Tag: "Journal Communications"

Thursday, January 25, 2018

| January 25, 2018

E.W. Scripps Puts Radio Stations Up for Sale.  We’d call this a “shocker,” but there have been rumors in the industry recently that E.W. Scripps is not happy with the performances of its radio stations and is looking to sell.  Today’s announcement seems to verify that.  Saying that it is “creating a stronger, more streamlined and higher-performing company through comprehensive restructuring and cost reductions expected to yield more than $30 million in annual cost savings,” it is also planning to sell its 34 radio stations and has “retained Kalil & Co., Inc. to handle the process.”  In the press release, Scripps president and CEO Adam Symson comments, “Today, Scripps is a dynamic leader in the media industry through its strong local TV station portfolio, its growing multicast network, its national news network, and its podcasting business.  The enterprise-wide restructuring positions us well for continued growth while maintaining high-quality journalism as our central focus…Our restructuring analysis also led us to determine the time is right to find a new owner for our radio group that can provide the focus and resources the stations and their creative, devoted employees deserve.”  Scripps got into the radio business as a result of the merger between Journal Communications and E.W. Scripps back in April of 2015.  The two companies merged and spun off their newspaper assets as Journal Media Group with E.W. Scripps keeping Journal’s TV and radio stations.  Adding more insight into Scripps’ restructuring plans, the press release says, “During third-quarter 2017, the company began its restructuring work with a $2.4 million restructuring charge.  The company will take a restructuring charge of $2 million in the fourth quarter, estimates a $4 million charge in the first quarter and expects to take smaller quarterly charges into 2019.  The annual cost savings are driven by reductions in head count and operating expenses over the next 12 to 18 months.  These include centralization of services and technology; sharing of resources; elimination of redundant positions and services; and other expense reductions.”

McKay and Barks Out at KNZR, Bakersfield.  According to a report at Bakersfield.com and KERO-TV, Bakersfield, KNZR talk radio personalities Jaz McKay and Inga Barks have exited the Alpha Media news/talk station.  The moves happened within a week of each other but little else is known since Alpha Media is not commenting publicly about either change.  Barks hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and she’s been replaced by former Bakersfield city councilman Terry Maxwell.  McKay’s departure is a little more interesting.  McKay shot a Facebook Live video of himself sitting in his car going up the dial of his radio and commenting on the large number of Spanish-language stations, eventually using the word “spic.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is now being heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart.

Cumulus WYAY, Atlanta Completes Transition from Newsradio to Talk. It may appear to be just a formality at this point, but Cumulus Media has taken the final step is transitioning WYAY-FM from its former all-news format to news/talk.  Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Rodney Ho reports that station program director Tom Lee says, “The whole concept is personality-driven radio.  People can get news anywhere.  They can’t get Shannon [Burke] or the Kimmer [Kim Peterson].  Our goal is to have four morning shows, one after another.”  The station canceled its remaining newsy program – the morning drive show featuring Rob Stadler – at the end of 2017.  It’s currently seeking a talk host for morning drive.  Read Ho’s piece here.

‘Markley & van Camp’ Expand Syndication Effort.  The WMBD-A, Peoria-based “Markley & van Camp” show is spreading its syndication wings by signing a deal with Compass Media Networks to handle syndication of the program, effective April 2.  The program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David van Camp – airs live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  It’s also heard on other Alpha Media stations, including: KXL-FM, Portland; WFTL-AM, West Palm Beach, KFOR-AM, Lincoln, Nebraska; KFQD-AM, Anchorage; KOKC-AM, Oklahoma City; and WBRP-FM, Baton Rouge.  Compass founder and CEO Peter Kosann says, “Thank you Alpha Media for developing MVC! ‘Markley & van Camp’ bring a unique mix of humor and fun to current events that will retain core talk radio listeners while gaining the hearts and minds of millennials searching for compelling daytime entertainment.”

TALKERS News Notes. Willamette Week reports that Portland radio personality Sheila Hamilton is no longer with Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM where she was co-hosting the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  She had also been heard in the market on the company’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland in morning drive with co-host Cort Johnson, but their show was replaced in May of 2017.  Hamilton told the Willamette Week she’s waiting until “final negotiations have been resolved” before explaining her departure.  There are rumors in the industry that Alpha Media is undergoing a company-wide, cost-cutting measure and some speculate that Hamilton’s departure from KXL and the recent actions taken at the company’s KNZR, Bakersfield – among others – support the theory…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group is collaborating with Cape Fear Valley Health to present a cluster-wide, commercial-free program to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic titled, “Fayetteville Fights Back.”  The program will air on January 30 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the company’s five stations in the market.  Physicians, law enforcement officials, behavioral health experts, and addiction specialists – along with local and state leaders, including Governor Roy Cooper (via recorded message) and Attorney General Josh Stein (in the studio) – will participate in the simulcast.

Trump-Russia Probe/Mueller-Trump Interview, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strzok-Page Texts Case, Deadly Kentucky School Shooting, Trump at Davos, Nassar Sentenced, Trump Warns Turkey on Syria Attacks, and Super Bowl LLI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and President Trump’s statement he’s willing to speak with Mueller under oath; the status of the Obama-era DACA and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into missing texts between senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their bias against Donald Trump; two students are killed during a shooting at a Kentucky high school; President Trump attends the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is sentenced after a week of impact statements from his victims; President Trump warns Turkey about its attacks on Kurds in Northern Syria; and the matchup between the Eagles and Patriots in Super Bowl LLI 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.  Gig alert!  Entercom Charlotte is seeking an account executive who can “help us blaze new trails in the world of digital and audio advertising with a concentration in the entertainment industry.”  In Charlotte, Entercom operates hot AC WLNK “The Link,” news/talk WBT-AM/FM, and sports talk WFNC “The Fan.”  To find out more, click here…..In San Diego, Kevin Callahan is named to the operations manager position for Entercom’s expanded station group as well as the Padres Radio Network.  With the November merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO, CHR KEGY and adult contemporary KYXY became part of the cluster…..There’s a new rock station in Tulsa as Cox Media Group flips Christian contemporary KWEN-HD2/K289CC “Spirit 105.7” to active rock as “105.7 The Bone.”  CMG Tulsa market manager Cathy Gunther writes on the “Spirit 105.7” website, “It’s never easy to say goodbye to a radio station.  For several years, Cox Media Group Tulsa has had a team of dedicated individuals who poured their love and energy into ‘Spirit 105.7,’ and it’s extremely difficult to have to move on.  Unfortunately, local research tells us that it no longer makes good business sense to continue to operate 105.7 as a Christian contemporary station, so we are compelled to make a change.”…..SiriusXM is launching a special, limited-run Fleetwood Mac Channel, starting on February 1.  In addition to showcasing music from Fleetwood Mac’s long career, including their indelible hits, solo material, live songs, rare demo tracks and musical influences, the channel will also include exclusive stories and insights from Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, plus special hosted shows by band members.

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018).  The vast majority of (but not all) major improvements by music stations in this sweep is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. See all the 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Over and above chalking up its sixth straight increase for a collective +5.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 7.8 – 9.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH marches from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. Up three-tenths to 4.7 (steady at #6, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WBIG “Big 100” ends four straight declines that accounted for a collective -1.4 (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1 (including a November tie with WAMU), WTOP segues to second-place. The Hubbard all-news facility is down by an overall one-half share in three successive declines (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4 – 9.3, 6+). Prior to November, WTOP was +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). At this time last month, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR enjoyed a nearly three-share (6+) advantage over Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3,” but with WHUR off by -1.1 (7.9 – 6.8, third to fourth, 6+) and “Majic” up seven-tenths (unchanged at #5, 6+), the lead is down to just over one-share. After recording a +1.4 in November to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, WHUR forfeited one-half share in December to 7.9 (6+). Prior to this sweep, WHUR was anchored in third-place for each of the last 12 ratings periods. Entering the November ratings period, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three monthlies for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). As for WMMJ, it is up or flat for the fourth month in succession for a collective gain of +1.5 (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. Aforementioned American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is now a collective -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.6 – 8.9 – 7.6, 6+), dipping from second to third. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history first reached in December 2016. A one-half share gain in December by WLZL (1.6 – 2.1, 6+) elevated the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016), but “El Zol 107.9” returns all of that gain and one-tenth more (1.5, -.6, #18 to #19, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia-owned WWDC “DC 101 – DC’s Alternative Rock Station” (3.0 – 2.4, #13 to #16, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share in nearly two years (2.3, January 2016). In eleven straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4 -.3, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS is a combined -.8, as “93.3 Today’s New Country” drops from #21 to #22.

2) Boston – Tacking on a +4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 to December’s +3.5 (5.3 – 8.8 – 13.6, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” repeats at #1. Prior to December, “Magic” went five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+). Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), the 13.6 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest since 14.8 in “Holiday” 2015. In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but “The Sports Hub” surrendered three-tenths to 5.4 (6+) in December. The flagship station of the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots bounces back in “Holiday” 2017 with a gain of one-half share to 5.9 (6+), progressing from fourth to third. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Its “stream” disappears in “Holiday” 2017, following a .6 (6+) in December. Falling by six-tenths as well as the WBZ-FM stream is Entercom urban AC WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 for R&B” (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #18, 6+). Beantown’s (6+) CHR share erodes by -1.4, nearly equally divided between iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, flat at #2, 6+) and Entercom-owned WODS “Amp Radio 103.3” (2.6, -.6, #12 to #13, 6+). “Kiss” exited the top spot in December, after three straight months there. In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). “Amp” had been a collective +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+). This represents the sixth downward move in succession by iHeartMedia-owned WZLX, accounting for a collective -2.2 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+), with “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dipping below a four-share (6+) for the first time since January 2017 (3.4, as well). A collective -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), WBUR drops from sixth to seventh. In November, the Boston University-owned news/talker added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain. Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). After three positive spikes in a row produced a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom news/talk WRKO “AM 680 The Voice of Boston” surrenders roughly half that total (2.5, -.6, 6+) but carries on at #14. As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (formerly CBS Radio’s WBMX) is off by one full-share (#11 to #12). Entercom transferred the WBMX calls to Chicago on the station formerly known as WJMK. After four successive sweeps without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB stumbles by two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), yet improves from #18 to #16. In June – July – August, the 6+-share of WCRB decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+). It is tied at #16 with iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country,” which has its fifth consecutive decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+) for an overall -.8. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “The Bull” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 (6+) and improves from eighth to sixth. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+).

3) Miami – This Florida market’s top three finishers in “Holiday” 2017 are separated by four-tenths of a share. The December 2017 difference between the same three outlets (now in a different order) was just two-tenths. Two adult contemporary outlets are included in that trio: Entercom-owned WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (third to first, 6+) and Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (6.7, -.1, first to second, 6+). “Lite” is a collective +1.3 in four successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-performance since 7.0 in November 2016. It displaces “Easy 93.1,” which had registered a +.2 in each of the last three sweeps (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progressed from second to first in December. The third member of that trio is WFEZ urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105,” which is -1.5 in three dips in a row (7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5, second to third, 6+). October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. WHQT spent seven consecutive months at #1 before “Easy” succeeded it in December. An overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” gains three-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and is steady at #15. Up two-tenths to 1.7 (flat at #21, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD ends at six a string of down or flat trends for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four positive spikes in succession for an overall +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” erodes by one full-share to 5.0 (fourth to fifth, 6+). Locked on 4.0 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” picks up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+) and carries on at #8. Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – is without an increase for the fourth sweep in a row for a collective loss of one full-share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+) and drops out of the top ten (#8 to #11). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied at #8 in December; tied for eighth-place in July; and separated by one-tenth in August. The May through “Holiday” 2017 (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 (flat at #17).

4) Detroit – By registering its fifth straight increase (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8 – 15.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” has improved by nearly ten full-shares (6+) and is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. Its 15.8 in “Holiday” 2017 is more than two shares better than what it achieved one year ago (13.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). After notching three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. A gain of six-tenths to 3.5 (#15 to #12, 6+) by Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” applies the brakes to three straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). As a result of four losses in a row (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (fifth to seventh) is a collective -2.2. It is a rough sweep for the market’s two CHRs as iHeartMedia’s WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” is -1.0 (5.0 – 4.0, sixth to ninth, 6+), while Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 Amp Radio” is -.6 (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). “Channel 95.5” was frozen on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December. The -.6 by “Amp” curtails three up or flat trends in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Everything That Rocks” (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to sixth, 6+); Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #10, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (#11 to #12, 6+), which is a collective -.9 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+). Immediately after picking up three-tenths (in November) to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), WYCD surrendered seven-tenths in December. Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” is without an increase for the eighth consecutive sweep and is -.9 in that May through “Holiday” 2017 period (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). An overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDTW “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative” picks up two-tenths (2.0, flat at #19, 6+). Eleven days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), WDTW transitioned from adult hits as “106.7 The D.”

5) Seattle – Adding a +3.7 to December’s +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1 – 11.8, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-stat since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2015. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Stymied at 3.4 (6+) in November and December, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” rolls out a +2.3 to 5.7 (6+). Not only does “Star” reach the five-share level (6+) for the first time since its 5.5 in “Holiday” 2016, it leapfrogs from a three-way tie at #12 all the way to a tie at #3. Trending 3.8 – 3.7 3.9 (October – November – December, 6+), Entercom-owned KISW “99.9 The Rock of Seattle” dials up a +.7 to 4.6 – its highest 6+-share since July’s 5.0 – and advances from seventh to sixth. A combined -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which shifts from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia, picks up three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), yet backslides from eighth to ninth. Up until December 4, Hubbard’s KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it flipped to “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country.” Without an increase for the fifth month in a row (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 1.0, 6+), KVRQ has eroded by roughly two-thirds (-2.1) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23). Forfeiting in full December’s one-half share increase, Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) drifts from #12 to #15. Prior to December’s +.5, “The Wolf” was -.4 in three straight (minor) decreases (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). A combined -1.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” drops out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Although it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it gained in December (1.3 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW remains at #22. Seattle’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, and was -.7 in November. Faltering by six-tenths as well is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW (6.4, steady at #2, 6+), which closes five consecutive up or flat trends that netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). KUOW finished first for four straight months before dropping to second in December. Off by one-half share as well are Hubbard CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station,” down or flat for the third time in a row for a -.8 (6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2 fourth to fifth, 6+), and Aloha Station Trust contemporary Christian KTDD “Positive Hit Music” (.7 – .2, #30, 6+). Without a decrease in the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, 6+), Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” slips by one-tenth to 1.8 (#21, 6+). Following five straight up or flat monthlies that nearly tripled its 6+-share (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” drops three-tenths to 1.0 (6+, #24 to #23). Conversely, after three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” adds two-tenths to 2.8 (#19 to #17, 6+).

6) Phoenix – While its “Holiday” 2017 gain (+4.3) is not as lofty as December’s +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.2 – 12.1 – 16.4, 6+) repeats at #1 with its best 6+-showing since 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016.  Not only that, KESZ has a nearly three-to-one advantage over the runner-up, Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -2.4 as the result of its fifth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). KSLX – which hadn’t been below a six-share (6+) since February’s 5.8 – exited the penthouse in December after seven straight months there. It was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Up an overall nine-tenths in four successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Entravision’s Spanish adult hits KVVA “Jose” carries on at #19. A combined -1.2 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” drifts from sixth to tenth; 3.3 is its lowest 6+-share since February (3.3, as well). With identical 3.8 – 3.2 (-.6, #8 to #11, 6+) topline profiles are Entercom’s KALV “Live 101.5” and Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM. Major ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); -1.2 in December; and now -.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.7, fifth to eighth, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). While very consistent April through July (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); lost three-tenths in November; and has sputtered by an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.7 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). It exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

7) Minneapolis – Spoiler Alert: An adult contemporary station ranks first in 11 of the 12 markets featured here. The exception is the Twin Cities, which – by the way – is the only PPM-market which does not have a mainstream AC. Powered by a +5.2 following December’s +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0 – 14.2, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” repeats at #1 with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -2.9 as the result of six straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” is bumped from the top ten (#9 to #12). Furthermore, it is overtaken by Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9,” which gains four-tenths to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus halting three consecutive declines that accounted for a -.8 (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). The market’s (6+) hot AC share evaporates by -1.8, split between “Kool 108” cluster-mate KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” (-1.1, #12 to #14, 6+) and Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (-.7, third to fifth, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), “KS-95” is now a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.1 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, “Cities 97” continues an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 2.6, 6+). Its urban-rhythmic oldies HD3 channel improves by one-half share (.7 – 1.2, 6+), cracking the top twenty at #18. Down seven-tenths (7.6 – 6.9, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, reprises at #2; it finished first in October and November. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). The third part of the iHeartMedia #1/#2/#3 finish (in addition to KQQL and KFXN) is CHR KDWB, which is a cumulative -1.5 since July as the result of six consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK posted a +.9 in December to 5.5 (6+), but “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” squanders roughly half of that increase (5.0, -.5, 6+) and slides from sixth to seventh.

8) San Diego – Over and above posting its fourth straight uptick for a cumulative +5.7 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7 – 9.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KYXY marches from third to first, exceeding (by four-tenths) its 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though KPBS gains three-tenths (6.0 – 6.3, 6+), the San Diego State University-owned news/talker segues from first to second. A December gain of four-tenths pulled the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). December marked the fourth time in calendar year 2017 (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS was on top. Three straight gains by Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” net a +1.1 (4.8 – 5.3 – 5.8 – 5.9, second to third, 6+). November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). By rolling out a full-share gain (4.1 – 5.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5” jumps from ninth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since April 2016’s 5.2. With similar call letters, co-owned Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” improves by six-tenths to 3.0, #18 to #13, 6+, curtailing three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of one-half share (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.4, 6+). In three successive major declines (7.2 – 6.6 – 5.4 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO has eroded by three full-shares, drifting from fourth to seventh. When KOGO lost six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” follows in December and “Holiday” 2017 with an overall -1.9 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+), slipping from #11 to #14; November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Up or flat for four months in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), Entercom’s KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” returns seven-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#15 to #21). A loss of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) drops iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music Station” out of the top ten (#10 to #12). Slipping by one-half share each are its hot AC sibling KMYI “Star 94.1” (5.2 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) and Local Media San Diego urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5,” which is without an increase for the fourth time in a row for a collective -1.0 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). As the result of three improvements in succession, XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” was a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, 6+), but the Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet drops two-tenths to 3.5 (6+); nonetheless, it climbs from #12 to #11.

9) Denver – After hanging out a December +1.8, KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” follows with a +3.7 (7.8 – 11.5, 6+) as the Bonneville adult contemporary property is #1 for the third month in a row. This (11.5) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Trending 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.6 (October – November – December, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KJMN “La Suavecita 107.1” posts a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.2 (#18 to #14, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ hot AC KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” registers a gain of one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and leaps into the top ten (#13 to #8). Its classic hits-oldies sibling KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” adds two-tenths to 3.8 (#12 to #10, 6+), thus pulling the plug on three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). In three straight down or flat sweeps, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a cumulative -1.3 (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.2, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14). This is the fourth straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” (third to fifth) for a collective -2.0 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.6, 6+). An overall +.9 in November and December (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+), cluster-mate KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” coughs up eight-tenths to 2.0 (6+) and departs the top twenty (#16 to #21). Also in that iHeartMedia cluster, CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was up six-tenths in November and December (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), regresses by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 3.6 (6+), exiting the top ten (#7 to #12). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville country outlet KYGO, which is down or flat for the eighth month in a row for a collective -1.4 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.2, flat at #2, 6+), and Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.2 – 3.7, #8 to #11, 6+). After six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW slips by one-tenth to 2.2 (6+), yet inches up from #20 to #19.

10) Tampa – It is a bit of a mixed bag for the market’s adult contemporary outlets. On the plus side, Beasley Media Group’s WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” tacks on a +1.6 to December’s +1.2 and has more than tripled its 6+-stat (+2.8) in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 2.4 – 4.0, 6+). Moreover, it rockets from #18 to a three-way tie at #9. Since becoming an AC in early-January 2017, “B-98.8” hadn’t reached the two-share level (6+) until December’s 2.4, thus 4.0 in “Holiday” 2017 is now its best-ever 6+-stat. At the same time, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” hangs out a +1.5 (10.4 – 11.9, 6+) and is the market’s pacesetter for the 64th successive ratings period. In “Holiday” 2016, “Lite Favorites” had a 12.7 (6+). A December loss of seven-tenths ended three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+). Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). On the flipside though in the AC format, WDUV cluster-mate WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” surrenders one full-share (4.9 – 3.9, 6+), fading from #5 to #12. Bouncing back from December’s -.6, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” is up nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.2 – 5.1, ninth to fifth, 6+). “The Joy FM” was +.6 in November, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017 is the highest 6+-share for WCIE since July (5.1, as well). Following three straight gains (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” returns more than half of that cumulative +2.2 with a -1.3 to 4.7 (third to sixth, 6+). Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 was its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Advancing from fifth to third, its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+). As a result, it curtails three straight sweeps without an increase for a collective loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Posting a 4.4 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WFLZ “93.3 FLZ – Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” is off six-tenths to 3.8 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Without an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” drops from #16 to #18.

11) Baltimore – Easily scoring top honors for the most robust (6+) December 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 improvement by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is WLIF “Today’s 101.9” with an eye-popping +6.6 (9.7 – 16.3, repeating at #1, 6+). It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Entercom adult contemporary facility, which dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a combined +9.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. One year ago at this time, “Today’s 101.9” registered a 15.3 (6+, “Holiday” 2016). Occupying the top spot for four months in succession, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” segued to #2 in December and continues there in “Holiday” 2017. Furthermore, it is without a decrease for the sixth sweep in a row for a combined +2.4 (7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2 – 10.4, 6+). In the 24 PPM-markets we’ve seen so far, “Magic” is the only station at #2 that achieves double-digits (6+). Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Applying the brakes to three straight downward moves producing an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” improves by two-tenths to 4.0 (6+), progressing from ninth to sixth. Within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” is a combined -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (7.2 – 6.2 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). The last time WPOC was below a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2016 (4.7). After sputtering by six-tenths in December (5.2 – 4.6, 6+), Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” falters by twice that margin to 3.4 (-1.2, 6+) and spirals from fifth to tenth. In a similar vein, Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” was -.7 in December and follows with a -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 3.8 – 2.8, #9 to #12, 6+). In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). Floundering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WZFT “Z-104.3 Baltimore’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 3.5, seventh to eighth, 6+); independent WCBM “680 – Stimulating News Talk,” which had been +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), but is back at 3.1 (#12 to #14, 6+); and iHeartMedia gospel WCAO “Heaven 600” (1.0 -.4, #16 to #21, 6+). While it remains at #15, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” forfeits roughly half of December’s +.9 (1.6 – 1.1, -.5, 6+); December’s 1.6 is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s. The ten most recent trends for Hearst news/talk WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (#12 to #11, 6+). Most recently, that topline includes five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.4.

12) St. Louis – Not only is KEZK “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” up six full-shares via three successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 6.7 – 10.1, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary leaps from fourth to first. This is its strongest 6+-showing since 11.1 in “Holiday” 2016, which was the last time KEZK reached #1. It succeeds iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which – despite rebounding from December’s -.8 with a +2.2 (7.3 – 9.5, 6+) – segues to #2. Prior to November, when it gained nine-tenths, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. The wild ride truly continues for WARH “106.5 The Arch.” The Hubbard adult hits outlet was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); +.6 in December; and now -1.5 in “Holiday” 2017 (6.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. When Emmis’ KPNT lost six-tenths in December, its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share ended at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Now, “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” regresses by -1.1 (4.4 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is a cumulative -1.4 in three straight decreases (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in November and December, CHR cluster-mate KNOW “Now 96.3 – All the Hits” is off by one-half share as well (2.9, #13 to #15, 6+). Returning all of December’s +.6 and one-tenth more (7.0 – 6.3, -.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” slips from second to fourth. December’s increase by “The Lou” concluded a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to four decreases in succession (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (sixth to fifth) is a cumulative -3.0 and has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+).

Monday, April 13, 2015

| April 13, 2015

masondanDan Mason Announces Retirement from CBS RADIO; Andre Fernandez to Assume President Role.  In a letter to company staffers president and CEO Dan Mason announces he’s stepping down from his post this month.  Here’s the text of his letter: “After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April.  Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you.  My passion and love for this industry is well known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product.  I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments – everything from creating new music formats, andcbsradio logo launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network.  We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms.  However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life.  With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies.  Broadcasting will always be part of my life.  I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in.  Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career.  I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with.  Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two.  My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007.  His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company.  Thank you as well for facing everyfernandezandre opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues.  I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes.”  CBS Corp. has announced that former Journal Communications president and COO Andre J. Fernandez will be the radio division’s new president effective next week.  The company says that Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets.

cookehollandAnalysis: RAIN Summit West.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering not one but three conventions for TALKERS magazine this week.  His piece covers the RAIN Summit West, which historically precedes the annual NAB Show.  Cooke writes that it’s impossible to go out in public and not see people interacting with their iPhones so it only stands to reason that this is the new frontier on which consumers need to be reached.  He reports that on one panel dealing with podcasts, PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz extolled the virtues of the podcast format.  “Podcast listeners are P1 listeners because they have to perform a positive task” by connecting.  Pattiz reckons these “lean-forward listeners” are “much-more engaged” than “lean-back” AM/FM/TV users.  Cooke says social media was also front-and-center at RAIN and on one panel discussion, “Jumpwire Media’s Gavin McGarry sounded almost stern:  ‘Social media is NOT for marketing.  It’s about building community.  And he urged that stations take it seriously: ‘Outsourcing social media to your interns is not an option.’  Your brand is at stake.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh to Seek New Home in Indy.  In a statement from both Premiere Networks and Emmis-owned news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, the former’s Rush Limbaugh program will cease to be heard on WIBC-FM after July 3.  The statement doesn’t say which party chose not to renew the contract nor where the show will be heard after the current deal expires.  Emmis Indianapolis SVP/market managerwibclogo Charlie Morgan comments, “Premiere has been a great partner, and Rush has been an iconic part of WIBC’s heritage and success.  WIBC has a strong lineup of live-and-local personalities delivering great radio, and we will continue to be Indianapolis’ home for listeners with a passion for conservative values and principles.”  Premiere president Julie Talbott adds, “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Emmis for many years, including a long history of ratings success for the Rush Limbaugh Show in Indianapolis.”

lowenbergjustusCumulus Names VP/Sales … Right Now. The vice president of sales position is landed by Justus Lowenberg and it is actually for Cumulus Media‘s Right Now Traffic Network in San Francisco. Cumulus vice president of sales for news-talk Jaysson Reno remarks, “Justus will be a strong addition to our sales leadership team in San Francisco. His track record and experience will take our Right Now Traffic Network to new levels and provide maximum value for our community of listeners and advertisers.” Lowenberg comments, “With a top notch staff and elite brand of call letters, I am excited to be joining the Cumulus San Francisco team. The Right Now Traffic Network offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Bay Area listeners as they seek out route information in one of the most traffic congested markets in the country.” Lowenberg previously was in network sponsorship sales for iHeartMedia‘s Total Traffic Network and was national sales manager for Entravision Communications. He began his radio sales career at Infinity Broadcasting – CBS Radio in 1999 as an account executive.

kaufmannjustinWGN, Chicago to Debut Justin Kaufmann Show on April 16.  Recently recruited from Chicago public radio outlet WBEZ, Justin Kaufmann will begin his regular program on Tribune’s WGN this Thursday.  “The Download” will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder today (4/13).  WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder “The Download” is a “daily mirror on Chicago revealed in multiple chapters.  You’ll hear a variation of WGN talk soup thatwgn logo new replays pieces of interviews from earlier in the day not in ‘best of’ style, but to challenge ourselves to be more reflective and less reactive.  Justin has a passion for revealing the hidden stories in breaking news, and we’ll pack one hour each night with A-list guests, too.  We also look forward to town hall conversations on location and some deep dives into music and comedy.  You’ll be treated to a kind of sonic architecture you won’t hear anywhere else.”  Kaufmann was most recently executive producer at WBEZ, in charge of the local shows “The Morning Shift” and “The Afternoon Shift,” among others.

SmartphonesIndiana Senate Passes Resolution To Activate FM Radio In Smartphones. More specifically, Senate Resolution 28 addresses the importance of Indiana residents having a link to emergency information from broadcasts of local radio stations via their Smartphones. A chip enabling Smartphone owners to monitor FM radio stations already exists in Smartphones available in the United States. Founded in 2013 – and with partial funding from NAB Labs – wholly owned Emmis Communications subsidiary TagStation – developed the NextRadio hybrid radio Smartphone app that combines the devices’ built-in FM tuner and the Internet. Ever since September 2013, Sprint customers have been able to listen to FM stations through that carrier’s android devices. Comparable legislation is scheduled for review in other states.

Odds & Sods.  This week, WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon personality Brian Joyce will be filling in for talk host Michael Graham on WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” on Tuesday (4/14) after having subbed for him earlier injoycebrian the month.  Both talk stations are owned by Cumulus Media…..Tribune’s WGN Radio is partnering with the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, Chicago Tribune and Hoy to launch the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort 2015 to help communities struggling with the devastation caused by the April 9 tornadoes.  The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort will support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes.  The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar.  Additionally, during an interview on April 10 with Roe Conn on WGN, Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort…..A change in formats in Spokane as iHeartRadio flips sports talk simulcast KZFS/K257FX at 99.3 to contemporary Christian branded as “UP 99.3.”…..West Virginia morning personality Kay Murray retires from West Virginia Radio Corp.-owned news/talk WAJR, Morgantown after 35 years on the air…..The NBA’s LA kfwb wlogosClippers and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” are announcing a new exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement.  The station will continue to be the official radio home of the Clippers for all preseason, regular season and playoff games as well as present comprehensive year-round coverage.  Play-by-play duties will be handled by Brian Sieman in his eighth season calling Clippers action on the radio, while the “Voice of the Clippers,” Ralph Lawler, and former Clipper Michael Smith team up with Sieman to call all nationally televised games not shown on Fox Sports PRIME TICKET.   Long-time Clippers broadcaster Isaac Lowenkron will continue to host Clippers pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.  “The Beast 980” personalities George Wrighster and Brett Winterble also host “Clippers Hardcore” before every game.

daviesrichardRichard Davies Retires from ABC News Radio; Begins New Weekly Podcast Venture.  After an almost 30-year career with ABC News Radio, Richard Davies is leaving the network to pursue his own project called “How Do We Fix It?”  Davies’ venture is a weekly podcast that allows him to perform as a talk radio host, speaker and broadcaster.  This new weekly project will entail Davies and fellow journalist, Jim Meigs, former editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, calling on experts and seeking solutions to vital maters that concern the public — from getting out personal debt to finding better teachers for kids to the probing the future of space exploration, “How Do We Fix It?” proposes to present “positive views on challenging matters.”

itsonlasvegasRAB and NBA Partner for Las Vegas Radio Sales Event.  In partnership with the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Nevada Broadcasters Association presented a gathering of Vegas-area radio stations along with local advertising agency, marketing and client executives for “Radio. It’s On In Las Vegas!”  The April 9 event was described as a “thought leadership, content-infused networking seminar.”  Featured speakers included primetime television and radio host, best-selling author, Jeffrey Hayzlett; Bill Rose, senior vice president, Nielsen Audio; and Erica Farber, president & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau.  For the event’s finale, top Las Vegas radio talent engaged in a roundtable during which they discussed the personal connections and relationships they form with listeners across the local community every day.  Talent included: KWNR’s JoJo Turnbaugh, KSNE’s Marco in the Morning, KOMP’s Brittney & Sparks, KLUC’s Chet Buchanan, KMXB’s Mercedes, KKLZ’s Mike O’Brian, KDWN’s John Shaffer, and KWWN’s Mitch Moss.

krokDuckTexas Motor15Chris Krok at Texas Motor Speedway.  WBAP, Dallas personality Chris Krok (pictured here at the mic) speaks to a group of listeners and some of the “Duck Dynasty” clan at the Texas Motor Speedway during his “Chris Krok and His Flock” live event promotion.  This took place just prior to the Duck Commander 500 race.  Krok MC’d “Racing with Faith,” an event that included him interviewing NASCAR drivers about their faith as well as “Duck Dynasty” stars Phil Robertson and his son Alan.  Krok tells TALKERS magazine, “We’ve been doing this great event at Texas Motor Speedway for two years now, but this was by far the most incredible one yet!  What a privilege for me to do this.”

WW1WodonFrozenFour15The Frozen Four Airs on Westwood One Sports.  The radio sports network broadcast the college hockey finals over the weekend – dubbed The Frozen Four – live from Boston’s TD Garden as the Providence Friars came back to beat Boston University in the final game, 4-3.  Pictured here is Westwood One’s Adam Wodon (left) interviewing the Friars’ Brandon Tanev (right), who scored the winning goal.

larsonlarsBarrett15First Amendment Friday Benefits Youth Athletics.  Portland-based talk show host Lars Larson is pictured here holding a Barrett .50 caliber rifle that was raffled off to benefit the St. Helen’s Girls Softball League.  The raffle was part of a series of remotes the KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks personality does from his favorite local gun store, NW Armory.  Larson says the team asked for his help in raising funds last year and he’s been happy to help.  The league netted $34,000 from last year’s raffle and hopes to achieve similar results this year.  Larson says the league bought a small tractor for field maintenance, some automatic electronic defibrillators, and a number of other things.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

| July 31, 2014

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Announces Merger of Broadcast Operations with E.W. Scripps.  In a surprise move – at least as far as the public is concerned – Journal Communications announced late Wednesday (7/30) that it has struck a deal with Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps to merge the two companies’ broadcast operations into one company and to spin off their respective print businesses and merge them into a separate company that will also be publicly traded.  The Journal Broadcast Group will go away and the broadcast operations will continue under the Scripps banner.  The newspaper and print businesses will operate under the Journal Media Group banner.  This means an exit for Scripps from the print business.  In a video message, Journalsmithsteve Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith states, “These two independent companies will build upon the strong local brands Journal and Scripps have built over the years.”  The newspaper company – with 14 dailies and affiliated digital media – will be headquartered in Milwaukee.  Scripps owns only TV stations and, after the merger is complete, the new group will be the fifth largest television group in the country – with 34 TV stations in 24 markets – with Journal’s radio assets also in that group.  Journal operates 35 radio stations in eight markets.  WXYZ-TV, Detroit reports that Scripps CEO Richard Boehne states the companies will gain about $35 million in “combined transaction synergies” but he said it would be months before it would be known if there would be staff reductions or requests for employees to relocate.  The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in 2015.  Since Scripps owns no radio assets, there are no duplicative positions there but the question to be asked is how dedicated to the radio business will E.W. Scripps be?  Will it ultimately put them up for sale?  Only time will tell.

cnn newsource logoCumulus Strikes Deal with CNN for Radio News Product.  The product will not be branded CNN but will allow stations to make the content that comes from CNN Newsource their own.  A statement from Cumulus Media today about the news service to be made available via Westwood One, says, this new service will offer radio stations nationwide access to broadcast, breaking news, wire service and digital content provided by CNN for use on the air and on their websites.  Westwood One owns the patented STORQ technology that Cumulus says provides a local feel to syndicated content.  “The addition of this new service will for the first timewestwood one NEW enable local radio stations to broadcast the latest national and international news acquired by CNN but branded with their own call letters and station slogans.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Our affiliates and advertising partners know they can count on us for news and information products that reflect how people today consume content through various platforms, and this exclusive access to CNN’s newsgathering will ensure we can provide stations nationwide an unmatched array of news formats.”  Dickey described the service to the New York Post calling it a “differentiated product.  For some who want hard news, this isn’t the service, but there are fewer of those types of stations across the country.  The emphasis is more on shorter stories, less hard news and ‘give it to me when I want it.’”  Cumulus Media’s Westwood One reps other news services – including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNBC Business Radio.  CNN shut down the CNN Radio division two years ago.

weei logoFox TV and Entercom Mend Fences – and Restore $$ — After Minihane Comments.  Some industry insiders were critical of Fox TV’s dropping advertising on Entercom-owned stations after WEEI-FM, Boston’s Kirk Minihane made controversial comments about Fox TV reporter Erin Andrews – charging Fox with pulling the boycott strategy.  However it appears the move by Entercom CEO David Field to apologize and to suspend Minihane for a week placated Fox and, according to a story by Chad Finn in the Boston Globe, the company will resume its advertising of its TV shows and movies on Entercom stations which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $1 million per year.  Fox Sports SVP of media relations Lou D’Ermilio stated, “We appreciate Entercom’s recognition and response to the inappropriate comments made by the WEEI host.  It is our sincere hope both organizations can now move forward.”  Finn reports Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary commented, “On our end, we consider the matter 100 percent resolved.”  Read the whole story here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “The Talk Rumble.” Today (7/31) marks the 13th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a Talkers Conference tradition – “The Talk Rumble.”  Moderated by the dynamic multi-media talk star Lionel of LionelMedia.com with a special introduction by syndicated icon, Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America, the freewheeling debate of today’s hottest talk radio issues features: Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio Network; Alan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. To view this spoken word extravaganza, please click here. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

neerrichardQuestions About Political Correctness.  WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer writes in an opinion piece published today at Talkers.com, that although he believes we should all avoid words or phrases that are likely to offend, he fears that “a ‘gotcha’ mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.”  Neer points to two recent cases – one involving Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the other Stephen A. Smith’s current suspension from ESPN – in which both men went to great lengths to clarify statements that many people would, upon hearing the clarification, not find offensive.  Still, the controversy continued and in Smith’s case, he was suspended.  Read Neer’s insightful piece here.

kinglarryLarry King Says Piers Morgan Failed Because He Was ‘Pompous.’  Appearing on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WGRF, Buffalo on the “Norton in the Morning” show via Envision Networks’ Guest Services booking service, radio and TV legend Larry King – promoting his “Larry King Now” daily interview show that appears on Ora.tv and Hulu.com – told the show’s listeners that Piers Morgan had a toughmorganpiers transition to replace him as host of the CNN interview show.  “Any person who has been on for 25 years in one place and you have an audience who is used to you…it’s very hard to step into those shoes no matter who it is.” Speaking about Morgan, King said, “Personally, I like him fine, but it was all about him.  It was the opposite of the way I interview. He was the opposite.  So now they not only had someone who was British, different, but then he would use the word ‘I’ every other word…He became, I thought a bit, in my opinion, pompous, but that’s the way I looked at it.  So I had trouble watching Piers Morgan’s show, and I guess a lot of other people did too.”

lebronadDan Le Batard Denied LeBron James Ad by Cleveland Plain Dealer.  It’s hard to say how far along ESPN and WAXY, Miami sports talk host Dan Le Batard was in actually trying to place an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer to get a dig in at LeBron James, but the paper forestalled any such plan by saying it would not accept the ad, according to a report in the Washington Post.   The paper reports Le Batard was discussing the Miami Heat fans’ reaction to James’ departure for Cleveland and he suggested taking out an ad similar to the mock-up you see here that would razz James for not thanking Miami fans after his four-year stint with the Heat.  Le Batard jokingly suggested a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the ad.  Still, for Le Batard’s part, he got a fair amount of national press over the bit.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Leslie Marshall show – produced by WYM Media – permanently shifts its live broadcast time to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET…..Red Rock Radio Corp. is flipping two stations – standards WXCE, Amery, Wisconsin and standards WHSM-AM, Hayward, Wisconsin – to sports talk using NBC Sports Radio effective August 4.

Obama Impeachment Chatter/House Obama Suit Vote, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Gaza Strip Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Lerner’s Anti-GOP Emails, and Stephen A. Smith Suspension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30).  The controversy over possible impeachment of President Obama and the Dem’s purported use of the threat in fundraisers combined with the U.S. House’s vote to sue the president for unconstitutional actions; the Ebola outbreak scare; Israel’s continuing attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and the complications due to Ukrainian instability and Russia’s involvement; the flap over IRS staffer Lois Lerner’s anti-GOP emails; and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith’s suspension for his comments on the Ray Rice suspension were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

| April 30, 2014

beasley logo longBeasley Net Revenue Down 2.4% in Q1.  Stating that the dip in net revenue comes primarily from “lower advertising revenue at the company’s Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia market clusters,” Beasley Broadcast Group announces a Q1 figure down 2.4% on revenue of $24.2 million.  But the taxman also bit Beasley as the company reports that a “$0.8 million, or 40.2% year-over-year reduction in first quarter 2014 interest expense related to lower borrowing costs and reduced amounts outstanding, was more than offset by a $1.3 million, or 128.8%, rise in income tax expense primarily due to a change to the company’s federal income tax rate.  In addition, the tax rate in the comparable year ago period benefited from a change to the company’s effective state tax rate.  As a result, net income and net income per diluted share for the 2014 first quarter of $0.7 million and $0.03, respectively, compared with $2.4 million, and $0.11, respectively, in the comparable year ago period.”  Beasley chairman and CEO Geroge Beasley beasleygeorgecomments, “The first quarter decline in net revenue reflects several factors that primarily impacted our three largest markets, including the severe winter weather which had a negative effect on our operations in the Northeast.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 77% of total first quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 4.3%, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 0.3% for the quarter.  In Philadelphia, our cluster underperformed the market for the first time since mid-2012 as business was significantly impacted by the severe winter weather that pressured billings, particularly among our local customers, and caused our stations to close for the equivalent of approximately three business weeks during the first quarter. In Miami, the first quarter underperformance largely relates to the revenue decline at our AM sports talk station following the departure of a popular afternoon host (Jorge Sedano).  On April 1, we addressed this situation directly by re-launching our afternoon drive programming with the addition of another highly rated Miami sports talk show host from a direct competitor in the market (Marc Hochman).  Notwithstanding the challenges endured in the first quarter, our ratings and market position in both Philadelphia and Miami remain strong.  A final factor which negatively impacted first quarter revenue results was the completion of comprehensive training for our sales team regarding our new digital and NTR initiatives.  While this training took our sales teams away from customers for several days, we believe it was essential to drive growth in these areas of our business going forward.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to a 12.2% decline in first quarter 2014 SOI compared to year-ago levels.”

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Radio Division Revenue Down 4%.  While the company as a whole sees revenue climb 3.7% on the strength of TV and retrans, the radio division of Journal Communications was down 4% on revenue of $15.2 million.  The company reports that “local advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 3.2%, primarily due to a decrease in restaurant and financial advertising.  Digital revenue, which is reported in local revenue, was $0.6 million, up 7.8%. National advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 18.0%, primarily due to a decrease in automotive and financial advertising.  Total revenue, excluding political revenue, was $15.1 million, down 4.2%.  Operating earnings from radio were $2.1 million compared to $2.4 million, a decrease of 11.9%.  Radio operating expenses decreased 2.6%, or 0.8% excluding a $0.2 million non-cash building impairment charge recorded in 2013, primarily due to lower programming rights fees.”

dickeylewLew Dickey Sounds Pleased with Cumulus Media’s Progress.  During yesterday’s investor’s conference call on 2014 first quarter numbers, CEO Lew Dickey explained that Cumulus Media is well-positioned in the broadcast arena but is also heading in the desired direction of broadening its revenue streams and reaching beyond “just the advertiser.”  Dickey said, “We’ve now become a very diverse national audio advertising and content platform.  Our base is fueled by our strong core broadcast advertising category, anchored by our 460 owned-and-operated stations and again, amplified by now more than 10,000 broadcast radio affiliates throughout the U.S.  Moreover, we are developing an emerging growth stream in digital advertising that is gaining real traction to our audio through our Rdio digital audio platform.  Licensing also provides the company with a significant second stream of non-advertising-based revenue and should continue to grow nicely as we develop ‘NASH’ and other original content into multimedia brands with multiple revenue streams.  Additionally, our content initiatives will provide us with new revenue streams originating from monetizing the consumer, as opposed to just the advertiser, through subscription services.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript, members can check out the entire conference call here.

langeartiebigshotDirecTV Cancels Artie Lange Show.  With three months left on his contract with DirecTV, Artie Lange’s radio talk show is canceled.  Lange told listeners to his Monday evening (4/28) show that it would be his last for DirecTV.  The program was initially co-hosted by both Lange and fellow comic Nick DiPaolo but DiPaolo left the show last year.  During his good-bye to listeners and viewers, Lange said DirecTV was very good to him and the parting, though unfortunate, was amicable.  The program was simulcast on DirecTV’s Audience channel in addition to being syndicated on the radio.

farberbarryBarry Farber’s Language Club Celebrates 30 Years.  Talk radio legend Barry Farber’s “Language Club” celebrates its 30-year anniversary with a gathering on Monday, May 28, in New York City.  Farber, who founded the club, will also be honored at the celebration, that begins at 6:00 pm at My Place Restaurant, 242 East 79th Street in Manhattan.  Farber is currently syndicated nationally via CRN Digital Talk Radio.  His program airs weeknights at 8:00 p.m. ET.  A press release from CRN states, “Farber, who has been on the airwaves since the mid-1950s, nearly failed Latin in 9th grade.  Since then, he has studied 28 languages.  He created the Language Club so students and speakers of foreign languages could congregate in a pleasant, social environment and enjoy conversing with each other.”  He is also the author of several books, including How to Learn Any Language – Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own.  Club members periodically meet for dinner and conversation at ethnic restaurants throughout New York City.  Some members give basic language lessons to each other.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “All of us have so much to learn from Barry Farber.  Usually, it’s his takes on politics and life.  But I hear he also gives good courses in Dutch, Mandarin, and Hebrew.”

Evans Broadcast Company Stations to Observe D-Day Anniversary Live from Normandy.  This June 6, news/talk KKFT Reno, “99.1 FM Talk’ and sister country simulcast KCMY and K273AF “Cowboy Country 102.5” will broadcast live from Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  Evans Broadcast president and CEO Jerry Evans tells TALKERS this year will be the last recognized by the Normandy Veteran’s Association.

francesamikeSix Receive NY Hall Call.  The 2014 New York State Broadcasters Association‘s Hall of Fame class includes capital region/Syracuse broadcaster John Cooper; Syracuse TV reporter Nancy Duffy; WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa; renowned sportscaster Marty Glickman; Buffalo television manager Chris Musial; and New York City TV journalist Marvin Scott.  Cooper has been with Clear Channel since 2000, and is currently regional program manager for the company’s stations in Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Sussex, New Jersey.  Duffy received the Syracuse Press Club‘s Lifetime Achievement Award; she passed away in 2006.  All-American football player Marty Glickman had brief careers in professional football and basketball.  He was the NBA‘s first TV announcer and the first broadcaster for the New York Nets before the ABA – NBA merger.  In the 1960s, Glickman was the sports director of WCBS-AM, New York; he is a member of the Curt Gowdy wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Glickman – the voice of the NY football Giants for 23 years and the NY Jets for 11 years – was 83 years old when he died in 2001.  While Musial was news director and president/general manager of Buffalo’s WIVB-TV, it was the highest-overall rated television station in the country from sign-on to sign-off.  WPIX-TV, New York senior correspondent Marvin Scott is the recipient of seven Emmy awards.  Before joining WPIX, he held positions as anchor, correspondent, and producer at CNN, Mutual Broadcasting System, and New York City’s WABC-TV.  Regarding his selection to the Hall, Francesa comments, “I am humbled and excited to be recognized by the New York State Broadcasters Association; it is a great honor.  Anything with ‘New York’ attached to it means all the more to me.”  The afternoon drive (1:00 pm – 6:30 pm) talent recently agreed to a long-term contract extension with WFAN.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason states, “Mike has earned his place in radio history as a great broadcaster.  We are thrilled to continue our relationship with sports radio’s most celebrated host.”  From 1989 to 2008, Francesa co-hosted the “Mike & Mad Dog Show” with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and has been overseeing “Mike’s On” since 2008.  Francesa occupies the #1 position on TALKERS’ 2013 “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio.  The June 13 induction ceremony will take place during the Association’s summer conference in New York City.

Donald Sterling Case, Tepid Economy Data, John Kerry Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, and Chicago Gun Violence Epidemic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The lifetime ban and fine levied against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of his racist comments recorded by a former mistress; weak economic news and the impact on the Obama Administration’s policies; the aftermath of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state; Vladimir Putin’s continued military aggression in Ukraine; and the huge uptick in gun deaths in Chicago and the call for more gun laws were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

2014header - final for KCTALKERS Posts 2014 Heavy Hundred.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – debuted on March 11.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred,” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board with input from a wide variety of industry leaders.  It includes local and national hosts from an array of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer electronics, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and completely separate annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up-and-comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  To view the entire 2014 Heavy Hundred, please click here.

kgmzlogo‘Game’ Changes in San Francisco.  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is modifying its weekday on-air lineup.  Among the adjustments at the Entercom-owned San Francisco Bay Area sports outlet are the importing of former cross-town KNBR talent Damon Bruce to afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and shifting current PM drivers Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (below left, respectively) to mornings, replacing “The Rise Guys” — Whitey Gleason, Mark Kriedler and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo states, “This is a brucedamongreat day for our station and for Bay Area sports fans.  For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated, and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports.  He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market.  Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive.  In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following.  We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow ‘The Game.'” According to Bruce, “The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting buchertownsendin the country today.  Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country. I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bruce was with KNBR from 1998 – 2000, and returned in 2005.  He gained national exposure hosting “Sports Overnight America,” before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has filled in for Jim Rome and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. His other credits include fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio; Sporting News Radio; CBS Sports Network; and hosting pre and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.  The revised KGMZ lineup – which begins in just over two weeks (3/31) – will include “Bucher and Towny” with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Haberman & Middlekauff (10:00 am -12:00 noon); “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund & Greg Papa (noon – 3:00 pm); and “The Damon Bruce Show” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

salemcommunicationsSaga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4.  The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political.  For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political).  In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian christianedstated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed.  We’re just pleased with the results.”  Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness.  “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like.  In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”

beasley logoBeasley Declares Cash Dividend.  The company’s board of directors is announcing the company is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividend is payable on April 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 31, 2014.

linnmanpaulKEX, Portland Personality Accused of Assault.  Morning show personality Paul Linnman – host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland – is being accused by a co-worker of assault after he allegedly groped her buttocks and licked his lips as he stared at her breasts.  Kailee Kinney is bringing the suit against Clear Channel and Linnman in Multnomah County Court.  Kinney is a producer and account executive at CC Portland.  She’s seeking $325,000 in damages.  The complaint alleges Linnman “came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body.  Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff’s buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff’s buttocks.”  It further alleges that “Linnman approached plaintiff for a second time, stating, ‘I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress,” during which he “licked his lips and stared at Plaintiff’s breasts as he made this comment to plaintiff.”

postbillSalem, Oregon Talk Host Suspends Show After Equal Time Complaint.  In the Salem, Oregon market, Willamette Broadcasting employee Bill Post has suspended his daily talk show on KYKN due to his campaign for state representative and a complaint from a primary opponent about violation of equal time rules.  Post announced his campaign for the seat in December.  Last month, Barbara Jensen announced her bid for the seat but Post continued to work on the air.  Jensen complains that Post and the station have been violating FCC rules and election laws but also asserts Post has violated other campaign laws but did not specify what they are.  In a story in the Statesman Journal, Post says the station was prepared for Jensen’s complaint and that he believes the station and his campaign manager have operated within the law.   Jensen’s complaint implies that once Post worked on air after opponents joined the race, the station must then provide equal time.

journalcommunicationsJournal Communications Shows Off New Brand.  The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing.  As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website atjournalbroadcastgroup www.journalcommunications.com.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith comments, “When we look at our company, we see quality, focus and effective teams in our local markets – all part of a business that is moving forward.  However, many people outside of Journal often have no idea that, in addition to their favorite local station or publication, we have a total of 13 television stations, 35 radio stations and a major daily newspaper with a variety of supporting local publications, all with complementary digital products.  As such, we believe our new brand better represents our company to investors, employees and the public and positions us as a national media company with diverse brands united under a common identity.”  The redesigned company website includes links to all of Journal’s digital products and Journal Broadcast Group live streaming sites, as well as a “What’s Trending Now” feature that highlights Journal’s most recent content across its Broadcast and Publishing websites.

entercomEntercom Kansas City Takes Action Against Delinquent Client.  It’s not unusual for radio stations to put a past-due account into collection but Entercom Kansas City is seeking a court’s assistance in getting more than $52,000 it claims it is owned by Vinson Mortgage Services Inc.  In a story in the St. Louis Business Journal, Vinson apparently advertised on news/talk KMBZ, alternative KRBZ and rock KQRC.  This is not the only action involving Vinson.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is filing a suit claiming it is owned more than $68,000.

wdrc-amOdds & Sods.  The recent FCC filing for Buckley Broadcasting’s sale of its Connecticut stations to Connoisseur Media announced last week shows the price is $7.9 million.  The stations include classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WDRC-AM, Hartford; WWCO, Waterbury; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden…..Talk radio pro Mark Wainwright is sitting in on Clear Channel’s WSYR, Syracuse for Joe Galuski on the morning program next week, March 17 – 21…..Alpha Broadcasting announces Jeremy Scott and Brian Perkins will be the radio announcers for the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder when games air on the company’s KXTG, Portland “Sports Radio 750 The Game.”  Scott serves as a reporter for sister news/talk KXL.  Perkins is a reporter and air personality on KXTG…..XtreMEDIA nationally syndicated talk host Steve Deace is talking to New Englanders today as he sits in for Boston talk icon Howie Carr on Entercom‘s WRKO.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Winter Weather/Global Warming, Republican Wins Fla. Special Election, ObamaCare Criticism, CIA Monitoring of Senate Staffers/Snowden Video Appearance, and Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Tensions  Among Top Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The ongoing mystery concerning the whereabouts of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet; a new round of winter weather hits the East and renewed debate over the case for man-made global warming; Republican David Jolly defeats Democrat Alex Sink in Florida Congressional special election; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Senator Diane Feinstein’s allegation the CIA monitored Senate staffers and Edward Snowden’s commentary on surveillance cases; and President Obama’s faceoff with Vladimir Putin and the case of Russia’s incursion into Crimea and Ukraine were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

| February 12, 2014

barberiejillianKABC, Los Angeles Adds Jillian Barberie to Midday Show.  The sound of the midday show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles changes beginning Monday February 17 as the station adds local media star Jillian Barberie to the lineup co-hosting the new “Mid-Day LA with Jillian Barberie & John Phillips.”  The show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and is part of the station’s move to add more local content to its programming.  Barberie is well known to Southern California for her 18 years as co-host of Fox 11’s top-rated morning show, “Good Day LA.”  In a kabclogostatement, the station says that Barberie’s work at Fox 11 “engaged audiences with her real-life stories and electric energy.  The sassy, Canadian-born Barberie has made a career out of hanging with the guys.  While hosting ‘Good Day LA,’ she also spent a decade on the Fox NFL Pre-Game Show working opposite Curt Menefee, Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.”  Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey adds, “Jillian’s energy, experience and love for Southern California are unmatched.  We’re absolutely thrilled that she’s joining the ‘TalkRadio 790’ team in this important role.”  Barberie comments, “I am so excited to be partnered with John Phillips!  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the KABC team, which is such a great place with incredibly talented people.  I’ve always felt that there is something unique and liberating about doing radio.”

coakleyvinceWYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina Names Vince Coakley Weekend Host.  Television and radio pro Vince Coakley joins Entercom’s WYRD-FM, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina “WORD 106.3FM” for a regular Sunday program and as a fill-in personality when station hosts Bob McLain and Russ Cassell are on vacation.  The station notes that Coakley’s program is “the Upstate’s only weekend live and local current events talk show” during that daypart, and adds, “Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean the news and the discussion about them stops.”  Coakley hosted afternoon drive on Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte from June 2011 to July of 2012.  He spent 20 years in television news prior to that.  He’s also hosted a daily internet radio show called “Revolution Radio.”  He says, “I am thrilled to officially join the team at WORD.  The station is fearless in giving voice to hosts and listeners who place a premium on liberty.  I have come to view the Greenville area as a second home and look forward to spending more time with the people of the Upstate on and off the air.”

envisionnetworks newTALKERS Posts Part-Three Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  What broadcasting executive and entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years in founding and establishing Cleveland-based national syndication firm Envision Radio Networks is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply asmckayjeff Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that in today’s installment) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses how, as a result of new technology and social practices, radio has grown to point that it is “more than” simply radio and that operators must work diligently to preserve its history and uniqueness without sacrificing its potential and rightful place within the digital-era.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part three of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed parts one and two published Monday and yesterday, please read them here and here, respectively.

entercomMore Details from Entercom’s Q4 Conference Call: The Drop on Boston and WEEI.  While Entercom president and CEO David Field acknowledged that 2013 revenue was not where the company would like to have seen it (down 3%), he stated numerous times during Tuesday’s conference call that he believes the company has turned the corner and is “positioned for a strong 2014.”  Saying that the company’s strongest-performing markets were San Francisco, Kansas City and Memphis, Field glowed about the ratings of some of the stations in those markets, pointing out the success stories of “The Wolf” and “The Point” in Kansas City, KOIT, KBLX and KGME in San Francisco.  He also addressed the state of the Boston market and of sports talker WEEI.  “We have some work to do there, but it’s interesting. weei logo We have a new leadership there now, which we are very excited about, and I believe we are starting to turn the corner there.  And if you look at the fundamentals of Boston, WEEI, our flagship in the market, remains one of the top-rated sports station in the United States.  It’s a top-three player in Boston among men.  We are about to enter baseball season with the world champion Boston Red Sox and what’s little noted too is our digital play there.  We have a major platform there with a team of writers who work for that, and it has become sort of a much visited site for fans.  And to put it into context, we do about 1.5 million unique visitors each month, just on the digital side there.  So we have a ton of opportunities in Boston and I would expect better things to come in the not-too-distant future there, and again, I think the future’s bright.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole chat here.

fernandezandreFernandez Boosted to Journal COO; Graham Upped to SVP/CFO.  It’s a promotion for Journal Communications president Andre Fernandez as he is appointed chief operating officer in which he’s assuming operational oversight of the company’s broadcast and publishing segments.  His other expanded responsibilities will include corporate human resources; executive vice president of radio Steve Wexler continues reporting to Fernandez.  Elsewhere, the company names vice president/controller Jason Graham senior vice president of finance/controller/chief financial officer.  Graham will report to chairman/chief executive officer Steven Smith, who states, “Jason has done an excellent job leading our accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, and tax teams.  He has also contributed to our strategic planning and growth initiatives, which will continue to be an integral part of his expanded role as CFO.”  Prior to joining Journal in June 2012, Graham was Brookdale Senior Living‘s vice president/corporate controller.

kennerellenOdds & Sods.  At Sports USA, the company announces that Lyle Gordon is promoted to EVP affiliate relations.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Lyle is a centerpiece of our company and his incredible relationships with over 400 radio stations makes Sports USA programming available to a nationwide audience.  His experience with all forms of sports programming makes him the perfect person for this job.”…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Ellen Kenner celebrates her 17th anniversary on the radio as she begins broadcasting year number 18 of her Providence-based weekly talk show program…..According to ESPNNewYork.com, when the New York Mets take to the field this season, radio broadcasters Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will be back in the booth as games air on new flagship WOR.  Previously, games were heard on crosstown WFAN-FM…..In Nashville, Cromwell Group’s sports talk WPRT-FM, will continue as flagship for the AAA Nashville Sounds this season.  The Sounds are the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers.

floresdanielWichita Police Continue to Investigate Death of Steckline Communications Staffer.  Authorities in Wichita are investigating the death of 25-year old Daniel Flores, a staffer at Steckline Communications, who was killed sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning at the company’s studios in West Wichita.  Right now, police have little to go on and are asking the public’s assistance in solving the crime.  At a press conference on Tuesday, police said they believe the perpetrator(s) were at the station for a reason – that it was not a random attack – but they are not sure at this point why the station or Flores was targeted.  Flores had been an employee at Steckline for about a year.

siriusxmCool Job Opportunity.  Sirius XM’s new Business Radio channel, originating from the Wharton School in Philadelphia, is looking for a business news host/producer.  The host/producer will be responsible for anchoring two hours of daily programming on business news including topics ranging from product development to marketing and management strategies.  Duties include working with an editorial team, faculty, industry experts and Sirius staff to identify daily content, create segments, and book guests as well as research business topics related to content themes.  A Bachelor’s degree and three to five years of experience in news/business reporting and anchoring or equivalent combination of education and experience required.  Applicants must be skilled in gathering, researching and reporting business stories as well as interviewing business newsmakers.  The focus is on drawing useful business insight and analyses for a lay audience on a tight deadline.  This position is based in Philadelphia. For more information please log on to: http://jobs.hr.upenn.edu:80/postings/1269Special.

kaufmanskydiveWFTL’s Joyce Kaufman Jumps with the Golden Knights.  Yes, that’s WFTL, Fort Lauderdale talk show host Joyce Kaufman riding tandem with a member of the United States Army Parachute Team “The Golden Knights” over Homestead Air Reserve Base in Homestead, Florida.  On another note, Kaufman tells TALKERS the recent Chapter 11 filing of WFTL’s parent company James Crystal Radio is not weighing on her.  She says she had faith in the company.  “We had a very anxious January, but I knew they would be honorable so I hung in.  We received all our money last week and are on schedule to be paid in a timely fashion as the company reorganizes.  I love this market.  I love this company and as long as they give me the opportunity, I am staying.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Winter Weather Headed for South and East, Obama “I Can Do Anything I Want” Quip, Sochi Winter Games, Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, Hillary in 2016, NSA Spying Scandal, and Gay Football Player Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the next winter storm headed for the East and South; President Obama’s “I can do anything I want” quip; the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia; Congress’ move to allow the raising of the debt ceiling; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016; the backlash from the NSA spying scandal; and the announcement by NFL prospect Michael Sam that he’s gay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 27, 2012

| July 27, 2012

Programmer Jack Silver Lands at New NBC Sports Radio.  Programmer Jack Silver is named the program director for the sports talk radio network set to launch this fall.  Silver most recently programmed Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC and classic rock KLOS in Los Angeles and, prior to that, spent many years at the helm of CBS Radio’s hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles.  NBC Sports Radio EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran says, “It’s a pleasure to announce that Jack will be joining our NBC Sports Radio team.  Everyone in radio is familiar with his success in programming and his many accomplishments in the industry.  We’re looking forward to bringing his talents to Culver City.”  On his new position, Silver states, “I have a world of experience in programming to the daily consumer of sports radio.  This is an exciting launch for the sports radio consumer and we’ll add PPM winning strategies and best practices to ensure a huge success.”  Silver takes the helm of the programming department at the NBC Sports Group and Dial Global initiative as the sports talk radio universe gets a little more crowded.  Four months after the NBC Sports Radio network debuts, CBS Radio launches its national sports radio platform, CBS Sports Radio.

Journal Communications Reports Boffo Second Quarter.  The parent company of Journal Broadcast Group announces second quarter operating earnings up 17% compared to the same quarter one year ago.  Revenue from the broadcast group was up 16.5% when excluding the recently acquired Tulsa stations – 18.4% with their revenue.  The company is reporting revenue of $95.5 million for the quarter, an increase of 6% over the same period a year ago.  When it comes to Journal’s radio properties, the company posted revenue of $19.4 million, an increase of 11.5%, largely from a boost in automotive and political.

ABC News’ Aurora-Tea Party Goof Addressed at Television Critics Association Press Tour.  The speculation by ABC NewsBrian Ross – very early on last Friday morning’s coverage of the Aurora, Colorado shooting – that there’s a Jim Holmes in Aurora on the local Tea Party site who may be the same Jim Holmes taken into custody, reared its head at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, July 26.  The Washington Post reports ABC News chief Ben Sherwood was asked about the error that happened on the network’s “Good Morning America.”  The Post reports Sherwood said, “We put something on the air that we did not know to be true and the part that we needed to be true was not germane to the story we were covering…It was a mistake; we recognized it immediately and owned it immediately…we corrected it immediately, and we apologized.”  Sherwood said Ross contacted the Jim Holmes in question and apologized to him.  Sherwood also stated the reporting did not live up to ABC’s standards and he takes responsibility for it.

Boston Public Media Company WGBH Merges with Public Radio International.  The Minneapolis-based Public Radio International will continue to operate independently as a tax-exempt non-profit from its Minneapolis base but PRI is now an affiliated company of WGBH.  The two companies have been working together for years, in one instance producing PRI-distributed “The World” out of WGBH studios in Boston for the past 16 years.  The company is not being specific about how this will affect employees but it admits, now that the deal has closed, it will be looking for some “efficiencies” and some staffers could be affected.  PRI CEO Alisa Miller states, “As with all transactions like this, we will be looking for places that WGBH might have capacity we could take advantage of.  While we haven’t made any final decisions, we do think that there might be a few positions that could be affected.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Nationally syndicated morning drive host Tom Joyner will be the keynote speaker at the NAB– and RAB-sponsored Radio Show Luncheon in Dallas on Friday, September 21…..A couple of sports-related notes from satcaster SiriusXM today: former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook becomes part of the NFL Radio channel where he’ll host the Sunday evening “NFL Rewind” show and be part of other shows throughout the NFL season, including the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Movin’ the Chains” program.  Also, SiriusXM will broadcast from all 32 NFL training camps for its preview of the coming season…..Pamplin’s KPAM, Portland becomes the flagship for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.  The deal includes the broadcast of a weekly coach’s show, all 72 regular season games plus promotional opportunities and charity partnerships.

Red Thread Named Winner of KYW, Philadelphia’s Small Business Challenge.  CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia announces Red Thread – a company that designs and creates the best clothing and solutions to improve the quality of life for all breast cancer survivors – is the winner of the inaugural 2012 Small Business Challenge and wins a $25,000 advertising campaign on KYW Newsradio, and a one year lease of professional private furnished office space located at one of the seven American Executive Centers in the Delaware Valley.  Company president, physician and cancer survivor Debra Kimless-Garber says, “I’m a physician, I’m a survivor.  I know what survivors are going through.  I created these products to make myself feel whole again.  I want to share that with all the other 2.6 million survivors that live in the United States.”  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield  states, “KYW Newsradio is proud to use the power of its voice and expertise in the Philadelphia market to showcase a small business that is beginning to find its way in the market place.  We hope our campaign will help Red Thread become the business that it rightfully deserves and aspires to be.”

Aurora Theater Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 23-27.  Discussion about the tragic shooting at the premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado late last week was the most-talked-about story on news/talk stations across America this week.  Rounding out the top four on the weekly Talkers TenTM chart were: at #2, the gun laws issue; at #3 the presidential campaign; and at #4, the backlash against President Obama by conservatives for his speech about small business.  The Talkers TenTM – a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio – is the result of ongoing research from Talkers and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

| February 8, 2012

More Than 23 Million Tuned in to Radio Broadcast of Super Bowl According to Edison Research.  On the heels of the Dial Global-commissioned survey to determine the radio listenership to the NFC and AFC Championship games two weeks ago, DG follows up to ask Edison Research to study how many people listened to at least a portion of its Westwood One-produced broadcast of the Big Game.  Edison reports that via a live telephone interview survey conducted Monday after the game, “listeners accessed the live broadcast in multiple listening environments, including the home, while driving, at work and other locations, on over 680 stations nationwide.”  Given the money Dial Global spends for the rights to sports broadcasts throughout the year – and especially the NFL playoffs product – Co-president and CEO David Landau is delighted with the results.  “We are again excited, but not surprised, to see that our research findings highlight the strength of the Dial Global brand and the ongoing demand for radio broadcast coverage of live sporting events.  Dial Global is committed to showcasing the value of our content and exemplifying our commitment to being the most innovative, service focused company in the industry while supporting our affiliates and advertisers.”

Journal Communications Ups CFO Andre Fernandez to President.  The former NBC Universal SVP – with Journal Communications as chief financial officer since October of 2008 – keeps his CFO role but adds the president title.  Former president Steven Smith stays in his chairman and CEO position.  Smith says the new title recognizes the role Fernandez plays in the corporation.  “He has been instrumental in the continuing evolution of our business, the steady focus on building our local media brands and the sustained investment in our digital business.  Andre has also helped us maintain our strong financial disciplines which have led to Journal’s consistently improving balance sheet.  We look forward to Andre’s increased operational responsibilities across the company.”

WRKO, Boston Expands Midday Financial Show with Barry Armstrong.  The talk program hosted by the founder of the Armstrong Advisory Group is being renamed “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong” and airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily.  Vice president of AM programming for Entercom New England Jason Wolfe says, “Barry has done an excellent job with this program since its inception, and given the state of the economy in our country, I’m really looking forward to him being able to continue sharing his expertise in the business and financial arena, an arena that is still very top of mind for our audience.”  The station notes that Armstrong’s program regularly features heavyweight guests such as CNBC’s Larry Kudlow and Rick Santelli, Pimm Foxx from Bloomberg News, Fox Business’s Stuart Varney, and Eric Rosengren, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  The move means TRN’s Laura Ingraham airs in the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Jen Brien follows from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Disney’s ABC News and Univision in Talks to Create New Cable News Channel.  The Wall Street Journal reports the two companies are in serious talks about creating a new cable news channel that would “broadcast in English, in an effort to keep pace with changing demographics among U.S. Hispanics and reach a new audience of English speakers.”  Neither company is commenting and the piece notes that the deal is far from done.  If it does happen, the operations center for the new channel would be based in Univision’s corporate home of Miami.  The initiative would be a departure for Univision by entering in to an English-language broadcast entity but an interesting aspect of the story as the WSJ notes the recognition that “U.S.-born Hispanics, who often speak English more than Spanish, are now fueling Hispanic population growth more than Spanish-speaking immigrants.”

American Jewish University in Los Angeles Presenting Talk Radio Discussion.   The fifth annual talk radio discussion presented by AJU is set to take place this Sunday, February 12.  Moderated by veteran broadcaster Bill Moran, the panel’s scheduled speakers include KFI, Los Angeles, personalities Bill Handel and Bill Carroll; Patt Morrison of KPCC-FM, Los Angeles and Southern California Public Radio; and Michael Harrison, founder of TALKERS.  Open to the public, the discussion will cover a variety of topics including Middle East tensions, health care, the economy, immigration reform, social media, the environment and a behind-the-scenes discussion about the talk media industry.  The event takes place between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm at the AJU’s Familian Campus, 15600 Mulholland Drive in Bel-Air.  Admission: $25.  For more information or reservations call 310-440-1246.

WEEI, Boston Super Bowl Party Benefits Boomer Esiason Foundation.  Entercom’s sports talk WEEI, Boston held a Super Bowl party on Saturday, February 4 at Buca di Beppo in downtown Indianapolis.  The event raised $10,000 for the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fight cystic fibrosis.  Esiason – morning drive co-host at CBS Radio’s WFAN and Dial Global play-by-play analyst for Monday Night Football broadcasts – is a regular contributor to WEEI appearing weekly with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan during the NFL season.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Rich Saultz, VP of operations for Buca di Beppo, Boomer Esiason, Entercom VP/market manager Jeff Brown and WEEI VP of programming Jason Wolfe.

Colorado/Missouri/Minnesota Races, Obama Health Care Law Birth Control Controversy, Syria Violence, and California’s Prop 8 Overturned Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/7).  The GOP primary and caucus races in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, President Obama’s health care legislation and the mandatory birth control provisions that are creating controversy, ongoing violence in Syria and its role in the global stage, plus the overturning of California’s Prop 8 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

| October 26, 2011

Westwood One Founder Norm Pattiz Describes Beginnings of Westwood One. During his special remarks at last week’s historic Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum (10/20), Westwood One founder (and current CEO of Courtside Entertainment) Norm Pattiz shared the story of the early days of the ground breaking syndication firm that he started in one office in Westwood back in the late 1970s.  Telling the packed house of talk media professionals that he launched the company with “$10,000 and a working wife,” Pattiz describes how his background as a well-connected former L.A. television sales manager served to bring sponsorships to packaged radio programs — thus shifting the network radio business model from a direct cash to barter system and opening the door to the tremendous growth that followed.  He talks about Westwood One’s first show being an urban radio cross-over Motown special stating, “Being a television guy and not a radio guy, I didn’t know the rules of radio and if you don’t know the rules, you can’t be limited by them.”  Pattiz’s speech can be seen exclusively on TALKERS TV. If you are using a mobile device, click here to view the video.

Cumulus Budget Ax Chops Through Chicago.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Cumulus corporate dictates have taken a toll on the producer staff at news/talk WLS, Chicago and the programming and airstaff at sister oldies WLS-FM.  Afternoon drive “Roe & Roeper” executive producer Jock Hedblade and “Don Wade & Roma” morning drive show producer Zack Christenson both have been let go along with WLS-FM program director Michael LaCrosse and Chris Papendick, producer of the Greg Brown PM drive show on WLS-FM.  The other change includes operations director Drew Hayes remaining solely responsible for WLS and no longer overseeing WMAL, Washington as he has for the past several years.  Bill Hess was recently promoted to PD at WMAL.  Hayes’ oversight began when WMAL was without a programmer.

Q3 Reports:  Arbitron Up; Journal’s Radio Bright Spot in Down Quarter.  Arbitron reports third quarter revenue up 6.1% over the same period one year ago and states it expects revenue for the entire year to be up somewhere between 6% and 8%.  During a conference call, Arbitron CEO Bill Kerr noted that the company’s completion of the rollout of the Portable People Meter in the 48 top radio markets helped the company achieve its goals.  He also gave an update on the status of its Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement-sponsored project to develop a “single-source panel” for measuring TV, internet and mobile usage.  Kerr says they expect to present their work to CIMM during the fourth quarter.  At Journal Communications, while TV and publishing are languishing, radio has been pretty good to the Milwaukee-based company.  Radio was up 2.7% year-over-year while the company posted a 4.4% loss overall for the quarter.  Flagship news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee posted record ratings under the PPM as the station benefitted from the success of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, MLB’s Brewers and the recall elections across the state that brought in political dollars in a non-election year.

Michigan Sports Talker Sean Baligian Exits Clear Channel.  The “Sean and Terp Show” aired in PM drive on Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit and was simulcast to Grand Rapids on WMAX-FM.  With Baligian’s departure from the company, Ryan Terpstra continues to host the afternoon show on WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids and WDFN will feature a series of guest hosts as the station seeks its next permanent host for the daypart.  Via Facebook, Baligian says farewell to fans and hopes to announce a new gig soon.  The program was originally “Sean, Terp and Killer” and recently lost co-host Tom “Killer” Kowalski who died unexpectedly in August of heart failure at age 51.

Journal Names J. Pat Miller Promotion and Marketing Manager in Milwaukee.  Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee operations announces classic hits WLWK-FM midday host and program director J. Pat Miller moves to a new position as promotion and marketing manager for the company’s WLWK-FM and news/talk WTMJ.  Journal states Miller “will work with the radio sales departments and programming teams to coordinate promotions, events and interactive platforms and will assume day-to-day oversight of the stations’ promotions department, as well.”  Programmer John Roberts joins Journal to handle programming at WLWK-FM.

Town Hall Takes on Los Angeles.  KRLA, Los Angeles’ sold out NTR event on Saturday evening (10/22) pulled a crowd of 1,400 into the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.  The Salem Communications station produced the annual “Town Hall” event that featured Salem Radio Network talk show hosts plus special guests.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: SRN’s Mike Gallagher, columnist, author and pundit Ann Coulter, SRN’s Dennis Prager, KDWN, Las Vegas AM drive host Heidi Harris (who served as moderator for the program), and SRN personality Michael Medved.  The panelists batted around the current hot news stories including the 2012 presidential race.  They also fielded questions from the audience.

‘Occupy Wall Street,’ 2012 Presidential Race, Libya/Middle East Stability and Euro Zone Economic Tension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The ongoing ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, the GOP candidates for president, political strife in Libya and the Middle East and the shaky state of the Euro Zone’s economy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.