Tag: "Joe Zarbano"

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

| September 13, 2017

WFAN’s Craig Carton Professes Innocence in Ponzi Scheme Allegations.  Making his first public statement since being arrested and charged with fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton said he is innocent of the charges against him.  His statement read, “I want to thank my family, friends and fans and especially Boomer [Esiason] for the outpouring of public and private support I’ve received over the past few days.  As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges.  My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.  Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes as I continue on with one of the greatest battles of my life.”  Esiason spoke on WBZ-FM, Boston’s Toucher & Rich morning program saying he is “lost and heartbroken” over the matter.  He said he spoke with Carton on Saturday and he is being supportive of Carton during this difficult time.  Carton’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, issued a statement saying Carton is a “victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.”

Francesa Won’t Turn His Back on WFAN.  Afternoon drive star Mike Francesa tells the New York Post that if WFAN is facing real programming trouble from the Craig Carton legal matter combined with his own pre-planned departure from the station in December he would not “turn my back on the company if I thought it was in trouble.  That’s something that had to play out in the weeks and months ahead.  And I don’t really know if it is [in trouble], so I don’t know if that’s going to mean anything.”  Some industry watchers have speculated that Francesa’s exit combined with Carton’s absence from the morning show could affect the most lucrative dayparts, putting CBS RADIO’s New York sports talker in a difficult situation.  Read the Post story here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey with today’s focus on sports talk radio.  The MLB playoff push and the ramp-up to the NFL season appear to have been good for sports talk stations with “roughly two of three stations (65%) on this sports talk panel up (6+)” from the July survey to the August survey.  But, a year-over-year comparison shows a different trend.  Kinosian notes that “more than half of these eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (53%) while 34% improve; the remaining 13% are steady.  No sports talk station ranked first in its market during the August survey – only CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit came close, finishing #2.  See the whole report here.

Larry Glover Moves to Middays at WVLK, Lexington.  Talk show host Larry Glover moves from the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Cumulus Media’s WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky.  At the same time, the Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante show moves to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  The daypart opened up after Lee Cruse — who also works at WLEX-TV — resigned his position with WVLK due to time constraints.  He hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Glover was the radio voice for the minor league baseball Lexington Legends for seven seasons.   In 2008, he was honored as the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier comments, “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK.  I’ve always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics.  He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

FCC Report Indicates 50 U.S. Mainland Radio Signals Still Off the Air.  Due to the loss of power and flooding from Hurricane Irma, there are still a slew of radio stations off the air, mostly in Florida.  The signals – including translators – are: In Florida — WMFM, WAXY, WDOZ, W227CP, W250BH, W274BB, W298BO, W300CL, WAQV, WFLJ, WJFH, W251BM, WROK, WAOA- FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WZTA, WSVU, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYGC, W240CI, W295BJ, W233AP, WMKO, WEAT, WMFL, WWFR, WJFR, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, W294AN, WNWF, WEJZ, WGNE-FM, and WJGO.  Georgia stations off the air are: WLFH, WHFX, WBGA, WGIG, WEKL and WGCO.  This report was as of yesterday at 11:00 am ET.  Some of these stations may have returned to air by the time you read this.

WEEI Presents $4.2 Million Check to Jimmy Fund.  This year’s 16th annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised $4.2 million for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above presenting the ceremonial check at Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox game are (from l-r): Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; WEEI, Boston program director Joe Zarbano; NESN general manager Sean McGrail; NESN coordinating director Rose Marakian; Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation president Beverly Tangvik; and Jimmy Fund chairman Larry Lucchino.

Hofstra University’s Dr. Evan W. Cornog is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  For the second time in the past three years, Long Island-based Hofstra University’s WRHU (FM and .org) was presented the NAB Marconi Award for “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station” in the nation – a remarkable achievement.  Dr. Evan W. Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, which oversees the institution’s radio department, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Cornog, a highly respected scholar with stellar credentials in both academia and professional journalism, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the conversation.  Prior to joining Hofstra in 2010, Cornog served as an associate dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism for more than a decade during which time he was publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.  He was also press secretary to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch and a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Boston Globe.  Cornog also served as special assistant to the president of the New School in Manhattan.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Columbia.  Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Cornog discuss the rapidly evolving state of media and its impact on society, as well as the future of journalism.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Andre Fernandez Named to FCC Committee.  Selected to serve on the new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) is CBS RADIO president and CEO Andre Fernandez.  Fernandez was selected by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the committee that will “provide recommendations to the FCC on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”  Leading the committee as chair is NetCommunications president Julia JohnsonShootingStar Broadcasting president and CEO Diane Sutter is vice chair.

Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Sanders’ Single Payer Bill, SCOTUS Rules on Refugee Ban, Hillary Clinton Book, Cruz Porn Video ‘Like,’ Apple Unveils iPhone X, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Florida and Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders announces his bill to create a single payer system for health care in the U.S.; the Supreme Court upholds the ban on travel for certain refugees for the time being; Hillary Clinton’s book about her loss to Donald Trump; Ted Cruz says “staffing issue” responsible for his Twitter “like” of a porn video; Apple unveils new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This change was anticipated and now it happens as Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX, Chicago formally changes the name of “The Eric & Kathy Show” to “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.  Eric Ferguson leads the morning show with castmates Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch.  Obviously, this comes on the heels of the official departure of Kathy Hart from the show.  She’d been off the air since late April in what appears to have been a contract dispute.  The station let her go last week.….Cumulus Media names Britt Rose afternoon drive personality on classic hits WJTQ, Pensacola “Jet 100.7” She was most recently with the company in Oklahoma City on classic hits KQOB and rock KATT.  WJTQ program director Chuck Whitaker says, “I am very excited to have Britt here as the new afternoon goddess in the ‘Jet 100.7’ cockpit.  It’s so good to see one of our own at Cumulus get the opportunity to advance in their career.  We look forward to Britt taking ‘Jet 100.7’ to new heights!”…..Lakes Media LLC flips WMPW, Danville, Virginia from its “MOREfm” adult contemporary format to classic country as “Country Legends.”  The company says that the online audience for the “Country Legends” stream has more than tripled in the last year.  That combined with the existence of sister AC WHLF already on the air, the decision was made to bring “Country Legends” to the FM airwaves on WMPW…..Sinclair Communications’ CHR KSXY, Forestville/Santa Rosa, California flips to alternative as “The 101 Modern Alternative.”  Program director Dray Lopez and air staffers Ashlee Sleek, Natalie, and Will Styles remain with the station…..Cumulus Media’s WGNI, Wilmington, North Carolina adds the nationally syndicated “Intelligence for Your Life” program starring John Tesh to its evening program schedule…..Premiere Networks radio personality Nikki Sixx is launching a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program.  It’s called “My Favorite Riff” and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.”  It launches tomorrow (9/14) with guest Joe Bonamassa.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI

| August 8, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling  to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.

Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.

A Team Effort Built From Within

“We’ve always had an understanding that our site can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s obviously a reflection of the on-air product, but we have also shown the ability to drive the on-air content perhaps more than most sports stations digital platforms,” says Rob Bradford, site editor and Red Sox beat writer for WEEI.com.

Bradford, who also hosts his own podcast for WEEI titled “The Bradfo Sho,” says it’s not just about the content, as their success really comes from the people behind the content, and as you can tell from Bradford, his staffers clearly each wear more than one hat.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our growth has been to employ smart, talented people who will do anything at any time. This has been a seven-day-a-week, non-stop venture, and everyone on our staff being at the ready to populate the site, or contribute to the on-air product, has always been part of the deal.”

A great example is Kirk Minihane, who started at WEEI.com as a part-time fantasy sports writer and fill-in copy editor.  He soon amassed a following online, becoming an on-air presence and, given the chance, rose through the ranks to now become the popular and brash WEEI radio morning show host.

On the digital side, Alex Reimer writes columns and blogs as well as hosting a podcast.  Ryan Hannable interned at WEEI.com in 2012 and now covers the Red Sox and Patriots as well as writing sports news, and they’re just two parts of the digital team.

Social Media Becomes a Listener Hub

“All of our social media platforms have played a role but I’d say Facebook has been the most important,” says the 30-year old WEEI PD Joe Zarbano, and with good reason.

With over 225,000 followers, WEEI has over four times the Facebook followers of New York City’s legendary sports/talk WFAN.  Zarbano says the key to their Facebook success is using social media as a way to both promote their on-air effort and tie in their digital products.

“We consistently and strategically post throughout the day. Facebook is another platform that allows us to reach a large audience to help promote what is happening on air and online.”

However, it’s not just Facebook.

WEEI’s Twitter followers rival that of WFAN and Los Angeles’ “ESPN LA” combined, and when it comes to Instagram, more than 16,800 followers can see pics and behind-the-scenes action, some they can’t find anywhere else.

It’s also about using the content to be advantageous both on-air and on-site.

“The unique thing that we’ve been able to do is to have more options, unique material and interviews.  We can leverage that one interview and break it down to on-air, blogs, podcasts and site news to drive the conversation,” says Bradford, who added it keeps the listener and reader engaged on multiple levels.

“Deflate-Gate” Culminates a Digital Drive

A story like the one in which the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs might have been a problem for the football team, but it pushed page views on WEEI into the stratosphere, with over 12.4 million page views in January, 2015.  However, it was not that one story that has defined their digital domain.

Bradford tells TALKERS, “Storylines are always going to put page views over the top, with our on-air product doing a better job than anybody at capitalizing on anything that might be a talker.   What we do a really good job of – not only online, but also on the air – is realizing what are the best stories, and then presenting them in the right way.  We have learned a lot when it comes to understanding how to maneuver around a news cycle in terms of timing, tone and where the energy should be devoted to.”

Fast-forward two years, and In March, WEEI.com had 10.3 million page views, and averages 10 million pages views each month.  WEEI.com also averages 1.6 million unique page views each month, and spiked just over 2.6 million unique views in April.

“We cover the teams more relentlessly than other sites – breaking as many stories as any media outlet while also traveling to a good chunk of events – but then have the luxury of being able to surface the most powerful voices (on the air and online) when notable moments arise. I guess it once again comes back to the ability to offer more of everything — columns, show audio, news of the day, podcasts, video to our listeners and users,” says Zarbano.

Podcasting Brings In New Listeners

To say WEEI has made an investment in podcasting may be an understatement.  From “Enough About Me,” hosted by WEEI morning show host Kirk Minihane, to “Two Outs,” a podcast featuring two openly gay sports enthusiasts in Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley and Reimer, this gives the station added programming and targets listeners in almost every possible demographic, especially younger demos.

According to Zarbano, despite having a strong number of podcasts, there’s still more work to be done.

“We have two different types of podcasts, podcasting that is not on the radio and podcasting that are the segments on the radio that we upload to the website.  As an example, our exclusive Tom Brady podcasts are uploaded to the website and get thousands of clicks and listens,” says Zarbano, who oversees podcasts including fantasy football and movies along with national and local sports.

Now that Entercom has bought a stake in DGital Media, this will allow Entercom to become one of the largest providers of original sports audio content in the country, enhancing an already strong digital and podcasting presence for WEEI.

“Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us,” says Entercom president & CEO David Field, adding they will rely heavily on Entercom’s “deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”

Branding Leads To Sales

One thing Entercom has done in Boston is intertwine WEEI’s on-air product with WEEI.com in a way that both sales and station content complement one another.

“Many of our sales packages include digital. It’s a great advantage to have when enticing a prospective client. We can offer more than just our on air product when closing a deal,” says Zarbano.  “Our dot.com staff are ‘brand personalities.’  Bradford, John Tomase, and Reimer and others all contribute original content to our site on a daily basis and also have a regular presence on the air as well.”

WEEI’s exclusive content gives advertisers unique access to Boston’s celebrity athletes and teams on multiple levels that can improve their own digital presence.

“It allows us to put together packages and tell clients you can sponsor Tom Brady’s interviews on WEEI, but also have a presence on the website, and that’s a great incentive for advertisers who don’t have the digital access and number of page views we have.  It gives our clients an opportunities they can’t get anywhere else that can compliment and improve their own digital presence,” says Zarbano.

After Nine Years of Digital – What’s Next?

“Our audience just wants more WEEI – they want to consume more content,” says Zarbano, but Bradford makes clear, “There’s not a template on how to do this.”

For WEEI, their drive into digital began in 2008, just as the recession was crashing all around them.  Despite an extremely uncertain economy, Entercom gave the go-ahead and since then, it has only grown.

Credit for WEEI’s success, according to Zarbano, starts at the top and cites the company’s faith in the product and digital vision.

“David Field and Entercom management believe in WEEI and had a vision before most that a website generating an enormous amount of new content on a daily basis could be extremely beneficial to the WEEI brand. We’ve been able to grow because of the unwavering faith the company has in us,” says Zarbano.  “When we started it was the worst possible time to start anything, the economy tanked right away.  Entercom stood by us and despite losing a lot of great people we’ve gained a lot of great people and thanks to our reputation, and a powerhouse radio station, we’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve.”

When it comes to what is ahead, the goal for WEEI is to continue to build the brand.

“You want to keep building your numbers.  We can put up an audio file and now that we have so much traffic it helps the on-air product, or they’ll listen live to an interview and then go to the site for more of the story.  It’s not just a radio station or website – it’s the entire brand,” says Bradford.

“Finding young talent that can be opinionated, entertaining and informed both on-air and on-line will be key for us as well,” says Zarbano, who adds, “One day hopefully we’ll have an even larger staff on WEEI.com, more assets, more podcasts, I think that’s part of the future.  We need to create more content that’s not just traditional radio content, especially as cars become more connected.”

Jeff McKay, a veteran New York-based operations manager, newsman and traffic reporter, is a special features correspondent for TALKERS.  He can be emailed at  McKayway@aol.com.

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

| April 20, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces New Prime Time Lineup.  In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement that 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel has parted company with embattled personality Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year relationship, the cable news leader reveals its new prime-time lineup.  Taking over the 8:00 pm ET slot will be Tucker Carlson, who recently joined FNC after Megyn Kelly‘s departure.  Sean Hannity remains in his 10:00 pm time slot and moving into the 9:00 pm hour is the panel discussion program “The Five,” co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.  Martha McCallum stays in the 7:00 pm hour but her show is re-named “The Story.”  Beginning May 1, Eric Bolling – regular O’Reilly fill-in anchor and “The Five” contributor – will launch his own program at 5:00 pm.

Clive Davis Chats with WABC at Stage 17.  Recording industry legend Clive Davis (right), talks with 77WABC entertainment reporter Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman (left) at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City yesterday (4/19).  Davis was in town promoting the premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which opened at the TriBeCa Film Festival last night.  During the interview, Davis discussed his early days in the industry as well as his years working with the legendary Whitney Houston and other iconic artists, including Simon & Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen.  Davis also told Gunzelman he believes in the vitality of radio, calling it “vital” to creating hits.

No Charges Filed in the Michael Savage Kerfuffle.  According to a report in the East Bay Times, the Marin County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against Westwood One talk host Michael Savage or John Spreckles Rosekrans, the man Savage accused of assaulting him outside a Tiburon, California restaurant.  Savage and Rosekrans placed each other under citizen’s arrest after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical conflict.  Neither man required medical treatment nor appeared visibly injured, according to police.  The paper quotes Marin County assistant DA Barry Borden saying, “After a thorough review of all the police reports and communications with attorneys representing each of the two individuals involved with this incident, a decision has been made that charges will not be filed against either individual.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Southern California broadcaster Fred Lundgren’s website for KCAA, Loma Linda was hacked and directed to a porn site last week.  Lundgren details the arduous journey to recovering control of his station’s website in a piece published at Huffington Post.  Check it out here…..iHeartMedia and SpokenLayer announce a new relationship that will put nearly 40 SpokenEditions onto the iHeartRadio platform.  SpokenEditions are human-read versions of written content from premium publishers and the collaboration will bring the audio version of hundreds of news stories to iHeartRadio listeners each week.  Some of the publishers involved include: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Slate, Time, Reuters, Wired, and more…..Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk “FM News 101” KXL is named the 2016 Radio Station of the Year from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.  In addition to that, KXL was also honored with Best Newscast, Best Coverage of Breaking News, and Best Feature awards.  Alpha Media Portland market manager Lisa Decker comments, “These awards are great recognition and honor for an outstanding product that the KXL staff produces every day.”…..Football great AJ Hawk is joining Radiohio’s sports talk WBNS, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” beginning May 8 for a summer program titled “Off-Season with AJ Hawk,” that’ll also feature co-host Anthony Rothman.  The show will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the NFL, as well as other hot sports topics.  During the NFL season, the former Green Bay Packers linebacker will join the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show for “Football Fridays.”…..CBS RADIO inks a deal with TrafficLand – one of the largest authorized aggregators of live traffic video in the U.S. – for CBS to use the company’s video management technology (VMC).  The TrafficLand VMC service provides integrated access to real-time video from more than 20,000 state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. through a specialized interface that was built by TrafficLand for traffic reporters and first responders to improve situational awareness…..Total Traffic & Weather Network announces it inks an exclusive, nationwide agreement with TrafficCast, a provider of digital traffic information and technology.  In the multi-year partnership, TTWN will serve as the exclusive U.S. radio and television distributor and marketing partner for TrafficCast’s new smartphone app, TrafficCarma…..Red Rock Radio enters into an agreement to sell Duluth market sports talk duo WWAX-FM, “92.1 The Fan” and KQDS-AM to Twin Ports Radio, LLC. for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. represented Red Rock and Steve Moravec of Phoenix Media Group, LLC assisted Twin Ports Radio.

WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan’ Visits the White House. Pictured above is the WEEI, Boston morning show cast posing for a photo with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during yesterday’s visit by the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots.  The morning show was invited to the event by Spicer.  The Patriots were officially congratulated on their victory in a ceremony with President Donald Trump.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Gerry Callahan, Spicer, Kirk Minihane, WEEI program director Joe Zarbano, Kirk & Callahan senior producer Chris Curtis.

Hangin’ with Rusty Wallace. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace poses for a photo with (from l-r): Chris McKee of the Motor Racing Network, AdLarge Co-CEO Cathy Csukas; Wallace; and AdLarge Co-CEO Gary Schonfeld.  Wallace serves as an analyst for MRN.  AdLarge is the exclusive national ad sales partner for MRN: The Voice of NASCAR.

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly Part Company, North Korea Nukes/‘Trump Armada,’ Russian Saber-Rattling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Aaron Hernandez Suicide, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Fox News Channel’s announcement that personality Bill O’Reilly will not return to the cable channel in the wake of sexual harassment allegations; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the controversy over misleading Trump Administration information about where in the region U.S. Navy ships actually were; reports of Russian fighters patrolling near Alaska; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s promise of a “comprehensive review” of the Iran nuclear deal; the apparent suicide of fallen NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Washington and Baltimore markets, iHeartMedia announces two promotions.  First, Tommy Chuck is named program director for adult contemporary WASH-FM.  He’s been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for two-plus years programming CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5” and country WPOC, Baltimore.  He’ll continue to program WIHT in addition to WASH-FM.  He says, “I am honored to now lead the two most-listened-to radio stations in Washington, DC.  Like ‘HOT 99.5,’ 97.1 WASH-FM is a blue-chip brand with an incredible history and even brighter future.”  At the same time, the company announces that Jeff Wyatt moves up from his vice president of programming for the company’s Virginia-Carolina region to become SVP of programming for the Baltimore market and program director for WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”…..In the Savannah market, Cumulus Media names Mike “Big Mike” Bell program director for its hip hop outlet WEAS “FM/E93.”  Bell moves to Savannah from his most recent position with the company at its Florence, South Carolina operations where he’s been PD for hip hop WYNN.  Cumulus Media Savannah VP and market manager Eric Mastel says, “Mike’s creativity, positive energy and experience programming successful urban-formatted stations make him a tremendous addition to the ‘E93’ team.  Our listeners are going to love what they hear.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio flips KZEP from urban contemporary to Spanish pop as “104.5 Latino Hits,” the new home of Spanish contemporary hit radio.  The station is kicking off today with 10,000 commercial-free songs.  Core artists include: Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Shakira, and Mana.  Effective May 1, Enrique Santos hosts wake-up show “Tu Manana con Enrique Santos.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is celebrating the life of Prince all day tomorrow – the one-year anniversary of his death – dubbed “Purple Friday.”  “106.5 The Arch” will be airing special features throughout the day as well playing one of Prince’s hits every hour, on the hour.  WARH music director and afternoon personality Robert Fithen states, “As Prince broke through lyrical and musical boundaries, fans broke through with him.  His music taught me to challenge the rules and not be content with labels and confines.  Go ahead.  Try to categorize ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ a song that starts with a sermon, builds to a keyboard hook and ends with a blistering hard rock guitar solo.  Is it R&B?  Rock?  Pop?  It’s Prince!”

 

 

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Baseball “experts” are predicting great things this year for the Washington Nationals. The National League East team’s flagship – CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM – rebounds from February’s one-half share loss with a gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+) as “106.7 The Fan” inches up from #18 to #17. Unlisted for the third straight month is its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). Despite declining by one-half share (11.5 – 11.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finishes first for the third straight time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+); February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. When WPRS “Praise 104.1” lost one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016, it ended five successive improvements that produced a collective +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). The Radio One-owned gospel outlet faltered by another eight-tenths in January; regained six-tenths in February; but in March, “Praise” sputters by -1.3 (5.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 3.5, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. Up a combined +1.2 in January and February (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) but carries on in eighth-place. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak, however, concludes as “Majic 102.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (+.3 and unchanged at #3) – posted a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a -.3 to .8 (6+), Alpha Media-owned WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” (flat at #20) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – end at five (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+).

2) Boston – Over and above registering a strong +.8 to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, Beasley Media Group-owned WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is #1 for the third successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; and now +.8 in March. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” CBS Radio’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” picks up eight-tenths as well, adding it to February’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9, 6+), leaping from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2014’s 5.2. By gaining four-tenths in January, WZLX pulled the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Both of Beantown’s mainstream CHR facilities increase by one tenth. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 5.6 – 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned WODS “Amp 103.3” (unchanged at #13) is up or flat for the third successive time (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s typically robust FM sports facilities though erode by a combined -1.3, with “Amp” sibling/Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” -.7 (5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom owned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is off by six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January and February (3.4 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), talk-oriented public outlet WGBH-FM forfeits nine-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, WGBH-FM had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Miami – By notching a +.7 (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR WPOW not only recaptures what it lost in four straight declines starting in November (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). The game of musical chairs at the top continues as Univision Radio’s WAMR picks up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, second to first, 6+) and is back at #1 – as it was in January. “Amor 107.5” has recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the last seven ratings periods. One-tenth behind it and dropping from first to second is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which is actually up three-tenths (6.9 – 7.2, 6+). In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Sputtering by a full-share (6.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s WLYF “Lite FM” slips from third to fourth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled “Lite FM” to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); WLYF was #1 from July 2016 through October. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) has its fifth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) for a combined -1.1, directly after a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. Although it only slips from fifth to sixth, there is another major fluctuation for urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz.” When WEDR declined by -.5 in December, its string of consecutive trends without a loss that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Rolling out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “99 Jamz” floundered by -1.5 in January; posted a +.8 in February; but regresses by -.7 in March (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Declining by seven-tenths as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), which plummets from #7 to #14. At the same time, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WRTO “Mix 98.3” is off by one-half share to 2.7 (6+), sliding from #13 to #16. Entering the March sweep, “Mix” was trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). Tied at #10 in February and at #12 in “Holiday” 2016, the market’s two mainstream CHR outlets continue to be nearly inseparable as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 3.8 (#10 to #11, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is one-tenth behind at 3.7 (-.1, #10 to #12, 6+).

4) Detroit – A robust +.9 by WWJ – #1 for the third successive sweep – takes the CBS Radio all-news operation to 7.4, the first time it has crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Slightly less than two shares behind WWJ are three stations tied in the runner-up slot. All with a 5.6 (6+), they are classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOMC (-.1, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (also -.1, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WJR (+.1, 6+). The country share in Motown swells by six-tenths, with WWJ sibling WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” up four-tenths (5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” gaining two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “Detroit’s Country” was locked on 4.9 (6+) in January and February. After registering three straight gains for a collective +2.2 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “The Bounce” surrenders exactly one-half of that gain all at once (4.1, -1.1, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#7 to #11). It would be an understatement to note “The Bounce” has had its share of sharp ups and downs since transitioning from sports last July 1. It quickly posted back-to-back gains totaling a combined +7.3, vaulting from #23 (June 2016, .7, 6+) to #15 (July 2016, 3.1, 6+) all the way to #1 (August 2016, 8.0, 6+). Not only was it just a one-month stay at #1, “The Bounce” sputtered by -2.7 in September; -1.2 in October; and -.8 in November (8.0 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+). Down by more than 50% since August 2016, “Bounce” quickly plummeted from #1 (August) to #5 (September) to #12 (October) to #13 (November). Following four consecutive positive trends that generated a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” is off two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from #11 to #12. By picking up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WMXD “Mix 92.3” (#11 to #10) overtakes “Kiss” and ends three straight ratings periods without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) that accounted for a -.7.

5) Seattle – On the strength of a +.9 to 4.5 (6+), Entercom’s KISW “Rock 99.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). “Rock 99.9” had posted a 3.6 in four of the last five sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). While flat at #18, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is without a decrease for the fourth consecutive ratings period (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Not only does co-owned KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” hang out a +.6 (7.2 – 7.8, 6+) the mainstream CHR ranks first for the third consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. After progressing by nine-tenths in February, University of Washington-owned KUOW falters by -1.1 (5.8 – 6.7 – 5.6, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. In the four most recent ratings periods, KUOW is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); and now -1.1 (March) for a net gain of three-tenths. Having improved by one-half share in back-to-back survey periods (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” returns 80% of that combined gain (4.8, -.8, 6+) and drifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” (#28 to #25) rings up a +.3 to 1.2 (6+), thus curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a collective -1.4 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – .9, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” (#12 to #15) have yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” drops four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), slipping out of the top ten (#10 to #12). In four of the last five sweeps, “Kiss” posted a 3.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).

6) Phoenix – In 3.2 – 3.9 range (6+) since December, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” busts out a +.8 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). This time last month, adult contemporary sibling KESZ – which had been #1 for 30 successive ratings periods – held a nine-tenths advantage over its runner-up, Hubbard classic rocker KSLX. With KSLX gaining seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and KESZ faltering by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), however, that impressive KESZ streak comes to an end with the two outlets swapping places. Improving by one-half share and six-tenths, respectively, are KSLX cluster-mate KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock,” which has its third straight gain netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” (.9 – 1.5, #26, 6+). Four consecutive (modest) increases give Hubbard’s KDKB a combined +.8 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) as “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” climbs from #14 to #12. Following six consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#23 to #20). As Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-LOVE” gains one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, #18, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted KLVA (also) “K-LOVE” is off by six-tenths (1.2, #23 to #28, 6+). KLVA was a combined +1.2 in January and February (.6 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). In a three-way tie at #14 in February, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” freefalls to #25 as a result of a massive -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+). Logging its fifth straight decline for a combined -1.7 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” drifts from #21 to #26. Up a cumulative +1.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (2.1 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ surrenders one-half share (to 2.8, 6+) and dips from #11 to #15.

7) Minneapolis – Improving by seven-tenths each are American Public Media Group’s news/talk KNOW (5.8 – 6.5, fifth to third, 6+) and triple A sibling KCMP (2.3 – 3.0, #14, 6+), with the latter having its highest 6+-share since September 2015 (3.0 as well). Unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB displays a one-half share increase (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” is #1 for the third straight time. In January 2017, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – follows up January’s +1.3 by stumbling one-half share (each) in back-to-back sweeps (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from #11 to #12. “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). After being up a combined +1.2 (2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KTLK returns more than half that gain (2.5, -.7, 6+) as it skids from #14 to #16. It is tied there with American Public Media Group’s KSJN “Classical MPR,” which is down three-tenths (2.5, 6+), halting at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, a two-tenths drop to 5.4 (6+) marks the end of three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (sixth to eighth). February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” since September’s 5.8. In the Twin Cities’ country contest, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” adds three-tenths to February’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #6, while CBS Radio-owned KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” (+.5 in February) drops two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and is steady at #13.   

8) San Diego – Nearly identical to what we witnessed this time last month when the ten best finishers were separated by one share, the margin now dividing the first ten rankers is 1.1 shares. Moreover, the distance between the top five is a mere three-tenths. By adding just one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS breaks out of February’s three-way tie at #2 and grabs the lead. After one month at #1, “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Displaced from the top spot and falling to third is KPBS (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+). A collective +.8 in January and February (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+) was enough to lift the San Diego State University outlet from third to first. February’s 5.4 was the strongest 6+-stat for KPBS in just over two years (5.5, 6+, January 2015). In three straight declines, iHeartMedia’s KGB was a cumulative -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), but “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” recaptures three-quarters of that loss (3.6, +.6, 6+) and zooms from #16 to #12. This is the 17th straight time KGB is within three-share range (6+). Registering an improvement of six-tenths as well and jumping from eighth to fifth is XHTZ “Today’s Hit Music – Z-90.3,” which regains what was lost in its mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). While steady at #22, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” triples its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Following a January boost of six-tenths, Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet XLTN (#12 to #14) is a combined -1.3 in February and March (3.6 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

9) Denver – Seven-tenths of a share separates the market’s top four March 2017 finishers. Having floundered by seven-tenths in February, Bonneville‘s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” recoups all but one-tenth (4.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, +.6, 6+) and leaps from #16 to #11. “The Fan” was -.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and +1.1 in January 2017. A loss of six-tenths in November 2016 halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+); October 2016’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Albeit down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), country cluster-mate KYGO repeats at #1. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. A full-share negative fluctuation in February sent iHeartMedia’s KTCL (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) from first to third; now, “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” falters by another six-tenths (5.4, 6+) to dip to fourth. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Channel 93-3” was +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). As a result of its fourth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” cruises from ninth to sixth and has its best 6+-performance since last June’s 4.8. Steady at 3.5 (6+), co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (#15 to #14) is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 16th successive sweep. Flat or down (modestly) in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) going into the February ratings period, KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” dialed up a +.7 to 4.4, its best 6+-showing since last April (4.4 as well). The KSE Radio Ventures hot AC relinquishes that increase in its entirety though (4.4 – 3.7, -.7, 6+) and spirals out of the top ten (#6 to #12). It is tied there with its format rival, Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9,” which is up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and climbs from #14 in February.

10) Tampa – Pulling the plug on four successive declines that yielded a collective -1.8 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and carries on in fifth-place. Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which had been confined to 3.3 – 3.6 territory (6+) the past seven sweeps (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Not only does “Mix” reach the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since last June’s 4.3, it leaps from #15 to a three-way tie at #10. Off two-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK bounces back with an increase of one-half share to 4.7 (6+) as the country facility advances from ninth to sixth. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” remains at #3. This is the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Ahead of it and again at #2 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which (like “Q-105”) has its third straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) but for a cumulative +1.1. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last soared to the seven-share level (6+) more than four years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. While co-owned WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for a remarkable 54th successive ratings period, the adult contemporary property falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the third straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (#18 to #19). Down the past four sweeps for a collective -.8 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” picks up two-tenths to 4.5 and remains at #7 (6+). Similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” departs the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+); the iHeartMedia-owned outlet is without an increase for the third straight sweep (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Dropping from #15 to #16, news/talk sibling WFLA regresses by one-half share to 2.9, its weakest 6+-share since September’s 2.5.

11) Baltimore – Boasting impressive back-to-back increases of +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC tacks on another three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+) for its third consecutive progressive trend, with “Baltimore’s New Country” continuing in third-place. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. On top in the Washington, D.C. report (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is without a decrease in Baltimore for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #15. Inching up from #17 to #16, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS more than doubles its 6+-share in Baltimore with its fifth successive up or flat trend (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Without an increase since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” picks up four-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and holds the runner-up slot for the fourth straight ratings period. February’s 7.3 was the lowest 6+-share for WERQ since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Even though it is down (slightly) in consecutive sweeps (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is on top for the third straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic 95.9” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” (#9 to #12) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.2, its lowest 6+-stat since August (3.0, 6+). Doubling its 6+-share via back-to-back gains (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Music Station” falters though by one-half share to .9 (#15 to #18, 6+).

12) St. Louis – The third straight increase (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) by CBS Radio heritage news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is by +1.1 and it represents the only (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase by at least one full-share in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday. With its finest 6+-stat since October’s 6.8, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship progresses from seventh to fifth. Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive sweeps without a decrease (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” moves from #15 to #12 and matches September’s 4.2 (6+). Unchanged at #17, co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its best 6+-showing since June (2.6, as well). This marks the third straight time at #1 for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (7.4 – 7.6, +.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. It is three-tenths ahead of Emmis rocker KSHE, which is steady at #2 and without a decrease for the fourth successive ratings period netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). A full-share loss (4.8 – 3.8, its lowest 6+-share since March 2016’s 3.8) causes University of Missouri’s KWMU to drift from #9 to #14. More ups and downs for Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which squandered seven-tenths in January; recaptured it in February, but regresses by one-half share in March (5.1 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+) to dip from seventh to eighth. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio’s KEZK has had three straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative -6.8 (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), but the adult contemporary property actually climbs back into the top ten (#11 to #10). Ironically, prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the third consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen and Files Third Party Complaints Against Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta.  The battle between Florida-based, syndicated morning talk host Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, and Nielsen Audio just got more complicated after Bubba’s attorneys filed a countersuit against Nielsen Audio and fresh complaints against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  As industry watchers are aware, Nielsen is suing Bubba claiming that his attempts tobubba manipulate the PPM ratings in the Tampa market have caused damages to its business.  During the discovery phase of this case, Bubba’s lawyers have requested documentation and Nielsen responded by ultimately providing some 71,000 pages, but not in a manner deemed timely by Bubba’s team.  In fact, they state that their work in the discovery phase has been “seriously delayed as a result of Plaintiff’s untimely nielsen logoproduction of discovery materials and broad-brush approach to making confidentiality designations.  Moreover, Defendants’ use of the discovery materials has been severely limited by the terms of the Protective Order.  As a result, on November 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Amend Case Management and Scheduling Order to extend the discovery cut-off from December 9 to January 9, 2016.  The Court entered an Order granting Defendants’ motion on November 29, 2016.”  If Nielsen’s tactics were intended to cause Bubba to settle the matter, it didn’t work.  He’s doubling down with the aforementioned countersuit and new complaints against Nielsen, Cox and Calta for: Defamation (Counts I and II), Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships (Counts III and IV), Violation of thecoxmediagroup Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Count V), and Civil Conspiracy (Count VI).  Bubba’s lawyers say their counterclaims and third-party claims “are based on various documents that were produced by Plaintiff in response to Defendants’ discovery requests.”  Here’s the breakdown according to the court filing: “In early 2015, Plaintiff entered into a conspiracy with Cox (one of Nielsen’s largest subscribers) to, among other things: (i) utilize Nielsen’s monopoly power over the audience measurement and ratings for the Tampa Market to prevent Defendants from broadcasting their morning radio show on WBRN in competition with WHPT; (ii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ caltamikecontractual relationships with Beasley Media Group and their other affiliates; (iii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ current and prospective business relationships with WBRN’s advertisers and US-based syndication partners; (iv) improperly manipulate Nielsen’s ratings for the Tampa Market to simultaneously increase WHPT’s market share to the benefit of Cox, while decreasing the share of WBRN to the detriment of Beasley, Clem and BRN; (v) publish knowingly false, defamatory allegations of ratings distortion activities against Defendants in an effort to conceal the fraudulent conduct of Nielsen’s employees with respect to the data included in Nielsen’s monthly ratings reports; (vi) unfairly apply Nielsen’s rules and impose unprecedented sanctions pressure on Beasley to bring about the termination of its contract with BRN and Clem; and (vii) engage in unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive behavior, and various unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair acts or practices in violation of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, in order to further the interests of a large Nielsen subscriber over those of a smaller subscriber.  As a result of Nielsen, Cox, and Calta’s conduct, and the conduct of those conspiring with them, Defendants have incurred several million dollars in damages.”  As noted, much of Bubba’s evidence for the complaints comes from Nielsen documents but it is heavily redacted to protect Nielsen’s proprietary PPM information.  Regarding the complaint against Mike Calta, Clem’s lawyers allege Calta defamed him during an on-air phone conversation in which he made the following false statements: that Clem was cheating Nielsen’s ratings system; that Clem had control over PPMs; that Clem had PPMs on watch winders in a shed and/or a shipping container; that Clem had purchased a PPM from his dentist’s nurse; and that after Clem left WHPT, he stopped using the PPMs he allegedly had control over to benefit WHPT, causing its ratings to fall.  Bubba also alleges that Cox conspired with Nielsen for the latter to de-list heavy listeners to Bubba’s WBRN show and that Cox and Nielsen concocted a “sting operation” to entrap Bubba into engaging into ratings manipulation.  The complaint also states that “Nielsen admits that none of the PPM data obtained from any PPM panelist alleged to have engaged in ratings tampering activities with Clem was ever included in any of its monthly ratings reports and, therefore, it was unnecessary for Nielsen to reprocess or reissue any of its monthly ratings reports as a result of the ratings tampering activities allegedly engaged in by Clem.  Nevertheless, at the urging of Cox, Nielsen imposed its most severe response to the alleged ratings distortion activity by delisting Beasley’s WBRN for the month of September 2015.”  Neither Nielsen, Cox or Calta have commented publicly on the suit.

WEEI, Boston Promotes Alex Reimer to ‘Brand Personality.’  Sports media personality Alex Reimer has been part of the “third-chair rotation” for the “Kirk and Callahan Morning Show” on Entercom’s sports talkreimeralex WEEI, Boston since the fall.  Now, the company announces that he’s coming aboard full time as a brand personality.  Calling it a “move designed to augment both the on-air and online components of its media ecosystem,” Reimer will join the WEEI.com staff “creating columns, blogs, and podcasts” while continuing his rotating co-host position on the morning show.  The Boston University grad has previously served with Forbes, The Boston Herald and SB Nation.  WEEI program director Joe Zarbano comments, “Since joining the Kirk and Callahan third-chair rotation last fall, Alex has done a terrific job delivering opinionated and entertaining sports talk.  I’m excited that WEEI.com will now be an outlet for Alex’s insightful writing to our massive online audience.”

WVLK, Lexington Names ‘Kruser’ Program Director.  Eighteen-year WVLK-AM, Lexington air personality Dave “Kruser” Krusenklaus is appointed program director at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  As part krusenklausdaveof the change, Krusenklaus will move from his midday talk show slot to the afternoon drive daypart.  Current station PD Scott Johnson transitions to the news director role for WVLK and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.  Prior to his work as a talk host at WVLK, “Kruser” worked as a programmer and air talent in both the rock and classic hits formats.  Cumulus Media Lexington vice president and market manager Scott Frazier states, “I look forward to ‘Kruser’ delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky’s heritage news/talker, 590 WVLK!”

Trump Inauguration Protests, Trump NATO and EU Comments, Russian Hacking Allegations, World Economic Forum, GOP ObamaCare Plan, Istanbul Terror Suspect Caught, Wife of Orlando Terrorist Arrested, Eight Billionaires Statistic, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The planned protests for Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the boycott by numerous Democratic Members of Congress, and security plans; controversy over Trump’s comments about NATO being obsolete and his prediction about the end of the European Union; the allegations that Russia hacked the DNC emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. election; the World Economic Forum taking place at Davos, Switzerland; the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; the capture and confession of the man responsible for the deadly terror attack in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve; authorities arrest Noor Salman, wife of Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen; the report that eight of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than half of the rest of the world; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Recalibrating Talk for the Trump Era.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today with thoughts about what talk radio can do to take advantage of the Trump era.  Cooke says that as social media flourishes, talk hosts should take that to mean that listeners expect to be heard and he adds that “the smartest thing talkers can do now is listen.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Red Eye Radio” show from Westwood One is being simulcast by C-SPAN during the Wednesday (1/18) broadcast from 1:00 am to 6:00 am ET.  The full live show plus break banter with hosts Eric Harley and Greg McNamara will be simulcast by the cable news network…..“Thecarollaadam Forbes Interview” podcast debuts today on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  The show is the first podcast to be developed jointly between Forbes and PodcastOne and delves into the minds of the most significant leaders of today – the people who have been, or easily could be, on the coveted cover of Forbes magazine.  The first interview by Forbes senior editor Steve Bertoni is with podcast superstar Adam Carolla.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘KISS FM’ Chicago’s Angi Taylor Joins ‘The Rendezvous.’  Chicago radio personality Angi Taylor is signed up for double duty as Premiere Networks announces she’ll partner up with Simon Marcel as the new co-host of the syndicator’s evening show “Thetaylorangi Rendezvous.”  Taylor will continue her role at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “KISS FM” where she’s one half of the “Fred + Angi” morning show.  “The Rendezvous” is described as “the nightly radio program featuring insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.”  Taylor says, “I couldn’t be more excited to host ‘The Rendezvous’ along with the French captain of romance, Simon Marcel!  I’m so thankful for everyone at Premiere Networks for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Hosting a syndicated show is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the love, romance, and FUN with a national audience!”

erickathy17Hubbard Re-Ups Eric & Kathy at WTMX, Chicago.  Chicago morning show stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart sign a multi-year contract extension with Hubbard Radio to continue hosting The Eric & Kathy Morning Show on WTMX “101.9fm THE MIX.”  The station says that over the past 20 years the show “has been a consistent market leader, ranking number one among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old Adults, for most of their tenure at the station.”  Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz comments, “I’m thrilled to have the most successful morning show team in Chicago radio history continuing their run on ‘THE MIX’ and remaining an integral part of Hubbard Radio.”

iHeartMedia Announces Lineup for Fourth iHeartCountry Festival.  The iHeartCountry Festival is comingiheartcountry17 back to Austin this spring.  iHeartMedia announces the big country show will again take place at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, May 6.  The lineup will feature acts including: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots, plus more to be announced.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes comments, “The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music.  These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

| December 5, 2016

WISN, Milwaukee to Re-Align Programming in New Year; Dan O’Donnell Adds Daily Show.  Milwaukee news/talker WISN is adding a new local, daily talk show featuring current news anchor, reporter and fill-in host Dan O’Donnell.  The iHeartMedia station is also shuffling the lineup around a bit, effective January 3.  Inodonnelldan January, morning host Jay Weber’s show will be trimmed to 6:00 am to 9:00 am, O’Donnell’s show will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh will air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Vicki McKenna, currently heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, will be heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, followed by wisn-logolongtime afternoon drive personality Mark Belling from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Evenings will still feature Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin.  WISN program director Jerry Bott comments, “WISN is blessed with a lineup of extremely strong, popular local talk show hosts.  Adding someone with Dan’s level of talent is an excellent opportunity to make that lineup even better.”  O’Donnell joined WISN in 2013 and is currently a drive-time news anchor, reporter, and a substitute host for all of WISN’s local talk shows.  Dan also serves as a Wisconsin correspondent for FOX News Radio, HLN’s “The Nancy Grace Show,” ABC News Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio Network and CBS Radio News.  In addition, O’Donnell is known for his extensive coverage of the 2007 Steven Avery murder trial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and subsequent “Rebutting A Murderer” podcast following the 2015 Netflix special “Making a Murderer.”  Previously O’Donnell served as a news anchor for Journal Broadcasting for almost 12 years.

WEEI, Boston Fills Roles with Rich Keefe.  Boston writer and personality Jerry Thornton left Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and WEEI.com to return to Barstool Sports as a senior columnist.  Now, Entercom announces that Rich Keefe is joining the company effective Tuesday (12/6) to serve as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dalekeeferich & Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley and as a columnist for WEEI.com, penning his weeinetwork16popular “Keefer Madness” blog.  WEEI notes that Keefe is “a nine-year sports radio veteran in Boston and has worked in an array of capacities for CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, ‘The Sports Hub.’  He also hosts the pre- and post-game shows on Patriots.com and has substituted on play-by-play broadcasts for the Boston Celtics Radio Network.”  In addition to his new role on the “Dale & Holley” program, Keefe will co-host with Mike Mutnansky, weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.   WEEI program director Joe Zarbano says, “We are proud to add a rising talent like Rich Keefe to our team.  Rich brings an entertaining, opinionated and fresh outlook on the Boston sports landscape, and I have no doubt he will be a great addition to the ‘Dale & Holley’ show.”

CBS Radio News Pros Take Buyouts and Exit.  According to a story in the New York Post, a number of longtime CBS Radio News staffers are agreeing to take buyouts and exit the news organization as it trims its cbsradionews-logopayroll.  Last month, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler announced he would be retiring from the company in early January after a 50-year career in the business and the last 18 years spent with CBS.  Nagler’s retirement appears to be just that, but the Post is reporting that among those who took the early buyout are: executive producer Charlie Kaye; Washington correspondent Barry Bagnato; afternoon anchor Harley Carnes; and “CBS World News” anchor Bill Whitney.  A source tells the Post that the new deal with Westwood One (for ad sales and affiliate sales) requires some cost-cutting on CBS Radio News’ part.

Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominations, Election Recount Effort, ‘SNL’ Trump Skits, Dakota Pipeline Project, Italian Referendum/Renzi Quits, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the Trump Administration during the transition period and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations; the election recounts taking place in several states; Saturday Night Live’s skits poking fun at Donald Trump’s Twitter habit; the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of the permit for its current planned route; Italy votes “no” on a referendum to shrink its legislature and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s promise to resign; the college football weekend games and the subsequent playoff seeding; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  It’s a name change for Radiate Media as the deal to be acquired by Global Traffic Network closes.  Global’s American operation is now United States Traffic Network.  In addition to the American business, Global also serves clients in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil.  United States Traffic Network begins providing traffic services for CBS RADIO beginning in April…..In the case of Nielsen Audio vs. Bubba the Love Sponge, the two sides have done an about-face and are telling the court that they believe – after new evidence from the discovery phase – a settlement can now be reached.  The sides are asking for a U.S. Magistrate Judge to preside over a settlement hearing.  Nielsen is suing Bubba for damages it claims to have suffered as the result of Bubba’s PPM ratings tampering.

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Monday, January 27, 2014

| January 27, 2014

holdtheirfeet2014FAIR Announces 2014 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ DC Radio Event.  The 8th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row from Washington, DC will take place on April 9 and 10.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the broadcast event in which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR reports, “This electronic town hall has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegaldanebob immigration and because of talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  With legislation expected in spring in the House, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.”  FAIR communications director Bob Dane adds, “We gather each year with a shared goal: To secure our borders and fight for principled immigration reform that puts American interests first.  As usual, the wants and needs of Americans will be dismissed unless talk radio once again speaks on their behalf.  Hoping that no one will notice, House Speaker John Boehner is planning to introduce the massive Senate amnesty bill in bits and pieces and massively increase foreign guest workers with no regard for unemployed Americans.  Moreover, President Obama will continue abusing his executive power to grant backdoor amnesty.  Both must be stopped.”  This year’s event is taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.

podcastone logoGreenlee Named Chief Technical Officer at PodcastOne.  Joining PodcastOne in the newly created position of chief technical officer is Rob Greenlee, who most recently served with Microsoft as podcast content platform manager.  Greenlee will divide his time between Beverly Hills and Seattle and will report directly to CEO Norm Pattiz, who comments, “No one knows more about podcasts than Rob Greenlee.  Having him join our company is a huge boost to our brand, the credibility of the company and the future growth of the platform.  We’re all very excited about adding Rob to the executive team at PodcastOne.”  Greenlee adds, “I am excited to be joining PodcastOne and being offered the opportunity to help Norm and the PodcastOne team build a great online entertainment brand that gives much value to audiences and advertisers.  I see Norm Pattiz and PodcastOne’s entry into this space as a key catalyst to the recognition and respect this 10 year old medium deserves.”  Greenlee spent seven years at Microsoft overseeing the video and audio podcasts platform at Xbox Live, Windows Phone and Zune, as well as managing the business, content partner relations and strategy around the podcasts platform service for Microsoft.

foxnewsradioReinoso Joins Fox News Radio to Produce Alan Colmes Program.  Radio pro Albert Reinoso has been working with New York radio icon Alex Bennett since the latter was a part of the SiriusXM talk lineup.  After Bennett parted ways with SiriusXM, Bennett and Reinoso began producing daily internet radio shows hosted by Bennett and Reinoso under the banner of Bennett’s Great American Broadcast Network.  Now, Reinoso adds duties at Fox News Radio producing the nationally syndicated Alan Colmes program as well as some other programming.  Reinoso tells TALKERS magazine he will continue to work with Bennett’s company and host his own “I Apologize” internet radio show while working for Fox.  Reinoso’s program currently airs at 11:00 am ET, immediately following Bennett’s show which hits the internet at 10:00 am ET.

weei logoWEEI-FM, Boston Promotes Zarbano to Executive Producer.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, producer Joe Zarbano is upped to executive producer for the station.  Zarbano has been serving as producer for the evening show “Planet Mikey” hosted by Mike Adams and the midday “Mut and Merloni” program featuring Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni.  Zarbano reports to WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham who says, “Since I arrived in Boston last fall, Joe has served as a valuable resource.  He’s passionate about the product and is the ultimate team player.  I’m thrilled he will continue in an expanded role as we move the WEEI brand forward throughout New England.”

comscore logoPublic Comment Period Opens on Nielsen’s LinkMeter Sale to comScore.  When the deal for Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron was scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the stipulations was that Nielsen would have to preserve the development of the LinkMeter technology being developed by Arbitron in conjunction with comScore and ESPN.  That technology seeks to measure use across multiple media such as radio, TV and internet.  With Nielsen developing its own service to accomplish the same goal, the FTC was concerned about the acquisition leaving just Nielsen developing cross-media measurement.  It was expected that Nielsen would arrange to sell the LinkMeter to comScore and that’s what’s happened.  The FTC states that the proposed order requires Nielsen to sell and license, for at least eight years, certain assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform audience measurement services to an FTC-approved buyer.  Accordingly, in its petition Nielsen is seeking FTC approval to divest the LinkMeter assets, license certain assets and capabilities, and provide equipment and services, to comScore.  The petition details why Nielsen believes that comScore would be an appropriate party to acquire these assets.  Public comments may be submitted to the FTC through February 24.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Holds Down Afternoons at KSTE, Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey is now heard live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento.  Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles states, “I love Dave and I know our audience will too.  Anyone who can make our listeners smarter about their money is an important voice to hear in this turbulent economy.”  Ramsey show VP for broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “Our fans in Sacramento have been asking for a place to listen and we are excited to be a part of the new lineup at KSTE.  It’s a great station with an awesome team, we could not be more thrilled.”

silversteinlouSouthwest Broadcasting Owner Lou Silverstein Dies at 87.  The longtime owner of news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona passed away on January 18 after complications from pneumonia.  He was a lifelong radio pro who worked in sales and management prior to buying KYCA in 1970 and later putting KAHM on the air.  His obituary states he got his first radio job at KTUC, Tucson and did ad sales for KRIZ and KUPD before forming Southwest Broadcasting and buying KYCA.  He was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Russ Withers Passes at 76.  The Withers Broadcasting founder passed away at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Saturday from natural causes at age 76.  Withers’ company owned 30 radio stations and six TV stations.  NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton commented about him, “Russ Withers was a true original.  He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf.”

nielsen logoHoliday 2013 PPM Data Released.  The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio.  The fourth and final round of PPM data for 12 markets including Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford are out and that information — along with Holiday 2013 PPM ratings for all 48 PPM markets — can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the fourth round of the Holiday PPM here.

radeltreyFormer WFSX-FM, Fort Myers Talk Personality Trey Radel to Resign from Congress.  After a bust for cocaine possession that came to light in November of last year, Republican Florida Representative Trey Radel will announce his resignation from Congress today.  Radel was a TV newsman who moved to radio as morning drive host at Sun Broadcasting news/talk station WFSX-FM, Fort Myers “92.5 Fox News” before running for the U.S. House in 2012.  Radel completed a 30-day rehab stint for alcohol and drug dependency after the arrest and was prepared to forge ahead with his political career but the Associated Press reports that pressure from GOP leaders and a looming House Ethics Committee investigation forced Radel’s hand.

parkernicoleariOdds & Sods.  At Saturday evening’s Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Awards, CBS RADIO all-news KNX picked up six awards.  The station won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Newscast Writing; Best Live Coverage of a News Story; Best Hard News Series Reporting; Best Light Feature Reporting; and Best News Special…..The nationally syndicated “Café Mocha” program announces that actress and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker joins the program as a special celebrity correspondent.  Parker – currently starring in NBC TV’s “Revolution” – has been a guest host on the program hosted by comedienne/TV host Loni Love, rap legend MC Lyte and radio veteran Angelique Perrin.