10 posting of a gay slur on the radio station’s Twitter account.  If you’ve been following this story, you are aware that Entercom, based on its own investigation, believes Dunlap sent the text himself several days after posting to his own Facebook page an open letter to New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees complaining about Brees’ work with Focus on the Family, an organization that is not LGBTQ-friendly.  Dunlap also went public with his own struggles in the radio biz as an openly gay man.  Several days later the anti-gay slur appeared on the WWL Twitter feed.  Entercom turned the investigation over to the New Orleans Police Department and recently, a judge denied the NOPD a warrant for Dunlap’s arrest on extortion charges.  The request for a warrant was based in part on WWL’s statement that Dunlap sought $1.8 million from the station for him to drop his planned lawsuit against it for allowing a hostile workplace.  Dunlap has since changed lawyers.  Megan Kiefer no longer represents him.  Dunlap tells the Times-Picayune that Billy Gibbens is his attorney.  Another new development is that Dunlap says he no longer has the iPhone from which WWL and police believe he accessed the station’s Twitter account.  The NOPD says their investigation is ongoing and Dunlap says he is still considering suing the station.

Jimmy de Castro ‘Retiring’ from Entercom. In a memo to staffers last Friday, Entercom COO Weezie Kramer announced that Jimmy de Castro – senior vice president and market manager for the company’s Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison station groups – is retiring from his position with the company.  He’s expected to leave in mid-December.  Kramer says of de Castro in her memo, “Jimmy was tasked with breathing new energy and positivity into the organization as we embarked on our journey as a new team.  And Jimmy delivered.  His spark, creativity, experience, and business acumen were just what was needed to improve our brands, our culture, our business, and our building in Chicago.”  De Castro tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder that he’ll continue to operate sports marketing and consulting firm After The Whistle LLC and his firm The Content Factory, and through the latter he hopes to get into sports betting and gaming content.

Place Assumes Mornings on New Hampshire’s WNTK-FM.  The Valley News reports that market on-air pro Jason Place is taking over the morning drive show on Sugar River Media’s news/talk WNTK-FM, New London, New Hampshire.  Place takes over the program from former host Keith Hanson.  Hanson – a local Republican committee chairman – exited the station in October after his controversial use of profanity on social media in defense of his decision to bring Jihad Watch author Robert Spencer to the area for a presentation caused a stir.  Though the Valley News says station officials deny his exit had to do with that incident.  Place tells the paper he isn’t hosting the show to espouse a certain political philosophy; he wants to have conversations with listeners.  “What matters is what the listener thinks.  Hopefully, we can get a conversation going, learn something. and have some fun. … God, I just hope I don’t take myself too seriously.”

TALKERS News Notes. St. Louis news/talk KMOX “News Radio 1120” announces it signs a contract extension to continue to serve as the flagship radio station for St. Louis Cardinals games through the 2024 season.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “We are honored to continue to work with the world class St. Louis Cardinals.  ‘News Radio 1120 KMOX’ and the Cardinals are synonymous institutions here in this great city and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this fantastic partnership.”…..Westwood One Podcast Network announces that “The Dan Bongino Show” adds a once-weekly interview show to its daily lineup.  The new program launched with an interview with President Trump.  During the interview, the president shared thoughts about why he uses social media, the impeachment hearings, the whistleblower’s identity, Ukraine’s new president, looking forward to the new Inspector General report, draining the swamp, tax cuts, the economy, capital gains indexing, Obamacare, and more.  Bongino is a former Secret Service Agent, former NYPD officer, and a New York Times best-selling author…..AdLarge Media announces that Dave Boretti is named its vice president of Midwest sales.  Boretti comes to AdLarge from a similar position with PodcastOne.  Chicago-based Boretti says, “I’ve had conversations with Don for a few years about moving to AdLarge and this came together at the perfect time.  AdLarge is an exciting company with leadership that consistently is ahead of emerging trends in audio.  I look forward to marshalling their assets to help AdLarge’s advertisers achieve their goals.”

Impeachment Testimony/Ukraine Allegations, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Fresno Football Party Shooting, Hong Kong Protests, China’s Muslim Detention Docs, Prince Andrew Interview, Iran Protests, Venice Flooding/Climate Change, and Kanye West at Osteen Church Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The impeachment testimony against President Trump and the related allegations of impropriety with regard to Ukraine’s military aid money; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Michael Bloomberg’s entrance into the race as a Republican; the shooting at a football watching party in Fresno that took the lives of four; the protests at Hong Kong Polytechnic University; the revelation of Chinese documents indicating detention of Muslims; Prince Andrew’s awkward interview with the BBC regarding his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein; protests in Iran over the doubling of gas prices; the city of Venice suffers its third flood in a week that officials are blaming on climate change; and Kanye West’s appearance at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

2019 Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts Honored. Pictured above are the nine distinguished members of the media industry who were honored Friday (11/15) at the 17th Annual Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts awards ceremony held at New York City’s famed Gotham Hall.  Clockwise from top left are: CW Television Network president Mark Pedowitz, Urban One CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, Patrick Communications founder and CEO Larry Patrick, CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn, Advanced Television Systems Committee president emeritus Mark Richer, PBS president & CEO Paula Kerger, journalist Connie Chung, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Albuquerque CHR outlet KKOB-FM re-brands as “93-3 The Q.”  Cumulus Media Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry comments, “‘93-3 The Q’ is the natural evolution of 93.3, a highly rated radio outlet with compassionate personalities, an enormous fan base, and market-leading, multi-platform content.  ‘93-3 The Q’ brings renewed passion for and connection with the city of Albuquerque and its people. It is a reflection of our commitment to Albuquerque listeners and we couldn’t be more excited to grow and expand the brand when it is healthy and take it to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Asheville announces the debut of “The Woody & Wilcox Show” on its WKSF-HD3/W266CP “ALT 101.1.”  iHeartMedia Asheville SVP of programming Brian Hall says, “We are pumped to add ‘The Woody and Wilcox Show’ to the lineup.  Woody and Wilcox can’t deliver food to your door, but they will deliver a morning wake-up call that Asheville listeners will love.”

Thursday, October 17, 2019

| October 17, 2019

PodcastOne and Edison Research Reveal Data on Podcast ‘Super Listeners’ at IAB Upfront. The topline findings from the first-ever Super Listeners study from PodcastOne and Edison Research were revealed yesterday (10/16) at the IAB Podcast Upfront in New York and the complete findings will be made available via a webinar on Tuesday, October 22.  PodcastOne and Edison say, “This study showcases the power of podcasting’s most active consumers, including how they react to advertising, the role ads play in their listening experience, and what the industry must be cautious about in maximizing advertising impact.”  The podcast “super listeners” are defined as “those who spend at least five hours listening to podcasts each week.”  This smaller number of consumers that account for a high degree of demand are the people most likely to hear podcasting ads and to really have an opinion about them.  Some of the highlights of the study indicate that advertising in podcasts increases favorability for specific brands.  For example, 60% of “super listeners” appreciate podcast advertisers for supporting their favorite podcasts and 44% say their opinion of a company is more positive when they hear it mentioned in a podcast they regularly listen to.  This favorability impacts the thing advertisers care about most, conversions.  70% considered a new product or service as a result of hearing a sponsorship or ad on a podcast they regularly listen to and 43% say that when price/quality are equal, they prefer to buy products from companies that advertise on podcasts they regularly listen to.  However, the study also warns that too many ads will leave a negative impression as 50% of “super listeners” say it is important or very important to limit their exposure to ads and 49% of say there are more ads now than there were a year ago.  Right now, only 24% say there are too many ads in podcasts, compared to 62% for TV, 47% for AM/FM radio and 45% for streaming audio.  The webinar will feature PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris and Edison Research SVP Tom Webster as they walk attendees through an exclusive look at podcasting’s heaviest listeners, their attitudes towards advertising, and how they view podcasting in the greater media landscape.  Register here.

Westwood One to Distribute ‘The McLaughlin Group’ Programs. Though we lost program creator and original host John McLaughlin in 2016, the political roundtable talk show “The McLaughlin Group” has been airing on Maryland Public Television since January of this year with a scheduled rollout to public television stations across the country in January 2020.  Now, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces it is exclusively distributing and selling a new podcast and weekend radio show with “The McLaughlin Group.”  The podcast becomes available on the Westwood One Podcast Network on November 1, and the radio show will debut the weekend of December 7-8.  New host, political writer and commentator Tom Rogan, is joined by original panel members Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, and Clarence Page.  Additionally, new generation of panelists will join the group engaging in conversations about politics, culture, and foreign policy issues. Listeners will get content from the TV program as well as original bonus content in both the radio show and the podcast.  Cumulus Media EVP and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “We’re proud to provide access to this legendary show as we gear up for what will certainly be one of the most heated election years in American history.  ‘The McLaughlin Group’ was a pioneer among political talk shows and this distinguished iteration lead by Tom Rogan offers important commentary at a significant time.”  “The McLaughlin Group” is produced by BL Sports & Media Group.

TALKERS News Notes. The nominations for the Digital Hollywood Awards are announced and PodcastOne proudly reveals that its programs have earned a total of 51 nominations in the event’s inaugural year.  The awards will be announced at the Digital Hollywood Conference on November 14, 2019.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “From the day PodcastOne was founded, we were committed to providing advertisers and listeners programming in all genres. Our showing at the Digital Hollywood Awards, with 51 nominations, shows that we accomplished that goal.”  See all the nominations here…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WSCR-AM “The Score” sports talk host Jason Goff is joining NBC Sports Chicago to host pre-game and post-game shows for Chicago Bulls games.  Goff lost his gig at “The Score” after Entercom SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro decided some of the station’s hosts were becoming too political, writes Feder…..Award-winning television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes is partnering with iHeartMedia to launch Shondaland Audio that will develop a full slate of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts set to release over the next three years as part of the iHeartPodcast Network.  Rhimes will oversee the development and chief digital and design officer Sandie Bailey will manage day-to-day operation.  Rhimes says, “Podcasting continues to see tremendous growth and I’m excited to partner with iHeartMedia as Shondaland expands its storytelling journey into this medium which has seemed to usher in a unique sense of boldness, intimacy and connection.  With iHeartMedia we aim to share stories that are engaging, insightful, and reflect a robust world-view while staying true to the authentic storytelling voice that has become synonymous with Shondaland.”

Executive Moves at Urban One. The company promotes VP and deputy general counsel C. Kristopher Simpson to senior vice president and general counsel.  At the same time, Urban One announces it is bringing Tony Spinelli aboard as chief information officer.  The company says Simpson will now oversee legal operations across the company’s five divisions.  Throughout his tenure with Urban One, Simpson has provided counsel to the board of directors, executive management, and corporate finance/treasury teams.  He’s also served as counsel on various acquisitions and divestitures across Urban One’s divisions, managed its outside counsel, and worked with its investment advisors on various refinancing projects.  Urban One says Spinelli – who comes to the company after 25 years in the financial services industry – will manage all aspects of the company’s technology infrastructure.  He most recently led the digital startup, Fractal Industries.

2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Syria Policy, Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Controversy, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings Dies, U.S.-China Trade Talks/Hong Kong Bill, and Brexit Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17). The aftermath of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate; the Trump Administration’s Syria policy and the withdrawal of American troops for Northeastern Syria; the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related controversy over Hunter and Joe Biden’s and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine dealings; longtime U.S. Rep. Elijah Cumming dies at 68; the status of U.S.-China trade talks and China’s warning about the U.S. Congress’ Hong Kong bill interfering in their internal affairs; and reports of a Brexit deal on the table were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Legendary Country Jock Bob Kingsley Passes at 80. Country radio air personality Bob Kingsley passed away today (10/17) at his home in Weatherford, Texas after a battle with bladder cancer.  He was 80.  Kingsley’s “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40” is produced by his KCCS Productions and syndicated globally by Westwood One.  A celebration of life is planned for November 14 at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled Kingsley several years back when he served as special features editor for Inside Radio.  Read that piece here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD, Detroit, midday personality and assistant program director Kendall Taylor adds music director duties for the station.  Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Lance Tidwell says, “Since I started last December, Kendall has been such an important team member and she contributes so much to WDVD.  She brings great ideas and follows them with great organization and execution to what we do on WDVD.  I am thrilled to have her to help improve communication with our important label partners and bringing her own perspective to what we do musically at WDVD.”…..Entercom announces the three dates and lineups for its “Not So Silent Night” alternative music festival.  The RADIO.COM event will happen in New York, hosted by WNYL “ALT 92.3” on December 5; in San Diego, hosted by KBZT-FM “ALT 949” on December 8; and in San Francisco, hosted by KITS “ALT 105.3” on December 7.  Acts booked include: Mumford & Sons, Cage the Elephant, Vampire Weekend, Twenty-One Pilots, Neon Trees, and more…..Modelo beer teams up with rapper Anderson .Paak for the “Modelo Fighting Chance Concert Series,” produced by iHeartRadio, in an effort to raise money for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees, immigrants, and Americans in need achieve their full potential.  Anderson .Paak will perform in San Francisco on November 13, Atlanta on November 15, and New York on November 17…..Skratch N Sniff’s Halloween Mix 2019, “Puddle of Blood” features guest host Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd in which he’ll play his favorite Halloween tunes in the mix with tracks from the new album, Welcome to Galvania.  The radio special syndicated by Compass Media Networks is available for alternative and rock stations for air Friday, October 25 through Halloween…..Pictured below at last night’s “iHeartRadio ICONS with Elton John” at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles is pop icon Elton John (left) with WAXQ, New York “Q104” morning personality Jim Kerr (right).  The event celebrated the release of John’s autobiography, ME (2019, Henry Holt) as Kerr spoke with John about his life and career.

Monday, June 24, 2019

| June 24, 2019

Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately.  He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!”  Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games).  For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.”  Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks.  It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.

Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio.  At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio.  Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today.  Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.”  Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976.  During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville.  In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011.  Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”

Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons.  See what those reasons are here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station.  The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending.  He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting.  The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others.  The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk RadioTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share.  Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver.  See the whole report here.

The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success.  The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years.  Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.

Partying with Howie Carr.  The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21).  Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.

Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years.  There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin.  He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever.  Welcome home, Steve.”

Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”

Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home 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. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities.  Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM.  She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager.  With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’  His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none.  It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market.  Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo.  Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice.  We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market.  Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.”  Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute.  MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018

| November 1, 2018

Report: Apple and iHeartMedia in Talks for Possible Investment.The report in the Financial Times indicates the talks between tech giant Apple and iHeartMedia are in the preliminary stages but sources tell the paper there are a couple of possible results from these talks.  One source indicates iHM – still wending its way through Chapter 11 reorganization – is pursuing Apple taking an equity stake in the company that could be worth “tens of millions of dollars” to help iHeart reduce its debt load. But another source tells the paper the deal could be a “multimillion-dollar marketing partnership rather than a direct investment.”  The story describes a scenario in which Apple could get its Beats 1 format on broadcast radio stations as a result of a relationship with iHeartMedia.  Neither company is responding to requests for comment from numerous media outlets.

Carton Trial Continues with Nets CEO Brett Yormark Testifying His Signature Was Forged.  It appears that at the heart of the feds’ fraud case against former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is who is the jury going to believe, Carton or his former partner, convicted felon Anthony Meli (Meli pleaded guilty to fraud in a separate tickets scam and is serving 6-1/2 years)?  According to coverage of the trial in Bloomberg, on the witness stand on Wednesday was Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark who testified that his signature on a contract to supply concert tickets to Carton’s firm was forged.  Carton’s attorney said Carton did not know the signature was forged and blamed Meli. The trial is expected to last a couple more weeks.

Mike Francesa’s App and WFAN Status the Focus of Multiple NYC Media Stories. A report in Bloomberg delves into the status of New York City sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s online app “Mike’s On” to determine how well the $8.99 annual subscription app is doing.  The piece notes that interest in the success of the app is amplified by Francesa’s recent kerfuffle with a New York Post reporter who suggested he’s only sold a couple hundred subscriptions.  Francesa and his rep firm Creative Artists Agency say the app is way more successful than that but aren’t disclosing hard-and-fast numbers.  They also say numbers quoted by research firms Sensor Tower and Apptopia are inaccurate.  See that piece hereNewsday also published a story that looks at the app and his status in afternoon drive on WFAN.  Remember that he returned last spring after exiting in December of 2017.  There is no deal on paper between him, Entercom’s WFAN and CAA and he says the parties are trying to work out how to share ownership of the app.  He says he’s not giving up the app and is not surprised that people are trying to put it down.  “That’s human nature.  It’s always been that.”

Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis Talker Jamie Allman and Emmis/Entercom Settle on Compensation Issue; Still Disagree on Right to Terminate. St. Louis talk media personality Jamie Allman’s suit against Emmis Communications and Entercom was forced into mediation by the judge and the parties have agreed to a settlement regarding payment of Allman’s earned benefits.  But that was just part of Allman’s case against Emmis (which owned KFTK-FM, St. Louis at the time of his dismissal) and Entercom (which was operating the station under an LMA).  The parties disagree on the companies’ right – as per Allman’s contract – to terminate him for conduct that could bring the radio station into disrepute. If you remember, Allman Tweeted that he was “getting ready to ram a hot poker up [Parkland shooting survivor] David Hogg’s ass.”  He lost his gig with Sinclair Broadcasting‘s KDNL-TV, St. Louis as a result and caused KFTK-FM advertisers to reconsider their campaigns.  The companies’ say in their Motion to Dismiss the breach of contract complaint, “Specifically, Allman now contends that the termination of his employment by Defendants somehow does not meet the definition of ‘cause’ in his employment agreement because another employer, a TV station, also terminated Allman for the same tweet. Merely to articulate his new theory is to demonstrate how utterly without merit it is.”  The court will now consider the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.

Marty Griffin to Return to KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh on Monday. Host of the late morning “Inside Story” program on Entercom’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh – Marty Griffin – says he’ll be back on the air on Monday after completing his chemotherapy and radiation treatment for throat cancer brought on by the human papillomavirus.  Griffin was diagnosed in August and has been off the air since early September. He tells Triblive that the treatment was hard on his body but says he’s done with chemo and radiation and is now in recovery mode.  “I lost about 40 pounds.  I’m very weak, but very blessed…Lots of folks I see here at Hillman (UPMC Hillman Cancer Center) struggle to live, and I’m going to be healthy.”

Scott Shannon to Host National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. When the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on the 15th of this month in New York, WCBS-FM, New York morning personality and 2006 HoF inductee Scott Shannon will serve as emcee. Presenters at this year’s event will include: Rush Limbaugh, Bruce Morrow, a.k.a. “Cousin Brucie,” actor Alan Alda, sportscaster Jim Nantz, radio personality Jim Harper, Entercom exec Jimmy deCastro, consultant Gabe Hobbs, consultant Greg Moceri, and Jacobs Media’s Paul Jacobs.  This year’s inductees are: Jonathon Brandmeier, Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a. The Fabulous Sports Babe, Mike Francesa, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg (Mike & Mike), Joan Hamburg, Fred JacobsKid Kelly, Jim Kerr, Mark Levin and Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “Scott Shannon is the perfect person to host the 30th anniversary of the National Radio Hall of Fame induction in New York City.  And with the support and presence of this years’ presenters, and of course our inductees, this is going to be a most memorable evening for all.”

Jansen Named VP of Sales for iHM Twin Cities. Sales pro Dave Jansen is named vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Twin Cities station group that includes news/talk KTLK-AM, sports talk KFXN-FM “The Fan,” and four music-formatted signals.   The cluster also has franchise partnerships with the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Wild, and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football, basketball and hockey.

Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan/Trump Ad, Birthright Citizenship Issue, Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings Aftermath, Mail ‘Bombs’ Case, Indonesian Jet Crash, Whitey Bulger Killed in Prison, Megyn Kelly NBC Exit, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31). The November 6 midterm elections and President Trump’s campaigning; the caravan of Honduran migrants and Trump’s illegal immigrant cop killer ad; President Trump’s claim he can eliminate birthright citizenship with an executive signing; the aftermath of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail “bomber” Cesar Sayoc; the crash of Lion Air’s brand-new Boeing 737 in Indonesia; Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is murdered in prison; Megyn Kelly’s messy exit from NBC; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Kimmi Couture is named midday host at Entercom’s hip hop KRBQ, San Francisco “Q102.1.”  She moves into that role from her most recent position as a contributor to the morning show. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz states, “Kimmi first showed us her star power on social media and we knew she would be a great addition to the’ Q102.1’ team.  We are confident she will build a strong rapport with her listeners and we are really excited to elevate her to a more high-profile spot on the station.”…..Austin, Texas has a new throwback station as Entercom launches “HOT 95.9” on KKMJ-HD3/K240EL.  The station will feature “curated throwback hits” from the 1990s and 2000s from core artists including: Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys…..As WKTI, Milwaukee drops country for sports talk with the transfer of ownership from E.W. Scripps to Good Karma BrandsMagnum Media is flipping its WVTY, Racine, Wisconsin to country as “VTY Country.”…..Entercom debuts the LGBTQ-targeted “Channel Q,” formerly known as “Out Now,” on KQPS-FM, Palm Springs.  That station flips from AC and changes the calls from the former KEZN.  The new station will provide the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music…..Alpha Media flips KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota from CHR to hot AC as “Mix 99.1.”  Content director Brad Steele says, “This new sound of ‘Mix 99.1’ is what the listeners demanded!  We are always listening to our fans.  What they said they wanted was less repetition while adding more music and content.”…..Pictured below are WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts morning personalities “Bax & O’Brien” – Mike “Bax” Baxendale at left, John O’Brien at right – at their October 26 “Bax & O’Brien LIVE” event. The duo tells TALKERS magazine that the show was a sellout for the sixth straight year, packing in almost 500 fans to see them, comedian Pat Oates and New England-based guitar legend Gary Hoey.

October 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. October 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. 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.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – After finishing in fifth-place the past four months, Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” proceeds to fourth-place by recapturing the one-tenth it lost in September (5.3 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+). KXL was up six-tenths in April and then off a combined one-half share in May and June. By gaining three-tenths (1.9 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX not only progresses from #20 to #18, “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” has its best 6+-showing (2.2) in more than two years (2.2, as well, in August 2016). The March 2018 – October 2018 topline trending for Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” is: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .7 – 1.0 – .8 – .9 (#26 to #23, 6+). A collective +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” surrenders two-thirds of that increase (1.7, -.6, 6+) and drops from #18 to #20. Just prior to August, “The Fan” posted six straight down or flat moves that resulted in a -1.0 (2.4 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+). Repeating at #22, Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game” logs a 1.4 (6+) for the fourth time in the last ten sweeps (1.4 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” is flat in both (6+) AQH-share (.5) and (6+) market rank (#28). In addition to being without a loss for the third time in a row for a collective gain of eight-tenths (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9, 6+), KOPB is back at #1. The Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet had been on top from January to August (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.1 (January); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); and +.7 (October).

Portland Music Formats – More than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-share in three straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” swims all the way into the top ten (#16 to #8). Entering the August sweep, “The Fish” had been down in each of the previous four monthlies for a cumulative -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Down or flat four straight months for a collective loss of four-tenths (7.3 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH erases that deficit with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+) and continues in third-place. Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” (4.2, #11 to #7, 6+) and Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” (3.0, #17 to #14, 6+). As a result, “Charlie” and “The Bull” halt similar three successive month losing streaks: Charlie had been -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) and below a four-share for the first time since April 2016’s 3.9, while “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW is up or flat in four successive ratings periods for an overall +1.6  (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+) – including its best 6+-stat (8.8) since “Holiday” 2017’s 16.9 – “K-103” segues from first to second. KKCW was #1 in December 2017 (13.0, 6+); “Holiday” 2017 (16.9, 6+); and tied for first (with KOPB) in April 2018 (8.5, 6+). A combined +1.4 in August and September (4.4 – 5.3 – 5.8, 6+), Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” relinquishes that gain in its entirety (4.4, -1.4, 6+) and slips from fourth to sixth. Prior to August, KINK last reached the five-share level (6+) in February (5.0). Off a collective nine-tenths in three straight decreases (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” departs the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share as well in October is Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix,” which is -1.0 in four successive slips (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, #12 to #16, 6+). Following four straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned KGON is a collective -.9 in three decreases in a row (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), yet “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth. July’s 5.6 is the highest 6+-showing for KGON since June 2017 (5.6, as well). Without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops from #14 to #17.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – A positive spike of nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) takes WBT to its highest 6+-share (3.8, (#15 to #12) since February’s 4.3. The Entercom news/talk outlet entered the October sweep with a May – September (6+) topline of 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9. When WBT gained two-tenths in June, it halted three straight losses that accounted for a -1.7 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+). In three straight gains (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (steady at #19) more than doubles (+.7) its 6+ share. This particular streak follows four straight down or flat moves that led to a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+). A combined -1.6 in four downward trends in succession (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE continues at #17. Up one-half share in June, “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” had a consistent January – May topline trending of 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). Erasing September’s -.1 with a +.2 in October (.6 – .5 – .7, 6+), South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC carries on at #20.

Charlotte Music Formats – Without a loss for the sixth straight month netting an overall +2.3 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” advances from fifth to third. This (6.4) is the strongest 6+-share for “The Lake” since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.5. The market’s (6+) CHR share bloats by +1.1 as Beasley Media Group’s WNKS “Kiss 95.1” gains six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+) to crack the top ten (#11 to #9), while iHeartMedia-owned WHQC “Channel 96.1” – which logged a +.8 in September – improves by one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and also enters the top ten (#12 to #10). The country format boasts Charlotte’s top two October 2018 finishers with Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5, -.2, 6+) repeating at #1 and iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” climbing from third to second. October’s decrease by WSOC pulls the plug on four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to August, the last time WSOC reached the seven-share level (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (7.0). Meanwhile, “The Kat” is an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). WKKT was a combined -1.0 in May and June (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+) and then gained two-tenths in July. As the result of three slips in succession (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” is -1.8 and falls from second to fourth. “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; eroded by -1.2 in June; and erased that -1.2 in its entirety in July with a +1.2. This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” finishes in eighth-place. Following five consecutive increases for an overall +.9 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.9, 6+), “Power 98” is off by one-tenth in September and October (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). The five most recent trends for iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX were 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.4 (6+), but “The Fox” sputters by one-half share to 5.9 (fourth to fifth), its lowest 6+-showing since April (5.9, as well). Dropping by one-half share in October as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (#13 to #15), which is a collective -1.4 in four straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Up one full-share as a result of three improvements in succession (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” progresses from ninth to eighth with its best 6+-showing since April 2017 (4.5, as well). The July 2018 – October 2018 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” (#22 to #21) is 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+). KTSA was a collective -.5 in June and July (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4, 6+), after not having a loss for five reports in a row for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). Stuck on .7 (6+) in August and September, iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops one-tenth to .6 (#27 to #29, 6+). After posting a +.4 in back-to-back sweeps (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX is unchanged from September in (6+) AQH share (3.4) and (6+) AQH rank (#12). A July loss of seven-tenths suspended three up or flat moves that led to a +.5 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Bouncing back from September’s one-half share decline, Alpha Media’s KTFM posts a +.7 (2.3 – 3.0, 6+) and jumps from #19 to #16. Prior to September’s -.5, “Energy 94.1” was +.7 via three straight increases (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KXXM “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which picks up one-tenth (to 3.0, 6+), thus suspending five April through September decreases that accounted for an overall -2.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). That followed four straight increases for a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+). By gaining six-tenths (3.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio’s KXTN “107.5 Tejano & Proud” cracks the top ten (#15 to #10) and has its best 6+-performance (3.8) since February’s 4.0. An overall +1.0 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” remains at #7. While its classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM is #1 for the tenth successive sweep, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” falters by one-half share to 8.3 (6+), thus snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that generated a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+). In September, it reached the eight-share threshold (8.8) for the first time since November 2016’s 8.2. When KONO-FM logged a +.4 in June, it ended three consecutive downward moves for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+). The game of musical chairs between the market’s two country FMs continues as KONO-FM cluster-mate KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” picks up one-tenth (6.0 – 6.1, 6+) moving from third to second, while iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” erodes by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), falling from second to fourth. September’s loss of eight-tenths by “Y-100” curtailed three straight gains that netted +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). In August, it reached the six-share level (6.8) for the first time since October 2017’s 6.0. Meanwhile, the +2.7 that “KJ-97” racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April with a collective -1.3; “KJ-97” answered with a +.6 in May. Off three-tenths to 3.2 (#11 to #15, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno 104.1” has its consecutive string of up or flat reports that accounted for a +.6 stall at four (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined four-tenths in three straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” answers with a gain of six-tenths to 4.6 (6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. A June uptick of two-tenths interrupted four sweeps in a row without an increase that produced a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, 6+). Bouncing back from September’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths (6.1 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” advances from fifth to fourth. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8, 6+); -2.0 in three straight May – June – July declines (7.8 – 7.4 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+); +1.4 in August (5.8 – 7.2, 6+); and -1.1 in September. Flat at .2 (6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has notched either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in each of the last 18 ratings periods. Essential Public Media news/talk WESA is a cumulative +1.4 via three straight upticks (2.0 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+) as “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” bumps up from #13 to #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Adding seven-tenths to September’s +.3 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” inches up from sixth to fifth with its best 6+showing (6.3) since April’s 6.6. Classical WQED is up one-half share (1.2 – 1.7, 6+) and moves from #15 to #14. Faltering by seven-tenths (10.2 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is nonetheless on top for the 20th consecutive ratings period. Co-owned rocker WDVE, which was off eight-tenths in August, duplicates September’s +.3 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the tenth successive sweep. No sooner had WKST hauled out a +1.1 in September than “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits it all in October (6.7 – 5.6, -1.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Immediately prior to September, the iHeartMedia CHR was a collective -1.7 in three negative moves in a row (7.3 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 5.6, 6+). After being unlisted the past three  months, these five Forever Media stations reappear in October: classic country WLYI (1.7, #14, 6+); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.6, #16, 6+); country WOGG (1.6, #16, 6+); country WOGI (.9, #20, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.6, #26, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Having not posted an increase for eight straight reports resulting in an overall -3.0 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” busts out a +1.4 to 7.0 (third to second, 6+). KFBK was third in December 2017; second in “Holiday” 2017; first in January 2018; second in February; tied for first in March; second in April, May, June, and July; and third in August and September. In two-share range in each of the last 13 sweeps, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” gains four-tenths to 3.0 (#14 to #13, 6+). In three straight decreases (1.6 – 1.4 – 1.1 – .8, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM lost 50% of its 6+-share (-.8), but “ESPN Radio 1320” adds a collective seven-tenths in September and October (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #19). It is two-tenths ahead of Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+) and is in a four-way tie at #21. Steady at #4, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ is without a loss for the third straight time and up a collective eight-tenths (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+). After three straight up or flat trends that produced a net gain of four-tenths (.3 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI dropped two-tenths in September to .5, but regains one-tenth in October (.7 – .5 – .6, #27 to #26, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – An increase of eight-tenths (5.8 – 6.6, second to third, 6+) takes Bonneville adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” to its largest 6+-stat since February (6.6, as well). Despite dropping one-half share (9.7 – 9.2, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the ninth successive sweep. “The Eagle” was +1.0 in May; +.9 in June to 9.9, its strongest 6+-showing since July 2016’s 10.3; -.9 in July; +.6 in September; and now -.5 in October. For the 12th consecutive sweep, Entravision Communications rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (-.4, #13 to #14) is within 2.2 – 2.9 range: 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.3 (6+). Once again, there are no big month-to-month shifts in the market’s country contest. Remaining at #8, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is up one-tenth to 4.3 (6+); iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” regains the two-tenths it lost in September (2.3, #17 to #14, 6+); and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is off two-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but stays at #16. “New Country” was a combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+); “The Bull” was -1.3 in that same timeframe (3.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+); and the July-August-September topline for “The Wolf” was 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 (6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” becomes the first station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far to register a (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of at least two full-shares (4.8 – 7.2, +2.4, 6+). Over and above having its highest 6+-share (7.2) since April’s 8.1, KSL vaults from sixth to first. In fact, this marks the first time KSL has been at #1 since April. By picking up four-tenths in August, KSL pulled the plug on three consecutive declines that accounted for a -3.5 (8.1 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+). Powered by a +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” jumps from tenth to seventh with its loftiest 6+-showing (4.7) since March 2017’s 5.6. Its +.3 in May ended three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). There is no (6+) change from September for Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” in terms of (6+) AQH share (1.8) or (6+) AQH rank (#21). Prior to the August ratings period, KALL was an overall +.5 via four consecutive positive or flat moves (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). After four successive sweeps without a decrease that netted seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER falters by a collective eight-tenths in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, #14 to #15, 6+). It previously was an overall -1.3 from three straight down or flat ratings periods (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+). Brigham Young University news/talk KUMT debuted in September with a .9 (6+) but is off six-tenths in October to .3 (#26 to #27, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Tacking on seven-tenths to September’s gain of nine-tenths (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). “B-98.7” gained six-tenths between April and July (2.7 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). In the PPM-era, this is perhaps the closest KBEE has ever come to its adult contemporary rival, Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music, Better Work Day” (6.2 – 5.6, -.6, second to third, 6+). KSFI was -2.3 in four successive March through July down or flat trends (8.2 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+) with July’s 5.9 its lowest 6+-showing since May 2016’s 5.7. “FM 100.3” was on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). With a +.6 to 2.6 (#20 to #17, 6+), Brigham Young University classical KBYU concludes a string of three consecutive slips that resulted in a -1.0 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). After taking sole possession of first-place in September, iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (6.7 – 5.6, 6+) and shifts to third-place. KODJ – which shared the #1 slot in August – was #1 this past June and July, as well. Its gain of three-tenths in September curtailed three straight decreases that accounted for a loss of one-half share (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to June’s -.1, KODJ nearly doubled (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+). Up eight-tenths in September, hot AC sibling KJMY falters by seven-tenths in October (4.7 – 4.0, seventh to tenth, 6+). A one-tenth decline in August by “MY-99.5” ended at three a consecutive string of increases that generated a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 4.0, 6+). Dropping seven-tenths as well is Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” (2.8, #13 to #14, 6+), whose consecutive string of increases that produced a collective +1.1 is halted at five (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). After posting three straight sweeps without a loss for a collective +.9 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC  KBZN “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” forfeits four-tenths to 5.3 (fourth to sixth, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in September (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT  remains at #20. Prior to gaining two-tenths in August, “News Talk Radio 840”had been down or flat the previous three ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). The March – October topline for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is .9 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.3 (flat at #24, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+). A combined -.3 in June and July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is now up a cumulative four-tenths July-August-September-October (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9, #25 to #26, 6+). An overall +1.2 via five consecutive improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR progresses from #13 to #11. A cumulative -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+) directly followed three consecutive improvements that accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” repeat at #1, it solidifies its lead by tacking on nine-tenths to September’s +1.2 (6.3 – 7.5 – 8.4, 6+). This (8.4) is the highest 6+-share for “Sunny,” which spiraled by -1.3 in August, since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.5. KSNE has been on top this calendar year in March, May, June, July, September, and October. Bouncing back from September’s one-half share decrease (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) with an October gain of seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” jumps from #16 to #11. Logging an improvement of seven-tenths as well is Entravision’s KRRN “La Suavecita 107.1” (.9 – 1.6, #21, 6+). After spiraling by nine-tenths in September, Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” responds with a one-half share gain (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is back in the top twenty (#22 to #17). Entering the September sweep, KOMP had been within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous six survey periods (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+). By notching a one-half share increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Faith Communications’ contemporary Christian KSOS not only enters the top ten (#11 to #10), “SOS Radio” has its highest 6+-stat (3.8) since January’s 3.9. Seven doesn’t prove to be lucky in October for three Las Vegas outlets as Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (5.1, flat at #4, 6+); Entercom CHR KLUC “98.5 Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.8 – 4.1, sixth to eighth, 6+); and Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “103.5 Zona Mx” (#17 to #21, 6+) all sputter by seven-tenths. “Old School 105.7” was a cumulative +1.7 in five consecutive upticks (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+), while “Zona Mx” is now -1.2 in three negative moves in succession (2.8 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.6, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Roaring back from September’s -1.4 with a robust +1.7 (9.1 – 10.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLW sets the pace for the fifth consecutive sweep. Immediately prior to September, WLW was an overall +2.8 in three straight increases (7.7 – 9.1 – 10.4 – 10.5, 6+). This is WLW’s highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, in June 2016). Some recent fluctuations this calendar year for WLW include: a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); and now +1.7 (October). Wiping out three-quarters of September’s -.4 with a +.3 (3.7 – 4.0, 6+), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” bumps up from tenth to ninth. WKRC was a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.8 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), with July’s increase stopping four straight monthly reports without an increase for a collective -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” trots out a +.5 (.9 – 1.4, 6+) and advances from #19 to #17 with its best 6+-stat since May (1.4, as well). Locked in August and September on 3.5 (its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.6), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU drops two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) and remains at #12.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Despite posting a one-tenth increase (9.1 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” relinquishes its half of September’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talker WLW and drops to the runner-up slot. Following four straight sweeps without an increase for a net loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock” improves by four-tenths to 5.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Owing to a +.6 (8.3 – 8.9, steady at #3, 6+), Hubbard’s country WUBE “B-105” registers its finest 6+-stat in more than two years (8.9, as well in August 2016). Hot AC sibling WKRQ is a collective -1.3 in September and October (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+), but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues in fourth-place. Up an overall +1.1 in August and September (4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” relinquishes approximately half that bounty in October with a -.6 (4.6, sixth to seventh, 6+). Frozen on 4.9 (6+) in May and June, “Mix” was off eight-tenths in July, with 4.1 its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.7. In six straight down or flat sweeps (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS is -1.5; “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). A September gain of eight-tenths by co-owned WEBN nearly erased its -.9 in four straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+). “Cincinnati’s Rock Station,” however, sputters by one-half share in October to 4.3 (6+), dropping from seventh to eighth. In August, WDBZ registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies is unlisted for the second month in a row.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being +1.8 in four consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1, 6+),  Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). Before gaining four-tenths in July, WDBO-FM was -1.4 in five straight down or flat trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+). It leapfrogs iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want,” which is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Its +1.0 in August suspended three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). As the result of four successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF is a collective +1.2 and has nearly doubled its 6+-share (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, steady at #15, 6+). Following seven successive up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (.7 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” surrenders two-tenths to 1.1 (#18 to #20, 6+). It is tied at #20 with Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando,” which is flat at 1.1 (6+). On the heels of September’s +.5, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” forfeits seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) but continues at #12.

Orlando Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB an overall +1.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.5 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.8, 6+), “Star 94.5 – Orlando’s Only R&B” leaps from sixth to third.  Logging a one-half share October improvement as well is JVC Media’s WOTW “103.1 The Wolf – New Country & All Time Favorites” (1.0 – 1.5, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in April, “The Wolf” is trending 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.5 (6+). There is a tie at #1 between two iHeartMedia siblings. While Spanish tropical WRUM extends its time at #1 to the tenth month in a row, “Rumba 100” is an overall -3.5 in three slips in a row (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, WRUM was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Catching WRUM at the top is co-owned CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.7 – 8.1, +.4, second to first, 6+). A one-half share September increase halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.7 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+). Between February and May, WXXL was up an overall six-tenths via three increases of two tenths each (8.3 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+). Returning one-third of the +2.1 it racked up via three straight upticks (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” shifts from third to fourth (6.4, -.7, 6+). A collective +1.0 – or nearly double its 6+-share – in seven sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WTKS-HD2 coughs up 60% of that increase (1.5, -.6, #15 to #17, 6+). Erasing September’s +.4 with an October -.5 (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7” dips from fifth to sixth.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” answers with a +.8 to 6.8 (#8 to a four-way tie at #3, 6+). A loss of one-tenth in June interrupted three consecutive increases that netted +1.3 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). Repeating at #9, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is +1.7 in four successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Cleveland’s “Fan” was a combined -1.8 in three straight (March through June) setbacks (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN returns 80% of September’s +.5 (3.2 – 2.8, -.4, 6+) but continues at #13; September’s 3.2 is its best 6+-showing since February’s 3.6.

Cleveland Music Formats – In five straight down or flat trends between March and August, WZAK lost roughly 40% (-4.1) of its 6+ AQH share (10.1 – 9.6 – 8.1 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.0, 6+). The Radio One urban AC bounces back in September and October though with a collective +1.5 (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5, fifth to second, 6+). WZAK reached the top spot in December 2017, but fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. It is just three-tenths behind iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits,” which is #1 for the fifth consecutive sweep but erodes in October by -1.5 (9.3 – 7.8, 6+). That loss brings to a halt four straight improvements that – ironically – generated an overall +1.5 (7.8 – 8.4 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 9.3, 6+), Eleven recent WMJI fluctuations include: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); -1.5 (May); +.6 (June); +.6 (September); and -1.5 (October). When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016 (10.8). Co-owned adult hits WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” falters by six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9, 6+) to stumble from fifth to eighth, while CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains at #12.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, 6+) KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” progresses from ninth to sixth. When the Entercom news/talk outlet notched a +.7 in August, it halted five straight February through July decreases that accounted for a -1.7 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” advances by four-tenths as well (2.2 – 2.6, 6+), climbing from #19 to #18. While it remains at #23, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three down or flat reports that accounted for a loss of two-tenths (.7 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). Not only does Union Broadcasting’s WHB double (+2.0) its 6+-share in five straight increases (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), “Sports Radio 810” vaults into the top ten (#16 to #10). WHB was -.9 in February; +.9 in March; an overall -2.0 in April and May (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+); and now +1.2 in October. This is its highest 6+-share March (4.0, as well). Up four-tenths (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” inches up from #15 to #14. KCSP more than doubled its 6+-share with a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, 6+). Returning the three-tenths it gained in September (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR falls from #12 to #15.

Kansas City Music Formats – There is apparently no stopping Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station,” which is #1 for the fifth month in a row and an overall +2.6 in five straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6, 6+). Furthermore, this is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since December 2017 (9.6, as well). By posting a one-half share increase (3.2 – 3.7, steady at #13, 6+), CHR cluster-mate KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” has its best 6+-showing (3.7) since November 2017’s 3.9. Unchanged at #3, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a cumulative +2.0 via three upticks in a row (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). In six consecutive Holiday 2017 – June 2018 monthlies without a loss, “The Rock” was a combined +1.7 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) before dropping seven-tenths in July. No sooner had Steel City Media’s KBEQ gained six-tenths in September than “Q-104 New Hit Country” erodes by twice that much in October (5.6 – 4.4, -1.2, fifth to ninth, 6+). “Q-104” was off a combined nine-tenths in July and August (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+), after being up or flat in seven straight December 2017 through June 2018 sweeps for an overall +2.0 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” (sixth to eighth) is a combined -1.7 in September and October (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). KFKF improved by six-tenths in July (5.9 – 6.5, 6+). When “Country 94.1” posted a one-half share increase in May, it erased the -.5 it recorded through three decreases in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). The market’s other country FM – Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” – is down or flat for the sixth straight time for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+) but continues at #10. Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is a combined -2.7 in seven successive March through October declines (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4, third to fourth, 6+). “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” was #1 in March, April, and May. Declining by one-half share each are Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point,” a collective -.8 in four straight down or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.8, #10 to #12, 6+) and alternative sibling KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” (3.2 – 2.7, #13 to #17, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to October’s +.6 to 6.1 (sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” shakes up its extremely steady March – September topline of 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.5 (6+). Seventh-ranked in January with a 4.4 (6+), RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” stopped subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM survey.  The station reappears in a huge way by trotting out a +1.1 (5.6 – 6.7, #4, 6+). Returning September’s +.2 (.9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” drops from #14 to #16. After being without a loss for three months in a row for a net gain of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU plummets -1.1 to 3.5 (seventh to ninth, 6+). Whereas September 2018’s 4.6 is its strongest 6+-stat since 4.7 in August 2017, October 2018’s 3.5 is its softest since October 2017’s 3.4.

Columbus Music Formats – A cumulative +.9 in three up or flat trends (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Displaying gains of six-tenths each are One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River,” which bounces back from September’s loss of six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, steady at #8, 6+) and Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Q-FM 96 – Iconic Rock” (6.5 – 7.1, unchanged at #3, 6+). Similar to the situation with “The River,” WLVQ’s hot AC cluster-mate – WVMX “Mix 107.9” – answers September’s -.6 (3.3 – 2.7, 6+) with a one-half share increase (3.2, #10 to #11, 6+). Notwithstanding that it falters by one-half share (15.0 – 14.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the tenth consecutive sweep and has been in double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017. When WCOL eroded by -1.2 in August, it concluded five consecutive increases for an overall +4.0 (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5 – 15.7 – 16.3, 6+). Among the major fluctuations for “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” this calendar year are +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); and -.5 (October). Holding down the runner-up slot for the tenth sweep in succession is WCOL’s CHR sibling WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” (9.4 – 7.8, -1.6, 6+), although this is its weakest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016 (7.8, as well). WNCI was +1.3 in June; a collective -1.8 in July and August (10.7 – 10.0 – 8.9, 6+); +.5 in September; and -1.6 in October. Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” falters by an overall -1.4 in September and October (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3, fourth to seventh, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive improvements that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

| January 31, 2018

Talking with Kellyanne Conway at the White House Radio RowTalk40.com News publisher Bryan Crabtree (center) and conservative media figure Robyn Walensky (right) interview White House spokesperson Kellyanne Conway (left) at today’s (1/31) White House radio row.  Crabtree tells TALKERS the administration-sponsored event at the Old Executive Office Building “included a few strategic radio and blogging hosts to be able to speak with cabinet and top White House officials in order to react to the State of the Union.”  Some of the other administration officials who took part included: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, among others.

It’s Official: WSCR Grabs Bulls by the Horns.  Seeking to shed unprofitable contracts, Chapter 11-ensconced Cumulus Media asked the bankruptcy court to allow it out of a number of deals that are losing money, including its WLS-AM, Chicago contracts to air Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox games.  Now, one of those contracts is void after the Bulls and Entercom agreed to terms to air the NBA club’s games on its sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  The announcement was made on this morning’s “Mully & Hanley” show with market manager Jimmy de Castro and operations director Mitch Rosen breaking the news.  The first Bulls game on WSCR will air on Saturday (2/3) as they play at the LA Clippers.  The question that remains is where will the White Sox end up?  At Tribune’s WGN, at ESPN’s WMVP, or somewhere else?  Stay tuned.

WXDE, Salisbury-Ocean City, Delaware Adds Talk Pro Ed Tyll to New Program Lineup.  Salisbury-Ocean City news/talker WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” announces another addition to its new lineup as talk radio pro Ed Tyll joins to host the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Recent arrival Rob Sussman is hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.  Sussman had been serving at KBUR, Burlington, Iowa as news director.  Station programmer Dan Gaffney continues as morning personality and Susan Monday – whose show is simulcast to Delmarva Broadcasting sister station WDEL, Wilmington – airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.   Gaffney states, “Ed Tyll is one of the most passionate talk show hosts I have heard and it is exciting to hear his energy blasting out of the speakers from WXDE.  And, if anyone ever wanted to know where the next generation of great talk show host talent is, we have that too in 26-year-old Rob Sussman!”

TALKERS News Notes.  The January cable news/talk numbers are in and, according to a report by TVNewser, FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity led all competitors in total viewer average with 3.27 million.  FNC had seven of the top 10 cable news/talk shows in January in total viewer average – Tucker Carlson finished #3 and Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle” was #4.  In the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was #1, edging FNC’s Sean Hannity 678,000 to 660,000.  The rest of the adults 25-54 top five were “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (597,000), “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (518,000), and “The Ingraham Angle” (504,000)…..Former FOX News Channel and Talk Radio Network star Andrea Tantaros is continuing her legal battle against FNC, now claiming that the late Roger Ailes used a closed circuit video system to view female staffers changing their clothes in the wardrobe department.  This amended complaint is part of Tantaros’ ongoing allegation that FNC engaged in retaliation against her.  For its part, FOX replied to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, saying, “Fox News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn.  None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself.  Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”

Jim Bohannon Celebrates 25 Years of Nightly Program.  Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is pictured above celebrating his 25th anniversary hosting his eponymous Westwood One radio talk show.  Bohannon took over the time slot back on January 29, 1993 from Larry King.  Bohannon’s staff surprised him with a special celebratory broadcast that included: a customized montage, a surprise call-in greeting from Larry King, plus congratulatory messages from Westwood One personalities Dennis Miller, Charles Osgood, and Michael Savage.   Check out the audio here.  Westwood One EVP news & talk Bart Tessler comments, “It’s been a highlight of my career working with Jim over a very fast 25 years and producing programs with him across the country and around the world.  Jim Bohannon has long been the standard bearer for a great talk show host: intelligent, informed, passionate, and funny. Congratulations to Jim on a superb 25 years.”

1,000 Smackeroos for PodcastOne Staffers.  In celebration of the new corporate tax rate, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the company is awarding $1,000 bonuses to all of the company’s full-time employees.  Pattiz says, “There’s no question that cutting the corporate federal tax rate to 21% will have a positive effect on business, ours included.  We want our employees to feel the direct benefit of these cuts, especially since because of their efforts we are coming off another record year in 2017.  So, we say, ‘Thank you’ to our dedicated staff and ‘job well done.’”

State of the Union Address, Trump-Russia Probe, Andrew McCabe Resignation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, FISA Abuses Memo, U.S.-Turkey-Russia Relations, Flu Epidemic, Anti-Military Teacher Rant, Super Blue Blood Moon, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; the tenuous relations between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter’s attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria and Russia’s involvement in Turkish policy in Syria; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the viral video of a Los Angeles-area teacher’s rant about U.S. military policy in which he called U.S. soldiers “the lowest of the low”; Wednesday’s rare “super blue blood moon”; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Joins Trustworthy Accountability Group.  In an effort to improve transparency and combat criminal activity in digital advertising, Cox Media Group announces it is now a participant in the TAG Registry by the Trustworthy Accountability Group.  TAG is a digital industry program created to fight fraudulent traffic and improve transparency in the digital ecosystem.  TAG Registered companies have been verified as legitimate participants in the digital advertising industry through a proprietary background check and review process powered by Dun & Bradstreet and approved by TAG.  TAG Registration is also the baseline requirement for companies to apply for TAG’s four certification programs around fighting fraudulent traffic, stopping ad-supported piracy, reducing malware, and improving transparency.  Vice president of CMGdigital Joe Weir comments, “Reliable data, transparency, and a brand safe environment are very important to Cox Media Group.  We are committed to delivering quality inventory for our advertisers and our participation in the TAG Registry is a sign of that commitment. The digital ad supply chain is very complex and can be challenging to navigate. The TAG Registry is an important tool for companies to confirm they are doing businesses with legitimate counterparties in the digital advertising space.”

Doing Relief Aid in Haiti.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president news & talk programming Tom Tradup with a group of children in Citi de Soleil, Haiti.  Tradup is working with the relief organization Food For The Poor.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career MovesRAMP24/7.com reports that KINK, Portland program director and afternoon drive host Sean Demery is recovering from a brain-stem stroke suffered on January 20.  Demery has been programming the Alpha Media triple A station since March of last year.  RAMP published the following: “It is with heavy hearts but positive spirits that the family and friends of Sean Demery…would like to inform you of his recent medical issue.  Sean suffered a brain-stem stroke on January 20.  We are told that Sean’s spirits are good, as he’s been requesting his favorite bands, checking in on KINK daily, and conversing with family and friends and checking email and texts.  There is a long road to recovery ahead for Sean, and we ask for your continued support, positive thoughts and prayers. Sean’s wife Jennifer has asked that you check in on Sean’s Facebook page for updates and to post supportive messages, videos and photos for Sean.  We also ask that you respect the privacy of Sean’s family and please direct your messages, posts and well-wishes to the Facebook Group.  Hearing from his friends and listeners is the best therapy he can receive, so thank you!”…..Los Angeles CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP Radio” adds Chelsea Briggs to the morning show with Edgar Sotelo and Brian MooteEntercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Chelsea is a social media superstar and we are thrilled to bring her unique personality to the new ‘AMP Morning Show’ with Edgar and Brian.  Their chemistry is unparalleled and I’m confident that the three of them will create sensational mornings for our listeners.”  Briggs has most recently been serving as a correspondent for Billboard News…..iHeartMedia and KGB, San Diego morning personality Bob Buchman come to terms on a contract extension to keep him working alongside Coe Lewis on the classic rock morning station.  KGP program director Shauna Moran states, “Bob has been a vital piece of our programming puzzle here in San Diego and we look forward to more successful years.  Bob and Coe have been a favorite of the rock radio morning commute and we are excited that it will continue.”…..Chelsea Alayne is the new morning host at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers “93X.”  She takes over the daypart from Spam, who exited in December of 2017.

CHR KZIA, Cedar Rapids Owner Killed in Deadly Auto Crash.  According to a report by KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, KZIA Inc. owner Robert Norton Jr. was driving the wrong way on I-380 when he struck a car driven by 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain.  Both were declared dead at the scene.  Norton’s company owned and operated CHR KZIA “Z102.9,” sports KGYM, and adult hits KZIA-HD2/K236AA.

Friday, January 12, 2018

| January 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2017

Tribune Makes Management Changes at WGN-AM, Chicago; Manley Rises to Station Manager.  There’s a new management structure in place at Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Yesterday (12/13), the company announced that VP of content and programming Todd Manley is being promoted to station manager and WGN-TV/CLTV president and general manager Paul Rennie will now have the radio station under his purview.  Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert made the announcements in a statement, making official changes to WGN-AM’s management for the first time since Jimmy de Castro exited the VP/GM position last fall.  De Castro is now serving in the same capacity at Cumulus Media’s Chicago operations.  Tribune is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose other radio properties are three stations in Seattle (including news/talk KVI and news KOMO-AM/FM).

Nielsen: News/Talk Top Format of 2017.  As the chart above indicates, ratings giant Nielsen Audio’s analysis of the AQH share ratings of radio stations across all the PPM markets shows that news/talk was the top format for all listeners (6+) in 2017.  Nielsen reports, “Overall in 2017, News/Talk improved on its success from last year, as did Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) had a down year compared with 2016, but it remained the top-ranked format in terms of audience share among kids 6-11, teens 12-17, Millennials aged 18-34 and persons 25-to-54. And listening to Urban Contemporary stations (also known as hip-hop) was much more prevalent among younger audiences, whereas News/Talk radio (the No. 1 overall format each year in PPM markets) rises dramatically as we age.”

Cumulus Launches Alex Skills for 300 Stations.  The company says it worked with XAPP Media on the rollout of Amazon Alexa skills for “300 local radio stations, popular Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas radio skill, Christmas Radio.  This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.”  Cumulus Media adds that “this week marks the kick-off of a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion.  Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership.”  Cumulus EVP of programming and content Mike McVay states, “Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car.  Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”  EVP corporate marketing/president Westwood One Suzanne Grimes adds, “At an aggregated network level, we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem.  We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”

PBS Severs Ties with Tavis Smiley After Sexual Misconduct Allegations.  This story was first published in Variety.  It says that PBS has “indefinitely suspended” distribution of the “Tavis Smiley” program that is produced by Smiley’s own company, TS Media.  After hiring an outside law firm to investigate, the public broadcaster states, “This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley.  The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”  Smiley’s talk radio program was syndicated by Public Radio International from 2005 through 2013.  Daniel Holloway’s Variety piece says, “The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said.  Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.  In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment.  Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”

Lewandowski Packs House at WPHT ‘Speaker Series.’ WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) interviews former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski during a standing-room-only appearance at the latest installment of the “WPHT Speaker Series.”  Zeoli says the capacity crowd heard insider tales from Lewandowski’s best-selling book, Let Trump Be Trump.

TALKERS News Notes.  Newsman Connell McShane leaves the “Imus in the Morning” show.  He replaced Charles McCord as the news anchor on the legendary program after his May 2011 retirement.  Don Imus delivered a glowing farewell “thank you” to McShane on the occasion of his final day with the show…..A change takes place at the executive level at the Radio Advertising BureauSharon Friedlander is named vice president, insights, effective January 2.  She takes over for Annette Malave who is leaving the RAB to pursue other interests.  Friedlander most recently served as partner/director at media planning agency MEC.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “We are extremely fortunate to have Sharon Friedlander join us at a time when insights and analytics have never been more important or more available for media, specifically, radio.  We’re delighted for Sharon to represent RAB throughout the research community, partner with RAB’s senior team, and to provide invaluable resources to RAB members.”…..SiriusXM is airing a schedule of 38 college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins this Saturday, December 16, with a lineup of six games.  The National Championship game is Monday, January 8 at 8:00 pm at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Doug Jones Victory, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Omarosa Exits White House, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate; the Republican tax reform plan’s effects on taxpayers; new allegations of sexual impropriety against politicians and celebrities; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Onée Manigault-Newman exits her White House position; and NFL/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.  Urban programming pro Ken Johnson returns to New York to serve as program director for Cumulus Media’s urban AC WNBM “Radio 103.9.”  He’ll continue his role as VP of urban formats for the company.  Johnson was PD when Cumulus launched the urban AC format on the station.  Since April of 2015, he’s been operations manager for the company’s urban AC WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7.”  Cumulus New York president and market manager Chad Lopez states, “Everyone at WNBM 103.9 and Cumulus are excited to have Ken Johnson back in New York.  Ken’s expertise and experience in this format will only continue to build a very strong loyal listener base and grow audience.”…..Two more iHeartMedia alternative rock stations pick up Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show,” featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based morning show will be heard on WOLT-FM “ALT 103.3, Indy’s Alternative” and WDTW-FM “ALT 106.7, Detroit’s New Alternative” beginning January 3…..After two years hosting mornings at Townsquare Media’s country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak,” Dave Winsor messages his fans that he’s left the show.  “I’m no longer with ‘103.7 THE PEAK.’  The company did the best it could within its power to keep the show going, but it’s not to be.  Where will I go?  Who knows.  But, I’ll always be grateful to you!”

Friday, June 24, 2016

| June 24, 2016

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Annual Conference a Success in Atlantic City.  The 69th annual NJBA convention just wrapped up two-days at Caesars Atlantic City (6/22-23) and by all measures was a successful event.  Several hundred broadcasters from the Garden State and beyond gathered to discuss the state of the radio NJBA convention logo artindustry both regionally and nationally.  The theme of the conference was “The Power of Broadcast” and it included sessions on programming, sales and technology as well as an awards ceremony, Hall of Fame induction and radio row.  TALKERS/RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay was in attendance and provides coverage of the sessions and speakers.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

manley, toddWGN Extends Its Programming ‘Man’ Through 2019. Six-year vice president of content and programming for Tribune Chicago talker WGN, Todd Manley will continue in that role through (at least) December 2019. WGN Radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Todd makes it fun to come to work every day. He is a content musician that drives our incredible spoken-word content across a multitude of platforms.” ManleyWGN Radio remarks, “I am in awe of the effort our personalities and producers put forth each day. They are each driven to make sure WGN listeners never ever miss a story. I am grateful to Jimmy de Castro and [president, Tribune Broadcast Media] Larry Wert for the commitment to continue building this great team.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “I am so pleased to hear this news. Todd Manley is one of the most thoughtful and creative programmers in the talk field today.” Manley’s prior titles at WGN include imaging director and creative director. Before joining the station, he was program director/brand manager of KTRS, St. Louis. In addition, he has worked at cross-town Chicago outlets WXRT (as director/creative content) and WCKG (as production/imaging director). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s May 2016 PPM survey period, WGN ranks seventh (3.7); CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.4 (6+).

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Three. In the third of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; flagships by league/division; and he unveils a new component to this overview. More than twice as many MLB flagships are in their markets’ top five in May (31%) versus March (14%). Average (6+) year-to-year decreases of MLB flagships in March, April, and May though far outweigh typical increases. See the third installment of this exclusive special feature piece regarding MLB flagships here.

Orlando Mass ShootingMedia Outlets Seek Access to Orlando Shooting 911 Calls. Nearly two-dozen media organizations filed a lawsuit Thursday (6/23) against the city of Orlando asking for the release of city phone recordings related to the mass shooting earlier this month at the Pulse nightclub. The suit challenges the city’s contention that those calls are exempt from public records laws because they record the killing of a person. The media consortium argues that the Orlando shooting is similar to the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a Connecticut court ruled that related 911 calls were not confidential despite state laws that restricted the release of child abuse records. The media organizations argue that, “There is strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy. To be sure, the news media do not approach this petition with any preconceived notion that the city somehow acted inappropriately. Indeed, the audio recordings may well serve to substantiate and justify any action taken.” The city of Orlando made its own filing with the court, arguing release of the recordings is exempt under Florida public records law and that the FBI says releasing the recordings could damage the ongoing criminal investigation into the attack that left 49 people dead.

ruble, michaeltownsquareTownsquare Media Atlantic City & The Shore Officially Names Ruble Market President. It is “official,” in that, Michael Ruble had been market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media‘s Atlantic City & The Shore’s (New Jersey) properties on an interim basis. He now handles both of those responsibilities without the “interim” prefix. Senior vice president of operations Rob Williams notes that, “Mike has been an exceptional leader in Atlantic City for years, building a terrific team that has consistently performed at a high level. In Toms River, we have a team with significant strengths and talents; wonderful brands; and the foundation to grow to new heights with Mike’s leadership.” Three of the company’s Monmouth and Ocean County stations include talkers WOBM-AM, WADB, and WPGG. The rest of its outlets in that area are adult contemporary WOBM-FM “Soft Rock 92.7”; hot AC WJLK “The Point”; AC WFPG “Lite Rock 96.9”; sports WENJ “97.3 ESPN“; hot AC WSJO “SOJO 104.9”; classic rock WCHR “The Hawk”; and WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.” Ruble joined Townsquare Media five years ago as market manager-general sales manager. He previously was a market manager-general sales manager with Millennium Radio Group; national sales manager for Citadel Broadcasting; and an account executive with Spring Broadcasting.

sportsshopWDNC, Raleigh Shifts Reese & Kmac to Mornings.  The midday “Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” is moving into morning drive on Capitol Broadcasting’s WDNC, Raleigh “The Buzz.”  According to Capitol’s sports radio operations manager Dennis Glasgow, the program will be the first African-American sports talk morning show in the Raleigh-Durham market.  Glasgow comments, “We’ve wanted to bring more diversity to our listeners that would reflect the Raleigh-Durham population, and we will do that by bringing a very entertaining and energetic show with ‘The Sports Shop.’”  Reese & Kmac replace “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren & Demetri.”  The company says Mike Maniscalco and Demetri Ravanos have exited the station but Lauren Brownlow will continue regular, on-air appearances on both WCMC-FM “The Fan” and “The Buzz.”  In addition to her radio appearances, Brownlow will continue to contribute to WRALSportsFan.com. “The Sports Shop” will be made available via WRALSportsFan.com and with the WRALSportsFan App.

brexit“Brexit” Fallout Felt in U.S. Following yesterday’s “Brexit” vote by Brits to separate from the European Union (Thursday, 6/23), several major United States-based media companies such as Fox, Viacom, Netflix, and Apple opened their stateside trading days down billions of dollars in stock valuation. Netflix and Apple though were among those surging back within the first 10 minutes of the U.S. trading day. The Pound dropped to its lowest valuation in decades, and stock prices overseas sunk.  British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down, vowing there will be a new PM in place by October. In a statement of support from the White House, President Barack Obama comments, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Given economic implications domestically and abroad, this is bound to be among talk radio’s biggest topics today.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the TALKERS TenTM.  At #2 was the gun legislation push in congress tied with the investigation into Omar Mateen and the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Following at #3 was the Supreme Court’s deadlock on a challenge to President Obama’s immigration executive orders, and at #4 was Thursday’s “Brexit” vote by Britons.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

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