Tag: "KFI"

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

| July 17, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases May Financial Figures; Net Income in the Black.  As iHeartMedia winds its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, it is releasing monthly financial statements with a bunch more information than the privately-owned company used to reveal in its quarterly reports.  Although iHM’s revenue dipped from $417.9 million in April to $318.7 million in May, net income went from a loss of $139.8 million to a gain of $57.7 million.  Operating income also rose from April to May – going from $63.9 million to $80.9 million.

‘Rip City Sports Radio’ Announces New Programming. Portland, Oregon sports talker KPOJ “Rip City Radio 620” and collaborator NBC Sports Northwest announce a new weekday lineup starting Thursday (7/19).  Changes include sports talk radio pro Brian Noe taking over for “The Dwight & Aaron Show” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart and the re-launch of the evening program, “The Bridge,” hosted by Serena Winters.  Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013 during which he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman.  Noe has also hosted shows with Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.  Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.  Serena Winters was previously co-host of “The Bridge” and has been elevated to primary host. She’ll be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.  Rich Moore is PD for the iHeartMedia station and he says, “We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily lineup at ‘NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620.’ He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

FOX Sports Radio and Clay Travis Extend Deal. Nationally syndicated sports media personality Clay Travis and FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks) announce they’ve come to terms on a new, multi-year agreement.  The deal will keep Travis in his current role as host of the network’s morning drive (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) program, “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis.” Premiere SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say, “We’re excited by what we’re building with this network and ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis’ is an integral piece of the puzzle. We’re proud to have Clay leading our lineup every weekday morning with his bold, opinionated, and entertaining brand of sports talk, which continues to drive positive results for our affiliates and advertising partners.  We look forward to working together for many years to come.”

Sweet New Studios. Pictured above are WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” personalities (from l-r) Mike Felger, Marshall Hook, and Matt McCarthy in the station’s new studios.  The station began broadcasting from Beasley Media Group Boston’s new facilities in Dorchester this week.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  Today (7/17), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 15th installment is the panel discussion titled “Programming News/Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian; introduced by KFBK/KSTE, Sacramento PD, Bill White; and featuring panelists CFRB, Toronto PD and Bell Media national news/talk format head, Mike BendixeniHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Grace Blazer; WOR, New York assistant PD, Scott Lakefield; WBAL, Baltimore PD, Scott Masteller; and WABC, New York PD, Craig Schwalb.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

NAB Announces Marconi Finalists.  The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters’s 2018 Marconi Awards have been announced.  The winners will be revealed at the NAB Radio Show at the Awards Dinner & Show on September 27 in Orlando.  Of the five stations nominated for Legendary Station of the Year, four are spoken-word outlets: iHeartMedia’s KOA-AM, Denver; Cumulus Media’s WBAP-AM, Dallas; and Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM, Dayton and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville.  News/Talk Station of the Year Nominees are: CMG’s KRMG-AM, Tulsa; Entercom’s KYW-AM, Philadelphia; Tribune’s WGN-AM, Chicago; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington.  See the whole list here.

Cohen Victim Joe Walsh Says He’s ‘Gotta Own’ What He Said.  The list of politicians and media pros who’ve been fooled by comedian and producer Sacha Baron Cohen for his new Showtime program “Who Is America?” is lengthy.  Last Friday, TALKERS pointed to a THR piece in which WGAC-AM, Augusta personality Austin Rhodes detailed his experience being taped (and fooled) for the program.  Former congressman and Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Joe Walsh was also a victim and he – like Rhodes – is taking it in stride.  Borat – who tricked Walsh into traveling to Washington to receive an “award” from an Israeli TV network as a “friend of Israel” – got Walsh to read phony ad copy for a “course” that trains kids to wield guns. Walsh says, “I gotta own what I said.”  Read the CBS piece here.

Bill Handel (Reluctantly) Celebrates 25 Years at KFI, Los Angeles. As reported by LARadio.com, Bill Handel – who apparently hates studio decorations and celebrations – was forced to recognize his quarter-century mark at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as an air talent. Handel started in 1993 on weekends doing his legal show.  He moved to morning drive and has been one of the most successful news/talk morning personalities in American radio.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation, Illegal Immigration Policy, Sacha Baron Cohen Show, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Complications, Elon Musk-Cave Rescuer Spat, and MLB All-Star Week Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents, including the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of 12 Russian agents for hacking; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policies; the duping of numerous guests on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America?” TV show; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a U.S.-China trade war; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to craft a strategy for leaving the EU; the public spat between Elon Musk and Thailand cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth; France beats Croatia for the soccer World Cup; and the Major League Baseball All-Star week were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A shocker in San Diego as Shelly Dunn of KFMB-FM’s “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” morning program announces she will retire from the show and the radio biz after a 36-year radio career and 28-and-a-half years on the program.  Adding spice to this news are reports in San Diego that the morning show’s contract comes up next month and there’s speculation about the status of negotiations as some industry watchers wonder if TV-centric Tegna wishes to continuing owning the radio stations it got in the Midwest TV deal that also landed it KFMB-TV.  If the station is for sale, it may not want to burden a new owner with a lucrative talent deal – even for a show that is as successful as “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw.” Others wonder if Entercom will try to woo the show over to handle mornings on embattled, fledgling sports talker KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia announces Rachel “Rach” Viggiano is the new midday personality at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”  Station PD Jared Fallon says, “On the search for our next star, I was looking for someone who’s passionate about our brand and engaged in the lifestyle of our audience, so as soon as I met Rach I knew she was exactly what ‘Q102’ Philly needed!  Between her upbeat energy and humor, she is the perfect fit for our listeners.”  Rach joins the Philadelphia market from WPUR-FM, Atlantic City, New Jersey where she was morning host…..Air personality and programmer Toni Marie is leaving Buck Owens Broadcasting’s country KRJK, Bakersfield “The Bull 97.3” where she was PM drive host and music director for an opportunity yet-to-be-disclosed.  This was her second tour with Buck Owens Broadcasting.  She was music director for country KUZZ from 2009 through 2015…..In Santa Rosa, California, Carey Edwards is the new program director and morning personality at Redwood Empire Stereocasters-owned country KBBL “106.5 The Bull.”  Edwards was most recently morning host at Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Phoenix…..Morning personality John Balginy exits Sandhill Media’s country KUPI, Idaho Falls, Idaho as Jeff Roper joins the station as program director and morning host.  Balginy says in a Facebook post, “For the first time in 27 years, I will not be waking up listeners in Southeast Idaho.  The ‘99 KUPI ‘Breakfast Boys’ are no longer!  I would like to thank my co-hosts for going on this ride with me – Dennis Carlson, Phillip Moon, Kenny Mac, Brother Dale & Jess Jennings, and Cory Daniels.  It’s time for this old man to sleep in for the first time in over a quarter of a century.  A big thank you to all of the great listeners who have tuned in all these years.”…..The second episode of the “iHeartRadio Presents: Inside the Studio’ podcast has been released and features an exclusive interview with Dave MatthewsRolling Stone contributor Joe Levy interviews Matthews, hitting subjects including the six-year gap between records, the year he took off from music, and the secret connection between his band and Black Sabbath.

RIP, Nick Michaels

| May 29, 2018

Tribute By Holland Cooke

 

PINECREST, Fla. — When MTV first popped, NBC followed with “Friday Night Videos,” after Johnny Carson.  The host, heard but not seen: Nick Michaels.  Elsewhere within 30 Rock in the early 1980s, Nick’s voice was also heard on NBC Radio’s innovative network The Source.  And when “Dallas” returned to resolve who shot J.R., three of the back-to-back-to-back network commercials in the mid-break were Nick voice-overs.  Got a headache THIS big?  “Excedrin, the most medicine you can buy without a prescription.”

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Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

| March 6, 2018

Will Tomorrow Be the Day iHeartMedia’s Future Becomes Clearer? On Sunday, iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders entered into a Forbearance Agreement that put off iHM’s defaut on an interest payment on 14% Senior Notes until midnight tomorrow (3/7).  That gives both sides more time to work out a solution to the company’s $20 billion in debt and avoid putting the matter into the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  Analysts watching this case are taking note of the fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media purchased $400 million of iHM’s debt last week and now becomes a creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.  Just how important Liberty’s involvement as a creditor becomes remains to be seen but, remember that Liberty came to the aid of SiriusXM when it needed cash and now controls a majority interest in that company.  A lot of the consumer press stories covering the iHeartMedia debt saga that TALKERS editors have seen imply the company is on the verge of “failure.”  But the reality – borne out by its quarterly financial reports – is that the company is making money.  It’s just not making enough to cover interest payments on the massive debt.  The latest term sheet from iHeartMedia summarizes a proposed restructuring of the company that would reduce its debt (in exchange for equity) to $5.75 billion.  As part of the proposed terms, it would spin off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

And ‘The Loop’ in Chicago Goes to…Educational Media Foundation!  At first, today’s FCC filing to transfer classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago from Merlin Media to non-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million seems surprising, but EMF did recently acquire KSWD, Los Angeles from Entercom and, unlike many secular, commercial broadcasting companies, it has money in the bank.  If approved, it’s expected that EMF will install its “K-Love” Christian contemporary format on the station.  Unfortunately, the deal means the current staff – including morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – will be out of work.  The other Merlin Media station still on the block in Chicago is alternative rock WKQX.

Salem Media Group LMAs KPAM, Portland.  In a press release issued Monday (3/5), Salem Media Group acknowledges that it is operating news/talk KPAM, Portland and adult standards KKOV “Sunny 1550” – both stations in the process of being sold by Pamplin Broadcasting to Intelli LLC.  The presser is titled, “KPAM is Alive and Well” and notes that KPAM airs “live and local drive-time programs – ‘First Edition’ from 6am to 10am and ‘Afternoon Northwest’ from 3pm to 6pm – and syndicated programs such as ‘The Clark Howard Show,’ ‘The Schnitt Show,’ ‘The Michael Medved Show,’ and ‘The Joe Pags Show.’  Hourly news, weather, and sports as well as drive-time traffic are also featured.”

WRKO, Boston Adds Joe Pags Show for Evenings.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo – is joining the program lineup of iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston.  The Joe Pags show – heard in more than 100 markets across the country – airs in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says “We are thrilled to have Joe join the WRKO weekday line up.  Joe does so much more than just political talk.  He entertains, makes you think, makes you laugh, heck he even sings.  This makes him the perfect addition to the WRKO family.”  Pagliarulo states, “When you hear the call letters WRKO, you hear heritage – and a station most hosts can only dream of being on.  I’m psyched beyond words that my show is coming to this amazing station.  It’s an opportunity I cherish and simply cannot wait to talk with the great people of Boston on a daily basis.  Thank you so much to the management team for the trust and support!”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 2.3%.  During 2017, Saga Communications executed the sale of its television stations and purchased radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Those transactions resulted in net income increasing $9.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and $36.5 million for the year.  Saga reports that net revenue increased 2.3% to $31.5 million during Q4.  For the entire year, net revenue decreased 0.7% to $118.2 million.  For the fourth quarter, operating income decreased $433,000 to $5.3 million when adjusted for the $1.5 million charge for impairment of intangible assets.  Station operating expense increased 5.4% to $23.2 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) primarily due to the acquisition of the Charleston and Hilton Head radio stations.  Free cash flow was $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million last year.  Same station net revenue decreased 4.2% to $29.5 million primarily due to a decrease in gross political revenue of $1 million and same station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $21.5 million for the quarter.

Urban One Reports Q4 2017 Net Revenue Down 4%.  The silver lining in this fourth quarter 2017 financial report from Urban One is that broadcast and digital operating income increased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2016.  But overall, net revenue was approximately $109 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period in 2016.  Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $38.7 million for the quarter, compared to $30.9 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of 25.6%.  Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall, we produced a strong quarter from an Adjusted EBITDA standpoint, and as a result we were able to show full year Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite the challenging market conditions.  Our core radio revenues were up slightly for the quarter, excluding the impact of political revenues.  Our TV advertising revenues suffered from weak ratings delivery, which was somewhat offset by growth in affiliate revenues.  Our digital business benefitted from the integration of our acquisition of the Bossip, Madame Noire and Hip Hop Wired brands, and was up significantly in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA compared to prior year.  We were able to control costs, most notably at TV One and Corporate.  During the quarter, we repurchased a further $20 million of our 9.25% notes at a discount, and we remain strongly committed to reducing net leverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports giant ESPN announces James Pitaro is the company’s new chief, taking over for John Skipper, who suddenly stepped down from his position in December in order to address what was termed a long-time substance abuse issue.  Pitaro has been serving the Walt Disney company in an executive capacity in the digital realm.  Pitaro will also serve as co-chair of Disney’s television segment…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio 103.9 FM” is presenting a “Spring Back to Business” event designed to be a “networking social get-together” on March 26 at its studio operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.  Station personality Frank MacKay will introduce FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade who will take part in a Q&A with attendees.

Bill Lally Dies After Battle with Cancer.  Family, friends and the Southern California radio community are mourning the loss of Bill Lally, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.  Lally was a longtime operations manager and APD at KFI, KLAC and KTLK in Los Angeles who exited the company in 2009 during the massive round of layoffs that took place at then-Clear Channel that year.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lally had also served with WABC, New York; Westwood One; WMCA; and CBS RADIO during his career.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Financial Reforms Rollback, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Trump Tariffs/Trade War, Senate School Safety Bill, Netanyahu-Trump Meeting, the Oscars, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposes rolling back reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean officials; President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to block them; the U.S. Senate proposes a school safety bill in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting; embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his meeting with President Trump; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The morning show at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia “Power 99” adds Roxy Romeo to the cast.  She’ll join the “Rise & Grind Morning Show” featuring Mikey Dredd and Mutha Knows, effective March 12.  iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “To be able to add a talent the likes of Roxy to our staff is phenomenal.  She’s an incredible personality who has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve known her for years upon first listen. We’re excited to be able to share her voice with the city of Philadelphia, and that she’s chosen to make ‘Power 99’ her new home.”  Romeo was most recently midday jock, APD and music director at the company’s “REAL 103.9” in Las Vegas…..Nate Bell is named program director at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3” in Detroit.  EVP of urban/hip hop programming Doc Wynter says, “We are so excited to have Nate back in our urban programming brain trust.  He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.  Things are about to heat up in Detroit!”…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Brooke Morrison afternoon personality for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1.”  Station PD A.J. says, “We are very excited about what Brooke will bring to Charlotte.  Her high level of engagement, work ethic and passion for music and entertainment make her a superstar on and off the air.  I look forward to her joining the team as we build the next chapter of ‘Channel 96.1.’”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

| January 2, 2018

Holland Cooke and Michael Harrison Present TALKERS 2017 in Review on RT America.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke was joined by Michael Harrison during a special year-end wrap up of 2017 on Cooke’s RT America show, “The Big Picture.”  The two counted down the 10 most-talked-about topics and people on talk radio in America during 2017 according to TALKERS, offering personal insights and commentary along the way.  To view the entire segment, please click here.

CMG, Mike Calta and Matt Loyd Sued by Hulk Hogan in Sex Tape Case.  The infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape is back in the news in Florida as the former pro wrestler (real name Terry Bollea) is suing Cox Media Group, WHPT, Tampa air personality Mike Calta, and former WHPT staffer Matt Loyd for unspecified damages.  According to a report by WFTS-TV, Tampa, the defendants had asked that the case be dismissed, but a Pinellas County court judge has ruled the case can move forward.  If you remember, Hogan sued Gawker over its posting of a video of him having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem and won a $100 million judgement.  But Gawker’s subsequent bankruptcy declaration and sale make it unlikely he’ll collect on that.  So, now Hogan is going after CMG, Calta, and Loyd, claiming that the defendants are guilty of “stealing, disseminating, using and exploiting illegally-recorded video.”

Mike Felger Re-Ups with Beasley’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’  Boston sports media personality Mike Felger – co-host of the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show on WBZ-FM – signs a multi-year contract extension with Beasley Media Group to continue his duties with the station.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley says, “We are thrilled to have Mike continue entertaining Boston’s loyal and dedicated sports fans.”  The company says the afternoon show – co-hosted by Tony Massarotti – has finished #1 with Men 25-54 for the 22nd consecutive quarter.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo to Leave ‘Mighty 1090’ San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo announces he’s exiting the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for a new, yet-to-be-announced gig.  Sileo says, “It’s with GREAT sadness that I informed the ‘Mighty 1090’ that I will be moving on to a great opportunity! But, I want to thank the folks at 1090 for SAVING my career.  Mike Shephard has been amazing to work for! JT I see why Jim Rome had so much success.  I love the on-air guys like Scott Kaplan and Darren Smith…amazing lineup.  Once again SD, Sileo is NOT going anywhere.  Stay tuned!”

Great Stock Market Gains For 2017; But Not in Radio.  In 2017, Wall Street had its best year since 2013 with the Nasdaq jumping 28% and the Dow Jones gaining 25%.  However, those stellar double-digit gains didn’t extend into the radio sector as the majority of radio stocks saw double-digit decreases, led by Cumulus Media, whose stock has evaporated following the company’s late-2016 8-for-1 reverse stock split and subsequent bankruptcy filing.  Stock in Entercom (ETM) – despite its buyout of CBS RADIO, Townsquare Media (TSQ) and Salem Media Group (SALM) all slid about 25% in 2017.   E.W. Scripps (SSP) and Saga Communications (SGA) sank nearly 20% for the year.  Shares of Urban One (UONE) underperformed, losing more than 40% last year, and Pandora (P) plummeted from a closing high of $13.58 on February 17 to $4.82 on December 29.  Shares of Emmis Communications (EMMS) were basically flat, closing at $3.52 on December 29 – which was 10 cents higher than the stock closed for trading on January 3, 2017.  There were two noticeable radio winners, however.  Radio’s bright light was Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI), which opened at $6.15 on the first day of trading of 2017 and closed at $13.55 on the last day of trading for the year.  SiriusXM (SIRI) delivered a gain of more than 20% in 2017.

TRN Receives Permission from Appeals Court for Extension; Status of Programming Uncertain.  Just before Christmas, a number of affiliates of Talk Radio Network reported that they were receiving no programming from the syndicator and had received no notice relative to the missing programming.  At this point, it’s still unclear what the status of the company’s operations is, but the appeal of its suit against Cumulus, Westwood One, Lew Dickey, and Charles Steinhauer is continuing.  TRN was granted an “extension of time to file” its brief to January 26.  As you may recall, TRN sued Cumulus/WW1 and others alleging anti-trust practices.  That suit was dismissed.  TRN’s second suit against many of the same parties was dismissed because the claims were almost identical to the previous, already-dismissed suit.  Back on September 20, TRN filed an appeal.  But, because of the November Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Cumulus/WW1, those parties have been granted stays.

What Have You Learned Doing Television?  That’s the question recently put to media consultant Holland Cooke a couple months into his gig hosting “The Big Picture” Fridays on RT America.  Ever the consultant, Cooke happily offers his thoughts on what the medium has taught him relative to the talk radio business.  He says his first lesson is the importance of scripting his opening monologue – something he’s had a difficult time selling to talk radio hosts who prefer to “wing it.”  Check out his thoughts on that and six other items he’s taken away from his television talk hosting experience here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI raised more than $462,000 last month during its seventh annual “KFI PastaThon.”  The iHeartMedia station’s on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need benefits Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 3,500 underprivileged children five days a week in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  During the 17-hour, live broadcast on December 8, KFI personalities Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, Tim Conway Jr. and Aron Bender were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Over the past seven years ‘KFI PastaThon’ has raised over $1.8 million dollars and 347,000 pounds of pasta and sauce.  We are honored to join our listeners in support of chef Bruno Serato and his outstanding organization, Caterina’s Club that helps thousands of children in Southern California.”…..Beginning on January 8, the nationally syndicated Steve Sanchez show expands to a daily program via Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez says, “I still will be hosting my Sunday night live flagship show but GCN wanted me to expand and utilize my large social media platform and live stream as I do the show.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliate stations WCGO-AM, Chicago and KLAY-AM, Tacoma are both airing the weekday program…..Entercom Communications names Gene Vidler director of sales for the New Orleans station group that includes news/talk WWL-AM/FM and CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM/W297DF “HOT 103.7,” and AC WLMG “Magic 101.9.”  has joined the New Orleans cluster as the Director of Sales for B97 (WEZB-FM), BAYOU 95.7 (WKBU-FM), HOT 103.7 (WWWL-AM), MAGIC 101.9 (WLMG-FM) and WWL AM-FM.  Vidler was most recently VP of sales for Tyler Media’s nine-station cluster.

Iran Protests, North Korea Nukes, Trump Pakistan Criticism, the New Year Holiday, Frigid Winter Weather, NFL Playoffs, and College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests taking place in Iran; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s overture to South Korea; President Trump criticizes Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism; the New Year holiday; the unusually cold weather affecting much of the U.S.; the NFL playoffs scenario; and the College Football Playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A new adult hits station takes to the airwaves in Oklahoma City as Cumulus Media launches KQOB “ALICE 96.9 FM.”  Cumulus OK City VP/market manager Jay Davis says, “We created ‘ALICE’ for the listeners who wanted something compelling and different from the traditional radio fare.  ‘ALICE 96.9 FM’ lives by the mantra ‘We Play Anything,’ and surrounds the great music it plays with a playful, clever, and authentic persona.  While ‘ALICE 96-9 FM’ does not have traditional ‘announcers,’ listeners will find plenty of personality on the station.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KITS, San Francisco ‘The New ALT 105.3, The Bay Area’s New Alterntive.”  The move marks the end of the “Live 105” moniker after 31 years.  At the same time, Michael Martin is named program director for the station…..Cumulus Media appoints radio programming pro Paul Horton program director and morning show host for adult contemporary WMXS, Montgomery “Mix 103.3.”  Horton joins Cumulus from Back Door Broadcasting’s crosstown Christian contemporary WVRV Montgomery…..Cumulus flips WRWM, Indianapolis from classic hip hop to CHR as “ENERGY 93.9.”  The on-air lineup will be: the nationally syndicated “The Bert Show,” (PD) Jay Michaels from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Rachel Ryan from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Justin Luvv from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and the syndicated Zach Sang from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Gary Nolan program director and midday host for KQHN, Shreveport “Q97.3.”  He was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WMAG, Greensboro…..Alpha Media launches adult hits KSAJ, Topeka “98.5 Jack FM.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRDA, Atlanta “ALT 105.7” adds “The Woody Show” for mornings, effective tomorrow (1/3)…..Cumulus Media Amarillo will flip the frequencies of country stations KPUR-FM “The Armadillo” and KARX.  KPUR moves from 107.1 on the dial to the more powerful 100,000-watt signal 95.7.  KARX-FM will segue to its new home at 107.1 as “NASH Icon 107.1 FM.”

Round One of December PPM Ratings. Information for the December 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6.  More often than not, sharp November 2017 – December 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – In four straight gains, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a collective +2.8 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8, 6+). On top for the fourth straight time, “106.7 Lite FM” has its best 6+-share since 13.3 in “Holiday” 2016 and is one-half share ahead of December 2016’s 8.3. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), regains half that loss and carries on at #11 (3.5, +.5, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it and remaining at #10 is its format rival, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97” (3.6, +.2, 6+). When “Hot 97” picked up one-tenth in November, it ended three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3). The market lost one of its two CHR players on November 9, as Entercom transitioned WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through December 2017 6+ topline is a very consistent 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1; WBMP slips from #17 in November to #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from eighth to seventh. In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WCBS-AM picks up one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+), while co-owned similarly-formatted WINS declines by that same margin to 5.8 (6+) and remains in second-place. Immediately prior to this ratings period, WINS was a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+); its 6.3 in November 2017 represents the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. By recording a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In two-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, WCBS-AM reaches the three-share threshold (6+) for the first time since its 3.0 in October 2016. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), inching up from fourth to third. It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Also in that Entercom cluster, sports talk WFAN-FM plummets by -1.3 to 3.9 (fifth to eighth, 6+). “The Fan” had been without a loss since June for a collective +1.7 (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). The 5.2 that it registered in October and November is the station’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” dialed up a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. Down or flat for the sixth straight time for a combined loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” remains in sixth-place.

2) Los Angeles – So, how did the transition to all-Christmas music affect KOST “Coast 103” in sunny Los Angeles? The iHeartMedia adult contemporary nearly doubles October’s 4.4 (8.7, +4.3, 6+) to march from third to first and is 2.3 shares better than its 6.4 (6+) in December 2016. As a result of “Coast 103” picking up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after a run of ten (10) straight months there is co-owned hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which is flat at 5.9 (6+) and shifts to second-place; KBIG was down one-half share in November (6.4 – 5.9, 6+). In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, KBIG posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the sixth time in a row for a collective +.8 and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 since January (6+). Having recorded a 1.9 in three of the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, 1.9, 6+), Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC “89.3 Southern California Public Radio” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.5, reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1 (6+) and cracks the top twenty at #15. Tied at #13 are iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” (2.6, -.1, flat at #13, 6+) and its format rival, Entercom’s KROQ (2.6, +.2, three-way tie at #18 to #13, 6+). With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row for without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its final ratings performance, “The Sound” notched a 2.8 to finish at #12 (November 2017, 6+). The last song played by “The Sound” was The Beatles’ “The End.” Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuts in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+), freefalling to #28. Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a net loss of seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” bounces back with a gain of four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and is steady at #3. At the same though, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in four successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. Even though it is down three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) to end at seven its streak of up or flat trends that yielded a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – improves from #30 to #29. After trotting out a +.7 to 1.7 (6+) in November, matching the audience draw in Vin Scully’s swan song after 67 consecutive years as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1.7, 6+, November 2016), iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM 570 Sports” falters by -1.2 to .5 (#25 to #36, 6+).

3) Chicago – The noteworthy accomplishment of iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” doubling its November 2017 stat (see above) is taken one step further by its “Windy City” hot AC sibling WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which more than triples November’s 2.8 to 8.5 (6+). In the process, “93.9 My-FM” rockets from a four-way logjam at #12 all the way to #1 and is 2.2 shares in front of December 2016’s 6.3 (6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Knocked out of the penthouse where it resided in October and November is its hot AC foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which segues to #3. After registering six straight improvements for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), WTMX surrenders eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+). Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Stuck on 2.4 (October, November, 6+) and within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the past nine sweeps, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” explodes with an increase of two full-shares to 4.4 (6+) and catapults from #22 to #5. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling); “The Long & Winding Road” (Beatles) and “Changes” (David Bowie) were the last two songs played by WJMK before the format flip. The last time the former WJMK reached a four-share (6+) was in July 2015 (4.1). It is a tough sweep for the market’s sports talk outlets. Not only is Entercom-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR a combined -2.8 in November and December (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” sinks from #6 to #21; WSCR posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, after being a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off by nine-tenths to 1.5 (#22 to #24, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.3 – 2.7, #9 to #14, 6+) and Merlin Media alternative WKQX (#12 to #20, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat for WGCI-FM (2.7) since March (2.6); WKQX is a cumulative -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Off for the fourth straight sweep for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. With a +.1 in November, Entercom-owned WBBM-FM ended five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) but “Chicago’s B-96” returns that one-tenth and is back at 3.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) San Francisco – A November 2017 – December 2017 increase of +2.3 (4.5 – 6.8, 6+) elevates Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” from third to second. December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016 and represents the station’s highest 6+-share since 9.2 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of KOIT-FM finishing second, it ends 11 straight months of KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot, as KOIT-FM’s all-news sibling shifts to #3. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -.4 in November and December (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Down one-tenth in each of the last four ratings periods (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” ends the pattern with a gain of six-tenths to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in San Francisco since 3.3 in “Holiday” 2016, and jumps from #14 to #7. From October 2016 through November 2017, the 6+ high/low variance for KMEL was just seven-tenths. Up one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” checks in at #21. While this marks the 12th successive time that KQED-FM sets the pace in San Francisco, the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), but relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). At this time last month, KQED-FM hung out a +1.3 (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and again exits the top ten (#9 to #14). Having doubled its 6+ stat via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate KSFO surrenders four-tenths in December (3.0, 6+), falling from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.9 in October and November (#11, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips one-half share to 2.4 and is tied with KNBR at #14. A collective +.9 as the result of six straight up or flat moves (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), University of Southern California classical KDFC gives back one-tenth in December to curtail the streak (2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). For the ninth month in succession, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Not only does KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” nearly double its 6+-share (2.6 – 5.0, +2.4, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet zooms from #17 all the way to #4 with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Seven-tenths of a share separates the top seven December 2017 finishers. Included in that scrum (in addition to “Star”) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which bounces back from November’s half-share decrease with a December gain twice that margin (4.2 – 5.2, +1.0, 6+); November’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In the process, KLUV vaults from seventh to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5, which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive increases (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). “Lone Star” repeats as a co-occupant at the top spot. Its November partner, however, was Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” which after 11 successive months on top, tumbles to fifth. “The Wolf” posts its fourth straight negative trend for a collective loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+). On the heels of trending 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” notches a gain of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and continues at #8. This is the sixth month in succession that iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ is either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, ninth to tenth, 6+). Once a heritage adult contemporary facility, KVIL in recent years repositioned itself to hot AC and then to CHR as “Amp.” Simultaneous with Entercom officially closing on its ownership of KVIL (11/9), the station became “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). Down an overall half-share in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), KVIL moves from a four-way logjam at #17 in November to #20. Meanwhile, steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “Kiss” improves in back-to-back sweeps by a cumulative seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Following nine straight up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), co-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” returns six-tenths of that +1.7 (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). In 13 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#21 to #19) has been within a high of 2.4 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” slumps from #11 to #15.

6) Houston – The significant up/down pattern continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; surrendered eight-tenths in November; and now logs a whopping +2.8 in December (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #2, “Sunny” cruises to #1. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3; KODA was 7.3 in December 2016. Trading places with “Sunny” is Radio One urban AC KMJQ, which is actually up one-tenth to 7.5, but shifts to #2 after three straight months at #1. When “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Somewhat similar to its AC sibling KODA, cluster-mate KTBZ has a bit of a yoyo effect, as “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” was up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+); dropped eight-tenths in November to 3.8 (6+); and now regains six-tenths in December (4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+). Having entered the top twenty in November with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, 6+), co-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” forfeits nearly twice that increase (.6, -1.5, #20 to #26, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -1.8 in November and December (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5, 6+) and dips from third to sixth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and now -1.3 in December. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. A loss of one-half share by Entercom adult hits KKHH (fifth to ninth) takes “95.7 The Spot” to 4.3, its lowest 6+-showing since 3.5 in January.

7) Atlanta – A November decrease of one-tenth by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+); however, “104.7 Fish” answers in a big way with a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), swimming from fourth to second. This marks the first time that Atlanta’s “Fish” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.1. Even though it replicates November’s increase of seven-tenths (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” backslides from a second-place tie to third as it is leapfrogged by WFSH. Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #6, Radio One-owned and similarly-formatted WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) following a November improvement of six-tenths. “Majic” was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). By chalking up a one-half share uptick (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” records its best 6+-stat since May’s 6.5, yet must settle for a fourth-place finish (down from November’s #2 tie with WALR). Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is now a combined -1.1 in November and December (10.0 – 9.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 24th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, City of Atlanta Board of Education-owned WABE surrenders one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result of declining by seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” has its lowest 6+-share since April (3.1, as well). Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW picked up two-tenths in November, but “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share in December to 3.7, its softest 6+-share since 3.6 in March, and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WWWQ – is down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) as “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” slips from eighth to ninth. Having lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, 6+), Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” adds one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #28, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” returns to the top ten with its third straight modest increase (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, #11 to #8, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” returns November’s +.3 but remains at #13 (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is an overall -.8 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth.

8) Philadelphia – Ousted from #1 in November, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB roars back with a gain of five full-shares as it returns to the top spot from #2. In four straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +6.1 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016; WBEB logged an 11.1 in December 2016. It is the only station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here to reach double-digits (6+). Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Owing to a gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN “88.5 Vinyl at Heart – Rhythms, Not Algorithms” registers its highest 6+-share since August (1.6, as well) and it enters the top twenty (#20). In five straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF was a modest +.3 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” spirals by one full-share in December to 3.0, fading from #7 to #13 (6+). The market’s (6+) sports talk share erodes by -1.4 as two positive streaks come to an end. Specifically, Entercom-owned WIP forfeits nine-tenths (7.1, first to second, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” regresses by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+). Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP was a combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+) and reached #1 in November for the first time in the PPM-era by recording its best-ever 6+-stat (8.0). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. Prior to December, “97.5 The Fanatic,” the key station of the Philadelphia 76ers, notched five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” returns one-third of that increase (3.0, -.5, 6+) yet actually improves from #14 to a tie at #13 (with WRFF). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. Although unchanged at #5, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fifth straight month for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – Over and above repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM is a whopping +3.3 in November and December (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7, 6+), following an October loss of nine-tenths. “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In five successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5, 6+) as New York City’s “Lite FM” soars from #13 to #4 with its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to being up or flat for the fourth month in a row more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), public news/talk WNYC-FM breaks into the top twenty at #15. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” relinquishes all but four-tenths of that increase (4.4, -1.5, 6+), skidding from second to sixth. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” falters by twice as much as that +.5 (4.5, -1.0, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Although within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 37th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) and drifts from #14 to #18. Its urban AC cluster-mate, WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row but is down two-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). Recording a negative trend for the fourth time in succession Cox Media Group CHR WBLI is an overall -2.1 since July (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Ending at 13 its consecutive string of three-share showings (6+) in Long Island, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

10) Riverside – On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” recaptures all but one-tenth of November’s -.8 (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. Winning ways continue for Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly,” which is a combined +1.1 in five successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Climbing from ninth to seventh, KSGN, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Albeit that it slips from fourth to fifth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” notes its fourth straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), repeating its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. It is tied with Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” which is an overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). Having doubled its 6+-share in November (1.2 – 2.4, +1.2, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI forfeits all of that increase and two-tenths more (1.0, -1.4, 6+) as “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” falls out of the top ten (#8 to #14). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Four consecutive up or flat moves by LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE netted an overall gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” coughs up more than twice that increase with its 6+-share cut by one-third (2.6 -1.3, sixth to eighth, 6+).

11) San Jose – It has been a rollercoaster ride for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now +1.6 in December to 5.6 (6+). September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. It is tied in third-place with Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which has an identical 4.0 – 5.6/eighth to third November 2017 – December 2017 profile. KOIT-FM’s adult contemporary rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – tacks on nine-tenths to the one-half share it added in November (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) to zoom into the top ten (#11 to #6). Prior to November, “The Breeze” had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths boosts Universal Media Access world ethnic KSJO “Bolly 92.3 – The Bay Area’s Bollywood Station” to 1.0 (6+, #28). Doubling its 6+-share since October (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” checks in at #23. When Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KSOL lost one-tenth in November, it ended at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, “Que Buena” is -1.1 in December (3.8 – 2.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.9 was its best 6+-share in San Jose since last December’s 4.1. Likewise, as a result of returning 90% of November’s full-share increase (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, 6+), Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” exits the top ten (#6 to #11). While it is on top in San Jose for the fifth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by one-tenth to 8.1 (6+), thus halting three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from #3 to #1. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Eroding by eight-tenths each are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, steady at #2, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5, third to sixth, 6+); and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which was off six-tenths in November (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). At the same time, as a result of four straight upticks, Entercom sports talk KGMZ nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+), but “95.7 The Game” is off in December by one-tenth to 1.0 (6+, #28). For the third straight time, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KNBR has a fluctuation of one-half share (3.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), yet “The Sports Leader” actually climbs from #13 to a three-way tie at #12. With a -.1 in November, co-owned KSFO ended three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +.7 (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and now the news/talk slips by another seven-tenths (2.1 – 1.4, 6+), tumbling out of the top twenty (#20 to #26).

12) Middlesex – In addition to notching its fifth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall whopping +4.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City’s WLTW “Lite-FM” marches from third to first as it practically doubles its 6+-share. Moreover, 8.5 is its best 6+-showing in this New Jersey market since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.7. It displaces WKXW, which had been #1 the past 11 ratings periods. The Townsquare Media news/talker surrenders all nine-tenths of November’s +.9 – and one-tenth more – to segue to #2 (7.2 -1.0, 6+). November’s 8.2 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. A +1.5 (2.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” to reach the three-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 3.0. Moreover, “Star” rockets from #20 all the way into the top ten at #8. Having registered a 2.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM breaks out a +.6 to 2.8 (6+), entering the top twenty in a three-way tie at #15. By dropping two-tenths to 5.0 (6+), sports talk sibling WFAN-FM concludes three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “The Fan” manages to inch up from fifth to fourth. Having logged a 2.8 (6+) eight times in the previous ten sweeps – including the past four – iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+, #15 top #13). On the heels of dropping one full-share in November, Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” sputters by another nine-tenths (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+) to exit the top ten (#6 to #11). After three straight increases for a collective +1.1 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and – likewise – departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” a combined -1.2 in three straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3,” which was off by eight-tenths in November (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), fading from #16 to #22.

Monday, November 6, 2017

| November 6, 2017

iHeartMedia Puts Three Stations in Divestiture Trust.  The deal that iHeartMedia struck with Entercom to swap stations in the Seattle and Boston markets is forcing iHM to put three stations in the newly created Ocean Station Trust LLC in order to comply with ownership caps.  Those stations are: alt rocker KFOO, Centralia, Washington (Tacoma market); rhythmic CHR KUBE, Eatonville, Washington (Tacoma market); and news/talk WKOX, Everett, Massachusetts (Boston market).

iHM Will Not Assume WBZ-AM, Boston’s SAG-AFTRA Contracts.  This is not the news that union staffers at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston want to hear as they prepare to become part of the iHeartMedia family, under an LMA until the deal closes (probably in January).  That LMA could happen as soon as the 17th of this month.  According to a piece in the Boston Globe, SAG-AFTRA has received notice from iHeartMedia that not only will staffers at WBZ-AM have to interview for their current jobs, but iHM says it will not assume the two collective bargaining agreements between SAG-AFTRA and CBS RADIO.  SAG-AFTRA’s Boston-based official Tom Higgins tells the paper that iHM officials who visited the station said they want a “seamless” transition, but says that contract issue “doesn’t sound like seamless.”  Higgins says the union plans to meet with iHeartMedia officials this week. Read the Globe piece here.

Salem Names Ed Martin Afternoon Host at ‘The Answer’ in St. Louis.  He’s the co-author of The Conservative Case for Trump (Regnery 2016) and the former Missouri Republican Party chairman.  Salem reports that Ed Martin will assume the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show on KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380 AM and 105.3 FM The Answer” next Monday (11/13).  It’ll be called “The Ed Martin Movement” and Salem St. LouisVP/GM Greg Lhamon states, “We looked at a lot of options for afternoons, but no other talk host had their finger on the pulse of national, statewide, and local politics like Ed Martin.  He’s smart and savvy and will force politicians to stay on their toes.  And as a CNN political contributor, he brings a global perspective to talk radio that is sorely missing in St. Louis.”  The press release also states: “Formally trained as a lawyer and ethicist, Ed is the hand-picked successor of Phyllis Schlafly as head of her ‘Eagles.'”

Bill Handel Records Apology to Rep. Wilson.  Under fire for referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (in connection with the TrumpMyesia Johnson story) as a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his KFI, Los Angeles morning radio show, Bill Handel recorded an apology that has aired on the station.  But lead critic Janmyne Cannick – a self-described commentator – says it’s too little, too late.  In a story published by LA Weekly, Cannick – who’s been leading the efforts to see Handel punished for his use of the word “whore” in connection with Wilson – tells the paper, “If KFI can suspend afternoon drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou (John and Ken) for one-week following their calling Whitney Houston a ‘crack ho,’ then Bill Handel – KFI’s prized morning drive host who called a sitting member of Congress a ‘cheap, sleazy, Democrat whore’ on live air – should get nothing less.”  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

‘Florida Sports Talk’ Duo Re-Brand as ‘Gainesville Ocala All Talk.’  The sports talk multi-cast that Florida Sportstalk LLC is operating in the Gainesville-Ocala market is re-branding and will take on a more “talk radio” approach.  The stations that made up “Florida Sports Talk” are” WMOP, Ocala; WGGG, Gainesville; translator W221DX at 92.1 FM; and WGOT-LP, Gainesville.  The station is now called Gainesville Ocala All Talk “The GOAT FM.”  On its Facebook page, the company says the change is being made “in response to [the stations’] growing voice in the region pertaining to news and social events and based on the feedback from followers and the fan base…[to assure that] our branding more accurately reflects our voice, impact, and prominence in the communities we serve.”  Former WSKY, Ocala talk host Chip Morris is being added to the programming lineup for morning drive.  Stations OM Don DePew Jr. comments, “We were thrilled to see our voice and impact grow as we provided a voice of calm and grace through recent social issues that crossed from sports to everyday life.  Our adjustment in brand to this new reality is a step forward in this regard.  We are further excited to have Chip Morris bring his experience and influence in our region to our team.  We look forward to the days ahead as we bring Gainesville Ocala All Talk to you, our listeners.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Ashlock and Adkins.  Executives Greg Ashlock and Hartley Adkins have been promoted by iHeartMedia in what the company calls “the next step in the evolution of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.”  Ashlock, who has been president of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division, is upped to president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Adkins, who most recently served as president of Northeast Division and Corporate Operations for the iHeartMedia Markets Group, is now president of Integrated Revenue Strategy.  Ashlock is now managing the entire iHeartMedia Markets Group, including the company’s more than 850 radio stations in over 150 markets.  The company says the consolidation under one leader will allow iHeartMedia to move quicker, be more responsive, communicate more clearly and best serve both listeners and advertisers based on each market’s unique needs.  In his newly created role, Adkins will join the corporate group in New York and will be responsible for working with group heads and other corporate leaders to help develop innovative revenue initiatives that scale across multiple platforms, as well as new strategic solutions specifically for the Markets Group that utilize the unique assets of iHeartMedia.

Beasley Broadcasting Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue.  The company says that its net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at its legacy stations was “comparable to the net revenue for the same period in 2016” – so we can read that as “flat.”  However, Beasley’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations that took place in November of last year boosts the company’s revenue figures.  Third quarter net revenue jumped from $27.7 million in 2016 to $58.9 million in 2017 because of the 21 new stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New Jersey markets (it also takes into account the stations it sold to Entercom and CMG Coastal Carolina).

Traffic Pioneer Rod Carson Dies at 75.  Longtime KYW, Philadelphia traffic reporter and Shadow Traffic co-founder Rod Carson died over the weekend at his home in Pennsylvania at the age of 75.  CBS Philadelphia reports that “before getting into traffic reporting, [Carson] was one of the ‘Wibbage Good Guys’ on the former WIBG, and also did the ‘Rock and Roll Roots’ show on WMMR.”  Carson marked his 50th year in radio in 2007.

National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Pictured above at the November 2 induction ceremony for the National Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago are (from l-r): NRHoF chairman Kraig Kitchin, inductees John Records Landecker, Joseph Field, Bobby Bones, Tom Barnard, Bill Handel and MBC founder Bruce Dumont.  Not pictured is inductee Sean Hannity, who did not travel to Chicago for the ceremony.

Donna Brazile Hillary Criticism, Mueller Investigation-Possible Michael Flynn Indictment, Trump in Japan, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Investigation, Texas Church Slayings, Saudi Purge, Rand Paul Assault, Kaepernick Collusion Suit, NFL Attendance-Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticisms of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; the Robert Mueller investigation and the possibility of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn; President Trump’s trip to Japan and statements about strong rhetoric regarding North Korea; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; the UK authorities’ investigation of sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey; the Sunday slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; Saudi Arabia arrests 15 ministers and princes in anti-corruption efforts; Senator Rand Paul suffers cracked ribs in assault at his home; Colin Kaepernick’s collusion suit against the NFL; the NFL anthem protests, declining game attendance, and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wendell Potter is this Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  Former health insurance spin doctor Wendell Potter, who upon experiencing a “crisis of conscience” in 2008 became one of that industry’s most outspoken critics, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In June 2009, Potter made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health care reform. The former senior VP and head of PR at Cigna testified that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.  Potter was a former journalist who walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where he believes “the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line.”  Since then, Potter has been active as an author and consumer advocate warning Americans of the danger inherent in corporate big money corrupting the nation’s democratic process.  Now, he is launching a non-profit, reader/listener/viewer funded, Philadelphia-based news organization called Tarbell (www.Tarbell.org) that will focus on non-partisan, investigative journalism.  Can such a venture succeed in today’s money-driven, politically polarized society where the quest for victory regularly obscures the search for truth?  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air radio pro Brian Peck is named midday personality at CBS RADIO’s adult hits WJMK “K-Hits.”  CBS RADIO Chicago has appointed Brian Peck to host middays at WJMK, 104.3 “K-Hits.” The opening became available when current midday jock Jeffrey T. Mason moved to afternoons with Gary Spears’ exit and relocation to Florida.  WJMK program director Greg Solk states, “Adding Brian to ‘K-Hits’ gives us a unique opportunity to re-set our on-air lineup with three veteran Chicago voices, all perfectly suited for their dayparts.”  The company says Peck joins “K-Hits” with a history of entertaining Chicago radio fans since 1992 when he co-hosted mornings with former MTV veejay Mark Goodman.  Other Chicago radio stops have included WSHE and WTMX…..Next Wednesday (11/15), Envision Networks is announcing another session of “Coffee With Envision Webinar: Program A Winning Morning Show.”  The free webinar takes place at 1:00 pm ET.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Mike Marino and Jason Hillery are experts at producing a winning morning show.  They consult, program, manage and write prep for radio talent daily so Mike and Jason literally wrote the playbook for morning shows to follow.”  Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.  Stations can register for the webinar by clicking here…..Gen Media Partners appoints radio executive Chuck Bortnick to the newly created position of SVP, integrated platforms.   Bortnick’s previous experience includes serving as COO of Westwood One; COO and president of Metro Networks; and regional vice president for Cumulus Media.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

| November 1, 2017

Entercom Announces Station Swaps with iHeartMedia and Beasley, LMA with Bonneville Ahead of CBS RADIO Merger.  We knew the 19 stations Entercom had to divest in order to pass regulatory muster.  Now, we know where they are going and what Entercom is getting for them.  In exchange for stations in Boston and Seattle, Entercom is swapping with iHeartMedia for stations in Richmond and Chattanooga – markets where it previously had no presence.  iHeartMedia will get all-news WBZ-AM, news/talk WRKO, classic rock WZLX and urban AC WKAF in Boston, as well as sports KFNQ, classic rock KZOK, and adult hits KJAQ in Seattle in exchange for the following stations that the new Entercom will acquire in Chattanooga: adult hits WLND, CHR WKXJ, rock WRXR, and country WUSY; and Richmond stations: hip hop WBTJ, sports talk WRNL-AM, news/talk WRVA-AM, CHR WRVQ, alternative WRXL, and AC WTVR.  Also in Boston, CBS RADIO’s sports talk WBZ-FM will be swapped with Beasley Media Group for adult contemporary WMJX.  Entercom will also enter into an LMA with Bonneville International for the latter to program four stations in San Francisco and four in Sacramento.  Those stations are: CHR KMVQ, urban AC KBLX, AC KOIT, and classic rock KUFX in San Francisco; and sports KHTK-AM, country KNCI, AC KYMX, and hot AC KZZO in Sacramento.  This news comes as Entercom announces a settlement with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice that will allow the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger to move forward.  The company says it expects the deal to close as early as November 17.  Entercom CEO David Field says, “Today’s announcements mark a significant milestone as we work to complete the transformational combination of Entercom and CBS RADIO.  While it is necessary to divest certain stations in order to secure regulatory approval, it is difficult to part ways with so many strong brands and, most importantly, their talented people.  However, we are excited by the terrific new additions to our lineup that will bolster our position in Boston and expand our footprint in the Southeast.  We look forward to unlocking the potential of the combined company to deliver value for our listeners, customers and shareholders.”  The above asset exchanges are expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.  The Bonneville LMA will become effective upon the closing of the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger.

Matt Nahigian New KGMZ, San Francisco PD.  Sports programming pro Matt Nahigian is taking over the PD position at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  Nahigian – who was most recently with Beasley Media Group programming sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” – said via Facebook, “San Francisco here we come!  I am incredibly excited to tell all of you that I have accepted a position with Entercom and will be heading out to San Francisco to be the Program Director at 95.7 The Game.  It’s such an incredible opportunity to be a part of a company that is one of the biggest and best radio companies in the country.  Everyone we have talked to that has lived or is currently living out there says it is amazing. The station is the broadcast rights holder for the A’s and the Golden St. Warriors so I won’t be considered a bandwagon jumper if I become a Warriors fan. LOL. Thanks to all the great people that we have met in Philadelphia. It’s been 10 of the best years of my life. We have made so many great friends and will miss all of you a great deal. Please think of me in shorts when you are shoveling snow. From Chicago to Philly to San Fran.”  Nahigian takes over for Don Kollins.

‘Color of Change’ Petitioning for Bill Handel’s Firing.  The Oakland-based activist organization Color of Change is creating a petition to ask iHeartMedia to fire KFI, Los Angeles morning host Bill Handel for calling U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his radio program.  LA Weekly reports that iHeartMedia and KFI have not responded to the request.  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

NPR Places Michael Oreskes on Leave After Assault Allegations.  Public media firm NPR puts SVP of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes on indefinite leave after two women spoke with the organization about his alleged actions some two decades ago while he served with The New York Times.  The women said they were speaking to Oreskes about working at the paper when he forcibly kissed them.  NPR says it takes the allegations “very seriously.”

Tommy Chuck Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tampa-Sarasota.  Moving from iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to the Tampa-Sarasota markets to serve as senior vice president of programming is Tommy Chuck. In addition to overseeing the programming of the company’s 14 music, talk and news stations in the region, Chuck will be program director at country WFUS “US 103.5.”  He previously programmed country WPOC, Baltimore until he relinquished that role in April to serve as PD at CHR WIHT and AC WASH-FM in Washington, DC.

TALKERS News Notes.  Philly sports talker Angelo Cataldi is off the air at CBS RADIO’s WIP “SportsRadio 94.1” after having gallbladder surgery.  Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Cataldi went to the hospital on Sunday and the surgery was performed on Monday.  There’s no set timetable for his return to the air…..Cox Media Group is putting some of its newspapers up for sale.  The Austin Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the Palm Beach Daily News are on the market.  CMG president Kim Guthrie comments in the Statesman, “After careful consideration, we have made the difficult but strategic decision to put our newspapers in Palm Beach and Austin up for sale.  We have made the decision that we will be better equipped to operate our newspapers in Atlanta and Ohio, where we have the integrated opportunity with our TV and radio operations.”…..Pictured here are Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon (right) visiting affiliate KTTR, Rolla, Missouri where he spent some time with local station personality Al Martia (left)…..Speaking of Westwood One, the syndicator and sales arm of Cumulus Media announces that it is adding new shows to its podcasting platform.  The Westwood One Podcast Network is a one-stop, all-inclusive platform that provides a full-service suite of expert tools and services for podcasters, content creators, distributors, producers, and advertisers.  Programs new to the platform include: “The Jim Rome Podcast,” “The Daou of Politics” with Democratic strategist Peter Daou, and “Blitz & Giggles with Josh Lewin.”

John Gibson Visits Genesis Communications Network (GCN).  Former FOX News Radio star John Gibson has found a new distribution home for his popular 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET syndicated weekday talk show – Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN).  Gibson (whose national program is based in Texas) did a show live from the GCN studios and engaged in strategy meetings with the network’s brass who are excited to have another high-profile personality of Gibson’s stature on their growing company’s roster.  Pictured (l-r): GCN affiliate manager Adam Miller, John Gibson, GCN owner/founder Ted Anderson, and johngibson.com webmaster Josh Einstein.  Not shown: GCN advertising director Lee Wickenhauser who attended the meetings.   Stations interested in affiliating with the John Gibson Show in markets where it is still available should contact Adam Miller at amiller@gcnlive.com.

NYC Terror Attack, Special Counsel Indictments, Clinton-DNC Trump-Russia Dossier, GOP Tax Bill, Positive Economic News, Kelly Robert E. Lee Comments, Sexual Assault Cases, Iran Missile Threats, Dodgers-Astros World Series, NFL Trade Deadline Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The deaths of eight and wounding of 11 in the vehicle terror attack in New York City; the indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee connection to the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump administration and GOP tax reform bill; the positive economic news from the Citigroup U.S. Economic Surprise Index; Chief of Staff John Kelly’s Civil War-Robert E. Lee comments; the rash of sexual assault allegations against public figures; Iran’s threats against U.S. military bases in the Middle East; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and the NFL’s trade deadline 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. New York and New Jersey media pro Michelle Jerson is joining the air staff of Cumulus Media’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” for weekend duties.  Jerson says, “I’m very excited and honored to be working back in the country music format.”  She began her music radio career on New York and New Jersey’s “New Country Y107” and WMJC on Long Island.  She is also a television traffic reporter for Spectrum’s NY1 News, hosts travel satellite media tours, and is a guest on other radio shows talking travel and baby products drawing from her experience as a new mom…..Cumulus Media appoints Mike Duffy program director for active rock WBSX, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton “97.9X.”  Duffy joined the station as midday personality back in April.  Cumulus Wilkes-Barre/Scranton VP and market manager Chris Kenney comments, “We love having Mike here.  He has the leadership qualities and passion you look for in a PD.  He brings a great vibe to the station and a positive energy that is a huge benefit to our listeners and staff.”…..iHeartMedia Norfolk flips WNOH from CHR to alternative rock as “ALT 105.3, Hampton Roads Alternative Rock.”  iHM Norfolk market president Angel Brown says, “The opportunity to launch a radio station like ‘ALT 105.3’ in the No. 1 radio company in the country and within the Hampton Roads area is beyond exciting.  By analyzing song requests, digital streaming, downloads and talking to our listeners, we know the area is passionate about alternative rock.”…..Midwest Family Broadcasting also launches an alternative rock station, this one in the Madison, Wisconsin market on the former WRIS, Mount Horeb – located west of the city of Madison.  The new calls will be WOZN and the station is branded “The Resistance.”…..Just eight months after being promoted to SVP of programming at iHeartMedia’s Baltimore cluster, Jeff Wyatt announces he’s retiring from the position.  Wyatt also serves as the program director for country WPOC, Baltimore and adult hits WQSR “JACK-FM.”…..At Community Broadcasters’ country WWKT. Florence, South Carolina, the “Mudflap and Palmer” show replaces the syndicated “Big D and Bubba” program that’s been airing in morning drive.  Randy “Mudflap” Wilcox and Ed Palmer had been the morning show at iHeartMedia’s crosstown country WEGX until they exited last May and were replaced by the syndicated Bobby Bones show.

Round Two of October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 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 Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey period covered September 14 – October 11. View all the 6+ numbers 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 posting its third straight gain for an overall +.5 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMZQ “98.7 – Today’s Best Country” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9) with its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016 (3.7, as well). Format rival – Alpha Media’s WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” – continues at #20 but is without an increase for the eighth straight sweep and has lost approximately half its 6+-share since February (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+). Not only does WTOP repeat at #1, the Hubbard all-news operation is a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+) and posts 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+). It’s a case of slow and steady for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH, which is up one-tenth for the third straight time (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+) but it backslides from sixth to seventh. Co-owned CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5 – DC’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 3.8, -.6, 6+) dips from fifth to eighth and falls below a four-share (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Still in that iHM cluster, classic rock WBIG “Big 100” is off a collective nine-tenths in September and October (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+) but continues in fourth-place. In four straight increases, CBS Radio Spanish tropical WLZL more than tripled its 6+-share (.7 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), but “El Zol 107.9” drops three-tenths to 1.9 (6+) and slips from #18 to #19. Prior to September, WLZL last reached the two-share level (6+) in December (2.0). While it occupies third-place for the tenth time in a row, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR is without an increase for the third straight sweep (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+) and is -1.1 in that stretch. Its -1.0 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+). July’s 8.1 (6+) represents the station’s best-ever PPM-showing. A cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ “Majic 102.3” regains four-tenths to 4.6, inching up from eighth to sixth (6+); September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Prior to August, “Majic 102.3” had been up in back-to-back sweeps for a +.7 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). A combined -2.3 as the result of five consecutive negative sweeps (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March.

2) Boston – Beantown’s sports talk format scores another huge victory as Entercom-owned Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM improves by six-tenths to jump from fourth to second, while CBS Radio’s New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” registers a full-share improvement, marching from eighth to fifth. Both of these sports talk properties were up one-half share in September. This marks the third straight uptick for WEEI-FM for a collective +1.6 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+). Having bounced back from May’s -.1 with a June gain of three-tenths, WEEI-FM dropped seven-tenths in July. 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+), but is now a collective +2.1 in August, September, and October (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+). Elsewhere in the spoken-word arena, news/talk outlets WBUR (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+) and Entercom’s WRKO (2.0 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+) each improve by one-half share. A loss of one-half share in September by Boston University-owned WBUR 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+). This represents the highest 6-share for WRKO since March (2.5, as well). While it is off three-tenths (7.9 – 7.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM repeats at #1. In September, “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a robust +.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+). The station it succeeded at #1 in September – Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” suffers the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 erosion of any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here (7.1 – 5.6, -1.5, 6+) and slips from second to fourth. On top eight straight months entering the September sweep, WROR was the market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December. Major fluctuations are not new to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” which was +1.1 in December 2016; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; -.8 in April; -.6 in June; -.5 in August and now -1.5 in October. It is below a six-share (6+) for the first time in nearly two years (5.5, “Holiday” 2015). Although steady at #3, adult contemporary cluster-mate WMJX “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” is without an increase for the fourth successive month for an overall -1.2 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+). Following three successive increases that generated an overall gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), rhythmic hot AC sibling WBQT “Hot 96.9” falters four-tenths to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+). Both of the market’s country outlets post slight losses, as co-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is down two-tenths (4.4, seventh to ninth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is off one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), but remains at #15. A September gain of one-tenth by WKLB 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+). After four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in September.

3) Miami – Having posted a 7.0 (6+) or higher in five of six ratings periods between January and June, WAMR “Amor 107.5” had three straight decreases for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.8, 6+). The Univision Radio Spanish contemporary outlet rebounds in October with a +.4 to 6.2 (6+) and continues in third-place. Without a loss for the third month in succession for a modest overall gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” climbs from eighth to seventh, while iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” adds three-tenths (3.9 – 4.2, -.4, 6+) to advance from ninth to eighth. The two CHR rivals were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Prior to September’s -.4, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). On top for the sixth time in a row, Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” adds one-tenth (7.7 – 7.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat since July 2016’s 8.0. After posting a one-half share gain in September (4.2 – 4.7, 6+), co-owned WEDR “99 Jamz Miami’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” returns it in its entirety and is back to 4.2 (sixth to eighth, 6+). In advance of dropping six-tenths in August, the urban contemporary property had been up seven-tenths via three straight gains (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, its direct competitor – iHeartMedia’s WMIB “103.5 The Beat” – is a collective -.6 in three successive down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and carries on at #13. Locked on 2.9 (6+) in June and July and then on 3.1 (6+) in August and September, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” sputters by four-tenths to 2.7, slipping from #14 to #16 (6+). Three-tenths ahead of it is Spanish tropical cluster-mate WXDJ “El Sol 106.7,” which falters by one-tenth for the third sweep in succession (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, #14 to #13, 6+). The May 2017 to October 2017 (6+) trending for CBS Radio’s WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” (#18 to #19) is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1. At the same time that iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD is off by a combined four-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5, #21, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish news/talk WAQI (1.4, +.2, #22) ends at six its consecutive string of monthlies without an increase that accounted for a -33% since March (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

4) Detroit – Off a combined seven-tenths in August and September (6.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 Detroit’s Classic Rock” regains all of it and two tenths more (6.6, +.9, 6+) as it marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-performance since February 2016 (6.6, as well). Registering its fifth straight up or flat trend for a cumulative +1.5 (3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 – Today’s Best Music and More” advances from seventh to sixth. Following four straight months without an increase for a collective -.7 (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” bounces back with a +.6 to 5.0, climbing from ninth to seventh (6+). Co-owned adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now” tacks on one-half share to September’s +.4 (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. After posting three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August. This is WNIC’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it logged a 13.7. Progressing by one-half share as well is Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” (3.2 – 3.7, #15 to #12, 6+). A combined +2.4 in May and June, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WMXD is -2.5 in four subsequent decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) as “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” remains at #11. The market’s two major urban contemporary outlets combine for a basically equally-divided -1.9, as independent WGPR “Hot 107.5” is off one full-share (3.5 – 2.5, #14 to #16, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” sputters by nine-tenths (4.4 – 3.5, 6+) to depart the top ten (#9 to #13). This is the lowest 6+-share for “Hot” since March (2.4), while WJLB has its softest 6+-showing since April (3.5, as well). Off a combined one-half share in July and August (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC erased that loss in September with +.6 to 3.9, its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.3; however, “105.1 The Bounce” regresses by one-half share to 3.4 (#13 to #14, 6+). Two streaks continue with Motown’s two FM country facilities: CBS Radio-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” is down for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.5 and records its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+). At the same time, while steady at #17, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” hasn’t had an increase in the past five sweeps and is -.6 since May (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

5) Seattle – An overall +2.2 via five straight increases (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” matches the 5.7 (6+) it recorded in January and jumps from fifth to third. Following four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.1 (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.2 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KQMV “MOViN 92.5 – All the Hits” regains one-third of that decrease (6.0, +.7, 6+) and climbs from third to second. It slipped from first to third in August, following a seven-month run at #1. Three-tenths ahead of KQMV is Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW, which is #1 for the third consecutive time and without a loss for the third time in a row (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3, 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+). Although unchanged at #14, Crista Media contemporary Christian KCMS “Spirit 105.3” posts its fifth consecutive increase for a collective gain of one full-share (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are Sinclair all-news KOMO (3.5, #18 to #13, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” (#24, 6+); and Bellevue College-owned KBCS (.6 – 1.1, #26, 6+). The June through September (6+) line for KOMO, which has its best 6+-showing since December’s 3.7, was 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.0. This is the third straight gain for KJR-AM (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3, 6+) and highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. When KZOK gained four-tenths in September, it halted at five a string of down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), but the CBS Radio classic rocker regresses by seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) and segues from fifth to sixth. This is its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.1. Faltering by six-tenths each are co-owned KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” (4.3 – 3.7, seventh to tenth, 6+); Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” (second to fourth, 6+); and Entercom alternative KNDD “107.7 The End” (3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #15, 6+). Rebounding from August’s -.7 with a +.1 in September, KMPS matches April’s 3.7. “Warm 106.9” is a combined -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Between June and September, the 6+-line for “The End” was 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.7. Within 3.0 – 3.3 range (6+) in the eight sweeps between May and October (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM – More Music, More Variety” falls from #14 to #17.

6) Phoenix – The 1.9-share (6+) advantage Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” had in September over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is sliced to six-tenths as KESZ logs a +.8 (5.8 – 6.6, 6+), while KSLX falters by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+). KSLX remains at #1 for the sixth straight month, while KESZ advances from third to second. “Classic Rock 100.7” was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a combined -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Meanwhile, the 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.8 (June – July – August, 6+) sequence by KESZ ended in September as a result of a -1.0 to 5.8, its lowest 6+-share in nearly three years (4.6, 6+, November 2014). After trending a steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM sputtered by one-half share in August, but “98.7 Arizona Sports” is a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), progressing from #17 to #14. Down or flat the past three ratings periods for an overall loss of one-half share (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 -2.3, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” registers a positive spike of six-tenths as well (2.9, #19 to #15, 6+). Leaping from #13 into the top ten (#8), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” has its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+). Conversely, CBS Radio’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” is down a collective nine-tenths in four straight declines (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), falling from #11 to #12. In addition to KNIX, rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power,” which had been trending 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 (6+), is up one-half share as well (2.6, #20 to #19, 6+), as is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVA “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” (.3 – .8, #31, 6+). In ten straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+), KDKB gained an overall +3.0, but Hubbard-owned “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” surrenders roughly half of that increase in October with a -1.4 to 3.9 (6+) to drift from fourth to eighth. September’s 5.3 was its best-ever 6+ showing in PPM methodology, eclipsing its previous high of 4.9 – set in August. Following a September gain of one-half share to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI forfeits more than twice that margin, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). The scenario is not quite as harsh for Maricopa County Community College’s KJZZ, which was +.5 in September as well (after a +.8 in August), but the news/talk outlet forfeits six-tenths in October (3.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+) to fade from #11 to a four-way tie at #15. A combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KOOL is now an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). In July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+).

7) Minneapolis – The fourth consecutive increase by iHeartMedia’s KFXN is by a whopping +1.7 – the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 gain by any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far, rocketing “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan” from fifth to first. KFXN is a collective +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). It is thus a brief one-month stay at #1 for co-owned classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits,” which not only tumbles to fifth but – owing to a loss of nine-tenths to 6.3 (6+) – ends at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends which yielded a +1.8 since February (5.4 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.6 –  6.8 – 6.8 – 7.2, 6+). Frozen on 6.8 (6+) in April and May, CHR sibling KDWB notched back-to-back increases in June and July totaling seven-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+), however, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” is 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 in August, September, and October. After finishing first in April, May, and June, KDWB segued to #2 in July. Within 5.0 – 5.7 range (6+) in each of the last eleven survey periods, CBS Radio adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” falters by seven-tenths (5.4 – 4.7, 6+), falling from seventh to tenth. A combined -.9 in July and August, country cluster-mate KMNB regained one-half share in September (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), but returns all of it plus another one-tenth (3.8, -.6, 6+), slipping from #11 to #12. In July, “Buz’n” @ 102.9” curtailed at three a string of consecutive gains that yielded a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.8, 6+). Format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” sputters for the fourth straight time for a combined -1.3 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+) yet moves from ninth to an eighth-place tie. Off by six-tenths in addition to KMNB is University of Northwestern – St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (5.0, fifth to eighth, 6+), which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for an overall gain of eight-tenths (4.8 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).

8) San Diego – As was the case in September, San Diego news/talk stations finish at #1 and #2 in October, but iHeartMedia’s KOGO-AM, a collective +1.9 in four straight up or flat monthlies (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+), moves from second to first, while San Diego State University-owned KPBS, which was trending 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 (July – August – September, 6+), is off two-tenths to 6.0 (6+), shifting from first to second. Not only is 7.2 the highest 6+-share for KOGO-AM in its PPM-history, the station had not previously reached the six-share level. Within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), KPBS hadn’t been at #1 since this past February. Down or flat for the third time in succession for an overall -.6 (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” drops from #16 to #17. Its format rival, Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM, improves by one-half share in both September and October (3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+) as “100.7 KFM – BFM” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). On the other hand, Local Media San Diego CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” surrenders one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Dropping from fifth to seventh, Entercom’s KSON-FM is an overall -1.4 as the result of four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-share for “New Country” since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.0. Co-owned adult contemporary KXSN is off for the fourth straight time as well (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+) and mirroring KSON, the cumulative loss is -1.4; “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” slips from third to fifth. In addition to falling out of the top twenty (#19 to #22), Midwest Television news/talk KFMB-AM dips two-tenths to 1.8 (6+), thus stopping at four a string of consecutive sweeps without a decrease that netted four-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

9) Denver – As the result of three straight positive trends, Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.3 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) as it progresses from ninth to eighth. Recent shifts for “The Fan” include -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January 2017); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 (April); +.5 (May); -.7 (June); -.9 (July); +1.1 (August); and +.9 in September. A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). Last October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. In a somewhat similar vein, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV is a cumulative +1.5 via three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+); “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” leaps into the top ten (#13 to #7). One of the few comedy-formatted signals to appear in a PPM top twenty is Entercom’s KQKS-HD2, which flashes a +.6 (1.5 – 2.1, 6+) to finish at #19. Slipping from seventh to eighth, classic rock sibling KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” is a combined -1.9 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). By recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), “The Mountain” progressed from third to first in May; KQMT improved by one-half share in July. Off a combined six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” erases all but one-tenth of that loss (5.4, +.5, 6+) and cruises from fifth to third. Following an astonishing ten successive increases in which it nearly doubled its 6+-share (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” drops three-tenths to 6.3 (6+) but is #1 for the third successive month. Off one-half share in June, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). The news/talk outlet, however, returns one-half share in October (5.4, 6+) and stays in third-place. In August, it reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Forfeiting one-half share as well and exiting the top ten (#10 to #12) is iHeartMedia CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which is without an increase for the third consecutive sweep for a combined loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+). While co-owned news/talk KOA posts its third up or flat trend in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), it backslides from fourth to fifth. The market’s (6+) hot AC share tumbles by eight-tenths, equally divided between KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 – Today’s Best Mix” (4.1 – 3.7, -.4, #11 to #12, 6+) and Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9” (3.8 – 3.4, -.4, #14 to #15, 6+). Down a collective eight-tenths in July and August (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), “Mix” regained 75% of that decrease in September with a +.6. The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September.

10) Tampa – The gap between the market’s two country FMs tightens (from a 1.3-share lead to three-tenths) as iHeartMedia’s WFUS hangs out a +.9 and returns to the top ten (4.7, #11 to #8, 6+). In September, “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+). Meanwhile, its direct competitor – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – remains at #6, but is off by one-tenth to 5.0 (6+), curtailing three straight gains for an overall +.5 (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Owing to a gain of one-half share to 5.1 (6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WWRM not only pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.4 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), “Magic 94.9” jumps from eighth to fourth. Similarly-programmed cluster-mate WDUV “Lite Favorites” (-1.2 in August) is trending 9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 (6+) and finishes on top for the 61st successive ratings period. In advance of the August decline, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). In July, “Lite Favorites” registered its most potent 6+-stat (10.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Co-owned classic hits-oldies WXGL is in the runner-up slot for the 12th straight time but “The Eagle” is an overall -2.2 via five straight down or flat trends (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). Having posted five consecutive positive sweeps for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to inching up from #15 to #14, iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7” picks up two-tenths to 3.2 (6+), thus applying the brakes to six down or flat trends that yielded a -1.0 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fourth month in succession for a modest overall gain of three-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+), co-owned news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” backslides from #12 to #13. When Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+). “The Joy FM” sputters by another seven-tenths in October (4.9 – 4.2, 6+), dipping from seventh to tenth; July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). A combined +.6 in August and September (4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB relinquishes all but one-tenth of that increase (4.7, -.5, 6+) as “98 Rock” slides from fifth to eighth.

11) Baltimore – As part of its recent rollercoaster ride, CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” dialed up a one-half share increase in August; returned it in its entirety in September; and now displays a +.8 (6.4 – 7.2, 6+) to march from fourth to third. This is its strongest 6+-share since 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +1.3 through three straight improvements (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.3, 6+), Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine-FM” climbs from #13 to #12 with its best 6+-stat since February’s 3.9. After regressing by eight-tenths (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) to its weakest 6+-stat since August 2016’s 4.4, Hearst’s WIYY “98 Rock” bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.3 (sixth to fifth, 6+). The seven most recent trends for news/talk cluster-mate WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 (#11 to #13, 6+). On the strength of five straight gains (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” is a combined +1.9 and inches up from ninth to eighth. Down or flat for five months in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (8.0 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “93.1 Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” picks up two-tenths to 7.4 (6+) and moves from third to second. Despite not having an increase for the fourth straight sweep and repeating a 7.8 (6+) since July (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” takes sole possession of first-place. A four-tenths June increase curtailed at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Prior to June, “Magic” had been on top the previous five straight monthlies. It was tied at #1 in September with urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams.” A collective -1.5 in July and August (8.7 – 8.0 – 7.2, 6+), WERQ registered a gain of six-tenths in September but spirals in October by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) and shifts to fourth. With a gain of one-half share in May (7.5 – 8.0, 6+), “Q-92” tied “Magic” at #1, but the tie was broken in June when “Q-92” gained seven-tenths to 8.7 (6+). After hauling out a +1.3 in September (4.3 – 5.6, 6+) for its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, CBS Radio’s WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” surrenders more than half of it (4.8, -.8, 6+) and slides from fifth to sixth.

12) St. Louis – Modestly down or flat the past six ratings periods for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KFTK “97.1 FM NewsTalk” roars back by recapturing all of it (4.0, +.7, 6+), leaping from #16 to #11. There are more extreme fluctuations for Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which was -.6 in a June – July mini-slide (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+); gained twice that loss margin with a +1.2 in August; was -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); and is now +.5 in October (6.8, fifth to third, 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. A loss of four-tenths to 8.0 (6+) by CBS Radio’s KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” ends at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). Nonetheless, the heritage news/talk outlet repeats at #1. Steady at #6, Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” continues its up/down pattern, given that its six most recent 6+-stats are 6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6. Eroding by one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU, which is down or flat for the third straight time (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, flat at #2, 6+); urban-rhythmic oldies sibling KMJM “100.3 The Beat” (2.3, steady at #17, 6+); and CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK (4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Following three consecutive sweeps on top, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. In four consecutive improvements prior to October, “The Beat” gained eight-tenths (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, KEZK had been up or flat the past four sweeps for a collective +.6 since May (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). It is tied with hot AC cluster-mate KYKY “Y-98,” which – before its current +.4 in October to 4.1 (6+) – had been without an increase in each of the last eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Off by -1.4 via four straight downward moves (7.9 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.5, 6+) Emmis rocker KSHE falls from third to fifth. Unlisted for the tenth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Monday, June 26, 2017

| June 26, 2017

Newsmax TV Adds Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root Shows. Two new shows are added to the lineup at Newsmax TV.  “The Schnitt Show” and “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” will air for one hour at 3:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET, respectively.  Todd Schnitt’s radio talk show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Root’s radio show is a joint venture with USA Radio Network and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.   Newsman CEO Chris Ruddy states, “At Newsmax TV, we hear from our audience that they are hungry for thoughtful, passionate voices for viewpoints that other media outlets ignore.  Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root are proven broadcasting leaders and we’re sure our viewers will engage with them.”

Wading Across the Widening Mainstream.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating.  It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.”  In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests.  Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society.  We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’  I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’  Who are they?”   Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television.  Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.”  Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why.   To read the entire piece, please click here.

NRHOF Class of 2017 Includes Hannity, Handel and Quivers. For the past three years, voting for entrance into the National Radio Hall of Fame has been split into two segments – one voted on by the public and one the result of votes from industry people.  This year, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  Those 2017 inductees will be Premiere NetworksBobby Bones and KFI, Los Angeles/Premiere Networks personality Bill Handel, respectively.   The industry panel chose the following inductees in four categories: Active Local/Regional, 10+ years – Tom Barnard of KQRS, Minneapolis; Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years – John Records Landecker; Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years – Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity; and Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years – Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show.  The National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee also voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry.  They are: Joseph M. Field, chairman/founder Entercom Communications Corp. and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry and the voting public grows by leaps and bounds.  We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.”  The induction ceremony takes place on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.

TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC sports media figure Andy Pollin is entering the world of podcasting, launching a new weekly show beginning July 3.  The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg writes about the former, longtime WTEM personality’s new project, noting that Pollin will use the Chatter studio facility in DC built by fellow former WTEM personality Tony Kornheiser and his business partners.  Pollin co-hosts a weekly Saturday morning sports talk show with Thom Loverro on WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”…..Cumulus Media enters into a multi-year partnership with IMG College to broadcast Air Force Academy athletic events.  As part of the deal KVOR, Colorado Springs will continue to serve as flagship for Air Force football and men’s basketball games.  Jim Arthur continues as the radio “Voice of the Falcons.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group buys Seattle news/talk KOMO-FM from Greg Smith’s South Sound Broadcasting for $6.75 million.  Sinclair has been operating the FM signal under an LMA since acquiring KOMO-AM from Fisher…..Salem Radio Network morning drive personality Hugh Hewitt will host his nationally syndicated program from Bold Gold Media-owned affiliate station WTRW, Scranton “94.3 The Talker” tomorrow and Wednesday (6/27-28).  Hewitt is speaking at the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s event and dinner tomorrow evening.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Begin Posting Tomorrow (6/27).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning tomorrow (6/27), its sessions will be posted to Talkers.com.  Tomorrow, the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor will be posted.  On Wednesday (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke will be posted. On Thursday (6/29) the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted.  Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted.  Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.

BFoA Names Three to Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, and DuJuan McCoy, president/CEO and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting have joined its board of directors, and that Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott joins as an officer and vice president.  The new members and Talbott were voted in during the Board meeting that took place in New York City last week.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The addition of these highly respected industry leaders to our board and executive ranks will further enhance awareness of our mission to provide assistance to broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping our colleagues who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will reverberate across our industry so that we can help more broadcasters in need.”

Republican Health Care Plan, Russian Election Hacking Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Johnny Depp ‘Assassination’ Comments, State of the Democratic Party, ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced, Sinking Oil Prices, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; the testimony from former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election; the special counsel investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; reaction to actor Johnny Depp’s “assassination” of President Trump joke; speculation about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of its loss in the Georgia House special election; Edgar Maddison Welch is sentenced to four years for firing an assault rifle in DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor while attempting to investigate the fake news story about a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring; the recent dramatic fall in oil prices; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis radio personality Paul Cook announces that he’ll be missing some time on the radio as he begins treatment for cancer.  Cook hosts afternoon drive on CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98.”  He posted via Facebook, “In case you’re wondering where I have gone for big chunks of the next six months.  The reason is that I will be getting treated for stage four colorectal cancer.  Big surprise to me as well.  I have the best doctors, so much love around me and there is no better place to work than right here during something like this.”…..Alpha Media flips classic hits KOOI, Tyler Texas from its “Sunny 106.5” brand to “106.5 Jack FM.”  Alpha VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “Jack FM is such a fun, exciting brand and we are excited to add another Jack to the Alpha stable.  We believe we will bring a refreshing new sound to East Texas and some of the genuine fun the Jack brand is famous for around the world.”…..iHeartMedia’s country WSIX “The BIG 98” is presenting the 7th annual “ACCU-CHEK Guide Guitar-B-Que,” a live concert and guitar auction to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 23 at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville.  WSIX personalities Tige & Daniel, Amy Paige, McKiddy and more will host the event that will feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, Devin Dawson and DJ Sinister…..Pictured at left are WLNK, Charlotte and nationally syndicated morning hosts Bob & Sheri (background) behind Martha, the Neapolitan Mastiff just crowned 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog, and her owner.  Bob & Sheri again emceed the international event that draws media coverage from around the world, including coverage on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show and in People magazine.   Held in Petaluma, California, The World’s Ugliest Dog contest benefits animal rescue and has been an annual event since 1962.

PPM Analysis: CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final format analysis based on data from the May PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing station performances to 6+ data from the April PPM survey, Kinosian concludes, “Virtually as many mainstream CHR panelists are up April 2017 – May 2017 (45%) as are down (47%), with the remaining 8% flat.”  Comparing year-over-year results, he notes, “Over half the CHR stations in this sample are down May 2016 – May 2017 (57%); roughly one of three improve (36%); and 7% remain steady.”  In May, seven CHR stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets.  They were: KQMV, Seattle; KDWB, Minneapolis; WBLI, Long Island; WHTZ, Long Island; WNCI, Columbus; WZPL, Indianapolis; and WRVW, Nashville.  See the entire report here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

| April 25, 2017

TALKERS AUDIO EXCLUSIVE:  WMAL’s Larry O’ Connor Tells Michael Harrison About His Experience at President Trump’s Meeting Yesterday with Conservative Media Reps.  Yesterday afternoon (4/24) at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.  The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news websites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC.  During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record.  Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview this morning (4/25), discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president.  To listen to the entire interview, please click here.  O’Connor (left) is pictured here with Red Alert Politics editor Ron Meyer (right).

CBS Announces Launch of ‘Airtime Analytics.’ The company worked with AnalyticOwl to develop what it is calling “a new and exciting measurement tool that illustrates the ROI and effectiveness” of marketing campaigns.  CBS RADIO says that Airtime Analytics “measures the impact of audience delivery and engagement to show proven results.  An exclusive tool offered only by CBS RADIO in the markets in which it operates, Airtime Analytics evaluates the volume of audience delivered from an over-the-air radio campaign to an advertiser’s website.  Those valuable insights are then used to optimize creative content and placement throughout the flight of a campaign to maximize results.”  CBS RADIO chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Radio has long been one of the most effective mediums in reaching a targeted demographic and Airtime Analytics is the next step in delivering even greater value to our clients.  This exclusive new tool allows us to finally measure an advertiser’s lift in website traffic following a radio spot. Armed with an analysis of consumer movement, we are then able to give our clients a clear understanding of their most successful creative and daypart executions.”

Yogurt Maker Chobani Sues Alex Jones. The nationally known yogurt maker is suing Infowars chief Alex Jones for at least $10,000, claiming that Jones published false information connecting the company to a sexual assault in Twin Falls, Idaho.  Chobani filed the suit in District Court in Twin Falls.  According to the suit, Chobani claims that Jones has fabricated stories that wrongly suggested a connection between the company and its practice of hiring refugees to the case of three Twin Falls boys – children of refugees – who admitted to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl.  Chobani says the video report was spread via social media and caused a boycott of its yogurt.

TALKERS News Notes. After reporting last week’s news that Radio One is buying two signals from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra – WWXT-FM, Washington and WXGI-AM Richmond – we learn that the price for the pair is $2 million.  Radio One will simulcast urban AC WMMJ on WWXT and retain the sports talk format on WXGI…..For broadcast this weekend, ABC News Radio is offering a one-hour special titled, “The 100 with Brad Mielke,” in which the ABC News correspondent is joined by the ABC News team for an in-depth look at the beginning of President Trump’s term.  Correspondent Karen Travers reports from the White House.  The special will be available for affiliate use beginning April 28…..AdLarge Media restructures its digital team with new positions and expanded roles for four key team members: Ilwira Marciszek rises to vice president of digital sales strategy from her previous director of ad operations post; Stephanie Vance is promoted to vice president of digital content from her director of revenue planning & development position; Donelle Brown is elevated to vice president of marketing and client solutions from her old director of marketing solutions role; and Rebecca Lam becomes manager of digital ad operations after serving as digital operations coordinator…..SiriusXM is covering this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft, providing live coverage of every selection from every round, plus four days of special programming, live from Philadelphia.  The on-site broadcast team will feature: Gil Brandt, former longtime player personnel executive for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; Jim Miller, former veteran NFL quarterback; Phil Savage, former college coach and NFL general manager.

Commenting on Trump’s First 100 Days. Yesterday morning (4/24), WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” morning host Joe Kelley appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with host George Stephanopoulos to speak about President Trump’s first 100 days and his promise to build a Mexico border wall.  WDBO is an ABC News Radio affiliate.

NAB Show: Cast Broader.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith spoke yesterday and, with the ‘change is inevitable’ theme running through his speech, addressed the FM chip issue, the connected car and more.  Read Cooke’s notes here.

North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days/Approval Polls, Government Shutdown, French Presidential Race, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Trump Tax Cuts, NOLA Confederate Monument Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). North Korea’s ongoing weapons tests and its threats against the U.S.; judging President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office and his approval ratings; the threat of a shutdown of the U.S. government; the French presidential race between National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; President Trump seeks a tariff on Canadian lumber; the proposed tax cuts by the Trump administration; controversy over the removal of some Confederate statues by the city of New Orleans; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Derek Madden inks a contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles with the company.  Madden serves as program director for Twin Cities rock outlet KXXR “93X” and as corporate programmer, rock & alternative.  Madden’s been with “93X” since March of 2015, arriving from KLOS, Los Angeles where he was also PD.  Cumulus Minneapolis VP and market manager Shelly Wilkes comments, “Derek is a great rock PD and a terrific guy to work with.  Looking forward to years of continued success with Derek at the helm of ‘93X.’”…..In Worcester, Massachusetts, morning personality Jen Carter of Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is named “Best Radio Personality” in Worcester Magazine’s Best of Worcester 2017 special issue.  Carter has been co-host of the “XLO Morning Show” since 2000.  WoMag’s “Best of Worcester Awards” are determined by readers who vote for their local favorites…..Alpha Media launches a new classic hip hop and R&B station in San Antonio on the HD-2 channel of CHR KTFM and simulcast on translator K277CX at 103.3 FM.  Core artists on “G103.3” will be The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Destiny’s Child and many more.  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “As the other San Antonio operators show their lack of commitment to classic hip hop, Alpha Media sees this as an opportunity to super serve those who truly love the format.  To put it simply, Yo! We got all the HOT throwbacks now!”…..Traffic woes in already commuter-challenged Atlanta have gotten worse since part of I-85 has been shut down due to the recent fire that caused a portion of the road to collapse.  But, WNNX “Rock 100.5 FM” morning personalities Bailey and Southside are coming to the rescue of some lucky listeners via their “Free Ride Fridays” promotion.  Each week, Bailey and Southside will qualify listeners via their website for a chance to get a free ride to and from work in a premium black sedan every Friday until the interstate is fixed…..Last Thursday (4/20), Westwood One – with the assistance of Home Depot – helped spruce up Patriot Place in Madison, Tennessee.  Patriot Place is a 34-unit apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans. The Home Depot Foundation provided a grant to help build the facility and volunteers were there to make it feel more like home.  Westwood One executives Steve Shaw, Jim Daunais, Ron Russo, and Pierre Bouvard, plus “NASH Nights Live” personalities Elaina Smith and Shawn Parr, and “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” host Ty Bentli, joined more than 250 volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation and its vendor partners to paint, landscape, install fencing, and improve recreation spaces at the Patriot Place facility.

John Fogerty Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Rock ‘n’ roll legend John Fogerty (center) poses for a pic with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) as the show broadcast live from the Country Music Hall of Fame in support of Brad Paisley’s new album, Love and War (Arista Nashville). Fogerty worked on Paisley’s album along with Timbaland, who also appeared on last night’s program, as did Paisley himself.  They also discussed Paisley’s new partnership with Sarah Cannon’s Band Against Cancer.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

| April 11, 2017

O’Heron Rises to SVP, Live Entertainment & Events for iHeartMedia. Prior to his new position, Dennis O’Heron was iHeartMedia’s national event brand manager for national programming in addition to being the VP of marketing for the iHeartMedia Boston cluster.  The company says he’s been “an instrumental contributor to many of iHeartMedia’s marquee events for several years, including working very closely with us on the very first iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011.”  Now, O’Heron joins the company’s national programming group as the SVP, Live Entertainment & Events.  iHM adds, “Dennis brings many years of experience and has a proven track record in the Boston market, including being part of the team that created the initial idea of a multi-band radio show at ‘KISS 108,’ which eventually led to the inception of the Jingle Ball concerts and many others.  Dennis is already a well-respected leader and his extensive programming, event planning, digital and marketing experience make him the perfect person for this critical role.”  He reports to national programming group president Tom Poleman.

Nielsen Seeks Dismissal of Bubba Counterclaim.  In a motion filed in District Court in Tampa, Nielsen is asking the court to dismiss the counterclaim filed against it and Cox Media Group by Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, arguing that it’s a “classic shotgun pleading.”  Bubba Clem’s counterclaim alleged that Nielsen and Cox Media Group conspired to entrap Bubba into trying to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM panel in the Tampa market with the help of a “double agent” panelist.  Nielsen is suing Bubba Clem for $1 million, claiming previous attempts to tamper with the Tampa PPM panel caused it to suffer damages.  Nielsen states that Bubba’s counterclaim is merely “wild and far-fetched accusations” and that it should be dismissed because it “fails to provide any plausible claim for relief under the standards the U.S. Supreme Court.”

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Commemorates 95 Years on Air with Inductions into Station Hall of Fame. On Monday (4/10), Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte celebrated the heritage station’s 95th anniversary with the airing of special programming highlighting important moments in the station’s history, as well as inducting three broadcasters – Ray Gooding, Henry Boggan and John Hancock into the WBT Hall of Fame.  Hancock currently is the station’s afternoon drive personality.  He joined the station in 1990.  WBT calls him a “passionate community leader” who “raises awareness and funds for community issues through his annual Pancake Breakfast and Bike Drive events as well as his continued partnership with the Kid’s First Charity.”  Gooding was one of the first African American on-air personalities in Charlotte.  He began his career in 1960 and joined WBT 1110 AM in 1971 as the host of the “The Sunday Night Hall of Fame.”  He also served as WBT’s director of public affairs for more than 10 years.  Boggan joined WBT in 1979 as the host of the nighttime talk show, “Hello Henry,” that featured celebrities and special guests as well as listeners from the local community and became a staple in the city of Charlotte.  His program was on air for 17 years until Boggan’s retirement in 1996.  Check out the station’s 95th anniversary tribute here.

‘Pubs and Politics’ Live on 77WABC from The Cutting Room.  Pictured above, WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby hosts the sold-out “Pubs and Politics” live broadcast event from The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan on April 6.  The “lively discussion” by WABC talk show hosts revolved around the Trump Administration’s first 100 days.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Curtis Sliwa, Lionel, Ron Kuby, Rita Cosby, Sid Rosenberg, and Bernard McGuirk.

KFI, Los Angeles Host Dr. Wendy Walsh Goes Public with Bill O’Reilly Claim. Southern California psychologist, professor and radio host Dr. Wendy Walsh went public on April 3 with her claim of an inappropriate advance by embattled FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly.  Walsh hosts an eponymous 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Sundays on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles.  She’s billed as a “thought leader on relationships and the authority on love, sex and romantic relationships.”  She and her attorney revealed her claim that during dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 2013, O’Reilly invited her to his hotel room.  Walsh says she assumed the dinner meeting was about her segment on his “The O’Reilly Factor” and the possibility of a great role with FOX.  After she turned down O’Reilly’s offer, her appearances on O’Reilly’s show ended.  FOX has stated that the segment was dropped by O’Reilly because of poor ratings.  Read the Washington Post account here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KIRO-AM, Seattle “710 ESPN” sports talk host (and former Seahawks and University of Washington quarterback) Brock Huard and Bonneville Seattle Media Group are launching a new, original podcast, “Above and Beyond – The Intersection of Faith and Sports.”  The first episode drops today (4/11) featuring former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  Huard says, “I am thrilled to get to share my life and faith in a way I never have before, through the medium of podcasts, and even more so through relationships that have shaped my journey.  Through my years as an athlete, in real estate and now in the media world I have always thirsted for deep rooted relationships.  These podcasts will dig into those encounters with athletes like you’ve never heard before.  I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from both Bonneville and Compassion International.”…..WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Jeff Wagner is heading up the station’s “Jeff Wagner Insight 2017” event on April 19 at Country Springs Hotel.  Special guests are expected to include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and others.  Wagner says, “Insight 2017 is my opportunity to go one-on-one with the state’s leaders to get past the headlines and find out what is really going on in Wisconsin.”  WTMJ will broadcast the entire three-hour event the following day…..Oink Ink announces the winner of its 18th annual Dead Radio Contest – the annual contest that “aims to give a second chance to great radio scripts that clients deemed too risqué, too zany or were simply overlooked.”  This year’s winning submission from Emmanuel Torres, an art director at Cundari’s Toronto offices, is a 60-second spot called “PUSH” for client fixauto.com.  Interestingly, Torres had the idea for the script seven years ago in his first advertising class in college.  Through the years, he has pitched it numerous times but was never able to convince a client to take such an edgy approach.  Oink Ink co-founder Dan Price comments, “Emmanuel’s story – how he actually wrote his script while at ad school – is exactly what this contest is all about.  We’re thrilled to have been able to rescue 18 spots that belonged on the air but for various reasons hadn’t been given the chance.”  See Oink Ink here…..Talk host Patzi Gil just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of her book-related radio show “Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) that originally launched on WTAN, Clearwater, Florida.  The program will soon be featured on the Starcom Radio Network in more than 40 markets across the country.  Gil says she expects the show to clear on more than 100 stations by the end of the year.
Syria-Russia Alliance/U.S. Syria Strikes, North Korea Nuclear Program, United Passenger Removal Video, San Bernardino School Shooting, New York’s Free College Plan, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/10). The alliance between Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad and the responses to the U.S. strikes on a Syrian air base; the movement of U.S. warships near the Korean peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear missile program; the viral video of a passenger being pulled off a United Airlines flight; a murder suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school that also claimed the life of a student; analysis of the plan by the state of New York to offer tuition-free college to qualifying families; the allegations by several women of sexual harassment by FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Dayton radio personality Gina Ferraro moves from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMMX “MIX 107.7,” where she was part of the morning show, to sister CHR WCHD “Channel 999” to serve as program director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia alternative rock WRFF “Radio 104.5” is again presenting its popular Summer Block Parties starting Sunday, June 18 at Festival Pier featuring live performances by The Revivalists, Missio, July Talk, Irontom, and The Vital Stats.  The series of Block Parties continues on June 18, July 23 and August 20 and culminates with Radio 104.5’s new “Endless Summer Show” at XFINITY Live! on September 16 with artists TBA…..Alpha Media rocker WIIL, Waukegan-Kenosha raised a total of $127,385 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during the station’s 10th annual fundraising event held March 4 at The Legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha.  The “Tom and Emily Morning Show” broadcast live, during which host Tom Kief shaved his head and personally raised almost $34,000.  St. Baldrick’s is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

| February 22, 2017

Boffo Q4 and 2016 for Entercom; Full-Year Net Revenue Up 12%.  With so many radio companies struggling to present even flat revenue figures each quarter, Entercom Communications stands out as it reports net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 reached $123.2 million – an increase of 5% percent over the same period a year ago.  For the full year of 2016, net revenue was $460.2 million – up 12% over 2015.  For shareholders, the news was also good as adjusted net income per share increased 13% to $0.98.  Entercom president and CEO David J. Field states in a press release, “Entercom posted another solid quarter of organic growth, completing an excellent year during which same-station revenue increased 4%, adjusted net income grew 13% and free cash flow improved 16%.  And since the start of Q4, we have acquired a great new cluster of stations in Charlotte and successfully refinanced our credit facility to drive our interest expense down by roughly $10 million annually.  Of course, our biggest news is our recently announced plan to merge with CBS Radio, a transformational event that will create scale-driven opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to accelerate growth.  The combined company will be exceedingly well positioned to serve its listeners, advertisers, communities, shareholders, and employees and we are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

KFI, Los Angeles Launches Online Museum with ‘KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D.’  Los Angeles heritage talk station KFI announces the first installment of its Official KFI Online Museum with “KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D” – an interactive online 3D studio tour and scavenger hunt that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the evening Tim Conway Jr. show.  The iHeartMedia station says listeners can explore the KFI AM 640 virtual studio with optional virtual reality glasses and solve riddles for a chance to win prizes.  The press statement goes on to say the museum allows “listeners one-of-a-kind VIP access to the KFI AM 640 studios, programming and rich background as both a heritage station and an outlier.  With almost 95 years of broadcasting history in Southern California, KFI AM 640 has evolved into the region’s preeminent news and talk station.”  The station will announce more details about the museum at a later date.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci states, “KFI and Tim Conway Jr. in 3D is an interactive scavenger hunt that’s a must-see for any true-blooded KFI fan.  What makes it so unique is that listeners can tour the studio in VR glasses and really get to experience the Tim Conway Jr. show.  You can peer over Tim’s shoulder while he works, do a news update with Mark Thompson, cozy right up to Bellio and sit behind the board with Mondo.  It’s like being on the show without having to fight L.A. traffic to get there.”

New Travel Order, Yiannopoulos Quits Breitbart, Obama Bathroom Policy, Stockholm Riots, Jewish Cemetery Vandalism-Trump Response, This Week’s CPAC, California Succession Movement, Heavy California Rains, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/21).  Public reaction to the Trump Administration’s revised travel order affecting people from seven predominantly Muslim nations, and the related plans for deportation of illegal immigrants; media provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from his editor post at Breitbart News in the wake of recent comments about pedophilia; the Trump Administration signals its intent to reverse the Obama Administration’s public restroom policies; the outbreak of riots in Stockholm after police arrested a suspect in an immigrant neighborhood; the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis and controversy over President Trump’s response; the gathering of conservatives in Maryland for the Conservative Political Action Conference; the YES California succession movement; the heavy rains affecting much of California and threats to dams; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Entertainment industry labor union SAG-AFTRA is issuing a statement on the rights of a “free and unencumbered press.”  The union states: “As a union whose membership includes broadcast and online journalists, SAG-AFTRA champions the rights of a free press, whose primary role is to provide citizens with the information they need to effectively govern a democracy. These rights are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which establishes that the press shall be free from government interference in the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.  SAG-AFTRA, journalists and non-journalists alike, supports a free and unencumbered press and stands with any journalist who might find his or her ability to report on our government challenged or compromised.  SAG-AFTRA believes first and foremost that citizens in a democracy need the truth. Furthermore, SAG-AFTRA believes that journalists have an obligation to monitor and question those in power, pointing out wrongdoing when they find it, noting when facts asserted are not supported by evidence, and reporting inconsistencies in the positions of public figures.  As working professionals, members of the news media have an obligation to verify the accuracy of what they report, with loyalty only to their readers, listeners and viewers and not to any political party, affiliation, or ideology.  As a proud labor union representing more than 160,000 broadcasters, actors and entertainers, SAG-AFTRA stands with all of its members in ensuring that the basic rights of a free and independent press continue to be upheld.”…..Spring training baseball is being covering by SiriusXM’s MLB Radio Network beginning tomorrow (2/23).  The network will be on the road in Arizona and Florida through the rest of this month and next broadcasting from every Major League spring training complex.  Each two-hour show will feature SiriusXM’s expert hosts, providing an in-depth look at each MLB club as well as one-on-one conversations with managers, players and executives.

 

 

Get Well Wishes to ‘Kicks 101.5’ Personality Cadillac Jack.  The good news is that WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” morning host Cadillac Jack is resting comfortably after surgery during which three stents were installed to clear a blockage to one side of his heart.  This comes after an incident that happened yesterday.  His wife Donna reports, “Caddy was swimming yesterday and began to feel dizzy.  Fortunately, my nanny forced him to call 911.  It saved his life.  The crazy thing is he just had a physical with an EKG that looked fine.  The doctors credit his commitment to fitness and the fact that he’s only 43 for him surviving this serious a heart attack.”  WKHX program director Scott Lindy adds, “The prognosis for Cadillac Jack is good and he should be home to recuperate later this week.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Caddy, Donna and the kids as he gets back on his feet.”

Blaine Jackson Named PD for iHeartMedia’s Augusta, Georgia Country Duo.  Country programmer Blaine Jackson moves from the company’s Macon, Georgia country outlet – WIHB “96.5 The Bull” – to the Augusta market to program WLUB “105.7 The Bull” and classic country WLUB-HD2/W292EE “106.3 The Bull Icons.”  Jackson joined iHeartMedia in 2010 as a part-time board operator for the Macon, Georgia cluster, then moved to its Newnan, Georgia cluster as program director for the three stations there before returning to Macon.  Augusta market president Ivy Elam says, “We are very excited to have Blaine here to represent our two new Augusta brands.  We look forward to her delivering quality country format programming that we know our listeners, partners and advertisers will love.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Raleigh-Durham market, Capitol Broadcasting promotes Doug Miller to evening personality and creative imaging director for adult contemporary WRAL-FM “MIX 101.5.”  In the past, Miller has served with CHR KHFI, Austin; WNKS, Charlotte “Kiss 95.1”; KMXV, Kansas City “Mix 93.3”; and hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.”…..In Columbus, iHeartMedia drops the sports talk simulcast on WYTS-AM and translator W287CP and begins airing an urban AC format branded “VIBE 105.3.”  Mike Eiland – music director and APD at sister adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” – is hosting the morning show on the new station…..SiriusXM announces that Grammy Award-winning artist Ed Sheeran will perform a special, invitation-only show for SiriusXM on Monday, March 6 at a secret location in New York City.  The performance, the latest in SiriusXM’s “Secret Show” series, will air on SiriusXM Hits 1 and The Pulse channels and feature songs from Sheeran’s new album, ÷.   Sheeran says, “Really looking forward to this one.  It’ll be my first NYC show in a while and I can’t wait to play the new songs live!”…..iHeartRadio and Google are teaming up to launch a first-of-its-kind activation in which users can vote for the iHeartRadio Music Awards’ “Most Powerful Female Voice” category.  In fact, this year’s winner will be exclusively determined from votes placed with Google Home.  Users say, “Ok Google, start iHeartRadio Awards voting.”  They’ll then hear Ryan Seacrest walk them through the simple steps to vote using just their voice with the Google Assistant on Google Home.  This year’s nominees for Most Powerful Female Voice include: Rihanna, Adele, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Carrie Underwood, and Florence Welch.

Cool Country Radio Gig.  Here’s a cool country radio opportunity open at CBS RADIO’s KMLE, Phoenix “The New KMLE @ 107.9.”  The station is seeking an afternoon personality/music director.  The station’s Bryan “B-Dub” Washington currently holds the position and will be leaving for a programming opportunity in a market to be named at a later time.  CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “We want to thank B-Dub for his hard work and commitment to KMLE over the past year.  We are grateful for his time here and we wish him the best with his new adventure.”  Candidates interested in applying for the KMLE gig can do so online at CBSRADIO.com/careers.

 

 

Round One of January PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for the first of four rounds of markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 survey period covered January 5 – February 1. You can see all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Although the cumulative loss since June is just four-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH was without an increase the past seven survey periods until erupting with a full-share increase, vaulting from #19 to a three-way tie at #13. Over and above that, “94.7 Nash FM” has its highest-ever 6+-performance (2.7) under PPM-methodology. In 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, CBS Radio all-news WINS dials up a +.8 to 5.2 (6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. It is the first time WINS crosses the five-share threshold (6+) in approximately two years (5.1, February 2015). Locked on 2.6 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, hot AC sibling WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” improves by one-half share to 3.1 (6+) as it climbs from #12 to #11. Outlets such as iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” that enjoyed huge “Holiday” 2016 spikes owing to wall-to-wall Christmas music during that sweep are falling back to earth in their January 2017 stats. In the case of “Lite FM,” for example, it drops by more than six full-shares (13.3 -7.2, -6.1, 6+), but is nonetheless on top for the seventh straight time. Moreover, “Lite FM” is one-half share ahead of where it was in January 2016 (6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU (3.5 – 4.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) and CHR cluster-mate WHTZ “Z-100” (5.1, #6, 6+) improve by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively. WKTU was off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to January 2017, “Z-100” had been down three straight times for a combined -1.1 (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+) but it now actually backslides from fifth to sixth.

2) Los Angeles – This proves to be a benchmark month for KNX, which rides a full-share gain to 3.7, its most potent 6+-stat since PPM became Los Angeles’ ratings currency. In addition, the CBS Radio all-news operation rockets from #15 into the top ten (#7). Down or flat in each of the past nine sweeps producing a combined -1.3 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), alternative sibling KROQ picks up two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), climbing from #22 to #21. Gaining one-half share and checking in at #21 is KPCC (1.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Pasadena Area City College-owned/American Public Media Group-operated facility reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since October 2015’s 2.2. While it leads the field for the sixteenth successive ratings period, iHeartMedia mainstream AC KOST “Coast 103.5” sees its 6+share skewered by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+). “Coast” had been up the past three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+) and it was 5.9 (6+) one year ago (January 2016). After a “Holiday” 2016 increase of seven-tenths to 2.8, its finest 6+-performance since July 2015’s 2.9, Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105 FM” surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (2.8 – 2.2, -.6, 6+), spiraling from #13 to #19. Falling from a three-way logjam at #7 to #10, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been extremely consistent the last eight ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). With a gain of three-tenths from .8 in “Holiday” 2016, Salem Media Group talker KRLA crosses the one-share barrier (1.1, 6+, #28).

3) Chicago – Feel free to file this under: “What a Difference a Sweep Makes – Especially If It’s ‘Holiday’ to January.” To be more specific, this time last month, iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM” was at #1, holding an extremely comfortable 9.3-share (6+) advantage over Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted, fourth-ranked WTMX “101.9 The Mix.” Fast-forward to January 2017 results where we find “Mix” moving up to #3 (4.4 – 5.3, +.9, 6+), as it possesses +1.8 lead over “My-FM,” which freefalls by more than ten (10) full-shares (13.7 – 3.5, -10.2, 6+) to drop to sixth. Off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” had been up in consecutive monthlies (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, October-November-December, 6+); prior to November 2016, it ranked third in each of the previous seven sweeps. WLIT entered the December sweep down or flat the preceding 11 ratings periods for a collective loss of 11 full-shares (13.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). In succession, it then gained a +3.4 in December and a +7.4 in “Holiday” 2016. The station it displaced at #1 in “Holiday” 2016 – CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.1 – 6.3, +.2, 6+) – returns to the penthouse. WBBM-AM was tied for the lead in September 2016 and had been on top from January 2016 through May 2016. Trending 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 (6+) between August and December, adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” sputtered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, but rebounds nicely with a full-share increase (1.6 – 2.6, 6+) and soars back into the top 20 (#24 to #14). The market’s classic hits-oldies share balloons by +1.3 as Cumulus Media’s WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” gains seven-tenths (3.0, #14 to #10, 6+) while CBS Radio-owned WJMK “104.3 K-Hits” picks up six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, steady at #10, 6+). “Chicago’s Classic Hits” ends four straight downward trends that yielded a combined -1.3 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Meanwhile this is the best 6+-performance for “K-Hits” since May 2016 (3.1). A gain of one-half share takes Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (#18 to a three-way tie at #16) to 2.5, matching what it registered in May 2016, while a +.4 to 2.0 (6+) by Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM (#24 to #23) ends three straight sweeps without an increase that produced a combined -.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). Even though Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE – which is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 34th straight monthly – gains four-tenths (2.4 – 2.8, 6+), it falls from a three-way tie at #10 to #12. Making identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves and thus tied at #20 are the market’s two country rivals, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” and CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5.”

4) San Francisco – After a one-month hiatus from the top spot, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED, -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 to fall to second, recovers all of it and then some (6.4 – 7.3, +.9, 6+) as it returns to #1. The loss of seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Ousted after one month and falling from first to third in January 2017 is Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” (9.2 – 4.9, -4.3, 6+). The -4.3 by KOIT-FM this sweep comes immediately after its +4.4 in “Holiday” 2016. Back-to-back declines by “Better Music for a Better Workday” in October and November produced a combined -.5 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), but KOIT-FM answered with a +1.4 in December. The 5.1 (6+) advantage KOIT-FM had over iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” in “Holiday” 2016 shrinks to seven-tenths as “The Breeze” is up one-tenth (4.1 – 4.2, unchanged at #4). Faltering by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, KCBS-AM gains it all back (6.7 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) and the CBS Radio all-news operation shifts from third to second. Its -.8 in “Holiday” 2016 ended a string of successive gains at four (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+); KCBS-AM was +1.3 since August. Owing to a gain of seven tenths (3.1 – 3.8, tenth to fifth, 6+), hot AC sibling KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” overtakes format rival, iHeartMedia-owned KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.6, +.4, eighth to sixth, 6+). “Alice” was without an increase since August (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+), while “Star” had been down in each of the previous four ratings periods for a combined -1.1 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). A +.6 (2.2 – 2.8, 6+) enables Cumulus Media talker KSFO to jump from #15 to #12. Improving by one-half share each are Entercom urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Bay’s R&B” (#19 to #14, 6+); KALW “Local Public Radio” (1.4 – 1.9, #19, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS “K-LOVE” (.5 – 1.0, #29, 6+). This is the fourth straight up or flat trend for “The Bay’s R&B” for a combined +.9 (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Following a collective +1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KBAY regresses by -1.2 and sinks from #11 to #25.

5) Dallas – Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.7, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country formatted KPLX not only bounces back with a +1.2 to 5.9, “The Wolf” progresses from fourth to first. It ends a one-month stay at the top for iHeartMedia’s KDGE “Star 102.1,” which abandoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November 2016 in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). In “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7 (+4.4, 6+) and catapulted from tenth to first. With a -4.9 in January 2017 to 2.8 (6+), KDGE, which was at #21 in November, drifts from #1 all the way to #14. CHR cluster-mate KHKS “Kiss-FM,” which succeeded “The Wolf” at #1 in December, picks up one full-share and now trails KPLX by just one-tenth (4.8 – 5.8, third to second, 6+). Following a seven-tenths erosion in “Holiday” 2016, CBS Radio adult hits KJKK “Jack-FM” recaptures one-half share (4.2 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+) and moves back to #6 from #8. Prior to the -.7, “Jack” had been up the previous three ratings periods for a combined +.9 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). On the heels of a +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, classic hits-oldies sibling KLUV forfeits -1.6 (5.4 – 6.8 – 5.2, 6+) and slides from second to third. Four straight down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -1.3 for sports cluster-mate KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), which slips from #18 to #19.

6) Houston – Climbing from fifth to fourth, noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” improves by one full-share to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brings back 60% of that deficit to 7.4 (+.9, 6+) and jumps from third to first. In the process, it unseats iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which sputters by -4.3 to 6.0 (6+), curtailing four straight up-trends that yielded a cumulative +3.8 (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 10.3, 6+); “Sunny” – #1 in 23 consecutive ratings periods before dipping to second in August 2016 – trades places with KLTN at #3. In “Holiday” 2016, KTRH returned the one-half share it gained in December, halting its streak of successive up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – at three (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+). The iHeartMedia talker recoups that +.7 in January 2017 (3.5 – 4.2, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #10). Logging a gain of seven-tenths as well is CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101 FM” (3.9 – 4.6, steady at #7, 6+), which was -.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Improving by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (tenth to eighth, 6+) and University of Houston-owned KUHF (3.0 – 3.6, #16 to #13, 6+). This marks the third straight increase for KRBE (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) for a collective +1.0. Off by -1.7 since July (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” regained seven-tenths in November; lost six-tenths in December; forfeited one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; but is +.5 in January 2017 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+) as it inches up from ninth to eighth. Before slipping to #7 in October, “The New Q” had been in fifth-place the previous four sweeps. On the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One transitioned KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI, in its new CHR format, drops one-half share to .9 (#24, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – After sputtering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” roars back with a gain four times that amount – a whopping +2.0 – to advance from fourth to second (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9, 6+). In December, “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” was -.6, thus curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” enjoyed a 13-share (6+) advantage over WMGK in “Holiday” 2016, but that has been whittled down to a solitary share as WBEB erodes by ten (10) full-shares (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Even so, “More FM,” which was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016, is #1 for the sixth consecutive time. Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), “More FM” dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” – which was trending 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+) – flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY. In its first adult contemporary sweep against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registers a 2.6 (6+, #18). Despite a +1.3 (5.5 – 6.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL remains at #3, although it trails WMGK by just one-tenth. After absorbing a loss of six-tenths, Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Rocks” bounces back with an increase twice that size (5.6, +1.2, 6+) to climb from sixth to fifth. WMMR ends three successive downward sweeps (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+) for a collective -1.7. In four straight dips (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” dials up a +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) to move from #13 to #11. Not only does CBS Radio talker WPHT regain the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2016, it piles on one-half share to it (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.9, 6+) as it cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). Staying in the spoken-word arena, co-owned all-news KYW picks up nine-tenths (4.7 – 5.6, steady at #5, 6+); public WHYY is up seven-tenths (2.3 – 3.0, #18 to #14, 6+); and Beasley Media Group sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” adds one-half share (2.5, unchanged at #19, 6+). Both KYW and WHYY were -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, while “The Fanatic” ends three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Before the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, KYW had been up or flat the past four times (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) for a net +.9. In three straight increases, WHYY accumulated a combined eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Spiking upward by six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R&B + Old School” (3.3 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “K-LOVE” (2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” is up one-tenth to 4.1 (6+), applying the brakes to six successive sweeps without an increase that produced a -.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+).

8) Atlanta – It is indeed quite the rollercoaster ride for Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM, which follows the largest (6+) decline by any PPM-market station whose data was announced this time last month (-2.3) with the loftiest (6+) increase by any PPM-market station whose information was released yesterday (10.2 – 7.9 – 10.7, +2.8). Moreover, WSB-AM is #1 for the thirteenth straight month and its January 2017 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December. On the heels of a +.6 (6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” tacks on another eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), lifting the flagship of Super Bowl runner-up the Atlanta Falcons from #13 into the top ten (#9). Enjoying its seventh straight monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” rises from ninth to eighth. Ordinarily a station gaining three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+) and finishing at #18 wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but in this case, that’s the scenario for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan,” making its first print appearance in exactly five years when it recorded a 1.9 (January 2012, 6+). Down or flat six straight sweeps entering the “Holiday” 2016 report for a collective loss of -1.5 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH dialed up a +2.5; however, “104.7 The Fish” forfeits all of it (4.6 – 7.1 – 4.6, 6+), as it drops from second to sixth. The 7.1 in “Holiday” 2016 was the strongest 6+-performance for “The Fish” in just over two years (7.6, “Holiday” 2014). Up a collective eight-tenths in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” forfeits seven-tenths to 6.0 (6+) yet manages to climb from third to second. Stymied on .4 the past five ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s WGST “640 Talk Radio” drops one-tenth to .3 (#27 to #30, 6+).

9) Long Island –  Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016. The CBS Radio all-news outlet, however, gets all but one-tenth back in January 2017 (4.5 – 3.5 – 4.4, 6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). A +.7 (4.4 – 5.1, 6+) lifts all-sports sibling WFAN “The Fan” from fifth to second. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. “Z-100” gains eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) though and reappears at #1. Dislodged from the top spot is Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (9.0 – 4.9, -4.1, 6+), which skids to fourth. WALK-FM gained a combined +3.9 in December and “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of one-half share each are Cox Media Group CHR WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (4.5, seventh to fifth, 6+); CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.0 – 2.5, #19 to #16, 6+); and iHeartMedia talker WOR (3.1 – 3.6, #13 to #10, 6+). WBLI had been without an increase the past five sweeps for a combined -.9 (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Picking up one-half share as well are iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.0 – 2.5, #19 to #16, 6+); Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (1.7 – 2.2, #22 to #20, 6+); and public WNYC-FM (1.6 – 2.1, #22. 6+). Following 17 straight monthlies in two-share territory (6+), “94.7 Nash FM” dropped one-half share to 1.7 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the 26th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#17 to #20) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.2, -.1, 6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, but coughs up all of it plus one-tenth (7.8 – 3.2, -4.6, 6+), drifting from #2 out of the top ten (#12). Exiting the top ten as well (#7 to #13) is Connoisseur Media’s similarly-formatted WKJY “K-98.3,” which sputters by one-full share (4.0 – 3.0, 6+).

10) Riverside – Powered by a +.7 (3.7 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio’s KFRG advances from sixth to fourth. It is the best 6+-showing for “New Country K-Frog” since March 2016’s 4.8. Meanwhile co-owned, similarly-programmed KXFG (#22 to #21) has a .1 for the twelfth successive sweep. In addition to KFRG “New Country K-Frog,” Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” also gains seven-tenths. “Jose” is up or flat for the fifth straight time for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+) and ranks first for the fifteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. This represents the fourth consecutive one-half share fluctuation by Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA – and the first one in positive territory (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA is back at #2. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Improving by one-half share as well is All Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “Mix 101.3” (.4 – .9, #16 to #13). It is the strongest 6+-performance for “Mix” since “Holiday” 2015 (also .9, 6+). Trending 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 (6+) since October, co-owned KHTI “Hot 103.9 Move to the Music” declines by seven-tenths and ties “Mix” at .9 (6+, #13, down from #11). After seven straight positive or flat trends for a cumulative gain of nearly three full-shares (3.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-LOVE 107.5” (fourth to fifth) has surrendered a collective -1.7 in back-to-back sweeps (6.0 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+ (6+). Dating back to May, KLVE nearly doubled its 6+-share. Remaining flat at #8 but also off by one-half share in January 2017 is LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” (2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

11) San Jose – A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since notching a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED returns in a big way by hanging out a +1.5 (5.4 – 6.9, 6+) and finishing at #1. Evicted from the top spot is Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” (8.4 – 5.1, -3.3, 6+), which drops from first to fourth. Gaining nine-tenths each are co-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” (2.9 – 3.8, tenth to seventh, 6+) and Cumulus Media talker KGO (2.4 – 3.3, #14 to #10, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” and KGO were -1.0 and -.6, respectively. Up by eight-tenths each are CBS Radio CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7 New Hit Music” (2.5 – 3.3, #10, 6+) and Cumulus Media talker KSFO (1.8 – 2.6, #20 to #17, 6+). “Now” had been down or flat the past five sweeps for a cumulative -1.4 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+). As was the case with Cumulus Media sibling KGO, KSFO was down six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. One-half share improvements are recorded by iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” (2.7, flat at #16, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” (2.5, unchanged at #18, 6+). KMEL was stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, while “Alice” had been without an increase the past three ratings periods (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KBAY regresses by -3.6 to 4.4 (6+), dipping from second to sixth. On Christmas Day (12/25) at 5:00 pm, KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Although flat at 3.0 (6+) and within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the eighteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#9 to #15). Off by one-half share (.8 – .3, 6+), Empire Broadcasting classic country KLIV “1590 San Jose’s Country Gold” finishes at #30.

12) Middlesex – Registering a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), Townsquare Media talker WKXW returns to #1 after one sweep in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent twelve consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Owing to a sweep-to-sweep decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” drifts from first to seventh. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). After three consecutive gains totaling a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but erases that with a +1.0 in January 2017 (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6, 6+), gliding from #15 to #10. Having improved in December by one-half share and then regressing by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” racks up eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+) to enter the top ten (#13 to #8). December’s +.5 by “Nash FM” ended three successive negative trends for a combined -.9 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). Recording a gain of six-tenths each are hot AC sibling WPLJ (2.7, #20 to 16, 6+) and Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source For R&B” (6.0, second, 6+). WPLJ had been down or flat in each of the last three ratings periods and regains the six-tenths it lost in that timeframe (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), while WBLS rebounds from a cumulative -.8 in the past two sweeps (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+). Jumping by one-half share each – all from the iHeartMedia cluster – are CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.4 – 4.9, seventh to fifth, 6+); urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.6 – 3.1, steady at #15, 6+); and rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.7, #18 to #16, 6+), which had been trending 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+). Following a combined +1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “93.1 Amor” returns all but three-tenths (3.4 -1.4, 6+), plummeting from #5 to #11. Regressing by one full-share (4.2 – 3.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” falls from the top ten (#8 to #13). Having registered three successive upward trends netting a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” is off by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+), spiraling from #12 to #21.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

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Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

Corpse Blinks: AM Radio Isn’t Dead

| December 8, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian-2radioLOS ANGELES — There’s simply nothing groundbreaking about naysayers writing an obituary for AM radio.

This facet of the medium was supposed to be killed years ago by television and FM, or most recently by satellite radio, the internet, or time in general.

Many who claim AM radio has already passed away also choose to believe that all of terrestrial radio is a ghost or soon will be, but that’s another story entirely.

It would be ridiculous to the point of one existing in extreme denial and/or total lunacy to foolishly proclaim AM radio has never been in better shape, but at the same time, despite its plethora of detractors – the AM band is not in the morgue just yet, either.

An AM radio-geared item that appeared in yesterday’s TALKERS (Wednesday, 12/7) struck a nerve.

Quoting from the TALKERS story, “The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is presenting what it calls 12 imperatives to the Trump Administration that ‘address the persistent challenges in closing the digital divide, and advancing multicultural commercial ownership opportunities to create voices and participation in the telecommunications industry.’ Of those 12 imperatives, #12 is ‘Create a Glide Path for the Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Humane Decommissioning of the AM Band in a Manner that Preserves Minority Ownership.’ It states, in part, that the FCC’s future policies ‘should facilitate the preservation of AM radio’s program services when the AM band disappears.’”

A link was provided that included the 12 imperatives and two lines, in particular, jumped out (just as the last five words above did): “AM listenership is on a steep decline, and AM radio stations are feeling the brunt of it. Realistically, AM may disappear in 30 years or less.”

That could very well be the case, although we might note that roughly 30 years ago, AM Stereo was being called the only salvation for AM operators. There are some rare exceptions (see below) but music on AM radio generally did not make it, whereas spoken-word on that band continues to be viable in many markets as we head into 2017.

As far as the revenue side is concerned, according to BIA/Kelsey, four of radio’s top ten 2015 billing properties were AM stations. They are CBS Radio New York all-news WCBS-AM (#5, $45 million); co-owned, similarly-formatted WBBM-AM, Chicago (#6, $43.8 million); all-news New York sibling WINS (#9, $39.5 million); and iHeartMedia talker KFI, Los Angeles (#10, $37.8 million).

It is true the aforementioned stations are from the top three markets, but at the same time, AM stations do in fact comprise 40% of the top ten list of the country’s highest billers.

Extremely curious to see the true temperature of AM radio, we isolated stations that finished in the top 15 in all 48 Nielsen Audio PPM-markets KFI (November 2016, 6+).

Results appear below and it’s a pretty healthy list, with the lone hard-and-fast rule being only Nielsen Audio subscribers are allowed to be in print.

It should also be noted that some of these AM stations have an FM partner, but in all cases, the primary Nielsen Audio ratings listing is the AM.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

| August 9, 2016

williams, chuckWilliams Appointed SVP/MM of Emmis Indianapolis. Eleven-year Radio One Indianapolis market manager Chuck Williams joins cross-town Emmis as senior vice president and market manager of its four-station cluster as well as its statewide news service, Network Indiana. Williams succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlierEmmis this year. Emmis president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh explains, “We have competed against Chuck throughout his career and always viewed him as a gifted, high integrity leader uniquely positioned to build on our foundation of success in Indianapolis. We are thrilled he has agreed to lead our team. With his deep knowledge of the Indianapolis radio market and the advertisers it serves, we expect him to jump right in and assist our talented team to continue to grow and prosper.” Williams comments, “I have long been an admirer of the Emmis culture, their people and their unfailing pride and leadership in the industry and their communities. Charlie Morgan built outstanding heritage stations with very talented people. I am looking forward to joining [Emmis Indianapolis vice president of sales] Tracey Bean, [VP/programming] Bob Richards, and the whole team at Emmis.” Before joining Radio One, Williams was general manager of Bonneville Chicago; he is the past chair of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. With each station’s share and market rank in parenthesis, here’s how the four Emmis Indianapolis outlets performed in the July 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM report: adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.4, #4, 6+); country WLHK “Hank” (5.1, #7, 6+); talk WIBC (3.8, #11, 6+); and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.1, #15, 6+).

Wilkow-Majoritywilkow, andrewConservative Talker Andrew Wilkow Celebrates 10th Anniversary on SiriusXM.  Today (8/9) marks the 10th anniversary of talk show host Andrew Wilkow‘s “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM’s “Patriot Channel.” Wilkow carved out his niche over a period of time, then expanded upon it in the 12:00 noon ET to 3:00 pm ET time slot as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh.   A member of the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Wilkow has become one of the biggest stars created by SiriusXM.   He tells TALKERS, “I am honored and delighted to be on Sirius for so long, and appreciate my extremely loyal and passionate audience.”  He says that the show’s nickname, “The Next Generation of Great Talk Radio,” still applies 10 years later.

stolz, sueBott Radio Network Extends Mid-Missouri Footprint. Adding three FM signals in Columbia (at 100.9); Fulton (92.5); and St. Robert-Fort Leonard Wood (106.5), Bott Radio Network (BRN) expands its Christian talk network in mid-Missouri. All are rebroadcasting BRN’s 50,000-watt station at 89.9 FM from Bott-Radio-NetworkColumbia and Jefferson City. Mid-Missouri area manager Sue Stoltz comments, “These three new signals will be a blessing to many in mid-Missouri and the surrounding area where even more people can now hear quality Christian talk radio. I am excited about how this will benefit mid-Missouri families and our business sponsors.” BRN president and chief executive officer Rich Bott notes, “We are excited about this opportunity to reach more people with God’s word. This is a wonderful step forward to strengthen families and change lives through Bott Radio Network’s quality bible teaching, Christian news and information programming.” The addition of the new signals brings BRN’s number of stations nationwide to 107, including 46 in Missouri.

Silver 2Silver Sensations. American divers Steele Johnson and David Boudia proudly display their silver medals to Steve Mason (left) and Kevin Kugler (second from the right), who are covering the Rio Olympics for Westwood One Sports.  

jordan, heatherOdds & Sods. Anchor/producer Heather Jordan (formerly Heather Martinez) exits Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM to succeed Libby Denkmann as afternoon news anchor for “The John & Ken Show” on iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ KFI. Her lengthy radio resume includes stops in Dallas (KRNB); Miami (WEDR “99 Jamz” and WHQT “Hot 105”); Denver (KDJM “Jammin’ 92.5”); Kansas City (KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz”); and Des Moines (WHO). In addition, Jordan has done television work for WBBM-TV, Chicago; KTVT-TV, Dallas; and WFOR-TV, Miami ….. Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins radio producer pagsRay Walker (Ray Weitzel), 56, passed away Sunday (8/7) of complications from lymphoma. He joined the NHL team’s broadcasts in September 1999. His wife is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “3WS,” Pittsburgh on-air talent Sheri Van Dyke ….. Recently added affiliates to Joe Pagliarulo‘s “Joe Pags Show” are: KUIK, Portland; WPTR, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WAIX, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WAAM, Ann Arbor, Michigan; KERV, Kerville, Texas; WDMJ, Marquette, Michigan; and WIAN, Ishpeming, Michigan. Pagliarulo is now on more than 60 stations.

John & Leah Show 1st Year Progress Report: On Track, Gaining Traction

| March 8, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — A number of actors, politicians, television anchors, lawyers, and writers are among those who have succumbed to the allure of talk radio, trying their hand at being on-air hosts in the genre.

Various members from this group, however, lacked the requisite passion and swiftly faded from their fling.

Generally speaking though, longstanding fiercely loyal partisans making their living as talk radio personalities tend to remain in the profession and keep doing it as their primary source of income for as long as possible.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

| February 18, 2016

Presidential Race, Middle East Military Escalation, North and South Korea Tensions, Scalia Replacement Debate/Death Theories, Apple iPhone Hack Refusal, LA Hospital Records Hack Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The activities of the candidates for president, including the South Carolina GOP Town Halls; Turkish clashes with Kurds in Iraq and the ongoing Syrian conflict; military tensions between North Korea and South Korea; debate over the proper process for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and theories about his cause of death; Apple’s refusal to create backdoor software to open the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; and a Los Angeles hospital’s paying off hackers in bitcoin to receive the return of its medical records were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

carrollbillBill Carroll Lands at CFRA, Ottawa in AM Drive.  Less than two months after exiting his midday talk show at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles and then announcing his departure from his afternoon gig at Corus’ CFMJ, Toronto, Bill Carroll is brought aboard at Bell Media’s CFRA, Ottawa to host “The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll.”  Joining him as co-host on the new show will be Tricia Owens.  Carroll arrives as Bell Media lets AM personality Mark Sutcliffe and evening hosts Ron Corbett, John Counsell, and Nick Vandergragt go.  The station also announces it’s bringing Brian Lilley on to host the evening program.  Both shows will launch on March 7.  Carroll comments, “My family had decided late last year that it was time to come home – what great timing that a legendary station like CFRA is making some changes.  I can’t wait to join the team in Ottawa and get started. And I hope the people of Ottawa will forgive my years of cheering the Kings and Leafs. I will adapt, slowly.”

ppmunitRound Two of January PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of January 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 31 – January 27.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  A new interactive radio app has just been released for Salem Radio Network personality Ericmetaxaseric Metaxas.  Salem says the app – powered by Clip Interactive technology – is part of its mobile radio strategy.  Salem notes that the app enables fans to listen and interact with the show and its content.  Fans can directly connect with Eric in the studio using the app’s “call the studio” feature.  Additionally, the show is now able to quickly gather listener insights and opinions with the app’s real time polling and “talk back” features…..Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” announces the wkxwaddition of award-winning State House reporter Michael Symons to its staff as State House bureau chief.  Symons comes to New Jersey 101.5 from Gannett New Jersey, where he was a State House reporter.  New Jersey 101.5 VP and head of news and digital operations Eric Scott says, “Mike Symons is a tough, but fair reporter and investigator.  He will be a valuable asset for our news operation.”  Scott says Symons is one of the longest-tenured reporters currently covering New Jersey politics from the State House in Trenton.  He’s won awards for his work from the New Jersey Press Association and in 2004 he was a member of the Gannett New Jersey team that was awarded the prestigious Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting…..Tonight’s second-of-two GOP Town Hall Meetings in South Carolina will be produced by CNN with the radio feed being distributed by Westwood One.  CNN’s Anderson Cooper is moderating…..Thebensonchad Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show is added to the lineup at CBS RADIO’s Las Vegas news/talker KXNT.  In addition to his regularly scheduled program, Benson has been offering extended live coverage of the Republican and Democratic debates as well as coverage of the caucuses and primaries.  Those special editions of the program are available to all current affiliates, as well as interested stations in markets where the show is not currently cleared.

bernierHagel16Talking National Security.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) talks national security with former United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University on Tuesday (2/16).  The Town Hall event was part of the ERAU Speaker Series.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Top 25 Market Seeks News Anchor.  Number one news team in a top-25 market has a rare opening in the afternoon.  We need someone who can ad-lib effortlessly, tell a great story, and ask the toughest questions of the biggest guests.  We also need someone who lives on social media, is super curious and can generate stories, ideas, and fresh ways at looking at recurring things.  Responsibilities include: News gathering and writing; Good understanding of national issues, quick learner on local issues; Follow social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc) for story leads and breaking news; Post stories on our own Website and Facebook sites; Generate unique news stories for the station; Plan stories for the next day and days in advance; Strong understanding of the English language and use of proper grammar; A willingness to quickly learn our news computer system and board operation.  Candidate should have 2 or more years’ experience in broadcast media.  Send materials to: Top25NewsAnchor@gmail.com.

Friday, February 12, 2016

| February 12, 2016

johnsonchrisJohnson Joins WTEM as PD. More accurately, as of next Monday (2/15), Chris Johnson will again occupy the programming chair at Red Zebra Broadcasting sports outlet WTEM “ESPN 980,” Washington, DC – just as he did from 2005 to 2008. Red Zebra Broadcasting chairman Terry Bateman states, “We are excited to have someone with Chris’ experience and skill to help us build and grow ‘ESPN 980.’ We have a great lineup of talent and great content. We look forward to putting it all together to give our listeners the best sports talk radio in the Washington, DC market.” Most recently, Johnson covered MLB‘s Washington Nationals as a reporter for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. He previously was a producer of NFL and NCAA games for Westwood One; Johnson’s prior connection with WTEM lasted from 1996 – 2008. Down for the third straight ratings period (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9 -1.6, 6+), “ESPN 980” finishes #20 in the “Holiday” 2015 report, while its format challenger – CBS Radio-owned WJFK-FM “The Fan” – also off for the third successive sweep (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.1 -1.9, 6+) – is #18. The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH (5.9 – 6.1 – 7.0 – 12.0, 6+).

careytrevorTrevor Carey Promoted to Afternoons at ‘PowerTalk 96.7’ in Fresno.  Radio pro Trevor Carey had been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s sister “PowerTalk” brand in the Stockton-Modesto market – “PowerTalk 1360” on KFIV and KWSX – in addition to hosting the 6:00 pm hour on “PowerTalk 96.7” (KALZ-FM and KRZR-AM in Fresno-Visalia).  Now, with Christopher Gabriel’s recent exit from the PM drive slot, Carey takes over the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  He’ll also host the 6:00 pm hour on the Stockton-Modesto duo.

talkersten logoNew Hampshire Primary/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 8-12.  Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton email case investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the recent financial markets activity and related concerns about a recession followed by the effects of the Syrian civil war at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and it is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

hannitySean Hannity to Speak and Host Breakfast at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become an annual talk media industry tradition, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will host “Breakfast with Hannity” and preside over the opening keynote discussion at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the field’s largest, longest-running and most important national convention.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Sean’s contributions to this storied event, as well as to the industry in general, are incalculable.  He has spearheaded discussions about crucial issues attendant to the ratings, consolidation, lowering the demos and free speech, just to scratch the surface.  He has provided inspiration and encouragement to new generations of broadcasters coming into the field.  When Sean walks in the door at this event, all politics are left outside and he becomes a true statesman of the business offering insight, experience and intelligence about the many issues and challenges we face in common.  We are delighted that he will again play such an important role in this conference – especially considering its forward-motion theme of bridging the generations.”  Over 60 outstanding speakers will participate in TALKERS 2016, set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group 2015 Q4 Net Revenue Up 6.2%.  That figure is based on Beasley’s reporting of combined operations – both continuing and discontinued operations – and that’s relative to the 2014 Q4 asset swap with CBS RADIO that saw Beasley exchange five radio stations in the Philadelphia and Miami-Fort Lauderdale markets for 14 CBS stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia markets.  Net revenue of combined operations for the wholebeasleygeorge of 2015 was $105.9 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2014.  Beasley CEO and chairman George Beasley states, “Throughout 2015 we implemented a broad range of operating, programming, sales and local strategies intended to extract operating and financial synergies from the stations acquired in the 2014 Asset Exchange.  I am pleased to report that we achieved our goal of our clusters outperforming the markets that report to Miller Kaplan for the first time in December 2015 and expect this trend to continue in 2016.  Success with our integration and profitability initiatives is also reflected in fourth quarter 2015 station operating income of $9 million and an SOI margin of 31.7%, as well as net income of $3.3 million or $0.14 per diluted share.”

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Revenue Dips 5%.  Radio is not the primary focus of CBS Corp. but new CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves has always said he likes the radio business – especially its cash flow.  Radio is lumped in with CBS Television Stations to make up the Local Broadcasting category, but the company breaks the two apart in these reports and radio’s revenue was down 5% on “continued softness in the radio advertising marketplace and lower political advertising.”  The television sector was down 11% compared to the same Q4 period in 2014 – a period that benefitted from mid-term election political spending.

Odds & Sods.  WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” spoke on the radio with GOPbermanschnitt presidential candidate and fellow New Yorker Donald Trump yesterday morning (2/11).  Responding to criticism that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president, Trump told the WOR audience, “as we get closer, you will be shocked at how presidential I will carrollbillbe.”…..Talk host Bill Carroll had been doing an afternoon talk show for Corus-owned news/talk CFMJ, Toronto from Los Angeles while he was still working at iHeartMedia’s KFI (a gig he exited in early January).  Now, he’s also leaving the CFMJ show with rumors he’s soon to land at a new station in Canada…..A special edition of the Joan Hamburg show will air on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York this weekend as the Big Apple radio host covers New York’s annual Fashion Week.  For the second year, Hamburg speakshamburgjoan with New York’s fashion elite in “The Business of Fashion Week” airing on Saturday (2/13) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ( a special replay will air Sunday night at 9:00 pm).  Hamburg speaks with New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Countess Luann de Lesseps, New York style icon Nick Wooster, Harpers Bazaar editor Avril Graham, and Ben Stiller, director and star of the Zoolander films…..AccuWeather appoints Sarah Katt vice president of product development and operations for the AccuWeather Network.  She’ll report to John Dokes, general manager of the AccuWeather Network and chief marketing officer of AccuWeather.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

| February 4, 2016

iheartmedia logo smallReport: iHeartMedia Considering Securities Sale to Retire Debt Due in 2019.  According to a report from Bloomberg News, iHeartMedia is looking at a plan to offer up for sale securities in one of its units to help retire some $1.4 billion in bonds.  The report states that the company would create a subsidiary called Broader Media LLC. Existing debtholders would be offered the opportunity to exchange for the new obligations.  According to Bloomberg, $8.3 billion in debt is coming due in 2019 for iHeartMedia.  “iHeart’s plan would erase $192.9 million of 5.5 % unsecured notes due December 2016 that are already considered current,” a source told Bloomberg.  “The proposal is also intended to retire the company’s $190 million revolving loan due December 2017, the $850 million of 10% unsecured notes due January 2018 and the $175 million of 6.875% unsecured notes due June 2018.”  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

knightbuzzGreater Media Promotes Buzz Knight to SVP of Program Development.  Fourteen-year Greater Media staffer Buzz Knight is promoted to SVP of program development for the company.  Knight’s new duties include responsibility for “overseeing programming development for all of Greater Media’s radio properties and collaborating with the individual stations to build winning content, digital and brand management strategies.”  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth comments, “Buzz has done an outstanding job overseeing our programming brands across the company over the past 14 years.  His insight and leadership plays an important role in the continued success of our company.”

Iowa Caucuses Aftermath/Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, $1.7 Billion Iran Payment Controversy, Zika Virus Concerns, Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Case, Ken Stabler CTE Issue, and Run-Up to Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The aftermath of the Iowa Caucuses, the focus on the New Hampshire Primary and the activities of the candidates for president; the U.S. military policy on defeating Islamic State; the controversy over the United States’ $1.7 billion payment to Iran as part of the nuclear agreement; fears about a potential pandemic of the Zika virus; the status of the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby; the results of the post-mortem on NFL great Ken Stabler and its effect on football’s CTE problem; and the week’s activities leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

miw logoMIW: Women Gaining in GM and SM Roles; Stagnating in Programming Management.  According to data from the most recent Gender Analysis Study from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (culled from data from M Street Publications), since 2004 the number of women serving in general manager positions has risen from 14.9% to 17.3% in 2015.  However, a tally of women in program management positions shows a negligible increase of 10.9% in 2015 compared to 10.7% in 2004.  MIW spokeswoman Kay Olin states, “Tracking the leadership roles of women in media brings awareness to the continued need to reach back and lift up.  There is an incredible talent pool of strong and capable female leaders and they stand ready to make a difference.  It is the responsibility of all of us in the media industry to make sure that we are conscientiously and consistently practicing inclusion.”

Odds & Sods.  After just a year hosting afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast KALZ-FM/KRZR-gabrielchristopherAM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400,” Christopher Gabriel exits the station.  On his Facebook page, Gabriel states, “Hey folks, here’s a little news: PowerTalk  96.7 and I have parted ways as of this morning.  I want to thank them for the opportunity to come to Fresno, work with a ton of talented radio artists and have some fun California adventures.  So… what’s next?  I guess we’ll see!”…..Former NBA star Dennis Rodman will appear as a special guest at WIP, Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl 24” wipwingbowl24tomorrow (2/5) at the Wells Fargo Center.  The competitive eating event is pitting last year’s champion, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, former champ Molly Schuyler, and the infamous LA Beast, against the field of local eaters.    Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos will act as the commissioner of Wing Bowl 24.  Local rock legend Tommy Conwell will perform the National Anthem.  Rodman will also be appearing at the WIP/SugarHouse Casino official after party of Wing Bowl 24.  WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese will broadcast from SugarHouse Casino from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the casino will feature food and drink specials all day long.

hochmanNSD16National Signing Day Remote for WQAM, Miami.  Remote broadcasts can present any number of technical and/or programming challenges, but the afternoon drive air staff at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami was able to put on a brave face and forge ahead as it broadcast on Wednesday (2/3) at a local Twin Peaks restaurant.  The “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show broadcast live for National Signing Day – the day when top high school athletes announce which college they’re going to attend.  Surrounded by the hard-working service staff at Twin Peaks are (from l-r): Channing Crowder, Zach Krantz, and Marc Hochman.

doverbenjaminFormer Talk Host Benjamin Dover Dead at 57.  Former Texas talk show host Benjamin Dover died back on January 1 after complications from pneumonia, according to an obituary published in the Dallas Morning News.  Dover was born Lance Blumen.  As his obit states, he got into the consumer advocacy business after a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 1989.  He not only hosted a radio program on such signals as KLIF and KRLD-AM in Dallas and KFI, Los Angeles, he was a columnist for the Dallas Morning News from 1998 through 2004.

Friday, January 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016

carrollbillKFI’s Carroll Announces His Departure. With approximately 90 seconds remaining in Thursday’s (1/7) broadcast, KFI, Los Angeles midday talent Bill Carroll revealed he is leaving the iHeartMedia talk property effective immediately. In addition to sharing his reason for departing KFI (#9, 3.4, 6+, December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), Carroll implored his listeners to grant an election-day request. “Hey, I wanted to say one thing before I wrap up the show today,” CarrollKFI began, as he sought to “explain” his “cryptic New Year’s Day tweet” which many people asked him about on Facebook. “[My wife Sylvie and I] have been considering this for a while and we came to the conclusion that it is time to get closer to home.” Carroll’s father passed away in 2010; Scotland born/Canada raised Carroll joined KFI in February of that year. “I did not get to see him much,” he lamented. “My mother is older so we are leaving. We still do not know exactly where we are going to land [but] this is my last show – maybe we will talk again in the future.” That led Carroll to rhetorically ask, “Can you just do one final favor for me? For God sakes, when I am gone, do not elect Donald Trump. You are better than that. Do not let anger sweep you away. Do not elect Donald Trump. I came to live among you because I admire you for your graciousness, your openness, and your religious freedoms. Don’t elect Donald Trump – I am begging.” It is unclear how long it will be before KFI program director Robin Bertolucci names a permanent replacement for Carroll; apparently, several guest hosts will be utilized in the station’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm slot. Prior to his six-year KFI tenure, Carroll worked in Toronto at CILQ “Q-107,” and CFRB-AM. The 56-year-old Carroll appears at #47 on TALKERS’ 2015 “Heavy Hundred.”

talkersten logoObama ‘Guns’ Town Hall Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Thursday night’s “town hall” on gun control presented by CNN and the White House along with President Obama’s announced plans to use executive power to alter some gun laws were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the Saudi Arabian and Iranian diplomatic break and the growing rift between Shiite and Sunni-majority Middle Eastern states at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Present Special Program ‘Beyond Making a Murderer.’  The Netflix original program “Making a Murderer” is attracting large audiences across the country but in Wisconsin, where film subject Steven Avery is currently incarcerated, the case is now the subject of a special program to be presented this weekend on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The special, “Beyond Making a Murderer,” will present update coverage of the case of convicted murderer Avery.  The station says it has covered the Avery story since the beginning.  The Netflix seriesnetflixMaking has sparked a petition demanding a presidential pardon, curious tourists are traveling to Wisconsin, and critics are claiming there’s more to the story.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The story of Steven Avery is not only a big story in our backyard but also a story of national significance.  WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and we are leading the way with exclusive interviews and expanded local coverage to advance the story.”  This weekend, “Wisconsin’s Morning News” host Gene Mueller will anchor a two-hour special “WTMJ Presents: Beyond Making a Murderer” that will air on Saturday at 7:00 pm and on Sunday at 11:00 am, immediately prior to coverage of the Packers vs Redskins playoff game.  WTMJ executive producer of news Erik Bilstad will anchor coverage live from Manitowoc, Wisconsin with one-on-one interviews, videos and exclusive digital coverage.  WTMJ program manager Eric Brooks adds, “‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ is working to go beyond the documentary, to talk with the people involved in the case and give our audience updated information.  We are talking with family members, justices, jurors, law enforcement, and prosecutors to learn everything new we can.  WTMJ is providing content for not only our Wisconsin audience, but for those interested worldwide.”

price howardRadio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle.’  In an opinion piece published today (1/8), ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes about the sensational amount of global interest in Periscope’s “The Puddle” – a camera shot at a puddle of water in the U.K.  Price says the people watching the puddle on their smartphones have “rediscovered the magic of radio…If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then ‘the puddle’ can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.”  Read his entire piece here.

kiblerkellyKibler Named iHeartMedia’s EVP Multi-Cultural Marketing. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia‘s Texas major markets Kelly Kibler is appointed executive vice president of multi-cultural marketing. According to iHeartMedia chair and chief executive officer Bob Pittman, “Kelly has been a constant innovator in this company. She is the perfect choice to head up our focused multi-cultural advertising efforts at the market level. Her success as executive vice president of operations, as well as in her role as a sales leader and market president and her leadership of numerous iHeartMedia initiatives, have enabled her to grow her career with us. We look forward to her using all of her experience and relationships to build this new capability for our company.” The bilingual Kibler comments, “I could not be more excited to take on this new position at iHeartMedia, using the tools and experience we’ve developed in Texas and applying them across our 150 markets in a space that continues to grow in both importance and footprint across America.” Kibler began her career in 1991 at Telemundo. Before becoming iHeartMedia’s executive vice president of operations for the company’s major markets in Texas, she was a market president in Dallas, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

emmis logoEmmis Confirms Layoffs; Executive Pay Cuts.  After a fiscal third quarter report that showed a 5.1% drop in radio net revenue, Emmis Communications is confirming that it has laid off 32 company staffers and instituted pay cuts for corporate senior executives.  During the recent conference call with investors, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan stated, “We’ve made some changes and they’re very painful changes.  This is always very, very hard for us.”  The moves are designed to trim some $5.3 million from the radio sector’s budget.

kidRich Broadcasting Adds Three Signals to News/Talk KID, Idaho Falls.  The announced expansion of Rich Broadcasting’s heritage news/talk KID, Idaho Falls will expand the reach of the station within the Idaho Falls market and some 90 miles east to the Jackson, Wyoming market.  The company says, beginning Monday, KID “Newsradio” will be heard on KQEZ-FM in Idaho Falls and to KSGT-AM, Jackson and translator K242BU at 96.3 in the Jackson market.  KID, Idaho Falls is also simulcast on KIDG-FM, Pocatello, Idaho.  Rich Broadcasting president Richard Mecham says, “KID has served the eastern Idaho market since 1928 and we are both pleased and excited to substantially expand its impact and coverage with the addition of three more frequencies, which not only will substantially expand its geographical reach but also, and very significantly, will enhance its nighttime coverage.  With the addition of 106.3 FM, it now will be heard regionally from Ashton to Pocatello.  Additionally, we are very pleased to expand the KID brand into the Teton County radio market, and in the process enhance the synergy between the eastern Idaho and Jackson markets. We look forward to providing to our listeners the very best in news and information for years to come.”

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016 Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Las Vegas where this week he’s been attending the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.  Today he writes about the ubiquitous phone camera, drones, the head-on challenges facing television, and new technologies that are doing what radio stations traditionally helped people do.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  The digital production field and studio tool suite Control Room Pro is now being used at stations including CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York; Bonneville’s WTOP-FM, Washington; iHeartmedia’s WIOD, Miami;rosenbergsid and news/talk WHO-AM and sports KXNO-AM in Des Moines,  The suite of tools is produced by Harris Media and is repped by AdLarge Media…..Next Thursday and Friday (1/14-15), (and for the second time in the last three weeks!) Sid Rosenberg and “Imus in the Morning” executive producer Bernard McGuirk are sitting in for “Curtis & Kuby” co-hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.

pittmanbobPittman to Receive BFoA Golden Mike Award. Jackson, Mississippi native Bob Pittman began his radio career at the age of 15 and the iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer is set to be honored with the Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s 2016 “Golden Mike” award. Broadcasters Foundation vice chair Dan Mason declares, “Bob is an extraordinary broadcaster. As an architect of today’s iHeartMedia, Bob’s focus on innovation – and his deep belief in broadcast radio – has expanded radio into new areas and platforms. We are proud to recognize his contributions to broadcasting.” Pittman states that, “Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium. [It is] the best friend in the seat next to them and their trusted companion and information source across multiple platforms. I feel extremely fortunate to be in broadcasting during the most exciting time in our industry’s history. I am grateful to theBroadcasters Foundation of America Broadcasters Foundation for this honor, and I thank them for their deep commitment to supporting our broadcast colleagues in their times of need.” Pittman programmed WMAQ, Chicago and famously became program director at WNBC, New York at the age of 23. Also included on his impressive, extensive resume is being co-founder/programmer of the team that created MTV; CEO of MTV Networks; AOL Networks; Six Flags Theme Parks; Quantum Media; Century 21 Real Estate; and Time Warner Enterprises. He was chief operating officer of America Online and later of AOL Time Warner. Pittman was named one of Advertising Age‘s “10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture”; received the Robert F. Kennedy “Ripple of Hope” award; and he was named one of LIFE Magazine‘s “Five Original Thinkers of the 1980s.” He will receive his “Golden Mike” award next month (2/29) at New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

poebobBroadcaster Poe Declares Congressional Candidacy. Former Florida Democratic Party chair Bob Poe made his intentions official yesterday (Thursday, 1/7) that he is seeking to represent Florida’s 10th congressional district, which is based in west Orlando. The 61-year-old Poe comments that, “Many people are aware that I’ve been blessed with a tremendous amount of success in my life – but what most people don’t know is that my success had some humble beginnings. I come from this community. I became successful because of what I learned in this community, and I think I bring a very different perspective of how we grow the economy. I didn’t graduate from college, but I built a technology business that I’m proud of and that keeps people safe, because I never quit. Too many politicians today are too busy playing the game of musical chairs – running for one office and then another – to truly stand up and fight for us.” Prior to a nine-year run as president of Emergency Communications Network, Poe spent three years as vice president and general manager of WMMO, Orlando; four years as director of broadcasting and sponsorship sales for the NBA‘s Orlando Magic; and 12 years as vice president and general manager of Orlando talk station WKIS and the Florida Radio Network.

Monday, October 12, 2015

| October 12, 2015

cookeholland‘Typical Is Your Enemy.’ Those are the words of radio consultant Holland Cooke, who writes today in TALKERS about the dangers of not standing out in the modern media era.  He says, “Someone JUST-tuning-in at 14 past the hour on a cloudy morning hears the announcer assure that the next Traffic & Weather Together On-the-Threes update is just nine minutes away.  Or “WHAT A NIGHT AT WRIGLEY!” teases a sportscast into spots.  Are we naïve enough to think people aren’t toting smartphones?”  What used to keep people tuned in to your station now tells them there’s something they need to know and busy people can use your tease to get the news from a digital source instantly.  Whether you program a talk station or a music station – or both – read Holland Cooke’s warnings about typical-ness and what to avoid here.

kfi logoKFI, Los Angeles Makes Midday Changes; Mark Thompson and Elizabeth Espinosa Exit.  While iHeartMedia-owned news/talker KFI, Los Angeles has not issued an official statement about the status of its 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, the Facebook page of the Mark Thompson and Elizabeth Espinoza show confirms that the duo has exited the station – although Thompson will continue to make regular appearances on the station’s Tim Conway Jr. show.  TALKERS sources in Los Angeles report KFI news anchors Gary Hoffmann and Shannon Farren will assume hosting duties for the early afternoon show.

namb logoNational Association of Media Brokers Announces New Officers; Glenn Serafin Named President.  Professional organization the National Association of Media Brokers, serving those who represent buyers and sellers of radio and television stations and relatedserafinglenn businesses, elected a slate of officers at its semi-annual meeting during the recent Radio Show in Atlanta.  Re-elected to a new two-year term as president is Glenn M Serafin, director of Tampa, Florida-based Serafin Bros., Inc.  Eddie Esserman, a director of Media Services Group, is the new vice-president.  Roger Rafson – owner of CMS Station Brokerage – continues serving as secretary for another two years.  Greg Guy will serve another two years as treasurer.  He is a managing partner of Patrick Communications.

musicindustryreunion15Second Music Industry Reunion Planned for New York Takes Place this Wednesday (10/14).  There are still a handful of free tickets left for a very popular informal annual gathering that brings together several generations of music and radio industry professionals in a fun, warm and fuzzy atmosphere.  By popular demand, a second “Music Industry Reunion” has been set by its organizers to take place in New York, following the tremendous recent successes of its first three installments in Los Angeles and its debut in New York last year.  The informal event is open to all members, past and present, of the music and music-related industries free of charge, including a huge turnout from radio.  It will take place at El Original Tex Mex (735 10th Ave. NYC) on Wednesday, October 14 between 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm.  The reunion is again being organized by veteran record executive Jon Scott and a committee of music industry veterans, past and present. These events have become tremendously successful, with each of the first four drawing a larger crowd of colorful legends on both coasts than its organizers originally anticipated.  And now, according to Scott, “The demand for a fifth (the second in NYC) necessitates that we do it again.  Not only do past attendees want to come back, but we are hearing from great folks around the country who, upon learning about our first four events, want to participate going forward.”  Last October’s Big Apple installment of the Music Industry Reunion drew more than 250 people including luminaries such as Ron AlexenburgJohnny BarbisDanny BuchHarvey LeedsJim DelBalzoPaul RappaportJudy LibowRoxy MyzallTony BerardiniPatty Martin and many more.  Scott explains, “I really thought the first Los Angeles Music Industry Reunion would just be a one-time event, but it was a smash and the two follow-ups in Los Angeles and the first one in New York were successively bigger.  Now even more people keep asking, ‘When is the next one?’  I am thrilled that old music friends attend these events and have a wonderful, rare opportunity to connect with colleagues they haven’t seen in years.”  Scott adds, “The next night, Tony Martell will be honored at the 40th anniversary of his wonderful charity, The T.J Martell Foundation and hopefully we’ll see you there, too.”  The party is free with no host food and bar – but because of space limitations, it is important to make reservations as early as possible.  Members of the Music Industry Reunion NYC organizing committee include: Jon Scott, Greg Lee, Johnny Barbis, Judy Libow, Roxy Myzal, Ted UtzWayne McManners, Harvey Leeds, Steve LeedsPete Gidion, Jim DelBalzo and Jesse Scott. Organizer Jon Scott sums it up: “Keep in mind, this is not an ‘official’ convention or seminar being put on by an industry trade association or publication.  There is no charge, no fee, and no agenda, except for seeing each other!”  Scott continues, “Lots of laughs, stories, and the amazingly positive synergy of just hanging with each other!  By the way, on October 14th, 1947, the sound barrier was broken. I know many of us have broken some kind of sound barrier in our career!  A perfect night to have a party!”  For more information about the forthcoming second Music Industry Reunion New York, call Jon Scott at 818-981-9876 or via email at jon@jonpaulscott.com.  To register click here.  Music Industry Reunion New York is being made possible by a grant from RadioInfoRadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “This is one of the most teary, huggy, and emotionally touching industry gatherings for anyone who has made friends in the business over the years.  I am so pleased that RadioInfo has been able to contribute to it happening and we can’t wait to see everyone this Wednesday evening in New York.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago evening personality Justinkaufmannjustin Kaufmann is off the air at the station “indefinitely” dealing with a “private and personal matter.”  Kaufmann joined the station in April of this year after a 21-year career as a producer at Chicago Public Media…..Detroit Red Wings hockey and Detroit Tigers baseball will be head on CBS RADIO’s sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” for years to come.  The station and Olympia Entertainment have inked a comprehensive multi-year agreement that includes play-by-play rights to both teams, as well as marketing and promotional activities across CBS RADIO’s Detroit stations.  Dan Dickerson, will continue to host abcnewsComiconnyc15the Tigers pre- and post-game shows, as well as weekly off-season show “Hot Stove.”  Red Wings announcer Ken Kal will host “Inside Hockeytown” weekly throughout the hockey season.  Plus, all-news WWJ will add three new, one-hour shows including “Inside The Arena,” to keep fans up-to-date on the development of the new Detroit Red Wings hockey stadium; “Inside The Ballpark,” which will include the latest news and information about the Detroit Tigers upcoming season, and “Inside District Detroit” focusing on all things related to the expansion of “The District.”…..New York Comic Con invaded the Javits Center last Thursday through Sunday and ABC Radio was on the scene.  Pictured here at left with a couple of the attendees is ABC Radio entertainment producer Steve Iervolino.

Monday, August 10, 2015

| August 10, 2015

Fox_News_Channel_logoMonday Trivia Question. Granted, this deals with television, but it most definitely could have talk radio implications. Here goes: What is the most-watched cable news telecast in history? Your hint is that viewership for this broadcast is estimated to have been 24 million. Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed last week’s GOP presidential debate on the Fox News Channel. Among adults 18-49, the roughly two-hour debate drew 7.9 million. More than 20 million debate-related interactions appeared on Facebook. According to The Hollywood Reporter, by way of perspective, the first Republican primary debate in 2011 attracted 3.2 million viewers to FNC, and that channel’s coverage of the final 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reached 11.5 million.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “The amazing numbers attracted by the Fox debate certainly underscore the power and potency of politics as an area of interest in America.  Those who are loudly touting the death of politics, in general, as a viable genre within the talk radio universe are missing the point.  The question should not be IF politics belongs as a mainstay topic of news/talk radio – but HOW it should be done going forward.”  Harrison adds, “And that, of course, is not to say that talk radio cannot benefit by tapping into so many other topics of concern to people today beyond politics… but this election is proving that politics is here to stay and to abandon it would be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.”

iheartmedia-logo-small22KFI, KLAC Add HD2 Coverage. Sports KLAC “AM 570,” Los Angeles will simulcast on the HD2 channel of co-owned iHeartMedia alternative cluster-mate KYSR “Alt 98.7,” while talker KFI will simulcast on the HD2 channel of adult contemporary sibling AC KOST “Coast 103.5.” Senior vice president of programming Andrew Jeffries comments, “Exposing our premiere talk brands of KFI and KLAC to a wider audience on HD is an exciting progression for our programming. It is in our listeners’ best interests to have these stations on every platform they desire, from the AM frequencies, on the iHeartRadio app, and now HD2.” No HD channel for any company appears in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2015 PPM report for Los Angeles. Among persons 6+ in July, KOST’s main “Coast 103.5” channel places #1 overall (5.4); KFI is #8 (3.4); KYSR is tied for #19 (2.4); and Los Angeles Dodgers‘ flagship KLAC is #31 (.9).

Radio OneNet Q2 Radio One Revenue Grows to $119.8 million. That represents a gain of 10.5% from $108.4 million in 2014. Meanwhile, station operating-income shows a 14.3% improvement (from $41 million) to $46.9. Radio One president and chief operating officer Alfred Liggins, however, comments, “Core radio advertising business was soft for the quarter, although in line with our expectations, and partially offset by the strong performance of our network and syndication business – Reach Media. On a combined basis, radio plus Reach Media revenue was +8.6% versus Q2 2014, or -3.2% after adjusting for the timing of major events. Third quarter core radio advertising revenue is currently pacing down mid-single digits, but we expect this decline to be more than offset by the continued strong performance of TV One; we are working diligently to turn around radio performance in our key markets.”  Television advertising for the company was up 13.7% for the quarter, and affiliate revenues were +27%. Compared to $10.8 million or 23 cents per share a year ago, Radio One’s net earnings grow to $13 million – or 27 cents per share.

GiffordRemembering Frank Gifford. He wore #16 for the New York Football Giants and was one of the NFL‘s premier players in a career that spanned a dozen years (1952 – 1964). Owing to his rugged good looks, Frank Gifford transitioned to broadcasting when his playing days were over. Perhaps seen by some as a pretty boy, the University of Southern California All-American – who died today (Sunday, 8/9) of natural causes in his Connecticut home – constantly burned and embarrassed defenses as a halfback, receiver, or he could even run the option. Not only was Gifford on the Giants’ 1956 championship team, he was the league’s MVP that year and the Pro Bowl MVP two years later. In 2008, Gifford, along with Peter Richmond, wrote “The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever.” The Baltimore Colts beat Gifford’s New York Giants in that game, 23-17. Several particular things worth noting about Santa Monica-born “Faultless Frank” are that, while virtually everyone recalls him for his fame in television, he actually cut his media teeth in radio. Moreover, while most former athletes-turned-broadcasters did (and do) so in the capacity of analyst, Gifford adroitly took charge in the play-by-play role. Others did it before and since, but Gifford was one of the very first who looked and sounded like a professionally-trained broadcaster. In addition, in the overwhelming number of cases, ex-athletes in the booth tend to be one-trick ponies, covering only the sport they played. Not Gifford: He handled multiple sports and was an integral part of ABC-TV‘s “Olympics” coverage. During his playing days, he worked at CBS Radio in several capacities and would go on to anchor a nightly CBS Radio Network sports roundup. Gifford continued his relationship with CBS, doing sports on New York City owned & operated WCBS-TV (channel 2), ultimately graduating to calling Sunday games on CBS-TV. Many would say the huge break for Gifford was shifting to ABC-TV for that network’s “MNF” games. He replaced Keith Jackson in 1971, joining Howard Cosell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. His wife of 29 years, “Today Show” host Kathie Lee Gifford (Frank & Kathie Lee at right), is among those who survive Gifford and she took to Twitter to note she is “deeply grateful to all [for your]Frank & Kathy Lee Gifford outpouring of grace.” CBS Radio Los Angeles CHR KAMP “Amp” morning personality/host of NBC-TV‘s “The Voice” Carson Daly tweets, “My heart breaks for the loss of Frank; we are praying and thinking of [his family] today.” Kathie Lee’s “Today Show” co-host, Hoda Kotb, writes she is “heartbroken.” Also in “The Today Show” family, Al Roker notes that he will “always remember Frank Gifford’s grace, self-deprecating wit and love of his family – so much to so many.” Frank Gifford met Kathie Lee when they guest-hosted “Good Morning America.” That show’s former co-host Joan Lunden writes, “Great guy, great couple.” According to Kendall Jenner, it is a “very sad day. Rest in peace to my Godfather – the legend, Frank Gifford.” Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford have a son and daughter; the 1977 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee had three other children from a previous marriage. This coming Saturday (8/16), Frank Gifford, would have turned 85 years old.

FCC LogoOver $4 Million Generated From FCC FM Auction 98. Results after 10 days and more than 50 rounds find 59 qualified bidders scoring 102 permits, with the FCC taking in slightly more than $4.1 million. It is all part of FM Auction 98, as the FCC auctions FM construction permits. The Erie Company, LLC boasts top bid honors ($714,000) for a Westfield, New York permit, while Iris Media, LLC proposes $421,000 for a Columbia, Missouri permit. Alpha Media remains active by offering more than $400,000 for a permit in Harper, Texas.

WGN LogoTribune Tower Continues Its Brick Collection. When he was Tribune‘s publisher and company president (1911-1955) Robert R. McCormick requested that his correspondents bring back stones from their travels to add into the base of Chicago’s Tribune Tower. That tradition lives on this Friday (8/14) at 11:30 am when bricks from Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) and Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox) will permanently be installed into the limestone exterior of Tribune Tower. WGN-AM host Bob Sirott will host the ceremony, which will include interviews with Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. The bricks will join 148 stones from around the world and all 50 states that are already part of the Tribune Tower’s façade. Artifacts included are from The Alamo, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, and Abraham Lincoln’s original tomb. Last added to the building were tiles from the Sydney Opera House in May 2006. Tribune-owned talker WGN-AM, of course, was the longtime radio flagship of the Cubs, whose games – as of this year – air on CBS Radio‘s news-formatted WBBM-AM; CBS Radio-owned WSCR “The Score” is the White Sox flagship, but that will change next year when the pale hose shift to Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM.

KOIL-AMOdds & Sods. KOIL “The Mighty 1290,” Omaha joins the Kansas City Chiefs’ 65-affiliate radio network. Executive producer Dan Israel notes, “Eastern Nebraska is a vital part of the ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ and we are very excited to welcome KOIL as the new exclusive home of Chiefs coverage for Omaha.” KOIL operations manager Dave Tepper states, “We are honored to join one of the NFL’s most passionate fan bases in cheering on the Chiefs.” The NRG Media talker begins its coverage by airing the team’s first preseason game this Saturday (8/15) against the Arizona Cardinals.

Westwood One HOF Pic 2Eight Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame. The ceremony from Canton, Ohio’s Pro Football Hall of Fame was held this past Saturday (8/8). Those honored were Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Bill Polian, and Ron Wolf. Westwood One Sports had live coverage and then continued by airing the Hall of Fame Game the next day between the Minnesota Vikings (14) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3). Shown here are Westwood One’s Scott Graham, 2015 inductee/six-time Pro Bowl selection Jerome Bettis, and Westwood One analyst, Hall of Famer James Lofton.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.

SagaCool Job Opening for News Reporter/Anchor.  Award-winning news/talker WSVA in Harrisonburg, Virginia has an opening in its news department.  They are looking for a hard working reporter/anchor to be part of their afternoon drive show and cover and report on local news.  Send audio and resume to fwilt@harrisonburgradiogroup.com or mail to Frank Wilt, WSVA Radio, 1820 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA  22801.   Harrisonburg Radio Group.  EOE.

Friday, July 24, 2015

| July 24, 2015

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Announces Market Manager Changes. Taking over for Marc Rayfield at the CBS RADIO Philadelphia cluster as SVP/market manager is current director of sales David Yadgaroff.  Rayfield was recently named market manager for the New York market.  Elsewhere in the company, current Boston SVP/market manager Mark Hannon adds the same duties for Hartford, replacing the retiring Suzanne McDonald.  CBS combines the SVP/market manager post for both Miami and Orlando and appoints Steve Carver, who replaces Joe Bell in Miami and Dave Robbins in Orlando.  They both exit the company.  Director of sales Tony Perlongo is promoted to SVP/ market manager in Las Vegas, taking over for the exiting Jerry McKenna; and Mike Valenzuela rises from VP/director of sales in the Riverside cluster to SVP/market manager, replacing Harvey Wells who’s returning to the Chicago area to be closer to family.

orban logoOrban Addresses Nielsen-Voltair Issue.  Audio processor competitor Orban has been very quiet during the industry-wide discussion about 25-Seven’s Voltair processor but breaks that silence with a press statement released on Thursday (7/23).  The statement says, in part, “Some have argued that Voltair is ‘just another form of audio processing.’  However, we believe that there is an essential and fundamental difference between audio processing (like that done by our Optimods) that increases the opportunity of the Nielsen encoder to insert audibly undetectable watermark tones and processing that directly manipulates the level of the watermark, potentially breaking Nielsen psychoacoustic masking model and allowing the tones to become audible.  Based on their testing, Nielsen concluded that Voltair can degrade perceptual quality.  In an environment where traditional radio is suffering ever-increasing competition from new media, we believe that it is unwise for radio to degrade its audio in an internecine battle whose ultimate winner could be non-broadcast providers.  Because Nielsen is a large, global business that depends on producing credible audience measurements, we expect that it will soon solve any problem (if it actually exists) by making improvements to its encoder.  Accordingly, we have decided not to add processing to Optimods that directly manipulates the Nielsen watermark signal because we expect that any such effort would degrade audio quality and would soon be rendered obsolete by Nielsen’s encoder improvements.  Moreover, we trust the Media Rating Council to thoroughly evaluate any such improvements, as they have already done for the Nielsen PPM system in its current form.  While it is true Orban’s Optimod processors are compatible with Voltair, we urge caution.”

kfi logoDoug Steckler Ends Friday Appearances with Tim Conway Jr. on KFI, Los Angeles.  For the last four years, Doug Steckler has been co-hosting the Friday evening edition of Tim Conway Jr.’s show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  But that is ending and Steckler says in a statement, “I am leaving the Tim Conway Jr. show on KFI where I enjoyed sharing Fridaystecklerdoug evenings with the funniest, nicest guy in radio.  We had more fun than should be legal.  All good things must come to their finish and it’s always better (if still difficult) to get out while you can still hear the laughter.  I want to wish everyone connected with the Tim Conway Jr. show the very best in every way.  I would like to especially express my profound gratitude to Sheron Bellio, our executive producer, whose creativity, original thinking, laser wit, and supernatural administrative abilities made every Friday a wonderfully conspiratorial caper.”  Conway and Steckler co-hosted a talk show on the old hot talk-formatted KLSX-FM, Los Angeles (now CHR KAMP) from 1996 through 2005.  Doug Steckler is represented by Jason Insalaco’s Kelton Agency.

hoffmancraigWTEM, Washington Adds Craig Hoffman for Redskins Beat Reporter Gig.  This will be a year-round gig at Red Zebra Broadcasting’s Washington Redskins flagship WTEM “ESPN 980” for Craig Hoffman as he is named the new Redskins beat reporter.  Hoffman was most recently with ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas “103.3 FM ESPN” as a host and update anchor.  Red Zebra says he has experience “covering both professional and college teams along with reporting from large national events like the NCAA Final Four.  Craig will cover the Redskins year-round and will contribute content to the station’s local shows.  He will also be part of the game-day broadcasts on the Redskins Radio Network while producing content for ESPN 980’s website and social media outlets.”

vandenburghpaulPaul Vandenburgh Takes Top Talk Show Honors in Metroland ‘Best Of.’  WGDJ, Albany owner, general manager and morning talk host Paul Vandenburgh’s daily show was named the Best Talk Radio Program in the market by Albany alternative weekly Metroland.  Here’s how the entry reads: “This is the show for local issues.  Special mention must be made of the must-listen interviews he conducted with local reporters on scene in Dannemora during the prison break.  Standard disclaimer: We’re a bunch of liberals and disagree with 75 percent of his opinions, but so what?  Who didn’t enjoy it when he went after Troy’s City Hall clown show during the frozen pipes scandal?”

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles-based talk legend Tom Leykis is streaming his program live from the Maximum Yieldleykistom Indoor Gardening Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow (7/25) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm PT from the Aqua Camel booth.  What is Aqua Camel?  It’s a self-watering plant pot system that uses 65% less water.  The company is co-founded by Tim Sabean, former Sirius Satellite Radio and CBS RADIO programmer…..Hearst-owned WBAL, Baltimore  “NewsRadio 1090” agrees to a new multi-year partnership with the Naval Academy Athletic Association to continue serving as radio flagship for Navy football.  This will be the 11th consecutive year WBAL has broadcast Navy football.

blackstoneaudioGot Old Radio Shows? Opportunity to Monetize Content in Your Basement.  One of the largest independent audiobook companies in the world, Blackstone Audio, is looking to expand its product offerings beyond audiobooks into spoken-word, including comedy, opinion pieces, soundtracks (non-musical), old-time radio and TV shows, sports broadcast highlights, and any other forms of spoken-word or subject matter that would be interesting to the audio-listening public.  Blackstone would offer the content owners of recorded audio programs that they choose to license or distribute an arrangement under which the content owners would receive the majority of the net revenue from the sale of their content to the public by Blackstone.  If you have recorded spoken-word content and would be interested in having Blackstone Audio consider it for licensing or distribution contact Larry Harris at talkharris@olypen.com.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Candidates and Trump Criticisms Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the criticism of Donald Trump’s recent statements tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM for the week of July 20-24.  At #2 this week was the Iran nuclear deal.  Coming in at #3 was talk about the U.S, immigration policy and the sanctuary city concept followed by threats from ISIS at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

| July 14, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Legendary KGO, San Francisco Talkmeister Ronn Owens.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” is posted today (7/14).  It features a compelling conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio talk show host Ronn Owens.  Owens is about to mark his 40th anniversary with the heritage San Francisco outlet KGO – having survived numerous regimes and ownership changes during that four-decade period, including the controversial 2011 reorganization of the station from aowensronn news/talk format to an all-news direction that left Owens the station’s only full-time talk show host.  In addition, Owens recently disclosed publicly that he has been privately dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease for the past 13 years that has progressed to the point that he will be undergoing a leading-edge form of surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation.  This aggressive procedure, when successful, has been shown to alleviate the incurable neurological disorder’s movement-prohibiting symptoms.  Owens – ranked by TALKERS as one of the 25 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — discusses his career and views on talk radio, including the power of local programming, options beyond the left/right paradigm, the disastrous simulcast of his show on KGO and KABC, Los Angeles in 1997-98 and the impact of cell phones on the format, plus more.  He also candidly talks about his quiet battle with advancing Parkinson’s Disease, his decision to open up about it and details of the exotic form of brain surgery that he will be facing in August.  Harrison says of Owens, “This man is truly one of the giants of the industry.  Just like all the truly great performers of the talk radio arts, he rises above technique and has made it big simply based upon his unique brand of ‘personhood’ – an elusive quality that the Dickey Brothers obviously recognize – and speaks volumes about their nuanced awareness factor.  Add to that, his backbone is of figurative steel as he faces an experimental form of invasive surgery.  Ronn Owens is an inspiration to us all, professionally and personally.  I am so darned pleased to be able to present this podcast to the industry and the world.”  This is a must-listen for members of the professional radio community.  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

legrettkevinLeGrett Lands iHeartMedia LA Market President Slot. Currently senior vice president of operations for approximately 225 iHeartMedia stations in roughly 50 northeast and midwest markets, Kevin LeGrett is shifting to market president for the company’s eight-station Los Angeles cluster. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia – and the company’s Southern California president – Greg Ashlock (to whom LeGrett will report) comments, “Kevin has a successful track record leading operations and accelerating growth across multiple regions. He has earned the right to lead our largest market. His vast experience managing talent and revenue across so many diverse markets and stations will allow him to bring a unique perspective to our Los Angeles portfolio – a portfolio that I have been blessed to directly manage for the last decade that hosts the most compelling on-air talent and most innovative leaders in the business.” LeGrett states that he is “thrilled” at the “opportunity to lead” the “extremely talented” Los Angeles team. He further states, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles has some of the most iconic brands and beloved personalities in the country. With the instantaneous success of [urban contemporary KRRL] ‘Real 92.3’ and the continued stellar ratings and thriving pop culture events such as ‘Wango Tango’ and ‘Jingle Ball,’ it is an exciting time foriheartmedia logo small the market. I look forward to the opportunity to further build on the team’s already enormous success.” LeGrett, who begins his new duties in three weeks (8/3), joined iHeartMedia five years ago as vice president and market manager for the company’s Rochester stations. He will be leading a Los Angeles group of properties that includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM” and adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” tied for second in Nielsen Audio‘s June 2015 PPM, each with 5.1 (6+). Also in the top ten this June are iHM CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (#4, 4.9) and talk KFI (#8, 3.5). The rest of the company’s Los Angeles cluster consists of aforementioned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 9.2.3” (formerly urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3,” #11, 3.1); alternative KYSR “Alt 98.7” (#20, 2.3); and sports/Los Angeles Dodgers’ flagship KLAC and talk KEIB (both with .9, tied at #30).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Expands Brand Partnerships Team.  This move includes promotions for two current Cumulus Media staffers.  The company says that in expanding the Brand Partnerships team, it has named Leslie Slender vice president, Brand Partnerships and Events, and Leslie Caraccilo, vice president, Brand Partnerships.  The Brand Partnerships division is responsible for developing “unique experiential opportunities for Cumulus and Westwood One, connecting advertisers to itsslenderleslie listening audiences and leveraging its integrated radio, digital, social and live events platform.”  Slender has been serving as Cumulus New York’s corporate director, events and marketing.  She’ll continue to caracciloleslieoversee marketing and events for Cumulus New York stations.  Caraccilo has been with the company for five years as was most recently senior director of digital monetization.  She’ll continue to oversee digital sales strategy for Cumulus.  Cumulus SVP of Brand Partnership Tommy Page states, “We are excited to welcome these two talented professionals to the Brand Partnerships team.  Leslie Slender is a rare example of a marketer that is not only outstanding at producing and executing live events, but also knows how to package these opportunities for advertisers.  Leslie Caraccilo has done an incredible job of creating custom digital and content solutions for our advertisers across the Cumulus platform. Her understanding of artist programming and deep knowledge of the digital space make her a natural fit for our Brand Partnerships team.  With these strong additions to our already stellar Westwood One events group, all Cumulus and Westwood One partners and advertisers will benefit from this powerhouse team’s expertise.”

familyleadershipsummit15USA Radio Network Helps Sponsor Broadcast of Family Leadership Summit.  A live, five-hour broadcast from the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18 is being made available for free to broadcasters from USA Radio Networks in cooperation with Truth Radio Network.  The Ames, Iowa event will originate from Iowa State University and be anchored by nationally syndicated host and political commentator Steve Deace and American values expert Steve Noble.  The live broadcast will give voters the opportunity to hear from top conservative leaders and Republican presidential candidates, including: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Bob Vander Plaats.  USA Radio Networks SVP of news operations Russ Jones says, “Iowa is a key battleground state for any presidential candidate.  The Family Leadership Summit is the first major platform the electorate will get to hear how candidates would lead the nation.”

bellartArt Bell Returns to Airwaves in Portland on Monday.  We’ve known for some time now that Art Bell has been preparing to return to hosting a nightly program via his Dark Matter Digital Network, but now Alpha Media announces the originator of “Coast to Coast AM” will bring his new show – “Midnight in the Desert” – to KXL-FM, Portland beginning Monday, July 20.  The show will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am local time and will follow Clyde Lewis’ “Ground Zero.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “Art is an American original in terms of putting the paranormal on the radio landscape.  We are so proud to extend his coverage to the Northwest where there is a rabid appetite for his unique brand of communication.”

2015 Marconi Finalists Announced.  The 2015 Marconi Award finalists have been announced by the NAB.  The annual awards, to be given out during the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 1, are divvied up into 20 categories.  Legendary Station of the Year finalists include: news/talk outlets KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM, Dayton; and all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  Major Market Personality of the Year finalists include: Felger & Massarotti from sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston and Hal Jay from news/talk WBAP, Dallas.  View all the finalists here.

malcolmoutloudWYM Media to Distribute Malcolm Out Loud Features.  Through WYM Media Management, radio news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is expanding his daily radio presence with three new features.  “Out Loud News and Comment” is the news of the day with Malcolm’s unique twist; “Out Loud America” is a “relevant and timely commentary from Malcolm”; and “Brink Thinking Out Loud” is “motivational content and inspiring stories and positive events shaping our world.”  Malcolm Out Loud is a motivational speaker, innovator and creator of the popular websites OutLoudAmerica.com and BrinkThinking.com.

kcmo logoKCMO, Kansas City Holds Drive to Assist Mother of Six Caught Shoplifting.  The case of homeless widow and mother-of-six Sarah Robinson was the focus of attention for Cumulus Media’s Kansas City radio stations, led by news/talk KCMO on Saturday as it held a donation drive Saturday for the family.  Robinson was cited for shoplifting at a local Walmart but the officer who responded, Mark Engravalle, decided to pay for the diapers and wipes for her twin two-year-olds and bought shoes for her other girls.  After hearing the woman’s story of desperation, the stations planned a two-hour donation drive that netted cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food, toiletries and other items.  KCMO morning host Rob Carson hosted both Robinson and Officer Engravalle on his show on Monday.  Officer Engravalle remains touched that he’s changed someone’s life for the better and he is in constant touch with Sarah, who is off the street with her girls in temporary lodging, while something more permanent is being arranged.  The generosity continues with a local law firm offering her a job.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Lynn Woolley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his talk show.  Woolley says his days as a talk show host go back to 1995 when he and two partners operated KTEM, Kileen-Temple…..The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and Capitol Broadcasting Company have reached a multi-year agreement for WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” to continue serving as the team’s flagship station through the 2019-20 season.

nbcsportsradio logoCool Job Opportunity.  NBC Sports Radio in Culver City, California is looking for the next great sports talk producer!  Are you totally immersed in all things sports?  Can you oversee and manage a top-notch, daily sports talk show and book compelling guests and newsmakers?  Can you handle show/talent/guest prep, organize formats and rundowns, develop content, fact-check and research, and distribute social media and digital content across platforms?  Do you have excellent live and studio production skills using multiple software programs, including Adobe Audition and Pro Tools?  If you can do all this and have 3-4 year’s major market or network experience, we want to talk to you!  Send a link to work materials, including resume and audio samples, to Jack Silver, Program Director, at jsilver@westwoodone.com.  No calls, please.

WBAPbushmanMurrowWBAP, Dallas’ Bushman Recognized with Regional Murrow Award.  WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth news staffer Eric Bushman was recently honored with Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his reporting on the U.S. Ebola outbreak last year.  Dallas was “Ground Zero” for Bushman’s story, and he was lead reporter from start to finish.  This is the second consecutive year Bushman has been honored with a Murrow Award.  Last year, he received one for his comprehensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. WBAP, Dallas operations and program manager Tyler Cox comments, “Eric’s work represents the type of reporting that is the signature of the WBAP news staff: comprehensive, in-depth, and sticking with the story from start-to-finish.”

sandlerGuitarNicole Sandler Auctioning Cool Radio Memorabilia for Radio Or Not.  Progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler is opening up her archives of radio memorabilia for an auction to help support her Radio Or Not digital platform.  Sandler says she’s always vowed to not put her content behind a paywall and this auction – which starts tomorrow (7/15) – will help her costs of operation.  Sandler is not the only radio pro who’s been collecting cool radio and music artifacts oversandlerBillHillary the years.  In fact, TALKERS editors believe one of the interesting, untold stories in the radio biz is just what these personal treasure troves contain.  Sandler’s has some pretty fun items that come from her days producing for Jim Kerr at WPLJ, New York and for Mark & Brian at KLOS, Los Angeles.  Note the autographed guitar pictured above that’s been signed by Johnny Cash, BB King, Les Paul, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Todd Rundgren and others.  Then, for political wonks, the Bill and Hillary corkscrew-nutcracker pair pictured here at right make the perfect election year gift!  Sandler’s auction site is: radioornot.com/auction.

2016 Presidential Candidates/Scott Walker Joins Race, Mexican Drug Lord Prison Escape, Iran Nuclear Talks, NYC Eric Garner Settlement, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Greek Debt Deal, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s entering the primary race; the escape from prison of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord; the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the West over its nuclear program; New York City’s settlement with the family of Eric Garner over his death at the hands of an NYC cop; the ongoing controversy over the nation’s illegal immigration policy and the country’s sanctuary cities; the Greek debt solution and the effects on the EU; and the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

He Zigs When Others Zag

| May 28, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

kinosianlgLOS ANGELES — Especially when summoned up to describe talk radio personalities, certain words such as “controversial” and “colorful” have a pronounced tendency to come across as a crutch or a hackneyed cliché.

It is simply unrealistic to paint every single talk radio talent as controversial or a genuinely colorful character.

Rather than having either or both of those labels affixed to him, one well-known talk radio entertainer prefers to be called “authentic,” and this Southern California-based personality continues the process of taking a weekend show he co-hosts to a national stage.

Read More

Saturday, March 14, 2015

| March 14, 2015

Joe McDonnell #2Joe McDonnell: LA Saddened at Giant-Size Talent’s Passing. How “big” was Joe McDonnell in Los Angeles? Consider this: Friday’s (3/13) lead item for several newscasts on the city’s only all-news station, CBS Radio‘s KNX, was that the 58-year-old McDonnell – widely-known as “Big Joe” or “The Big Nasty” – had passed away. “Big” references regarded his weight, approximately 700 pounds at one time; however, the sports talk host underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost roughly more than half of that. “Nasty” became a handle owing to his highly opinionated nature. The overwhelming majority of those familiar with McDonnell’s exemplary on-air work in Los Angeles would quickly associate him with being a “legendary” or “iconic” sports talk radio “fixture” and that would certainly be accurate. He was, however, among the rarest of on-air talents in the country’s second-largest market, in that, in addition to doing a nightly (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) sports program (“The Joe McDonnell Experience”) on Clear Channel‘s (now iHeartMedia) KLAC, he also did a Sunday (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) political talk program (“The Joe McDonnell Show”) on co-owned KTLK-AM (now KEIB). Most recently, McDonnell did fill-in work at KNX. Reaction to his death has continued virtually nonstop, with a who’s who in local and national media, as well as executives of major sports franchises, offering condolences. Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knew McDonnell ever since Scioscia first came up as a catcher in the Dodgers’ organization. “He was a good friend who will be missed. It’s sad,” Scioscia states. On Twitter, Keith Olbermann writes, “Heartbroken to learn of death of LA radio legend, my friend, Joe McDonnell. He leaves us having never held a grudge.” Ken Rosenthal comments, “So sad to hear about the passing of Joe McDonnell, a one-of-a-kind sports personality in Los Angeles and a reporter at heart.” Several years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, then the special features editor for Inside Radio, did an extensive profile of McDonnell, who freely used the word “idiot” to describe someone with whom he disagreed. It was a trademark of the bombastic on-air persona of “The Big Nasty” and customarily delivered in vitriol by the dean of Los Angeles radio sports talk hosts. McDonnell garnered legions of dedicated fans. Once – to benefit charity – he accepted the challenge of co-workers and successfully completed a four-hour shift without uttering one negative. In his profile, Kinosian shattered the myth about McDonnell and let the truth be told that in real-life, McDonnell was a far cry from the manic personality listeners were accustomed to hearing. Pensive and completely conscientious McDonnell qualified as a native Angelino, havingJoe McDonnell - Josh Hamilton relocated from Philadelphia in 1959 at age three with his parents. “I loved radio and wouldn’t go anywhere without it,” he fondly recalled to Kinosian. “I’d go to bed listening to it and wake up with it. I went through radios [as others] went through socks. Even when doing homework, I had the radio on.” Although thoroughly enthralled by the medium, McDonnell at that time never thought about pursuing a career in it. Family members urged him to be a lawyer, but McDonnell formulated sportswriter aspirations while attending L.A. Valley College and Cal State – Northridge. His radio career was, in his words, “a total accident.” A high school buddy McDonnell hadn’t seen in a while told him he received academic credit for working at a radio station. That was all it took for McDonnell: He scored an interview for a newsroom opening at KGIL in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and his first day was September 18, 1975 – the day they arrested Patty Hearst. “I was so excited to be there and hung around to watch what everybody did. Then the story broke and I wound up staying until 10:00 pm. I fell in love with radio my first day and knew this was for me.” Freelance sports opportunities later surfaced for him at Mutual, AP Radio, and UPI Radio and he adroitly transitioned into a daily field correspondent. Play-by-play was briefly tinkered with, but long enough for McDonnell to know it didn’t captivate him. Something else did and as he flatly asserted to Kinosian, “My interest in politics is equal to my interest in sports. They are jobs but they are [also] passions. I love being able to show another side of my life. I am very liberal but do not [rubber-stamp] everything simply because that is what [other liberals] say you should do. I take things on a position-by-position basis. It is impossible and disingenuous to be one way on every subject. No one can ever accuse me of being a phony.” The first Gulf War was underway when he hosted a general talk show on KFI, Los Angeles. America’s first casualty came as a result of friendly fire. Soon after that, the victim’s widow drove to KFI one Sunday afternoon and McDonnell did two hours with her. “It was the most gut-wrenching, yet most fulfilling, thing I’ve done on radio,” he told Kinosian. “Quite honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of pulling it off. People heard me do sports and wondered what I knew about [politics]. I had to win them over.” Multiple Golden Microphone award winner McDonnell toiled in the Southland at KMAX and KWNK between 1994 – 1997; won raves doing sports updates for (then-all news) KFWB; and was part of the original 1992 staff transitioning KMPC to all-sports – although the outbreak of the L.A. riots was the considerably more monumental story the night of the format flip. For numerous personal and professional reasons, a five-year run beginning in 2000 as KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles’ assistant program director and afternoon driver profoundly affected him. “My first three years there were great,” McDonnell declared to Kinosian. “I had a say in what went on and helped build KSPN from the ground up with [KABC & KSPN OM] Erik Braverman who was my KFI producer. Unfortunately when Erik decided he wanted to concentrate on KABC, they brought in people who didn’t share our ideas.” It was one different concept after another and became the beginning of the end for McDonnell there. “They killed morale and dissolved everything we did. I wanted to leave every day the last two years I was there but made so much money I would’ve been put in a mental institution if I quit.” From the minute McDonnell walked into the Burbank offices of KLAC to interview with KLAC general manager/program director & KTLK program director Don Martin, he sensed something different. “This might sound crazy – but I really liked that they made me earn my position. Don put me on KTLK and let me do some KLAC fill-in. It meant a lot when he said I assimilated with the audience and staff. People have this idea you expect everything be given to you.” Being a sports talk host was a 24 hour-a-day job for McDonnell because, “Information doesn’t stop.” His shows were frequently punctuated with “24” and “Da Ali G” clips and laced with abundant/energetic hip-hop tracks as bumpers. At first, longtime “McDonnell – Douglas” partner Doug Krikorian wasn’t part of the equation for the “Joe McDonnell Experience,” although the Long Beach Press-Telegram sportswriter joined the ensemble to deliver weekly “K-Files” reports. After all, it was Krikorian who hung the “Big Nasty” moniker on McDonnell when Big Joe collared/disposed of a rowdy patron one night at their favorite hangout. Naturally, the subject of McDonnell’s weight came up in the Kinosian profile of him and McDonnell said that even before the gastric bypass procedure, the heavy burden he was carrying didn’t really bother him. He did however eventually begin slowing down, getting sick, and spending more time at home. “I stopped going to games because it was uncomfortable. My doctor told me I had to do something. Any addict – and I’m definitely a food addict – thinks you can do it on your own.” That’s the fallacy and something an addict desperately wants to believe but McDonnell stressed it can not be done alone. “It got to the point where I realized I was going to die. I had the surgery and lost 300 pounds. On Christmas Day, I put slabs of turkey and prime rib on a plate [surrounded with] potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I took it to the table and had a bite of each. Hey look – I’m a food addict and always will be.” The old Joe most likely would’ve avoided on-air surgery mentions. If it did pop up, he probably would’ve been brutal in challenging the person referencing it. A much mellower McDonnell made a conscious decision when he left KSPN that the “Big Nasty” had died. “It was a great vehicle for what I needed – but – that really isn’t me,” he emphasized to Kinosian. “I’m opinionated and will raise my voice but I’m a nice guy and like to have fun. One reason I love my job is it allows me to hang with people.” Conceding it was a “shortcoming” on his part as a talk show host to refrain from mentioning much about his personal life, McDonnell declared, “You can’t be isolated and expect to reach your audience; you have to let them in on your life. For the most part, I refused to do that. Don Martin and I had a long talk about that and he said the best on-air people let you know about them.” A happy, healthy, and exuberant McDonnell chatted up his March 30, 2007 wedding to KLOS’ lovely Elizabeth Cohn (now working at cross-town Bonneville-owned KSWD “The Sound”). “I finally met someone who will put up with me and I [married] the most Joe McDonnell #3wonderful person in the world,” McDonnell emphasized in that profile. Joe and Elizabeth worked together for four years inside ABC Radio Los Angeles (now Cumulus Media) and basically didn’t say a word to each other. “She understands I’ll occasionally make fun of her on-air and exaggerate things but my life is now an open book.” Numerous health ailments – some nearly life-threatening – plagued McDonnell and he frequently credited Elizabeth as being the rock who held him together. An avowed movie junkie, McDonnell would go to as many as three or four in one day. It was his way to relax and escape. “One of the biggest benefits of losing weight is I can fit into theater seats. That was honestly a problem before.” Such McDonnell segments as “Who Do You Want To Kick Out Of LA?” gave him a Northeast-sounding vibe, but his entire nearly 40-year career was spent in Los Angeles. The ardent WWE fan told Kinosian, “It would take a million dollar offer for me to leave Los Angeles. In the early-1990s, I had a chance to work for a friend in Nashville and had a big offer to go to Seattle in 1994 but my mother had cancer so I wasn’t about to leave town. There was a preliminary discussion years ago with WFAN, New York about being a reporter/weekend host but Los Angeles is my home. I’m part of the radio landscape.” Eerie now, but McDonnell confided to Kinosian in that lengthy printed conversation, “All the stuff I’ve done is leading up to something. I’ve always felt there was a bigger plan for me and a different path. God has kept me around for a reason – but I don’t know what it is. With what I’ve put myself through, any other person would have been dead by now.” Even at his heaviest, the voracious reader managed to stay in “fairly good shape.” The only weakness until recently was with his knees. According to McDonnell, “The ultimate moment for me would be to somehow find out who really killed John F. Kennedy.” As for the once “Big Nasty,” no cause of death was reported; several reports – including the one on KNX – said he died at Los Angeles’ Good Samaritan Hospital after a “brief illness.” A two-hour Friday night (3/13) Jeff Biggs-hosted show on KSPN paid tribute to McDonnell, who typically aired hisJoe & Elizabeth McDonnell “Kick Out” segment Fridays. Poignant, touching, and chillingly appropriate, the final word was given to Elizabeth McDonnell who somehow managed to summon up the strength in her voice to utter she wanted to kick Joe out of LA. Dramatic, goose-bump radio. “When I die,” McDonnell once told Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, “I want to be cremated and then have a plane spread half of my ashes over Dodger Stadium and the other half over the [ex-home of the Lakers] Forum.”

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

deacesteveNEW14USA Radio Network Inks Talk Host Steve Deace.  The conservative talk star from the Midwest signs a new deal with USA Radio Networks that moves him from his most recent evening daypart (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET distributed by GCN) to afternoon drive in the East.  Steve Deace is currently heard in 44 markets.  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville comments, “We believe that Steve can help our affiliate stations gain market share in afternoon drive.  He’s not just another conservative mouthpiece.  HeusaRadioNetworks connects with the listener because he reflects their on-going frustration with Washington and political media.”  The company says Deace (pronounced “Dace”) is “considered by many to be one of the best talents from the limited stock of today’s young talkers.  He is widely respected as a political columnist, commentator and author.” Deace authored his most recent book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press), and regularly appears on such media platforms as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News and MSNBCSam Hassell, CEO of Cross Platform Media Group (operator of USA) adds, “Steve is a significant addition to our lineup and reflects the aggressive growth plan of USA Radio Networks.”

tomasejohnBoston’s Sports Talk WEEI Adds Tomase.  In a little over two weeks (on January 1), Boston Herald Red Sox columnist John Tomase will join Entercom’s WEEI.com as senior sportswriter/columnist. WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford remarks that, “In bringing John aboard, we feel WEEI and WEEI.com are welcoming one of the best columnists in the country to our family.  I am excited to once again work with John, who I have always viewed as one of the most talented journalists on the New England sports scene.”  Tomaseweei logo comments, “The world of journalism is changing.  It is no longer enough to work on just one platform.  The WEEI brand is recognized beyond the borders of New England, not just for its award-winning programming, but for the quality of its reporting, which is a tribute to Rob and his team.  I am looking forward to continuing what they started while stirring the passions of the best sports fans in the world.” Tomase – who will be a frequent on-air contributor for WEEI-FM “Sports Radio 93.7” as well as the website’s senior sportswriter/columnist – has been with the Herald since 2005.  He will succeed Alex Speier, who will depart at year’s end to become a Boston Globe feature writer.

quigleyalexTribune Media Eliminates Alex Quigley’s OM Post at WGN, Chicago.  He’ll continue to work on air as Ben Finfer’s co-host on sports talk WGWG-LP, Chicago on the “Quigs & Finfer” show, but when that show wraps on December 31 and the sports format ends, Quigley’s employment with Tribune Media ends.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that, according to a memo sent to the staff by WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley, Manley will assume the OM duties.  Quigley wrote a positive note on his Facebook page saying, in part, “I’d like to thank Daniel Zampillo and the late Kevin Metheny for allowing me to get my foot in the door of one of America’s greatest radio stations.  I’d like to thank Tom Langmyer and Bill White for trusting me and giving me further opportunity to learn and grow, and Jimmy [de Castro] & Todd for the experiences of the last 18 months.”  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that Quigley joined WGN in 2010 as a part-time host.  He moved up to assistant PD before being upped to OM.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Communications Twin Cities cluster, Mike Murphy is named sales manager.  The group includes Christian talk KKMS, news/talk WWTC “The Patriot,” business news KYCR “Business 1570,” and streaming Christian contemporary station “The Fish Twin Cities.”  Murphy assumes the sales manager duties from Nic Anderson who’s been serving as general manager as well.  Anderson continues in the GM role…..More downsizing atpatrickmatt iHeartMedia as Ben Kruse exits the morning show on news/talk KTLK, Minneapolis.  Now co-hosting the morning show with Jack Tomczak is PD Andrew Lee…..Houston-based talk host Matt Patrick is filling in for Bill Cunningham on his Premiere Networks-syndicated weekend show on December 28.  Patrick tells TALKERS this is the fourth year in a row he’s hosting the program’s “Year in Review” show.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC in Houston and on KFXR in Dallas…..At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.

starnesxmas logoFox News Announces Todd Starnes Christmas Special.  Special holiday programming from Fox News Radio is available this season in the form of “The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas,” airing on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm ET and Christmas Day at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  It’s a two-hour program featuring special guests: Governor Mike Huckabee, “Duck Dynasty” star Al Robertson, GRAMMY winner Chris Tomlin, New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Governor Sarah Palin and musical artists Ellie Holcomb and Kyle Kupecky.  Starnes will also be joined by a 300-voice choir and orchestra – taped live at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.  FNR calls it a “family-friendly Christmas special” that will also feature “The World’s Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-long.”  It’s airing on Fox News Radio affiliate stations, FoxNewsRadio.com, ToddStarnes.com and others.

nolanmikeSignoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan.  For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.”  In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.”  The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.”  Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane.  It was great to work with you and party with you.  I wish you the best in this new journey.”  Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST andkfi logo points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat.  I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.”  Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings.  You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles.  Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.”  Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports.  “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good.  You are a true friend both on and off the air.  I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life.  You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.”  Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI.  “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.”  Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me.  I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.”  Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable.  Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.”  Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.”  Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best.  What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.

wtma logoCool Job Opportunity.  WTMA is Charleston, South Carolina’s heritage news/talk station, and Cumulus has an immediate, rare opening for a full-time morning drive host.  Qualified candidates should be able build a timely, topical and compelling show that targets the 25-54 demographic, with an emphasis on local current events, news topics, and politics.  A minimum of two years’ hosting your own successful talk show is required.  Submit your resume and aircheck to program director John Quincy here: http://www.cumulus.com/careers/.

Sydney Café Hostage Case, Taliban School Attack, Bill Cosby’s Wife Defends Him, Police Killings Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sony Pictures Hack, Plummeting Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activities, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15).  The deadly hostage taking at a Sydney café by a self-styled “Muslim cleric”; the murder of some 126 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; Bill Cosby’s wife Camille speaks out publicly defending her husband accused of raping numerous women; the aftermath of the recent high-profile killings of young blacks by police; the potential candidates for president in the 2016 election; the continuing fallout from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment; the sinking price of oil, its effect at the pumps and on the financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

| November 13, 2014

carrhowieHowie Carr’s Exit from WRKO, Boston Official.  As the Boston consumer press is reporting, longtime WRKO afternoon personality Howie Carr has exited the station after working out his final contract with the Entercom news/talker.  Carr is on vacation and his last day is technically tomorrow (11/14).  Carr’s program is also heard on stations across New England and the Boston Globe – which confirms his exit from WRKO through Entercom director of communications Greg Kaufman – reports rumors in the city are that Carr will continue his program at crosstown WUFC, owned by Blackstrap Broadcasting.  The Globe reports the station’s call letters as WMEX – heritage calls in the market that have been associated with the 1500, 1470 and current 1510 frequencies.

hubbardbroadcastingHubbard Radio to Acquire 16 Minnesota Stations.  The stations to be added to the Hubbard portfolio are owned by Omni Broadcasting and are in the small Minnesota markets Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd and Wadena.  Hubbard Broadcasting chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Hubbard Broadcasting is deeply committed to local radio and to Minnesota, and this is a great opportunity to expand the company’s presence into some wonderful local communities.  We have long admired Lou Buron and Mary Campbell, whose stations have been nationally recognized for both excellence in programming and omni broadcasting logocommitment to local community service. We are committed to maintaining that dedication to excellence and community, and we look forward to welcoming all Omni employees to the Hubbard Broadcasting family.”  Omni employs 100 people in the four markets and expects no programming or personnel changes at any of the stations.  Stations to be transferred upon FCC approval include: country KIKV, Sauk Centre; oldies KULO, Alexandria; adult contemporary KKZY, Bemidji; classic rock KLLZ, Walker; country KBHP, Bemidji; classic hits WQXJ, Blackduck; sports talk KBUN, Bemidji; adult contemporary WJJY, Brainerd; classic rock KLIZ-FM, Brainerd; country KBLB, Nisswa; business news KVBR, Brainerd; oldies KUAL, Brainerd;  sports talk KLIZ-AM, Brainerd; country KKWS, Wadena; country KWAD-AM, Wadena; and country KNSP-AM, Staples.  As a result of the expansion, Dan Seeman, vice president and market manager for Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul, is named vice president and regional manager of Minnesota Radio Operations for the company.  He’ll continue his current role in managing KS95, myTalk 107.1, 1500 ESPN and the Hubbard Radio Network in the Twin Cities.

whptlogoWHPT, Tampa Producer’s Infant Daughter Dies.  Five-week-old Serena, daughter of Rob Garguilo, has died from injuries suffered after she, her five-year-old brother and her mother were hit by a car while crossing a busy boulevard in Largo, Florida.  Garguilo is executive producer of the Mike Calta show on the Cox Media Group hot talk outlet.  Garguilo recently relocated to the Tampa area after years working as producer of Shane “Rover” French’s “Rover’s Morning Glory” program on WMMS, Cleveland.  Rover started a GoFundMe campaign earlier this week to assist the family.  Mother Sarah Arlia and son Benjamin are reportedly in stable condition.  Authorities have told the media the driver did nothing wrong and will not be cited in connection with the accident.

Odds & Sods.  Albany market talk personality Bob Cudmore announces his retirement from WVTL, Amsterdam, New York after 10 years hosting the morning drive show, according to a piece in the Albany Times-Union…..CBS RADIO’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia re-ups with Learfield Sports to continue serving as the flagship for Temple University men’s basketball.  Owls games have been broadcast by WPHT for the past 14 seasons.

farberjacksonHoF14Radio Legends Celebrated at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  The National Radio Hall of Fame celebrated its seven inductees for 2014 at a black-tie ceremony at the Cicada Club in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 9.deesbertokitchi  The event was hosted by Premiere Networks personality Delilah and the announcer for the broadcast of the evening’s festivities was Westwood One’s Jim BohannonSound Mind LLC president and founder Kraig Kitchin served as the chairman of the steering committee.  The seven inductees this year included: Charlie & Harrigan, Barry Farber, Jon Miller, Agnes Moorehead, Dick Orkin, “This American Life with Ira Glass,” and broadcasting titan Stanley E. Hubbard.   Pictured above left are Barry Farber (left) and Southern California talk radio legend Michael Jackson.  Pictured at right are (from left to right) top 40 radio icon and program syndicator Rick Dees; KFI and KEIB, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci; and Kraig Kitchin.

financial awards logoCalling All Financial Shows!  One of the most important and traditional subgenres of talk radio has been the financial show hosted by the financial expert and advisor.  This has been part of the larger segment of the talk pie known as “business” talk radio.  Unfortunately the financial and business talk show arena has been tarnished over the years by a number of rogue hosts who have abused the privilege and trust given them and gotten into trouble with the law.  These bad apples are a small fraction of the bigger picture of the genre and financial discussions shows and hosts have proven their value over the years, withstanding the media’s critical approach to the ilk.  Boston’s LoneBeaconMedia has undertaken an initiative to shine the spotlight on the best of money talk media by finding the financial programming that fits today’s pressing need for comprehensible and relevant data.  LoneBeaconMedia is inviting hosts of financial programs to enter and take part in the Financial Broadcasting Awards.  Talk show hosts who have radio programs focused on finance are invited to enter.  Click here for more information.

maerchinaCovering the President in China.  With President Obama in China is CBS News Radio’s Peter Maer, pictured here using some personal time to visit the Great Wall of China.  Maer recently announced he will be retiring from CBS at the end of this year.

Obamacare Architect Controversy, Lame Duck Congress, Obama Amnesty Executive Action Plan, U.S.-China Climate Pact, Russia to Patrol Gulf of Mexico, and Rosetta Probe Lands on Comet Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The controversy over videotaped remarks of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber calling the American public “stupid”; the agenda for the lame duck congress; concerns over President Obama’s plans to issue executive orders granting amnesty to illegals; the debate over President Obama’s climate pact with China; Russia’s threat to begin patrolling the Gulf of Mexico with military jets; and the landing of the Rosetta probe on a comet were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 19, 2014

| September 19, 2014

kfwb sportsKFWB Ready to Unleash “The Beast 980.” Los Angeles talker KFWB officially plugs in all the components to transition to all-sports “The Beast 980” next Monday (9/22).  Weekday mornings (5:30 am – 9:00 am) will be kick-started by a locally originated program headed by noted Fox and ESPN talent Jeanne Zelasko, and former NBA, UCLA player Marques Johnson.  Having worked at San Diego’s XETRA “XTRA Sports,” the talented Zelasko is no stranger to doing Southern California sports radio.  “The Jim Rome Show” (Rome is also an XTRA alum) airs from Orange County (9:00 am – 12:00 noon), followed by a three-hour show (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm) local show fronted by longtime KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 4) sports anchor Fred Roggin.  Brett Winterble (SiriusXM) and former Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants tight end George Wrighster take over from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; “L.A. Sports Today” follows between 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. CBS Sports Radio‘s Doug Gottlieb will air from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm. In addition to being the flagship of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, “The Beast” will carry Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games; NCAA football and basketball play-by-play; and a weekly overview of USC athletics.

rosejoeOdds & Sods.  WQAM, Miami morning drive personality Joe Rose is giving up his “other” gig as sports anchor at NBC affiliate WTVJ, Miami.  In a press statement, Rose comments, “It’s time for me to slow downmarottarich and get a decent night’s sleep!  It’s been a fun ride and I’ve been able to cover a lot of major sporting events that I never could have if it wasn’t for NBC 6.”…..KFI, Los Angeles morning sports anchor Rich Marotta is leaving KFI and the radio business.  Marotta, who appears on the Bill Handel show, is a well-known Southern California sports voice, who’s also done radio play-by-play broadcasts for pro teams including the NBA’s Clippers, the NHL’s Kings and the NFL’s Raiders.

johnsonpattiReach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff.  This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago.  Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media.  Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales.  She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.

crninternational logoCRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads.  The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle.  When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision.  Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%.  A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials.  Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study.  Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets.  In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break.  However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor.  To see the CRN International white paper, click here.

americaweekendlogo‘America Weekend’ Airs on WNJE, Trenton.  Becoming a part of Connoisseur Media-owned religious formatted Trenton, New Jersey outlet WNJE’s programming is “America Weekend.”  The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend news/talk program is described by the syndicator as a show “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations, ‘America Weekend’ covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  The program offers over 12 hours of new programming each weekend from the lineup of hosts that includes: Ed Kalegi, Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and “Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline.

siriusWhartonOfficial Opening.  The new SiriusXM studios at the Wharton School on the campus of Penn are official opened by Geoffrey Garrett, newly appointed Dean of the Wharton School (left), and Scott Greenstein, president and chief content officer, SiriusXM (right).  The ceremony for the official ribbon cutting for SiriusXM’s studio for Business Radio powered by the Wharton School took place on September 18.

The NFL and Domestic Violence Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 15-19.  The intense controversy over recent domestic violence cases involving NFL players was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of September 15.  Coming in at #2 was the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.  At #3 was the new domestic terror threats tied with the foiled Australian plot followed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions and the GOP hopefuls at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

| September 2, 2014

armstrongcarrigan small‘The Financial Exchange’ Adds Five New England Affiliates.  The WRKO, Boston-based program “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong (right) and Kim Carrigan (left) announces it is adding five New England affiliate stations so far this month.  This build-out of the Barry Armstrong brand in the region is the next step in creating a larger radio platform.  The program – which airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET – starts today on WELI, New Haven; WGIR, Manchester and WHYN, Springfield.  Later this month, the show will also air on WTAG, Worcester and WQSO, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

dennis&callahan showWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Show Remains Intact as John Dennis Inks New Deal.  According to a report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn, morning personality John Dennis has signed a new contract with Entercom to remain in part of sports talk WEEI-FM’s morning show.  Co-host Gerry Callahan reportedly signed an extension in August.  Though the terms of the deal are not being released, Finn reports that sources say the new contract will not pay Dennis or Callahan the same kind of money they had been receiving from their last contract signed in 2007.  Sports media personality Kirk Minihane joined the program 18 months ago and his arrival has breathed new life into the show that has been challenged by CBS RADIO’s crosstown WBZ-FM and its Toucher and Rich morning program in the ratings.  As Finn reports, the Dennis & Callahan show beat Toucher and Rich in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings in July.  August PPM data is being released this week.

la canforajasonBaltimore’s “Fan” Adds La Canfora to Afternoons. Starting today (9/2), the afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) Scott Garceau Show with Jeremy Conn on CBS RADIO Baltimore all-sports WJZ-FM “The Fan” expands to include CBS Sports “NFL Insider” and analyst Jason La Canfora.  Vice president of programming Dave Labrozzi believes, “It is only natural that one of the country’s premier sports analysts would join Baltimore’s premier sports talk station.  Jason will bring an even greater depth to our coverage of sports in general, and football in particular.  It is great to have someone of Jason’s caliber and national notoriety joining our team.”  La Canfora reflects, “As a kid who fell asleep every night listening to Baltimore sports talk radio with a radio under my pillow, and who grew up taking the number 22 bus to Memorial Stadium, this is truly a dream come true.  I am always listening to Scott and Jeremy when I’m in the carpool line at my kid’s school or taking them to practices, so I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to join the team at ‘The Fan’ and talk about all of local sports.”  Baltimore native La Canfora joined CBS Sports as the NFL Insider for “The NFL Today” on the CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com in 2012.

fennellbrettFennell Named SVP and CFO for Cox Media Group.  Taking over for Charles Odom, who was promoted recently to vice president and treasurer for Cox Enterprises, is Brett Fennell who assumes the SVP and chief financial officer role for Cox Media Group.  Fennell comes to CMG from Manheim where he was VP of financial planning and analysis.  CMG president Bill Hoffman states, “Brett is a proven Cox leader and a perfect addition to CMG’s executive team.  Additionally, his appointment is a great example of how Cox professionals can grow their careers across all Cox companies.”  In this role, Fennell will be responsible for all financial accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, financial systems and finance process improvement for CMG’s broadcasting, publishing and digital companies, as well as for Cox Reps and Cox Target Media.

sterlingkentMore TALKERS Career Moves.  Sports talk personality and programmer Kent Sterling moves across town from Emmis-owned sports outlet WFNI, Indianapolis to Entercom’s WXNT “CBS Sports 1430” where he’s now hosting the afternoon drive show, bumping the network’s Doug Gottlieb…..Weekend talk show host Lisa Ann Walter exits Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Walter had been hosting the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays for the past three years…..Mark Willard leaves ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles where he’d been hosting the daily “ESPNLA Now” program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’d been with the station since 2008.

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds Hurricanes Town Hall.  Sports talk outlet WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is holding its second “Fan Town Hall,” this time featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and with three of the most influential people in the team’s organization.  The event takes place tomorrow (9/3) at WRAL-TV.  The 90-minute, commercial-free program will be moderated by “The Buzz” morning drive host and Hurricanes pre/post-game host, Mike Maniscalco.  Hurricanes panelists will include: president Don Waddell, executive VP/GM Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters.  “99.9 The Fan” OM and program director Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is the first media outlet to have this unprecedented access with the newly formed Canes management team of Waddell, Francis and Peters, so we look forward to hearing their vision for the first time ever in a very unique setting.  We know how passionate Caniacs are in North Carolina.  It’s important to us for the fan base to have social media access so that they can ask questions about their team directly to the decision makers.”