Tag: "Joe Getty"

Friday, March 1, 2019

| March 1, 2019

Cumulus Assumes Operation of Entercom’s Indy Stations; Initial Staff Cuts Take Place. The recent deal that will see Cumulus Media take over ownership of three of Entercom’s Indianapolis stations enters the LMA phase.  Cumulus took over operations at 12:01 am (3/1) and staff being let go were told of their dismissal.  According to Blaine Thompson of Indiana Radio Watch, gone from sports talk WXNT is program director and afternoon drive host Kent Sterling.  He’d been with the station since 2014.  Also exiting their posts are social media coordinator Chelsie Nickell and adult contemporary WNTR-FM afternoon personality and APD Kari “KJ” Johll.

‘Big Al’ Williams Exits ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Sports talk personality Alfred Williams, a.k.a. Big Al, leaves his role with Bonneville’s KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The station says via social media that “Alfred ‘Big Al’ Williams has chosen to leave the station effective today.  We thank Alfred for his many contributions during his years with The Fan and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”  He hosted “The Drive” with Darren McKee.  Unknown at this time is who will join McKee on KKFN’s afternoon show and whether or not former Broncos linebacker Williams is soon to pop up on another Denver sports talk station.

Armstrong & Getty Out Front on Call for Firing of UC Davis Prof. The story of University of California Davis professor Joshua Clover’s statement, “Police officers need to be killed,” is making national news but it’s happening right in the backyard of KSTE, Sacramento-based, nationally syndicated talk hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  The University has condemned the words of Clover, but Armstrong & Getty are calling for his dismissal from the school.  The duo hosted the school paper’s associate opinion editor Nick Irvin on their radio show for a discussion about the story that you can hear here.

WLS-AM, Chicago Adds Jenniffer Weigel to Mancow Morning Show. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Windy City media personality Jenniffer Weigel is joining WLS-AM’s morning show alongside host Erich Mancow Muller as sidekick and traffic reporter.  Weigel is an author, broadcaster, and journalist who most recently was serving with the Chicago Sun-Times as director of community development and a content contributor.  Another accomplished Chicago media personality – former WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – sat in with Mancow in late January auditioning for a contributor role on the program.  It’s unclear if Weigel’s position (she begins on Monday, March 4) is the same one for which Pielach auditioned.

WABC, New York/Westwood One’s John Batchelor Battles Cancer While Continuing His On-Air Work.  Late night radio host John Batchelor has been handling his duties at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and Westwood One‘s affiliate stations while dealing with the effects of surgery and radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer that affected his tongue and, consequently, his ability to speak without effort.  Batchelor’s ordeal is the focus of a piece in the current edition of the publication Princeton Alumni Weekly.  Batchelor is a 1970 graduate of the Ivy League school.  He had surgery back in early November and that was followed by six weeks of radiation treatments that took a toll on his voice.  All the while, Batchelor was determined not to let it affect his work at WABC.  He intends to follow through on the plan to take his show on the road to Azerbaijan this month.

Entercom Responds to SAG-AFTRA’s Public Statement.  On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine reported a statement from the SAG-AFTRA union that its members working for Entercom in the Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco markets are disappointed with the company’s proposals for new union contracts.  Specifically, the union says they are unhappy the company is “seeking to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non-local shows.”  Entercom has replied with the following public statement it shared with TALKERS magazine. “We are incredibly proud of the award-winning work of our on-air teams and value their contributions to the company and the communities we serve.  We have been negotiating with SAG-AFTRA in good faith to reach fair agreements.  These discussions include contracts that had been open for years prior to our merger with CBS Radio, as well as more recently expired agreements.  We prefer to negotiate directly with SAG-AFTRA and our employees, not publicly, and do not intend to comment further.”

Sean Hannity Airs Exclusive Trump Interview. Nationally syndicated radio star and FOX News Channel personality Sean Hannity traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam to cover President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.  Hannity was able to meet with the president for an exclusive interview and a portion of that was broadcast during his Premiere Networks radio program yesterday with additional coverage airing on his FNC program last night (2/28).  Hannity also broadcast from Singapore during last year’s first summit between the two leaders.

TeleSouth Closes on Biloxi Station Group. The deal that transfers ownership of six Biloxi, Mississippi radio stations from Alpha Media to TeleSouth Communications for $2.5 million has closed.  The stations are: sports talk duo WANG-AM/WTNI-AM, rock WCPR-FM, hip hop WGBL-FM, adult hits WQBB-FM, and CHR WXYK-FM.  As noted back in December when the sale was first announced, TeleSouth already owns news/talk WOSM-FM that airs the company’s “SuperTalk” format heard on 11 other stations across the state.  To comply with FCC ownership caps, TeleSouth will divest of WXYK-FM.  Kalil & Co., Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Lineup Changes Announced at WKRD, Louisville. Sports talk WKRD, Louisville “Cards Radio 790” announces that “The Red Zone with Nick Coffey” moves from the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot to mornings, airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, effective immediately. Taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart is FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”

WGY, Albany Launches ‘Upstate Unsolved’ Podcast. The new iHeartRadio Original Podcast “Upstate Unsolved” is hosted by iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany reporter Phoebe LaFave.  It investigates the March 2, 1998 disappearance of University of Albany student Suzanne Lyall that remains unsolved.  The debut episode is airing on WGY at 5:00 pm on March 2 with new episodes posting every Thursday on iHeartRadio.

Bill Clark to Be Honored with Lowry Mays Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The 2019 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award will be given to Bill Clark – the previous president of Shamrock Broadcasting and chairman of Chancellor Broadcasting – at the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 10 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  As president of Shamrock Broadcasting’s radio division, Clark created one of the first ‘super groups,’ decades before consolidation.  Under his leadership, Shamrock grew from nine radio stations to 21, with outlets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis.  When the company was sold to Chancellor Broadcasting, Clark was named its chairman with responsibilities for both radio and television.

Michael Cohen Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 25 – March 1.  The congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  Coming in at #3 was the status of the Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the trade war with China at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

A Powerful Conversation Connecting the Dots Between Robert Kraft, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Huawei, 5G and the Chinese Communist Party’s Unrestricted War to Control the World.  The story about New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ensnarement in a Florida police sting busting a prostitution ring prompted TALKERS publisher and Pats fan Michael Harrison to produce a special installment of his weekly podcast inspired by the event.  Harrison states, “I annually spend a few months during the winter at my home and office in the small beachside town of Jupiter, Florida.  That’s where I was on Friday, February 22 – the day a local news story of national interest rocked the community…Robert Kraft getting busted for patronizing an allegedly illicit massage parlor operating under the seemingly innocent name, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, just one mile from my home here.  At first, the story seemed like another celebrity gossip story…a rich, powerful man gets in trouble for breaking the law regarding the victimless crime of prostitution – fodder for snickers and sports talk show speculation.  But it didn’t take long before the underlying seriousness of the story began to surface – the issue of sex trafficking and the broader issue of human trafficking.  It seems this so-called day spa was suspected of employing the services of female sex slaves – some possibly underage.  Whether Robert Kraft understood or cared about the connection of his activity to this nasty subject is to be determined at another time and another place. My thoughts on it, however, immediately turned to the China connection on human trafficking and its broader implications in the ongoing story of US/China relations – the Donald Trump trade war, the tariffs, the meeting this past week between US and Chinese leaders working toward a trade agreement, the impact of the giant Chinese telecom company Huawei at the recent MWC Barcelona in Spain, the world’s leading mobile electronics trade show, and the role of that murky technological innovation called 5G in determining who will in fact control the world going forward into the 21st century.”  Harrison turned to his “go-to” guy on US/China affairs, Joshua Philipp, to be his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Philipp is a senior investigative reporter at the New York-based, multi-language, international news organization The Epoch Times that specializes in keeping tabs on the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a fascinating and remarkably informative conversation that is a must-listen for talk show hosts and reporters seeking to gain a better understanding of a complex web of intrigue that significantly threatens United States national security.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Suzi Hanks exits her role on Houston classic rocker KGLK where she was a cast member on “The Dean and Rog Show.”  Hanks spent 17 years with the Cox Media Group station in a number of programming capacities.….The “BOB FM” format returns to the Panama City, Florida market after last October’s Hurricane Michael damaged Powell Broadcasting’s WASJ-FM, knocking it off the air.  Powell sold the station to Gulf Coast Broadcasting who is returning the Envision Networks-repped format to the station’s air.  Gulf Coast owner Sam Rogatinsky says, “We faced multiple hurdles getting these stations back up, but we are now ready to have fun and we invite the local community to call us with feedback.”…..Westwood One announces that Country Radio Hall of Famer Steve Harmon is the new morning host on its 24/7 Mainstream Country format, effective on Monday (3/4).  Harmon has served with KPLX, Dallas; WXTU, Philadelphia; KNIX, Phoenix and earned a CMA “Major Market Personality of the Year” award…..Pictured below is WAY-FM Mid-South regional manager & Dallas/Ft. Worth general manager Tim Dukes and his wife Susan posing for a photo with former President George W. Bush at a recent fundraiser held in Austin, Texas.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  See how stations performed (6+) compared to the Holiday 2018 survey, compared to January 2017, and where stations ranked in their respective markets here.

Cool Morning Radio Opportunity. There’s a full-time morning show opportunity at Connoisseur Media’s rock WPLR, New Haven on the “Chaz and AJ” show.  The company seeks a passionate, open, digital savvy, connected talent as the third voice, traffic reporter, and guest booker for “Chaz and AJ.”  This morning show personality must be a creative thinker and have the ability to be topical, relevant, connected, and authentic in their on-air work and connected to the demographics of PLR.  This candidate will also be expected to book guests, stay on top of current events, pitch topics/stunts and show arcs as well as build a relationship with the major players in the Connecticut political, entertainment, and news world.  Qualifications include: a minimum of 3 years on-air (TV or radio) experience; deliver traffic reports; an understanding of all aspects of social media; interact with the public at major events and an ability to demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor in/outside of the radio station; and more.  If you are a qualified candidate, send a 3-minute demo with your resume and salary requirements to: connoisseurctjobs@gmail.com with “CHAZ AND AJ” in the subject line.

Friday, January 25, 2019

| January 25, 2019

Brad Hardin Rises to COO for National Programming Group. The new title for iHeartMedia executive programmer Brad Hardin is chief operating officer for the National Programming Group.  In this expanded role, Hardin will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman.  He’ll continue to manage programming efforts for the company’s radio brands and provide a vast array of national programming assets, services, and resources to local programmers across the U.S.  He’ll also oversee iHeartMedia’s executive vice presidents of programming, the brand management in-house format team, talent development, research and marketing.  Poleman says, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Brad in leading the programming for our stations.  His extensive programming experience gives us tremendous insights into the nuances of station dynamics and opportunities.  I’m excited to get to collaborate with him for years to come as we continue to grow iHeart’s programming.”  Hardin has served iHM in programming leadership roles for more than 20 years.

iHeart’s WONK-FM, Washington Adds ‘Armstrong & Getty’ for Evenings. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” morning show – with hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – grabs an East Coast affiliate as Entercom’s new DC news/talker WONK-FM adds the program to the schedule in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  “Armstrong & Getty” has been airing on affiliate stations in the West for years and recently announced plans to expand nationally. WONK-FM launched earlier this month on WWDC-HD2 at 101.1 FM and W284CQ at 104.7 FM.  Program director Michael Czarnecki says the station is “a contemporary approach to delivering a ‘wonk-centric’ and uniquely DC view of the news.”

DC’s ‘Sports Junkies’ Airing in Hampton Roads Market. When Entercom announced the re-signing of the morning drive “Sports Junkies” show (John Auville, Eric BickelJason Bishop, and John-Paul Flaim) that airs on sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington, it noted the program would seek to add affiliate stations in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now, Sinclair Communications (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting) adds the program to its Hampton Roads sports talker WTAR-AM/W243DJ, Norfolk.  The program will replace FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage” with Clay Travis and the 9:00 am hour of the Dan Patrick show.  Sinclair’s Bob Sinclair says, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Sports Junkies’ to Hampton Roads and add them to our already stellar lineup. The show has been one of the best sports programs in the country for over 20 years and provides amazing coverage of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and more.  And with so many of our listeners being fans of those teams, they will fit in perfectly here in the 757.”

Bo Mattingly Radio Show to End. Arkansas sports media pro Bo Mattingly is ending his 12-year-old regional sports talk radio show to focus on podcasting and video. Mattingly’s radio show is heard on KARN-AM, Little Rock “The Sports Animal” and several other stations in the state.  It’s produced by his Sport&Story company.  The show will wrap after the February 28 edition. Mattingly says, “Our plans include producing premier content for sports fans all over the world, starting right here in Arkansas.  As part of our expansion, it has become obvious that Razorback fans want more. This format will allow us to give Arkansas fans content in a way they’ve never had it before.  It’s time to take the next step.  We are investing all of our access, interviews, and resources into giving Hog fans a whole new experience, filled with insights, stories they can tell and so much more.  As a company, we’ve always been interested in producing creative content beyond radio. I look forward to the new stories we are going to be able to tell on these wide-reaching platforms, but our listeners and Razorback fans will always be important to us and we remain committed to developing local content for them in exciting new ways.”

Zaslowsky Upped at WGN-AM. Four-year White Sox radio network staffer David Zaslowsky is promoted to manager and executive producer of the WGN Radio Sports Network.  In this role, Zaslowsky will oversee relations for the WGN Radio White Sox Radio Network of 15 affiliate stations, coordinate feature content on the network, and integrate play-by-play talent and White Sox personalities into WGN Radio’s daily programming.  WGN begins broadcasting Chicago White Sox games from Spring Training on February 23.

RTDNF Names 2019 First Amendment Award Honorees.  The Radio Television Digital News Foundation will honor the recipients of its 2019 First Amendment Awards at a ceremony on March 13 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC.  This year’s honorees are: First Amendment Award: CNN; First Amendment Service Award: James Goldston, ABC News; First Amendment Leadership Award: David Begnaud, CBS News; Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Shepard Smith, FOX News; First Amendment Clarity Award: 2018 “Road Warriors” of NBC News; Lifetime Achievement Award: Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – Tegna; Citation of Courage: Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post and the journalists of The Capital Gazette.

TALKERS News Notes.  –  The annual Infinite Dial study will be released on March 6 at 2:00 pm during a live, online broadcast.  The study from Triton Digital and Edison Research is “the longest running study of consumer behaviors related to media and technology in America.  As in previous years, the study will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Americans, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, video, mobile, social media, and more.”…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs program is added to the air at Beasley Media Group’s WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Talk” in the mid-afternoon daypart…..SiriusXM announces the launch of a new show starring Georgetown University head basketball coach Patrick Ewing.  He’ll co-host “Center Court with Patrick Ewing” with broadcaster and former NFL player Rick “Doc” Walker on ESPNU Radio.

The Government Shutdown and Postponed SOTU Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 21-25.  The ongoing federal government shutdown and the related postponement of the State of the Union address were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation, including Michael Cohen’s Senate Intelligence Subcommittee subpoena and Roger Stone’s indictment, followed by the Covington Catholic Washington, DC incident at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Cool News Gig in Los Angeles; KNX Seeks Full-Time Anchor. All-news KNX 1070 Newsradio in Los Angeles is looking for a full-time news anchor who can tell relevant, compelling stories with a credible and empathetic style. Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced, all-news environment and cover every type of story, including breaking news. Must be a strong writer of engaging content and have an authentic, conversational sound. This person will also be proficient in editing and packaging news, audio, and interviews. The next KNX anchor will understand how to integrate social media and digital assets into their daily routine. Must have a minimum of 5-plus years’ experience anchoring or reporting news. For details and to apply, click here.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Calling All Missouri Broadcasters. The Missouri Broadcasters’ Association is trying to get the word out that it is seeking aircheck recordings of any Missouri station as part of its radio history preservation project.  Radio pros who worked in Missouri wishing to donate personal airchecks can contact Terry Harper at tharper@mbaweb.org.  Recordings from the St. Louis and Kansas City markets will be distributed to organizations in both markets that are preserving their local histories, and those from outstate Missouri stations will be digitized, cataloged and preserved by the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK brings market radio pro Gordy Dysinger aboard to serve as production director, effective March 4.  Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula says, “I grew up listening to Gordy as a kid in Buffalo and his knowledge and professionalism will be a great help to our company, listeners, and advertisers.  Gordy believes in truly creative radio, not cookie-cutter material.  I am honored to be working beside him.”  Dysinger’s radio career in Buffalo began in 1977.  He worked for a long period as creative services director at iHeartMedia’s crosstown classic rock WGRF, rock WEDG, and classic hits WHTT…..Programming pro Jay Michaels announces he’s been named program director for Cumulus Media’s hot AC KQHN, Shreveport, Louisiana “Q93.7.” He takes over for Gary Nolan, who exited the post last year to move closer to family…..At Rubber City Radio Group’s country WQMX, Akron, morning personality Sarah Kay adds assistant program director duties to her responsibilities at the station…..The United Stations Radio Network-distributed “Billy Madison Show” is added to the program schedule at Magic Broadcasting’s rock WYYX, Panama City, Florida “97X.”…..Pictured below is Seton Hall University alum Christina Stoffo (fifth from the left) at the school’s student-run station WSOU, South Orange, New Jersey with members of the station’s staff.  Stoffo is a Total Traffic & Weather Networks air personality who is heard regularly on WHTZ “Z100,” WKTU, WAXQ “Q104.3,” WWPR “Power 105,” WKXW “NJ 101.5,” and more.  Her visit to her alma mater was arranged by WSOU news director Bob Towey and is the first in a series of talks and workshops by industry professionals taking place throughout the spring semester.

“Holiday” 2018 PPM Data – Part Three. “Holiday” 2018 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2018 survey period covered December 6 (2018) – January 2 (2019). See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – As a result of three down moves in succession (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is a collective -1.5 and falls from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.2 in October and November – its best 6+-showing since August 2016 (2.2, as well) – iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” is off by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #19. A collective +.3 in October and November (.8 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” forfeits a collective four-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

A combined +.9 in August and September (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” is now an overall -1.4 via four consecutive decreases (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). It remains tied with Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which (like “The Fan”), is down for the fourth consecutive time, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, #22 to #23, 6+). Elsewhere in the sports talk format, after logging three increases in a row for a +.3 (.4 – .5 – .5 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KPOJ “Sports Radio 620”/Portland Trailblazers flagship regains the one-tenth it lost in December (.7 – .6 – .7, #27 to #26, 6+).

While it repeats in the runner-up slot, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB sputters by -1.2 to 8.1 (6+), thus completely erasing the collective +1.2 it earned in five straight up or flat trends (8.1 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.9 – 9.2 – 9.3, 6+). December 2018’s 9.3 is its best 6+-stat since March 2018 (9.5). KOPB had been on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); and now -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018).

Portland Music Formats – Topping December’s +3.2 with a +4.8 (8.2 – 11.4 – 16.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” continues at #1 with its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9). Prior to a November 2018 loss of six-tenths, “K-103” was +1.6 via four successive reports without a loss (7.2 – 7.7 -7.9 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+). Powered by a (6+) December 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 increase half that of KKCW, Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” (3.2 – 5.6, +2.4, 6+) catapults from #14 to #3. A December -1.1 by “Charlie” obliterated its October and November +.7 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). It is tied at #3 with co-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock,” which replicates December’s half-share improvement (5.1 – 5.6, fourth to third, 6+). Entering the December sweep, KGON was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately prior to that negative streak, “Portland’s Classic Rock” had been without a loss four straight times for a +1.6 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+). By displaying an increase of +1.0 to 1.1 (#34 to #22, 6+), Mount Hood Community College District jazz outlet KMHD wipes away its full-share loss via four straight negative moves (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .1, 6+). All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is up seven-tenths to 3.4 (#16 to #11), its best 6+-showing since August (3.4, as well). An erosion of -1.6 (7.0 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+) by KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” takes the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet below a six-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018’s 5.5. Faltering by -1.2 (each) are Alpha Media CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” (3.9, fourth to eighth, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” (3.6 – 2.4, 6+), which fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). “Live 95.5” had been a collective +1.1 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). After more than doubling (+2.3) its 6+-stat in four straight up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), “The Fish” dropped four-tenths in December. Within three-share range in each of the last ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KXJM “Jam’n 107.5” forfeits eight-tenths to 2.3 (#15 to #17, 6+). Immediately following its December gain of seven-tenths, Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” returns one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+). Prior to December, KINK was a collective -1.7 in October and November (5.8 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s 6+ country share shrinks by -1.2: Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” is a cumulative -1.9 in seven straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.7,#11 to #15, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is off one-half share to 3.3 (6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). With the loss, “The Bull” suspends three straight upticks that netted +1.4 (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+). Before the October sweep, “The Bull” was -1.6 in three straight months without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a combined +1.4 in October and November (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders half that gain (-.7) in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.6, flat at #12, 6+). November’s 4.3 is the highest 6+-share for the flagship of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers since February 2018 (4.3, as well).

Nearly tripling (+1.0) its 6+ share through six straight up or flat moves (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” is anchored at #19. This particular streak follows four straight sweeps without an increase for the key station of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets that resulted in a -1.1 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.1 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Off nine-tenths (2.7 – 1.8, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” nonetheless continues at #17. Via three straight decreases, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is down four-tenths (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC an overall +7.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 8.0 – 12.9, 6+),“K-104.7 More Music/Better Variety” repeats at #1. This (12.9) is the highest 6+-showing by any Charlotte station since “Holiday” 2015, when WKQC logged a 13.2. In a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” (ninth to fifth) is 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7 for a collective gain of six-tenths. In addition to WOSF, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WLFJ “His Radio” is up one-half share in “Holiday” 2018 (.3 – .8, #20, 6+). At the same time, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted  WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” surrenders in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (3.0 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Entering the December sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 6.1 (steady at #4, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” pulls the plug on five straight negative moves that accounted for a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+). “V-101.9” was +1.4 in May; -1.2 in June; and +1.2 in July. Following eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” forfeits roughly one-third of that bounty (6.6, -1.2, 6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Trending  4.7 – 5.0 – 4.7 (October-November-December, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (seventh to tenth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat in exactly one year (3.8, “Holiday” 2017). Entering the November sweep, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” was an overall +1.1 in four successive months without a loss (6.0 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). It has been a dramatically different story though in December and “Holiday” 2018 as “The Kat” is a combined -2.3 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, while it remains at #3, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. An October loss of two-tenths ended four straight up or flat reports that netted a +1.5 (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia’s WRFX is a collective -1.7 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” advances from sixth to fifth.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from December’s -1.1 with a gain of three-tenths to 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk and San Antonio Spurs’ flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). WOAI’s November loss of one-tenth halted at three its consecutive string of improvements that yielded a +1.0 (3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+). Unchanged at #22, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” has a July 2018 – “Holiday” 2018 topline of: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 (6+).

Down or flat for the fifth straight report for a -.4 (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” drops from #28 to #29.

After four consecutive up or flat trends netted KSTX one full-share (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+), the Texas Public Radio news/talk outlet is now a combined -.9 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, #12 to #16, 6+).  

San Antonio Music Formats – A “Holiday” 2018 boost of +5.4 by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT surpasses its December +5.2 as “Q-101.9” repeats at #1 (4.3 – 9.5 – 14.9, 6+). Especially noteworthy is that KQXT’s “Holiday” 2018 14.9 is the highest 6+-share by any San Antonio station in the PPM-era. Prior to December, “Q-101.9” was down a collective two-tenths through three straight sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” dials up a +1.0 (2.2 – 3.2, 6+) and zooms from #18 to #13. Substituting December’s one-half share loss with a “Holiday” 2018 increase of the same magnitude (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” advances from #18 to #16. December’s 2.2 is its lowest 6+-showing since January 2018 (2.2, as well). Regional Mexican sibling KROM “Que Buena 92.9” is a collective -1.3 in three consecutive down or flat survey periods (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1, fifth to seventh, 6+). In back-to-back reports, Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want” slumps by a combined -1.8 (5.3 – 4.6 – 3.5, seventh to tenth, 6+). Slipping from fifth to sixth, Cox Media Group’s KTKX “106.7 The Eagle – San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” has a setback of one full-share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+). The wild country ride continues in this Texas market as Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” was +.9 (August); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); and now -1.1 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.2 – 5.1, flat at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Its format foe – iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” – was +.5 (September; -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); and now -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.0 – 6.0 – 6.0, unchanged at #4, 6+). After all that, the two combatants, which were separated by two-tenths in December, are now one-tenth apart. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is nonetheless an overall -2.8 via four straight setbacks (8.8 – 8.3 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.0, 6+). Prior to dropping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. When “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” lost one-half share in October, it halted at four a consecutive string of increases that yielded a +2.2 (6.6 – 7.0 – 7.7 – 7.8 – 8.8, 6+).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being off a cumulative nine-tenths in three straight declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK progresses from fourth to third. “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was +1.4 in October (5.6 – 7.0, 6+). An overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+), co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” erases that margin completely in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, #13 to #14, 6+).

Tied at #23 are Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #22 to #23, 6+) and Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140,” which is without an increase for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of four-tenths (1.3, 1.3 – 1.2 – .9 – .9, #25 to #23, 6+). After doubling (+.8) its 6+-share since August (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), KIFM-AM surrendered six-tenths in December.

Five successive sweeps without a loss netted KXJZ a +2.4 since July (4.5 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+), but the Capital Public Radio news/talk station forfeits one full-share to 5.9 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Flat at #26, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI returns the one-tenth it gained in December (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Off four-tenths in November, Entercom adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” nearly doubles December’s +2.6 with a “Holiday” 2018 +5.0 (6.2 – 8.8 – 13.8, 6+) and repeats at #1. This (13.8) is the highest 6+-share by any Sacramento station since “Mix” logged a 14.2 in “Holiday” 2017. As of early-November (2018), “Mix” has a new direct competitor. That’s when iHeartMedia transitioned KBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” to adult contemporary “92.5 The Breeze.” KBEB had been up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September-October-November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). In the “Holiday” 2018 report, “The Breeze” dials up a seven-tenths’ increase to 3.1 (6+) and continues at #13. While KBEB is no longer in the country arena, Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” and Entravision Communications-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” carry on there. A combined -.9 in August and September (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), KNCI followed with three straight gains for an overall +1.5 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.7, September-October-November-December, 6+). That instantly vanishes though in “Holiday” 2018 as “New Country” is 5.7 – 4.2 (-1.5, fifth to seventh, 6+). Meanwhile, KNTY returns the three-tenths it gained in December (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+) and continues at #15. December’s 2.3 is the best 6+-stat for “The Wolf” since June 2018’s 2.5. On top for ten (10) consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters by eight-tenths (8.2 – 7.4, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); and -.8 (“Holiday” 2018). Co-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is off one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, flat at #6, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording its best 6+-stat (4.7, December 2018) since February 2018’s 5.3, Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” forfeits seven-tenths to 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” a combined -.9 in November and December (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.5, 6+), picks up three-tenths to 5.8 and carries on at #5. Having posted either a .1 (6+) or a .2 (6+) in 19 consecutive ratings periods, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG was up one-tenth in December to .3 (6+), but “970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” returns it in “Holiday” 2018 (.2, -.1, #23 to #19, 6+).

Even though it wipes away December’s four-tenths’ increase with a one-half share loss (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” remains at #11.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Without a loss for the third time in a row for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” is on top for the 23rd consecutive ratings period. This (13.6) is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. An overall +4.6 as the result of five straight upticks (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.3 – 6.8 – 7.7 – 9.9, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” progresses from fourth to second with its highest 6+-stat (9.9) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. A one-half share increase (1.4 – 1.9, 6+) takes WQED Classical Multimedia’s WQED “Classical 89.3” from #16 to #14. A December loss of one-half share by WDVE suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, the iHeartMedia-owned rocker plummets by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+) and segues from third to fourth. WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. Three significant shifts in a row find Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM – We Play Anything” going from a -.5 (November); +1.7 (December); and now a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (8.7 – 7.7, second to third, 6+). In December 2018, “Bob” had its best 6+-performance (8.7) since December 2017’s 9.0. The market’s (6+) country share erodes by -1.1 as Entercom-owned WDSY “Y-108” Pittsburgh’s Country” is off one-half share (ninth to tenth), while iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s #1 For New Country” sputters by six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+). “Y-108” is now a collective -1.6 via four straight dips (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). With their (6+) December 2018 info in parentheses, four Forever Media properties once again disappear from print: country WOGG (1.4, #16); classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.2, #18); country WOGI (1.2, #18); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (1.1, #20).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Faltering by -.6 and -1.4, respectively, are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (5.2 – 4.6, stable at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 3.3, 6+), which departs the top ten (#6 to #12). KSL was +2.4 in October to 7.2 (#1), its highest 6+-share since April’s 8.1, but then -1.8 in November. KNRS was a combined +1.0 in October and November (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+) and had its strongest 6+-showing (4.9) since March 2017’s 5.6.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” sputters by seven-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+).

A combined -.8 in September and October (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), University of Utah news/talk KUER picked up one-tenth (November); forfeited two-tenths (December); and dips three-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 2.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Emphatically underscoring its approval of the all-Christmas music strategy, Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” registers its third straight increase and repeats at #1. Its overall improvement since October is a staggering +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) and KSFI is the only station in the 36 PPM-markets whose information we’ve seen so far to reach the 20-share level (6+). As astonishing as these numbers are, “FM 100.3” is actually down from a year ago (23.2, “Holiday” 2017). Among the many SLC outlets impacted by its “Holiday” 2018 stats is Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which is -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+) yet actually improves from tenth to ninth. Its December decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted a +1.8 (2.7 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). In four successive sweeps without a loss, cluster-mate KHTB gains nine-tenths (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+), as “101.9 Alternative Utah” enters the top twenty at #16. In addition to adding two-tenths to 3.3 (6+) thus applying the brakes to five consecutive decreases that accounted for an overall -2.8 (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). There is another wild fluctuation for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.1 (October); +1.5 (November); -1.4 (December); and now -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 4.4, second to sixth, 6+). In calendar year 2018, KODJ held sole possession of the top spot or was tied for the lead in June, July, August, September, and November. Its September gain of three-tenths halted three straight decreases that accounted for a one-half share loss (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). It has been an interesting period as well for co-owned hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” which was a combined -.8 in October and November (4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+); +.7 (December); and now -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 (4.6 – 3.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). Flat at #5, iHeartMedia CHR KZHT “97.1 ZHT – Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a collective -1.4 in four negative moves in succession (5.9 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+). Sliding by six-tenths as well in “Holiday” 2018 is Broadway Media-owned adult hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7” (2.8 – 2.2, #13 to #16, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” regresses by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Z-104” has been -.7 (June); -.5 (July); +1.1 (September); and +.5 (November).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a 1.9 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” is off three-tenths to 1.6 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). In three (slight) dips in a row (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is off by a collective four-tenths and carries on at #25.

Having doubled (+.5) its 6+ share through four up or flat trends (.5 – .6 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” falters by a combined three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (1.0 – .8 – .7, #26 to #28).

In six consecutive increases, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR netted a +1.3 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), but is now off an overall three-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – On top for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” is a combined +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+). Prior to being #1 from September through “Holiday” 2018, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. This (12.8) is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. Without a loss in seven straight survey periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” progresses from fourth to third; 5.5 is its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). A boost of six-tenths to 4.2 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Spanish adult hits sibling KWID “La Buena 101.9” suspends three straight down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5,” which was a combined +1.1 in November and December (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), surrenders eight-tenths to 2.7 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Entercom hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” are -.5 (November); +.6 (December); and now -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (6.0 – 5.3, third to fourth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to five consecutive increases, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM was an overall +1.9 (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “News 96.5” has now surrendered a combined -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, flat at #10, 6+). November’s 5.2 is its best 6+-performance in more than a year (6.1, September 2017). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is -1.6 in five straight declines (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #12, 6+). Its +1.0 in August curtailed three straight decreases that resulted in a -1.8 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+). Having nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+-share as the result of four successive sweeps without a loss (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate WFLF is now a cumulative -.9 in three successive slips (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #15, 6+).

After faltering by eight-tenths in December, Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” is unchanged in 6+ share (.6) and 6+-market rank (#23). It is again tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) of its 6+ AQH share in four straight down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6, steady at #23, 6+).

Down eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” slips from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – Outdistancing December’s +4.0 with a +4.5 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat (14.3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. Without an increase the past five sweeps for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” erases that deficit with a gain of eight-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). When Entercom hot AC WOMX lost three-tenths in December, it halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Mix 105.1,” however, bounces back in “Holiday” 2018 with an increase of seven-tenths to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ loss (7.1 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” spirals by -1.1 to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+). In November 2018, WMMO was up seven-tenths to 7.1, its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 8.1. Skidding from sixth to seventh, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is a cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). By regressing eight-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to ninth, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” ends its repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 sequence of 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 (6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” is off six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, 6+) yet advances from ninth to eighth. A combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100” repeats in the runner-up slot, after spending the previous 11 ratings periods at #1. WRUM’s +.8 in December halted at three a consecutive string of downturns that resulted in an overall -3.5 (11.6 – 10.1 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Off by one-half share as well in “Holiday” 2018 is University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 Jazz & More” (1.3 – .8, #17 to #20, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Recent shifts for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW include a combined +2.0 (January and February); -1.0 (March); +1.6 (April); -1.2 (May); -1.4 (September); +1.7 (October); -.8 (November); and now a whopping -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.6 – 7.4, second to fourth, 6+). The flagship of MLB’s Reds and NFL’s Bengals spent six consecutive months at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. October’s 10.8 was its highest 6+-share in more than two years (10.8, as well, June 2016). Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” falters by three-tenths in consecutive sweeps (3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+) yet improves from #11 to #10. July’s eight-tenths’ increase stopped four straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+).

Sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” is unchanged from December in 6+-share (1.0) and 6+-market rank (#17).

Continuing at #13, Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has lost nine-tenths through five successive sweeps without an increase (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – On the strength of an astonishing +.6.3 (8.3 – 14.6), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98.5” – which was +3.1 in December – jumps from third to first. Furthermore, December 2018’s 14.6 by “Warm” is the highest 6+-share by any Cincinnati station in the PPM-era. Displaced from the top spot – after a December-only stay – and segueing to third is co-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR (9.9 – 8.1, -1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to its current -1.8, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+), with December’s 9.9 its strongest 6+-stat since March 2018’s 10.4. By dialing up a +.7 to 5.0 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” puts an end to its October-November-December 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 (6+) trending. Despite being a collective -2.6 owing to five successive down or flat trends (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” continues at #5. The last three fluctuations for iHeartMedia CHR WKFS are +.7 (November); -.7 (December) and now (another) -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.4 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+) as “Kiss 107.1 Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). In advance of November’s +.7, “Kiss” recorded six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall -1.5 (4.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). This is the third successive sweep without an increase for Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). After posting a September 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 (#20, 6+), Grant County Broadcasters’ classic country WNKR disappears from print. In August, WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM an overall -2.6 in three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Regaining the four-tenths it lost in December (5.4 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom’s WKRK  jumps from tenth to seventh. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After gaining two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN plummets by -1.1 to 2.1 (6+) but stays at #14.

Cleveland Music Formats – A robust +2.8 (7.9 – 10.7, 6+) boosts iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI from third to first as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is in double-digits (6+) for the first time since February 2018’s 10.3. Even though WZAK is up three-tenths (8.4 – 8.7, 6+), the Radio One urban AC shifts from first to third. A collective +2.8 in three straight increases (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), WZAK dropped four-tenths in December. Nearly matching December’s +2.6, Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is +2.1 (8.2 – 10.3, 6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. “Cleveland’s Star 102” is one-tenth shy of its 10.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. In advance of the December sweep, “Star” was off eight-tenths in three negative moves in a row (6.4- 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). Since resurfacing in print in October, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM “95.5 The Fish” is trending 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#11 to #7, 6+). In July, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WAKS-HD2 popped on with a .1 (6+), but then failed to appear in the next five reports. It is back though in “Holiday” 2018 with a .7 (#17, 6+). Co-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” is a collective -3.7 through five consecutive decreases (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Immediately after posting a December increase of seven-tenths, adult hits sibling WHLK “106.5 The Lake – We Play Anything” plummets by -1.2 (6.9 – 5.7, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that iHeartMedia cluster, WMMS “100.7 – Cleveland’s Rock Station” has its third setback in succession for a -1.3 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.8 – 3.3, #13 to #12, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” (5.2 – 4.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – In the Entercom cluster, news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” is a combined -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #14, 6+), while co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share over the course of the last two sweeps (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, flat at #20, 6+). KMBZ-FM was a combined +.7 in October and November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), while KMBZ-AM was up four-tenths in October. Climbing from #23 to #22, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 (6+).

Flat at #12, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+-share in six straight upticks (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, is a combined -.5 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Following an October gain of four-tenths, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” loses nine-tenths in three straight decreases (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+).

The collective eight-tenths that University of Missouri news/talk KCUR picked up in November and December is all but wiped away with a “Holiday” 2018 decrease of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – A December gain of nine-tenths by Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC is followed by a +1.9 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+) as “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” rockets from fifth to second. This (7.0) is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. By picking up one-tenth in December, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM applied the brakes to eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” – which was #1 in March 2018, April, and May – is +1.6 to 6.7 (fifth to third, 6+). There is plenty of activity in the country contest with Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” posting a +1.3 to 5.0 (#14 all the way to #5, 6+); cluster-mate KFKF “Country 94.1” a +.5 to 4.6 (steady at #9, 6+); and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” a -1.1 to 4.2 (#4 to #11, 6+). “Q-104” had been an overall -1.6 in three straight downturns (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), while “Country 94.1” was a collective -2.1 as a result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, #11 to #9, 6+). “The Wolf,” meanwhile, was a cumulative +1.3 in November and December, after being an overall -.9 through six straight April 2018 through October 2018 sweeps without an increase (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). December’s 5.3 was the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since January 2018 (5.3, as well). In addition to being #1 for the eighth ratings period in succession, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” counters December’s -.7 with a one-half share increase (9.0 – 9.7, 6+). Its December decrease suspended six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). November’s 9.7 is the highest 6+-stat for the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship since July 2017’s 10.3. Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” is an overall +2.0 in four consecutive positive spikes (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). These last three sweeps have seen Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” crater by a collective -2.8 (7.5 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 4.7, second to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in November halted three straight increases that netted a +2.0 (5.5 – 6.5 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+).

Columbus

 Spoken-Word Formats – Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” has lost a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+), directly after an overall +.9 in three straight increases (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet – and flagship of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets – WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” has been +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December) and now -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, third to seventh, 6+). Continuing at #18, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Even though it is off two-tenths (3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU advances from ninth to eighth. Immediately prior to the October sweep, WOSU had a net gain of seven-tenths via three straight up or flat monthlies (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.6, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – On the heels of December’s eight-tenths’ improvement, iHeartMedia adult hits WODC tacks on a +2.9 (5.8 – 8.7, 6+) as “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” drives from seventh to third. Its December increase curtailed three consecutive dips that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). That particular streak immediately followed four consecutive boosts that netted a +1.6 (5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+). Three consecutive upticks by Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” yield a +4.0 (5.9 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 9.9, steady at #2, 6+). This (9.9) is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.0. Bouncing back from December’s -1.3 with a gain of nine-tenths (3.8 – 2.5 – 3.4, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “Uplifting & Encouraging 104.9 The River” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Notwithstanding that it is a collective -5.7 through six straight downturns (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 13th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); and -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018). Four straight increases by Radio One’s WCKX netted a +1.2 (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), but “Power 107.5” surrenders one full-share to 2.9 (eighth to tenth, 6+).

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

| July 18, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on the June 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Across the PPM markets, only 25% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ AQH rise from the May 2018 survey to last month.  However, when comparing year-over-year numbers, 67% of sports talk stations realized gains in their 6+ AQH.  A look at market rank shows three sports talk stations in the top five in their respective markets with three Entercom stations – WXYT-FM, Detroit; KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; and WFAN-AM/FM, New York ranking #5 (WFAN’s #5 ranking was in the Middlesex-Somerset-Union market).  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Hubbard’s Marc Kaye Stepping Down After 45-Year Career. Seattle vice president and market manager Marc Kaye is retiring from Hubbard Radio and the radio business after a 45-year career that started at WGBB, Long Island – then owned by Susquehanna Broadcasting – as an account executive.  Kaye says, “I promised myself that when I hit the 45-year mark in the great business of radio, I was going to get a bit selfish and consider that milestone was enough to prove I have given it my all.  I am looking forward to spending a whole lot more time with my wife and see what new challenges and chapters I can write as I move forward.  I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best and for this I am very grateful.” Kaye rose quickly through the ranks at WGBB, becoming general manager at age 27.  At the same time his sales career was beginning, he held on to his sports broadcaster dreams by working as the radio voice of the St. John’s University basketball team and working for the brand new (at the time) cable sports channel, ESPN.  During his career he managed in markets including: St. Petersburg, Houston, Seattle, Tampa and Los Angeles for companies such as Harte-Hanks, Westinghouse, Gannett, and Jacor.  Hubbard chair Ginny Morris comments, “Having the opportunity to work with Marc Kaye has been one of the great delights of my career.  Marc’s positive spirit, creativity and passion for life made working with him a great joy.  Marc will be very hard to replace but we are very happy that he will stay in his position through the transition and will help us find his replacement.”

iHeartMedia Chicago Appoints Steve Vicenteno VP of Automotive. Most recently with Chicago Tribune Media Group as sales director, Steve Vicenteno joins iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region as vice president of automotive. In this position, Vicenteno will be responsible for “overseeing automotive sales opportunities for the Chicago region that deliver a strong return on investment for clients reaching consumers through iHeartMedia’s unmatched assets, including on-air, online, social media, personalities and live events.”   Vicenteno says, “I’m really excited to join the team at iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring my media and auto sales experience to such a reputable and vibrant organization. I’m ready to get started!”

We’re #24!  KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated morning duo Armstrong & Getty are pictured above in a still from a recent video the duo made celebrating their place on the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred 2018 list.  They say, “TALKERS has acknowledged ‘The Armstrong & Getty Show’ as the 24th most influential talk show in the entire U-S of A!  Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty wish to thank TALKERS, while complimenting them on their good taste and extraordinarily fine judgement!”  See the hilarious video here.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “The Talk Rumble.”  Today (7/18), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s 16th installment is the panel discussion titled “The Talk Rumble.”  It is moderated by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon; introduced by WABC, New York host, Curtis Sliwa; and featuring panelists WPHT, Philadelphia host, Dom GiordanoWYD Media host, Thom HartmannDC Radio Company executive director, Victoria JonesUSA Radio Network host, Wayne Allyn RootFox News Radio host, Todd Starnes; and WOLB, Baltimore host, Larry Young.  Already posted:  the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb;  the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Air Staff for UConn IMG Radio Network Named. Hartford sports talk outlet WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford’s Sports Station” is carrying University of Connecticut play-by-play and the UConn IMG Radio Network is announcing the talent covering contests this school year.  Bob Joyce will serve as executive producer and voice of UConn women’s basketball.  Mike Crispino, five-time Emmy-winning broadcaster will serve as the voice of UConn football and men’s basketball. Wayne Norman returns for his 37th season as the color analyst for UConn football and men’s basketball, along with Debbie Fiske – a former UConn Women’s Basketball player – who will return for her seventh season as the color analyst for UConn women’s basketball.  Adam Giardino joins the team as the sideline reporter for UConn football and color analyst for UConn hockey.  Former Husky athlete Randy LaVigne rounds out the UConn IMG Radio Network broadcast team.  UConn coverage on the iHeartMedia station begins August 1.

Trump-Putin Meeting Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, NATO Meeting Fallout, Illegal Immigration Policy, Obama in South Africa, MGM Sues Las Vegas Victims, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18). The aftermath of President Trump’s Helsinki meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the international reaction to President Trump’s appearance at the recent NATO meeting; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; former President Obama’s tour of Africa and his comments about the state of world politics; reaction to MGM’s suit to prevent victims of last fall’s Las Vegas shooting from suing it; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game 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. Denver radio personality Denise Plante joins iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull” as midday host.  iHeartMedia Denver Region president Tim Hager says, “Few names in Denver are as recognizable as Denise Plante. She’s a best-in-class personality who has a knack for connecting with listeners and business leaders in a meaningful way.  I’m thrilled to welcome Denise to the iHeartMedia family and I look forward to watching her grow with the largest media company in the land.”…..In the San Jose market, Alpha Media names Nancy Newcomer production assistant and air personality at classic hits KBAY “94.5 BAY FM” and sister hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.”  She previously was midday personality at classic rock KUFX, San Jose “KFOX.”  She says, “I’m thrilled to make ‘94.5 BAY FM’ my new radio home.  The South Bay has been good to me and I can’t wait to get back on the air.  Thanks to Dave Numme, Lori Hereen and the entire Alpha Media crew for welcoming me into the fold.”…..Dick Broadcasting adds midday duties at alternative WKZQ, Myrtle Beach for Josie Cothran.  She also handles the midday program at the company’s CHR WKZL, Greensboro…..Saga Communications’ urban contemporary WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” adds the syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings,” starring DeDe McGuire to the program schedule for morning drive…..Pictured below is Big Machine Records recording artist Carly Pearce (right) with “NASH Nights Live co-host Elaina Smith (left) at the NASH Campus in Nashville.  Pearce spoke with Smith for her new “Women Want to Hear Women” podcast with NASH Country Daily.  In addition to talking openly about what it’s like being a woman in country music, Pearce did two exclusive performances for the podcast – a cover of Dolly Parton’s classic “9 to 5” and her own current single, “Hide the Wine.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

| August 22, 2016

Bernadette Duncan’s Highly Anticipated Book About Talk Radio, Yappy Days, Released Today.  The long-awaited book is provocatively titled, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) and it is receiving rave reviews from readers inside and outside the industry.  For example, Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon writes, “How good is a bernadettebookquarterback without the left tackle who has his back?  For 26 years, producer Bernadette Duncan was left tackle for some of the biggest quarterbacks in talk radio.  From the Super Bowl egos to bone-jarring clashes, Bernadette takes you inside the talk radio huddle. Yappy Days is an MVP – most valuable publication.”   Written by the veteran talk show producer and wife of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, it chronicles her 26-year career in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dramatic decades (1983-2009) – set against the backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 realities when in one fateful day, talk radio went from its post O.J. Simpson default of covering celebrity murder mysteries (Gary Condit, Jon-Benet Ramsey, etc.) to an obsession with the reality and ongoing threat of civilian mass murder at the hands of terrorists.  She worked for some of the biggest names in the business during their glory days – Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and many more.  She captures through anecdotes and gentle analysis her experiences being a news/talk producer at ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and United Stations Radio Networks as well as local New York City radio landmarks, WMCA and WOR.  In addition to dishing insights into “the character of characters,” including literally hundreds of industry and newsmaker names in this extremely candid account, Bernadette makes a compelling case on behalf of the importance of the position of radio producer – which she describes as being “the most under-rated, under-paid and under-appreciated job in commercial media.”  Fox Radio and TV star Alan Colmes comments, “Yappy Days is a must read for anyone who ever produced or wants to produce media – and for anyone who ever consumes it.  More than a producer’s manual, as you travel with Bernadette on her exciting journey, you realize it’s a life manual as well.”  WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley adds, “I couldn’t put the book down.  Rarely, if ever do you learn about the radio and television industry from the inside out versus the outside in.  With integrity and a flair to properly tell a great story, Bernadette’s Yappy Days delivers the goods.”  Although she never worked directly with or for Rush Limbaugh, she interviewed him early in his career for the New York Daily News and crossed paths with him at several key junctures in his career, presenting a compelling study of his evolution in the chapter, “Brushes with Rushes,” that media consultant Holland Cooke describes as “nothing short of poignant.”  Bernadette kicks off a national radio/media tour this evening with a guest shot on the Jim Bohannon Show.  Producers and hosts interested in booking Bernadette Duncan on their shows can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To read a special review and feature story about the book by TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey posted today (8/22), please click here.   The book is available at Amazon.com.

Stigall Re-Ups with CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philly.  Signing a new, multi-year contract to continue hosting thestigallchris morning drive show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT is Chris Stigall.  Under the terms of the deal, Stigall will continue in his current role, as well as being the face of “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT” with charitable endeavors, events, and digital content creation.  Stigall says, “In a blink, five-and-a-half years have come and gone since we launched our show at WPHT.  In an ever-evolving industry, I can’t express how grateful I am to CBS RADIO Philadelphia’s leadership for their unflinching support and unwavering commitment.”

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty Show Added to Four New Cumulus Stations.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty” show adds four new Cumulus Media-owned stations to its growing roster of affiliates.  iHeartMedia produces Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty’s program which landed its first Cumulus affiliate earlier this year when venerable KGO, San Francisco added the morning drive program.  Now, KKAT, Salt Lake City; KTBL, Albuquerque; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; and KVEN, Ventura, California are picking up the program.

Cross Platform Media Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.  Former USA Radio Networks owner Cross Platform Media has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  The Sam Hassell-owned Cross Platform sold USA Radio Networks to Liftable Media back in October of 2015.  USA Radio Networks syndicates the growing “Trending Today with Rusty Humphries” program.  Triangle Business Journal lists Cross Platform’s assets at $1,200 with near $1.5 million in liabilities.

Former WJBO, Baton Rouge Morning Host Kevin Meeks Dies in Motorcycle Accident. The accidentmeekskevin that took the life of 60-year-old Kevin Meeks took place on Friday evening (8/19) in Baton Rouge.  The Advocate reports that Meeks turned in front of an oncoming vehicle while riding his Harley Davidson.  Meeks worked at WJBO from 1996 through 2015.  He co-hosted the morning show on the station with partner Matt Kennedy for 14 of those years.  Meeks was let go from the station in 2015.

The Presidential Race, Turkish Wedding Terror Attack, U.S. Race Relations/Milwaukee Cop Shooting Aftermath, Lochte Scandal/Rio Olympics, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the deadly attack on a wedding party in Turkey that claimed 51 lives; the state of race relations in the U.S. and the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man in Milwaukee by police; the unfolding truth about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte’s “holdup” in Rio de Janeiro and the wrap-up of the Olympic Games; and the Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck is taking part in the American Gospel Celebrationbeckglenn taking place in Louisville September 1-3.  The event is organized by Pastor John Hagee, founder of the San Antonio mega-church Cornerstone Church.  The Premiere Networks talk host will speak on September 3.  Hagee says, “Glenn Beck stands on the front lines of key issues facing America today and speaks boldly about the value of faith and freedom.  I can think of no one more fitting to join us as we celebrate these two foundational pillars of our nation at the American Gospel Celebration and as we schnitttoddhonor those who have sacrificed for us.”…..At CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas, the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Todd Schnitt show is added to the program lineup for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart…..KEIR, Idaho Falls host Mark Richardson is giving up the daily version of his “Probing America” show that airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm for a teaching gig at a local high school.  He’ll continue to host “Probing America” on the station Saturdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Southern Illinois Radio Group flips simulcast WINI, Murphysboro/W228DC, Carbondale, Illinois from news/talk to oldies as “COOL 93.5 and 1420.”…..KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Wayne Allyn Root is joining the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a columnist, appearing in the Nevada local section every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning September 7.

kinosianmikeProfile: Multi-Media Industry Player Jennifer Horn.  TALKERS magazine managing editor profiles industry pro Jennifer Horn, whose curricula vitae includes: vice president of affiliate sales & marketing for CRN Digital Talk Radio; cast member of “Good Day” with Doug Stephan; co-host ofhornjennifer “The Jen & Don Show” (with Don Dix); and cast member on KRLA, Los Angeles’ “The Morning Answer” with Brian Whitman, Ben Shapiro, and Elisha Krauss.  Horn, daughter of CRN founder Mike Horn, juggles all of these on-air gigs with her CRN position because she’s a radio lover going all the way back to her childhood, and because she enjoys being a woman on the radio able to express her opinions.  She says, “With experience on the air, you own your opinions and explain them in an eloquent way.  I feel as though I am just getting to that point in my career.”  Read it all here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

| September 27, 2012

Big Changes in Atlanta Talk Radio: Clear Channel to Flip WGST-AM/FM, Atlanta to Spanish or Comedy and Rush Limbaugh Moves to Cox’s WSB-AM/FM.  Exactly what format Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will flip longtime news/talk WGST-AM (which is simulcast on an FM translator at 92.3) to – whether it will be a Spanish format or a comedy format – remains to be seen.  But talk pro Rusty Humphries, who handled PM drive for the station is gone and Premiere’s Glenn Beck ran in his place Wednesday.  The status of morning hosts Rob Johnson and Dave Merlino is not known, however WGST is airing “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” in place of Johnson and Merlino.  Humphries, who hosts a separate program that is nationally syndicated via Talk Radio Network, tells TALKERS magazine, “It is always sad to see a news/talk facility such as WGST change to another format but I am grateful for the time I had there and was able to spend doing local radio in Atlanta.  The people at Clear Channel are fine people and I enjoyed working with them.  For me, the good news is that I will have a lot more time to devote to my nationally syndicated TRN program which is growing by leaps and bounds.”  Attempts by TALKERS to get response from Clear Channel management in Atlanta confirming the format change have not been successful.  Meanwhile, across town at Cox Media’s WSB-AM/FM, the station announces Rush Limbaugh, who is heard on WGST, will move to WSB beginning Monday, October 1.  At the same time WSB announces a new long-term deal with Premiere’s Sean Hannity for the PM drive slot and the return of “Atlanta’s Evening News” airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm hosted by Erick Erickson.  Cox Media’s Clark Howard will still emanate from WSB for his nationally syndicated program heard on some 200 affiliates across the country but will move to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot on WSB.  In order to accommodate the Limbaugh acquisition, the Neal Boortz program moves to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot.

Armstrong & Getty Return Today.  KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are back on the air this morning with Armstrong telling Sacramento TV station KTXL “Fox40” that the reason the duo was off the air on Tuesday and Wednesday was due to an “internal” reason and not because of their call to have listeners post cartoons, photos etc. that criticize Islam.  It had been widely reported the two had been suspended for the incident.  In fact, Armstrong tells the TV station the audio file of Monday’s controversial show will return to the online archives soon.  He says they will address the matter first thing today on the program at 6:00 am PT.

Talk Host Phil Valentine Decries Political Correctness.  Writing that the fear of offending those groups of people from which terrorists have sprung has put the shoe on the other foot and now the media is being terrorized, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine laments the state of the media in America.  He says, “I’ve often joked that the only two groups we in talk radio can get away with offending are the deaf and the Amish.  Other offenses might require throwing yourself at the mercy of Jesse Jackson or apologizing to some LGBT group.  Now there is an offense from which you may never come back and that is offending a Muslim.”  Valentine penned this piece for TALKERS after hearing about the case of Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  Valentine’s piece is an interesting look at the intersection of politics and media in our current age.  Read it here.

Media Blogger Rich Lieberman Stands By Ronn Owens Story.  Rich Lieberman, who operates the 415 Media blog, wrote a post recently predicting that KGO, San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens would have his contract – which expires at the end of this year – bought out and he would disappear from KGO early with the station moving in a newsier direction.  TALKERS reported this and Owens responded that Lieberman’s report is “totally made up.”  He also told TALKERS Lieberman has been attacking him for the past year for the changes that have taken place at KGO since Cumulus Media took over the station.  Now, Lieberman tells TALKERS he stands by his story.  “My sources are strong and I believe in them.  This has been a story I have sat on for nearly three weeks.  I finally went with it after talk and e-mailing Bay Area broadcast people familiar with the subject at hand.  I do NOT just dish out any speculation and innuendo without first trying to get it right.”  Apparently, only time will tell what the future holds for Ronn Owens at KGO.

20 Years and Going Strong.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here holding the pewter statuette of a classic radio microphone given to him by his staff in honor of his 20th anniversary in the talk radio business.  Ramsey’s “official” anniversary is tomorrow – September 28 – and commemorates the day he and some friends took to the air on WWTN-FM, Nashville in a brokered time deal with the then-bankrupt station.  On Friday, a special episode of the program will air and include well-wishes from celebrities, friends and family; glimpses into the party at Ramsey’s Financial Peace Plaza; a look back at the history of the show; and calls from long-time listeners and second-generation callers.  Video of the show will be streamed live online.   Ramsey says, “I’m still surprised and honored that people call me at some of the most difficult and personal moments in their lives.  Giving people hope for their future and seeing lives changed is why I do this every day.”  He also credits his team for helping him achieve the success he has.  “I didn’t do this on my own.  Our producer, Blake Thompson, associate producer, Lara Johnson, engineer Matt Aaron and many other people have made it what it is today.  I have the best crew in radio, and we’ve been together for a long time, which is unheard of in the radio industry.”

The Young Guns of Talk Radio.  Ask anyone, especially those working for the consumer media, and they’ll tell you that personalities working as hosts on news/talk stations are all old, white men.  Radio’s general lack of a “farm system” doesn’t help that misconception much, but the truth is there are young people – some men and some women – working in news/talk radio today.  TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey writes about some of the young broadcasters working in news/talk now.  Not all of them agree that by being young, they have the ability to attract a younger audience to the format.  But some believe it can be a factor.  KNST, Tucson host and PD Garret Lewis, for example, says, “The fact that I’m 35 and my friends are around my age gives me an advantage because I know what makes a person in their late 20s and 30s get fired up emotionally and what interests them.”  Hosts talk with Casey about the issues of the demographic, who inspired them, how they approach their programs and what, if anything, can be done to get young people into the talk business.  Read this story here.

Looking for Political Ad Dollars.  Getting those political ad dollars – even getting them late – is a nice boost to a station’s or group’s revenue.  TALKERS magazine managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian talks with Portland Radio Group president and general manager Cary Pahigian about status of political money.  Pahigian says if you’re not in a potential swing state, the numbers (at least for presidential dollars) for radio are not rosy – at least not yet.  “With the exception of a few states, there does seem to be a lull,” Pahigian says.  He says the same pattern has developed over the past few election cycles.  “Depending on the landscape and circumstances, television is first in line and radio is second.  Everything changes though if there are issues and/or a tight race going on.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s full story here.

Three Senators and a Hopeful.  WIBC, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison was visited by three U.S. Senators and one who hopes to become the next senator from the state of Indiana on his program on Wednesday during a campaign swing through the state capital.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: WIBC’s Todd Meyer, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Garrison, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Indiana State Treasurer and senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock, and Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).

Presidential Campaign Polls, Libya-al Qaeda Connection, Iran/Middle East Tensions, and NFL Referees Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The conflicting presidential election polls; the continuing query into the cause of the Libya terrorist attack; the state of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the political climate in the Middle East; and the status of the NFL’s referee situation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

| September 25, 2012

Bomb Scare Empties CBS Radio Los Angeles for More Than Two Hours.  The Wilshire Boulevard studios of CBS Radio’s Los Angeles stations, including all-news KNX and news/talk KFWB were evacuated from about 8:15 am to 10:45 am PT this morning after a promotional clock sent to the station raised suspicions, sent the staff into precautionary mode that brought police and medical personnel to the scene.  According to the Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan KNX and K-Earth simulcast sister all-news station in San Francisco, KCBS/740 AM.  The other stations switched to alternative programming from servers.  Shortly before the all-clear was given, KNX returned to the air full-time from emergency studios on the Paramount Studios lot.

WLS, Chicago’s Don Wade to Undergo Brain Surgery.  The morning duo of Don Wade and his wife Roma have been off the air at Cumulus Media’s WLS, Chicago for the past week and now Chicagoans know why.  The 71-year-old WLS AM drive host suffered a seizure on September 13 while in New York for his daughter’s wedding.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Wade will have the surgery to remove a growth from his brain during an operation scheduled for this Thursday and the duo will remain off the air for the next four to six weeks.  In the meantime, late-morning hosts Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft will sub on the morning show and Jake Hartford and John Kaas will host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program.

Northern California Hosts Armstrong & Getty Dive into Islam Controversy.  KSTE, Sacramento-based morning drive hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are putting out a call for not less but more criticism of Islam and the prophet Muhammad on the internet  — in a move that runs contrary to the wishes of the Obama Administration.  Jack Armstrong, responding to the riots and violence in the Muslim world in response to the short film titled, “Innocence of Muslims,” said on the program, “The only response to this is to flood YouTube and flood the world with cartoons, movies and songs saying bad things about Muhammad until they finally grow up.  In other words, free speech.”  He questions why the U.S. government is spending money airing ads with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton denouncing the video.  “I’m horribly disappointed that there are not thousands of Muhammad mocking videos out there on YouTube right now.”

Journal Broadcast Group Promotes Jeff Falconio to Full Time on WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Jeff Falconio has been hosting the “Wisconsin Sports Weekend” show on Journal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Now, he’s upped to a full-time position with the station taking over for Trenni Kusnierek (who left for a TV gig at Comcast SportsNet Boston) beginning October 1.  Falconio will handle sports anchor duties on the PM drive show on WTMJ and co-host the evening “Sports Central” program with Greg Matzek.  In a statement, program director Joe Scialfa says, “We are excited to have Jeff join the sports department in a full-time capacity.  Jeff has been a regular fixture covering Wisconsin sports for 15 years.  His passion for sports and knowledge of our Wisconsin teams make him the perfect person to continue the strong WTMJ sports tradition.”

More Staff Layoffs at Merlin Media’s Chicago Offices.  According to a report in Chicagoland Radio and Media, Merlin Media let go of most of the rest of its off-air staff that had been working at WIQI “FM News 101.1” prior to its return to a music format in July.  The site reports writers, reporters and producers Brad Robinson, Safa Eshmawy, Sarah Engel, James Edwards, Michael Cronin, Megan Buckley, Shannon Beverly and Shannon Ward were all released from their positions on Friday, September 21.

WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta Announces Weekend Program for Belinda Skelton.  The nationally syndicated Neal Boortz program – emanating from Cox Media’s news/talk giant WSB-AM/FM – is produced by Belinda Skelton (who calls it the “perfect job”).  Now Skelton will put her interest (and degree) in interior design and more into play as she hosts “Belinda Skelton’s Atlanta Lifestyles” beginning in January.  Cox Media Atlanta market manager Ben Reed defines the show: “Think of Pinterest, Martha Stewart or the Oprah brand where lifestyle can be defined by everything from food, wine and design to family, entertainment, and local events.”  On the new show, Skelton says, “I can’t think of something more perfect for me than this show.  This speaks to my core being and everything that excites me!”  Although Neal Boortz is retiring from full-time radio work in the new year, Skelton will remain his executive producer managing his daily commentary, appearances, and guest hosting duties.

Odds & Sods.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway fills in this Wednesday through Friday for Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean.”…..Talk radio pioneer Bruce Williams, who has been hosting a pre-produced program on the internet via his Made in America Broadcast Network, announces he’ll begin hosting live shows from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET starting tomorrow (9/26) and running for “a couple of weeks.”

NBC Radio’s “Miss Monitor” Dies at 89.  Dorothy Ruth “Tedi” Thurman passed away in Palm Springs, California at age 89 on Saturday, September 22.  Thurman was a model who came to fame as the sultry “Miss Monitor” on the old NBC Radio Network.  She held that position doing the weather from 1957 to 1961.  She also was featured as the weather girl on “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar beginning in 1957.

CNN Stevens Diary Controversy, Obama ‘View’ Appearance, Ahmadinejad Speaks at UN, and Presidential Polls Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The controversy over CNN’s reporting from the journal of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens after telling his family it would wait for permission; President Obama’s planned appearance on ‘The View’; Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the United Nations; and the latest in presidential contest polls were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.